Monday, August 17, 2009

Fight if you must.

People and their stories amaze me. Every time my maid gets beaten blue by her husband, I feel lack of education makes him the beast. She sits chatting with my mother. Home is where the hell is. Poverty, hunger, trampled ego at the construction site where the man works must be the trigger.

People like me only write about such tragedies on their blog. When things take a disturbing turn.. we write. What else do you do when you see abuse in a house of literates? Why does the Indian Male like to control? The manner is sophisticated in the house of a doctor or engineer. Words draw the lines and cut the wings. The women from cultured, socially accomplished families listen. The moment these educated women raise their voice they are disgraceful.

The woman has to be like that. Willing to sacrifice for her family’s good. Walk barefoot up the hill to please the lord. Sit submissively as the father-in-law roars senselessly. The woman as a girl was adored by her parents and thought as a thinking person whose heart broke too. For the love she feels for her husband and her parents she shuts her mouth. In the family of literates her career, hopes and self-respect are nonexistent.

What makes some of us so insensitive? Every person is born to achieve to her fullest potential. Why are we so fond of cages? I know someone who is in her fifties and loves her life a lot. She wears shorts and loves gardening. The minute that phone rings and the man is about to come home she covers herself in sari from head to toe.

Fight if you must. People who care will love you still. You bore a child. People say nothing is as painful as that. You cared for that life with all your might, as it grew inside you. You promised yourself you will never let it happen to your daughter.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear God

Dear God,

There is this new thing bothering us all here. Its name is some Flu. It has made our world a dark and dull place. Fear in every eye here. We have people covering their noses in cloth. Children are wearing surgical masks as they hold their mother's hand and walk around.

The old poor lady in my vicinity was at the chemist's shop yesterday. She had come with a 500 Rs. note to safeguard her grandchildren. She was there at the shop with her money that made her toil like a donkey for the whole of the month to buy the masks and eucalyptus oil. The chemist had run out of stock already. He told me that every bottle is sold, very mask is sold. The old lady was wondering aloud where on the earth would she have to go to get the stuff she needed.

In the news where swine flu is the star of the day for many past days now.. they had squeezed in another story with it. Some part of India is hit by a dreadful drought. Farmers were shown squatted on the cracked grounds with their families. The farmers have waited whole of the monsoon for the rains to shower its blessings. But instead, swine flu came in.

Artists are busy painting the huge Ganesh idols. People bringing life to these idols are wearing masks too. Schools have closed down and children are left locked indoors. This is not like the summer holidays. The children won't come out to look at the idols when the festival arrives.

Some 7-8 kids died of diarrhea in some remote village. In the middle of the flu interviews and tips and things to dos and travel advisories they managed to tell us about this other happening too.

It is bothering me. The city which is in ruins every couple of years because of the bomb blasts and yet manages to wear a smile and is present in the local trains and schools next day has changed.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Mask

I simply love my city. Mumbai. The day my city too made it to the news for Swine Flu, changed our lives. While the rest of the world is looking for masks ranging from the official N95 to the locally made or the Made in China version us Mumbaikars wasted no time. Like any regular native my day begins in a local train here. I witnessed the change. At our railway stations we are now armored and ready. Like a shield made in pure iron ore we are wearing our handkerchiefs. As we are known to be the busiest city, we don’t get time for such mundane tasks. Our handkerchiefs look pale shade of yellow as we wear them on our nose. Some of these poor pieces of cloths were maybe kept safely in our trunks somewhere deep down for this day to arrive. Like the riffle kept deep down somewhere, to be found and used only in case of need; these scarves/ handkerchiefs are taken out now.

Women in Mumbai have come up with an even better option. This included me too on one of these days. Why carry 2 pieces of cloths? Duppatta is a multipurpose device. One uses it to dry wet hands, bandage wounds ( as shown in bollywood) and now to warp it around one’s nose. But personally, if I was to confess, I would say I have since the day I was introduced to this Duppatta have always believed that washing it as frequently as the dress is really not necessary or impossible in some cases. Some of these multicolored things need to be dry cleaned the first time. So one uses the dupatta atleast 4-5 times before washing it.

In the light of Swine flue we have become like the old monkey tale our Mothers told us when we were kids. One monkey throws the cap all follow the lead. In the ladies compartment one wears her mask all follow the lead. Some by holding the handkerchief to their nose, some by wrapping their all clean fingers around the nose and mouth and some by using their duppattas.

I am reminded of Jim Carrey and his mask. Imagine one mask with a whirlwind speed makes us super powerful against the flu named Swine Flu!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I am a girl child.

Don't make me guilty for what I haven't done.
Don't tie me down to your old customs.
Don't blindfold me.
With closed eyes, I see light much brighter.
I am a girl child. Don't look at my mother with disgust.
She is a creator. She built her world around me.
Don't pull me out of the nest into your cage.

My God lies in me and my mother.
It is not in the ritual where a saffron clad male sits closer to the idol.
My God lies in my prayer.