Thursday, December 27, 2012

Where is my country going?

I know I don't generally tend to comment on the political or socio-economic happenings from India for the simple reason that I feel I may not be fully qualified to just talk about it when I don't do anything to change the scene. But recently, there has been an issue that I've personally been quite affected by. And that is the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old woman by four monsters in a moving bus in Delhi.

Delhi has always scared me by the way it treats the women. One cannot go out after eight in the evening and hope to return home with nary a scratch. There have been so many cases of sexual harassment and abuse in Delhi that sometimes I wonder whatever do the men folk of that city do other than tormenting the women.

Now this lady in question was so brutally raped that her intestines had to be almost completely removed. And her condition has gotten so critical that she's been flown to Singapore for further treatment. And in the midst of it all, the nation boils over, demanding for the strictest punishments ranging from bobbitization to death penalty. But is that really enough?

Even now, when I step out of the house in jeans, I feel certain eyes on me as I walk through the roads... eyes that strain to look through the T shirt. Eyes that try their hardest to devest me of clothing and the only thing stopping the hands that belong to those eyes is probably a thin strand of sanity and the constraints of a crowded street. But sometimes, even that does nothing to deter the wandering hand as it reaches to grope or smack some part of the feminine anatomy just because they felt like it!

I've had bitter experiences that range from silent sneers to attempted rapes. And so, these kind of news affect me greatly! And I've been praying for that girl since her story came out. But something I read today has made me wonder... are we doomed as a people?

How else am I to interpret the times when a woman who also happens to be an educated scientist claims in a public forum where people have gathered to discuss the topic of "Sensitivity towards women" and states that the rape victim should've given in to save herself?! Let me be very clear here. Rape isn't merely a sexual act. It's the gravest wrong any man can do to a woman. By committing that heinous crime, he declares to her that he is superior to her in every way .. emotionally, physically, mentally! And he does that in such brutal fashion that a part of the victim dies right then and there.

Nobody can ever empathize with a rape victim. No matter how hard they try. They've never been through the trauma that the survivor has been through. But sometimes, I think it would be wise to just shut up and not say anything if you don't have anything good to say!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Someone from Japan has read my blog!!!!

Yay! Yippity duppity yay! Someone from the country of my dreams has been to my blog! I just hope they liked what they saw! :)

In other news, I'm kinda going through a very very difficult phase and so, it has been a little difficult maintaining the update of the blog. So, please bear with me and if you can, send a prayer or two my way! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Well... well... well!

Hello there! It's been quite some time, hasn't it? Well, there were quite a lot of things going on and frankly, I was completely overwhelmed! But now, everything seems right back in order (or what can be a distant semblance of order!).

So, will I be posting regularly here? I might. Though, I honestly doubt if anyone is even interested anymore! Anyway... this place shall always be my sounding board and I shall honour it's sanctity as such. If any of you is bored anytime, do drop by!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Of books and their worlds

How often is it that we find ourselves in a place that fit us as people and as dreamers so perfectly? A place where one feels at home... even if one were to visit that place for the first time! A place that sometimes, confined to the yellowing pages of books we grew up with...

I've always had a deep love for books and what they can teach. And oh, how much does a good book have to convey! It cannot be measured... probably it varies with how much one can learn. A good book is the best of teachers. There is no ego. The words do not change and yet, in those seemingly lifeless pages, there is a force that changes the reader so subtly... so beautifully... so magically!

I've had quite a long history with books. When my friends would play house and imagine themselves to be caught in the mires of the adult world, I escaped to the world of wizards and elves. No, I didn't become any character in the books I read. I was merely the faceless observer who had no part to play. Yet, being that observer gave me such a sense of belonging that I loathed putting away some of my books. I dreamed of the numerous worlds I read about. I yearned to go into them... to live them out. But never take part in them. The part of the anonymous and unaffected observer was all I sought.

One such book that touched my soul is "Silmarillion". True, it's not as famous as "The Lord of the Rings" but there is something about this work of Tolkien that manages to lure me in... I've read it a thousand times and every single time, it shows me something new. No two readings are the same! It's amazing how one can rediscover what one thought one knew so well and realize that everything is not as one thought them!

In Silmarillion, I could always relate to some character or the other and in no two readings have the characters ever been the same. And every time I open the book, I feel at peace! My world could be crumbling around me but as long as I have this book open in front of me, all will be well! I shall forever be indebted to Tolkien for giving me this wonderful gift!

Do you have a book that makes you feel this way?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm alive! And how!

It has been quite a while since I've come hither, has it not? There're cobwebs dangling all over the place!

I'm incredibly sorry for not being the most judicious with updates! My life has been a roller coaster ride for a while now. In the weeks that I was forced away from updating my site thanks to excess work and pure laziness, I've managed to get myself invited to the Consul-general of Japan's residence, spoke in Japanese to Japanese diplomats who are really... really big shots! Had my speech covered by Australian TV channels (Apparently!) and tasted authentic Chicken teriyaki! Did I mention I also went to Kerala, literally boiled myself in the sweltering heat, saw three different festivals in three days, shopped sarees that are truly out of this world and played with dogs with heads bigger than the biggest unhusked coconuts?
Yes... I've been busy! :D

And to top it all off, I'm in love with Hermann Hesse! Head over heels! My Sensei gave me a few of his books to read and seriously, I'm eternally indebted to him for showing me Hesse! The guy's what I imagine a good author ought to be! Read and learn, Stephenie! Read and learn! I've finished Wandering and am almost finished with Siddhartha. have any of you read Hesse? What's your take on him?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shame on you, Indian government!

I know that the title is pretty vast in interpretation as the Indian government is known for shaming itself on numerous accounts. But today, I'm talking about the Government of India cancelling the legitimately granted visa of Ms. Kobayashi Maya who is a survivor from the Fukushima area in Japan.

Now, I, surely believe that Nuclear power has immense benefits and the proper utilization of the same can grant us power without putting another whooping hole in the Ozone layer. But this has to come with the appropriate safety measures. Though I'm against the numerous agitations and demonstrations against the construction of a Nuclear Power Plant here in Chennai, I should clarify my stand. If someone has been granted visa legitemately and then have had it revoked purely because what they say might not please a few corporate honchos, it's about time the government went and hung itself!

Let them give everybody a chance to voice their opinion and let them take a decision that's best for the people....but then again, the Indian Government hasn't given a rat's renal area what the people want! Shame on you, Indian Government!

Friday, March 9, 2012

I got a spanking new camera!

Yep! You heard it right! I got myself a camera, people! After countless years of sufferance when I was forced to observe people who had the best tools of the light yet couldn't take a decent picture and the ones who forever seemed to think having a separate camera was silliness, I've finally managed to get myself a camera... well... technically mommy-dearest paid for it. But technically, I'll pay her back with the salary... oh whatever gives! Please put your hands together for.......
The one.... the only.... (let's forget the billion others in existence right now!).... the stupendous....(What's that you say? DSLR? Pfft... What do you take me for? The merchant with the golden eggs?)


Dancing time!

And she's a beauty, my friends! A reeeeeeeeeeal beauty! :D And every time I see my camera, I can't stop myself from giggling like a twelve year old when she's in front Edward from Twilight for instance? Just that my giggles have more reason to exist than those spent on a silly sparkly necrophiliac vampire who has no business existing!! (I would've said Fingolfin from Silmarillion... but I doubt if there are any people let alone twelve year olds who fan-girl crush on that poor bloke!)
Are you curious to know how my baby looks? Hmmmm? Hmmmmmmm? Hmmmmmmmmmmm? What's that? No? I can just jump into the sea for all you care? Awwwwww.... such love! Don't worry! I'll show you!


The front!

Isn't she a Beauty? Huh? Huh? Huuuuuuuuuuh?!!!!!!

The Back!
I'm guessing there must be more than one person out there who's most probably wondering what's got me all this excited! You have no idea how I've yearned for a camera! Oh yes, we have, preciousssss!  And another thing, just so you know, the camera in the pictures above is not technically my camera... DUH! But if my camera has an identical twin who was lost in the quintessential Kumbh Mela when it was a wee lil' girl, it would be the camera above! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012 are, good sir!

Today, I had a revelation of sorts. Today, I met a person who's managed to baffle me within five minutes of me hearing him speak. And I don't know what to make of it all!
Imagine this... this person seems to have such strongly grounded ideas about everything and some of the things he'd let out were purely unimaginably rude! And it pains me to see how skewed his perception of today's world is! I've realized, thanks to listening to him that when someone has three words to use, one should use a single word to convey the meaning.
And I personally come from a family that never boasted... ever! And being proud in whatever I do has always been an alien feeling for me. But I'm realizing that not everybody need share that philosophy. Today, this person was going on about how things were so much better and his loved ones were the ones who have done so well in life and when he knew I had people in the same field as his relatives seemed to singularly strive to find something to say that would make my point seem trivial. Seriously... it's okay! I've always known there are better people out there and so, there's no point trying to bring down another person. In the end, it only goes out to show how little I can seem when I indulge in such silliness.
Oh! art of conversation... thou art a stranger to that gentleman, aren't you?
In the end, now when I think about it, I'm happy I didn't just bite the bait and try proving him wrong. There's no point in doing that! Obviously the both of us are so very insignificant in the grand scale of things and reality is what we make of it. And the ultimate reality does not depend on what either of us thinks. Hmmm... sometimes, the best conversations are in the midst of even breaths and silence.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Yay me! Oh... and Pochi!



Ahem... I'd really like to thank every single person out there who was praying for me or rooting for me! I would especially like to thank my Sensei - Ramesh-sensei and Shimizu-sensei. Both of them had such immense trust in my abilities and thanks to the gentle motivation I received from them, I felt loved and truly inspired to give it my all!

And I'm really really happy that I've finally managed to be good at something! Oh so happy! So very very happy!

Oooo... and there's a wee little puppy near my institute! I've decided to call him Pochi!

♫ ♥ Pochi-chan! Pochi-chan! ♥ ♪

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To the special ones in my heart!

Everyday, I go there early in the morning. I'm greeted by her dazzling smile and her crinkling eyes that make her the most beautiful person in the world. And then, she guides me to my work. There's never a harsh word and never a stern glare. All mistakes are so gently explained and taken care of. She treats everybody like they mean something and in turn, she is immensely respected! Ah... if only there were more people like her!

And then there is her... so fragile and yet so very strong. I wonder if she realizes her own fortitude as she sits there, worrying about appeasing her mother-in-law. After miseries that would have left me broken for life, she moves on - she shows me that nothing is permanent. Her eyes are sad at times when she thinks of those days. But there still lingers that deep note of silent strength that makes her elegant beyond words!

She walks in with her eyes straight ahead and her heart with a purpose. No question is silly. And no answer is accepted without some insight from her end. And in those little insights, she shows us all just how intelligent she is. She is witty. She is assiduous. She has the kindest things to say and she tires not. She makes those around her happy just by being there!

She's seen my darkest secrets and still smiles when she lays her eyes on me. She makes fun of me and yet has gentle reprimand for me when I go wrong. She knows our days together are numbered and yet puts on a cheerful smile. She is innocent enough to let a cricket match get to her and has wisdom that could solve disputes between nations!

These women... they are truly worth loving. And on this valentine's day, I would like to tell them - forget romance! Forget all that weird connotations that plague this day! I love every one of you and it's in no way any less important than what romantic folks could feel!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

On chillies and childishness

Today, we had fish. Extremely potent and spicy fish! And if anyone is interested, I almost fainted eating it.

This had mom tell me how fish is supposed to be spicy and how I can't keep telling my husband that I can't cook spicy fish when he could love rolling around in chilies. This had me thinking. What is it that makes everyone just automatically assume that I will change my habits once I have a guy in my life? Sure, adjustments have to be there. Like getting the bowel movements organized and the extra laundry and all those things. But to actually tell someone that they should change everything about them and take up things that could give me extreme discomfort is not what I would call adjustment. And in the society where I come from, it's always the girl who adjusts. It's always the girl who takes care of all that her husband needs. The girl intuitively knows what her guy wants and needs and follows his uttered and silent commands to the T. In other words, she automatically becomes docile and obedient.

Now, if the guy likes it hot, I'll most probably divide my portions from his before I dump the chillies by the cartload and serve him his dish from hell! But apparently that just goes on to show I'm not adjusting with his tastes. Come on now! They can't be serious!! I've been called "spoilt" by people who have hardly known me and it amuses me even now. But to hear such backward a thought process from my own mother, that was an eyeopener!

It makes me wonder. If peanuts make me swell up like the Mardi Gras float and my husband happens to love peanuts, will they tell me that I should "learn to accept" peanuts even if I end up in the emergency room with a face swollen beyond recognition?

Strange... very strange!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy news!

I know I haven't been the most judicious with updates as far as this blog is concerned but pray forgive! I have a valid reason for not posting for so long!

Get this!

I've finally managed to get a job that's just tailor-made for me! I'm officially a Translator! And I've never felt surer about what I am good at! This job, it's made for me, baby!

This must also explain my inability to contribute as much as I'd like in my blog! And not to mention that the classes for N3 have started and believe me, now I see why they call this language difficult! But it's all so interesting! It feels like I'm discovering a part of myself that was lost long ago... in some other lifetime! It feels like homecoming to me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A chocolate bar that's earned... at the cost of equality!

Advertisements have become an inherent part of our lives. Ever so slowly, we've acclimatized ourselves to the fact that sometime in between the really interesting movie we're watching, there's bound to be a commercial break and we need to be prepared to suspend our thought process for as long as the ads are running and learn to pick up from where we left when the movie does the same.

But once in a while, we stop and think. And thank God we do that! Because when we do, we realize just how banal these advertisements are in reality. Okay... there are a few good ones here and there. But in general the majority out there seem to cater for the fact that the person watching the advertisements doesn't actually watch them. They merely see them and the people behind the advertisements hope that with sufficient repetition, their message will get through to the deeper parts of our brain. And in a way, they probably don't want us to think while we see their claims of being the best because if we did, they no longer would be!

The other day, I happened to see an advertisement for a chocolate bar. And the tagline was how one had to earn that particular chocolate and one can't buy it. Here's what I'd like to tell the people behind that tagline -
"Okay, hotshot! If that's what you really believe I don't think you're aiming on kids with no income of their own to try your product. Okay... maybe you want to be considered the crème de la crème of the chocolate industry. Good for you."
But their recent ad seriously got me mad. And I'm sure many would know of the one I allude to. It has this man who seems to be some connoisseur in cocoa beans and how he takes up one cocoa bean after another and examines them like he's examining diamonds. The local farmers wait expectantly to hear his verdict on their produce when the man removes his monocle and proclaims that the cocoa bean he had been studying was perfect and that it would be that particular brand of chocolate some day. And the locals are really happy. And then, the man examines another cocoa bean and just gives up calling that bean "a nothing". And in predictable advertisement fashion, that bean starts crying and the man asks the local elder to tell the bean that he is sorry. And the banality just gets bigger with one of the locals throwing the bean away.
Now, for those of you who're wondering what's gotten me so mad, it's the fact that this ad has such undertones of discrimination and contempt for the 'imperfect ones' that it just makes me see red. The cocoa bean was not good enough to be a part of the company's overpriced hookum that I can personally say isn't anything out of the ordinary (Just a little more chocolatey!). Fine, they have standards. But to call it 'a nothing' is  little uncalled for! What do they know? The bean wasn't perfect in size and aroma, big deal! Maybe sowing it would yield them more cocoa beans without which there wouldn't be a chocolate company that utterly discriminates even cocoa beans!

Am I being too paranoid? Well... I guess I can't help but notice that the connoisseur was white while the ones who probably know the best about cocoa are the people who grow them - the African farmers. And isn't it a little too racist to expect them to come to the "white man" to get their products assessed?

I call that company discriminatory and racist. What about you?