HOLY HAI!

What? Bible or Quran?

For once can we not be so feeble in our thoughts. How can anything that claims to unite, but only has proved to be a reason to divide time and again, be termed Holy?challenge

I was only talking about Water.

And not really about the “holy” rivers of our country, just because – as the legend goes- some drops of Amrit fell in them a few centuries ago! But if that is what makes you save our rivers, so be it!

And you know what, I will tell you a secret that they will never tell you. Water, Air, Earth are holy not only on festivals or certain days but every day! Oh yes, every-single-day! Can you believe it? – Market mein naya hai, jaldi forward karo!

Why is it that in last few years, our hidden-environment-enthusiast pops up for the birds during Sankranti, water during Holi, Air and noise pollution during Diwali? Because, in olden times people used the resources judiciously and lived frugally every day and celebrated elaborately, whereas today, we live like we own the planet every day, and celebrate “judiciously”. True story.

We all know this week saw two of the most contradictory days “celebrated” one after the other. We all endorsed save water, and took an oath to do so on World Water Day. Oh, but how can we help it if it was so badly timed, only two days before Holi – and like any New Years’ resolution, even this one didn’t stick around even for 48 hours! All of us enjoyed Holi, and if anyone tried to remind us about our conscience around water scarcity, we coloured them saying – Bura na mano, Holi hai! Actually not all of us. Because some of us at Nashik are still awaiting our turn to play colours on Monday! Oh yes, there was a Raj Thackeray even in those days, who decided we won’t play colours on the same day as Biharis.

I for one am not a very enthusiastic endorser of “water-less Holi”. Firstly, if you play only with dry colours, it is going to take you all that water you were trying to save, to get that Chinese powder off your body! And secondly, I don’t have proper statistics right now, but I am sure by not playing Holi, we may consume not more than 5% more water than on a normal day – when we swim in our private swimming pool, followed by a relaxing tub bath, getting ready just in time to attend the rain shower party a friend’s small wedding function of only 1000 people! Phew. That’s such a tedious relaxation routine, that one may need to go to Dubai and book a villa next to the man-made beach as a relaxing holiday from this relaxation routine! Oh, did I mention all this wastage, oops usage, is only for relaxation?

The point is, let’s leave our hypocrisy at home on festivals, and adopt a sustainable lifestyle each day, every day. Our yesterday’s lesson – the planet is dying- is today’s reality! We don’t have any more time!

The well cannot get any drier.

The reality cannot strike any harder.

But alas, we aren’t growing any wiser!

Jai Mata Di

In India, we are very lucky because we have multiple Maa’s – Dharti maa, Bharat Maa, Ganga Maa, Our own Maa, Dai Maa, and for some even Radhe Maa.

And when I write Jai Mata Di, I am definitely not talking about the funny woman, over-decked as a Christmas Tree (or our very own version of Santa Clause?), who carries a Trishul in the flight! I mean I laughed so hard when I read this news; it made the colour of my blood as red as Radhe Maa could get! Alright, alright. I know it’s a forced metaphor, but come on, I had to use it! You know me.

On the other hand, the entire nation is disturbed by one regional leader’s reservation against saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’! And it couldn’t have been timed better (or worse) when the entire country is struggling to define nationalism, or rather anti-nationalism. Everyone is acting like a self-appointed inspector to scrutinize, review and sentence anyone and everyone as an anti-nationalist!

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Cartoon courtesy – @MANJULtoons

And our very own Shiv Sena is like that audio cassette that has stopped working and plays only one thing on loop – Go to Pakistan. “You eat beef?” – Go to Pakistan. “Muslims want special treatment?” – Go to Pakistan. “Amir Khan even opens his mouth” – Go to Pakistan. Well well guys, enjoy the free vacation! Shiv Sena is like those teachers from school, who are so inefficient that only thing they can tell the students who won’t listen to them is – Go to Principal’s office. Sigh. We know how lame this bunch is!

I think the true question here is- can the politicians approach us without any hocus pocus? Sometimes I feel that we get trapped in the words so much so that we forget what the real issue at hand is, and start fighting for something that is completely bizarre, and at times unnecessary. And it is even worse when our politicians capitalize on this trait of ours! I mean can’t you all educated, wise, and astute people of this nation see the mockery of it all?

Just because someone says ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ doesn’t mean he will always work in the interest of the nation. And vice versa. I can very well be a gangster and say jai Hind at every opportunity I can! There are ample nationalist and anti-nationalist who are a part of riots, moral policing, scams and et al. Slogans cannot be an ultimate sign of patriotism! Hence, not saying one, or teaching them in schools, both, according to me, hold no meaning – unless one can induce patriotic feelings in children.

And something that it definitely is not is religious. How is saying “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” Anti-Muslim, or Pro-Hindu? There was one post doing the rounds on social media, which beautifully displays how ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is only about the country, and has nothing do with your religion- Bharat Ammi Ki Jai. Amin.

PS- Can Mulayam Singh Yadav please gift “Samajwadi Sugandh” to all anti-nationals, to spread their essence of “samajwad”.

 

WeMen

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Happy Women’s Day, Ladies!
That was last week, I hear you say!
Ain’t it our day any other day anyway? I can hear some laughter. Oh those are from the men, women giggle! Some of you are agreeing. Some don’t mind it, since you are anyway availing to a weeklong women’s day offer almost anywhere you go! While others so busy calling themselves WeMen that they forgot to celebrate their womanhood! Wohoo to you, feminists!
Which of the above are you? Or are you like me, who wonders how can people not see the hidden mock that women’s day is all about? All round the year we cry about feminism, want to be equal with men, but don’t see how off the track women’s day is!
Anyway, there are various ways in which people celebrate women’s day! Apart from the fact that it is a very corporate way of approaching something to hide your views about the same (that you practice all round the year), it also formulates a great marketing strategy. Amidst various rallies, get-togethers, kitty parties, award functions, felicitations, and discussion, I was a part of a women’s day program held at NEC, Nashik.
The program constituted of various panel discussions around the plentiful hassles and numerous aspects in the life of a “working” woman.  It is just sad when even today we have to classify a woman as per her daily schedule, and there is not even an ounce of acceptance of the fact that they are at par with anyone or anything, and that this discussion needs to rest for a bit!
The topic of one of the three panel discussions was Work-Life Balance of a working woman, or a working “mother” so to say. As if a working man is not a working “father” at all! There was a lot of discussion, ideas, and life-hacks, et al. on how all of them on the stage and a few people from the audience tackled this society-induced problem! Few of them insisted on prioritizing, a few spoke about marrying a “supportive” husband (ha!); some were of the opinion that “one cannot have it all.”-which, by the way, is saddest and the most oh-I-am-so-victimized kind of a response that I know of!
Amidst all this mumbo-jumbo, I couldn’t help but think how all these women couldn’t notice what the real issue was and who the hidden culprit was:
It is WE WOMEN as mothers, or as grandmothers, who have raised our sons to succeed in life, and our daughters to multi-task housework while succeeding in life!
Isn’t it?
If we have taught our son to differentiate between “worldly” responsibilities, and “household” responsibilities, how can we expect the husband of our daughter to have an open mind about it? A few recent advertisements on TV have really tacked this issue well, and I cannot emphasis more! It is only when we change our teachings, our upbringing, our lifestyle, can we imagine living in a place where there is no different concept of a “working-woman” and a “house-husband”! I hope to see that day. Amen.
P.S. – Happy Left-handers Day today! Point-less? So is Women’s day!

50 Shades of Brown

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Have you ever wondered how would it be to be that girl from the fairness commercial ads, who doesn’t get her desired job, just because she isn’t fair? Have you ever thought about rejecting a prospective “bahu”, just because she isn’t fair, and that it isn’t fair enough a  reason to allow the entire family lineage to be dark?! Have you ever given up on a sport you loved, or going out in the sun, just so that you could maintain the colour of skin to that exact shade of brown, and at least not make it a darker shade, if any way you cannot really make it lighter?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes”, wow! Pat your own backs – a little harder this time! Actually, really harder!
Just when we had started talking about how prejudiced these fairness creams ads were- which, by the way, gave me some hope- bam! We come out with fairness creams for men as well! Oh, forget desirable men being tall, dark and handsome, now the symptoms of ailment has become a disease! No, I am not talking about “kaala rang” as a disease, but the non-acceptance of it!
I was in my bubble when I thought that maybe we women obsess over it more, and colourism is not really prevalent – especially when it comes to decisions like job offers, etc! But then my bubble burst. When was the last time you saw a dark-skinned air hostess in an Indian airline?
From the time of RigVeda, people have desired fair skin! There are umpteen recipes for long hair, whitening teeth, and most importantly, fair skin! So, I assume that this fair skin syndrome has been taking the rounds for as long as we can fathom! And now we may or may not read these shlokas otherwise, we sure do use them in our advertising of fairness products! Yeah, right!
Kaala rang is actually the kala kalank on our mentality, and you know what’s worse? We aren’t ashamed of flashing it, or even think there is anything wrong with it! I don’t know when did dark-skin become synonymous with ugly? I mean one can be dark and drop-dead gorgeous at the same time! And no matter how many examples I give here, I don’t think “fair skin” in the matrimonial ads is on its way out!
We are never satisfied with what we have. All around the globe, girls with wavy hair are going ahead and straightening them, and straight haired girls love those curls that they got for that special wedding! Companies will continue selling their tanning creams in the west, while cashing in on the fair skin complex in the east.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if girls of an impressionable age are taught to look at their abusers in the eye and go- ‘Yes I am kaali, but you have a regressive mind-set and ain’t no one got a cream for that.’?
Verdict: “Fair and lovely” is really an unfair and ugly truth.
P.S.  – In the meanwhile, if you girls don’t wish to get married soon, all you have to do is go out in the sun! Hurray – summer is here! #ProTip