Friday, October 31, 2008

Tick-Tock

Its 12:00 am and my eyes are open....sleep seems to be miles away. I don't know what to do.Suddenly, I get up and in frustration start putting all the clocks and watches in the room away in the innermost corner of my cupboard! Funny, I know but can't think of anything else at that moment which could help me to sleep! The constant 'tick-tock' of the clock was always my companion every night but suddenly one day it started irritating me, so much so that I couldnot sleep?Whats wrong with me,huh?

Sitting there, contemplating this simple action that I took without any rhyme or reason, I gleaned three things:
One, we humans are a fickle race. Two, we take zillions of things for granted everyday, never for a moment realizing their true value.Third, we like to blame something or some else for everything thats going wrong in our life.
Why else would I shut out the very clock which was my constant companion till then? Why else would I actually go so far as to think that a simple clock lulling me to sleep every night would suddenly begin disrupting it?

Its important to realize that I am not blaming anybody or everybody for being- well, being "humans". Its just that what most of us need to realize is that we are blessed, infact we are blessed so much that we see, hear, speak and smell everyday. I woke up this morning fit enough to write my feelings on this blog.You woke up this morning fit enough to read it- both of us need to be grateful for these abundant blessings bestowed on us today.I just feel like screaming now at the top of my voice- Thank You GOD for today!

So, HAVE YOU THANKED GOD FOR LETTING YOU SEE THE LIGHT OF THIS BEAUTIFUL DAY TODAY?

Monday, October 27, 2008

What if ......(A DEEPAWALI WISH)

What if the ocean was red and not blue?
Would it have mattered the sky having a different hue?
What if the daisy was not white?
and would it have mattered not to have any light?
What if the grass was not green?
and Orange would have been the colour of the bean?

Things are actually perfect the way they are
sometimes bitter, sometimes sour.
God had a purpose even when he created us
But don't you ever forget-"from ashes to ashes, dust to dust".

May this Deepawali brighten your homes with joy, prosperity and peace. May God provide you enough to help others as much as you can this festive season and may you always remain contended with whatever you are or whatever you have.

Best Wishes for a prosperous and safe Diwali for you and your family.
regards
Kiran

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why does the Laughing Buddha laugh?

This is one of my favourite compositions by Mama:

He stands/sits on the beautiful stool facing the main doorway with both his arms flung up in the air, pot-belly hanging out, laughing uncontrollably.What could be the reason for such a glee?

IS IT PURE HAPPINESS? Perhaps he is happy to see another new day with the sun shining gloriously in the azure blue sky, birds chirping in the trees,kids hurrying to school, men and women rushing to their workplaces(with no terrorists plotting to blow their workplaces up!!).Maybe he is happy to see the abundance of God's grace all around-God carved thousands of varieties of flora and fauna when ten-fifteen would have sufficed, he made different seasons each with his own beauty. He put a million stars in the night sky to enthrall us instead of just a handful.

IS IT CYNICISM? Cynicism at watching mankind caught up in the mad race to possess material things for attaining the ultimate 'nirvana'? Perhaps he is sceptical of the youth getting entangled in the mesh of drugs, alcohol and discotheques in pursuit of true happiness and ending up with broken hearts, minds and bodies.

IS IT JUST A DEROGATORY LAUGH? Because now HE gets the credit for bringing joy in the house. ( never mind the hardwork put in by the master of the house!)

OR IS THE BUDDHA JUST IN A GOOD MOOD? Perhaps he is happy at the recollection of hilarious one-liners from Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone or comic scenes from the movie Lage Raho Munnabhai and its new brand of Gandhigiri.

To cut a long story short, me thinks that the Laughing Buddha firmly believes in the dictum "Smile is a curve that makes a lot of things straight" and practices it!

Time for Friendship

Two Nations, same people
Two bodies, same hearts
Two Countries, same stories
Two organs, same breath...
Then why do we indulge in this senseless slaughter?
Then why do we build thick fences of mortar?

Its not difficult to forge a friendship
because we HAVE lived several years in kinship.
Its the last hundred years that have jolted us apart
taking away the bonding of our hearts.
'Divide and rule' -they said
and it is THEY who murdered our people in beds.
Why do we make them successful in their evil thoughts?
Why don't we understand that all is yet not lost?

It is time now to make amends,
It is time now for Indo-Pak to be friends.
time now to forget our ghastly past,
time now to inculcate love in our hearts.
The desires of the common man must be fulfilled
All the hatred in our hearts needs to be killed.

To understand happiness it is imperative to know pain
just as without loss there is no gain.
Similarily for frienship we must know war,
knowing how to erase the worst of scars.
The first step towards friendship is to bury the past
so lets now take steps to make it last.
HERE'S TO INDO-PAK!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dd u hve ur 'brekfust'?

Well Hello? What happened to my English?-you might say. Actually I have tried to bring out the pronounciation of two very beautiful American children in this one sentence! Today I got an exciting news..one of my very dear friends got engaged! I was so happy for her [ and sad for me..of course :(..we will be parted very soon!].It's her fiance's sister's children that I am talking about here. All day long I had to listen a great plethora of things about "Sunny is like this"; "Sunny did this"; "Sunny called me up" etc. etc. I finally got so tired of all this 'sunshiny' talk (lol) that I told her to change her tune...Lo and behold- she began gushing about these kids (who sound very interesting I might add..SHH.. thats between you and me or else she will begin again!)with beautiful names in German(their father whom my friend calls 'brother' is German).Now the only sentence on her lips was "Dd u hve ur brekfust" in a very Americanised accent close to what those cuties must have asked her (I might add that within these 10-15 days her English has already started acquiring a very very American tone and I will make sure she is teased to no end about it-lol).Strangely enough the repetition ceased to annoy me any more because you know what-the look on her face while she demonstrated her fondness for two babies she has never met ,spoke loads about the depth of feelings she has begun to have about her 'new family'.Her innocent smile accompanying this sentence gave her a glow that is hard to describe in words and her face became quite animated whenever she mentioned her 'family'.She was so excited and happy the whole day that in her happiness I forgot my own gloom over an unusually hectic day at college. Thats what friends are for,aren't they? To spread cheers in lives of THEIR friends around them-knowingly or unknowingly...I pray to God she remains this happy person forever and hope that her 'sunshiny' life is never marred by even a small cloud of dissent or sadness. Love you loads dear M...and may God bestow all his choicest blessings on you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Female Foeticide and it's repercussions

Here's another of the essays that I wrote. I would really like your feedback on this one:

Guru Nanak Dev Ji once said:
Why do we call her bad, she who gave birth to kings?
This can be considered to be a very poignant question considering the time and scenario. It is widely known that when Guru Ji put forth his views regarding the condition of women in the society, he was well aware of their plight having seen a lot of discrimination against women during his travels in all four directions (more popularly known as ‘udasis’).However, a sad point to note here is that even today after many years of societal evolution, this question still stares glaringly into our faces.

It is a common conception that the status of women in our society has improved manifolds over the past hundreds of years and this in many ways can be corroborated to be the truth; but is it? Every other day we get to hear numerous stories of a girl child abandoned in a garbage bin, a mother killing the foetus knowing the child will be a girl or selling the girl for a few rupees. Therefore, in such a situation it becomes imperative to ask the parents: have they themselves forgotten who gave them life? It was their MOTHER who brought them on this earth, the Mother who once herself was a girl child. If SHE had been aborted in the foetus, they would not be born on this planet either!

There are several reasons that are always enumerated with respect to the skewed sex ratio in Indian society. The main reason that has been stressed upon (particularly in the northern parts of the country) is the widespread practice of female foeticide. An important aspect with respect to this is the high standard of living prevalent in the region. There is no monetary constraint and as a result, sex determination tests have become rampant in every nook and cranny. The very doctors who take an oath to protect lives; indulge in this heinous crime of murdering the foetus in the womb. At the same time, it is important to consider that this act is condoned not only by the father and other family members but by the mother as well-the same mother who herself was once a girl child.

Another reason for this practice can be found in the Indian societal norms, customs and traditions. Indian society is such in which the birth of an ‘heir’ to carry forward the family name is considered very imperative and girls are normally classed as ‘liabilities’ to their parents. The common thought process is that the girls have to ultimately be married off and ‘such a huge responsibility for a lifetime’ is best left unassumed. There have been instances where parents abort a female foetus in spite of already having an ‘heir’ in their households and the reason for this is of course the ‘liability’ factor. The unhappy reality is that this evil is more common in rich, cultivated and educated part of the society as many would not believe. The so called ‘cream’ of the society indulges in such a low-down practice is indeed astonishing but again the reason is longing for an heir. It is the heir after all who has to carry forward the well established businesses in the society!

The consequences of all these actions have already started manifesting themselves. The most recent example of this is the shortage of brides in many villages of Rajasthan and Haryana. The news item pertaining to this clearly stated that Haryana locals are forced to look for brides in states like Kerala where the sex ratio is favourable to females. Until recently Kerala and Puducherry are the only two areas having favourable sex ratio of over 1000 females per 1000 males in the country. The national average for this is 972 females per thousand males (2001 census figures). Thus, an imbalance has already started becoming apparent in our society. Another major consequence of indulging in female foeticide is the adverse effect on the health of the mother. Abortion in itself is very risky and to deliberately abort the foetus just because it is a female breathing in the womb would of course prove detrimental to the mother’s health. According to a survey carried out by a private agency, almost 25% of women willingly acknowledged to have carried out female foeticide and according to medical experts a women who has undergone more than 3 abortions even runs the risk of losing her fertility or worse still her life. Sadly, in India women being ignorant of this fact continue to abort the girl foetus in their unending quest for a male child even if they have to undergo numerous abortions.

Many experts have sat together and discussed various ways to solve this problem but no solution yet seems to be forthcoming. In spite of the various acts like the PNDT ACTS that are propagated by the government, the practice of female foeticide still continues unabated. The only solution that seems forthcoming is to convince people by educating them, organising various seminars and advertising through different media channels from time to time. The need of the hour is for the people to realize the demerits of indulging in such activities particularly in the long run. The legacy that we leave posterity is going to leave a lasting imprint even if WE depart from this planet. The cry of the girl child should not go unattended for long; else the entire human race will suffer:
Why did you kill me, mama and papa?
Wasn’t I your own flesh?
Flesh of your flesh, blood of your blood?
Why did you kill me mom and dad-
I would too have liked to bring
love and laughter to your home…..
love and laughter to your home……

Civic Sense

Here is an essay that I wrote for practice when I participated in a competition.Hope you like it :)

“Man is a social animal” is a cliché sentence that one gets to hear almost everywhere. The truth of this statement can be gauged from the fact that even several years after “cave-man” understood the benefits of mutual interaction and social living; he still continues to revel in these merits while co-existing with others. However, it has been observed through the ages that while carving a space for himself and his dependents in the society, man is prone to trample on many societal norms in order to have maximum benefit. This benefit may be in terms of position in the society or in terms of gaining monetary benefit. Whatever the reason, recent trends have been a disturbing indicator of man selfishly pursuing his own aims with scant regard for society and civic sense.

Civic sense refers to certain societal norms and traditions that every human being on this planet has to follow in order to become acceptable in the society. The social trends expected to be followed do show a slight variation from place to place in keeping with the societal set up of the area. However in general, certain common social customs are followed throughout the diverse cultures of the world in order to promote peaceful co-existence between the inhabitants. All these customs and norms can be grouped under the heading of “Civic Sense”. Another point in this regard is that understanding of this concept is open to interpretation. When we talk about society, we include the human element which is the most unpredictable element on earth. Therefore how different individuals grasp and put these norms formulated by the society into practice is a matter of perspective of these selfsame individuals. Broadly speaking, Civic Sense refers to “rules of social etiquette framed by the society in order to propagate better living conditions”.

There are many sets of rules and regulations formed by the infinite number of societies both big and small that cohabit this world. Traditionally, man led a simple life, desiring only the fulfilment of three basic aims of food, clothing and shelter. Therefore the “civic sense code” that prevailed also revolved around these three aims. Every person had to ensure that mutual interaction was held in such a manner that the other person’s privacy was not invaded. At the same time, it was the duty of each man to help the other in times of need and if it was not within his power to do so, the concerned authority had to be warned regarding that person’s plight. No person could forcibly claim any part of the other person’s property or any material belonging to him. All these conditions still exist today and are an important part of societal customs at majority of places.

However, life today has changed tracks rapidly. One of the most recent problems being confronted by the world today is the danger of environmental damage. As a result almost all the major societies of the world (whether big or small) have started framing conditions with regard to environmental protection. These conditions have become such an important part of the daily living that now these can be included under ‘rules of civic sense’ to be ingrained in every newborn child since birth. These conditions include-keeping the environment clean, ensuring that the garbage is sent to the proper recycling channels, usage of energy efficient techniques, conserving water and electricity etc. Second important aspect concerns itself with the general rules of behaviour acceptable in the society particularly at social occasions. No person is allowed to behave indecently in social gatherings and must conduct himself properly in accordance with the demands of the occasion. The third point concerns itself with a very glaring problem the world over-the dwindling number of girls. The commonly held perception that girls are discriminated against and are victims of many women related crimes only in the developing world has been proven to be wrong. Infact, the rich societies having access to monetary power are more prone to indulge in such activities that are discriminatory towards women and girl child in particular-female foeticide being an important example. Every society does have a code of conduct with regard to dealing with women but now-a-days this code extends even in private lives to with the need to protect women becoming more and more urgent. Fourthly, technological advancement world over has brought about glitzy lifestyles where show-offs have become the order of the day. Mobile phones, Laptops and I-pods have become essential gadgets that are carried around by many people. However, it is sad to note that most people are not aware of the rules of etiquette for the usage of this equipment. As a result a civic sense ‘code of conduct’ has been formulated even with regard to these equipments in almost all societies. Switching off the mobile phone in a meeting, not plugging in the ear-phones of the I-pod during a public talk, listening attentively when someone is speaking on the dais etc. are some examples.

Ultimately, it can be said that civic sense constitutes the understanding of social customs, traditions and following them in such a manner that no one is inconvenienced by our conduct. This must be inculcated in the child’s mind since birth so that as the society grows, the child develops with it and passes this knowledge to future generations. The need of the hour for all the people is to start thing about the future of the society as a whole rather than concentrating on attaining certain selfish ends:
Begin now, begin today
let the knowledge illuminate the darkened way;
IT’S A NEW DAY! IT’S A NEW DAY!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

THE PAIN

You fell down and twisted your leg,
You FELT pain.
She cut her hand accidently with a knife,
She FELT pain.
He was blind from chilhood,
He FELT pain.
They were hurt in an accident,
They FELT pain.
I lost a dear one,
I FELT pain.

BUT OUR MOTHERLAND?

Many people were slaughtered during riots
She SAW pain.
Homes were blasted away during war,
She FELT pain.
The wailings of the victims rent the air,
She HEARD pain.
Mass graves were dug out off her womb,
She TOUCHED pain.
The aroma of the flowers and the stench of the bodies intermingled,
She SMELLED pain.

Aren't we better off with the pain we only feel?
But look our motherland still reels
under death, destruction and wars,
leaving her permanently scarred.
Why don't we stop this senseless slaughter?
Why do we murder someone's sons and daughters?

Have you ever told?

"Happy Anniversery Mom and Dad"
is what you say
with expensive gifts and cards
that might have come your way.
Then you run on with your own life,
never for a moment thinking of your parent's strife.
They worked hard for you night and day
helping you keep all your problems at bay.
Then on their very special day,
you fulfil your duty by giving gifts and walking away?

Time passes and your birthday comes
bringing with it loads of gifts and lots of fun.
You throw a party and play the perfect host
In your happiness forgetting to thank two persons who matter the most.

It's not gifts that matter to your mom and dad
AND your indifference doesn't make them glad...
In your fast-paced 'busy' world
have YOU found time and hurled
your arms around Mommy and Daddy,
have You ever told them
"I love you Mom" and I love you Daddy"?

Laughter

In the tinkling of a bell,
in the gurgling sounds of water in the well,
and in the home where I dwell,
there echoes-laughter.

In the chirping of birds on trees,
In the clashing of the keys,
and in the soft humming of the bees,
there resonates- laughter.

The lively cry of a baby,
the quietly swaying daisy,
swishing trees in a groove shady,
all signify-laughter.

So, laugh aloud ; laugh afresh
with hopes anew and dreams unexpressed,
praying for such an enchanted day
when all the gloom from this world is washed away!


Blogging-my cup of tea?

Hey All! Its me..the new victim of the blogger circuit..THANK YOU Manpreet ma'am for introducing me to this exciting new world! It's colourful, vibrant, classy, cheesy, beautiful, admirable, magnificient.....and the list could go on forever. For starters, even I was doubtful about my abilities as a blogger and looking through many blogging sites, my confidence level was at a big round '0'. Can I blog? Will I be able to hold my own among so many brilliant writers? I still don't know for sure...but it was ma'am's cajoling insistence that convinced me and here I am-doing something I never thought I would ever attempt! Now that I have begun, I hope that blogging shall turn out to be my cup of tea afterall!