Fest, Feast and all the Fuss

meme12I, for one, love the second half of the year. It is so full of festivals, celebration, and of course holidays!

A few days back we celebrated Rakhshabandan- such a beautiful festival with such a terrifying name, I used to think as a little girl. All this week, I have been busy in looking for feminists, wondering how they missed the chauvinism in this one! What do they mean my brothers taking care of their sisters? Do they think, we can’t take care of ourselves?! What the….oh, but gift! I think I will pass my feminism card this one time! After all, everyone needs some pampering some time or the other, you know! Touché.

No, but seriously, festivals are so much fun! There is such good food, get-togethers, dance, music, sweets, delicacies, celebration, holidays, parties, and the whole pomp. Oh, did I mention food? (I know now why my weight never shifts in the direction I wish it did!)

And before long, I realize, they are oh so noisy!

Last week we celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna. One minute silence to all the teenagers who thought that celebrating birthday at midnight is so today’s thing! Uh huh, you have no idea about the #swag that Krishna is all about- and that hashtag was important!

Cowboy, lover, fighter, philosopher, politician, practical humorist and great friend – which other God can match Krishna? Some bits of Krishna’s life are so relatable, but then again, he is the one responsible for Bhagvad Geeta – and how does one believe in a book that is a by-product of a story, in which there isn’t even one natural birth, to begin with!

Anyway, I love the other by-product of the same – Dahi Handi! Oh my God, so much fun! I mean who said people standing on people, amidst a large crowd, with loud music, and splashing water, just to break an earthern pot with not even enough “makhan” for all in it, is not fun! Of course it is, if you rule out traffic, noise, and safety and Supreme Court orders.

Yeah I mean, when the orders are not in our stride, who the hell is Supreme Court to stop us from celebrating the way we always do! It’s not like law is applicable to all – it is as per our convenience. With the way things are these days, one doesn’t know if it’s the lord’s devotion at play, or commotion create by politicians!

There is actual celebration, and then there is virtual celebration. And lo, with my phone beeping all day, it felt like it was my birthday, and suddenly I am dreading the many festivals aka “good” wishes slated ahead in the year! There were more photos of Lord Krishna on my WhatsApp than Mathura-Vrindavan put together!

Anyway, I think Janmastami is well-placed – a perfect warm-up for the upcoming Ganeshotsav, or as we like to call it – a systematic display of who gets a better DJ – singing songs with lyrics rebelling religions – till they irritate the hell out of us!

Phew! Brace Yourself!

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

Oxy-Morons

What I am going to write about now is a actually a paradoxical situation, but I never leave an opportunity to use a bad pun! 😉

Morons – that’s what they actually are.

With ‘they’, I mean people in authority, people who think they have a right to decide who gets what resources, and impact the lives of millions, and people who actually do, but are not responsible enough!

With the work I have chosen to do all my life, I have to visit these tiny villages, sometimes located in the most mesmerising locations! This little world of people has a world of it’s own problems. Here they are struggling to live. To live at least till the next moment, next day. When you visit them, you realise the whole futility of trying to find life somewhere else when we can’t even respect most of them here. Now. At this moment. Alive.

Last week I set out to go to a tiny place, near Kasara.

At the first glance, it was a breath-taking view! Wow. What more could one ask for! I mean people pay crazy amounts to go live in a place like this – be it only for 5 days! I was standing at one of hills surrounding Upper Vaitarna dam, and this village was right in front of me on another hill. What beauty!

But there was no road to get there. So we climbed down the hill we were standing on, and climbed up the adjacent one! No connect, no roads is the just the beginning of their miseries. It did not hit me so hard till we actually reached the village, and oh my, what I saw was what I used to think was just a sure-shot formula for a successful movie! People had no water to drink. TO DRINK. Forget spa, jacuzzi, have a bath, or even cook! Let us not even speak about water therapies! They did not have water to drink, when they were surrounded by a dam, that gives water about 200kms away! I cannot emphasize on this more!

Government is trolling them. In their face!

Can you see the little rocky trench? Can you see a little wet portion above the 3 buckets in the trench? So what actually is happening is, there a few drops of water coming out of those rocks – and this is “paani aaya” situation for them! This is how they fill water. Drop-by-drop. And can you see the queue of vessels? By the time even one fills up, we would have wasted 10 of those – just putting things in perspective!

We have heard this a lot. I mean I won’t say I haven’t seen millions of pictures (award-wining) or videos where people are struggling to fill their bucket. It doesn’t hit you so hard, till you don’t see it. For yourself. It was the saddest, the most helpless moment of my life for me. Very clichéd,  but this was like a “swades-moment” of my life.

I know for a reader like you, this will yet again be another story, heard from someone else-you will empathise with it, may be even agitate a little, but it will not make you think twice before the hot water shower bath! Still, on my end it is attempt to show the reality. And our so-very-efficient government!

You know what was worse? I came home and told about this to a few people, and the reaction I get is – “yeh toh kuch bhi nahi hai, waha toh aisa hai, yahaan toh waisa hai, aur woh toh sabse bura hai!”

Seriously?! Signing off before I can’t stop myself from adding another bad pun!

Anti-(alcohol)-climax

Saturday Night! Wohooo!
We all know what it is, right? We sort-of struggle through an entire grilling week with this meek ray of hope. It absolutely is that time of the weekend, where we make grounds for a terrible Sunday headache. Those few hours are just so magical, they are such a bliss, that we voluntarily invite the hassle of next day, in a life that is a hassle anyway.

But I really do not understand the entire hoo-ha around it!
I mean we all have that one friend who is against alcohol and suddenly starts drinking – the ceremonious welcome they get and all the cheer from others who live in a beer drum is priceless, just like a proud father watching is son all grown up! Suddenly, this friend becomes “cool” enough to “party” with, as well now!

I don’t get any combative reactions when I tell people that I do not have coffee, while sitting in a coffee-shop. Or that I do not like the taste of raw onions, while at a chaat-stall. But try telling the same people I do not have alcohol! Woah! The expression on their faces change and every single of their muscles is yelling, “WHAAAAAAT?”

And generally it follows with an hour full of trying to understand why do I have such “offensive” behavior. Yes, offensive. They see it as offence on my otherwise modern attitude, an offence of their preset judgement of me, an offence on their idea of our beer-date, an offence on my liberal and urban upbringing, an offence on me attending SulaFest, or even coming from the Wine capital of India! Some of them even start doubting their choice of friends, since a non-alcoholic, a teetotaler is on the list! This ends with them taking the responsibility on themselves of showing me the world on the other side! (PS – None of them have been successful, just FYI!)

There are a lot of judgements, a lot of labels attached to the drink that you are holding. Not that it matters to me. But writing this post in the hope that it stops mattering to everyone as well, and the jauntiness around alcohol mellows down. It signifies absolutely nothing else, but that you don’t like drinking, and I hope the subject becomes as irrelevant as a person confessing that he doesn’t like lauki-ki-sabzi.

PS- Let a few of us be. After all, we take you back home in the night! 😉