Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lessons From My Hero, My Father.

‘I am writing ‘10 life lessons I learnt from my father’ at Parentous.com

Dad and Me
    From rocking me till I fell into deep slumber to spinning me till I screamed my lungs out, happily… from scolding me with his deep masculine voice for not being a good girl to let me hit him for yelling at me; he has been there like a strong pillar in my life, since the time I came into this world, loving me, protecting me, caring for me, yelling at me, going crazy with me. He is the first man I fell in love with and with every passing day, my love for him only increases many folds… he is my hero, my Dad.

Whatever today I am, its because of my parents and when, Parentous.com gave an opportunity to write about 10 life lessons I learnt from my Father (celebrating Father’s day week), I knew it was time to let my thoughts flow. Though, 10 is too less a number, even, 100 would have been. However, this is how I was molded through 10 of his many teachings which he not only preached but practiced as well…
1)      Since my playgroup days, I remember how Dad kept telling me the importance of time. He always showed the importance of punctuality in every day life. To reach a venue half an hour ago to avoid traffic or any kind of delays, thus, respecting an appointment I made should be one of my priorities. 

2)      Never to forget a helping hand is one of the important lessons I have received from Dad. He always says, if someone helps you even with a one rupee always remember and be thankful to that, because, at that moment that one rupee was the most important thing for you and s/he helped you with it.

3)      My first lesson on secularism was from my Dad. Today, he likes to say that I am more secular than him; I beg to differ here.

4)      Compassion is the essence of humanity; this is something I have observed since childhood. He taught me to help others, understand people’s problem by being in their shoes and be kind even to strangers.

5)      Past is History, Future is Mystery and Today is a gift that is why we call it a Present.
I have seen Dad to live in the present and cherish every moment of it and I have treasured this lesson to the hilt.

6)      Whatever you do, give your 200% to it; another precious lesson Dad taught me through preaching and practicing. “Sincerity is the key to achieve 100% success”, he tells me often and its definitely my mantra for everything I do.
7)      Always Follow up. No matter what the task is, who the person is on the other end, never fail to follow up.

8)      A very important lesson I have learnt from Dad is to be Humble. He always tells me “no matter where you reach, keep your feet on the ground and remember your roots”; hence I am rooted and I know I will be all my life.
9)      I have learnt and inherited one lesson from my Dad and that is, Patience; so much so that I know I have left him behind in being patient, nevertheless, the truth remains- its because of him.

10)  One of the many talents I have inherited from my Dad is cooking, and one lesson he taught me to hone my culinary skills is to remember, cooking is an art that uses all our 5 senses and we need to please all of them. 

These and more have made me what I am today... thank you Dad for being there for me, I love you.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Step Against Child Marriage, A Vile Practice.

        One of the social vices our country has been suffering from since medieval ages is Child Marriage. UNICEF defines Child Marriage as a formal marriage or union before 18 years of age. UN Women defines  Child Marriage as a forced marriage before 18 years of age because they believe children under age 18 are incapable of giving their consent.
In India, we also have a law that prohibits this practice; The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929.
And yet, with many justifications given to this ill practice, Child Marriage or Bal Vivaah, is still observed in many parts of India.
Though there has been a decline in the practice, according to UNICEF, 47% of girls are married by 18 years of age, and 18% are married by 15 years of age. The highest rate is found in states like; Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, with 68.9 percent of the marriages in Bihar involving girls below the age of 18. (Source: UNICEF). Although both minor boys and girls are victimized in Baal Vivaah, girls are the worse to face the consequences.

Nature has timed everything and going against nature always results in disaster. A tender mind and a raw body of a child are still in the process of molding. It is for to nurture and develop with time and not for to get forced into an adult institution like marriage. In a marriage a person is required to get involved not only physically but also mentally and emotionally with responsibilities of a spouse and a family; a child cannot be pushed in such a bond. Childhood is about studying, playing, discovering new possibilities and inventing dreams...and not about how to be a good spouse or how to take care of a family.

People advocating this custom don't see its harsh consequences. Child Marriage leads to;
Domestic violence; a study shows young girls are subjected to domestic violence more than older women.
Pregnancy related deaths; a girl's body isn't ready to conceive before 19.
Infant Deaths; children born to minors are more likely to die in their first year.
...and many more.

Yet, social and political dogma has kept Child Marriage practice alive. It's breathing amongst us even in this age, strangulating so many innocent lives with its vile vines.

Since ages we have been reasoned as to why people must get their children hitched at an early age.
Reasons like:
To guarantee a deep alliance between two families (Military alliances in medieval
To ensure their girls are protected against abduction and rape by foreign rulers.
For monitory gain by getting one of the girl children married to a much older man of fortune in exchange of money. (Occurring in poor families)
To avoid children getting themselves a spouse from different caste thus, polluting their community.
To put a leash to young minds so they don't get involved in casual sexual relationship.

-A shameful bunch of reasons for a wicked act.

In 12th grade, I experienced an unsuccessful attempt to make a classmate's parents stop from getting her married at the age of 16. Worse part was, the girl herself justified it and stopped me from countering her family. I never heard from her after her wedding. I don't know what became of her; I pray for her being an exception and living a happy & healthy life.
And today, after so many years, using my blog as a platform and this opportunity given by 
Ring The Bell For Indichange, I am taking a step to bring a change in the society, even if it effects a single family, I will know I have made a difference & I would urge my readers to come forward and take steps no matter how small it is, to destroy this vice called Child Marriage. More than this, I here by make a promise to myself to take this cause further in every possible way.

A well balanced growth of every individual leads to a healthy and a rich society and to achieve that children must receive what is rightfully theirs; right to live their childhood.

 Please visit BELL BAJAO for bringing in change from your side.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Connecting with my Idols!

A new cool application for your phone is here; Wechat, with amazing features.When Wechat, through Indiblogger, gave me an opportunity to write about, whom I would like to connect with, if I could, and why? and what would I talk about, I had dozens of options flashing in my mind. so, i randomly chose 5 of them.

Birbal:  Aka Maheshdas Brahmabhatt. Both wit and humor fascinates me and I find a man with this combination deadly. Raja Birbal was one of those men who was blessed with this blend and walked with every sense of royalty on this planet. A learned man whose judging abilities and intelligent words found him a place not only in the court as one of the Navratans but also in the heart of Emperor Akbar. His loyalty towards the Emperor was profound and was till his death. World knows him for his wisdom and humor but if given a chance to connect with him on wechat, I would like to know more about his military and administrative responsibilities which he carried out, his last battle that he fought like a true warrior, ergo, knowing the complete man he was. Of course, would love to have humorous exchanges with him all along the chat.

Audrey Hepburn: Audrey Kathleen Ruston, an actress and a humanitarian. Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder, and my eyes behold her as one of the most beautiful women mankind has ever seen. Film industry, be it anywhere in the world, always seek for a great face that has a soul filled with acting talent. And very rarely comes along a super talent tagging along with a beautiful face that carves a niche for itself even after years of its physical death. Hollywood had such a find in Audrey who gave some of the most sparkling performances in movies like, My Fair Lady, Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and so on. Despite having a troubled childhood and developing severe health conditions during WWII, She made it in the entertainment industry. Her failed personal life never deterred her from her humanitarian causes.
Connecting with her on wechat would mean a long chat session for me with the talented beauty. I would want to know what inspired her to be so strong in all the adversities she faced and about her experiences while filming those amazing works of art; her movies.

Vyasa: The great author of all times, Veda Vyasa; The creator of the epic Mahabharata along with being the one who classified Vedas into four. Connecting with him on wechat, would mean a month or even more given to our chat. All the characters, the scenes, the evolution of the plots, the nuances in the epic are simply fabulous. As a writer, I would like to learn from him, take notes as in how to write rather how to create such a great piece of work in writing. I would request him to divulge any the fiction part of the book. Besides would like to ask him, if there were any part of Mahabharata which he did not disclose in the epic.

Jane Austen: An author of great repute, Jane Austen penned some of the most favorite romantic novels of all times. Her work is an example of romance in pure literary form. If I get to connect with her on Wechat, I would love to discuss her life from her era, about her wonderful family who supported her through out and would ask for pointers for myself as a writer. Of course, would love to make her read my work and ask for her feedback. Lastly, my question to her would be, if she is happy with how her last novel Sadition turned out, which was completed by another author as Jane left the world before finishing it. 

Satyajit Ray:
An epitome of talent. A film maker, music composer, story writer, painter, calligrapher; and he were master in all these fields. Winner of various National and International Awards, Ray gave Indian cinema a new direction. At wechat, if I could connect with the man, I would love to have an adda with him about his movies, the characters, his favorite actors, his inspiration of story telling. Would have a heart to heart chat about what he thought about today’s cinema? And who is his favorite director, both national and international. And my favorite question to him would be, if not a film maker, then what?

To know more about this super cool application click here at Wechat.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Warning Signs & The Ignoramus Mind!

“Our body is the evidence to not only our existence but also to the various factors relating to our health that comes with the form”
- these words of his wife, Esha, kept playing in his head as he lay in the hospital bed, waiting to get discharged.

A heart attack at the age of 42 was like a deafening blast that shook Amit from within. He had expected the heart to scream for help at later stage of his life.
How he wished he had acted before and not taken the toothache lightly for a week, believing it to be cavities. "I will have to go through root-canal treatment anyway; I will visit Dr. Sathe on Saturday. Let me finish this project first." He popped a pain killer and winked at his wife.

"Fool! Fool!", he kicked himself mentally for ignoring the warning signs.

His wife, a health conscious, had always pointed out to various health factors one goes through in day to day life, boring Amit to death. The perfect way to eschew the lectures was to nod his head and ignore her words. Sigh! If only he listened to his darling wife.

The previous year, Esha had dragged him to a health conference, conducted by a local community club, where a few health experts had gathered to address people on warnings and signs of illness our bodies show. All he gathered from the seminar was how delicious the snacks were. Although, he had faint memories of a few sentences he had picked up from a speech by a well known dentist, whenever his wife elbowed him to listen. The speech was bravely different from the usual medical lingo, but it still was a lecture he wasn't interested in.

"Our body envelopes our soul, thus, giving us a physical identity on earth..." - Was how the aging doctor had begun his speech.

"Can you remember the speech by that old dentist?" he asked his wife.

After being held in the hospital for several days undergoing various tests, he was told that the toothache was not due to cavities but was a symptom of a weak heart. Now he wanted to know & to listen to every word…every sentence of that speech.

"Yes, I do. In fact …"

Esha, out of her habit had managed to get a good fraction of the speech in print. “God bless the woman.”, thought Amit.

Nest day she came with her laptop and handed it over to him and there it was; the speech- all in print…albeit not all of it.

"I will go downstairs; kids will be here in two hours". She planted a kiss on his forehead and left the room shutting the door behind her.

He was now alone with the words, he begun reading it, he knew his life wouldn't be the same from now…

"And this structure comes with various detailed mechanism that helps us live healthily. Every curve, every outline, every shape of our structure speak of our being.
But with ill-habits the design is disrupted, thus, resulting in various health issues which we suffer as we age.

Any disturbances in our body and we are informed about it. However, Mother Nature has her own ways of telegraphing the message. She has designed and programmed our bodies in such a way, that it signals us about every change it goes through. The healthier we are the brighter our appearance is and vice versa.

As a clear & glowing skin is a sign of a healthy liver, a chronic toothache might be the result of a heart ailment. Your heart is asking for help and has chosen your tooth to deliver the message. In this case, the body is signaling and all you need to do is visit a dentist and follow his advice. Ignoring such symptoms is not something you can afford to do, especially in today’s fast-paced stressful lives."

He re-read the page several times, like he wanted to carve every single letter from the document in his mind and his soul. He emailed the document to every soul he knew. He read about more warnings and tried to gather as much as information as possible.

"How are you feeling honey"

Amit, looked at his wife, more than four hours had passed since she left the room.

*          *          *

Our body is the evidence to not only our existence but also to the various factors relating to our health that comes with the form. It, ergo, becomes our priority to take seriously any warning, cued to us, never ignore the signs.

**This is an entry for The Moral Of The Story Is.. for more information on the subject of warning signs by our gums and teeth visit www.myhealthyspeak.co. **

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Itch!

Image: Pinterest

  The virgin shampoo bottle on the shelf, I bought, after my brain was influenced with its fancy advertisement, lures my senses to open its lead, pour the thick liquid on my palm and lather my hair with its foam. Dream in its serene fragrance while I wash my hair with it, and all this while my old shampoo bottle is still serving me well with a few ml left in the base, till its last breath- as promised.

This is the ITCH!
The itch to use the brand new products (can be anything), you bought/won/brought/received, even when you have its predecessor furnishing its services loyally. My villainous heart is fully aware that all new products come with the same fate and would be treated alike, once it reaches its end time, for my greedy mind would lust for the next new entrant.

I have gathered in all these years of my life, that, I am not the only one to suffer from this and have several such craving minds who get sleepless nights until they get their hands on the newly acquired goods; face-wash, shampoo, body wash, pickle, sauce, etc etc.
The Itch grabs my likes with its claws every time we return home carrying something new especially a never tried brand; no exceptions.

-Do you belong to my clan?
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