March 07, 2012

An ideal Indian woman - ek Adarsh Bhartiya Nari



This post has originally been my comment on Indian Home Maker (IHM)'s blog. Her post was in reply to some sexist poem shared in an anti-muslim and anti-congress page on Facebook called Thalua club. The Facebook fan page appears as stupid as the name. Anyway, on IHM's request, I'm re-posting my comments there on her blog post as a separate post here. You can see the original poem as well as IHM's reply to it through the above links. On IHM's post, you can also see the English translation of the poem.


Here, the lines of the original poem are in slightly grey colour while my replies are in black. Please don't mind grammatical errors in Hindi as it's not my area of strength.


Ideal Indian woman (??)
सर पे सिंदूर का “फैशन” नहीं है,
सिन्दूर करने या नही करने से क्या फरक पडेगा… मुझे बताओ…
गले मे मंगलसूत्र का “टेंशन” नहीं है !
आदमी ने तो मंगलसुत्र कभी पह्ना ही नही हैं तो क्या आदमी कभी आदर्श था ही नही और हैं भी नही?
माथे पे बिंदी लगाना “आउटडेटेड” लगती है,
जिस आदमी को लगता हैं कि बिन्दी लगाना “कुल” हैं वोह खूद अपने सर पे बिन्दी लगा सकता हैं ना?
तरह तरह की लिपस्टिक अब होंठो पे सजती है !
लड़कियो/औरतो को खुद बिन्दी लगाना अगर अच्छा लगता हैं और जहाँ तक मेरा खयाल हैं तब तक लगभग सभी आदमियोंको भी ये अच्छा लगेगा कि उसकी बीवी या girlfriend लिपस्टिक लगाए. अगर तुम्हे खुद लिपस्टिक लगाना पसंद नही हैं तो तुम मत लगाओं… कभी कोइ लड़कीने ने तो कोइ कविता नही लिखी कि jeans आदमी पे सजता हैं या नही सजता हैं.
आँखों में काजल और मस्कारा लगाती हैं,
आँखों में काजल और मस्कारा तो छोटे बच्चे कोइ भी लगाते हैं. क्या वो सुन्दर नही लगते? और लड्की लगाए तो वोह आदर्श नही हैं… क्या बात हैं भाई… आदर्शत की आपकी व्याख्या भी क्या खुब हैं! लड़कियोको सुन्दर दिखने के लिए आन्खोंमे क्या लगाना चाहिए वोह भी आप ही बताओगे क्या? कभी कोइ लड्की या औरतने आपको ऐसा कहा की आप आँख पे चश्मा लगाओं या फिर गोगल्स लगाओं या ना लगाओं?
नकली पलकों से आँखो को खूब सजाती हैं !
उसकी पलके नकली हैं तो तुम अपने असली शरीर पे गर्व करो. और अच्छे कपड़े जो सचमे आपकी व्याख्या मे नकली चीज होनी चाहिए उसको छोडके फटे पूराने “असली” कपड़े पहेना करो.
मूख ऐसा रंग लेती हैं की दूर से चमकता है,
तो उससे आपके चेहरे की रोनक को तो कोइ नुक्सान नही हैं ना? आप बस इतना ख्याल रखो की रोज नहाओ और नाक और चेहरा ठीक से साफ किया करो… दुनिया पे बडा उपकार रहेगा.
पर्फ्यूम इतना तेज की मीलों से महकता है !
तो आपको क्या किसी का बास मारता शरीर ज्यादा आकर्षक लगता हैं? पर्फ्यूम कितना तेज होना चाहिए वोह भी आप ही बताओगे क्या?
जो नथ कभी नाक की शोभा बढाती थी,
आपको अभी भी लगता हैं क़ि नथ नाक की शोभा बढाती हैं तो आप उसे क्युं नही पहेनते?
आज होठ और जीभ पे लग नाक
ओके! आपको सिर्फ नाक मे गहना “कूल” लगता हैं… होठ और जीभ पे नही… आपको पसंद नही हैं तो मत लगाओं… आप औरो को या अपने आसपास क़ि औरतो को क्या लगाना चाहिए ये क्यु बताते हो?
बालों की “स्टाइल” जाने कैसी -
कैसी हो गयी,
वो बलखाती लंबी चोटी ना जाने
कहाँ खो गयी !
आप सर टकला रखते हो क्या? नही ना? आप अपनी हैर स्टाइल भी खुद ही चुने और दुसरोकी भी… आप अपनी बाल खुद की पसंद की हुइ “स्टाइल” मे रखना हैं और दुसरो की चोइस पर भी अंकुश करना हैं?
और परिधान तो ऐसे “डिज़ाइन” में आये हैं,
आप धोती-कुर्ता पहेनते हो क्या? आप खुद्के लिए खुदको अच्छा और आकर्षक दिखाने वाले कपड़े पहेनते हो ना?
कम से कम पहनना इन्हें खूब भाये है !
आप अपना सर, हाथ, पैर और पुरा शरीर ढक जाए ऐसे कपड़े पहेनते हो?
आज अंग प्रदर्शन
करना मजबूरी सी लगती है,
इसको पसंद बोलते हैं, मजबूरी नही. लड़के अपनी छाती और कसरत कीये हुए हाथ दिखाएं तो आपको ऐतराज़ नही होगा… सही ना? हाँ… लड़कियों को ऐसा नही करना चाहिए… लड़को के लिए सब सही हैं… ऐसा ना?
सोचती है इसी मे
इनकी खूबसूरती झलकती है !
आपके आसपास वाले ९९ प्रतिशत लड़के भी शायद यही सोचते हैं… कभी उससे पुछ्के देखिए…
पर आज भी जब कोई भारतीय परिधान
पहनती है,
सच बताऊं सभी की आँखे उस पे ही अटकत हैं !
मतलब आप लड़कियो को और औरतो को घूरते हैं? एक आदर्श पुरुष के नाते आपको उसपे आंखें अटकानी ही चाहिए… एक लड्की को सजने का हक नही हैं पर हर आदमी को उसपे आंखें अटकाने का हक हैं… कभी अपने आसपासकी लड़कियों से पुछा की आप जैसे पुरुषोकी नजर उसपे अटकती हैं तो उसे कैसा लगता हैं?
सादगी, भोलापन और शर्म ही भारतीय स्त्री की पहचान है,
और भारतीय पुरुषो की क्या पहचान हैं? आप भारतीय पुरुषो की पहचान सुधारने के लिए क्या कर रहे हैं?
मत त्यागो इन्हें यही हमारे देश का स्वाभिमान है !
हाँ! देश का स्वाभिमान लड़कियों को अंकुश मे रख्ने से और उसको बडे कपड़े पह्नाने मे ही हैं!
यदि अब भी हम सोच रहे है कि ये आने
वाली माताएं हमारी आने वाली पीढ़ी में
‘भगत सिंह या नेताजी’ पैदा करेंगी, तो हम
गलत सोच रहे हैं,
आप तो ज्योतिष भी लग रहे हो…
पश्चिम की नक़ल करते
करते हम पूरी तरह अंधे हो चुके है……
जरा अपनी कमरसे नीचे देखिए… आपने धोती नही पहेनी हैं… जो पहेना हैं वोह भी पश्चिम की नक़ल ही हैं…
जो अब लाइलाज बीमारी का रूप ले चुकी है……!!
बिमार तो वो पुरुष लगते हैं जो लड़कियो को संस्कृति के नाम पे अंकुश करने मे लगे हैं…
॥ ईश्वर इन्हे सद्बुद्धि दे ॥
और ये कविता लिखने वाले को भी!
जय हिन्द, जय भारत !!
आपने खुद देश के लिए क्या किया हैं? जय हिन्द, जय भारत बोलनेसे ही हम आदर्श हो जाते हैं क्या?




I don't know who wrote the original poem. It doesn't matter. The poem has got many Facebook 'like's too. I believe it would take decades, if not centuries, that such people become a minority among general male population.

March 21, 2011

My trip to rural Bihar - 2011

This post is regarding my experiences during my trip to a small village in Bihar in the first half of March this year. I went there to attend the marriage of a friend's brother. Of course, my purpose behind the trip was to observe the life there as closely as possible, too. And, I succeeded in doing so by staying in a village in the Madhubani district of Bihar for a week and in the city of Darbhanga for a day. 

Many things, people and customs there amused me. Having been born and brought up in semi-urban area (or rather rural), I have been quite aware of and accustomed to a village life. But, gradually I realised that there is a lot of difference between rural India that I've grown up in and rural Bihar.

It was the first time that I stayed in a village that had electricity for less than 8 hours a day (The people here refer to electricity as 'line'). Street lights don't exist here. They don't exist in Darbhanga either. Many people use Kerosene-based lanterns at night. And, it is almost dark everywhere at night. Unavailability of street lights makes the place really dark even if electricity is there. It is ugly to see that millions of people in thousands of villages still need to depend on lanterns. I found it particularly frightening here since there are a lot of young children roaming around, not many in the attention of elders. Many children here don't study beyond 7th class despite having schooling till 10 available in this village itself. Many of them start working sooner. Did I mention that many of them appear to be malnourished? By the way, 10th class is still known as Metric here.

In all the houses that I visited here, there was nothing called bathroom. People take bath under hand pumps. In fact, it is mostly the only source of water, the other one being river or lakes/check dams. There is not water distribution system present. There's no sewage system either. In fact, this is what I saw in the area of Darbhanga where I stayed for a day in spite of the fact that Darbhanga is a district level city.

All the roads in the village are made of bricks, interestingly. I came across such a thing for the first time. They are very dusty anyway.

Farms here are small, each of half an acre and less. The land seems to produce many things. I could find strawberries, mustard, wheat, onions, and vegetables here. Bamboo trees and mango trees are something you find everywhere here. Since bamboos are available in abundance here, they are used to build many things here. Many houses are built mainly with the use of bamboos: the walls, gate, windows, and everything else, needless to mention pillars too; and everything else you can imagine.

In farms, I found more women working than men. Men here are rather found doing something else, and often – mainly at night – drinking Taadi. There are many people who don't work much here. Lack of electricity and other basis necessities just makes things more difficult for someone who plans to start some small business on their own.

A few more things I noticed:
 
- Cycle is an important means of commuting. Many boys and men use it when they need to go to nearby villages and town which can be up to 10 or more kilometres far.
 
- In Baraat in marriage, there are only men who go to the bride's village. No women can be found in the bus carrying Baraatis.
 
- In occasions like marriage or mundan (baby's first hair removal ceremony) or at any other time when they need continuous electricity, they resort to hiring a diesel generator. The prevalent rent of hiring a generator for 24 hours is around Rs. 2,000.
 
- The use of Hindi is very prevalent here, of course.

In all, it was a trip that I know I'm going to remember for the rest of my life.

November 07, 2010

The fall (?) of WeBlog

There has been a discussion going on in a part of Indian bloggers' world. This post is just about throwing more light on the issue by accumulating the links where you may like to read more about it and/or participate in the discussion.

First of all, this is the group that is in question: http://www.facebook.com/WeBlogg

It's a page where a few of fellow bloggers were allegedly verbally abused and blocked out of when they asked about the authenticity of the people behind the blog. Pathetic!

A comprehensive post mentioning what all has happened on and around WeBlog and it's owner (who claims to have sold it off now) here: http://mysterious-kaddu.blogspot.com/2010/11/biggest-controversy-in-blogosphere.html A few more posts by Kaddu on this issue can be read here and here.

There has been a debate going on Facebook here. See if you can go through it (Update: The picture has been removed from Facebook now).

A discussion was also going on on a thread on IndiBlogger. The thread seems to have been removed from the site. (Update: The thread is back on IndiBlogger, and again it has disappeared)

The purpose of this blogpost is just to make sure that more people are aware of this series of incidents so that people stop falling prey to scams like this.

PS: I'll keep this post updated in case the links I provided aren't enough.

Updated: Added the hyperlinks which previously appeared as plain text.

Updated (2100 hours): Made updates on the Facebook picture and discussion and on that thread on IndiBlogger site. I guess the further discussion will mainly follow there itself.

Updated (Dec 5, '10): Current/Final status of things as on December 5:

(i) The WeBlog Facebook page and its site on .co.cc domain, of course, still exist. However, 5 of my Facebook friends 'like' the page now against the figure of 20 when the controversy just came up.

(ii) As far as I know, no active discussion or activity against WeBlog seems to be going on anywhere on Indian BlogSphere.

(iii) The thread regarding this controversy which was opened by a famous blogger Mohan was closed, reopened and closed again. The probable reason behind the closure of that thread is IndiBlogger moderators/officials' belief that the discussion going on there was not very healthy.

Updated (May 18, '11): IndiBlogger blog mentions about Sourav Pandey's plagiarism here. A good move indeed.

October 28, 2010

My favourite movie quotes - Part 3

And, here's the third post which contains some of my most favourite movie quotes. While most of them are general in nature and even those who haven't not seen those movies would easily understand them, a couple of them may be situation (in the movie) specific. And, now I guess it would take me rather long to make 4th post in this series as I've already mentioned about my favourite movie dialogues in these three parts. Anyway, enjoy them :-)


'Dahej-wahej to bade logonke chonchle hain.' - Traffic Signal

'Yeh bhi dharam ki aadme ek vyapar hi hain.' - Water

'Yeh kalyug hain. Yahan ek ka dard, dusre ka tamasha hain' - Kalyug

'Apne badan pe ghaav lage to saala jaanwar bhi rota hain. Insaan wahi hain jo dusre ka dard mehsoos karein.' - Halla Bol

['Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be.] To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. [See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.] - The Dark Knight

'Sachchai talwaar ki tarah hoti hain: nangi, tez aur beraham ' (Truth is like a sword - bare, sharp and merciless) - {unknown movie}

'Ab kaun jita?' - Ek Duje Ke Liye

['Ek baat batao, Shree!] Mard ka man kya aurat ke man se alag hota hain? Tan ki pyaas jo tumhare shareer ko jalaati hain, kya wo mere shareer ko kam jalaati hain?' (Is a man's mind different than a woman's mind? Does the appetite for sex that burns (teases) you, teases me less?) - Astitva


PS: Here are the links to the first and second post containing my favourite movie dialogues/quotes.

February 02, 2010

Portrayal of women in Indian media

Movies, or for that matter media in general, are often said to be the reflection of the society. Or at least that's what majority of people in India consciously or unconsciously tend to believe. While it's arguable whether the media truly reflect the society or not, there's no doubt that media have a big sociocultural influence on the society.

The way women are shown in movies these days is hardly different than those before a decade or a few. Women have been shown to consider being an ideal homemaker as the goal of their life. Leaving few exceptions, movies of recent times have hardly shown an 'ideal woman' doing anything but being a housewife. Even in those movies where a woman is shown to have more decision power in hand than her husband, the wife is almost always portrayed in bad light. And at the end of the movie, she is slapped by her husband. Her husband also tells her, 'I should have slapped much earlier'. The woman realizes her 'mistakes', repents of the same and the movie ends when everyone appears to be happy.

Before a few days while watching such a scene from a movie, one of my roommates actually said, 'This is the reason why a woman should not be given power. She doesn't know how to use it.'

As far as showing women in advertisements is concerned, things seem to have only worsened over time. In most of the advertisements of recent times too, a woman is either washing clothes and utensils, cooking, serving food to family members or trying to make her husband feel better who's at that time reading a newspaper or suffering from cold. A woman does all this even when she's headache or backache. These advertisements arguably encourage sexism. They reinforce the old belief that a woman is supposed to forgo her own comfort and keep on doing household chores without getting tired.

The same has remained true for the soap operas of earlier times and of recent times. While in many of these soaps, a woman has more decision power than their male counterparts, it's very difficult to come across so many such families in real life. Moreover, those women who wear modern clothes and appear very confident more often than not have bad intentions than their conservative and not-so-modern counterparts.

I recently come across this: 'The media should refrain from portraying women as commodities and sex objects.' The media still portray women as objects showing whom in certain way can catch the attraction of people. It's very amusing to see a woman in advertisements for products like cement.

Media not only portray women as mere commodities, they often unintentionally stereotype women. And this can be very dangerous, I believe.


Note: This post has been reblogged on Bell Bajao, on BKhush and on YouthKiAwaaz.

January 11, 2010

Feminism and 'Seven steps in the sky'

Before I put my views on different thoughts of feminism from the novel 'Seven Steps in the Sky' in my future post(s), I have tried to post here some of the points that are the gist of the novel. As I've already mentioned in one of my previous posts, the book revolves around the married life of a woman and a few of her female friends and relatives. She was born in a middle class family in a town and was married in an upper-middle class family.

Despite the novel being set in a middle class family of a town in 1980s, the questions it poses are (unfortunately) still unanswered.


- Why is it always the daughter-in-law's duty to please all others around her? Why don't the in-laws often think that a little innocent girl has left everything - her home, the love of parents and brothers and sisters, friends she's known since childhood, the free laughter and games? And hence they should really look after her, take care of her hopes and dreams! A daughter is always told to win the hearts of her husband's family by love and service. Why doesn't anyone normally tell the husband, the mother-in-law, the sister-in-law, to make the new bride's life easier, happier?

Men always do what they please. A woman, especially a new bride, must forget her own wishes, and then gradually that becomes a habit.

- Why is the daughter-in-law often expected never to get tired? Do they think that once a woman becomes a daughter-in-law, she is an unlimited source of energy?

- Why do women get married? Girls study and wait for a proposal, and then get married. Right from the first breath, they are told that marriage is the ultimate aim of their lives. If that aim is not achieved, or not accomplished in good time, the girl becomes depressed, and her life loses its direction. Every effort is made to regain that direction; standards are dropped, and what was once barely an acceptable prospect becomes acceptable and it feels like an end to all the trouble. She agrees to observe every kind of traditional restriction. She must cover her head all the time, she cannot go out to work, there must be a certain amount of jewellery in the dowry. Every condition is accepted so as not to lose the chance of marriage. If it's lost, the daughters become a burden to the parents. Why? What do the women get out of marriage?

Love? A roof? Protection?

Women want love but what they get is mostly desire in the garb of love, not love itself.

Women want a roof. Does the house become theirs? If a man is angry, he says - 'Leave my house right now.' If he is pleased, he says - 'You brighten my house.' It is always the man's house. The woman only brightens it. This is all that is expected of her - to look after the man's house.

Women want protection. For that protection is a solid wall erected around them. The wall has no windows to look out at the sky.

- A husband's death is a terrible blow to the wife. But, often it appears that a husband isn't greatly inconvenienced by the loss of his wife. That is because women's lives and emotions are valued less. And that is proved by the fact that a man can remarry immediately after his wife's death. Men often remarry quickly, even before their wives' pyres are cold. It isn't often possible for a widow to remarry, even for the sake of her children.

- If a widow's only son dies, it is considered to be the height of tragedy, but if a widow's only daughter marries and goes away, that's a great relief. Isn't it strange?

- Most women who marry, forget their identity and live in submission to the unwritten code of their in-law's house. Their talents are developed only within permitted limits. Everything else is sacrificed to the goddess named 'peace'.

Women have had a low status for centuries. They have been victims of injustice and violence, their intelligence and talents made subsidiary to beauty and appearance; they have been made prisoners under the guise of protection, and to make them accept all this without rebelling, they have been given false ideals. They have been told that, to be epitomes of endurance and sacrifice is the realization of their womanhood, that not maintaining a separate identity but submerging it into their husband's is their ultimate goal.

- Why is it set that the daughter-in-law can go to her parents' home only at a certain time during pregnancy? Why is the permission from in-laws needed to go to parents' home especially in the the initial months of marriage?

- All their life, children carry their father's name with theirs. There is no mention of mother in the family tree. Her mind and body were worn out with the endless chores of bringing them up, but she will die leaving no name, dissolve without leaving any trace. Why? If there were only daughters to a father, there would be no branches from his name, as if he had no children, as if he had never become a father. Why?

- Men can do most kinds of work, can survive somehow. But women have some biological limitations, and to make up for this, they must develop their talents, otherwise they cannot realize their full potential. So, shouldn't women be at least as much educated as men, or better?

- Why can't a daughter look after her parents if she is earning? If a daughter really wants to care for her parents, she should stay unmarried because if she does marry, she often loses the right to be of service to them. That obligation belongs to the son. After marriage, a son can take care of his parents, and ask his wife to do the same.

The same holds true when someone wants to pursue something which requires a lot of dedication. If a woman wants to be in a field which requires a lot of dedication to work, she is supposed to stay unmarried as she might not otherwise do justice to her 'household duties'. But, if a man wants to pursue such a field, he would rather be advised to get married so that his wife takes care of the household duties and he can pursue his interests/job better.

- When a husband's relations, close or distant, come to visit, stay for a meal, they all should be offered enthusiastic hospitality by the wife. Not many of the wife's relations come visiting. The husband will pay attention to them only if it pleases him, but if he is not in the mood, he will ignore them. He and his mother aren't often too pleased if the wife shows too much affection for her kin.

- Kitchen - is the woman's world. Their unhappiness stays hidden in the dark corners of the kitchen. Nobody sees it; the other rooms in the house are lighted and airy, but the kitchen, where women spend most of their time, is small and gloomy. Occasionally, the lights have to be switched on even in the day. There is no place to sit. There are fans in other rooms but often not in the kitchen, which is hot.

- A woman may work outside as hard as her husband, but it is always she who serves him the meals. Why don't we ever see the reverse?

- There are no words like 'barren man' or 'deserted husband' in the dictionary unlike their feminine equivalents. Is it because the right to 'desert' is a man's right only?

- Does wearing or not wearing bangles and applying or not applying a bindi makes a woman a worse or a better person? Does a society or a culture survive through its external rules, customs and conducts, or by its morality? By mere mechanical manifestations, or loyalty to the truth, compassion and selfless love?


Added: This post has been selected by BlogAdda as one of the top posts for 'Tangy Tuesday Picks' on Jan 19, 2010
Added on March 8, 2010: This post has been republished on BKhush here.
Added on December 27, 2011: This post has been selected as one of the posts for Tejaswee Rao Blogging Award 2011 by Indian Homemaker (IHM) - one of the most respected bloggers in India.

An eve-teasing incident in front of me

I sent the narration of this incident to Blank Noise yesterday. This incident happened more than three years back while I was traveling in a public transport city bus in Navi Mumbai. And, I'm posting the same here now:


I took a bus from my residence in Sector 29 of Vashi. I was standing and a guy was standing beside me and there were two girls standing on the opposite side of the aisle. The guy was around 25-26 years at that time I guess. And I was 22. Then, after a few stops, that guy slowly went on the other side, right between the two girls even when there was a lot of space on this side. No one except me apparently noticed this.

Slowly, he tried to hold one of the pipes in the bus to 'support himself' where he actually was trying to touch the hand of one of the girls. But, the girl soon became aware of this and she removed her hand from there. After some time, that guy brought his hand down and started trying to 'inadvertently' touch the other girl on and around her thighs. The girl was unaware of this.

But, I told him loudly, 'Why do you stand there in the narrow space between two girls when there is enough space over this side and I've been seeing you for quite some time that you're trying to touch this girl on her hand and this girl on thigh.' The two girls and a few passengers around heard them and the guy started defending himself. He in fact argued, 'Is ladkiya kuch nahi bol rahi hain to tu kyu bol raha hain. Maine kuch nahi kiya'*. I replied that they even aren't aware of it. I kept on making him feel ashamed. Eventually, he got down at the next bus-stop.


Note 1: You can originally find it here on the Blank Noise Guy blog.

Note 2: *Translation: 'If the girl isn't saying a thing, why are you? I didn't do anything.'

January 08, 2010

Hypocrisy, show-off and political correctness

When I was young, I used to believe that everyone is almost always honest.

Now, I wonder at the ease with which people can tell a lie. It's really easy for them to be dishonest to themselves, let alone to others. When everyone is looking at them, they show off themselves for what they really aren't. They don't have the courage to face the truth. When they talk with someone, they would cross all the limits of dishonesty as long as they believe that this dishonesty is never going to come out. They can do this because often they either have power or are in a group of a bunch of people and have a fanfare of stupids following them.



I have learnt a few lessons after having been active in a forum:

(1) You are supposed to be polite and considerate to everyone on the forum.

(2) If you are new to the forum, you don't matter.

(3) If you've been on the forum for a long time, you can unlearn the above lessons.

(3) If you happen to have views different than the moderators of the forum AND you aren't close to any of the moderators AND you want to get actively involved in something you believe to be inappropriate which doesn't directly concern you, you're 'dusre-ke-phate-me-taang-adda-raha-hain'ing. Hence, you can be thrown out like a fly out of a cup of tea.

(4) Moderators of the forum need not follow the first lesson mentioned above. Moderators can bend any rule anyway as long as it's in their interest. They moderate the forum after all. Hence, they can bend rules even just for fun and you're supposed to keep mum if this happens.

(5) Moderators are always right. Or, at least that's what you're supposed to believe.

(6) There are more number of sane and nice people on a forum than you think there are.

(7) Of these sane and nice people, very less are ready to stand by something they believe in.

(8) There comes a time when you've to choose between the two - (i) standing by what you believe in and (ii) enjoying an educative/informative/funny forum.

(9) Most people go for choice (ii) in situations similar to the one above.

(10) You can bend the normal rules of the forum too provided that you satisfy one of the two criteria: (i) You are a good contributor for the community; (ii) You happen to be close to one of the moderators and/or the owner of the forum.

(11) You can get a threat to be sued by the community owners if you stand by what you believe in. Instead, you are supposed to stand by what moderators believe in. Why? See lesson (5).


PS: I normally don't prefer to use sarcasm in normal speech or a blog post. This is my first attempt at sarcasm (?). Feedback would be highly appreciated.

Edited: In lesson (9) above, I mistakenly had typed choice (i) in place of choice (ii). The erratum has been corrected now.

December 27, 2009

My favourite movie quotes - Part 2

This is my second post containing my favourite dialogues/quotes from different Hindi and English movies. The link to the first post is here, and here is the link to my third post on the same.

['When we stop hunching, all excitement fizzes out. You don't want that to happen to us. Do you?'] - 'But, at what cost?' - Fire

'Pearl, har field me achchhe log hote hai bure log hote hai. Ek bura insaan mil gaya to kya sari industry kharab ho gayi? Aur yeh to ek individual ke upar depend karta hai ki woh compromise karke aage badhna chahta hai ya hard work se.' [- 'Baat achchhe aur boore ki nahi hai. It's business. Give, and take.'] (Translation: Pearl, in each field, there are good people and bad people. If one came across a bad one, does it mean that the whole industry is bad? And, it's up to an individual if they want to go ahead by compromising or by hard work' [- It's not about good and bad. It's business. Give, and take.']) - Page 3

'Yeh kitaab hain beete hue kal aur aanewale kalke beech faile hue sannateke baareme' (Translation: This book is about the silence prevailing between the past and the future) - Baghban

'To talk about the truth is easy but to live by it is not.' - Water

'Isn't it amazing? We're so bound by customs and rituals. Somebody just has to press my button, this button marked Tradition, and I start responding like a trained monkey.' - Fire

['Pata nahi journalism ko kya ho gaya hain?' ] - 'Aapko kisne kaha ki aap journalist hain? Page-3 ke columnme yahi likhti hain na aap ki kiski partyme kaun gaya... kiske saath gaya... kiske saath lauta... kisne kya khaya kya piya kya pehna... kya nahi pehna... Miss Madhvi Sharma, ise entertainment kehte hain, naa ki journalism' (Translation: ['I don't know what has happened to journalism.'] - 'Who told you that you are a journalist? This is what you write in the page 3 column, isn't it?... Who went in whose party, with whom who went... And with whom who returned... What one ate and drank what, what one wore and what one didn't wear. Miss Madhavi Sharma, this is called entertainment, not journalism.') - Page 3

'Love means never having to say you're sorry.' - Love Story

'You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.' - The Pursuit of Happyness

November 28, 2009

Shant zarookhe - a poem translated

I've tried to translate a very beautiful Gujarati ghazal into Hindi. You can find the original ghazal sung by Manhar Udhas in a YouTube video here. The original poem was written by Saif Palanpuri.

Shant chilman pe

Shant chilman pe raah dekhti
Roop ki rani dekhi thi
Maine ek shaahzadi dekhi thi

Uske hath ki mehandi hansti thi
Uski aankhon ka kaajal hansta tha
Ek chhota sa upvan jaise
Mausam dekhke khilta tha

Uski muskaan me sau sau geet the
Uska choop rehna jaise sangeet tha
Use parchhai ki thi lagan
Use pagrav ke sath preet thi

Woh maujosi uchhalti thi
Aur pawan ki tarah lehraati thi
Koi muskurake saamne aaye to
Bahut pyarbhara sharmati thi

Use yauvan ki duayein thi
Uski sab musibatein door thi
Uska pyar paane ke liye
Khud kudrat bhi aatur thi

Saalon baad aaj firse wahi chilman dekhta hoon
Wahan geet nahi, sangeet nahi hain
Wahan pagrav ke sath preet nahi hai
Wahan sapno ka mahal nahi
Aur bhaavnaon ka khel nahi hai

Bahut suna suna lagta hai
Bahut dard bhara lagta hai

Woh na thi meri premika aur
na hi thi meri mangetar
Maine to sirf shant chilman pe
raah dekhte dekha tha
Kaun thi woh naam tha kya
Wo bhi main kaha janta hoon

Firbhi dil ko aaj
Dard jaisa lagta hai
Bahut soona soona lagta hai


Note #1: Shivani and Neerav have helped me in choosing appropriate words in this poem. I'm thankful to both of them for the help.

Note #2: Pagrav = the sound of a walk; Chilman = balcony;

November 15, 2009

My favourite movie quotes

I have consolidated the list of my favourite quotes from different Hindi and English movies. Some of them are not-so-famous but are my favourite. The list is not comprehensive. I'll make another list and post it when I come across good quotes in future.


'Khubsoorat kuch nahi rehta. Sab kuch khokhla ho jaata hai.' (Translation: Nothing remains beautiful. Everything goes hollow.) - Guru

['Did she leave you or did you leave her?'] 'Love left us.' - Life in a Metro

'... I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.' - Notting Hill

'... Haan mujhe lajja aati hai...' (Translation: Yes I feel ashamed...) - Lajja

'I'm not a smart man... but I know what love is.' - Forrest Gump

'When it comes to love, we are all in the dark.' - Kinsey

'Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants? Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do you want? What do you want?' - The Notebook

'Babumoshai, humari mushkil maloom hai kya hai... hum aanewale gum ko kheech-taankar aajki khushipe la dete hai aur us khushime zahar ghol dete hai' (Translation: Do you know what our problem is... we drag tomorrow's worries into today's happiness and poison that happiness.) - Anand

['I am trying to find out why people hate this book so' - 'You told them their grandmothers and their daughters are masturbating, having premarital sex, sex with each other. What did you expect?'] 'Some respect.' - Kinsey

'You make me want to be a better man.' - As Good as it Gets

'I don't want to be 60 years old some day and seemingly happily married to some man that I know is my second choice.' - Dream for an Insomniac

'Get busy living, or get busy dying.' - The Shawshank Redemption

'Haan, paagal ho gai hoon main. Paagal bana diya hai mujhe aapke khokhle aadarshone, aapki jhoothi shan ne, aapki zidd ne' (Translation: Yes, I've gone mad. It's your hollow ideals, your fake reputation, your stubbornness that drives me crazy.) - Hero No. 1

'Everybody's sin is nobody's sin, and everybody's crime is no crime at all.' (sarcastically) - Kinsey

PS: Here are the links to sequels to this post: Part 2, Part 3

November 08, 2009

Social etiquette, or the lack of

There are times when certain kind of behavior in public from other people really pisses me off. I've observed them here in India (I've not been out of India till now anyway ;) ). Still, it's quite possible that some of the below mentioned gestures are true for some country or even universally. And, some of these are mainly 'practised' by people who are not very educated than by those who are rather sophisticated.


(1) Many people still haven't learnt to use words like 'excuse me' or 'sorry', or even 'thank you' for that matter. They won't even say 'sorry' when it's highly expected. Just smiling or even trying to show that you ignore it at the time when you've put your foot on another person's in a bus or train simply isn't enough. I've seen instances where people even don't feel the need of thanking a person who stands up from his seat and offers it to some lady or an older person. These are very fundamental things. You've got to be courteous at least when you're in a public place. Period.

(2) Most of us need to learn basic cellphone etiquette. This is one of the most prevalent and equally irritating gestures from people. I don't think I need to go into much detail here.

One equally irritating and highly unwelcome practice followed by quite a few people (mostly those who're not very 'sophisticated', again sometimes though, I've seen so-called 'sophisticated' people doing this) is playing songs aloud while traveling by a public transport vehicle. I believe I'm quite tolerant and easy-going. But, constant bombarding of music to my ears without my expressed will really pisses me off.

(3) This one is common among people of all class. You won't often see someone throwing wrappers of piper-mint or a pack of biscuits in a dustbin. Okay, accepted that in India, dustbins aren't seen at all the places. But, in such case, you can always carry those wrappers with you and throw in dustbin later. It's not that difficult. I do that.

(4) People are probably at their worst when it comes to using public transport like State Transport buses and the general unreserved coaches of trains. In the race of getting a seat (or sometimes, getting a better seat i.e. near window et al), people simply forget, or rather don't care that it's the people who want to get down should have the first turn. People quite often just rush in and that creates a mess.

I'd like to mention here that people in the local trains in Mumbai almost always follow the rule of allowing the commuters to alight first as far as traveling by local trains is concerned (unless you're slower than expected in getting down at the right time).

(5) I don't understand why some people unnecessarily blow horns even when they are in a serious traffic jam and/or when they know that it is not going to give them a chance to reach their destination earlier. Often the same people complain about rising level of noise pollution.

(6) I've seen this in Mumbai and I guess it mainly applies here only (or to a certain extent in other metros and smaller cities). Pedestrians don't use footpath even when they've an option to. Okay, sometimes the footpath is partially (or even fully) occupied by vendors and shop owners (which is again a big-time nuisance). But, often there is enough space on footpath that they can walk more comfortably than on the road. Why do they add to the traffic on the road?

November 07, 2009

Walking down memory lanes

The following is an improved version of a post which I'd written around two years back in a forum under a topic related to walking down memory lanes and recalling those good old days when we were very young.

Oh... those old golden days...

...when I used to go to school in shorts... with a 25 paise coin to spend during the break time... from which I normally used to buy my favourite honey-flavoured peppermints... 3 peppermints for 25 paise... Sometimes during the break, coming back to home, having some food and then going back to school... entering the room with fear that the teacher would scold for being late... Cleaning the ground and rooms in the school every month or two... Singing prayer in the big hall everyday... Feeling ecstatic on the day when the teacher congratulated me... or when I'd scored well in the exams...

in first standard when I hated going to school, Papa used to take me to school holding my hand... going to school with slate in hand with homework written all over it... (We were not supposed to use pen and notebook till we entered class 5)

after the school finishes, often waiting for some friends till they finish their mid-day meals... I liked it a lot seeing so many of my classmates eating together sitting on the ground... in fact, I used to feel really bad that I was not one of them eating food together in the school since all of them looked so happy having food while talking with one another sitting in a large group...

in my way to school or to my way back home, when a tangewala carrying kids to Aanganwadi (Kindergarten) passed by me, I used to run along with it and beat it in racing in the streets of my village :P In fact, we friends also used to have race among ourselves in our way back home and we used to run along the streets...

going to watch TV in neighbour's house... only two channels : DD-1 and Zee TV... Used to feel very happy watching 'Chitrahaar'... and at the time of watching a 'feature film' on TV, I just used to feel like anything... I was a hardcore TV fan at that time...

playing marbles... playing gilli-danda... playing with top... playing cards was not allowed till we were young yet sometimes playing cards without parents' knowledge... time just used to fly by.

I'm feeling much nostalgic about all those days!

October 22, 2009

Excerpts from the novel 'Seven steps in the sky'

The novel 'Seven steps in the sky' is the English translation of a Gujarati novel named 'Saat pagla aakashma' written by Kundanika Kapadia. It's one of my favourite novels. The novel revolves around the life of the protagonist of the novel Vasudha and a few of her friends and relatives. It talks about the stuff that a woman has to go through being a female in this male-dominated society. This novel has won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1985. It's a wonderful book which actually makes you think. Some things, habits, customs are so much a part of our daily life that we even forget that it's just a piece of injustice being done towards our beloved mother, sisters and wife. After reading it, I felt that I know and understand my mother, sisters, female friends and women in general a little better now.

Anyway, I'm not going to review this book any more (not at least) in this post. The followings are rather the excerpts from the novel. You may like to read them even if you're not a feminist since most of them are of general nature and not related to equality of rights for women or anything like that. (By the way, I still wonder why some people like to proclaim themselves 'anti-feminists'. Yes that's a term! Anyway, let's not digress more ;) )

One more thing: Though I haven't used quotation marks (except in a couple of cases), some of them are spoken by people while the others are just the author's and/or the protagonist's views. They are mainly (leaving a few exceptions) in the order in which they appear in the book. That's it. You can read them now:


The heart should be allowed to reveal itself without being questioned. When it begins to feel trust, it will open of its own accord.

I can't tell what somebody should do. All I can say is what I would do. If I was really sad, I would behave one way, if I wasn't, I'd behave differently. That's being honest - living according to one's own feelings.

... Inner honesty is a different thing. ...

... That all individuals have the right to live as they wish. Society should be organized in such a way that every woman can actualize her potential and enjoy life on an equal basis. No one should have to make sacrifices for others. One sister shouldn't have to forgo her happiness for the sake of another sister. Children shouldn't have to live up to the expectations for the peace of mind of their parents. ...

What kind of a man would you like?
Someone who would let me be whole. There is a song of Tagore which goes 'Come just as you are' ... 'Just as you are' isn't only a matter of kohl in the eyes or ruffled curls. It is about the wholeness of personality. ... I would like a man ... who would be a friend, not master, who would walk with me hand in hand.

You think I am a strong person, don't you? I say these things, but sometimes I feel weak. Some day, out of sheer exhaustion, I think I will say, all right then, just arrange the marriage. ...

It is a crime to ask serious questions. To think differently from the accepted beliefs of centuries, what has been done for generations, that's a crime.

'(Don't you have any) obligation to me as a friend (?)'

He wants me to cling to him day and night, doesn't want to give me any space. That's addiction, not love. ... To admire a woman's looks, or to praise her cooking is like saying, stay beautiful and keep cooking.

Between man and woman is a relationship possible which has all the lightness and freedom of the sky together with the firmness and permanence of the earth having the probability of limitless growth.

Because you are in love with someone, you are vulnerable, and give that person immense power to hurt you.

Everyone should be self-reliant for their basic needs.

Everyone should learn the basic skills they are going to need in life.

When there is trust, there are no conditions.

To say 'If you love me, you should do this or that', is like blackmail(ing).

As soon as you start doing something to show others, that's the beginning of hypocrisy.

(during a discussion about the need of having one's own kids, especially a son)
In the midst of millions of nebulae there is an eternally revolving cluster of stars. On its edge with a solar system with a planet populated by millions of people. Here in the great tide of time, lineages have been created and have perished. Even mighty dynasties have turned into dust. And a man wants to become immortal through his descendents - what vanity! In this universe, life continues in one form or another. What is the meaning of wanting a continuation of one's self?

(The sentences in the following paragraph are actually spoken by more than one person)
'We all need love' ... 'We need creativity' ... 'Together we can find a life in which we are not searching for elusive material things' ... 'We can create an environment where there is true love, which fulfils all the desires of the heart, which heals all the wounds - which does not become purposeless and mechanical, which always remains with us, and does not mind our mistakes, imperfections and faults.' ... 'Love puts a protective armour around us and gives us strength without making us dependent, makes our lives stable and yet full of newness ... '

... I believe that God, or perhaps nature, has created us for joy and love. We waste our lives in insignificant things like money and renown, and perhaps that is why we don't attain love; perhaps we shouldn't be looking for it in others, but should manifest it ourselves.

Even a love marriage may be a mistake. No one can guarantee that I will love this person all my life. Who can be so sure about one's self? Some adjustment is necessary in all relationships, but to 'tolerate' someone in this fashion implies doing your partner a favour, like saying 'You don't make me happy, but I am generous and so I put up with you.' I don't call that love. It's an outrage on yourself and the other person.

... what is called service and sacrifice is in fact fulfilment of joy when there is love behind it.

PS: You can find my another post based on this novel here where I've tried to jot down some of the important aspects the novel tries to draw attention to.

October 15, 2009

Being myself

In a sheer urge to take a step closer to being myself, I decided to come out publicly. Well, quite a few of close friends already knew about it. I'm a bisexual.

For me, it's just another part of me. Though I've stopped practising it long back and I'm not going to have any same-sex relationship any more, it's still an integral part of me, I know. I'm neither proud, nor ashamed or indifferent about it. It's just that I happen to be so :P

It's NOT a matter of choice - not for me at least. Period.

October 13, 2009

Diary bloggified

Finally I decided to put some of the pages from my diary on my blog. Though I've posted them just today, I've set the dates back to the ones they were written on by me. So, they appear in the middle of other posts.

Here is the link to the first article, here is the second and here is the third.

Talking a little more about my habit of writing diary, it's something I started when I was in tenth standard, not in much organized way at that time though. I stopped that after a year and started it again after around fifteen months i.e. in the beginning of my first year of graduation.

I used to write it in Gujarati till then, in fact, till around the end of 2003 as far as I can remember. It's my mother-tongue. Then onwards, I started writing it in English. I still sometimes write, at least some part of a write-up in Gujarati though it's a rare case nowadays. In fact, I've almost stopped maintaining diary in last couple of years. I just update it once in a month or two. And, I really doubt if I'll ever get back to the habit of maintaining it on a daily basis.

Writing is fun. And writing personal diary is even more fun. Try it once if you have never tried so.

April 18, 2009

First meeting - yet another page from my diary

The following is yet another page from my diary which I choose to post here. It's written after and about my first meeting with a crush of mine ;-)

It was half past four in the evening. I was in Landmark in her city, moving from one page to another and one book to another. I started finding it difficult to concentrate in printed content. Then I found it impossible. I was waiting for her. Aah! I was feeling butterflies moving around in my stomach.

I was trying to forget that I was waiting for her and so poked my nose into a book on Raj Kapoor’s life and his work. She saw me, came near me and we started talking. We didn’t find the book she wanted. We went in the parking zone. She’d a moped.

Aahan! She asked me to ride it. Alas! I don’t know it very well. I sat on the backseat and she rode it. It was the beginning of a wonderful experience. She was wonderful. She really is. I wanted to keep my hand around her waist. Then I put a full-stop to my imaginations and wild desires.

We were going to Crossword. She kept on talking. She talks lovely. She in fact looked younger and behaved in a more friendly way than my expectations.

Oh! I’m falling in love. Or am I rising? Isn’t it too early to start expecting so much from life?

We went to Crossword. I found her the best book she can get for MAT. She found what she wanted. We went upstairs to spend some quality time together. But, the CCD was still to start its operations.

I was again on her moped. We were on the way to Goodies. Both of us were talking equally this time. Her hair were moving on my face. They were silky just like her.

We reached Goodies but preferred to go to another food joint nearby. This was the first quality time we were to spend with each other. And it certainly it turned out to be.

She told me about a lot of things: her experience at job, her family, her skid performances, her exams, her other job, and a lot of other things. She talked a lot.

April 08, 2009

Girgaum Chowpatty

I like this pic very much and hence have set it as wallpaper often.




It's Girgaum Chowpatty, my favourite hangout here in Mumbai. Actually the pic has been taken from the Chowpatty itself and the few large building that are mainly visible are on the other end of Marine Drive. That area is Nariman Point. Well, the chowpatty is supposedly not as famous (and crowded either) as the Juhu beach, probably because families esp with kids with them don't seem to prefer Girgaun. Anyway, it's the place I probably love the most and will miss very much when I'll leave Mumbai.

I wish to have a digicam some time soon.

PS: The pic isn't taken by me. It's just taken from an email.

April 04, 2009

My interview

So, let me post my interview on my blog too. It was basically taken by one of the members called abhi1max1 at Pagalguy.

For those who're unaware of Pagalguy: Pagalguy.com is a site with a discussion forum mainly for MBA aspirants. The link for discussion forum there is here.


My first public interview:


What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?

I guess there's nothing that satisfies both the criteria, at least as of now.


How do you tackle stress and define stress?

Well, stress for me is the dilemma of choosing between two when I want to leave neither. Stress is also when I've to fight with myself. This happens quite often with me. I just tackle it as it comes by dealing it with the best way I can.


What would be your first question to the people of Antarctica?

"Can I stay here forever?" :D


What is the strangest/funniest experience you've had here at PG?

Had many. Difficult to point out one.


If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

Haresh - just another person.


What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

A teacher.


Did a thought ever came in your mind that you missed something in life.. Tell us please..

I no more think that I missed something. I'm satisfied with whatever I am, I have and I had :)


Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

I couldn't understand what is being asked :?


What was the funniest incident in your college life?

Well, it was the time when I used to sit in computer lab of the college for almost the whole day making projects and at times playing games. Well, I wasn't obviously expected to play games in college labs during this period. Once I was playing a game on a PC (a game similar to AirXonix) and someone put his hand on my shoulder and uttered 'Good'. I said 'Come and sit near me' as I thought the person behind me is my friend. But, voila! He was our HOD. Well, my friends started laughing and I couldn't stop laughing either as we shared good relation with HOD anyway.


Mention some incidents when you laughed yourself out?

Well, there are a couple I can recollect now. Both are during my undergrad days. Asking someone out, and blah blah blah ;)


Do you miss anyone right now?

Yes.


Do you spend a lot, or you define yourself as a saving person..

I'm somewhere between these two extremes, a little closer to the saving side.


Your Dreams for future India.

A country with communal/cultural harmony :)


Ethnic or westrn wear.

Ethnic (I guess Tee and Jeans comes under this category :| )


your favorite puy -male n female

One is too small a number

Male: swagatsinha, vishalv, STALWART
Female: medulla, ishacool, sweetgalshruti


if u r arrested on account of crime ,waat it wud be

Crossing railway tracks at a station.


Your idea of perfect meal and drink.

Ghar ka khana... esp Chapati and tea. It's most-missed meal for me :)


Rate in order of Importance : FAME, MONEY, POWER..

Power, money, fame.


Your first crush was on whom and when?

A girl in my tuition class. At the age of 14 :D


Your definition, MBA

a highly over-rated degree which many of us want to have without knowing what it really is


Most valuable thing to you is..

Character.


Your Retirement dream

Working for and with under-privileged children.


Is there a philosophical side to you?

Yes, very much.


How do you celebrate your happiness..

Well, I share it with friends or just roam around alone celebrating it with myself.



PS: Here's the link to my interview's post on Pagalguy.