Frames of Freedom


This picture was taken by me on a sleepy afternoon on 15-4-07, no other photograph came to my mind when I read about the Frames of Freedom contest, for many reasons, but the foremost important one being that no matter what we say, feel or think, no bird, no sky no being is as free or as innocent as a child. 
He thinks he has the world around his fingers; things are under his control; he can aim for the sky and get some starts from there. A child has not been shackled by the experiences of life so his spirit is as free as can be.
Lots of people think it would be nice to be able to fly like a bird, but even the bird has his set limitations. He has directions and methods to follow too, but a child is a man-mauji, who is not bound by any restrictions.
Some think it would be nice to go someplace where there are no telephones no internet or no television to hound them, the child has it all, but nothing can bother him.
Try telling a child and an adult simultaneously to shift a heavy piece of furniture single handedly, the child will run and go struggle to make it shove an inch, but the adult, will accept defeat even without putting in any effort; as his mind is restricted with knowledge, gained from life’s experiences.
This post is for the Blogadd’s Frames of Freedom Contest

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Rat Race




What is it with life that makes us keep ticking? Pushes us to move ahead? What is it in life that we want to achieve and what happens after we get it? Do we feel happy? Do we relax and retire? Make place for others to compete in the rat race? Why is it called the rat race in the 1st place? Do rats race? No, its only humans who are into this never-ending game of being one better than the other. For that matter we make rats race and also bet on rats. Well I don’t know where this happens but if we can bet on horse, cocks and cockroach races, why not rats?
Being happy is not getting something or doing something. At times it is just a feeling of being able to do something or to get something. If you want to be happy, seek it within yourselves, this is what most of those gurujis tell me, it’s also the same in all those self help books that I have read on being happy being content. But in reality is it that simple, for that matter what in life is simple?
We go out of our ways to make life simple but in turn making life more complex. Take for example all the hi-fi electronics items that man has got around him. In the olden golden era, all man needed was 2 stones and some wood. But today with technology comes head-aches (this is how the adults in my house put it up.) coz with the gadgets come the highly priced maintenance contracts and then at the end of the month the power bills, which these days is shooting higher and higher day by day at my place, well no guys that was not the reason for my long hiatus off the blogosphere! I just had lots of catching up to do, as in read all your blogs. Trust me, these days I’ve discovered a new passion, reading blogs. Especially reading old and new posts of Indian bloggers, ya I’m still biased towards Indian writers, maybe cause it’s easier for me to connect with them. But maybe once I get done with this I would scout for other blogs. Whatever I mean here by other I’m not sure, will write about it as soon as I find out. But coming back to my point of making life simple, I think it is mostly at times in our hands to take it as it comes, now that the power bills are soaring, we can try and cut down on unnecessary usage, use power saving instruments, but other than that worrying or cribbing is not going to help us. Same way in life, the sooner we accept our circumstances, our dilemmas the sooner we will be able to face them and deal with them with an open mind, with a calm mind.
How often do we realize that in a tense situation, had we kept our cool we could have approached the issue in a better manner and obtained better results? If we are able to keep cool, a check on our temper and a clear head, no situation is beyond repair. It is not very difficult to keep life simple, haven’t you heard or read- Ignorance is bliss? The more we think and try to find hidden meaning in others words or actions or read between the lines the more issues we will rake up. As in relationships, I follow a very simple rule, live and let live, but if incase there’s not much I can do to handle the issue in a proper manner I stay as far away as I can. And wherever I can’t do anything about the circumstances I blame destiny, by placing the blame on someone I can’t fight with I resign myself to the situation, but if I had blamed a person I would have thought things can be changed, circumstances can be revolutionized. But I think at times, it is better to accept, accommodate and adjust than to fight.
How many times, when your plans got cancelled or alter because of someone else have you let your steam off? How do you react when you had to drop something that you had planned for all week because of some unexpected (and unwelcome) guests had showed up? When is comes to handling unforeseen situations like a mature being you don’t need to be too old to do it. The first step to dealing with an untoward situation, or when things don’t go according to plan is to accept that not everything is under our control, then step two is to accommodate with the present way of progress and then later in step three is to see (and also wish) if there’s anything that can be done to make the circumstances more favorable towards ourselves.
In life we all have our goods and bads, highs and lows, friends and foes, adversities and opportunities but it is our attitude towards different situations and circumstances that make us different individuals, different identities. There is nothing like good or bad, it is what we want and how well we can play the cards dealt to us by destiny.



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Doomed Friday the 13th

 Friday the 13th: a regrettable juncture of unlucky number and ominous day.
 The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have foreboding reputations said to date from ancient times foretells more misfortune than some innocent minds can bear.
This day occurs at least once, but at most three times a year. Any month’s 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday.
When I call Friday the 13th unlucky, don’t for once imagine me to be a Paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobic (fear of Friday the 13th) yes, these set of people also have name tags for themselves!
Exactly how long this superstition has been around is difficult to say, but it still holds the uncontested top position around the globe for being the most favored, I mean feared, fallacy doing the rounds. Nobody really knows who Friday the 13th was tagged as the unluckiest day of all. From what I have read, I was shocked and shamed to find that many people follow this belief just blindly; there is not explanation logical or illogical or any background information for the same.
Individually Friday, being the sixth day of the week is considered unlucky as some of the unfortunate significant events in the Christian tradition are said to have taken place on Friday, primarily such as the Crucification, Eve’s offering the apple to Adam, the beginning of the great flood or the confusion at the Tower of Babel.
The origin of the connection between the number 13 and ill fortune are similarly Christian, the most common stemming from the Last Supper, at which Judas Iscariot was said to have been the 13th guest to sit at the table. Thus, 13 started being referred as an omen of bad fortune in English literature.
In the British times, both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. By British tradition Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.
In present times, lots of hotels and skyscrapers do not support a 13th floor; airplanes have no 13th aisle. Restaurants don’t have table 13. But the joke is on the Paraskevidekatriaphobias, of course, since the 13th floor, table, aisle is sitting right there behind the 12th, obviously — it’s just labeled as 14 to hoodwink you into relaxing. There are offices that don’t work on this day, wish mine was one of them; weddings and ceremonies are avoided and so is long distance traveling, be it by road or air.
Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. But is an excuse for not going to work? I would like to believe it like that. Then I would be disappointed that Friday the 13th comes calling only once or twice a year.
2 movies have been made under Friday the 13th name one in the year1980 and again in 2009. And now this time we have our own desi version, a horror film, Help, starring Bobby Deol and Mugdha Godse. According to the producers this is the 1st horror movie being released on this ill-fates day. I understand very well why he wants to release the movies on this auspicious day, for once he will not have to take the blame himself when the movie booms (which is a given) at the box office, they will all blame the poor Friday the 13th and hence hammer one more nail on this doomed day.
In the case of Friday the 13th, people have been told it will be a bad day, so they selectively remember all the bad events that occur throughout the day. It’s an easy way to rationalize the screw-ups for which we ourselves are ultimately responsible. Do we truly think nothing good has happened on this day? Where do such baseless erroneous beliefs and myth crop up from.
You may not take drastic safety precautions every Friday the 13th, but are you totally immune to the superstition? Given the choice, would you get married, start a new job or close on a house on Friday the 13th? Most people wouldn’t, even though they don’t put much stock in the idea. Superstition has a way of creeping up on people when they’re in a particularly vulnerable state.

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Gulf states order Blackberry users to cover their phones in a tiny burqa

Read this and had to share it with you people.
Gulf states order Blackberry users to cover their phones in a tiny burqa



no more of that naughty spam eitherNew laws in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will require that every Blackberry user dress their phone a miniature burqa and face veil.
‘The Blackberry burqa means that people can still use their phones,’ said a Saudi government official, ‘but the tiny niqab that covers the screen will stop them from reading emails or accessing the Internet.’
The introduction of the burqa is intended to conceal the Blackberry from unwanted attention. With the veil in place only a tiny slit remains revealing just the time and date, thus preserving its modesty.
‘This is not about censorship or oppression,’ said UAE telecommunications regulator Mohammed al-Ghanem, ‘this is about preserving the essential purity of the Blackberry and protecting it from being corrupted.’
Some businessmen believe that making their phone wear a burqa can be very liberating. ‘It’s great,’ said one, ‘with the veil in place I am free to walk about with my Blackberry in public without the feeling that people are staring lustily at my multi-media application. It also covers my shame for not owning an iPhone.’
Some religious groups have welcomed the policy. ‘If Allah had meant us to freely access the Internet He would have given us web browsers in our heads,’ said a local imam, adding ‘There is absolutely no mention of instant messaging in the Koran and at no point did Muhammad, or any of his eleven wives, ever say LOL, ROFL or PMSL.’
If the Blackberry burqa is successful it may spread to other countries. However, experts say that dressing your phone in a burqa could result in poor reception, especially in France and Belgium.
The British government has yet to declare an official line on phone burqas although Immigration Minister Damian Green said that to ban them would be ‘very unBritish’. He went on to explain that, ‘the British thing to do, as always, is to grumble and tut.’
The Saudi government have promised that anyone who refuses to dress their Blackberry in a burqa will face harsh punishment. ‘I am not saying exactly what we will do,’ said their Minister for Justice, ‘but suffice to say that it isn’t so easy to text with your toes.’
Ripped off from NewsBiscuit.com
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Friends forever…

This post is in response to the Blogadda Contest on friendship day titled ‘Friends Forever’ in association with Pringoo.


 Good friend is someone who stops you from fighting, but your best friend will say “Maar sale ko Maar, jo hoga dekh lenge (Hit him, we will deal with the after effects together.)”
Friends are like flowers in our lives, they can come and bud at any odd or even part of our lives, grow and eat into our resources, blossom and wither, but even when they die they provide manure for us to be better and stronger. We are beautiful because of them; can you imagine a plant without flowers? Even cacti’s have them.
In my life, I’ve had more than my fair share of flowers so many that if I even try to bring all of them in one post, just the names will suffice to fill my post, so I will mention some of the buds which blossomed and filled my life with unforgotten fragrances.
As I child I remember, actually I don’t remember any such incidents but my family still revels in our childhood mischievous activities, my first friend was my first cousin, Dhaval, who was a month younger than me. I have been told, we used to dig the garden, sow marbles and coins, and water the plant because we wanted that thing then, we dint understand why our grandparents bothered growing ladyfingers and green chilies!
Then there is this short span of period since I was around 5 years till the age of 8 that I don’t exactly remember who my friends were, but one incident comes into my mind where this girl had complained about me to my class teacher, where I had promised to never consider her for the post of my best friend, but fate had other things in store for me. She is Anisha, another cousin of mine, who is also a cousin; yes I’ve got a humongous family. I will get back to Anisha later though.
During school days, I was fortunate to have a new friend bloom almost every year, lots of reason bound, but I shall now dwell too much on any as of now. Instead I will thank my stars for blessing me so many bonds in those years that today I can call it my lifetime (should I call it my school time rather?) blossom. Each year, my friend of the year used to be a new candidate, but some time in the 7th and 8th grade classes I met her, one friend who would be with me all my life, Saadiya, a Muslim at a time when the Hindu-Muslim rift was very deep, my parents were not too sure of letting me go to her house especially for late nights or stay-over. But it did not deter us in any way. Our acquaintance started in the computer lab of our school and spilled into our lives, so strong is the bond that even today though thousand of miles away, not in touch on a regular basis, I know and even she knows the day we need each other we are just a call away. There’s this one incident which I cannot miss to mention here; I was always a lazy student and Hindi was a subject which dint get mentioned in my list of things to be done at all. But unexpectedly when we were asked to submit our books for inspections, my book got to the teacher somehow, I told her it’s not mine, but the books cover had my name, so I was spared the consequences. On inquiring I figured out that this new girl in class, Saadiya, had made an extra copy on my behalf and submitted it. That’s when lighting struck me.
In the same year, I also came across Dipti, another sweetheart, darling she was.(NOoooo I’m not a lesbian.) but she was, when she had to move away from our city, she wrote a letter to Saadiya telling her to look after me! And she was just as old as me! But today I have no idea where she is, Dipti if you happen to come across this, please get in touch.
But as all other school friends even Saadiya was in my class only for that 1 year, next year I met another gem of a person, Noorie, she and me were like sesame twins. Did all the wrong things, all the blunders and even got punished together too. Noorie and my ties from that year till date are very strong, if Saadiya and me never fought-all thanks to her, Noorie and me have often fought quarreled, parted ways and made-up like every time. Each time our affection grew to newer bounds.
This year I also made friends with Aarti, another friend I would love to get in touch with. I remember her running with me behind teacher of physics, chemistry and Biology to give me some grace marks and pass me. It was very special considering she was the topper of the school. More often then not she tutored me and whenever possible she also helped me in my exams, so much so that in one of our 10th standard prelims, she passed her whole paper to me too.
During this time, I had to prepare for my 10th boards, wherein my mom (who was not on my lost of friends then) noticed my soaring friendly adventures and accordingly dipping grades, decided to send me under my (relentlessly strict) aunt’s wings, enter Anisha again, she showed me what loving and enjoying life was all about, she taught me we live only once, make the most of it. And in her I found another life guru for myself.
Next year, as expected, Aarti moved to a new country and Noorie and me were shoved into different classes, so I had to again scout for a new best friend, this time it was Anurag, I guess you’ve figured out by now that I was in a girls school, Anurag and me were in class 11 and 12, but I guess something was amiss there, cause today I don’t even remember what we fought over, she still wont add me to her Facebook friends list. Here I take this opportunity to tell her, life is very short dear, lets just remember the nice stuff and make the most of it, means lets add each other on our FB list.
I was thinking that my life is complete with these friends, the best that any person could get, I had Saadiya and Noorie. I need no more friends, no more people in my life, it was perfect. But that’s when I realized I was going to be blessed all over again. Till this time I was in the company of only 2-3 good friends, but in college I was bombarded with 6 friends, yes 6 and all new to Bombay. So there we were discovering Bombay and these were the best times in my life, rather are the best times yet, and feel very proud that even today, we know that in case I need them or vice verse, we are there for each other; at any time of the day or night. (Sweeties please don call after 11, I sleep early these days.) Oppss, I forgot to mention those 6 special names, Nimisha, I know its Nimeesha, Amit- my own Mr. Fix it all, Prakash-or Ash as he likes it, Vicky-whom I used to ask for his REAL name a zillion times, Hinal- the perfect child, friend, wife and now mother, and Rajat, a Mumbaikar, who somehow got me admitted in the college with my poor marks.
Amit actually deserves a special post on being a perfect friend so will do that in the near future, Amit better keep reading even though I know you are busy traveling.
Then this time I had to move away, God could not find an excuse to move 6 people away from me so somehow he made me make the move this time. So again I was back on my favorite yearly ritual, hunt-a-friend, this time my target was Shweta and her gang. Thanks dear for being there for me in those days.
Lots of people came and went from my life, but I could have the strength to make new and better friends because of one permanent friend in my life, my saga on friends would be incomplete of I don’t mention her name, Jaya, my mother. She has been the best friend a complete package, whom I could do any wrong and get away with it, not because she was my mother but because she I was her only best friend. This I realized after I became a mother. It is one of the most selfless and most honest relationships in our life, and I have been very lucky. Touch wood. I know you will never read this entire account mum, but I love you anyhow.
All my friendships started with a simple “Hi” somewhere changed to “Wassup” then grew into “Oye pagal (mad)” tented towards “ tu apna dimag mat chala (Don’t think too much)”  fell down to“thapad khana hai kyat (I‘ll slap you )” and finally came “tu sambhal lena yaar (look out for me friend)”.
No names have been changed, I am very proud to have all of you in my life, thank you all whom I have mentioned and the rest also whom I’ve not mentioned.

Friends at Pringoo.

Greener Grass

These days I’m coming across blogs indulging in male-bashing in profusion! Though some of them are more related to the unfair and disadvantageous position that the Indian girls are in, they all think or portray to show our male specimens in an envious state. I also have enjoyed indulging myself in the same playing field, but got thinking from their side and realized all is not well there either.
Since their inception, they have been told they have to study well, read be an engineer or a doctor and earn for the family.  They have been brain-fed that they have to maintain their “MACHOISM”, and be a “MAN” at all times, at all costs.
Being a man, when he’s just a kid means having to excel in all fields, be able to play cricket, hockey basketball etc, get hurt, and fall and get bruised all over but allowed to cry, fear of being called a girl. He is expected to get good grades; I mean the best grades and scores in school so as not to disappoint the parents. Accomplish all their expectations, which include being Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan and also a doctor or engineer at the least, all at the same time! Can you imagine how much a boy is pressurized at this state? Does anyone ever ask him what he wants to be? What is it that he’s interested in? At the end of it, its his life.
When he turns into an adolescent, he has his peers to help make matters worse for him. Now he is expected to be seen around with the best “BABE” in town, has to be in the race of loosing his virginity whether he wants to or not, so as to be called a “STUD”. Being able to stay up late nights to drink and smoke irrespective of his choice and taste is another requirement to be fulfilled. Anyone who falls short of the above stipulations is considered an uncle, or a bore!  
After being married, he’s had it all! Imagine this, the first scenario, marries a girl of his parent’s choice, who was selected after being made to go through some funny some humiliating “tests”, was selected to be their Daughter-in-law, now they don’t want her to do this or do that, the wife complains to him, but of course, they are his parents! And the poor husband, (hus-I-band-H, where hasi means smile and bandh means shut!) is left to device a solution to pacify both his parents and his wife. On the other end, there is no reprieve either. It’s a loose-loose situation for him on both ends! A ritual of complaints, suggestions and disproval begins, thus ruining his confidence and self worthiness.
Then as a father, he has to be the provider for all of them, the parents, the wife and the kids. Can he ever put up his hands and feet and say, “No I will not go to office, instead I want to spend time with my family and kids so will sell of the properties, retire early and enjoy a nice life”, now people will then call him indolent and apathetic.
 
To be a man, is a manly affair. They go through if not more equal number of tumults in their life too, but for a man it is not so easy to put it into words as it is for a women. We talk it out, share it with someone close, and try to get over it with tears and coffee, now we even blog about it, but how many men can do it?
At the end of this I would like to add; I am not at all saying that we Venusians are in a better situation than the Martians, but in some exceptional cases, there are some males who are in a worse situation than some of my sisters. Though if making a general case, the circumstances of the Indian females is very bad and something special needs to be done about it.
 



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Diversity-in-Discrepancies             
Then-Now-but-When