Monday, 31 December 2012

Enough has already been said....

As someone who is normal, trust me, I share all the emotions that each one of you has for everything that has marked our existence in the last 15 days. I am someone who has led a city life- to be precise, I have led the Delhi life. I have been to college in this city and having traveled in the public transport I know how it feels when someone touches you without your permission! I am active on social media hence I have read each and every post that has circulated in this regard. I am a mother, so I relate to the pain of the girl's mother who saw her baby suffer for days. I am a woman whose husband once slapped someone in the middle of the market when she raised an alarm that a guy was trying to 'act' smart, whose brother literally wraps her between his arms when we are making our way into a crowded cinema hall, whose father bought her a car when a Blue Line bus driver almost killed her one afternoon.

But in a way I am not all that normal too. I have a set of family living in the smaller towns and even rural part of our country. When I witness the anger, anguish and apparent practicality of my FB or twitter contacts, there is only one thought that makes me NOT believe in the urgency with which the myriad solutions are being provided. Because I have interacted with 'Indians' who belong to 'the other India', I know that these solutions are not easy to come by. They aren't long term. They are so NOT the solutions!

Respecting a woman is not one of the things that are part of a normal Mother-child curriculum in these parts of our country. Boys learn about the women, by observing how their fathers treat them. They have better things in the world to worry about- like how will they go to school everyday or how will they pass the exams. They have things like- how to kill time when there is no electricity for 12 hours- to worry about. I can imagine that if today I sit down with some cousins and uncles who are still in my native place, they will say- "Hua to bahut bura par raat ko ladke ke saath bahar jaayegi, to aur kya hoga uske saath?". Its not that they are insensitive. They are just conditioned to equate a woman's freedom with her being "loose" or "prone to disaster". And they are not even wrong. For years they have protected their women from other men! Hence all the notions of a "proper" time to come back home and "proper" way to dress were developed.

That is why I say that by putting up possible ideas on twitter or blogs or FB, will not give you the REAL solution. You know what will? Going to the root of this mentality which still exists in those parts of our country where you have not yet been. Reaching out to the "majority" of India and curtailing these thoughts from where the seeds are sown. Not assuming that rapes do not happen in richer societies but definitely the brutality or shamelessness of even assuming that a girl who is alone is definitely "open" for your trespass- starts in these pockets! Those cousins of mine and their friends, will never ever get to read how you think women are not objects or are stronger. Yes, if your insistence makes the rape law strict, they will get capital punishment when they commit this crime, but its the solution of the AFTER. Figure out a way to prevent the BEFORE. 

Be angry- but channelize it to where it is required. Heard enough about how you FEEL, time to tell everyone how you can CHANGE THINGS! Because the former is mere convenient, its the latter that will uplift us as a nation.....

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Have you answered it yet?

The most potent question in every homemaker's life is a one she inevitably has to answer every single day. No, its not about how she passes her time or how much 1 kg of sugar costs these days. Its nothing to do with her children or husband. Its not even to do with her interests or dislikes. Its one which is of even graver importance. One that determines and governs how the moods (and everything to do with it) will remain of her family members.

Being a homemaker for some time this observation is in my opinion the biggest hurdle in conducting our day to day lives- smoothly. My education at D.P.S, DU and even an MBA degree prepared me a great deal in handling problems related to time management, multi tasking and organisation of household chores but it has so badly failed in giving me a permanent solution to this particular problem. This question, however insignificant and easy it may sound, definitely is the seed that builds happiness and cheer around the house. Still every time I ask my family members to answer it on my behalf I get a similar answer- "Is this even a question?"

Oh c'mon it is! Try answering it each day- each day without fail. Try answering it wrong for one day and all you will hear from everyone is- "What is this yaar?", "Why this?", "Again???". And every time you will hear all this, you will appear like a criminal. A criminal who despite being punished many times, repeats his mistakes out of sheer habit!

So much so that I think its a great business idea to connect home makers around the world on a platform where every day they can together answer this question and those who are not actively answering, can at least benefit by reading other active members!

How many have guessed what question it is?

It is:

"Aaj khaane main kya banega?"

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dear Santa, please take over....for real :)

So everyone who is reading this knows Santa's reality. Some of us did believe in him when we were kids. Some were always smart enough to doubt him. Me and my brother belong to the category where even when we knew he wasn't the one giving us gifts, we rushed to our parent's room with absolutely false but totally jubilant cries of : "See Papa, Santa Claus gave us this and that"! I am not saying that our parents were playing along without knowing that we know- but it was all so much fun :)

Today when I am the Santa for V and N, the fun is different. With so much exposure to Santa, Mickey Mouse and Superman all around, poor kids know from now itself that I am their Santa. So when I tell them that if they do not behave properly Santa will not gift them anything, they smile back at me and say -"Don't be so angry Mom". This is so not good. Is there anything left now which is fantasy for my kids?

I am unable to control this exposure. I cannot lie to them blatantly when they ask me if there is an Uncle inside the Donald Duck suit. Because while it was easy or seamless for me to not come up with this question when I was a kid (as such occurrences were rare), its fairly commonplace for my kids to know whats inside the suit. They are smarter and definitely more aware than me.

You know what is my solution to still let the innocence and naivety of these rituals remain? I never cease to practice them anyway. I never tell my kids- "There is no Santa Claus! So you will not get anything from us". Even if they know its us, I always keep a gift under their pillow and when they thank me, I look up in the sky(in front of them) and thank the Santa Claus I grew up with and say : "Thank you for making me gift Viraj and Nevaan the things they love" and trust me they join in too :)

No, I do not want V and N to not know the "truth" behind everything. Its not that I don't want them to be practical and mature about life. Its just that today I have realized how my parents have shaped my life by insulating me from certain realities. I know what it meant to believe and trust them blindly. If I cannot STOP them from knowing even the 'bad' side of things, at least I can up the quotient of 'goodness' in their basic life learnings.