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Before the Big Day…

25 Jan

Helllooo… after a long time 🙂 Tomorrow is one of the biggest days for the Indian republic. We got our independence on 15 August, but we got the rights to enjoy that independence on 26th January. The big day… and bigger celebrations. The world can see the Republic Day celebrations but what many don’t know is the amount of preparations that go into making it a gala day. Here are some snaps of the preparations:

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The girls’ scout

 

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To sit on road in 2 degrees… and you thought only your life sucks

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Ok… don’t look at the camera…

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No caption !

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Band masters… but not bittoo band waale 😛

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The mighty tanks and mightier soldiers

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Odd one going out 😛

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Men at rest….

 

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Desert safari in town!

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Resting and waiting for their turn

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Ok… don’t look at the camera… focus on the parade pals

 

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In the background is my office (not subtle :P)

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The view from office… (again not subtle :P)

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The cars are not part of the parade… they are just a reminder of technology 😛

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But these cute jhankis are indeed adorable 🙂

 

 

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And a colleague outside the office… you see… absolutely not subtle 😛

 

So, that’s what I had on the Republic Day. So, tomorrow, sleep tight because we all know the Republic Day Parade is repeated almost four times on every news channel. Till next post, Happy Days and Sleepy Mornings :p 🙂

A Death… Celebrated

18 Jul

“Fauzia Azeem, popularly known as Qandeel Baloch killed by her brother in the name of honour killing.” The news did not come as any surprise. A world where girls are banished from society for using mobile phones for their own safety, this girl’s case would have been no different. “Might have run away with a boy or married with her own consent” were the first few thoughts that came to my mind.

But as I read more into it (thanks to FB posts flooding the news in the newsfeed), I started relating to her. To a person who never existed for me. To a person about whom I had never heard before and would have never known about , if she had not met such dramatic end. But I related to her. An Indian girl having a decent nine-to-five job with supporting family and a company of liberal people both inside and outside the family related to a Pakistani girl known for the bold and sassy avatars, having no real family (although on papers having two) and a company of conservative idiots. I related to a girl accused of filthing the society and culture. I related to a girl who was being continuously shamed for what she did in her personal and professional life. I related to a girl who boldly made life choices. I related to a girl who was married at 17, abused by her husband, with a mother of a child. The society made her Qandeel Baloch and then it wanted her to become Fouzia Azeem again. I related to the Kim Kardashain of the East and the Poonam Pandey of Pakistan. I related to a girl on whose death, rejoiced many including women. I related to a girl whose acts were condemned by the same people who would have watched her “uncultural” videos behind closed doors. To criticize an act, after all, you have to witness it.

But, I related to her brother also. I am nowhere justifying the killing. But, he is not the only man in this world to have such a mindset. He is the guy we all have met. He is the guy we might have been friends with. There is nothing inherently wrong with the guy. He is just the mirror of our society. How many times have you been stalked on social media and did not tell your family, just because they will interrogate you first and put the whole blame on you? Many a times, I guess.  This girl did not let anyone rule her, but in our society only a man can rule. The problem is not with the man, its with the society. Many would say that his sister made a choice to bring dishonor to the family and he chose to teach her a lesson. He could have left her, disowned her, but he didn’t. Instead of accusing him blatantly, we have to observe his state of mind. In one of his statements, he said that it was like choosing between suicide and her killing. The societal pressure he was facing should be taken into consideration. He is not a murderer. He is a victim of society’s hypocrisy.

 

You came as Fouzia Azeem, you left as Qandeel Baloch. Your life made a point, and death made many. You are a true celebrity because now even after your death, you are taking over internet by storm and the haters still cannot ignore you.

Rest in peace, wherever you may find it.

 

2015 in review

30 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Celebrity Talk

15 Dec

In Indian society, the level of youth being motivated to make it large in his life, is directly proportional to the fact as to how the celebrities in the society are treated.

If I even talk about inter- caste marriage in the family, I would be either beheaded or banished from the society. But if a film star performs inter- religion marriage, it becomes the unique precedent of cultural and communal integrity.

Recently one ‘superstar’ of our nation was acquitted of the charges of rash car driving leading to death of one person who was sleeping on the footpath. The whole nation wanted to know why the homeless was sleeping on the pavement. But if I mistakenly even pluck a flower from roadside pavement decors, I would be fined Rs. 500. A celebrity can go out in public, become grossly drunk and vomit, but I, the common man, cannot even spit in the dustbin without people gazing at me.

All these things indicate that as one rises up on the ladder of success, he goes out of the gravitation force of rules, laws and society.

There is one more thing that these Celebrities can do, but common man can’t. It’s hypocrisy. Recently, one Bollywood actress whose only claim to fame was her so – called oversized body has shed off that ‘over’ with the help of gym. Now, she is considered to be outspoken and previously she always advocated that beauty is not in body. You don’t have to be in shape according to society. Just wear your own shape and decide yourself. It is to be noted that she inspired many girls to be comfortable about their looks as it is and not to be slim for anyone. The same girl now released photos from a photo shoot where her extra pounds are nowhere to be seen and now she advocated fitness. Well! if it would have been me, I would have been annoyingly disturbed about my size by even my parents. Then when I would have tried to shed it off by going to gym or being on a diet, I would have been equally demotivated and after all this if I would have been successful in achieving the loss of some kgs, it would be said that I am jealous of my cousins who are slim or that I am preparing myself for some boy so that I could get married. In my case I would be doing it for anyone but me and in her case, she can’t do it for anyone else. NO!

Oh! There is one more thing that society teaches that if some celebrity does good deeds, his previous bad acts should be forgotten. Not even forgiven, but simply forgotten. So, this means good deeds are like gift vouchers that can be used in bad times. In this era of capitalism, the economic angle of these vouchers need to be studied carefully. It has to be kept in mind that the Gita gyaan should be a little amended. According to Gita, only focus on your work and do not worry about result, but now before you do your work, focus as to if it would fetch you any of those vouchers, so that when result is out, you can use them if needed.

So, for example, get drunk and abuse people, if anyone asks, you may say that you had fed dogs the previous day. That dog would never know that by feeding him, the man just bought a policy to secure his future.

In the end, if you ever come across a news stating that Harshda, a blogger from Delhi is caught red handed for stealing pencil and pens from office, please forgive me, as writing less on the blog nowadays, I am also kind of doing a service. 😛

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Interviews- The One With Madhura- II

15 Nov

So, the interview with Madhura is here. Madhura, there is no character named Madhure in Ramayana, but I didn’t lie. Madhure is the past life name of Mandodari, the wife of Ravana and mother of three illustrious but ill- famed sons.

She came down on earth to answer the queries which generally come in mind when her role in the saga is discussed (which is rarely done).

Me: Hello

She: Namaskar

Me: So… why have you chosen me for taking the interview?

She: My husband and son told that there are plenty of dumb people on paatal, and so don’t waste time on finding the right kind. They suggested your name and made my job easy.

Me: If I am that dumb… why is it that your family encounters only me.

She: God punishes in different ways.

Me: (Ignored :P) So… Mandodari… tell us about something about yourself.

She: You are taking my interview… what do you know about me?

Me: Well… We don’t find much about you in Ramayana… but in other texts there are stories that you were the daughter of Mayasura and Hema. One day Ravana visited your house and fell in love with you and they you two were married. Is this true?

She: That depends on what you believe. You believe what you heard and read or what a demon’s wife is gonna tell you?

Me: Well… I will believe what a sage’s daughter tells me.

She: I am a married woman… I am no longer anyone’s daughter. My only accountability can be drawn through my husband.

Me: Aah… talking about your husband… some say that he abducted Sita as Rama had dishonored Supranakha, his sister. How was that an appropriate conduct for one who is considered to be the biggest devotee of Shiva?

She: Get your facts right. He did not abduct Sita because of his sister. He had already heard about Rama’s victory over several demons. He had the knowledge that this is either Vishnu or just a common man having extraordinary skills… in any situation he knew he would win.

Me: But he lost…

She: How? In the battleground, it was proved that Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu as no other being in the world had power to destroy my lord. He was killed by the God himself.

Me: If that was the only motive, why would he abduct Sita? He could have waged war against Ayodya or against Rama itself.

She: Wouldn’t he then be looked upon as a fool? Why would the keeper of Kuber’s treasure need to invade anyone? He had power, authority, money… everything… what would have been the explanation to invade Ayodya? And about challenging Rama.. well… that is even more amusing as to why would the greatest king be interested in a forest dweller.

Me: Ok… talking about Seeta… how was her conduct in Ashoka Vatika?

She: Well… she was a serene lady. I was very much impressed by her faithfulness towards her husband, and the belief that he would come to rescue her was applaudable.

Me: What was your reaction when your husband told that he has abducted a woman.

She: I was not at all surprised at first as similar incidents had occured in the past, but when I came to know that he had taken the guise of sadhu and fooled Sita to believe him I was a bit disappointed. He did a sin henious than forcefully taking a woman.

Me: We read in Valmiki Ramayana that when all the great warriors of Lanka died, Ravana organizes a yajna (“fire sacrifice”) to assure his victory. Rama sent a troop of monkeys headed by Hanuman and the monkey prince Angada to destroy this yajna. The monkeys created havoc in Ravana’s palace, but Ravana continues the yajna. Angada dragged you by your hair in front of Ravana. The enraged Ravana abandons the yajna and strikes Angada with his sword. Is this correct?

She: You will find gruesome descriptions in Krittivasi Ramayana and Bichitra Ramayana. Well.. I would just say that my husband was no less loyal than Rama and protected me whenever needed.

Me: Ok… last question… what did you learn from Sita?

She: What was the need? Instead she learnt quite a lot things from me.

Me: Oh..

She: Like… how to put on makeup… I gave her many of my secrets… and yeah… she learnt a thing which she actually had to follow in later life… when Rama abandoned her and sent her to forest where she gave birth to her two illustrious sons… it was my conduct that she followed.

Me: And that was?

She: To be with your man… always. If I was with my husband, when he conquered the world… it was my duty to be with him when he failed at the hands of a forest dweller. If I was with him at his best then I had the duty to be at his worst too. And I did that. Sita also did that.

Me: Panchakanyas…. the one among the five virgins… thank you for coming over and chat with me.

She: Well… I was so bored in heavens… but still don’t call me back.

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So, the interview is over. Will meet you soon after I make up something else to publish. 😛

Interviews- The One with Madhura

9 Nov

Happy Diwali week to all. The repeated questions on “Have you stopped writing?” intrigue me. Either the people want me to write or they just want to confirm if I have stopped writing so that they can be assured of their mail box not filled with crazy blogposts. Whatever the case may be I am stubborn on writing. And when the stubbornness would fade away or become weak… instances happen… instances that need to be shared.

So, on Diwali we basically worship Ganesha and Laxmi. But one other story of Diwali is that on this auspicious day Rama came to Ayodya after 14 years of exile in the forests and after killing Ravana, Ravana who had abducted Sita, the wife of Rama.

This Diwali as Rama comes home, a person would follow him. This person is one who, in the fight of right and wrong, lost even when all the duties were obeyed, even when every karma which rightfully is to be done was done. This person would come to ask questions and answer the questions that sometimes linger. This person would be interviewed by me (the creative soul, of course :P).

Here is a hint about this person. Its a character from Ramayana and even after giving birth to three children she is one of the five virgins. Her role in Ramayana was very short but in other texts like Ramakein and Krittivasi Ramayana she has been described at length and her conduct is compared with water; pure, serene and pacified.

Guess this guest, share your answers on the fb page or comments section and see if you are right isas the first ever interview with a character from Ramayana would be published this Diwali. 🙂

Stay tuned.

The Hanging!

1 Aug

For everyone who thinks that the recent hanging of a convict involved in Bombay… oops! Mumbai Bomb Blasts was cruel, undemanding and inhumane might have never known or never needed to know what a bomb blast is. I don’t claim to know what it is either but being a lawyer… I have seen what losing a dear one can mean to someone. How it affects the living and the non- living.
I think these people belong to the group who see the live coverage of a bomb affected site, participate in the candle light march at Jantar Mantar or India Gate, come home and the next morning when the wake up, they don’t remember the previous day. Now, I am not mocking anyone. But, I fail to understand as to why do we have such short- lived memory. 1993! Two hours of serial bombings all around the city. Blasts that took almost 250 lives and ruined uncountable breaths that remained to weep. Two hours… that displaced more than one thousand people living on streets and moved even those who resided in skyscrapers. Two hours of terror, twenty years of recovery… and counting.
No one was joyous when he was hanged. No one danced. Even those who were most directly affected by the blasts were not happy to celebrate because they know the void that is created when one leaves. They know that his family may have no fault but they would have to live with the consequences.
Many of us are questioning the Supreme Court’s ‘hurried’ decision on his hanging. “Hurried” they say. They say that it was for the first time that to pronounce a decision, Supreme Court worked at the peak of night. It was for the first time too, that in 1993, Mumbai was shaken. It was only for the first time , the concept of ‘serial blasts’ was introduced to this country. The judiciary just continued this ‘first- time’ convention in his honour.
The debate is revolving around two hours of bomb blasts v/s two minutes of hanging. It should have been revolving around its consequences. It is all about justiciability. It should have been about the aftermath. He was not a hero. But, I am quite sure that after 10-15 years a movie based on his life would be released and earn more than 100 crores, might win a National Award too.
The hundreds who died are dead, but he would be kept alive.
In the last, it all boils down to a mention in General Knowledge books in varied forms, and THAT is the most tragic of all.

 

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Jaanlewa Jaanu- VI

31 Jul

With actually no topic in mind, I start with my favorite topic, the Jaanlewa Jaanu. This one is the most appreciated and the most read post series on this blog.

So, this time the jaanu is in a mall with the guy to shop for a bag (that’s what she is looking for). Let’s see how it turns out!

Boy: Baby… we have been roaming for the last 35 minutes and we have not entered even a single bag shop.

Girl: I know… I was thinking to get these foot wears… aren’t they pretty?” She asked without looking at him.

Boy: “If you like them, they are definitely good. ” He said with a smiling face. (I know cheap line).

The girl bought that footwear. The boy was quite sure that now she would enter the bag showroom, but to his despair, there were Biba and UCB in the way to Caprese. So, the girl enetred Biba. (You see… absolutely not her fault, she is a girl, so she will shop, the person with her is a boy so he will pay).

Girl: Look… how pretty this dress is. You think I should try this?

And before the boy could exercise his right to speech and expression, the salesperson came and spilled “Oh sure… Ma’am the fresh summer collection is here. You will absolutely fall for the new designs. Let me help you.”

The boy now knew that his lady love is gone with the salesman. He knew that he would not see her for almost two hours now. He knew that she would be trying every new dress that she could grab on and ask for the salesperson’s advice rather than his. And knowing all this he was happy.

As he turned his mobile data, to check out the world happenings on watsapp and other social networks, his phone pinged. One after the other messages were coming from his love, showing him dresses that she had selected. He zoomed the dresses to see if the price tag was visible. But the girl seemed to be a clever photographer. He was thinking of calling his boss and applying for a loan as it seemed that whole of his salary would be spent in the next some hours or so.

There was a time when he eagerly used to wait for Sundays and now is the time, when he has to meet his girlfriend on Sunday and sometimes has to lie that he is working on Sundays too.

He was deep engrossed in his thoughts while at the same time looking at his Facebook wall aimlessly. He was just going to comment on his best friend’s vacation photo when his phone rang. He looked at his watch. It was 7 p.m. One hour had gone by. “Good time passes fast.” He thought. He picked up the call.

“Where are you?” A commanded voice asked him.

“In Biba only… you were trying the clothes na… so I just…”

“Come fast to the cash counter.” She said and put off the phone immediately.

He started walking with heavy feet and came close to the counter. He saw two more men like him who very having the same expressions of despair on their faces which were being completely ignored by their girls.

He pulled out his wallet and gave his Maestro  Card. The girl came out happy and the boy came out with a little less balance in his bank account.  Money can’t but love, but it can surely make lover, a beggar.

“So… now?” He asked.

“Now… we will eat something and go to home.”

“But… your bag? No need now?”

“How can there be no need… I just changed  my mind at not buying them now. I am too tired now.

(I wish she changes her mind and does not replace it with anything.) He thought.

After that, they went for the dinner in the Mall’s Food Court and heeded home afterwards. After the shopping, the girl was exhausted and the boy was extorted. 😛

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Rang Gulaabi (The Colour is Pink)

15 Jul
Recently, I visited the heart of the king’s land. The land of palaces in abandoned mists. The city of Jaipur famous as the Pink City.

The purpose of visit was to take a judicial exam. The purpose was badly defeated and now let’s talk about the trip. As you know my trips are never descriptive of things for which the place is famous.

So, after reaching Jaipur, we stayed at Ramada Hotel. It is one of the best hotels in the city. After taking some rest we (my parents and I) went to meet one relative of my mother and then to other relative and then to some other one. On the way, I saw University of Rajasthan, the place where my father did his graduation, that library building where he used to study and that particular house where he lived for almost 3 years. And then we entered the actual pink city. The shops on both the sides are painted pink. Each and every shop… although it was not proper pink but magenta. Then from there, we went to the Govind Dev ji Mandir. The peculiar thing about it was that there was a small mosque in premises of the temple. In the evening, we went to a place called Choki Dhani. This is said to be an outing place for Jaipuriyas. Here you can find the whole lot culture of Rajasthan. They will welcome you at the entry gate in rajasthani style. The whole aura feels like you have entered into some village and various activities are going on; kalbeliya dances, magic shows, kathputli dance, mehendi and many many other things. We had our dinner at that place only and the hospitality was beyond expression. They would make you sit crossed leg on floor and then one after the other start bringing delicacies. It seems that the menu would never be over. They would start with water, then salad, then curd, then four types of vegetables and daal, then three types of rotis, then bajre ki khichdi, then two types of chutneys, then rice, then imarti and finally paapad. The food habits in Rajasthan are such that after they serve you the paapad, they wouldn’t give you anything, even if you ask for.

And so the next day was the tentative exam for which I had traveled to the beautiful land. The exam was pretty good than I had expected but bad enough to fail.

After the exam, I saw my parents  waiting for me outside the examination center. The first question that came out of my mother’s mouth was “Are you hungry” and my father’s mouth was “Will you pass?” I think that’s the difference. But I did not show any discrimination, and replied to neither. Well… we went to lunch after that… and back to Delhi by night.

The car driver had stories to tell. He is a Delhi driver who outsmarted one Jaipuri driver there. He advised my father on roads, routes and life. Yes… one of the gyaans being “life me na… bus khush rehna chahiye.. chahe kitna bhi dukh ho… (in life, one must be happy, even if there are ‘n’ number of sorrows surrounding you)”, he had a particular taste for pakoras and had a recipe to tell to every dhabawala where we wold have snacks.

So. this was all about the short visit to the old pink city. 🙂

 

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Honey- Positively Sweet

9 Jul

Have you ever wondered what goes into your tummy when you take a cup of tea? Almost 43 units of calories. And that is just one cup. Now you would be wondering, why the always giggling blogger bothered about your cup of tea. Well! Frankly I am not. I am writing about this issue, because I am trying to shed off some extra fat from my belly. The reason being the approaching dates of engagement. Engagement is a function to create first impression on a lot of strangers. It is a social gathering to let people know that you are going to be screwed and that your good days are left less. The engagement is within one month and I have to perform the herculean task to get the belly in shape. To drape a saree, you need confidence that you are looking good and  that the saree is not revealing your good taste for butter and other fattening delicacies.

So, for the accomplishment of the mission, I started using stairs (when escalator is not working 😛 ), avoided oily food at home (just to eat them outside), started running in park (to chase the cute guy 😛 ), but all in vain (and you know the reasons 😛 ). After trying to try these ideas, I stopped and told myself that I don’t have to push myself to do things which I don’t like for impressing people who don’t matter. I don’t need to be slim or in shape so that I look good. I look good anyways if I think so. But… i need to be healthy. (And that is how… you play the game of diplomacy with yourself.) So, to be healthy I need to stick to healthy diet. And that is when I surfed the internet to find out how much calories I was taking. And a very small research revealed that I did not need to do the vast one, as overall I was (am) taking the calorie intake of 3 people combined. Now… don’t blame me, it’s partly mother’s love, partly Indian food habits, partly the nature of job I am in and largely the awesome chole bhature that I eat (:D). So, all in all, if I need to look gorgeous… oops… healthy on that particular day, I need to do something.

And while I was facing all this dilemma, I found a very easy way to make things work. Just one spoon of honey with lime water in the morning and substituting honey with sugar in every sweet delicacy. Now, that is not tough and guess what, it not only worked in the way it was intended but many other ways. It refreshes me and keeps me active. Where previously I could eat only one plate of chole bhature, now I can eat two (honey helps in generating hunger), but it also keeps me active enough to run in the park (and now the cute guy chases me 😛 ), keeps me active enough to opt for stairs even though the escalators are working. It actually keeps me glowing and I feel healthy.

To calculate your calorie intakes per day and to know the ways to bring them down for starting a healthy diet, you can visit this Honey Diet on http://www.daburhoney.com/. @DaburHoney_Ind  #HoneyDietIsHere.

I don’t know much about how much weight I lost or if my waist line reduced a bit. Again, how does it matter? It’s just an engagement, and that too my cousins’,  not mine. Oops.. I didn’t tell you that right?? :p

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