perceptions of common man

perceptions of common man

Sunday morning is indulgence time. I normally go to the local parlour to get a pedicure and manicure. The hour or so spent there is the one luxury I allow myself. But unlike other women who spend their time chatting on their cell phones or reading magazines totally ignoring the staff working on their hands or feet, I like engaging in conversation with the staff. It gives me an insight into yet another world. I always let the others lead the conversation.

It always begins with a chat on the weather: the incredible heat, the delayed rains, the clogged streets post a deluge and so on. This week it was the eluding rain! Then after a short while he asked me whether I was planning to go to Jantar Mantar for the Ana Hazare protest. I guess he remembered that I had gone last summer. I told him I was not. After a few more moments he brought up the topic again and said that he felt that Ana Hazare was doing all this to get his statue erected after his death. I was perplexed as I could not understand what he was getting at. I really wanted to know so I asked him why he had said that. The answer was to the point. For him Ana Hazare did not have a family and hence would be forgotten by one and all unless he did something that would make the Nation remember him. Hence his need to do something big. I guess this is a way of looking at it.

Ana Hazare brought the topic of corruption and then very quickly the one of price rise. I guess they are linked in the perceptions of the common man. Every one present joined the chorus to complain about the price rise in vegetables, food, petrol, electricity. Life was becoming very difficult for one and all particularly for people like Kailash and his colleagues who were at the mercy of their employer. If they ask for a salary increase they run the risk of losing their jobs unlike unionised workers and state employees. Kailsah who always has to come up with something unique stated with humour: thee politicians shouls come and spend a month living like us to understand the harsh realities of the common man adding with a twinkle in his eye: and we would love to spend that month in their homes! Reminded me of TV shows like trading places!

There we go again

There we go again

While scrolling on my Facebook page I came across yet another murder of a woman as she failed to give birth to a male child. An apparently happy marriage went down the hill when the second child was born. It was a little girl! The taunts of family and friends were too much to bear and the husband more so after the second daughter and the he kicked his wife to death. The blame for the gender of the child was once again laid on the innocent shoulders of the wife. What this incident shows once again is the total failure of all campaigns aimed at removing the prejudices against the girl child.

Not matter how many Satyamev Jayate kind of programmes we have, mindsets will not change unless issues are addressed in a different way. I have written about this issue many times. My approach is slightly different as I feel that we have first and foremost to free women from the scientifically wrong burden of determining the sex of the child. The X/Y story has to be told loud and clear. The fact that women do not have the Y chromosome and therefore cannot produce a son has to be screamed from every roof top. The softer approach of trying to enhance the value of daughters has failed miserably. Programmes like Satyamev Jayate is just a middle feel good show. An extremely interesting critique of the programme can be found in this article that I urge you to read. The author states: Every Sunday we watch programs sanitised to suit middle-class taste buds. We cry. We feel a little guilt, but hardly any anger. If we’re feeling extra lucky, we’ll send an SMS so that our Rs 2 goes to the cause. We might even donate to the said NGO once in a while. But the reality remains unchanged. Post the episode on the important of daughters one has heard of umpteen murders of wives who failed to give birth to daughters.

So where is the solution. One should maybe try and dissect the situation with dispassion. Why are daughters unwanted? And please do not give me the c*** about lineage and succession and upholding the name. Women do as well if not better. And if that were the reason then for Pete sake we are not all kings or feudal lords. Girls are unwanted because the skewed marriage drama we have is unfairly loaded towards the girl’s side. I wonder, as I have written before, whether there would be male foeticides if the whole marriage game was turned on its head! So girls seem to be unwanted because you need spend on their food, clothing, education etc and then also on their weddings. Then there is the terrible mindset of girls being the holder of the family’s honour. Let us be honest and word it differently: if a girl steps out of line you may have a pregnancy on your hands whereas the boy goes scot-free. So maybe these are the issues that need to be talked about.

Everyone knows that women are essential to life itself. The mothers of the so beloved sons will one day go looking for brides for them in the hope that they produce them grandsons. Is this not an absurd situation to say the least. Maybe it is also time this absurdity is brought center stage. The mother we all love are also girls. Where would we have been had they been aborted!

The situation is becoming perilous and something needs to be done. Let us begin with the X/Y story.

Sadafulee – so that pwhy children always bloom

Sadafulee – so that pwhy children always bloom

Sadafulee means always blooming! It is the name of a flower that blooms no matter what the time of the year. What a spirited plant. Sadafulee is the name one of our most caring supporter decided to give her new venture set up to help the children of project why. I can only borrow Kashmira’s words to describe this unique jewelry store: This venture comes from my passion for art and for helping underprivileged children. I plan to donate most of the proceeds from this store to a charity working with slum children in India. I am hoping the universe will help me grow this store to help the children to “always bloom”!

Kashmira and I met on line about three years ago when we were facing one of our financial crisis and needed to find a way to raise funds. If I recall well it was at the time when we were trying to set up a sponsorship programme. Kahsmira was not only one of the first persons to take on a child but also promised to help us raise the much needed funds. Since that time we remained in touch and Kashmira was always there for our kids.

Some time back she talked to me about a new venture she had in mind: crafting hand made jewelry to raise funds for project why! It was a beautiful thought but I must admit sheepishly that I thought that it would never truly take off. I was so wrong. In no time she had set up her venture and I started seeing pictures of lovely jewels on Facebook. And some time later she sent me a link to her store: I was wowed! The jewelry is beautiful and I wish I owned them all. But what makes each and every piece precious is the love that is woven in every bead.

I am humbled and overwhelmed. It is so easy to write a cheque but to spend your precious time in creating something to help children is unique. Kashmira is unique! And if you really want to know how much love gos into each piece read her blog. This is a true labour of love, one that is blessed.

Every piece sold helps a special child smile, a child remain in school, a child who cannot walk aspire to a bright future, the son of a fruit seller get a job in a bank. Every piece sold allows small miracles happen. Every piece sold will allow project why to be always blooming.

I hope you  will help sadafulee bloom and own a very special piece of jewelry and make Kashmira and our dream come true.

To know more :
The Sadafulee Store
Sadafulee’s facebook Page
Sadafulee’s blog

chotta bheem

chotta bheem

I have been hearing about Chotta Bheem for quite some time. It began with Utpal and then kids from the project. I figure out it was a cartoon serial aired on TV channels for children. I also saw kids with CB school bags, CB pencil boxes and more of the same. I have never liked cartoons or animated films, even as a kid if I recall well. The only comic strips I did read would be Tintin and Asterix. I preferred losing myself in a good Enid Blyton and other adventure books.

My kids saw their share of cartoon movies and Disney films. But I rarely sat with them. For me it translated into ‘alone time’ and was often spent reading.The children grew up. Then one day three and a half year ago I became a grandmother and my life changed to fit the tune of my darling grandson.

He is with me for his summer holidays and is now into cartoons, his favourite being Chotta Bheem. So for the past weeks now bye bye news, bye bye Masterchef, bye bye all other shows. TV time is now Chotta Bheem time. Twice a day before afternoon siesta and bedtime. And quite willingly I watch episodes after episodes of Chotta Bheem and wonder of wonders find myself enjoying them. I think what I enjoy is the little fellow’s presence next to me, his giggles and his questions. I could turn my face the other way and read a book. But that would cheating myself of some extraordinary moments that come once in a life time.

As for the content of Chotta Bheem, it is quite interesting and good clean viewing recommended to all, particularly grandmothers.

Pray for rain @ of 170 millions

Pray for rain @ of 170 millions

The Karnataka Government has earmarked 170 million rupees for prayers for rain! True we need rain and need it desperately. Many of us urbanites do not know what drought means to the farmer and the villager. For us in towns it translates into food inflation that we bear grudgingly. When our taps run dry we grumble some more and call for a water tank to fill up our tanks that seem growing in size by the day but never put breaks on our consumption.

The humid heat makes us long for rain clouds but then again we have our air conditioners on!  But for the farmer rain is life. Everyone is praying for rains. But the Karnataka Government decided to it go for it king size. 170 millions of rupees will be used so that every single temple in the state – 34 000 – propitiates the Rain GoBlogger: Project Why – Edit Post “Pray for rain @ of 170 millions”ds! This is no joke.  So water will be poured on Gods while His children are dying of thirst. Where are we heading and what have we become!

I am a believer and I too pray everyday in the sanctity of my home. I must admit I too seek divine intervention but I do it quietly and without any fuss. I have always been appalled at the quantities of milk and honey poured on stone statues and by the feeding frenzies that occur with obsessive regularity at given times of the year and result in vast amounts of food thrown on the streets. Each time I come across such instances I cannot but remember the 5000+ children that die everyday of malnutrition related causes. Wonder how many could be saved if the milk poured on the Gods was given to them. And I wonder how many lives could be saved if the 170 million rupees meant to propitiate the rain Gods were used to alleviate poverty.

But coming back to the main issue that is water and the rains, would not the rain Gods be appeased  and would shower us with rain if we committed to treat water with respect? If we pledged not to waste water and above all if we wowed to harvest the rainwater we so desperately seek?

Water is the worst crisis looming at the horizon. It is time we realised that and did something credible. Maybe then the rain Gods would be appeased and would send us the rain we so desperately need.