Thursday, December 23, 2010

She.. A woman

The Sex,
Once known, it remains
To be seen,
If she would see light
Or murdered she would be
Within,
Will this world, she see??

By birth, it’s decided,
Her future,
Her thoughts, conditioned to submit,
Her Voice, subdued and restricted
Every step she is made to realize that she is different,
Through Rebuke, Idealization, Emotion or something else
She is made to feel different, think different
The Child is moulded into a 'She'

Growing up is a pain,
Shame and Modesty
These words are introduced
The Honour and Dignity of the family
Are put into her innocent lap,
Even the Culture of India,
To be protected by her actions!
Confused and Encumbered
She remains,
Everything is changing, nothing remains the same
She is made into what is wanted of her
Not, who she is...or who she wants to be
Is there a choice?

Marriage is inevitable,
Not that against it I am
But why inevitable? From her birth,
She is told
Preparations start,
All the saving, investing
More than that the lessons
Of subservience, manipulations and techniques of control!!
(She needs some weapons too you see!)

Her life is a saga of
Sacrifice, Compromise, and many other 'ices'
Outspoken, she can’t afford to be
To be Seen, not Heard,
Sometimes not that, even
Father, Brothers,Husband, Children
Rule her world,
She is the foundation of their lives,
Yet ignored, rejected at times.
Put down, used, abused and abandoned

Intelligent? Hard working?
Artistic? Or whatever?
Does it matter?
What does she want? Does that matter?
What matters then?
The gender defines her roles
What she can do? How strong she is?
And Every other aspect of her life.

It is hard to break the mould,
It is difficult to find acceptance,
Feminist,Different, Bold, Selfish,Abnormal,
These or some other tags
Will be her reward, In case she does...
Achievements or Recognition, leave aside
To be herself, Just,
The Fights she has to face,
This is Her story
Being a woman...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The pursuit for my Voters ID

I am an Indian citizen, true, but I haven’t had the opportunity to cast my vote till now. Just recently I completed my voters ID formality and am just sharing my experience.

Initially I and my mom submitted our forms at a nearby school on the given dates. The teachers were given the duty to help us in filling the form, etc. They were quite helpful and that experience was a pleasant one. The date allotted for us to complete the rest of the formalities was December 1st, 11 am at the Village Office at Maradu.

So, I took leave on that day. I was pretty happy cause I would be finally be able to Vote for the next elections and I had the copies and originals of all the prescribed proofs of Identity and address. We reach there well before the allotted time and there was a board saying we are to go to the community hall nearby. We go there and its utter chaos. In addition all eyes (even the women stare!) are on me and my mom, as if we are some alien creatures. May be its fact that I am wearing jeans (with a Looooong kurta though) and my mom is in her Kurti and Churidar, may be it’s that outsider feel that both of us still exude or just the attitude. But this is quite normal so we ignore that.

There are a number of counters (read benches and desks with some people with a self important air around them), but there is no order or boards indicating where we go first. So we just stand in the first queue that we stand. Thankfully it turns out be the right one and there are not many people in front of me. Thus we submit the receipt kind of thing there and are handed over a few more forms and asked to go to the next counter. We find out which one exactly is the next counter and rush there. On taking my form there, the lady says I need to give a reason why till now I did not apply for voters ID Card. So I write that down. Then she raises another objection that I need to have a ration card as proof of address and my passport wont do!! Or else I need to go to the village officer in the next counter and get a temporary residence certificate with my passport as proof. I go there and then he tells me this is not the correct ward number, or the house number and lot of other things which frankly I could not understand. Now I am really frustrated and angry and look at my mom. She knows I am about to blow my top. Then she asks if on the basis of her residence proof he could issue me one. Fortunately for him, he says he can do that. He asks me to make some changes here and there. And Voila! He issues me a temp residence proof. Then back to the same counter where the queue has grown long by now. She fills up some forms and sends me to the next counter.

The man at the next counter is kind enough not to ask too many questions or bring more objections. He signs the forms and sends me forward. The last counter was where the photos were being taken for the Voters ID Card. Now I think the old man in front of me liked the young photographer as he did not seem to keen on getting up from the seat. So some questions and answers later, finally I got my photo taken (I guess my photo will show the level of my frustration!). And thus ended the ordeal of finishing the formality to get my Voters ID

What I cannot understand is, if the website of the election commission states some mandatory ID proofs are required and that Passport, Driving License, Statement of your Bank account, Ration card; any of these can be taken as proof of residence, then why this insistence of taking only the ration card as proof of ID. Why make life difficult for people like me who may not be fortunate enough to have one. You cannot question the fact that I am an Indian, I have an Indian Passport, and my driving license proves that I am above 18 years old. Instead of making procedures like these simple and uncomplicated why the tendency to make the experience difficult, tedious and frustrating?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Eve Teasing? Are you Kidding me?

Frankly,I take offence to this term eve teasing.. Wikipedia describes this term as a euphemism used in India and Pakistan for sexual harassment or molestation of women by men in public... According to me it just makes light of the inexcusable, immoral and lecherous actions of filthy cowardly men who do not leave an opportunity to humiliate women.

Personally, I myself have undergone and have seen such shameful instances and am proud to say that I have stood up against the insensitive and disrespectful perpetrator(s) of such actions. But more often than not, the woman/girl is 'advised' to keep her mouth shut and tolerate such disrespectful actions. What is that prevent women from raising voice against sexual harassment in public? Why are we silent witnesses to the lady standing beside us in a bus or walking on a busy market street getting violated?

Its rampant in India, this kind of public sexual harassment. And sadly, most of us feel that the woman is equally responsible.' The lady in question is judged on her dress, her mannerisms etc if she dares to raise her voice against the pervert who pinches, fondles, or uses sexually flavored filthy language! The people nearby are more interested in seeing the 'tamasha' than intervene and put the perp to task. The sneers, the comments embarrass the lady to no end. Yes there are laws, but more than laws, the attitude of the society, men and women, towards such acts need to be changed.. the term eve teasing should be done away with...

Walking down a street, travelling on a bus, or even partying with friends, the one thought that is always there in the back... How do I prevent myself from being subjected to public sexual harassment? Thus special effort is taken to dodge the hands and legs, dress and act 'properly', etc etc but does it spoil the fun or not! So does being a an average woman mean that I need to behave a certain way to avoid being targeted... No!The fact is that, however you behave, dress and wherever you are, whatever time it is... you are at greater risk of being violated just because you happen to be born as a female.

Am I not a free citizen of this country? Why does being a woman make me less free? Why do I have to tolerate the nonsense of the perverted men who want to assert their non existent superiority or sexuality?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Traffic Woes!!

What are the uses of roads?
1. It is an obstacle course intended to test the skills?
2. It is a rain water drain?
3. Garbage disposal unit?
4. Who cares!!!!

Well the the people in charge of the maintenance/construction of road in Kochi would definitely select the fourth option I guess!! I say 'people' because even that is a question that I don't have a proper answer to!!! Public Works Department? National Highways Authority of India? The Corporation??
Lot of confusion...so I am not getting into that.

I, like many other Kochiites, need to travel to reach my office every morning and come back in the evening. Now what is supposed to be a very simple 5 to 8 km distance to be covered has been made more interesting with a well designed obstacle course, with puddles or stones to be avoided, streams of water and other miscellaneous stuff to make the ride more interesting! You know in case we get bored! Whichever route you take, the road provide you ample entertainment, thrills and a very slow tour of the city for those of you tourists!

Kochi is growing. Yes, it definitely is! But good roads are substantially important for any city, growing or not! After all transport of men and material is important for any commercial activity. Accidents are just one of the hazards. Imagine after paying hefty road taxes, the long term impacts on our body by travelling on these disgracefully bumpy paths, that are supposed to be called 'roads'! I think we should sue the authorities for the irreparable physical damage to our bodies!!!

Everyday morning, I get up, the thought of going to office scares me. It puts me off because of these dreadful paths... All I want is the right (luxury?) of being able to ride/drive to office in reasonably good roads, without having to dodge the puddles or holes, water streams etc... Is that too much to ask????




Sunday, October 10, 2010

I still hold on...

It makes me go crazy
The Past
But I never let others know
Still holding on to the grudges,
The mistakes,
Forgiveness, doesn't come
Naturally to me
I still hold on,
Even though, its all gone

The spitefulness within,
Burns more fiercely,
My thoughts hurt me more and more
The lids closed though and
the tumult within
Unknown to the ones I love
Respite I find through words and colours
But I still hold on
Even though, its all gone

Dark Secrets,
Deep Regrets
Somethings, never to be shared
Never to be let out
To the grave they will go
With me and me alone
A Pandora's Box,
But I still hold on
Even though, its all gone

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Creativity???

Are you creative and how? Explain about your creativity? blah blah blah creative skills/creativity? I am stumped by these questions!

Rendered speechless!

I am still looking for a perfect answer that would satisfy both me and the person asking that question...

Do I talk about of my flair for writing/sketching?
or
Do I talk about my interest in analysing situations/ problem (of and for others :P) and coming out with 'creative' solutions!
or
Do I talk about the stupid/intelligent but creative one liners I sometimes pop while conversing/chatting with friends!!

Then again I find these kinds of questions absurd.

First of all I believe that all of us are creative though not in the most obvious ways. But isn't it true that all of us dream and other than the artists, musicians, authors there are some of us who can 'spin' great stories, cook innovative dishes, dress up in different styles and looks, make houses look like homes in different designs and create different kinds of ambiance and so many other way that we all use our creativity.And not all of these make for convincing answers!! :)

There is so much to talk about and share and personally I am not able to sum it up in few sentences which would also spark an interest in the listener... so whenever I am asked that question... I go blank and say something (which am sure is neither impressive nor interesting!) just to go to the next question...

Which may be equally confounded like - Where do you see yourselves five/ten years from now!! :D I do not really want to get into the nuances of answering that question right now... I think that would make for another good write up later on! So any suggestions on answering the creativity question is welcome!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Courtsey and Politeness a thing of the past????

Thank You! May I? Could you please?? I am a bit busy right now, shall I call you back later?? ( and actually calling back) etc etc.

All these I guess have become a thing of the past... Is it unfashionable to be polite and courteous? So many instances, I have observed people (including myself) just not bothering with the small niceties like actually calling back in case they miss some one's call, thanking somebody for the help they rendered, etc.

Another observation is the scenario when one is not in a position to help or doesn't want to help and yet do not state (let it be any reason) that fact to the person concerned... just dilly dally until the last moment and finally just avoid him/her (that's just being so insensitive and wrong!!) Thus the person who needs help is just left high and dry with no other option either
Just a simple ' Hey buddy I'm sorry don't think I can do that!' or "Sorry, I don't think I can make it today!!' would have been better!

But instead, calls are not attended to, messages not replied to... Is this what friendship all about??? Don't the basic qualities of courtesy, politeness have no value anymore?

Or is that in this fast world, we do not have time for all these 'mundane' things in life?

I wonder on.....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy to Just be!

I am Happy to just be...
Without a Care in the world,
I sing, dance and speak
My mind
The Ultimate Freedom
Is what I Seek...
Not be pulled down by the Mundane
The Rigid and the Narrow
Try as they may

Nothing to Prove
Nothing to Exhibit
With Freedom
I blossom like the lilies in the pond
Like
a naughty cool breeze in summer,
the warmth of the winter sun,
I love to be...Just be...
Happy to Just be!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random thoughts!!!

Am I supposed to be true or wear a colorful painted mask for your pleasure??? Do you accept people as they are??

Why do I feel the need to please you with my manners, my dress and other irrelevant niceties?Where does real freedom reside when each of us wants to control and mould others according to our desires?

The freedom I find within myself, I cannot ever find anywhere else? I am the only one who can accept me as I am... but what happens when I myself chain myself from wandering through my thoughts and imagination.The thoughts once treasured and cherished, now are discarded and lost, never to be found again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Disoriented Sense of Traffic!!

I have been riding two wheelers since I was 15- 16. But my training on driving and traffic sense began much before that when my dad used to take me along to drop me to school, shopping etc. He always spoke about the importance of anticipation, awareness and alertness while walking on the road or driving. Just recently I have started driving my car, not an expert though.

Whatever little experience I have in driving, I cannot help notice the lack of traffic sense and awareness of basic traffic rules in pedestrians and motorists. . Whether it is using the dipper inside the city or when a vehicle is approaching from the other side, total disregard for speed limits or one way signs, turning without giving an indication, the result is disruption of the 'what is supposed to be smooth' flow of traffic often leading to traffic jams and inconvenience.

In my city, Kochi, most of the roads are narrow and most of them are marred with potholes and puddles, the total irreverence to traffic rules and lack of traffic sense only add to the misery! I guess the same is true in many cities in India.

During my school days we used to have seminars on traffic safety guidelines and rules. These were to be followed by us as pedestrians/drivers/ passenger in order to increase safety or reduce the risk of accidents. I think there needs to be more of such Training Sessions for adults also!Most importantly, drivers of Heavy Vehicles/transport vehicles have to be given specific training on safe driving

There is no training given on traffic rules and regulations by most driving schools that we enroll in. The one exception that I know to this is the Maruti Driving School, where the there is proper training given on each aspect of driving, from the basics of the car, traffic regulations etc. I feel such kind of training is required to be given to every driving license holder. Otherwise what is the need to a driving license??? It is easy to learn how to ride a two wheeler or drive a four wheeler, but what is required in addition to this is to ensure proper training to these prospective drivers in order to avoid accidents and other inconveniences.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Change is the only constant!?

'Change is the only constant'

It is a translation or interpretation of a quote by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, 'Nothing Endures but Change'.

This reminds me what our Integrated Marketing Communication Prof used to say, ' Change is changing!!' We used to laugh so often at this!! But it is true, I believe.

Change can be felt all around us and even within us at all times. From the evident changes in technology, development, science, attitudes etc to the obscure ones that happen deep within the consciousness of individuals, in our bodies, in minds!! Change is the one thing that endures.

Now a question pops up. Is Change related to time? What are the factors which affect Change?
If I start thinking on that then the doubts and thoughts would be eternal I guess? But it makes a wonderful topic for a philosophical discussion I suppose?

Getting back to the topic, I feel one of the important aspects of society is the the concept of right and wrong. What is acceptable or unacceptable, social or anti Social, Moral or immoral? Social mores that are defined by the society's norms or values, which are derived from the established practices of society rather than laws. These keep changing.

This is the era of stark contrasts.In the existence of 'live-in' relationships, 'inter-caste' marriages, DINK lifestyles along with 'dishonour killings', caste and gender discrimination, etc, we can see the forces of change which also brings about conflict, confusion and identity crisis.The push and pull between the conventional and unconventional, traditional and modern,gives way to a new way of thinking which may be a blend of all. Everything around us evolving, for the better or worse. While polygamy, child marriage and 'sati' are no longer the norms, flesh trade, pornography (particularly child pornography, bestiality which i think are perversions), drug abuse etc are on the rise. What is right and what is not may be an individual choice, but should not be one which harms the innocent and the vulnerable. Everyone has a right to choose, to decide what is best for them.And even that may change with time!

I do not what to debate on rights and wrongs here... that varies from individual to individual, culture to culture. But it is interesting to observe the forces of change at play and how the society, individuals evolve under different conditions.

The reaction to change may vary, the intensity may vary but change is universal, change is eternal. Change ensures continuity of life and society. Change ensure survival of species. Change brings about innovation. Thus change is not only constant but essential too

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Walking through MG Roads is the best exercise!!!

Walking( wading during rainy season!!)especially through MG Road (Kochi) is the best exercise a person can get. Just a 1 km walk can help us tone and exercise various muscles of our body and also strengthen our concentration and observation powers. The footpaths are designed and maintained in such a manner to ensure that there is ample opportunity for us to get the daily workout that we need!

Pedestrians have to tackle a series of puddles, uneven and sometimes 'invisible' slabs which help to increase the observation powers. In addition jumping, walking on toes on these footpaths also increases the agility of the leg muscles.In stretches, the footpaths have been deliberately been avoided so that there is an increased challenge of dodging vehicles, and preventing water being splashed on to them. This also helps in increasing our flexibility and decreasing reaction time. The motivation to quickly finish the ordeal and increase the speed is provided by either providing the view of the our city's drains through specially made grill on the slab or through heaps of wet and slimy sludge which is deposited on the footpath. This is a tool which simulates our senses in order to quicken our progress through M G Road!!! During the rainy season, this work out is made even more exciting and arduous by converting the roads into temporary rivers/lakes where the pedestrians can wade to increase their strength and stamina and also give a boost to their immunity.Therefore I think that walking through M G Road and many other roads in Kochi is a good way to exercise especially for people like me who are not able to find the time for it!!!



Why I am not able to write nowadays??

I have been contemplating for some days why I am not able to write as often as I used to before. I used to jot down something or the other at least once every week, and not just poetry. My views on various current issues, essays, poems etc etc. Its hard for me to even remember those days now. And not that I don't get ideas on what to write about (even though that's what my usual excuse is!!) I even get suggestion on what I could write about, but more often than not am not able to follow that up.

So I thought, like many do, let me also at least write about my inability to create something worthy with words.

A friend asked me recently, 'So what can be the reason you don't write as frequently as before?'

Here are the possible answers that I can think of :
  1. I don't have time ? ( that sounds lame even to me!! he he)
  2. Words don't flow as they used to before (something which can be termed as 'writer's block?) Yes, to an extent this is true. Even though I may have an idea about what to write about, sometimes I am not able to express myself through my writings and so i just give up.
  3. Not inspired enough? Hmm...true, although the correct word would be passionate enough... not passionate enough about anything to write about it.
  4. What I write I scrap.... yeah that happens often too...
Okay, Okay! I can go on about my various reasons, but what I want to and should do is begin again.... transforming my thoughts and imagination into words, linking them to the real world and hopefully creating something which you would love to read, think about and may be discuss... which would touch your mind and soul... give you some happiness, a break from the daily stress and tension... like a pleasant breeze , enthralling waterfall or a beautiful sunset!!!

Wow! That would actually make my day!!!

Wish me luck....

:)

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Play: Life

Life is but a play!
The world's an arena on display
Everyone's for the limelight, the glitter
We scheme, we cheat, we act!
Masks Masks everywhere
Lies lies everywhere,
Different types of lies!!!

What is real, what is true... unknown
What is favourable, we deem it the truth
Everyone's truth is different and flexible
We scheme, we cheat, we act!
Masks Masks everywhere
Lies lies everywhere
Different types of lies!!!

Painted faces, dazzling dresses,and oh what fashion!
Cover up, cover up the ugliness within,
And make us the envy of others!!
We scheme, we cheat, we act!
Masks masks everywhere
Lies lies everywhere
Different types of lies!!!

One wrong act! One true step!
And off you go, the stage is no longer for you!
Only the careful and cunning succeed
We scheme, we cheat, we act!
Masks masks everywhere
Lies lies everywhere
Different types of lies!!!

To survive, join the game quick,
Learn the tricks and the bricks of the trade
Learn to dodge and to play!!
We scheme, we cheat, we act!
Masks masks everywhere
Lies lies everywhere
Different types of lies!!!

Places and fond memories!!

Being an army officer's daughter, we had to travel a lot. Sometimes within a year, six months or even within two months!! As a result I have been to 14 different schools from lower kindergarten onwards till the XIIth Standard. Sometimes used to find it quite tough, moving on, leaving friends!!! But then the thrill of shifting to a new place, meeting new people, making new friends also was there. Each place has given new experiences and learning, some fond memories, some sad moments and really great friends!! Every city, town or village has something unique to it and something endearing. Either the people there, the climate, the teachers, friends, the freedom or some other factor which makes it unforgettable and memorable. After the initial adjustment issues, I always got emotionally attached to the place, only to move again. May be that is the reason that I don't have the particular attachment to any place. Home is where I am, where my family is. Whichever be that city, town or village.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eyes...

Lost!
In your beautiful eyes,
Feelings unknown and unexplored,
In me arise
As my eyes meet yours
Intense and Mysterious...
Drawn...
I am, to you
Innocence, yes, I can see,
But
Reflections of your Soul...
Pure and radiant!
Is what stands out

Looking away?!
Difficult and Painful, it seems
As if something will be lost,
Alas! You look away,
Smiling,
Shy and Blushing...

Leaving me with expectations
Of a probable rendezvous,
In a time not so distant,
Explore, So that I can,
The depths of your Soul,
The innocence of your heart!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You!

You,
Whom I love,
I thought atleast you
Would understand me

You
With whom I dream of a wonderful life ahead
I though atleast you
Would realise what makes me 'me'

You
For whom I could give away everything I have
I though atleast you
Would do anything to make me feel good

You..
Oh! Woe upon me!
I guess I misunderstood you...


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Been a long time now!!

Its been a long time since I have written anything.. I guess I was out of touch with my creative self.. Writing is in essence my shelter... my own world away from the real one...The world which i turn to in times of distress, confusion or anger...

The past few months have gone by fast... So fast that I have not had the time to take a slow down and look within.. introspect...analyse..think...

I am guessing that I will have lots of time to do that now...Right now I am just going to write about whatever pops up in my head

When i think about myself..About the purpose of my existence... the aim of my life... I get confused. I have a lot of good ideas about what I can do with my life... But none of them actually tempt me enough to take a concrete step towards it. Yes, I am indecisive, I procrastinate and I am not determined enough I guess.

From there let me come to what my family criticises me about

My mother says I am good at twisting words and interpreting meanings that may or may not be there.. My father says I am very critical...My brother, well he is totally fed up of my temper... Well all said and done... I love them and they love me too.

I have made a lot of mistakes in life...well am kind a black sheep in my family..but i don't regret it. Cause God made me that way, I speak my mind and do things which I feel are right (sometimes i do them knowing that they are wrong :P) But I know that my God loves me, he protects me and guides me sometimes too... Cause again I am here for a reason...

Reason for my existence??? well there has to be some reason right?

There are times when you are lonely even in a crowd... it happens to me often... I just kind of blank out everything else... I wish that was possible more often... especially when one tries to study :P

What does feeling lonely actually mean... is it something within you.. or is it external... can somebody make u feel lonely even when you are with them, or does loneliness come from within like happiness?

Oh it feels so nice to just go on writing you know... The maximum that can happen is that one of you guys may criticise my style of writing or the contents...right?? and I am open for a discussion!!

Will be trying to continue writing regularly...