Archive | November 2012

Nani (grandmom) Once Again

As the title says, have become a Nani (Hindi for maternal grandma) the second time. My niece brought a beautiful baby Girl into this world a couple of days back. She already has an adorable little girl, aged four (the first one to call me Nani), but that didn’t lessen the excitement of the arrival of this new member of our family.

Babies, no matter how many I see, always arouse a sense of wonder in me. Looking at their tiny hands, feet, sweet little nose, ears, lips, makes me believe that miracles do happen, for each baby that is born is God’s miracle. You only have to ask people who are unable to have children, how they pray for this miracle to happen to them.

So naturally, everyone in the family is rejoicing; be it the ‘Didi’ (older sister), Dada-Dadi (paternal grandparents), Nana-Nani (maternal grandparents), Chacha (dad’s brother), and all the relations that can be named. But there are such people also, who are  biased by the regressive mentality, one that still haunts our society- The want for a male child.

And surprisingly its not the elderly( they may be expected to believe in it), but young, educated and self-dependent women who say things like- “oh! if you had a boy it would have been so much nicer! or “if it was a boy the family would have been complete” etc.

In my country, given its high population and now the high cost of living and education, most people plan for not more than two children in the family. Add to this the desire for a male child and you have the perfect recipe for disaster, for the girl child. These beliefs have give rise to the biggest social malaise of our times- Female foeticide. Yes, that means that parents go for sex determination of the foetus as early in the pregnancy as possible, and if its a female, its aborted. It is all illegal, of course, but still people and so called doctors do not shy away from such practices. Young mothers-to-be are sometimes forced by their in-laws, or even by their husbands to do away with the unborn child.

I sometimes find it unbelievable that anyone can even think of killing their unborn child. A child, whether a boy or a girl, brings so much of joy into the lives of the people. A baby’s sweet laughter can bring a smile on the dourest of faces. Their innocent babblings, their efforts to reach their various milestones and then reaching them, their efforts to mimic the people around them, all can fill any person with joy. It is every parent’s dream to watch their children grow into lovely human beings. And yet, our society discriminates against the girls.

The result is a skewed boy-girl ratio in almost all the regions of our country. Government is taking its own measures, making laws, trying to implement them more effectively, but things will change only when the people will start to think differently. We all have to do our bit to save the girl child. WE, because, only we as women can bring about a change in the thought processes of our largely patriarchal society. Beliefs like these cannot be changed by force or by laws alone. The change will HAVE to come from within the society, from within the minds of the people. Only then our society will have truly moved into the new ages, into the 21st century.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Of all the colors, Green dominates our lives in more ways than one. Green is good for your eyes; you can go Green-  technically i.e. switch to natural way of life or you can go Green with envy. You can have a Green thumb/fingers, or move to Greener pastures, and yes, make sure you eat your Greens.

Some Greens up-close-

 

 

P.S.- all pictures have been taken by my daughter and I have borrowed them with due permission..

Weekly Travel Theme: Mystical

Haven’t been able to post on the themes for the last couple of weeks… Diwali time, you know, no time for anything else. But the theme this time was too hard to resist, so here I am–

starting with my favorite.. the mountains. This is a view of the mightily mystical Himalayas taken from the airplane window.

the Pangong lake in Ladakh is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. the lake at the base of mountains induces a sense of calm and peace and makes you marvel at God’s work. The lake and the mountains in the background look as if they have been painted on a canvas… by God.

Ladakh also boasts of a desert. The white sand dunes are one of a kind, and the little vegetation found in Ladakh includes these trees which are commonly found in the deserts of Rajasthan. This tree standing apart from the whole lot of others caught my interest.

and then the ‘stupas’. Ladakh’s landscape is littered with hundreds of them. They signify the importance of afterlife as per Buddhist traditions.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

Its Diwali time and all of us are busy preparing our homes and ourselves for the festivities. And when Diwali is on everybody’s mind here, the word ‘Geometry’ can bring only one thing to mind and that is- ” A Rangoli”

A Rangoli is the colourful design drawn on the floor of the house, usually at the entrance, as a sign of welcome, not just for the guests but for the Gods and Goddesses who come visiting the people during the festivals. Each region of my country has their own methods of creating one but geometry plays an important part in them all. They are prepared, mostly by using rice flour which is white and adding vegetable dyes to create coloured rice powder which is then used to create designs on the floor. Flowers are also used to create designs. 

design made by my daughter in Diwali 2010.

 

rangolis made by her last year

rangolis made with flowers for a puja