Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Heaven of Freedom

Today 26th January 2011, I would like to quote the words of Rabindranath Tagore about his vision of India...But I think his words are also relevant to the whole world.

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Simplest things in life

Thinking of the Vodafone Delights advertisement, I just thought about the fact that its the little things or deed of happiness that makes life enjoyable and people more lovable...

Whats the first thing you do when you reach home? The first thing I do it cuddle with my Blacky.  It is so nice to see her welcome me home with a smile and the wag of her tail. Today I want to write about the little things in life that we may take for granted in the rush of our lives. The morning tea that your mom/wife/dad/husband  brings you,  the newspaper in the front room, that special kiss the first thing in the morning, the correct amount of sugar or spice, clean bathrooms, ironed clothes, the 'just what you wanted' gifts, the daily calls to get up on time ( my dad usually wakes me up!)...etc etc. The few important people in your life who know all yours whats, whys, wheres and hows, they take the efforts to make you comfortable and happy through the simple but loving gestures which you more often than not tend to consider as normal and expected.

Its easy to expect these things to happen always and not appreciate them. Its easy to forget to reciprocate the small deeds of affection and love. But its easier to take that effort and make the other person feel as special as they are for you. A bud of rose, a bed tea now and then or a breakfast in bed on your day off, or even just a hand made card. Making a loved one feel special makes you feel special when you see the twinkle of happiness in their eyes and the smile that brightens up their face... Be it your mom, dad, wife, husband, brother or sister or anyone else... make that small gesture which would brighten up and see how you glow from within in their happiness...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Before marriage till marriage!

Man is a social being. This is something which we have all studied at some point of time. Thus one of the most cruel and effective form of punishment/ torture meted out to criminals, terrorists, etc is solitary confinement. The need to communicate and interact is something of the utmost importance to human beings in order to retain their human nature. Self expression, exchange of ideas and organisation are somethings which we are experts at utilizing for our benefits. Thus we have groups beginning from the family to nations. We have created complex social structures which compete and cooperate with each other. On the basis of social interactions among human beings spread over time and continents, we have established a wide variety values, norms and rituals which are the foundations of the human society.

The society keeps changing, earlier this change was at a much slower pace. Somethings which were unacceptable, unpardonable and frowned upon, are now part and parcel of our society and nobody gives a second thought to them. Similarly, some accepted aspects of society are now considered a blight on society. Thus change is also an important aspect of human civilization.

This change has also affected the dynamics of men and women. May be some people have enjoyed or suffered these changes more than the other! There are of course extreme situations of women still living in the same age old conditions and bound in tradition or poverty,but in this particular discussion I would not elaborate on that. Feminism, Liberalism, Capitalism and many other 'isms' have contributed in parts to this change. So a woman doesn't look at a good marriage/alliance or domestic life as the only criterion which makes her life a success. It is definitely still one of the most important things to majority of women but education, career, self dependence, financial independence, an interesting social life are also being counted somewhere on the list.

A fairly well educated woman in her twenties wants almost everything from a good job, a handsome and loving husband, friends,a fun social life, decent salary etc etc etc. She doesn't want to have the life of her mother, she wants it to be better and bigger! Any mention that her gender makes her vulnerable is almost blasphemous. Her semi-liberalism and semi-feminism along with her ego would be a force to reckon with. She is assertive, confident and has her own opinion on everything ranging from fashion to politics. At work she may be ruthless.Efficient, competitive and aggressive she want that corner office to be hers. She looks for true love and romance but at the same time is practical when it comes to decision making...She is becoming more and more demanding it seems... ah and confused too. What is the most important? What is the priority?

Until few years ago, the man was the sole breadwinner of the family. He took on the burden of providing a good life and a better future for his children, at least in financial aspect.A well settled (government) job, a 'good' wife along with a sizable dowry would probably make him seem more successful back then.Now look at a twenty or thirty something man, he is equally confused. The father was feared and revered. His appreciation and love, one could only see the glimpses of. He sees his mother, always loving , most probably a housewife. She was the stable rock of his family when his father was busy working or on tours. She is the quintessence of womanhood and selflessness for him. The women his age confuse him. They are his classmates, friends, colleagues/superiors. Equally aggressive and competitive as men, and given undue advantage at times due to their gender. And yet they crib about inequality! Life is becoming tough for him. A simple joke and they get offended!

He is in a reasonably good job and enjoys the weekend parties and stuff.Parents want him to marry, but is he ready for marriage? And demands from the parents of the prospective brides are also high. In addition, the question of whether or not to accept dowry. His ex gf thought he was an MCP with double standards. Yes,it is imperative for him to earn more than his wife, what will his friends and family say otherwise! He wants a working woman, but not a career woman.He wants to definitely have a better life than his father, who he thinks had it all easy. The option of changing jobs is open, but with the recession and all, the growth in salary is not worth it. At the same time staying in a company for more than three years may mean stagnation. May be he should go for further studies?Or is it better to get married and 'settled' now?

       And it is in between all this confusion that suddenly a their families find a good match in each other's families, backgrounds, etc. Its in a daze that meet each other, ask each other some questions, forgetting the important ones, which  they always wanted to. 
'Do you like her/him?'  

'Yeah she/he is okay. I would like to spend more time though.'

'Oh sure! You will have all the time after the engagement. We need to fix a date for that though.'

After that its a whirlwind... Time passes so quickly .. then engagement, the thousands of calls and SMS's, each of them trying to impress the other, share as much as possible about themselves, the apprehensions and doubts,etc etc. Then the wedding shopping, planning... 

And Voila! The D day is here. The usual confusion and mayhem prevails during the wedding also... and soon its all over or should I say its all beginning of everything!

Let me not say more now... Just 

Wishing them a happy and blissful married life!