Incidents Thought and Reason

Ram and Sita

The news is everywhere!

The culprit: Educated young girls

The holder of justice: Goons and barbarians

The crime: Drinking alcohol

In a country where devotees of Shri Ram must worship Sita in her various forms, goons such as these thrashed girls in a pub in Mangalore, in broad daylight. The public and the media lapped it all up, for their share of flashing ‘BREAKING NEWS’ on every TV in the nation. We watch, as helplessly, and as much in horror, as we did the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

And what is the difference between the attacks? Nothing. Both are a complete breakdown of individual morals and humanity, and a real shame to the countries involved.

Knee-jerk reactions of arresting 10 men and leaving the rest to a ‘everything is under control’ public statement are a complete eye-wash. The men who attacked (and the parents of these men – for the kind of culture/values they have given them!), must be guillotined.

Didn’t someone say ‘India is a mosaic of cultures’?

This mosaic is so cracked and tainted, that there is no redemption in sight.

– A terribly disillusioned Indian woman


The cycle goes on…

The thrill of first riding a bicycle…the exhilatation felt in raising ones hands up in the air, zooming ahead….and screaming…”Move out..make way…help…the damn breaks don’t work!!”.

That’s how my tryst with cycling began. My ambitious dad had bribed a neighbour’s daughter into teaching me the art of cycling, by offering her a huge chunk of the most delicious chocolate cake ever! She was at our door at 6:00 am. A time unheard of in my life of 15 years. Anyway, I had no excuse other than the fact that I didn’t have a proper outfit. Ofcourse the family scoffed at this and sent me onto the war-front. Slowly, yet steadily, this friend of mine, held the cycle from behind and helped me move gingerly down the school lane, that was empty at this time of day on a Saturday morning. All of a sudden, waiving the courtesy of informing me, she let go. I innocently continued to pedal down the street. As I turned the corner, without slowing down, I was shocked to find she wasn’t behind me, but was standing right ahead of me, cheering me on. I couldn’t stop … the breaks failed and the damn horn was stuck. Oh! And the loosely-fitted seat would just turn up every few seconds, making it most painful in certain areas. I crashed right into her. She didn’t turn up the next day. I was glad. My dad gave her the cake, though. I thought that was unfair! (P.S: We befriended each other again, on Orkut last year :-)).

The next time I was on a bicycle was in Bangalore. Adoloscence and new-found love for my long-lost cousin-sisters had infused me with fresh vigour. The little cousin fell ill, and the elder one and I decided to comb the neighbourhood for a doctor. We walked through various lanes, then realised it was going too far. Literally. We headed back home and grabbed the bicycles. The cousin had a nice big cycle, you know, a real ladies cycle, not a child’s one. I envied it .. her! I was handed a smaller cycle…way too small. I complained that I could only walk with this, not ride it. She seemed to apologise, though offered no solution.

So we set out, on the ‘doctor-hunting-expedition’ in the unknown territories of Domlur. Cousin-sis cycled slowly ahead of me, as I tried hard to keep pace. Everytime someone came in sight…be it 100 metres ahead, I would ‘HONK’ energetically until the whole colony was awoken from their siesta. Cousin-sis finally turned around and yelled, ‘What’s the matter??’. I was still half-walking, half-carrying the cycle, and honking with sweaty palms. ‘Nothing’, I scowled. ‘Where the hell is the doctor?’. To her luck, we were right outside a board that read ‘M.B.B.S….F.R.C.S…X.Y.Z.Z…A.B.C.D…’. And guess what, the old man wouldn’t see patients at noon. We turned back home. It was mid-noon, the hottest part of a summer day. A small ice-cream depot beckoned me from afar. Cousin didn’t heed. I was angry. At being given a broken child’s cycle. At the hot summer. At the useless old doctor. And at not being able to cycle. In frustration, I decided, that moment, that I would ride this damn thing back home. So I pedalled. As strongly as I could. I lost balance a couple of times. But I kept at it. And finally, I was actually cycling. On my own. I felt liberated. Overjoyed. Fearless. And terribly in pain. For I had fallen right into the ditch by the side of the road. Luckily, the ditch was dry. Thank the Indian summer and the non-working drainage system. Cousin-sis had stopped a few metres ahead of me. I looked piteously towards her for sympathy. She, on the other hand, was roaring with laughter! I cringed. And looked around. Luckily, the only people around were the pot-bellied men at the ice-cream parlour, an old beggar (also taking a nap) and a few stray dogs. I quickly gathered myself, and walked the cycle all the way back home.

My cycling-prowess was put to the final test at Ooty. It was the evening of the ‘lake visit’. My enthusiastic college-buddies (well, “over-enthusiastic-pattani’s (pea-pods)” as they were called) wanted to cycle around the lake. I certainly didn’t want to risk falling into the lake, especially in front of my peers. I couldn’t confess that I couldn’t ride either! So I walked along with the rest of the gang the ‘Cycle-Hire, Only Rs.10 per hour’ stand. There was a host of pretty ladies’ cycles (the ones with the pretty baskets and all), and a few sturdy gents’ cycles. My friends bagged the best of the cycles. I was given the one that looked most plain, and completely unattractive. I was disappointed, but was far too timid to speak out.

We ambled towards the lake. The girls were beginning to speed away on their cycles. I pretended to savour the idyllic lake and whiff of hot chocolate peanuts from the stalls nearby. Suddenly I realised I was the only one left behind. Even my best buddy was a little ahead of me. It was time – for action! No more excuses. With trembling knees, I got on the cycle, and placed my right foot on the pedal. I adjusted my dupatta and tested the horn and the breaks. I lifted my left foot off the ground, but before I could place it on the pedal, the very unfeminine cycle tilted, almost causing me a ligament tear in my ankle! The friend stopped in obvious concern. ‘Some problem with this cycle!’, I shouted. Just as I was to repeat the process, a classmate hurried towards me. I stopped, out of exemplary concern and courtesy for the girl I’d always hated! ‘Hey, my cycle has broken down, do you mind lending me yours? I’ll pay for it!’, she pleaded. She didn’t quite expect me to yield, as my gang of friends (and I) seemed so keen on this little cycling adventure, and mine was the last available cycle!

I was so disappointed, yet most graciously condescended and handed over my ugly, yet sturdy cycle to this saviour. And walked towards the roasted-peanuts stall.

I think dad really enjoyed the packets of peanuts and home-made chocolates I brought back for him.

Incidents Thought and Reason

Profound thoughts..a revelation

…and here’s something that I never, ever, thought of, even in the most distant realms of my mind…‘The soul IS different from the body’. This is something that even the most enlightened of souls take a whole lifetime to realise.

And who taught me this? My 2-year old child.

He was extremely busy, playing when he suddenly got stuck in a corner of his toy car. I watched as he struggled out. He finally made it…dusted his hands, mumbled to himself (as a matter-of-fact), “‘Thank you, R” and walked over to the next toy.

And I gaped at little R’s most innocent and incredibly profound statement.  The disclosure of his knowledge, about the Soul being a different entity from the Body. To a child, he/she is no different than his parent/sibling/friend. He/she knows, that the self is above all this.

I am at a complete loss of words to say anything more on this subject, entirely due to my ignorance.

But one thing I can vouch for is, children are divine. For sure!

Thought and Reason

Tolerance or Terrorism?

I found this thoroughly thought-provoking article on this blog and posted a response to it. Wonder what you think on this topic. Please do feel free to share.


I really liked your essay and the message of the common Muslim man being the only one who can help us in this war against terrorism. Its probably true in today’s scenario.

To play devil’s advocate, isn’t this the same tolerant and passive attitude of us Indians, over the last several centuries, that has ultimately led to this anti-Hindu and anti-India sentiment itself?

Today, everyone takes shelter under some racial/casteist umbrella and then makes demands on the country.

Look at the Gujjars for example. Are they a potential Al-Quida-like faction in the budding ? Will they too, turn around and stab their own motherland in the back because their demands are not met some day?

I think we should put an end to tolerance. Those who want to live in India should accept the country the way it is. Those who don’t are free to move to a land where their religion is a majority.

And the odds are, everybody stays put in India, because all said and done, their women enjoy freedom, and their children are much safer here, (and are beneficiaries of such privileges as education quotas), as they probably cannot dream of in other countries.

With regards,
A thoroughly perplexed Indian

Movie Review Thought and Reason

Constant Change, and an anchor in turbulence

‘Change is the rule of nature’ – The Bhagavat Gita

How many times have we heard that Change alone, is constant?

As we rapidly outgrow innocent childhood and move into complex adulthood,and lose our baby fat to make place for hardened larder and cholesterol, most of us also leave our homeland in search of greener pastures. And every day, every year we see change. We are innundated with material comforts and are left gasping for a breath of fresh air. We see money and clutter all around, but are left yearning for that elusive inner peace.

I too, have seen a bit of turbulence over the last five years – crossing seas, witnessing and experiencing recession, stepping into the threshold of motherhood, etc.

The silver lining is, I have (contrary to the saying in the Bhagavat Gita), found something that has indeed remained constant  all through these turbulent times.

‘Kkasauti Zindagi Ki’ !

I turned on the TV last night, and found this Kk soap on air. Choosing between Naya Don and this wasn’t an easy task. Both were equally agonising. However, it had been ages since I saw Kk, so I decided to give it a shot. Just to catch up on the story, you know.

And guess what? Nothing, absolutely NOTHING had changed!

Prerna (the protagonist) is a grandmother now, but she still looks like she is in her 30s. The same open tresses, gaudy chandelier earrings, bejewelled sarees, and the same irritating expression of anguish and hope on her same-looking face.

The same situation, of an ex(lover/husband/what have you!)-turned-villain trying to expose her ‘raaz’ (secret), and in the attempt, unwittingly reuniting her ‘parivaar'(family).

The most antogonising part however was, that the camera showed the SAME dumbfounded expression on each face on the screen, with jarring sound-effects every time the shot switched between the protagonist and the ‘current’ villain and back again, EIGHT times in FOUR seconds. The extras (hubby calls them ‘tea-bun’, meaning, they play insignificant roles and idle around with a cup of tea and a bun!!) are also paralyzed with ‘shocked’ expressions from various angles and in various stills and replays.

The scenes and situations are the same, the actors are also the same, despite taking leaps forward in time. The jewellery and accessories are the same. Infact everything is the same as it used to be when the soap was first aired on TV.

So you see, ‘change’ is not always the rule of nature. Ekta Kapoor defies this logic. It is certainly not absurd that a ‘dadi’ (granny) still looks like a ‘didi’ (sister).

And everytime there is a change in my life…like staying at home after losing a job, or trying to settle down into foreign surroundings, there is something I can fall back on. I only have to tune into ‘Chaahat ke safar mein…. and I am instantly cheered up, as I feel like I am back to the good ol’ days! The cheer just seeps through the long-lasting headache that the soap leaves me with.

The gist of this post is, Change may be constant, but with a stabilizer like the Kk soaps, there isn’t much need to worry!


Incidents Thought and Reason

New Year Resolutions and more

I am never one to make resolutions. I find it utterly silly. As if a New Year means anything. Well, until now, that is.

Last night, as we sat hogging Chinese food at a friend’s place, I suddenly realised I was seated amidst 25-year-olds. And I was ..ahem.. just beyond 30! So, as I sadly realised that I was halfway through Life itself, I resolved … to LIVE each day with enthusiasm and gusto.

So these are a few of my resolutions:

-To DO some of my favourite things…be it shopping or exercising (heh, who’s kidding! That’s NOT one of my favourite things!!)

-Invest in good clothes to seemingly look fit

-Buy some mini-chandelier earrings, in the hope of looking younger than I am 😉

-Feed my sonny boy with tonnes of good books (toys and strawberries too)

-And finally, give away lots of stuff in charity

Aah…that’s enough resolution for one day, I suppose.

Pliss to share yours…..

Cheers..and a Very Happy ’09 to all of you.

– Pallavi