May 26, 2011

The Birth of a Daughter !

So I was trying to work while impatiently waiting for the mobile to ring. A good friend and colleague`s wife was in labor and we expected a call from him any moment. Finally the call came with the very elated and teary eyed (with joy) new dad telling us about the birth of his daughter.
After we had spread the word around office and were generally talking about it another colleague said “Ab woh office mein sar utha kein nahin, sar jhuka ke ayega. Ladki hui hai na ! “(Now he wont be able to strut about the office like before. He will come with a bent head. After all he had a daughter !)
I told him “what sort of man are you to say such idiotic things - you yourself have a daughter, so does this mean tumhara sar ab jhuk gaya hai. I’d rather like to think ki tumhari daughter ka sir jhuk gaya hai to get such a father!”(What kind of person are you to say such things. You yourself have a daughter. You mean your head is now bent low after her birth. I would rather like to think that its your daughter who wont be able to hold her head high coz she has a dad like you)
To this he said “kya yaar society is like that change it first” and I responded “you are a part of society – you change first! “
Finally he said "c’mon Ruchira don’t you know how to take a joke !"
Well perhaps I really don’t know how to take a joke! That’s because I honestly can never find anything funny is such statements. They simply sicken and disgust me ! 
The very fact that we joke about such things means that such feelings and thoughts are still very much a part of our subconscious; however much we might prattle on about gender equality.
And what really pains me again and again and again is that even the so called educated strata of our society have such a mind set !
As we saw in this case too education really doesn’t help does it ! I wonder what really will help bring about a change then !

May 18, 2011

Lets Gain Some Momentum !

Overheard at work .....

PM to the Admin guy – We are going to get very esteemed visitors tomorrow. Please get some momentum.

Admin guy (looking indignant) – Momentum! sir there is no need to gain momentum. We are well prepared. Everything is moving as per schedule.

PM – what do you mean there is no need for momentum. We must give them momentum. It’s a tradition.

Admin guy (Now very confused) – Tradition? You mean it’s a tradition to show them how efficiently we work?

PM – What do you mean work efficiently? Don’t you have any momentum? I am sure you guys have it locked up somewhere in your cupboards.

Admin guy (with a glazed look in his eyes) – Momentum, locked in the cupboard with us? Sir what kind of momentum ?

PM – Oh u know paintings, small decoration pieces …

Admin Guy (with a sigh of relief) Oh you mean Memento!

PM – Off course. Now you understand. What’s the use of Admin dept when we need to tell you guys everything.

Someone needs a Rapidex English speaking course here :)

May 8, 2011

An Indian Summer!

It’s that time of the year again, when we slather on sunscreen even when we go out just for five minutes, when the sun is harsh and unbearable even at nine in the morning and the dust and the looh drives us indoors cursing the weather gods. Going out is a pain and all outdoor activities come to a standstill. There are no bazaars and fests and there is no theater. Places like Delhi Haat and Janpath become unbearable unless you go late in the evening – Its Summer time in good old Delhi!
Most of us have no choice but to stick it out except for brief respites that we might snatch by running off to the hills. Since the past few days I have been slowly and steadily melting and wilting away in the heat and it has left me with a terrible headache. So to cheer myself up I made a list of things I rather enjoy about summers in Delhi:

1)The Gulmohar and Amaltas in full bloom: Delhi turns a vibrant yellow and red thanks to the gulmohar and amaltaas trees that bloom during the summer. South Delhi is full of them and it’s lovely to drive through the shady lanes flanked on both sides with shades of yellow and orange and red. Never fails to cheer me up !

2) Raat Ki Rani and Jasmine: I simply love love love the smell of these delicate flowers. We just have 2-3 shrubs in the neighborhood but you can smell them way down the road. Raat Ki raani flowers only at night and that makes the after dinner walks very pleasant. There is one shrub just near my bedroom window and when the wind is blowing right, the fragrance that wafts into my room is unbelievable!
The jasmine blooms early morning and wilts away as soon as the day becomes hot. The first thing I do after getting up is collect the jasmine flowers and put them in tiny earthen or glass bowls filled with water. Keeps the house smelling fresh and wonderful throughout the day .

3) Mangoes: How can we forget mangoes! Fleshy, sweet mangoes, running juice as soon as you bite into them – the langdaas, the alphonsos, the Dussheris, the chausas …. Slurp ! Have them as a fruit, in a milk shake, cut in small pieces along with vanilla ice cream .. they are delicious in any form ! 

4) Watermelon : I love this fruit even more than mangoes. Take a watermelon, cut it up in small pieces, put it in the fridge for a few hours and then have it all crispy and ice cold. Delicious!

5) Cold coffee, milk shakes and Lassi: For me they are must haves every morning! I am a true Punjaban and I love my lassi along with all forms of milkshakes :)

6) Ice creams and Kulfi : There is no greater lover of ice creams and kulfi than me. Kesar pista kulfi , kulfi in a kulhad, kulfi on the stick .. kulfi in all forms and shapes and sizes. Irrespective of my long standing resolution to lose weight, I have a ice cream or Kulfi almost every day in summer!

7) Panna: I love this tangy drink made of raw mangoes! One of the best remedies for heat strokes!

8) Jamuns – We have this fruit seller that turns up every summer shouting Jamun kale kale jamun and then he gives us the jamun wrapped up in a piece of old newspaper with a lot of black salt sprinkled on the top. Our fingers and tongues get stained purple after eating them. I love the sweet - sour taste of this fruit!

9) Shehtoot (mulberry):A much lesser known summer fruit. Frankly looks a lot like a wriggly worm, you don’t really need to pick this fruit as it just falls as soon as it ripens. You’ll find it strewn all over under the tree. We used to have one in our school and the break time was spent in collecting this fruit!

10) Litchi : My absolutely favorite fruit. Somehow people don’t think much of it preferring mangoes and watermelon instead .As for me I lust after this fruit. The only problem is the fruit itself is so small and the kernel inside so big !! But it’s still worth the effort to peel and eat !

11) The smell of wet earth: One of my favorite summer smells. When the maali waters the plants and the earth is all cool and wet– I love that earthy smell.

12) Koel bird singing: Whenever I think of summer, the first thing that comes into my mind is mango blossoms and the Koel bird singing. Thankfully even in the concrete jungle of Delhi I can plainly hear it and its one of the sweetest songs I have ever heard. I look forward to it each summer!

13) Walking barefoot on the cool concrete/cement floor in the house: Most of the houses have tiled or wooden floors now but the feeling of walking barefoot on a cool cement floor is unbeatable – it’s so cool and nice to the touch!

14) Cottons: Summer is the time for cool white Lucknowi kurtas with intricate embroidery and flowy crisp cotton and organdy dupattas along with silver jewellery. One of my favorite attires! I have a huge collection of and I flaunt it every summer !
This is one of the Dupattas I just bought from Fab India ! 

15) Getting up with the Sunrise:Yeah I am one of those crazy people  who like to get up really early to enjoy the peaceful morning hours and to watch the sun come up. Since this really cant be done in the winter unless you are willing to freeze to death while watching the sunrise I really love getting up at dawn in summers to enjoy my few hours of peace and solitude !

So what do you guys like about the summers ?

(All images are courtesy google, except the last one with the sunrise - I clicked that in Rishikesh !)

May 6, 2011

A Captain's Knock ! (55 word Fiction)

The crowd waits impatiently, buzzing like a swarm of bees. He stands his guard, jittery inside but hiding it under a thin veneer of calm. The man on the other end runs, then throws. A graceful sweep, a flying arch in the air. His eyes follow it and he slowly smiles. And India goes berserk !

(This is my belated tribute to M S Dhoni and his magnificent sixer that brought the world cup home :) 
Written for Three Word Wednesday.This week’s words were – Thin, Grace and Jittery)

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