Friday, 26 April 2013

W = Why, Who, When?

Why we cannot ensure safety to our kids, toddlers & teenagers?
Why everyday small kids have to face the brutality of monstrous pedophiles?
What kind of pleasure those beasts’ gets by inflicting pain on those tender souls?
Who would take care of the scars, the wounds which would remain etched in her mind for her life?
Why any incident needs to have horrendously atrocious to elicit our outrage?
Why I have to feel terrified every time my toddler is out of my sight?
When would the victim blaming stop with the pleas that accused ‘got carried away’, ‘was staying away from family since long’, ‘never wanted to rape but the girl provoked her’?
When would the victim blaming stop with the excuses that ‘she was drunk’, ‘she was wearing exposing clothes’, ‘she was asking for it’?
Why we have to listen to our politician’s bull shit & mechanical speeches every time after any heinous brutal incident takes place?
Who defines the time line of judgments in Fast-track courts of Indian judiciary system – actual how fast they are?
Why we cannot teach our sons to treat the female clan with equality and respect the diversity of culture?
When would the law enforcers of our country understand their responsibilities rather than scaring, harassing, passing judgmental remarks and sometimes even raping the victim?
Who can be blamed when a rapist slips from the hands of law-enforcers with the plea of being a juvenile?
I can continue these questions endlessly as there are so many which are staring at our face, but right now feeling too numb & disgusted to write a single word more.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

V = Virtual World

Virtual World – this is the place which has been my breathing window since last few years. Albeit, being a Computer Applications graduate I was introduced to emails and chatting in late nineties. But, those days the affordability of internet was a big factor and usage of internet was through dial-in packs of HCL & other private service providers. I still remember the initial excitement of checking emails and using Google search. Chipping in a li’l confession here – I even chatted in chat rooms with anonymous identity!
 Then, the fizz evaporated in next few years but like everyone else I also got introduced to the virtual socio circle with Orkut. After getting used to posting scraps and writing testimonials, I found a new addiction in Facebook.
Initially my favorite activity in FB was to search for various school & college friends with whom I have lost touch in real world and connecting with them via social media. FB also helped me to bond better with my n number of cousins. Yeah… I have lots of maternal first cousins whom I have met only once or twice in real life but our chemistry just clicked like anything in virtual world. We have a closed group in FB called ‘Bonded with Love’ and sometime we just chill out while having ‘adda’ via FB.
I also got addicted to various social games that FB offered and has been a passionate virtual farmer who played Farmville diligently while waking up in middle of night to harvest crops or feed animals. I even asked my hubby once to feed the pet dog in my farm while I am at work so that it does not runs away. I even found many like minded people who played these games and we traded gifts, fertilizers etc like maniacs. However, I stopped playing it once my li’l one was born…nevertheless my whole house generally looked like some farm by then!
As far as Twitter was concerned, I was quite reluctant to join it. Actually I was not able to comprehend the basics of Twitter till lately. However, finally I joined the band wagon. Although being an infrequent visitor there, I participated in few contest of Twitter. And whoa….I managed to win one sling bag, one t-shirt, one copy of ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan’ and few vouchers!. But, honestly, I found it very taxing…it literally kills all your time. So, now I log into my twitter account just to know the news trends.
Another important aspect of virtual world which is a part of me now is blogging. I entered the blogging world a couple of years back (I know it is quite late), after my kid was born. I started as mommy blogger but soon my blog became a media to vent out my opinions, views & thought on everything under the sun. I made some good friends in this blogging world. I know them through their blogs and feel like knowing them since childhood. I evolved my parenting knowledge through so many parenting blogs and somehow give them the credit of helping me to bring up a kid in nuclear family setup. This blogging world gave me the exposure to so many novel aspects of life. When I made up my mind to participate in this A2Z challenge, I never thought that I can survive till the end, but now when almost it is nearing end I have started pondering about how I would miss the enthusiasm. I  feel so good to know so many diverse bloggers through this challenge and hope to keep in touch with them even after this marathon is over.
So, this is my tryst with virtual world..What about yours?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

T & U = Television & Unlimited Regression

So, here I am, trying my best to return to my blogger self. I lost the steam since Q and only posted some cheat posts after that. Now as I had failed to write anything for T so thought of combining it with U.  
I am here talking about Daily serials of Indian Television industry.- ‘Kkkkkk soaps’. Those who are not able to make out its meaning, I am actually referring to mindless, gaudy, overtly melodramatic daily soaps of Indian Television. But why…Kkkkk soaps? Well, I am trying to name this horrible genre of TV soaps with its origin…. How can we forget that this all had been started by ‘so called’ TV soap queen – Kekta Madam (Don’t you dare to disintegrate the K from her name!!!).
I am not getting into the details that how & when this genre changed the face of the TV industry. No. I won’t say that I miss those weekly TV serials or old Series like Buniyaad, Humlog or anything else similar to that. Everything has transformed into glossier & more glamorous now a days so why only blame Television.
You surf through any Hindi entertainment channel ( why blame only Hindi, any other regional language channel are also same), and you would find almost cloned story plots, overdone faces, horrendously kitschy outfits, loud acting and loads of glycerin. Even though chronologically we are in 21st century but the trash kkk soaps which are aired actually compel you to go back to some 18th or 19th century. I observed few different channels which cemented my belief that they are somehow trying to give us a ride in time machine.
A young girl of in her twenties who was shown widow of the protagonist of the show is made to wear spotless white saree even though her spouse died months back. And this too when the story backdrop is not rural but the national capital of India.
Another channel is showing that how a couple who got married against their parent’s will &permission is trying hard to get the acceptance in the family. So, the videshi DIL has to pass certain tests set by the head of the family. The nature of those tests varies from wearing a saree, washing whole house after drawing water from the well, preparing food for the whole 56 member family, or singing devotional songs with correct pronunciation in the temple even before the sun rises. The dutiful DIL keeps on participating in those tests with a big smile plastered to her face and without even uttering a single protest.
An illiterate eve-teaser or to be precise a molester forcibly marries an educated girl and the next 1000 episodes are aired justifying his passionate love which forced him to own that woman without her consent. She was shown to fall in his love after some hundred episodes when she realizes he has a golden heart which contains obsessive love for her!!!
A contemporary girl gets married and a 360 degree makeover takes place. She is shown roaming around only in sarees, accessorized with big ‘Mangalsutra’ and the vermillion is somehow placed in her hair-parting with help of a ruler or scale which is generally found in a student’s geometry box!!
Any woman with a career in her mind and ambitions has to be vile & negative in character. She would soon realize her incompetence in front of the sacrificing housewife who eats her meal only after her family members have been fed and burped!
I can continue to write about these instances endlessly. These regressive tracks are surprisingly the biggest TRP puller. I know so many people including me who don’t watch this stuff but then this fact cannot be negated that a large chunk of population is hooked to these shows and follow them religiously. I know its impact on the literate class is limited only to the imitation of designer outfits & jewelry but the less educated strata are hugely affected in different way. I had discussed with my maid and concluded that somehow many of them believe that whatever shown in these serials are for real or closely connected to reality. Another thing which they believe is that if these serials are showing any regressive track on economically upper class background then it should be followed. As per her, when an English speaking couple is following these mindless track in the serials then it must have some logic and reason.
These regressive serials in all the channels are actually spamming our entertainment quota. Far away from reality, these monotonous & senseless shows keep on mushrooming through all the channels irrespective of language or religion.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Selfless Soldier

As a school kid we found him scary – with thick moustache covering almost half of his face and big rolling eyes, he managed to create that aura in his personality which actually his profession required. He was the watchman – chowkidar – guard who took his position near the gate of Girls Degree College since many years. Our school was situated just opposite to that college. I saw him relentlessly present on his duty every day since I was in kindergarten.  He shooed away the school kids with his loud voice, who loitered in front of that college gate apart from shouting on the cycle rickshaw pullers who jostled to get customers from the college. We called him Muchhad (a typical slang used for a person with big moustache).
This incident happened when I was in Class 10th. It was the first day of our school’s summer vacation; however the college was still open. Our batch was called to school to attend some extra classes. By the time, we came out after our classes around 2PM; the road in front of our school was deserted with hardly few people around. Among those people, there were few boys in their early twenties who were seen regularly wandering in front of that girl’s college with malicious intentions. They didn’t even spared schoolgirls and always searched for triggers to enter into a fistfight with the boys of our school. They sketched opportunities to vent out their perversion – Stalking, hooting, whistling and sometimes even dared to grope few girls.
I would not dilute their heinous behavior by calling them eve-teasers or road side Romeos, but they were assaulters – who assaulted girls psychologically and physically without any shame. That time, we have already heard from grapevine that some ugly incident has happened few days back. A girl has mustered courage to confront them when she was assaulted and even slapped one of the hooligans. This gave guts to other girls and they managed to scare those guys enough to leave from that place instantly before the college administration stepped into the issue. For next few days, those guys never turned up.

But, on that particular day, I saw those guys waiting like hawks on their bikes. Next I saw a bunch of girls coming out from that college. Suddenly, a bike with three people sitting on it zipped in front of them, forcing them to halt. One of those guys took out a dagger and held it closely near that girl’s neck who has slapped them. Other girls stepped back in fear. The other pillion rider guy leaped in the scene with a bottle of acid in his hand. We were dumbstruck with the fearful intensity of the happenings which has numbed our senses and transformed us into mute spectators.
That creep was about to open that Acid bottle when out of sudden Muchhad jumped into the scene. He started shouting hysterically and hit the guy with the lone weapon in his hand – his stick. He dropped the Acid bottle with the blow which broke into pieces with a sizzling sound and splash of acid all over the ground. Muchhad continued to hit that guy with his stick. By this time, the first guy left the girl and attacked Muchhad to save his friend. He stabbed him with his dagger on his arm twice and all three of them beat a retreat from the scene hastily. I returned to my senses with my fellow classmates shouting and running inside the school for help. Soon, many people from both the college & school rushed to the spot for help where Muchhad was bleeding profusely but still in his senses. He was taken to nearby hospital and his wounds almost took a month to heal. He joined back his duty afterwards and was felicitated by the college management.

Whenever I passed thorough that road even after graduating from the school, I made sure to catch a glimpse of that altruistic person. Few years back, during my visit to my hometown, I searched for him again but found a new face in his place. My niece, who studies in the same school, told me that Muchhad died few months back.
Although this incident took place almost couple of decades back but still today I salute that selfless soldier who never gave a second thought before jumping into the crime scene. Even the fact that those guys were armed was not able to deter his action. His mind only raced & reacted to save that girl whose face & body could have been charred by that acid. His quick reaction and presence of mind not only averted that ugly incident but even managed to draw attention to the shoddy safety measures implanted by management & government for school & college students. He could have remained silent, He could have just been a mere spectator, but his soldier instinct compelled him to act without even caring for his own well-being. Although he was not educated enough, but his action has proven his mettle to the world.

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with

Q = Quoting Khalil Gibran

These are wonderful words from Khalil Gibran which portrays some essential thoughts about parenting. 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

So, whenever you try to live your dreams through them, pushing them over the edge to jostle in the mad rat race,think of these lines.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

P = Pedophilic Perverts

Fear, guilt, anger, frustration, pain, hate and above all helplessness....these assorted and jumbled feelings numbed their existence. In some cases, multiple times, repeatedly they went through the trauma. Devastated & shattered they suffered those nightmares alone. Few of them were not even able to understand that something wrong is done to them. 

A popular talk show hosted by Amir Khan last year - 'Satyamev Jayate' gave few of them a chance to open up their heart. The show startled many of us by highlighting the huge percentage of Child sex abuse victims. Yes, in India, almost every fifth child unfortunately has been abused sexually. 

I heard somewhere which was quoted on a funny note "We are descendants of monkeys....but the problem is that still we have not stopped descending!!". On a serious tone this is so true...those pedophiles have descended far below the human level.....just that these sickos roam around freely in our society in the garb of a human face. SMJ tried to negate many myths involving CSA. Those who are in blog world might have already been aware of the facts behind these CSA myths through well penned posts during CSA Awareness Month. But for rest of the people it was indeed an eye-opener. I am sure there would be many parents who are not comfortable with 'sex education' of their kids must have been shuddered with the horrifying tales of the victims in that show. 

We need to understand that nor are the CSA victims from any different world neither the abusers. Here at this platform now I can also admit being a CSA victim once. I was never able to muster the courage to tell anyone about it that time. But why?...I shared a very open relationship with my parents especially with my dad. Even then I never opened up with him about this matter. I gave subtle hints but they went unnoticed. 

So, you see it is not only healthy & open relationship with your kids that would help but you have to be observant about their body language & changed patterns of behavior as well. Communicate, be aware & come out of your shell of ignorance. Those scars maul the soul of the child which they carry throughout their life...I might have escaped with a bruise but everyone is not so lucky. However memories of those incidents still leaves sour taste in my persona. 

Once hubby told me that they were discussing episodes of SMJ in his office when one of his colleagues said that "Man, What this Amir Khan is serving as Sunday Brunch, they are showing too much reality, It is so depressing. These cases are only there in newspapers...He could have chosen some other theme for his show". Poor man, I think his taste of reality show is limited only to Big Boss or Splitsvilla!! This mindset of 'ostrich in the storm' would only keep up the spirit of heinous monsters. We can always be in our La-la land and believe that it can never happen to our kids but would that make the issue disappear!! 

One very important quote mentioned in the show was "Respect the behaviour, not the age". This can be quite a controversial statement in reference our Indian Culture. But I personally support its validity. 

But the most important point which was raised in SMJ was that CSA should be considered as a crime and strict laws should be there to punish those pedophiles. Whoa!!!...can you believe that it is still not there in our law books and this bill is yet pending (lying in dust) in Rajyasabha. My personal opinion says that these pedophiles should be prosecuted with stringent laws because they are sick...sick mentally. Otherwise why would a person has to feel up a child's body for any kind of physical pleasure!

I can continue to pour my disgust on this issue endlessly but ending here quoting Amir Khan: 

I’d like to leave you with a thought: perhaps the more closed or narrow minded we are about sexuality, the more repressed it gets, and then it manifests itself in ugly ways. I’m hoping that as a society in time we will reach a stage where we are not frightened of our sexuality. Rather, we learn to deal with it in a dignified, open, responsible and healthy manner. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

O = Ohhh -ho!!

O as in Ohhh- ho!! This is the exclamatory word which my 23 months old daughter – Mishti has picked up lately. And yes …. It is me who uses this term often, so my girl has to pick it up.
Ohhh- ho Mishti…you have again spilled water!
Ohhh- ho why have scratched all over your body with this sketch pen!
Ohhh- ho why are you climbing the dining table?

MIshti comes back from Daycare and she starts saying or rather asking for ‘Baba Bashir’. I didn’t get the clue….Has she met some stranger with this name? But, as far as I know nobody in her daycare has this name? It doesn’t even sound like name of any other kid in daycare?  I scratched my head to make out what or whom she wants actually.
By this time, her irritation has reached peak level. She shouted, Ohhh- ho Mamma…..Baba Bashir!!
Me: Mishti, What Baba Bashir dear….Who is he??
Mishti: Ohhh- ho, Ohhh- ho, Ohhh- ho…… Baaaaaabaaaa Bashiiiiir ….peeezze (please).
Me: Baby I am not getting it...What do you want me to do?
Mishti: Ohhh- ho Mamma....Peeezee…Baba Bashir. And she starts crying.
I quickly pick her up and try to divert her attention. After a while when she got distracted and completely forgot about ‘Baba Bashir’!

When hubby came back from work, I told him about this mystery man ‘Baba Bashir’. Even he couldn’t understand what it is! Later in the evening, Mishti sat with her daddy to read her dozens of books. Suddenly, she picked up her rhymes book, opened one particular page and yelled ‘Baba Bashir’. We ran to look at it.

Gosh….she was talking of Baa Baa, Black sheep…that famous rhyme!!!
It happened that although she read this rhyme at home, but that day it was taught to her in daycare. And generally they teach these rhymes with some animated dance & actions. Mishti wanted me to do that when she came back home. But, poor baby, with a mom who was not able to comprehend her language, it was a herculean task for her to make us understand what she want.
Ohhh- ho!!!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

N = Name Saga

After zipping through the A to Z challenge almost over the half-mark, when N came across, I have to write about my name which incidentally starts with N.
No, in case if you have guessed something, it is not about how I got this name. My dad gave me this name as he liked it…no fancy story attached to it. However, as a kid I never liked my name. I still remember when I was in Class 6th; I gave my dad the option of changing my name to Neha or Nisha which was obviously turned down instantly!
I hated the fact that no one was able to pronounce my name correctly. Carrying a Bong name in northern belt of India is quite difficult.  I had heard so many versions of my name that it has ceased to amuse me now.  The most common assumption was that it would spell with a ‘V’ instead of ‘B’. Do you remember how Vidya Balan has to interrupt every time in the movie Kahaani when Bongs called her Bidya instead of Vidya…in my case it was vice-versa. Few inquisitive ones doubted my spelling capability and insisted that it has to be ‘Nivedita’ instead of ‘Nibedita’. I had to explain them that Bengali language has no sound like ‘V’ sound…it is either B or Bh.
In school, I heard so many variations of my name in terms of spelling & pronunciation from teachers & fellow students; it ranged from Nivedita, Nebidita, Nibidita, Nibodita, Nebudita and so on!! The college pals were smarter and they shortened it to ‘Nibz’. I felt so relaxed, it was definitely better than to hear twisted sound of your own name!
I can recall one incident, when I was in Class 12th and appearing for board exams. For viva-voce, we had to face external examiners. I was so terrified in my Physics practical exam. The examiner asked my name. When I told him, he asked its meaning might be to break the ice….I told him that it means ‘dedicated’…He asked immediately, ‘To whom’? I had no answer ready for it so I just said ‘to God’….and he gave me broad smile. The Viva went very well after that.
My office colleagues started with Nibedita but I was rechristened as ‘Nibbo’ or ‘Nibey’ soon. My bosses preferred to call me with last name only. However, while handling overseas client calls it was a mammoth task to tell my name to them and ninety percent of time I had to spell it with phonetic sounds. So, it would sound somewhat like:
I login into a conference call which is spread across various geographic locations of world.
Hi, this is Nibedita Bose from India, site ABC, Operations.
I am sorry, who is there from India??
This is Nibedita….N as in Nancy, I as in India, B as in Bravo, E as in Echo, D as in Delta, I as in India, T as is Tango and A as in Alpha…..and yeah the last name is B as in Bravo, O as in Oscar, S as in Sierra and E as in Echo……..Hmpffff!!! (I always ensured after this to check whether the person on other side was still alive or not!!!)
Another fact with my name is that, I had retained my maiden surname. But, there were many instances when people assumed my last name to be my hubby’s surname. When we applied for my daughter’s birth certificate it came with my name as ‘Nibedita Ghosh’ instead of ‘Bose’, when asked they said that they thought we have mistakenly filled up the form with different surname, so corrected it!!
Many of my office colleagues congratulated me through SmS, after my daughter’s birth. Few of the messages were like: Congrats, Mr. & Mrs. Bose! I didn’t know how to pass on those congratulations to nonexistent Mr. Bose though!
Till now, I have faced so many goof ups about my last name that now a day, I keep my marriage certificate handy for any kind of paperwork involved in Banks or any other offices.
When it was time to christen my daughter, we raked internet to search for a contemporary but easy to pronounce name….the only criteria my in- laws requested that if it can have somewhat related to God. After an extensive search and rejecting almost hundreds of names, we pinned it down to ‘Ishaani’, hoping that it is not easily twisted as my name was.
So, what is your Name’s story?
P.S: After my Teen years, I started liking my name and I love it absolutely now :)

Monday, 15 April 2013

M = Myths

Few days back I observed a bunch of little girls playing /chatting in our housing complex lawn. Suddenly while getting up one girl's forehead brushed with another's head......the first girl was about to leave when the second girl called her back. "we need to collide our heads once again otherwise we would get horns (Seeng)on our head!!!!". 

This was funny but even I used to believe it as a kid!! So, what all I can recollect from my memory here are few myths which I believed to core as a kid. I am still not sure how I learnt these myths because my 'Thama' (grand mom) was way too progressive to believe in these lines and my mom also never taught me about them...might be possible from school mates I got these ideas!!

(Disclaimer: All the myths & remedies mentioned below are folklore ...believe them or implement them at your own risk.This post is meant for humor only, and not to offend anyone's religious or spiritual beliefs & sentiments)

Myth 1: One time head/fore head collision can result in eruption of horns from your forehead.
Remedy: Collide it again...Yes I am serious, we used to do this deliberately!

Myth 2: Do not pluck leaves or flowers after sun-set...or for that matter Do not touch the tree/plant at all.'Bhoot(Ghost)' will not spare you...mind it!!!
Remedy: Even if you have done this unknowingly just pray to the 'Tree GOD' for forgiveness. Now, I realize this must have been spread across in earlier days in villages to avoid people from inhaling Carbon di-oxide which plants release after sunset. And like any other custom it just got downloaded in present times without any logic.

Myth 3: If someone is sitting or lying do not cross over them. It stops their height growth. (Considering my vertically challenged figure, I am damn sure that the crowd which gathers for 'Kumbh Mela' at my hometown must have crossed over me while I was sitting!!!)
Remedy: Cross again but this time from opposite side!

Myth 4: Do not touch feet if anyone is sleeping or symbolical to touching feet of a dead body!!
Remedy: I do not know...but yes this one was followed in my family and we used to get lot scolding if done.

Myth 5: If you happen to touch any stuff related to studies ( books, pens, pencils, eraser....) with your feet or for that matter if any of these fall to ground , you would surely get a blot in your academic career!!
Remedy: Pick it up touch it with you forehead and kiss it. I follow this still today as was told once as kid that actually Goddess Saraswati ( Goddess of learning & education) resides in all these items.

Myth 6: Snakes do come out and start dancing (not like Chikni Chameli but just swaying their hood!!!) if that particular 'Been' (musical instrument) is played. The credit of this belief goes to movie 'Nagina' where Sridevi who was actually a 'Nagin'(snake) danced like inebriated person every time the tune was played.
Remedy: Run away from that place where this tune is played!!

Myth 7: If you see a funeral procession, always put palm of your hand to your head till the time it is not out of sight. I am not sure what happens if we fail to follow this one.
Remedy: I don't know.

Myth 8: Never throw any discarded stuff from you body like used bandage/cotton, bunch of you hair unattended outside. Might be this was a way to teach hygiene actually.
Remedy: Spit on it and then throw ( goes hygiene out of window!!!)

Myth 9:Do not touch anyone with broom, especially small kids. They lose weight and become thin.
Remedy: Not sure, but just don't do it. I am sure this must have been said for hygiene reasons. (Also, seeing my over-weight body structure, it clearly means, I should get broom- beating everyday two times, like some medicine dosage!!)

This is what I can remember for now...would surely add on if can recollect more!! But honestly, feeling very nice as I walk through my childhood days in my mind while writing this post.

So, What myths you all know or follow....write about is fun!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

L= Like

L is for Like. No, I am not talking about any affinity stuff but I am talking about that ‘Like’ button on Facebook which has transformed the actual meaning of this term. The Like button has come handy for the people who want to keep a tab on others lives but not actually bother to communicate with them.
Some key features about Like button are:
  • You can let your presence feel in the virtual world without taking the hassle of actual communication with your friends, relatives or any random person and still keep in touch.
  • This button can be used to reciprocate appreciation or 'liking' in virtual world. Liking each other’s status, posts & photographs sometimes are mere symbolism of ‘Scratching each other’s back’!
  • Invariably, A person professionally on a high position or a celebrity gather more number of likes even on their below average ‘wall staring’ snaps. You can butter up your boss by liking all his trash and even can feel yourself lucky that Facebook has made your life so easier….Imagine if have to 'like' everything about your boss in real life – face-to face!!
  • Spammers have found their way to hit the net-users with this ‘like’ weapon randomly. Many times you see a photograph posted on your wall of religious deity or famine hit children asking .pleading/threatening for a simple like from you. How can anyone express their devotion by a like button, or for that matter how would those disaster hit people would get help with your like? 
  • Like button is very helpful when you are lacking time or interest to give a simple compliment to anybody’s photograph. It also works when you actually do not want to appreciate at all….a and liking it in real mode is too difficult.
  • However, I strongly feel that Facebook should put up some ‘Unlike’ button as well. I am sure I would be using it so frequently!
  • Constantly liking all post, updates, photographs & videos of your latest crush might make him/her notice you.
  • Statutory warning: You might depressed with less number of likes received on your wall or might even feel jealous of others who overflow with 'Likes'

    So, these are my observation about this ‘Like button”..What do you think?? At least …Like it please!!
    **Images courtesy: Google images

Friday, 12 April 2013

K = Koi Baat Nahin…Lakshmi Aayi hai!

Ok...Here I am cheating. I thought of writing something else for K but some other really silly thing has come up my way. I have already posted this just after my daughter was born. But, thought of sharing it with my fellow A2Zeders....Please pardon me for this cheat post.

Koi Baat Nahin…Lakshmi Aayi hai!!!!(Translation: Nothing to worry…Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) has arrived)
This is one common line which I heard from couple of people when my daughter was born. However, not to mention that their tone never had that excitement if in real Goddess of wealth had arrived with a big gunny bags of gold & diamonds!!
The consolation in most of the people’s tone was quite audible. Sorry to say but like reading between the lines sometimes you can hear beyond the lines. Few smart ones quickly said “It doesn’t matter it is a boy or a girl, just a hale & hearty baby”. and they are smart ones to alter their original comments because of my ‘firebrand’(!!) nature but forget to wipe the consolation in their tone.
One of my elderly relative said 'Ohhhh (I am stressing on this big Ohhh)….daughters bring good luck to family'. Excuse me…if I had given birth to a son then why would have his ‘luck quotient’ had been lesser???
When I was in my 2nd trimester, there were two or three more female colleagues who were expecting. So we used to have our group discussion forum on maternity issues anytime, anywhere. Few other female colleagues (generally moms) would also join us. One day, a mom to a 2 year old brought a fun test (a questionnaire kind of list which asks whether you like to eat sweet or salty food, which side of your tummy the baby has more movements…) to decide the gender of the unborn baby. All of us took the test for fun. After an hour I found one of the preggo ladies crying in the washroom. When I asked she told me that how mean of that other lady who deliberately twisted the test and told her it’s a girl!!! I got so irked that I sarcastically said that she can very well exchange her result with mine( I got the result that it’s a boy) and barged out of the restroom. Imagine an educated lady, working in a MNC crying because someone told her she would be a mother to a girl….horrible!!!!
She had told me later that how her SIL (a MBA, mother of a male child) says that at least the first child should be a boy so that her importance in her household is maintained. I felt even she was also quite convinced with this logic!!!
Another really weird viewpoint I heard when one of my close relative told me that if my genes overshadows my hubby’s genes then it would be a girl  ( we are two sisters only, no brothers  and my hubby has a young brother, no sisters)and vice versa. What a twisted genetic theorem…..I really felt like taking out my notepad & pen and explaining her complete XX & XY chromosome theory!!!!
Some futuristic people advised me to start saving money for my girl. When I asked snapped them if it had been a boy then a saving was not needed, they few got the drift and changed the topic to “money is nowadays such a necessity for better upbringing of a child”.
I really fail to understand why there is crazy attitude to have a son. Might be I won’t ever experience it as my parents never injected this fact that I have done some crime being a girl. We are two sisters and my parents never yearned for a son. When I was pregnant I read the news of a newborn girl killed by her mother in some village, I literally begged to Almighty that “please if a baby boy is in my womb exchange it to someone’s girl who are crazy for a son” (You see…pregnancy hormones were elevated at their best that time…J!!!!)
Jokes apart, I really feel sorry for these people. Some traits are injected so deeply that even high education cannot wash it. Another very common term I had heard that “Ye meri beti nahi beta hai (She is not a daughter but a son to me). This again turns me off. Why can’t we accept our girls as simple human daughters without labeling them as Goddess, good/bad luck charm or a son? Why any daughter has to prove their mettle by camouflaging as a son?
But I had saved the best for the last: My girl is fairer as compared to me and my hubby. So one of the elderly relative told me that “Good she is fair….you won’t face any difficulty while searching a match for her” Damn…Give me a break!!!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

J = Job Hunt & all the jazz

Job hunt – This is what I am doing since last couple of months. After a break of almost 1.5 years, I planned to join back work. Being a ‘too much planned’ couple, we first created our back up plan after brainstorming for long hours.
Many questions hovered over our mind. How would the li’l one react to the change? What option would be more feasible - nanny or daycare? How we can work out the daily household chores? I raked through all mommy blogs, forums & parenting websites to know more about the ways people juggle between home, Baby & job. The dilemma was high and I was not able to pin down any decision. But, after lots & lots of discussion we finally chalked out a plan.
The first step was to get a full time maid or house help who can support me with household chores. In that way, I can spend some quality time with my kid after coming back from work. Somehow, we were not keen on getting a nanny for my toddler. We got registered in an agency beforetime as heard about delays in getting a maid even after registration. Thankfully, we got a decent maid from that local agency.
Next step was to search for a reasonable and compatible daycare for my kid. We visited almost 6-8 local daycares and finally found a decent one nearby to our place. We wanted to get my daughter adjusted to this new regime first and then my proper job search should start. My li’l one cooperated a lot and now after almost 3 months, she just loves the place.
In the meantime I already uploaded my resume in various job portals and waited for my luck to show some positive sign. However, the timing was not quite appropriate. The first quarter remains a lean period for job hunters as new vacancy are not created in this time. It actually means that most of the companies have their annual appraisal & bonus time in March, and people who want to leave their job for any reason would stick till end of March to receive the annual bonus. Thus February & March went away in very few calls from different consultancies & companies and I appeared for only couple of interviews.
Another factor which I am realizing is affecting my job search in a veiled way is the break of 1.5 years in my career. Many consultancies approached me with job description, but chickened out stating employers do not want any break period for any reasons. Then there are other factors as well which is limiting me from exploring all options. I have to search for a job in Gurgaon only and I cannot go to work in Delhi or Noida because of extensive travel time. Although I have kept myself open for all shift timings (my job profile requires that) but still many employers perceive in advance that a married lady with a small kid in tow would not opt for any shift other than general one.
This is the third month in a row when I am just sitting idle at home. It is getting depressing now and has started taking toll on my mood a lot. I feel the void more as prior to this I was handling my hyper-active toddler for the whole day without any maid or nanny. So, suddenly, with the kid in daycare and all household chores except cooking taken care by maid, I feel myself completely useless sometimes. Although, I am getting now ample amount of time for my favorite passion – blogging & reading but still feel no interest in any of these activities. There are days, when I just shut my PC, throw away my book and sit idly staring the wall. I actually pulled up myself to join this blogging challenge so that it can be diverted from the void.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I = Indiscipline

My previous post talked about my hometown – Allahabad. I am continuing my complain spree about the city. Indiscipline or simply lack of civic & common sense is rushing in the blood veins of the local residents.
I would not reiterate the horrendous way of driving people has adapted here. Traffic rules, traffic sign and indicators of vehicles act as mere showpieces. The person who is driving in front of you can suddenly decide to turn either left or right or even stop at the middle of the road. After this he would even stare you for your ignorance about reading his mind regarding the turn of his vehicle. This terrible driving sense is common in many other parts of India as well.
But here, I want to highlight a different issue which I came across. I went to withdraw money from the Automatic Teller Machine placed in our local market place in Allahabad. I saw a small crowd at the gate of the ATM. From the glass door, I could see more than required number of people inside hovering over the screen of that ATM. I thought that it might have got dysfunctional and turned back to leave from there. My dad was accompanying me. He asked me the reason of hasty retreat and then said this machine is perfectly fine and this is a common scenario in almost every ATM of Allahabad.
No queues….people jostling to enter the cubicle…..apart from the person who is operating his/her account in that machine, there would be many other random people lurking on his/her head. Few are actually waiting for their chance but I was startled when a couple of boys told me that they are just chilling off  as there is an Air-conditioner switched on. I was not able to digest this indiscipline at all…and promptly rushed to the branch of the bank situated next to the ATM. I put forward my complain to one of Customer service representative who looked at me as if I had asked him to take off his clothes!!.
Then, after sometime when he understood what I am saying, he sent a security guard to shoo off the unwanted people from that ATM. It worked for exactly 5.86 minutes and the situation went back to square one after that. I had altercation with couple of people when I insisted on forming a queue and then entering the cubicle alone. They blamed me of wasting their precious time!!
I can never ever imagine of this kind of indiscipline and chaos in Gurgaon, not even in older part of the city. I have seen many unmanned ATM as well where no one has to prompt anybody to form a queue but people by default wait for their turn standing outside the ATM.
What can I call it….Allahabad’s typical nonchalant attitude which resists any new change to its core!

H = Hometown

Allahabad .....My birthplace....a small city of Eastern Uttar Pradesh where I had spent almost 24 years of my life. Most people in India & across the world know about this city for MahaKumbh festival. I would not dig deeper into the minutiae of the large scale internationally recognized festival held in Allahabad…Google already has enough information regarding it. Rather, I would traverse through my perception about this city. 

A small religious city which basks in the glory of its numerous temples…some quite ancient & well known….some newly constructed…some huge and flaunts wealth of its devotees…while some just cropped up street side or rather encroaching the pavement almost overnight. 

Another striking feature of this city is its affinity for the preparation of various administrative & civil exams viz. IAS, PCS exams. Various coaching centre of different shapes & sizes have mushroomed all over the city which in turn has given refuge to aspiring ‘red/blue beacon’ students from neighboring villages and smaller towns. This breed of students has taken that spider’s story too seriously who never gave up even after failing multiple times to climb the wall!! They stay in the city in rented rooms while fooling their family members back home with the rosy picture of their dreams of civil services jobs. When asked, they boisterously claim that they are doing ‘Tayyari’ ( preparation) and this can continue till the time they are not crossing the upper age limit for appearing in these exams. I know few person who were staying in my locality when I was a teenager and doing ‘Tayyari’ and are still doing that. Many of them have forged their date of birth so many times you can even spot a balding, way above thirty, gentlemen who still declare himself as ‘Tayyari’ student. In reality, they do nothing other than attending coaching classes & roaming like free bulls in local market places while hogging from various street vendors. 

This city has a perfect laid-back attitude with bagful of vulnerable ego. People do not want to work and you can be looked upon as some alien from different planet if you expect customer service from any commercial point. Any kind of change and upliftment is least welcomed in this city. So, it still remains somehow same what it was a decade back. People have ample amount of free time here……I know few people who used to hang around near the local betel shop, chat endlessly while staring and stripping all female clan passing from that road with their creepy eyes when I was in school/college…i.e. almost more than a decade ago. Last time I visited Allahabad few days back, I found them still there. They have spent their whole life doing the same thing or rather nothing. 

This city still judge you by the clothes you wear…and here I am not experimenting much but talking about how jeans/trousers worn girls are still looked down with raised brows. 

I am not being a cribbing worm here but actually I feel bad when I see other smaller cities zipping past my hometown in development, infrastructure and other positive changes while it foolishly remains aloof from all the changes around it. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

G = Give me another chance!!

Give me some sunshine, Give me some rain, 

Give me another chance to grow up once again. 

All of us have some secret regrets…not exactly regrets but something like “I wish I could have done that”…some unspoken, undone remnants of life. After completing three decades of my life when I look back and walk down the memory lane, I find many such moments which I want to relive with some improvisation. 

I wish I could have spent some more quality time with my grandparents. They stayed with us in the same house and had more than fifty percent credit in our upbringing. I had so many sweet-bitter-lovely memories of them. I feel myself blessed to have their companionship till my twenties. But, even after almost a decade has passed since their demise, I still cringe for their company. 

I wish I shouldn't have wasted my precious time in a useless relationship with a person who never understood me or valued my presence. I missed many fun & enjoyable moments of my life just because I was too bogged down by the insensitive & nonchalant attitude of that person. 

I wish I could have been not so overtly emotionally dependent on that person that even I was scared to speak my mind due to the insecurity in our relationship. I wish I could have asserted my feelings & thoughts more often and understand that it can never drive away the right person from your life but can help to weed out the wrong ones. 

I wish I could have chosen my subjects more wisely in the initial years of my academic life. That time, I only knew that I love Mathematics and it was my strength but along with that came two monster twins’ physics & Chemistry which I was never able to tackle comfortably. 

I wish someone told me, When I was 11 years old that it is absolutely fine to raise hell against that creep who relentlessly sketches excuses to feel my body in a bad way. I wish someone told me that you need not to feel guilty about the whole thing and it is that slime ball who should be ashamed. 

I wish I could have been in touch with more of my school & college mates. I tried to revive the bond later when Orkut & Fb came into existence, but by that time the aura of the bond had already faded. I am still in touch with few of my school friends who studied with me since class 1 and the charisma of our relationship has remain almost intact. But, surprisingly the college friends group hare now only FB friends with whom the relation is tangled in ‘likes, comments & status updates’ only. 

I wish I could have revived my reading passion earlier. But, better late than never. 

I wish I could have stepped into this wonderful blogging world few years back, when it came into existence. 

I wish I could have been more prudent towards my health and shouldn't have neglected the weight issue which has completely gone out of control now……sigh!! 

Ohhh My God…this list is growing so long….rest I am leaving to pen down in some posts…you see, I have to sustain till Z and it is only F now!! 

Monday, 8 April 2013

F = Feku!!

I know this is not an English word, but when I saw #feku trending in Twitter today, I was unable to resist ranting about a bighead feku whom I know very well. Before I precede further let me explain that feku is a Hindi term which denotes a person who brags a lot. So, just thought of taking it out of my system which otherwise I can never say on his face.
This person has joined some ‘pyramid structure networking business’ almost a couple of years back. I really admire his risk taking ability and the dedication with which he has taken up this new assignment in his life. He even left his job a year back so I think he must be doing well in that business. I am not challenging that….and would always feel good if he does well in his life considering him as my childhood friend. He has approached with his concept to us earlier which we had declined politely, but somehow he seems to not understand the term ‘No’. He keeps on his persistence convincing session from time to time.
Now, comes the annoying part. As per his business’s rulebook, he is trying to make use of the social networking sites to show off his successful journey in this business. I have no problem when he posts 86 snaps of his new sedan car in FB which he bought after selling his hatchback. I even do not care when he tries to pass it on as new car which is actually a second-hand buy. But he irritates a lot when he puts up stirring status regarding his buy while demeaning other people who have not joined his business. He keeps on posting insulting status & photographs about corporate employees showing what an unfortunate morons they are who have to slog to earn their living, while he is on his bed of dollars even at 12PM on Monday mornings.
Now days, he deliberately arrives late in our get-togethers citing his busy schedule as reason. Recently he crossed all the limits when he carried his own bottle of liquor of some expensive brand to our parties. He boisterously mentioned that the regular brand which others are having doesn't suits him now and he would prefer this drink only. He never felt any need to show courtesy to offer his ‘expensive brand’ to anyone else.
I understand his show-off attitude is actually the raw material for enticing new prospective clients for his business, but sometimes it becomes too much to handle. But, in the midst of all this drama, he forgets that we are his childhood friends who knows in & out about him…, no matter how much he flies his own kite we are aware of his origin & his real self and would never get trapped in his sparkling ‘business’ web.

E = English R.I.P

Horn Pales!!!

D = Discrimination

Chubby Cheeks, Dimple Chin
Rosy lips, teeth within,
Curly hair, very fair
Eyes are blue, lovely too
Teacher’s pet, Is that you!
Yes, yes, yes.

I remember getting upset after reading this rhyme as a kid. It is needless to mention here that I have nothing in common with the hyped physical traits mentioned in the rhyme except the teeth part. I somehow believed the fact that these features propel chances of becoming favorites of our teachers! Obviously when I understood the importance of mental ability, intelligence, common sense, individuality and confidence later on in my life, I outgrew the complex of being an ugly duckling.
However, motherhood brought this debate back in my life again. Expert tips & unsolicited advices kept pouring in to make me understand that my baby needs lots of grooming to fit into the category of typical ‘Awww…so cute’ kids. The advisory panel ranged from my neighbors, relatives, friends & their families, my maid and even sometimes complete strangers!
She is so hairy…. apply ubtan (a paste of turmeric & chickpea flour) regularly on her and especially on her face. Facial hair does not look good on girls!! Here, I strongly put my foot down to let my baby go through this torturous procedure.
Her hair density is so less… it would look so bad later on. I have one very good solution for this problem… burn some jute, mix it with onion juice and then apply it on her scalp. Ewww.. this one completely turned me off. I almost sniggered on that honorable lady’s face.

Why don’t you apply Kajal (kohl) to her eyes? Eyes would be wider and look beautiful if you apply Kajal regularly. Excuse me!… have you heard of anything like genetic traits? Even my maid emphasized this idea and when I tried to circumvent her advice by saying that ‘Doctor has asked not to apply it’… pat came the reply, ‘You can always wipe it off on those days you are visiting doctor!’
You should keep on tracking her height regularly…… if she inherits her dad’s height then there is no problem otherwise early consultation with doctor can help. Yes, I am shorter than any average Indian women. But till the time my daughter is achieving her developmental milestones, I don’t find any reason to bother our pediatrician.
My list remains incomplete without mentioning the numerous comments I got to hear regarding my baby’s weight. She had always been on the normal range of the ideal weight mentioned in clinical charts. However, she is not chubby and sort of devoid of any ‘baby fat’. People after showing concern with my kid’s lankiness, keep on thrusting various weight gain recipes, force feeding technique, and even suggested ‘Nazar Utarna’ (negating the evil eye effect). I have now stopped giving explanations to them at all.

Anyway, winding back to the beginning of post, it compelled me to think ‘why it is so important for a baby to look pretty, cute & chubby?’ Even the aggressive marketing of consumer products through media reinforce this theory of ‘good looking’ babies. Quote any advertisement of products meant for kids and you can see kids with physical features mentioned in that nursery rhyme hopping gleefully on the screen. But why should I blame the media only. We are a nation obsessed with skin lightning & fairness products , smearing it on face only is a passé ….. now even the armpits & vagina are not left alone. This fascination is injected early in the kids by projecting chubby, fair babies as benchmark and it prolong life time with matrimonial advertisement like ‘V.Fair, pretty, slim & tall girl wanted’.

This is a widely understood fact how the self-esteem of kids gets affected with this discrimination based on physical traits. And it remains a fact. I came to know from a friend who is a teacher in some big-shot international school that even in school extracurricular activities the kids with ‘pleasing (read pretty)’ faces are given preferences for the first row on stage. Has the school bothered to care about the self-esteem of that average looking kid pushed to the last row?

So, within my caliber, I can at least help my daughter grow up in a way so that she can shrug off the fascination of people with clichéd physical traits with her confidence & self-esteem.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

C = Cuss Words

Few think me as snobbish, few call it my ‘nautanki’, and rest terms it as my arrogance. Why???...I am just not tolerant to Cuss words…not even used in casual way. Any kind of bad language is a turn off for me.
Being brought up in a small city of Uttar Pradesh – where the local dialect is incomplete without a ‘gaali’, my household has always been kept aloof of these words. Even the innocent word like ‘Saala’ was never heard there. Somehow, I cannot enjoy ‘potty or fart jokes’ till now. For the same reason, I found it rather distasteful dialogue while everyone else whistled on it when Salman Khan boisterously claimed to pierce the villain multiple times while confusing him!!
I try to maintain the same environment for my daughter as well. Initially, just after our marriage I expressed my discomfort in any of these ‘filler’ slangs sometimes used by SG. And, he took note of it. He has eradicated all those words from his lingo now.
When I see many people who are unfortunately parent as well using this kind of language even when their kids are around, I feel really pity for those children I had kind of argument with one of my friend about this when she blamed me of being too much protective about my kid regarding this matter. My logic was that I would never try to shield her from the exposure of these words but would want her to understand the reasons of not using them. But, this is going to be one tricky task. I wonder how in near future I can teach my kid about the better 'choice of words' when the whole society is getting more tolerable to this lingo. I blogged about ityear back that how ‘double meaning’ words are creepily getting tucked in our day to day language and we are getting gradually comfortable with it. I am sure many people would find most of these terms quite okay and might think me as ‘human fossil’ but my notions of parenting are crystal clear to me. My dislike for cuss words would continue.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

B = Book love

Books…..Needless to mention here that I love reading. My love for books started early when I saw both my grandparents always took up reading as their favorite time pass.  I feel myself blessed to spend my childhood under their guidance while surrounded by books. My reading stint traversed in three languages….Hindi, English & Bengali.
 As a child, I guzzled up all the comic books in Hindi with prime characters like Chacha Choudhry, Billoo – Pinki, Nagraj, Super Commando Dhruv, Doga and many more. Apart from comic strips, I also bought occasionally magazines like ‘Champak, Lot-pot & Chandamama. My fascination with these comic strips continued till my early teen years and then I slowed down in reading books in Hindi. Another Hindi teen magazine which I used to read was ‘Suman-Saurabh’.
I learnt to read this language almost overnight when my dad played this trick and refused to buy me my monthly quota of two comic books in Hindi but in Bengali. Yeah…I read few of those comic books in Bengali as well!!. But, now I am really thankful to my dad for that. Without learning to read Bengali, I would have missed some spectacular literary works by awesome writers like SaratChandra, Shirsendu, Sunil Ganguly, Satyajit Ray, Ashapurna Devi, Leela Mazumdar and many more. I loved the ‘Feluda’ series by Satyajit Roy and have read all his books multiple times.
It started with Enid Blyton in my early teen years. I also subscribed to Reader’s Digest from my school library. I loved to read Ruskin Bond a lot and I still do. Then somehow my reading hobby took a backseat which rekindled in last few years. I have managed to read these & these many books in last few months.

I just want to pass on this passion of mine to Mishti and is somehow able to do so.  She has got a bagful of books which she loves to read out aloud in her own gibberish lingo. Books are the only stuff which can capture her attention till longest duration. Check out this one:

Plzz Don't disturb while I am with my books!

Friday, 5 April 2013

A = Abstract

All the other bloggers who have taken up this challenge officially have already reached till ‘E’, and here I have now finally decided to give this blogging challenge a shot, but not officially. Let‘s see, how fairly I am able to be consistent on this task. I hope I am able to catch them up soon.
However, I am not signing up for this challenge officially . I feel I would not be able to craft my posts as per international visitors. Keeping it as a personal challenge now.

So, I have mentioned A as in Abstract ….abstract thoughts, abstract rants, abstract ramblings. Here, I go.
I took a break of almost 20 days from my blog due to lot many reasons. The primary one being that cold, fever & cough had taken refuge in our household for almost 15 days. Mishti was down with severe cold, cough, throat infection along with bouts of fever & vomiting. For continuous two nights she was whimpering and shrieking. We took her to her regular ped who prescribed some anti-allergic & antibiotic medicines. But , pouring three medicines one after another into her system was a herculean task…..SG had to held her tight, And squeezed the medicines through a syringe in her mouth which she spat out while bawling  with her eardrum-piercing shrieks. So, we decided to switch over to homeopathy this time. Although, I have slightly less trust on it than the allopath way, but that time I just wanted any-pathos medicine going down her system which would recover that wailing kid. Homeopathy worked well…and she was up and running within few days.

We decided not to play Holi this year as it would mean wet clothes, water splashing and rubbing off colors with more water which might recall Mishti’s illness again. It was completely okay for me as I hate playing Holi, however SG was visibly upset. So, I gave him a long lecture on parenting sacrifices which tickled his wounds instead of soothing it!!

We also went for a short trip to Allahabad after Holi. Mishti was unexpectedly very social & enjoyed her stint with her both sets of grandparents. Her vocabulary has increased a lot and she had now started joining two words which we noticed in Allahabad. However, she did showed her true colors in the train journey. She pulled curtains of other people’s compartments, spit from the upper berth, pushed us away from the seats, ran through the coach like Usain Bolt, shouted on the top of her voice and even tried rolling on the floor!

But now, I am back to my regular routine…..bit depressed as my job hunt still remains unyielding. I think this post can be wrapped up now as I would keep other topics as fodder for my other posts.
Just now, realized this abstract term is so helpful when you have nothing concrete to blog and can still tap on the keyboard in an abstract way!