Archive | September 2011

WE ARE LIKE THIS ONLY

Last evening was watching the pictures of our trip to the south-east, taken a few years back. It brought back a flood of memories of a wonderful vacation. Of a different and yet somewhat similar lands. Was impressed how everything worked with clockwork precision, the people disciplined and following the rules without a stick over their heads, the cleanliness, honesty and a sense of pride for their land .

But there were a few incidents that left a bitter taste in my mouth. It made me wonder if we really took pride in being an Indian or so to say if India was personified would it take pride in us Indians?

We were a group of Indian tourists and in almost all the places we visited and all the tourist buses we sat in our tour guides never failed to drive in the point that we were lowly Indians compared to them. Whether it was to point out that their were no beggars, dogs, cows, etc loitering on the roads, to saying that their was no noise pollution due to honking horns(amazing, really!!) to pointing out that nobody used the road-sides, walls etc as their personal lavatory and took pride in all the fines imposed (from littering to chewing gum).

It is mandatory to point out that the Indians didn’t help the matters by their actions. At one resort a couple from our group was caught stealing away a couple of spoons from their room (spoons??how duh!!) in their baggage. Were those spoons worth the embarrassment of having your bags opened and the said items fished out by the hotel staff in everyone’s presence???

But what was more interesting was the behavior of the people while they were in that country. They carried a piece of wrapper in their hands for hours until they found a dustbin to throw it in. Were particular about following all rules. Gushed over the clean roads and the washrooms available everywhere all the while saying ‘our India is so dirty’. What I wanted to ask them all was WHO makes India. India is not just a mass of land surrounded by water on three sides as we learnt in geography class. India is what we make of it. If India is dirty it’s because we make it so. If India is corrupt, we make it so. It is we who litter our streets without a second thought, we who misuse the facilities provided to us, we who break rules or try to bend around the rules for a little benefit. But when ever cornered we immediately fall back to harping upon our rich culture which I’m sorry to say is nothing but a misguided sense of ego. We love to bask in reflected glory whether it’s a Mr. Mittal or a Sunita Williams or in the scores of second generation Indians making headlines in their adopted countries in various fields. We love to fawn over a white skin and golden hair and take pride in the oft clichéd praises they shower on us while they rake in the moolah and go laughing all the way to the banks.

Anyways, getting back to the trip, my day was made once we were back at the Mumbai airport. Some of the ladies from my group and me went to the washroom, which were definitely not the epitome of cleanliness. Immediately one of the ladies started cribbing and said (in her mother tongue),”India is so dirty. Everything was so clean there..etc.etc.” before I could think of a fitting reply to her, a tiny voice, (in marathi)  piped up from behind, ”what India, India? What are you saying about India? Don’t say bad about India. It is best.” The voice belonged to the cleaning lady who was in-charge of the washroom. She was an uneducated woman and also one we normally shun. She hadn’t understood a word of what the lady had said. Only heard India’s name taken in a derisive and derogatory tone and responded immediately. Needless to mention it silenced the cribbing lady effectively.

And me? I wanted to hug that woman right there but restrained myself. Retrospectively I think I should have done just that.

therapeutic cleansing

This is that time of the year that gets me super charged.No, no, its not about the navratras, though i enjoy the garbas very much and try not to miss even a single night of dancing to the lively music. But i’m not talking about that.  What i’m talking about is the annual chore of diwali cleaning. Yes, yes, i know you don’t blog about something like that but that’s about all that I can get on my mind right now so i might as well get it done and over with. I also know that most ladies my age find it a tiring and a boring chore, something they would avoid given the chance.

But me, i guess i’m made of something altogether different. I can like doing a lot of odd things at the oddest of times. For example i get the best ideas for my blogs at the stroke of midnight when everyone else is asleep and so as not to wake anyone else i sit in the bathroom and jot down the the ideas so that i can recall them in the morning.

But getting back to the actual topic.. the diwali cleaning. Aaahh!! I find it highly calming and almost a therapeutic experience.  Over the years, I’ve realised nothing gives me so much pleasure as the act of throwing away ‘the old and useless things’ from the cupboards, closets, drawers and the home in general. If i had my way there would hardly be anything left in the house. How light and spacious i find my home after I’m done with throwing away the clutter. What astonishes me the most is that how on earth do i manage to accumulate so much in the first place.  My zeal and zest at this task does alarm my husband at times lest someday i might find HIM old and useless. And despite all my assurances that things will never come to that because I  love antiques and also have the knack of making good use of seemingly useless things that i fancy, he still tries to cure me of this malady. But this has been a tough nut to crack so far.

So just a word to all the ladies who are about to embark upon this annual task-RELAX. Think of this as an act of pranayam as taught by baba Ramdev- ‘inhale’ ‘exhale’. It will get rid of all impurities of your home and fill it with all things positive. See how spiritual it makes me just thinking about it. It could do the same for you. Try it.

WEARING MY THINKING CAP

I’m just thinking what should I write about, today. So many things occupying the thinking space of my brain. And since I’m a great thinker I’ll leave the thinking about petty things like global warming,  famines, economic depression, etc. etc. for lesser beings. I have much larger problems to think about.

Say, how to protect the Earth in case an asteroid makes a beeline for it, or a black hole suddenly gets hungry and decides to gobble up our precious planet .Can we make our Earth run for its life? Poor thing,  she’s already gasping with the increased carbon-di-oxide and less oxygen in her system. Or what if, the Martians decide to invade our planet and take control of it. By the way who thought of giving Martians a green color? If I had been allowed to do the thinking I would have colored them a pretty pink, and they would have had candy floss for hair and wouldn’t be so nearly menacing. We would welcome them with open arms and eat their heads if they tried to patronize us. Wouldn’t need any nukes or the armed forces.

Which brings me to think, how interesting it would be if all the men in the armed forces were put off duty and only women recruited..There would be no war then, coz across borders or in the battle field they would suddenly notice a new nail color and immediately, all hostility forgotten, the focus would shift to the nail color or a new brand of lipstick, the latest in fashion trends, hairdos, and other girl talk. World peace would reign then.

This makes me wonder what would then be left for the ’Miss Worlds’ or ‘Miss Universes’ to do or what answer would they give when asked a question. Their whole existence will be in jeopardy. And with all the beauty queens becoming redundant, what will happen to all those millions of girls who keep trying to look like them. Poor girls, they will then not have any particular sizes to pine for or follow any magical diets. Just think what could happen then. With girls stopping shopping, the world economy will crash.

That will make the girls in the armed forces start fighting again and then……

OH!! My poor head aches with all the thinking, so many problems and all the burden on my frail shoulders… need some fellow thinkers to do some thinking for me..

Anyone thinking of applying?????