Saturday, October 27, 2012

angel who went back to heaven

Her almond shaped popping eyes, just emerging nose, genuine smile and a face to die for- would leave an everlasting impression on anyone. When I saw her picture, I thought it was a hoax. Just like any other spam on FB, doing its useless rounds in profiles. But, when I saw it again, I did my bit research and damn- It was for serious. She was missing for 3 days and a frantic search has been going on! How did I miss the news? Was I sleeping for 2 days? Whatever, I laid my eyes on the piece and started tracking and praying for the baby's return. 

No, I am not her relative, neighbour and I am noway related to her. Like 1000s of others, I was also praying for her safe return. For 3 days I was totally swamped by her thoughts. What was  her grandmother going through before she died. Did she try to protect her? Did she cry? Did she try to fight? A poor lady who is baby sitting her grand child just lost her life. 

What are her parents going through? Grieving with loss of mother or frantically searching for the baby? How are they managing the hell that just fell on them? I just prayed and wished them some positive energy. Probably, the most that any of us could offer!

While I was sleepless and trying to update myself with any news in the middle of the night, everything changed with a small piece of news. 

Baby Saanvi found dead! 

My heart sank inside pumping the tears  uncontrollably and fueling my rage. But within no time, the murderer was also caught.  What a cold blooded heart he is born with. Does he belong to a cult called Cannibalism? May be! 

My heart went out for the poor little baby. I would not even let her walk fearing she might fall down while trying to move. She is one of those babies, whom you would want to talk about after meeting/seeing her in a mall and tell your family, how you saw a beautiful baby that day. She is one of those, whose face leaves an unforgettable imprint on your mind. She is one those whom you would fall in love in first sight. 


I will never forget her. She will remain in my heart forever. In everyones heart- FOREVER!

My heartfelt condolences to the baby. Tears and prayers :(

Friday, September 21, 2012

Painfully mine

I lie on bed folding my legs. My knees touching my chin. Part of my pillow is wet with my tears. My hands curled around my stomach trying to stop the deep twining pain. I try to move, but I can't. I hear sounds- may be my mother/father/sister/husband asking me to stop crying. They lie to me often by consoling that the pain will fade away in few minutes. Yes, just few minutes! Few minutes of excruciating pain! But going through the ordeal every month is no joke. And the name of the monster is Endometriosis. 


“The boss is calling you”. I heard the voice. Fingers crossed. I locked my computer, moved my chair, straightened my dress and knocked the glass door. I saw my boss watching TV. Yeah, in a TV channel, you are expected to watch TV 24x7, interpret what other channels are airing and then develop better programs than them. In a way, you are not stealing the ideas but just developing new ones on similar grounds. He asked me to come in and I greeted him.
“Which project are you working on”, he asked me with a smile on his face. My boss, with whom I just follow protocols like wishing and reporting, is a sane and highly intelligent man in my eyes. I had never interacted with him, though I find my colleagues share a laugh with him quite often. I am a nerd for him and I am fine with it.
“The one on Environmental Issues and nothing much”, I said anticipating some new project.
“How is your health now? Are you feeling any better?”
“Yes sir. I am doing alright”.
“I want you to take leave for at least 6 months. I see you taking off every month for 2-3 days. I think this will not work. May be you should take leave for 6 months, get well completely and come back to work”
“I think I will be fine without taking leave too. However I will think about it. Anything else?”
“No. That’s all for now. Let me know what you have decided”
I walked upto my desk, unlocked my computer, typed a letter and submitted it in the HR.
After I started packing my stuff, the HR and my boss came to me and asked if I took the decision consciously.
“My problem will continue for life long. It is not a 6 months affair. You better hire someone who is hail and healthy. And I wish you will not do this to anyone else”. I uttered expecting them to read between lines. I did not inform anyone and walked out of office. I started my bike and tears began to flow. I cried all the way till home. It is troubling me again. How much ever I try to fight, it takes over me. A reason for my downfall. The reason for the downfall is Endometriosis. 
I woke up from a blissful sleep. I never slept so deeply in ages. I realized I wasn’t at home. The ceiling was different. I am on a different bed. The smell is familiar. Looks like a hospital. It took a while for me to recollect why I was there. Just when I was about to move, I had excruciating pain in my body. Everywhere. The doctor walked in and sat next to me.
“You have lot of tissue. We tried to remove most of it, but we could not remove all. I guess you have to go through the pain for life”.
These were the words I have been expecting to hear or not hear for over a decade. Stage 4 Endometriosis-the very reason for my abnormal pain every month. Again Endometriosis. 
I was 13 when the trouble started in my life. That evening, I was studying for my final exams when the pain started reaching peaks. I told my mother and she helped me by giving all those home remedies. But nothing worked. I cried the whole night and my mother took me to the school next day, to write the exams. I came back in the evening and realized I reached puberty.
Puberty- the life of a teenager with a troublesome period. The saga continued every month. Pain, nausea, vomiting, passing out. I could never understand why I had to go through these things while my peers never complained about anything. Every month was a new story. Once, I passed out in the bus stop. Once, I vomited in the railway station. Once, I cried in the principal’s room. The pain is devastating. No painkillers can suppress it. I was put on heavy medication for my age. Yet, no relief.

The doctors used to say that, it was all in my mind and I need to put it out. But I never understood how come I have pain in my abdomen and the doctor says it is in my mind. There is no genetic reason as none in my family had this. I wonder why I get such stuff in life out of blue but never a lottery. The pain would just happen to me during my exams, family occasions, travel and every time. It always hampered me from socializing. Writing exams. Attending interviews. I always met people with a heartburn, swollen belly, dizzy eyes and crumpled walk because of the pain and the painkillers.

I lost jobs because I often fall sick. At least through my colleagues’ understanding, I get fever or flu every month. It was not easy for me to discuss about my syndrome with my male colleagues. The bosses would never understand it either. They have wives, sisters and children but no one suffers this much. So, they would brush it off. It is stigmatic to explain why I need leave. While some thought, I take off because I am bored to work, some would assume I bluff talking about flu every month. I used to get all those expert suggestions from my colleagues who would recommend to have a full body check up in hospital, eat fruits every day, do yoga and be positive and some extremists even suggested I get married or have children for mental peace. I still doubt this option!

I could never explain to anyone how a tissue is feeding on my hormones inside my body and growing up at its will and troubling me every month. No one will understand. There were certain occasions that made me realize that -as a woman, I am strong, independent and confident. But this pain suppresses me to the core and makes me vanish for days leaving no traces of my existence. No, I cannot let it happen to me. Pain is an understatement for what I go through every month. I need to overcome this. Overcome something that alters my personality. Overcome something that kills me. Overcome something that weakens me and makes me cry. Just overcome it.

It took nearly 10 years for me to understand the dynamics of the pain and my very own lifestyle. I slowly started to enjoy my painful days by sleeping, reading books, catching up on movies that I missed. I realized that, by lying on bed I could do 100s of things. I no more cry of pain. May be because I know I have to deal with it. The pain never pains me anymore. My tolerance level increased in folds. May be the very reason why I never cry because of any physical pain. Now, I have my own time every month. 3 complete days for myself. I read, watch movie or just sleep. I eagerly look forward for those 3 painful days, where the pain forcefully makes me take rest. I overcame a chronicle that is going to be with me for another 20 years. I am assured, for another 20 years, that no matter what, I have my own 3 days every month- painfully mine.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh woman whats happening here?

Just when I was watching the news the Sunita Williams' space expedition, I couldnot stop the temptation to read about a girl who was molested by a mob. Seriously? A girl and more than 20 men? What kind of mardangi is it, to actually take advantage of the situation where a girl is helplessly screaming for help, a cameraman shoots the whole incident, passers by watch it as an entertainment, the mobsters strip the girl and feel happy to be screened, the TV channel airs it as an exclusive event! Wow, what an event for the whole nation to talk about a woman? 

Just fews days pass by and I watch another news clipping about a suicide of an air hostess with a suicide note stating a minister to be the reason of her death. Her family bleeds during the funeral and cries to arrest the minister. And there he goes- Whooosh. The minister disappears without a trace. We never miss a chance to write about any politician even if he eats chicken tikka masala, and here is a scamster, who stands a reason to the death of a girl and is reported by the media as missing. Missing? Are you kidding me. Hell, the word is absconding! 

Days pass by and I read a news about a Lawyer in Mumbai brutally killed by the security guard of the building. Bam! Security guard kills her as he had developed a lust. He makes every attempt to close the CC cameras, switches off the electricity and takes the help of his friend to kill her. I thought she lived in an apartment with full "security". 

And then another news about a rape, a married woman burnt to death and the stories continue to pour.

Oh India, I always thought women are safe here. I myself felt secure. But what is happening now? Why a woman is so vulnerable in a nation where woman is worshipped- at least -definitely in books?

I never know if I have to feel happy for Sunita Williams or shed some tears for those innocent lives who are victimised for no fault of theirs!

Oh woman whats happening here?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

where is my India

"Central jaana hai..kitna?"
"kya??? jaake aane ka nahi hai, sirf jaane ka bhai"
"haa madam..60 hotha..."
i walked away as i never want to pay 60 bucks for less than 3 km distance..
"boliye madam kitna dete..."
autowala looked at me as if i was trading for his liver...and replied in harshest of voices i ever heard.."meter pe 30 hota. 25 mein kya aata madam??"
"theek hai fir meter daalo...."
the autowala took it as a challenge to prove me wrong that it is not 25.
finally i reached my destination and the meter showed 28. 
"dekha madam...aap bole 25,,,meter mein 28 hua.."
"arey bhayya 25 se 28 kaafi achcha hai...aap tho 60 maang rahe the,,,woh kya naa insaafi hai...."
autowala took 30 bucks and zoomed off!

This was everyday ordeal in Hyderabad. either stand, wait for bus, get soaked in sun, swim in traffic and pay 10 bucks or just get into the autorickshaw and pay how much ever they ask. sometimes they might just quote three to four times of the actual price. either pay and suffer or don't pay and still suffer. 

This is the fate of a vehicle-less "me" in hyderabad! where is my India that I left a year and half ago.

coolie asks me 80 bucks for one suitcase!

the paper boy takes 6 bucks to sell the paper (i worked for it) that screams on front page saying Rs 3. 

i need to buy water bottle for Rs 17 and if i am in railway station it may range anywhere from 20-25.

1 kg of vegetables costed me Rs 60 from a roadside vendor.

the sickest of all is, i ended up paying service charge in all hotels which i never heard of!

These figures seem to be in single and double digits. But what bothers me more is, how can a middle class family survive in India now? Poor families are anyways suffering. God save them :(. 

I might have returned from USA. But I am not rich to blow my money on AC taxis and luxury hotels. I wondered how a common man lived in India?

Where is the country that I left? Why everyone wants to earn beyond their limits? From paperboy to politician, every person is trying to earn that extra buck in a wrong way. The corruption just infiltrated to the grassroots. nobody cares about those who live on just salaries! how will a common man who lives on a monthly salary, survives in India? 

Everything is pricy. Everything is costly. Everything is beyond reach. In the 2 months of my stay, I had to fight with autowalas, vegetable vendors, paper boys, coolies, vendors in railway stations, road rash morons, the queue breakers..and who not. i sounded like a screaming-yelling woman fighting with every moron on the road. Finally it just resulted in a throat soar and nothing else. 

India was not perfect when I left, but it was not this imperfect too! 

I miss my old India....Jai Hind.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Reservations? What for?

Why do you need a reservation? In trains, buses, planes, we need it because there is too much crowd and we want to secure our place. But it is not competition where your talent is tested and you are selected. So, how does this theory apply in Colleges, jobs and other places?

India is a Secular country, accommodating all sections of people. There is a huge competition every where. But why does one need reservation in Educational institutions, Jobs and for that matter in leading the nation- politics?

How does a religion, caste and sect rule these things? We are in 21st century where every person travels in the same train/car/plane and sit next to each other. We hardly care who our neighbour is though we own the apartment and live forever. Then why on the earth do we have to know or care about which caste/sect does a man belong to? When there is no discrimination about caste system, why does one need a reservation based on that? 

Let me tell you my own experience in life. My classmate who got a worst rank in the entrance exam, paid no fee, traveled to classes in a car and wore the best clothes, ate good food and lived well. She paid no fee because she is born into a particular caste/sect and she doesn't have to bother about her brains, knowledge or skills.

But, I was holding good rank, yet paid fees, walked for a long distance as my father couldn't provide for Autos or personal vehicle, took lunch box to the college as I had no money to buy food. I am not jealous here, but I am angry on why this discrimination? If at all there is competition then why can't it be fair and healthy? If at all there is reservation, why can't it be based on the economic/financial status of a family? How does caste/sect rule the education system? What kind of Justice is this to poor families?

I am scared to go see a doctor or consult a lawyer or get my house built by an engineer who studied on a reservation seat. How can I trust the medical skills of a doctor who got some 100000 rank and still managed a quota seat? What knowledge does he/she has?  I feel pity for those poor families, who can't afford to study despite having knowledge and skills.

It is a shame on us to accept such seats even in this age, where we fight for equality on a global platform. Let it be a fair and healthy competition. Fight for justice. Grow up!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4 on a scooter

"sit down. I can't see. move ahead. Ohh-don't move. close your eyes when there is dust" some common commands often uttered by my father while driving. he is not an F1 racer, but driving a scooter with a kid in the front- sitting on the tip of the seat, another in the back with hands around his waists- sandwiched between wife and himself, and wife at the back guarding the kid with one hand around the kid and the other holding the "stefani" (spare tire) -was no less than a circus feat. 2 seats but 4 people seated on them- Another luxury of a middle class family. No, we are not poor to walk or to travel by buses. We are not rich to buy a car or take an auto rickshaw. We are from middle class and we are pretty comfortable to squeeze ourselves and "adjust" in just 2 seats. We can stretch once we get down or take frequent breaks while driving for a long distance (more than 15kms). In between, we also buy veggies and put them in the front storage or underneath the seat onto the left. A typical middle class-mode of transport. May be thats how, I learnt to "adjust", "compromise" and "share". 

My father and mother would allow us to change our seats. Until we grew taller (I am 5'7'' and my sister is 5'9"), we tried to travel together on our Bajaj Priya scooter. In early 80s, having a scooter was a luxury. Yes, not many families who resided in colonies (which are slowly diminishing) had any vehicle. We were often called as the 'white scooter family'. Or my father would say, "just enter the street and keep walking. Once you see a white scooter parked outside the house, thats our house!" Such an easy navigation technique which doesn't require any GPS or Maps. All it needs is a mark and that's our scooter. 

Now, why am I talking about scooter here? May be because am reliving those good old days and remembering how a family of four travelled to different places within city limits together on a scooter. This particular machine took us to schools, hospitals, helped us in socialising and always made sure we 4 are together. 

One thing that I distinctly remember was the horn of our scooter. We would say from a distance that my father was coming home. My mother always wondered how we could recognise our scooter horn? May be thats the bond between horn and ear. The sound of the horn would alert us and we would pretend to either study or start having food to make a picture in front of my father. That horn also had  many meanings. If my father blew it twice, that means, we should hurry up and come out soon. If my father honked it once, that means he is home. If my father honked it several times, that means "kisi ki baji". 

incidents like puncture, breakage of clutch wire, oozing oil, airless tire were so common that they virtually made me a mechanic. I would help my father in fixing a flat tire, or changing oil. I knew how to open the oil tank and how to much to fill up. Since, the scooter had gears, my father made a rule that he would buy me a "sunny" only after I drive the scooter and also make a turn without keeping my legs down. Alas! I did it. So, in a way, my scooter helped me in my promotion too. I always miss it especially the small rides with my father to the nearby veggie market or a small shopping center. 

Nowadays when I see the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) boards on US highways I can't stop laughing. The sign board says HOV 2 that means, any vehicle which has 2 or more passengers have special lanes which are often vacant. In those terms, what is our scooter called as? a plane? no wonder!

Icing on cake - Our scooter had number plate which says- AAG- that means 'Fire' (aag in hindi)

(courtesy- google images)

new blog

I could never take pictures when I was a kid. Because, we never had a camera. Mind you, my father was a hobby sake photographer with a tripod, camera and bla bla in 70s. But after 2 girls, he thought he should save money and not waste on film roles and developing them. If only there was a digi cam then!

So, I never got a chance to take pictures while growing up. After getting married, my husband showed me his Nikon SLR and my madness came out as a volcano- erupting from the deep. Since it is a digi cam and I need not worry about the film roles and batteries, I started clicking like a maniac. The result is -

Enjoy my pics. 

Copy cats- excuse me please. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

story of a single bangle

(my own picture)

ever wonder what a single bangle is doing in your jewelry box? Well, if at all you have a single bangle, which has been waiting eternally to get paired up, then I can confidently say that you surely are from a middle class family. What is a middle class family? "We. Us. Our family". Yes, our father always gave us the comforts. Not luxuries. We have little aspirations and always aim to achieve them. And we achieve them and then we have some more aspirations. These aspirations are fulfilled by small efforts, little sacrifices and a team work of family members. Let me explain.

My parents always taught me not to day dream. It doesn't mean I sleep during day time. No, strictly I was never allowed to. But, they always made a point that we know the truth- we are allowed to travel by Rickshaw and not Auto rickshaw every time. We are allowed once-in-a-year trip to our relatives' place and one out-of-state trip once in 2-3 years. But no day dreams of singapore and paris tours. We are allotted a "cool" drink once in 1-2 months but there is always "cool" water in Fridge. Its ok to dine in a restaurant once in a year, but never more than that. A new dress on every birthday and just for new year and diwali. But never before or after that. These were our little aspirations.

So, we grew up enjoying these little comforts according to the schedules. We know they exist, we enjoyed them but never dreamt to have too many. my mother would take us to the shopping center where the stores of gold jewelry would shine during evening. We window shop for sometime, come home and discuss about our favourite ones. We don't have enough money to buy but have too much of self respect to just go inside and enquire about it. So, window shopping was just fine. And then, when our parents have budget to buy some gold, my mother would suggest, we buy a good one which is thick, big and has lot of design than just buying 2-3 plain ones. So, we end up buying a single bangle and convince ourselves that we can wear a watch on the other hand or pair it up in the future.

Such single bangles are the existing witnesses of our middle class life and how we dream of having certain luxuries. That single bangle might have eaten our savings of 2-3 years. But it enticed us in our childhood. It would grace us on many occasions. Those pendant less chains, studs sans danglers, single bangles- witnesses of little struggles of middle class families in India.

At least our family :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fork in the road

“What are you aspiring to become when you grow old?”

“Oh my grand daughter will be a bureaucrat”

“We want to her to be a doctor”

“I think she should study engineering, there are plenty of seats available in every college and she can also earn lot of money”

“Your horoscope says you will be a scientist”

“You should probably become a singer because you sing well”

These sounds always haunted me. When I reached my teens, everybody except me, had dreams about my career. Who ever visited our house, would ask me what I wanted to become! I am not sure if they would seriously help me, if I say that I wish to become a sky diving instructor. But they definitely want to know what I would become and then give me some lecture about, “how I should study well and dream about my future” and then leave peacefully to their houses after they dump all their frustration on me. They do it, may be because their kids never listen to them, or may be it gives them some psychological satisfaction and a feel of achievement when they throw free knowledge!

Whatever it was, these rhyming sounds of what I would become always haunted me! I was literally smothered by the very idea of “no-idea-what-to-do” after I grow up. As a kid, I was into many cultural activities like singing, dancing, theater and each time I performed on stage, the spectators would assume, I would become a legend in the respective field. My extended family thought I would become a bureaucrat because; having a car in the household and some power in hand always fantasized them. They always slept through my eyes and dreamt through their minds.

In high school, there were many choices as to what to choose for college. When I saw my friends how clear they were in their vision, it surprised me. I always wonder how they know what they wanted to do. Either a doctor or an engineer! They know what to choose between these 2, because these two professions were trends at that time and also moneymaking jobs. I felt very suffocated with just 2 options. I wanted more. I never saw myself fitting into those shoes because I never wanted those shoes in first place! Yet, I dint know what I want.

I still remember the incident when my mother and I were having a conversation about a dress.

“Mom, I think I will wear it during my graduation days”

“Oh, so you want to do just some degree and not medicine?” my mom said instantly.

“Oh my, when did I say that?” I choked

“You just said that you want to wear it in your graduation, but you dint say that you will wear it for medical college” she grumped.

I instantly realized that I have to be real careful while choosing words and should not just mention whatever comes into my mind. Yet, it was very difficult for me to concentrate on many things. Days went by and finally the time came when I had to make a decision what my major would be. I thought I should also aspire to become a doctor like my father! Oh no, don’t get me wrong; my father is not a doctor. He too always aspired to become a doctor like my grandfather who served in military as a doctor. So, the concept of aspirations started form my father and inherited to me. Eventually my father never became a doctor!

But I love to become a doctor and I know it is a difficult task to pass the medical exams. It is no less than rocket science for me. I wasn’t pretty sure, if I can grill myself to become a doctor like my peers, who study for 18 hours a day. I can hardly keep my eyes on the books for 5 long minutes. 18 hours is a nightmare for me.

I can’t try in theaters because, my parents for who even movie posters are a matter of disgrace, having their daughter in theaters is an insult! They will disown me if I reveal my intentions. What about becoming a bureaucrat. I felt becoming a doctor was much easier. Options like singing and dancing- ah no, they don’t fetch me any money.

Apparently, I chose to become a doctor and majored in biological sciences. My real nightmares started then. I saw my peers studying like aliens. They don’t know what they have to eat for lunch, but they definitely know how the rat’s digestive system works.

I tried to make a few friends in my class, but no one was interested because I always claimed that becoming a doctor is a funny thing and knowing what we are, we should not be doing it. I was poor in understanding the plants and animals and also my classmates. I could never draw pictures. I argued with my lecturer in zoology class when he tried to make fun of Amoeba (shapeless single less creature) drawn by me. He mentioned in the class that he never saw such a shapeless creature. I claimed that amoeba is a shapeless creature and we can draw it the way we want!

My botany lecturer made a huge red mark in my answer sheet one day and showed it to me asking what it was. Her face frowned when I mentioned that it was a potato.

“Potato??” She asked me with her eyebrows in air.

“Yes mam, it is a potato” I replied.

“But potato doesn’t look like this. It is neither round, nor toroid, what is this?”

“Mam, that’s why it is a potato. A shapeless vegetable!”

She gave me zero marks and warned me to learn how to draw.

These incidents made a deep impact on me. I realized that becoming a doctor was not just my cup of tea. After swimming through many such hard waves, I finally reached the shore, but just a different shore. Definitely not the one I had to reach. But who cares, a shore is a shore. If things were so sure, then even Columbus and Vasco De Gama might not have discovered USA and India respectively. So, a shore is a shore.

My parents were more than upset, as I could not become a doctor. But the real forks in road appeared now. What to do in life? I had to choose between 2 major careers. Either become a microbiologist or choose a different path. I chose the different one. I chose the road hardly travelled. I assured my father that I wish to become the first of all than one in many.

I chose to become an environmentalist. The road hardly travelled by any. If not for this fork in the road, I would not have become what I am today. An ardent environmentalist, a young achiever and a researcher in a prestigious Environmental school. These were just few of many credentials that I acquired for having to take a right decision when I had to. Now all my classmates are just doctors! But I travelled around the world, met people, did assignments, achieved many degrees and awards.

Today -I am what I am.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My first job as a Tutor

Just like any other student, I always wished I had my pocket money for little expenses. But, it wasn’t like that in my life. My parents always made sure that I finished my education before I took up any job. So, going to job was a big no-no, until I am done with my studies and I had no choice but to wait to finish my college.

But things changed when I saw a small ad calling for tutors. I attended the interview and my happiness new no bounds when I was offered a job as a tutor to teach pre-school students. I thought I could cover my expenses and also interact with the kids and have fun together. So, it was catering my needs to go to college, earn money for sweet nothings and also have fun with kids. I could not ask for more!

Finally the day arrived when I had to go for tutoring. My nerves were acting up with excitement and my legs were trembling. Probably, I could have had a nervous breakdown if I were to teach in college. I convinced myself that all would be well as I was to teach small kids and need not worry about my skill and talent. Hardly I knew that I was about to hit a beehive!

My first day started off with my introduction to the kids and helping them with their homework. It was a hassle free day and I went home with ease of mind. As usual, the next day was quite normal and I went to teach the kids. But, things were not the same. It seems, the kids ganged up even before I arrived and had some conspiracy against me! Least I knew what was going to happen to me.

As soon as I arrived, the kids greeted me and I asked them open their books to complete their homework. I was too tired as it was a hectic day in college. Unknowingly I yawned and a kid started laughing loudly. I was embarrassed and apologized and asked them to resume their work. Suddenly one of the kids said she had some questions for me. I was curious to know what they were and asked her to shoot them.

She asked me who my favourite movie star in the movies is. I had a lump in my throat as it was least expected and I did not know how to handle it. But I convinced her that I would answer her if she finished her homework. Then 4 other kids said, they wanted to ask me questions and would complete homework only after I answer them all. I had no clue what to do. I agreed to their demands and they bombarded me with questions like my favourite movie star, favourite song and least did I expect when they asked me to sing! I had to agree to their demands and convince them every time. Finally after a grueling session, I was relieved from the interrogation and I requested them to complete their work. After I went home, I felt elated that I could carry some memories from the incident. But least did I know that there were more on the way.

Days went by and gradually I developed an unknown bonding with my kids. Everyday there were new dynamics, new discussions and new things. I still remember the day when I went to the class in a hurry and skipped my lunch. My tummy was hurling with hunger pangs and in between conversations, I told my kids that I dint have food that afternoon and so I was feeling hungry. Next day, one of the kids brought a small box of sweets and told me that I can have the food and need not feel hungry anymore. The gesture was so heart touching that not only did it fill my heart and stomach but also left unforgettable imprints that small gestures matter in life.

If not for this job, I would not have learnt this lesson in my life. It is so true that we come across many situations and people in life. But very few of them leave imprints that remain in our memories forever. The kid was hardly 6 years old, but she left an unforgettable memory that even after a decade it is afresh in my mind and I can relive it whenever I want.

My first job as a tutor to little kids taught me lessons of life. Everyday was a new learning and every dialogue and discussion was teaching me something. I thought of teaching the kids, but in return, I learnt many things that were never taught outside. My memories of those small and tiny gestures are unforgettable. I always love my first job.

Friday, March 02, 2012

India shining?

Before you throw rotten tomatoes and eggs on me after reading this post, let me make it clear that, this is just a thought that developed in my mind while watching a movie! and incase if you have still consider throwing tomatoes and continue with your decision, I plead to throw some good ones! afteral, tomato pickle is irresistible! jokes apart.

Not so long ago, white skinned people were ruling us. Yeah THE BRITISHERS. I never saw them ruling because I wasn't born then. but I surely learnt stories from my grandparents who were part of freedom movement. My grandmother who had the legacy of interacting with britishers closely (my grandfather was part of world war II as a doctor), told me quite a few stories. But each time she described India, I got a very beautiful picture. Not even once, did she mention about beggars on the roads, corrupted officials, poverty or people suffering from illness. Somehow, either she missed out on seeing/witnessing all these facts or may be they never existed! It was just about unity to fight against britishers and a unique voice screaming for freedom. She never mentioned about people fighting for power among themselves or anyone being selfish to grab others livelihood. It was just about help to others!

Then where are these now? What happened to that India where there was no poverty, no corruption, and there were only people voicing together for freedom struggle. there was only one form of enemy and people fought with it. britishers left us and we are free now.

Its been 6 decades and there is freedom in everything and everywhere. freedom in earning money, gaining power, raise above ashes and get access to resources. But there is a clear demarcation that is quite evident in various aspects like poverty, corruption, illness and the list goes on. sometimes i get this thought that may be we need someone to bother us from outside world so that we get united and work towards a similar goal than divide ourselves into various aimless tributaries.

I dont agree with the statement"India is shining". No, it is not. But I agree that India is definitely trying to shine and will shine if the opaqueness is shunned.

Time for tomatoes ;)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Economically Green Child

While the global market is sinking and crying out loud in the name of recessions, there is one sure shot trend of economy, which will never sink! Let it be tsunami, typhoon or an earthquake! This economy never sinks and with each threshold, it shoots up. I call it Green Economy. Yeah, you heard me right. I have seen it for decades and I never saw it sinking or suffering turbulence unlike other forms of economy. Let me explain my story and how I have been part of this never sinking Green Economy aka Environmental Economy.

While girls of my age enjoyed playing board games and doll up Barbie, I enjoyed climbing trees and inspecting the gardens. Life for me, has been very exciting and I always stood out in the crowd for the way my mind works. I still remember the day when my teacher made a remark in my progress report saying “Intelligent. Smart but Talkative”. No one imagined, I will turn out to be a good speaker over the period of time giving lectures on being green and eco friendly. No wonder, I was chosen by All India Radio to sing a song- wait - not classical or a folk song. It is a song on protecting environment. Again, I had no clue why I was singing a song on how I wanted to plant trees and protect environment! As I grew up, I started having tough time with the juggling numbers in Mathematics. I never understood why Newton was not hungry enough to eat the apple and not burden me with Laws. The polymerization techniques in chemistry surely annoyed me. I was amnestic for history to study about wars and industrialisation. But there was one chapter, which had an imprint on my mind. I enjoyed reading every word in it and still remember how food chains and ecosystems work. When my idlebrain could not make it to a Medicine seat, my father was more than worried about how I would establish my career. The course in Environmental Management drew my eyes and there I go! Not an engineer or a doctor, but I intended to become an environmentalist. A Graduation, Masters, Mphil and 2 diplomas there was no looking back.

Every Individual is a born environmentalist. There is no surprise if I say earth has 6 billion environmentalists (this is a blog and not a scientific report. So, excuse me for stats). What if every one of us takes a small pledge and contribute a little to drink clean water and see clear sky and let the ice caps be themselves and not melt. We can help the Green Economy multiply day by day and increase the sustainability.

I enjoy being an environmentalist where I need not bother about the AC rooms, laptops with internet and dresses to wear to the work place. All I need to care about is to save mother earth from getting perished and let the public know the difference between Need and Greed. I am doing my part. What about you?

People say my blog is 'info-taining'. So, here I end with an ancient Sanskrit note which is dated (not radioactively) to 1000 years-

"Vriksho Rakshathi Rakshitaha"- Save the trees, you will be saved by them.

Go green buddies. Save the economy, yeah you heard me right, the Green Economy.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

definition of freedom

whats the definition of freedom?

going out on your own?
working on your own?
having your own money to spend on sweet little things whenever you want?
having a good laugh with friends?
socialising with friends and families without having to take their appointments?
Having your parents by your side whenever they want you and vice versa?

The check list was full and complete when I was in India. Many people think that life is free and you have all the freedom you want in abroad. But as an independent and working woman, who is no less than a free spirit, I would say, NO, it is not. Life is not free in this country for free spirits like me.

I am not against any other country. But I would say, India has changed for good. For those who have brains, talent, knowledge and know how to live a life, India is a much-much better place to live and lead a peaceful life. But many people have concerns about international problems existing in our country. Let me try to give an appropriate answer.

Traffic- Yeah many NRIs say that India has too much traffic and they cant bear it.
Excuse me. It takes nearly 45 minutes with traffic to travel 15 miles in a 3 lane road sans craters in US. Not to forget the delays that take life time and tons of people working from home to avoid it. In India, atleast in Hyderabad, I used to travel on my bike to office and was never stuck in traffic. Yes, there is traffic but always flowing. Who cares if there are people crossing roads? Atleast they will not sue you if you stop close to them. Despite the heavy traffic and crores of population, accident rates are comparatively less in India.

Pollution- Now, how are you effected by pollution. For anyone who moves from one place to the other, it takes certain time for your body to adjust to the local weather and conditions. I bled through nose when I moved here. But Indian weather and pollution never harmed me in anyway! trust me. It is completely a factor of time and your body condition.

Sun tan- Who asks you to go out in open sun without clothes? Atleast I never saw cases on dermological cancer in India. Whether it is India or arctic- roaming around in open sun will always tan your body.

Money- If you are content with whatever you get and earn, you can live anywhere. People live in 3rd world countries and they are still alive! Few extra bucks will only make your life burdened as that satisfying component in your personality has vanished long time ago.

Corruption- How many times have you fallen a victim of corruption in India? who robbed your money for anything? If you are true by heart and aware of rules, no one will ask you for extra money. I never paid an extra penny in my life and never had trouble getting things done. Then where is the corruption factor? and above all, if you want to fight against corruption, you are always welcome to join the movement. if not, then move on in your life? why complain about it?

These are few of many reasons cited by many NRIs, who say that life in India is no more easy. I don't know how much you agree with me. But, as an independent, educated and working woman, I always loved my life in India.

I have a good husband and good family to take care of me. But there 1000 several things that curb my freedom here. Yes, I was free in India! A free spirit which is now bottled.

Disclaimer- I am not against any country. I am against those people who overlook certain beautiful things in India. God bless all.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

came out of web

How I came out of an addiction called FB. It is amazing. Now, I don't even feel like checking the posts and commenting on those unnecessary posts which are posted by people suffering from attention deficit disorder. Earlier, I had the habit of checking mails and wandering on FB checking the videos, reading the shared messages, status messages. But every morning was not a pleasant one! sometimes, when I came across posts with disturbing messages including hatred on religion, racism, personal abuses, pictures with half body, amputated, blood and stuff, it was very scary and often disturbing for me. Atleast, I always believed in pleasant and healthy mornings and happy ending in the nights.

But at the back of mind, I always had those posts through out my day, and they always triggered my self conscious to react! knowing my personality, I always wondered how I kept calm most of the times. But, it surely affected my life in many ways. heated arguments, hatred messages, unwanted discussions, disturbing just cant escape from them.

once you are in the web, you are caught for good. hence, i came out and trust me, i have full life now. my options for hobbies just increased rapidly and somehow, i realised that i have 100 other things to do when compared to that stupid FB wandering. may be it works well with networking. but life doesn't stop there and I cant control. with 750+ friends (?), i could never control what they posted. and one disturbing post in anytime of the day, my whole day i screwed.

so get a life! i got it now! ;)