Tuesday, 9 January 2018

To build or to break- that is the question

The elaborate ceremony around the marriage finally concluded. The crowd ebbed away slowly.
The newlywed strangers were left to themselves. He approached her. The excitement of being with his new-found love was, somehow missing. She sensed his discomfort and asked him what the matter was. ‘Perhaps he is not well’, she thought.
“I was not interested in getting married. It was, kind of, forced on me,” he said.
“Why didn’t you tell this before the marriage?” she fumed/
An awkward silence left their minds equally noisy.
He knew he had a mammoth battle to wage. She walked towards the kitchen, washing the utensils of the morning with her tears.
She resumed office the next day, much to the surprise of her new family. For many years thereafter, she fought a long battle. Her home was her office and her colleagues were her family. He did not seem to bother as she was spending for the family. His lack of connecting, though, did not augur well in improving the situation.
Though she sensed his struggle towards building and maintaining relationships, she could not help him much. He refused to make her feel wanted in ‘his’ house. He came across as a lazy and selfish man. Though he had been employed for close to 8 years prior to marriage, he had not saved a penny.
His tantrums made her patient and resilient. One day he came home distraught. “I do not want to work anymore,” he declared. He wanted her to give money to start his own business.
“Where will I go for the money?” she asked him. For the first time, he realized the depth of her words.
“Can you help me find a better job? I feel useless,” he said.
She had applied for a job and the consultant had asked her to send her CV. But she was pregnant and a change of job at this point would not go in her favour. So, she decided to send his resume instead.
She told him, in the earnest hope of appealing to his good senses (maybe, it was time to check if he had any!), that he had to participate in the family’s financial commitment. He agreed.
The next fortnight was spent in preparing him for the interview. Mock sessions, general mentoring and general knowledge quiz became the order of the day.
The interview proved to be a cakewalk as also the first few months at the new job. She celebrated the new arrival and the new job with equal enthusiasm.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Freedom within Bondage

Flow freely
The earth is your home
The space above is yours to roam

Fall freely
You have no hurt to fear
Your gentleness brings joy and cheer

Rise richly
For you are the life-giver
You are the sea, you are the mighty river

Gush gaily
Your freedom is in the bond
That makes you the water in the pond

Sway sweetly
For you are the peace-lover
You pour on dry earth as rainy shower

Flow firmly
As you bond, so you bind
A structure so dear is hard to find

Monday, 16 October 2017

Intelligence is a subset of information!

Pronouncing his verdict, he walked in
Making sure to be heard above the din!
'She needs to be put in her place,' he declared,
An assumed self-glory, his gait loudly blared!

Feigning serious looks, the family gathered
Though, to listen to her tale, none bothered!
Humiliated, she knew it was best to remain silent
For, anything she said would only deepen the dent!

'A childhood abuse or a deep hurt it must be,'
Said one intelligent-looking man, sans glee!
Before adding, 'Or perhaps a mental instability'
So let's conduct some tests to check her ability!'

With a dignified silence, she readily complied
'You seem mature and brave,' the doctor replied!
You have done all that you could and much more
He said, revealing her strength, to the family's four!

She wished people around had been a little wiser
While using harsh words, each one more of a miser
The words, once spoken in haste can't be withdrawn
For what remains broken is the heart, not the brawn!

They say time has an immense power to heal
And given its time, the deepest gash, it can seal!
With hope, she began collecting the broken pieces
Ignoring the on-lookers taunts and their teases!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Build your castle

Build your dream castle
Even if over your emotional debris
For every piece of art
Stands over ugly landfill

Chase your dream goal
Even if you have to run on bare feet
For many, a race was won
Through the strength of soul

Set your eyes on the star
Care not about the million miles
Every feat is only a dream
Until someone raised their bar

Let no man hold you back
For, impossible is nothing but a myth
And with eyes set on the goal
Nothing is too tough to crack

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Reparations - Can the Indian men do it?


What a brilliant speech by Shashi Tharoor. Taking a leaf out of his speech, here is one on behalf of women who have been subjected to exploitation by their own men.

Mr.Tharoor, Indian women do not feel like Henry the VIII's wife because we keep doing the dowry business differently each time. If it is the gold one season, it is the car the next, until diamonds are called in to trend the next! While the economic condition of the brides' parents decreased, any lifeless numbers in the name of statistics, would not help in bringing the dead back to life. And this simply because men assumed that their potential fathers-in-law were employed to benefit their economic cause. The rise in financial status of the men has been largely funded by parents of brides.
Most girls in independent India are seeing their parents weave, beautiful homes, painstakingly, sacrificing even their basic needs, only to see all of it drained away in the name of marriage. The word loot originally belonged to India and the habit mastered by their men in the holy name of weddings. After paying hefty sums as dowry, all that the brides get to enjoy is the role of unpaid servants, with further demands that only seem to escalate with years. In fact, they literally pay for their own oppression!

Half of today's wealthy Indian population owe their status to this dowry economy. Dowry, on paper, has been abolished, but not a single rupee has been paid as compensation - neither as reparations for those who lost their lives nor to those who lost a good share of their earnings. Families educated the boys, fed them better, used the daughters to serve their sons, diverted family resources to give expensive education to the boys, for, the thus gotten education serves in getting higher dowries!
Every marital relationship begins in darkness, thereafter there is no sunshine for the brides. Since it is Indian men who are at the helm of the dowry affairs, no numbers would reveal the brutality of the ground reality!

A lot has been said to justify the acceptance of the dowry, including the exhibition of parental love for their daughter, though the same was achieved even without doling out wealth in the name of dowry. Dowry was given to serve the man's interests rather than the girl's. The men made all the profits, controlled the bride's life after marriage and benefited hugely through this established institution.

The feeble voice of the Indian government fails to reach the noisy marketplace where deals are struck based on the purchasing power of the bride's parents. But, unfortunately, the rule of this game has been weird. The purchaser is not allowed to take home what he had purchased. Instead, the deal only ensures that he gives away all forms of wealth, including his hard earned money and the daughter that he had so lovingly brought up.

Maybe today's young men have changed and are not responsible for the actions of the earlier generations, but is it not in keeping with the same principles of reparations for the wrongs that have been done that they pay a token amount? Here again, there is a moral debt that needs to be paid, much like the one that Mr.Tharoor is demanding from the Britishers.

Can the women of India demand reparations from their men? But surely Mr.Tharoor, this will open up a nasty Pandora's box!

Let me say with even greater respect, that democracy and the rule of law that has been in existence on Indian soil have done no better under the rule of Indians! The Indian democracy is only functioning because it is based on women slavery. The fact is, very simply, sir, that we are not talking about reparations as a tool to empower the women, but for the men to atone for the wrongdoings. The women understand that it is impossible to put a value by way of a monetary sum to the horrors that the women have suffered. Certainly, no amount of money can expiate the loss of a loved one as we all know without needing to be pointed out!

It is most definitely the principle that matters. While setting an innocent girl on fire, the husband could sustain injuries, but by no means can it counted as collateral damage. The truth is that we are not arguing that a huge sum of money be paid. The proposition before this great (?) nation is the principle of owing reparations, not the fine points of how much is to be paid. The question, here too, is, 'Is there a debt?' Do the men of India owe reparations? As far as the women are concerned, the ability to acknowledge the wrong that has been done, to simply say 'sorry', will go a longer way than establishing few NGO's and care homes in the form of aid. Here again, reparations, given by way of a token sum given by the groom's father to the bride's parents for the next 70 years, for the last 70 years of dowry practised in independent India, should make the women happy.

Monday, 5 September 2016

So long as I can hold on to my smile!

Image result for smileA million marathon I would run,
Setting my wandering feet in jest and fun!
Conquering the distance mile by mile,
So long as I can hold on to my smile!

An eternity I would spend teaching,
Concepts that need practicing and preaching!
Correcting the papers, pile after pile,
So long as I can hold on to my smile!
Image result for smile
Countless cases I would fight,
Placing my points to champion human rights!
Pouring over every fact, file after file,
So long as I can hold on to my smile!

Image result for smileMy days I would spend doing my job,
Gearing up to face the struggle without a sob!
Curbing thoughts, negative and vile,
So long as I can hold on to my smile!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Ultimate Giver

After a week in bed, my son got to his feet after the dengue fever. He had some notes to be photocopied and both of us decided to take a short stroll.

Once the job on hand was done, we began our walk back and as always my son’s foodie feet started slowing at the sight of a food stall. I let him take a look. I just wanted him to get back to normalcy.

Though in his early teens now, I feel emotionally drained when he falls sick.  He wanted to eat something hot and I stopped near the corn vendor. The lemon and chili powder that the street side vendor rubbed over the corn made our tongues water liberally.

I asked my son to head back home, while I stood there patiently waiting in queue, behind the others who had placed their orders before me. When the guy ahead of me had to pay, he realized that he ran short of Rs.5/-. The corn vendor told him to give it the next time he bought corn. I was awestruck at the generosity of this road side vendor.

Instantly, I decided to pay an additional Rs.5/- along with my share. He accepted it gracefully and I proceeded. As I neared the next stall that sold flowers and greens, I realized that I needed coriander and curry leaves. I asked the vendor to give me a bunch of each.

I opened the purse to shell out the money. As I fumbled, I realized that I was running short of Rs.5/- !

“Bring it along tomorrow,” I heard the generous vendor say before he proceeded to serve his next customer.