DON’T WE DESERVE GOOD LEADERS?

In 2015, I came across a very stupid statement by a person from political fraternity.  He said, “Chinese food, jeans and mobile phones are the reasons behind increasing sexual violence/ rapes in India“. That had me in splits 🤣. On another occasion a head of regional political party said “boys will be boys“, following the increasing rate of sexual crimes. That was cringeworthy and repulsive but not “just it”.  Unfortunately a never ending string of such hateful, controversial, insensitive and senseless comments blaming the victims rather than the culprits are a part and parcel of the politician resumes in India. And our politicians make good comedians too 😁. Let me quote few more politicians (funny statements) before I put across my agenda to pen this article:

“Rings could be banned as if it goes missing, it might cause unnecessary problems. Flowers, I am sure, would not be banned. Anklets should be banned, they can affect boys’ studies and concentration, the clinking sound of anklets distracts boys.” “Civil and not mechanical engineers should apply for civil services.” 

“Darwin’s theory of evolution is scientifically wrong… nobody including our ancestors have said in written or oral that they saw an ape turning into a man.”

“You will get jaundice if you attend rallies of other parties.” 

(Source: different news papers)

They are just very few drops from the murky waters (better read gutters as in that of drainage systems) of ignorance and stupidity our politicians are diving and swimming in.  From outraging the modesty of a woman with their below the belt comments to making a complete fool of themselves with their idiotic statements our politicians have done everything.

So coming to my purpose of writing this article – vent out my frustration, can’t state out more elaborately than this. We are a country of population of over 130 billion who believe in the constitution of our country that confers it the power of democracy.  It awarded us the right to choose among the candidates to be our representatives on national and international podiums and these are the people we chose?

It would be very interesting to know that in India if you are planning to apply for the least possible office job in any government department the candidate must have minimum set of educational qualifications, aptitude, age bar is set after which you are not eligible to apply and a plethora of different examinations to filter the right person for the right job. It’s for the  entry level I am talking about. I myself have given examinations (that I flunked to say the least 🤣). But the handful people we chose to be our leaders – have we ever checked their credentials to be in that position we put them in?

Comically, ironically and sadly for a person to be a politician in India there are no set of qualifications that they must possess.  We have school dropouts as our leaders, the list is so long that I am unable to mention it in this small article 😛 . Few of them never even went to school to begin with. What a shame! On contrary the ability to mobilise the mob mentality, criminal background, nepotism, talking big (only talking mind you 😁), pulling wool out of innocent voters in the name of decade(s) old issues of poverty & unemployment – these are the qualifications that makes out a great recipe for a great politician in India. Livid ? But that’s the truth.

Over 70 years many regulations imposed and passed as laws but one law (or set of laws) that I would recommend or say love to see being reinforced : Transparency as to what is your qualification to lead us:

  • Graduation is the minimum educational requirement for anyone willing to contest elections
  • Minimum age bar be 25 and retirement at the age of 65. We need young blood and ideas to come in and contribute. Interesting fact: Finland has the youngest prime minister –  Sanna Marin, 34 years old where as…. just fill in the blanks 😁
  • No criminal record. No person holding even single criminal case against him/ her should be allowed to enter the assembly. They should have the same parameters of judging just as any other person vying for a government job is judged upon.
  • VIP culture should be done away with – I know I am wishing too much 😁.
  • Surnames shouldn’t be the passport for wishful portfolios without any proven track record of work. Kingdoms and dynasties are gone but trails are still lingering on. Political clout is just another business for decades now. Proven track record of work at grass root levels should be made mandatory.  It would only infuse confidence of people  about their leadership and future.
  • Do away with undue subsidies and freebies. Every hike in salary politicians demand for they should be made accountable for it’s out of the taxes we pay they are getting paid.

Though these points seem superficial for a country like India but completely need of the hour. Our politicians (majority) are smart (read scrupulous) enough to divide us and make us concentrate on issues other than development or even instigate hate.  And in this process they are steering clear of any accountability.  And when questioned they either play blame game or have another controversy ready to heat up the TRP markets.  Also given that India is being looked upon by the world don’t we deserve good leaders who work with clear conscience and talk some sense. What say?

LOOKING BACK WITH A CONTENT HEART

  • Did I manage to check every item on my bucket list in the current year ? NO.
  • Will I able to do it in the coming days before I bid adieu to this year? No

Then what is the content about? I am alive and kicking, isn’t it something to be happy about? I am healthy and managed to survive this year without any major health issues, isn’t this something to be happy about in the times where every puff of air we breathe is capable of putting us in direct line of fire of dreadful diseases? My family, my near and dear ones are with me when relationships are volatile and vulnerable, isn’t this something I should be happy about? I have a roof over my head and heart free of fear, is there any happiness greater than this?

No, this is no spiritual discourse but the hard truth of life that I am trying to absorb as much as I can.

Coming to what I have done and what I got in 2019, few are tangible successes whereas few others are intangible emotions. How about a sneak peek, come with me 😊:

  • Beginning was superb: January 2019 gave me the requisite impetus to march towards my long pending goal of learning how to drive. I cleared my driving theory test (on second attempt though 🙈).  That really charged me well to take on the next challenge of setting my hands on the steering for the first time in 34 years of my life. That was something!!! (Now I am eligible for provisional driving licence, a step closer to claim my independence 😁).
  • Many first times: I mentioned it many times in my articles that my son is a non verbal autistic child. Every word he says is an ecstasy for us for obvious reasons. Every addition in his vocabulary is a mirror to his development and evolution. And when he said “Amma” (mother), “Nanna” (father) for the first time in eight years of his birth it was an altogether a different whirlpool of emotions for me. For any child Ma, Pa are the first words/ sounds but my ears yearned all these years for that call.  It’s not that those words give approval to the bond we share with our son but definitely they satisfy our  senses. It was during our flight to India. He was seated with his father separately. He was really worried as to where his mother and sister has gone and was constantly nagging the crew asking about me by only mentioning  “Amma, Amma”.  When the crew asked me I was clueless if it’s my son or not.  And when my doubts dispelled I was happy beyond my words could express.  Tears that I hid from co passengers can only explain what I can’t do it here.
  • Amazing surprise: When our stay in India was drawing to a close I got a sweet surprise.  My brother in law broke the news that they will be soon our neighbours (Brussels and Amsterdam  are just 2 and half hours away) as they used to be four years back.  That’s pure happiness.  Nothing beats the fun and happiness of having family around especially when you are in far away lands.  They have been with us in our thick and thins and my co-sister is an amazing fun loving person to be around.  Looking forward for 2020 winter shopping gal! (She would know if she is reading this 😁)
  • Very important lesson learnt: Throughout my life I heard people saying “Actions catch you sooner or later” (can’t use the phrase millennials use 😁) but this year gave me first hand experience of that. In my growing up years I was upset (an understatement) with my father that he signed up as a guarantor for someone and we faced extreme crunch situations at home because of his action.  I always taunted him for that. Also always asked my brother, my husband, my close ones to be extremely cautious and not to be a guarantor for anyone. But action caught me as I signed a subscription contract of telecom services of another brand other than what we are using now unmindfully (for the first and last time) only to realise few days later that my previous service provider severed my connection and I am left with no contact number. This is after I called the correspondent the next day and declined the offer. But who cares when sign is there 😔. I got the taste of my own medicine. That reminded me of my folly then. I was harsh instead of understanding his position. Few moments are beyond your intelligence, pragmatism, logic and reasoning, simple. Perhaps I learnt two lessons: what goes around comes back and your signature might not be an autograph but definitely can buy you dire consequences if used without giving a thought. Fortunately no serious damage done this time.
  • I grew: Understanding people, keeping few close ones, confiding heart to them, drawing inspirations from every possible person, accepting mistakes, making new ones and learning from them, able to motivate myself, picking up from shattered pieces and commencing a new stride again and most importantly being happy – this is what I learnt during this year. And my journey is still on for the nest year too. Schedule for the journey will be released next year 😁😉.

To be honest I don’t have much to write about but I started believing that life is better lived every moment than to strive hard to create moments. And I lived 2019 with content for I have life.

ARE YOU A GOOD NEIGHBOUR?

When we talk about the delicate issue of RELATIONSHIPS our discussions hover around bonds between spouses, friends, lovers, parents, in-laws too. But the most immediate relationship is often given a miss or rarely finds a mention in that list – Neighbours.

I think I don’t have to reiterate the importance of neighbours when there’s a commandment  in the Bible itself- Love Thy Neighbour!

Who are Neighbours? Rather who are good neighbours? Or what are default neighbour settings? Door bell rings, ding dong- “Hello can I borrow one cup of sugar? Do you have a glass of milk? We have guests at our home can we send them over? What is your son doing? When is your daughter getting married? Hope we haven’t disturbed you. Hope you were not busy.  How dare you let the speck of dust from your home flew to our gate?”  Yeah this is how a standard neighbour behaves 😁. Yeah I grew up among such amazing neighbourhood where people’s interest always lied in other’s business. In fact during my 10 years stay in Belgium I missed such intervening neighbours (😉 pun intended). And whenever I visit my brother in India the same void is fulfilled by his neighbours who always make sure that they never miss an update from what is happening within the four walls of his home 😁. I love that, I enjoy that.

Well, this was a dose of humour. But relationship with neighbours has a serious tone to it.  My father used to say “Neighbours are very important in our lives. Our friends, our relatives all stay away from us. It takes time for any information  to reach them and eventually for them to reach us. When problems, traumas, disasters strike us it’s our neighbour that attends us first”. This made a mark on my mind permanently. We often talk about Society but that’s our neighbhours and a cluster of neighbourhoods that comprise  our society, isn’t it? So cordial relationships are so important for a robust society.

On innumerable occasions I have seen my father reaching out to help neighbours without holding grudges (also fortunate enough to have had neighbours who stood by us in our thick and thins). Having seen him take a stand for others I understood that relationship between neighbours is as delicate as any other relationship that we cherish and vouch for.

How to be a good neighbour?

  • Don’t try to peep in their lives through the creeks in the walls: We all have encountered such neighbours I am sure.  But too much intervention in personal spaces serves only irritation and agitation. We live in times where people need space from parents and spouses then neighbours should behave accordingly 😁. Please don’t worry too much about the gold your neighbour buys or their kids’ education or marriage. They can take care of that.
  • Don’t hold grudges: Ususally people hold grudges for trivial issues like ” they didn’t invite us to their son’s first birthday party, we were not informed about the promotion Mr.XYZ got” and this comic list goes on.  This is human nature. But you will be called human only when you act human. When something goes wrong with your neighbour, when the need for help arises in your proximity you should act instead of taunting.  You might not be able to offer financial assistance often but then your presence also counts amidst the crises situation.  Think about it!
  • Use your tongue wisely:  Tongue is a powerful weapon. It can heal, it can hurt. We all know how and what I mean so won’t go into an explanation mode. Spreading rumours, gossiping, using foul language, talking nonsense and inflicting pain and fear are signs of the rotten mentality. Stay clear of this in both directions – neither be a spectator/ recipient nor a participant.  Use your words to soothe a person’s grief, to boost confidence, to support.  Be a good person, period! And remember Karma always catches up.

A warm greeting, a gentle smile, a sound advice (only when asked 😁), a steady hand stretched out to help – And here you are  –  A good neighbour.  Be it, Be the change you want to see and people will not only love you but might possibly follow your footsteps.

And not to miss cordial relationships with neighbours is important at all levels be it buildings or countries – just saying 😁😉.

ERUPT – II

As the constable approached and was almost at a one hand distance she sprayed the colour in her hand which she was shaking vehemently as if she was ready dampening the clothes of the constable and leaving him baffled, fuming vigorously, determined on catching this miscreant.

She dodged him as if she had a spring in her stride.  She was setting the mood of her night and clearly didn’t care for the consequences today.  She wasn’t sure though  of how long she would be able to remain abreast in this chase as the constable already made his way towards the jeep signalling with his whistle.

Every fraction of second she turned her head and checked the status of the chase as to where is the constable. She saw him getting into the jeep and directing it towards her and suddenly she was taken aback by the screeching wheels. “Come on get into it” a voice urged.

Teens-and-Driving-at-Night
(Image Credit – Google Inc.)

She didn’t care to see who it was and jumped into the car straightway, “Go Go Go!” she exclaimed in excitement as she hurried up the driver as her eyes were still fixed on the constable and party who were now in a mouse and cat race with this lady and the new entrant into the scene.

As the car accelerated and the lateral distance between the two machines increased the driver started the conversation “are you out of your mind or too high to have lost senses? What are you up to?”

She finally turned her head and got a glimpse of who was at the steering. It was the same boy who jeered at her and called her “aunty“.

 “Oh! You didn’t leave? Wanna be a part of my adventure or what?” She asked him with a pinch of taunt instead of thanking him. He didn’t answer her question and focused on the road.

Do I look high?” She fixed her gaze on him as she pulled him closer to her by his collar and exhaled sharply. Their gazes were locked instantly and for a moment he lost concentration from the track and was about to hit a barricade.

And they were back, a bit jolted.  By this time they left the police jeep far behind as they already jumped red lights and successfully fooled the chasing party.

“Tell me mysterious lady what are you up to?” He asked again, ” what’s your name?”

Lady: “From auntie to mysterious lady! Gear shift, I see. And my name is of no importance if you want to know ME“.

Boy: “So who are YOU?”

Lady: “I will let you know only if you can tell me how shall I pass out tonight, get really high that I can feel it or shall I say feel nothing. Will you help me?”

As she was saying this she pushed off all her inhibitions, fears to the backseat. There was pain in her voice which she tried to hide in her peals of obnoxious laughter.  She was with a stranger but she cared less neither for her reputation nor for her life for she was only alive.

Lady: “Will you?”

And the car was stopped in a dark lane and the boy stared at the smokey eyes which seemed alluring in the dim lighting of his car…

CAN WOMAN BE THE VICTIM ALWAYS?

“Me Too” movement has been  a phenomena off late that saw many skeletons tumbling out of the glossy doors that contained for long rotten corpses.  This movement that transcended to different countries, communities raised a strong voice and gave strength for many women to join the force against the sexual harassment in work place.

For more details we have wikipedia pages anyways 😊.

This movement has given a hope to many suppressed voices.  Women finally started voicing their horror experiences.  And the culprits – Men (not a generalisation) are being shown the doors.  That is something to be cheered up ans celebrated, isn’t it.

This movement is a minuscule part of a revolution called Feminism. Age long patriarchal dominance, suppression and submission is finally seeking freedom.  “We are no less than you, we are at par with you, we have been doing our duties now it’s about our rights.  We will no longer take it lying down” sums up it all. Fair enough! Much needed indeed.

But the problem is misuse of the concept or let’s say  the “Woman / Victim card” just to settle few scores, gain some popularity or simply sympathy.  Don’t get shocked, it is prevailing.

Let me give you two examples (out of many):

  • Rohtak sisters of Harayana were hailed by one and all as they beat an “eve teaser” who was harassing them in a bus.  A bravo act! And they repeated the act in another incident but now discrepancies started to appear in their script.  And recently the accused whom the sisters beat was acquitted by the court of law in  light of various testimonies given by the co-passengers and ironically they were girls too.  They just used Victim Card to get some attention and fame. Proved! But very late though. Boy was shamed everywhere to the point he lost everything.
  • Delhi’s Saravjit Singh Bedi Vs Jasleen Kaur case.  It was an altercation at the traffic signal. She (Jasleen Kaur) clicked his photo and circulated via her social account and accused him for eve teasing her and since then he was branded as “Delhi la Darinda” (Delhi’s Scoundrel). He was heavily accused, hated and penalised. Lost his job, his image was tainted, his family lost face and lot more. And amidst all this she easily escaped to a foreign land even evading the court hearing dates to prove his misdeed.  Strange, isn’t it?
  • Mohammad Shami, the cricketer was embroiled in a false domestic violence case because he is a Man!

False rape cases, dowry cases, domestic violence cases are on rise. When things don’t work their way few women unfortunately using their “weaker sex/ victim” card because they got the pulse of our somewhat flawed laws meant for their own betterment and our undesicive society who never battles an eyelid in shaming the victim irrespective of the gender and believes in hogwash rather than truth underneath.

What are the repercussions?  Using flaws in laws and popular movements for personal agendas by handful of scrupulous souls is definitely not serving any purpose (not taking the personal ones into account). This is in fact widening the already existing gap between the genders.  This is some how resulting in distrust that one gender has on another. If a woman finds it difficult to trust her male counterpart, a man too fears a possible exploitation at the hands of law meant for woman’s protection  which could be easily misused for settling few agendas straight. On the flip side the huge volume of false cases is making sure that those who actually need help from the judiciary are being denied or delayed justice.  And this is actually impeding many from taking action to demand justice.  So if being a woman, a woman wants to misuse the law for her benefit she is actually denying someone else the justice simply by slowing down the process.  Period!

Media’s Role in creating sensation / shaming: unfortunately the media is to an extent responsible for sensationalising issues without any analysis. In their stride to top the TRP charts they want news chops that can garner interest. Source never matters so does the truth.  They want to cash the trend. When the country is raged at the gruesome rape cases of Nirbhaya, Kathua news channels use clippings of Rohtak Sisters to sound relevant in their coverage. And that results in sensationalisation because we want our girls to retaliate the wrong and we shame the boy because we are in mindset “he must have definitely done something wrong to be at the receiving end”. And when the truth comes to the surface channels already have something else to showcase (elections 🤣), so no one cared about it whereas the boy is still suffering the impact of social ostracism. This is too dangerous, mark that.

Fight against heinous crimes committed against women is not a fight against Men. This has to be emphasised.  When Jessica Lal was murdered by a Man there were hundreds of same gender who were out on streets to fight for her. When Nirbhaya happened the police “men” sweated it out to nab the culprits.  My Father supported me in my decisions throughout so did my Husband and I forgot to mention Chiradeep, my mentor who always guided me.  They are all Men. Right and Wrong; Good and Bad; Righteousness and Sin are free of gender bias. A woman can be wrong too – please take a note all the pseudo feminist out there who are doing more harm to women and humanity as a whole than good. “Feminism” as understood by few is not a fight against Males.

As a woman I feel that the strong wave of important movements like “Me Too” or “Feminism” shouldn’t be curtailed or restricted to ulterior motives of handful for they are meant for superior objectives of upliftment and serving justice.

TOO MUCH DWELLING ON PAST, HOW HELPFUL IS IT?

Time – an omnipresent factor that runs our entire life.  Birth is recorded so is death in measuring units called hours, minutes and seconds which is basically Time. Past, present and future all have yardstick of years, months and days, it’s nothing but Time. We have bad times and good times, registered as moments and memories but Time nonetheless.  Time never stops and ceases. If every matter is made up of cells then every matter is run by Time. Anyone from 1980’s era in India and who have seen Mahabharat on national television would understand and relate to “Main Samay Hoon” (I am The Time) pretty much summarising what I said 😁.

There’s a saying “Time once spent can’t be earned back unlike money” and it’s a fact to the core.  We all have moments in our lives, where we dwell on our past and constantly wish how different the course of events could have been. A different action, a different desicion, a timely intervention, sometimes a delay perhaps could have chalked out an entire different picture to be enjoyed or cherished now.

Certain incidents/ desicions I regret the most in my life : I could have chosen computer science over commerce and that would have helped me fetch a job here in this foreign land, something I dearly yearn for. I could have done a certified professional course that could have added some volume to my dull CV. I could have had a bit prolonged career before I my wedding.

More or less I have more regrets concerning my professional decisions for I am unemployed for a decade now, something I have mentioned time and again in my write ups. Pondering over and over on those moments over a period of time now (see Time, I told you 😁) haven’t brought me any solace but some sense to say the least. Wondering how?

When I am lost in my search for answers in my past, my idleness in present questions me “you can’t anyways undo your past, what is your stand in present to make you stand in future? Why you are unearthing melancholy when your smiles and peace lie in discovery and exploration. When you have ideas, share them. When you have plans put them into action and see the drama unfold.”

Sounds too preachy right? But this is a reality I am living in. My tussle with time is on a different level. Every morning while busy in chores I think about my past, when done with morning routines my urge to relax myself overpowers my will to write blogs (in this context I thank Candles Online to give me impetus strong enough to write at least once a week 😁), paint or at least finish cleaning up of house (😁, don’t jump to the conclusion that we live in shabby and unhygienic conditions, it’s just that it is not presentable round the clock) to an extent that I end up procrastinating things on more than one occasion and by the evening I participate in a race against time to finish off pending chores before hitting the bed and on bed I toss planning to start a fresh day with renewed determination to make my own identity and announce it to the world and my family and again I loiter in the past (recent one though 🤣🤣) thinking I shouldn’t have wasted My Precious Time for once it’s gone it’s gone forever.  It’s a cycle you see!

And it’s much vicious than that of poverty and complicated than that of a life cycle. Once you are a “procrastinator” then you certainly need a greater push to get out of that habit. Not yearly resolutions but we need a daily resolution to keep our “regret” mode at bay. And trust me my run is so on! 😁.

My Personal Realization: How I acted in past have strong reasons underlining them and thus they were apt then. My constant rant now can only earn me some sympathy sometimes but not useful anyways 😊.  And I am not taking any or requisite amount of steps as an amendment, does it make sense?

So how often do you Procrastinate and regret? If you are like me, then join the club not to boast but to fight our bad habit and put our Time to a better use other than for dwelling and digging past for if its bitter it won’t be better now either.

**** Thumb Rule for Procrastination:  You lose your right to complain if you don’t act on time or dont act at all.*****

Remember this and march forward for past is so over, let it rest in peace 😁.

 

PRECIOUS PRINCESS YOU ARE ❤❤

Talking about my four years old angel, my daughter Nandini.  2015, June, she came into our lives and since then it’s been a fantastic journey with her.

Four years of age but she is independent, smart and confident. Being a mother I shouldn’t praise too much about my own child because Nazar Lag Jaati Hai (cause jinx). Its too much fun with her around.  Few shades and incidents of her I would love to  share :

She is an independent girl in the making: Me “Nandini let me hold your hand while we are walking to school“. Nandu (we fondly call her):  No thanks. And that’s a subtle way of saying Mom mind your own business 😁. She chooses what she would wear everyday (of course I enforce a lot 😉 to convey who’s the boss 😎), from brushing her teeth to wearing her jacket she learnt it quick.  I remember this particular incident where she somehow missed my line of sight in an indoor play area. I was attending my son and on realization that Nandu is no where to be seen we searched hysterically every corner of the play area.  And then the idea struck me “search the toilets” and I was lucky on that day to have my husband besides me as we had to search in gents toilet too and Madam was found there as she couldn’t make out what’s the difference and it was urgent 😁 and she is independent enough to know where the toilets are. That day I told her clearly “giving information before action is important ” 😁.

Never fails to surprise (sometimes shock too 🤪): One day she took scissors upstairs.  I let her because I was confident because those were craft scissors and she knows very well how to use them. Few minutes later she called me showing scissors in one hand and held hair in the other and said “Mom shall I cut my hair?” I immediately ran upstairs to stop her while yelling “No!!!!” and I thought I saved the day only to find that she already did the act with a bunch on one side and hair was lying on the floor 😱.  Luckily that wasn’t a lot so that we didn’t have to rush to a hair dresser.

She teaches me ethics:  She follows what’s been taught. Sorry, Welcome, Excuse Me, No Thanks, Thank You, It’s Ok and all the basic etiquettes she is trying to implement them as a good student, thus trending the right path. And this is not the news. But what amuses me is that she reminds me of those etiquettes when I miss the mark. It was yesterday only when we were doing an activity together. She passed me the mosaic sticker that was supposed to be pasted on a cardboard.  I took it and was busy pasting it and she interrupted “Mom you should say Thank you ” and I was left chuckling “my little princess!!!”

And smartness yeah!! She uses the card “Sharing is Caring” to her advantage very well.  When she is done with her portion of ice cream or chocolate she would run to me or her brother with her mouth open and saying “Sharing is Caring ” while vice versa with her favourite stuff rarely works 😁.

These are few drops from the ocean of awesome moments I had with her.  And did I mention she is interested in every activity under the sun. She wants to paint, dance, play football, swimming, act and what not. In short she is Mini Me – interested in everything. She mimics, poses for pictures, dances with crazy steps leaving me surprised and happy or surprisingly happy. And the best thing with her around is that she says “Mom you are my best friend” and I am floored. She is indeed my princess and a friend to cherish for life, my support who understands me.

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“Fairy” by Nandu😁

20191112_112819.jpgFingers dabbled on canvas