Monday, 31 December 2012

Lesson in Time

There is something that Time wants us to consider,
Not tomorrow, not later and not one-fine-day either.
To teach our children well but to consider the elders too,
For a short little lesson probably heeded by few.

A lesson that talks about Time, and all things that it makes,
Traditions and value systems, glorified myths and mistakes.
A lesson that reveals how fleeting our own Context is,
How today's 'Right' tomorrow no longer exists.

A lesson that explains that as Time goes ahead,
We need to shed systems that we needn't bear on our heads.
We need to reject ideas based on divisions,
Oppression and repression and a certain sex's submission.

We need to re-think codes - physical, moral and ethical,
Re-define black and white, and all grey in the middle. 
We need to embrace newness, the gift that Present brings,
We need to see with new eyes, the new minds and what they sing.

Then and only then, as Time moves towards its Change,
When we grow old, will we Evolve again.
We will understand the old but learn appreciation for the new,
When we educate not just tomorrow, but our yesterday too.


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Someone died today

Someone died today.
So many days of rage and sadness. A frustration screaming out of every woman whose being has been violated and every man who dreams of a safer haven for his women. They have been days of posters and banners, fires and effigies, prayers and more prayers, shouts and rallies, candles and flowers, authority and mobs, violence and water canons. They have been days of news and views and opinions on television, of debates and more debates, of discussions and negotiations, of blaming and hiding and pointing and denying. Days of black and white ... and all shades of grey in between!    
Someone died today. 
And with her we feel has died a part of our own being - a part that trusted law, believed in fair justice, relied on security-providers and lived a life free from fear. A part of us that dreamed of simple thinking and secure living. Of family planning and ageing. And dying a natural death. Not an imposed one, nor a man-made one. A part that believes, and likes to believe, died an untimely death within all of us.
Someone died today. 
But this 'Something' that She has left behind all around and inside us should not! We've done a lot and worked really hard. It's time to sit, and think. No, not who to throw the next stone on or whose face to blacken in the next protest. Not which social site needs our voice to be heard or where to light the million candles. 
It's time to think. 
It's time to look, within. 
It's time - to know ourselves, so we can know, understand, respect and appreciate others - our children, our neighbours, friends and family, and even strangers. It's time to connect the human way, through understanding. Because the human thread is the only shared thread running amongst us, we who revel in our diversity and uniqueness of community/caste/creed need to first become one big breathing mass of humanity. No, not for a cause alone, but for everyday of our lives. Not sporadic voices of support in times of evil, but a feeling of oneness and sameness, by virtue of being humans together, by virtue of wanting to protect and be protected in return.
Someone died today. 
But Humanity remains. Find it. You need it, and more importantly, others need it from you. 
We make the world and make up the world, both - we give birth, we rear, we educate, we set examples, and then we cover up, we hide evil, we kill our daughters, we sell those who remain. We vote, we support, we choose, we enjoy favour, we give power and then we blame those in power, abuse them, ask them to leave. 
We want change? It is within. We just need to sit down, and think! 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Couple + 1

A typical invitation for New Year's Eve celebrations - two wine glasses in a near-hug, a half-drunk set of drums on one side and swaying silhouettes on the other, all drowning in the bright pink laser light coming from God knows where. The glaring typicality of design apart, I do wonder at the 'Couples Only' tag on most - sitting proudly in a bright multi-pointed star staring at you like a head-mistress out to discipline. Yes! It is for you dear stud who better have a girl around his arm to prove he is gentlemanly enough to enter the expensive portals. And for you too my dear little butterfly in a littler dress. And most of all, it is for me, a happily married mother of a 21-month-old bundle who they possibly cannot and do not want to accommodate, toilet trained or not! Very inviting indeed!   

So, what do 30-something parents, who are a couple + 1 (or 2) on a night so synonymous with being all things adult (drinking and dancing and hopefully not driving) do to welcome a new year? Is it for us that television was invented in the first place? Is it for us that celebrities shake their glittery legs on stage to be watched from 8 pm-12 pm, commercials of Marie biscuits, Pampers and Life Insurance included? Well, it surely is for some of us that God sent maids from heaven's above, to rock our babies to sleep at home, as they kiss their spouses and hug another's to spread  joyous new year wishes at 12 am on the dance floor. Boom! Lights off! There flies the confetti. And it's a Happy New Year! Hurrah!

What about wining and dining with family? Having a humble dinner with parents who we hardly meet? With relatives who we in times of need seek? With children who are otherwise busy with their own parties? Or how about getting the warmest blanket out in place of the sexiest black dress and watching our much-loved telly together, as a couple, with a +1 maybe! 

A whole new Sun is about to rise for a completely new year. Think, who should see your first happy smile of 2013. Who should be with you to bring in another happy 365!


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Can Santa wear saffron?

Images from Christmas 2012. 
1. A huge Xmas tree in a plush Delhi mall, decorated with warmth and surrounded by gifts for children. But leaning against the tree is a placard saying 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare'. Next to it stand a troupe of four in saffron, singing this phrase aloud - deaf and out to deafen. To drown out the carols. The only person enjoying the "show"? Their bald-but-smiling guru on the placard. People came and wondered at the out-of-context religiosity. Petty attempt at sabotaging another's festival? 

2. Page 13 of Times of India dated 26th December, 2012. Saffron-clad Hindu devotees carrying out the daily 'aarti' at the Sangam in Allahabad, wearing Santa masks and red Santa caps. And a huge crowd of devotees joining in the celebratory prayers. Respecting and celebrating another's festival!
Images from the everyday life of Faith - that poor bastard child tossed between the arms of stiff Religion and flexible Tradition. Images - a reflection of our minds - contradictory and confusing.  
Can Santa wear saffron? The images have spoken and they can only say - Maybe!


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Stricter Laws?

You "Want Stricter Laws", Mr. and Mrs. Educated?
1. You show your kids how to drive rashly, jump red-lights, park badly and defend it all rudely.
2. You show your kids how to break queues in supermarkets, push women in temples, ignore the elderly and look away unconcerned.
3. You show your kids how to litter, piss and spit in public places - not just empty kebab paper-plates but abuses too.
4. You show your kids how to evade tax, save time by paying bribes, get away by calling up Mr. VIP, get big by befriending Mr. VIP.
You show your kids your lawless minds, lawless tongues, lawless manners - each passing day of your lawless lives! You demonstrate how to be your own law, and beat the law, at the same time! You want stricter laws, Mr. and Mrs. Educated? Sure! You deserve them and you need them. But your children don't deserve You!
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