Asuras we met before Palani Muruga dharshan

What I am trying to share here is not something new or something that people have never conveyed. Eventhough I have faced such experiences earlier, the experience that I had in Palani this time disturbed me a lot.

When we decided to plan for a vacation in May, we automatically included Palani in the list of places to be visited. Though visiting Palani was a bit hectic for us, as we were travelling for the whole week, we still did not wanted to miss the bliss of visiting the divine place. Specially for me, who’s favourite is Muruga, visiting Palani gave me a super excitement and I was overjoyed.

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After attending a wedding in Cochin, we took a night bus to Palani and reached there at around 3.30 a.m. We did not do any prior hotel bookings in Palani and decided to take some accommodation randomly as we need the place only for around 2 to 3  hours to get ready. The moment we reached Palani , even at 3 P.M, lot of auto / carts/ rickshaw drivers were waiting for us.

There commences the game. Once they notice that we were searching for rooms, they somehow convinced us to travel near the temple which was few kilometres away from the bus stand and take lodges that are available there, saying that it will be easy for us to take early dharshans. After being convinced with that we started with him in his horse cart.

Surprisingly he took us to a shop and not a lodge. The shop was just near the temple selling all the pooja items. When we aksed the reason, the driver said that the shop keeper will direct us to the room.

The shopkeeper who spoke to us in a friendly manner, directed us to a nearby lodge where the rooms were quite Ok (If the stay is only for few hours). He convinced us to do a “Paal abishegam ”  in the temple saying that it was auspicious in that month and people who pay for abishegam can avail special dharshan in the mountain temple. He also promised to send his person with us who will completely accompany us to the temple and take us quickly. We gladly agreed for that and paid money for the same.

After refreshing, we came back to the shopkeeper where he gave a big list of things that we are required to take along with us for the abishegam like Viboothi, Turmrric, sandal, rosewater etc. The prices were exorbitant and the quantity that was mentioned in the list was also large. He told us that the sum that we paid already did not include all these and the same is only for milk and booking. We agreed to that as well quietly.

Then he introduced his assistant and asked him to take us to the temple. But actually he did not take us straight to the temple but to another shop  which sells all the  metallic items, idols of god and the small metallic offerings that we make to the temple. He left us in the shop and suddenly vanished. The other shopkeeper immediately packed a big “Vel” to be offered in the hundi without even asking us whether we need the same or not. When we refused to buy the same, he said that it’s a custom here for people to offer the vel to Muruga, and such offering is mandatory for people who do abhishegam. Based on the requirement and capacity of a family they try to impose something saying that the same is customary and mandatory. For instance seeing us who are a newly married couple, the shopkeeper was trying to sell us a small silver cradle for offering in the Hundi. When we continuously refused to buy the silver one, he then brought other ones which were cheaper in price. We agreed and purchased a smaller size vel alone, which he reluctantly offered for a costlier rate.

The moment we stepped out, the assistant came out of nowhere. He enquired for how much we purchased.

We went to the temple which was there in the bottom. The assistant told us that the abishegam done in the bottom temple will be more auspicious. He also asked to visit the hill temple in the meantime he does the abishegam in this temple for us.  He agreed to handover the prasadham except for the milk (which he said that they will distribute in the temple) in our hotel. We agreed to that as well.  To our shock, he further asked us to pay Rs. 600 for expenses involved in abishegam. My husband freaked out as we already paid so much to the shopkeeper twice. When he raised his voice and asked what he was upto, the guy all of a sudden reduced 300 from the expenses and said that 250 has to paid for the ticket and 50 to the prohit who does the abishegam. For the sake of Muruga, without a further argument we paid that as well.

Our shock did not end here. Leaving him there, we took an auto to reach the place where we need to take the cable car for going to the top.  There two entries one for Rs. 15 and other for Rs, 50. Both were crowded as expected by us. When we tried to enter the 50 rs entrance, a man deliberately came to us and asked us if we are willing pay and go for a quicker route. Thinking that it was a VIP ticket, we enquired about it. He said that we should pay the officer a sum of Rs. 1500 per person, who will take us quickly. We refused to bribe and took the paid entry where the Queue was stagnated for nearly 1 and a half hours.

People started losing their patience and they tried to go back. Many of them left the queue and went to the so called officer’s room, where in front of our eyes they were bypassing the queue and marching towards the rope car. People started screaming at the security near the office asking the reason, where the security claimed that they are relatives/known persons to the officer and hence they are going to meet them. It took 2 hours for us to reach the top. Crying kids, Cribbing old men and women, accompanied us throughout along with our hunger, pain and more importantly anger.

We had a blissful dharshan after waiting for 2 more hours in the queue at the top after getting a 100 Rs. Ticket. We came down and rushed to the bottom temple where we got the final shock that the charge fixed for doing an abishegam are less than Rs. 50.

We really felt very bad. For both of us, this was the first trip to Palani. Our travel and tiredness along with the hectic schedule took us to this extent which did not give ample time for us to think.

Now these are the questions that came to my mind:

The state Government took the management and control of Hindu temples claiming that the same is not managed properly and the state will offer better administration. Is the term “better administration” is only for the revenue and the resources?

I have seen such things happening in many temples. Corruption does exist in other temples as well. But what we faced here was so deliberate and arrogant that things happen in front of your eyes.  Now how will people get a satisfied Dharshan?

How can we call people who make money by misusing the belief and faith of people?

If HR & CE is responsible for entertaining complaints relating to the temple, then where is the mechanism for filing complains against its own Government officials?

If these vendors and agents are able to cheat educated people like us, then what about uneducated people? What is the plight of people who are unaware of these happenings? What is the mechanism to curb these?

Left with no answers for these questions and praying Muruga quietly, we left the place.  We are interested in taking some actions against such practices. It may be a legal remedy or any kind of activism. If any of you had faced similar grievances and are interested is supporting us, please let us know!

Thanks for the read!

Savitha

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Right, Duty and Responsibility

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This is not something unknown, new, or unwritten!

Every day that we spend with people in our country, we will get to hear hundreds and thousands of complaints from people at our family, our friends and collegues (At times from strangers too when you are in a public place). People post different complaints about our Government, country, environment, law and order, corruption, etc.  Everything is admitted. But my mind asks few important questions to people who keep complaining about our system.

  •  Yes! The Government is corrupt. People take bribes in various fields according to the requirement. Now what have you done to combat corruption? In how many occasions have you refused to bribe and took your work in a legitimate way despite of the hardships that you get for refusing to bribe?
  • Yes! Our roads are not clean. People throw garbage in the streets. Drainage system is highly improper. Admitted. How many of us have raised complaints to the appropriate authority in the municipality, at least for the one in their streets?
  • Yes the government and mechanism are improper! Yes! Admitted. Now as a citizen of this country how many of us are effectively exercising our duty?

Though people give lack of time as an excuse or the 1st and 2nd points, skipping the 3rd point is the greatest negligence that one can commit to their nation. Voting is not just a person’s right but its their duty.  And effective exercise of this duty is the responsibility of every citizen.

People who do not vote give various reasons. Most of them say reasons like, non-availability of voter IDs, non-availability of their name in electoral list etc. Here are my questions to them?

  • Obtaining voter IDs are not that difficult for an educated individual. Youngsters are keen in obtaining Driving licence when they cross 18 years of age. But why is the same interest is not shown for obtaining voters ID?
  • There are hundreds of ways to know the procedure involved in obtaining a duplicate Voter IDs/ getting the name registered in the electoral list. Is lack of procedural knowledge a valid excuse? Will this be the same treatment in case of lost of Driving Licence / PAN Card or a bank debit card? Certainly not! Then what is the reason behind this lethargy in getting your voter ID?
  • The procedure involved in getting these things done will maximum make a person to take a couple of hours permission or maximum a day’s leave. When you can afford such permissions and leaves for your family function, a date or even for a movie, why not for exercising your duty towards this Country?

Now coming to the point of responsibility, i.e, effective exercise of the voting right, my mind asks only one question. What is the basis of casting a vote and selecting a particular candidate?

Media plays a considerable role in influencing people to select the right candidate to lead the Country. Media in many cases voices out the opinion of the people. But there are also cases where media plays is strong role in moulding the opinion of the people and restricting their ability to think beyond what media shows.

The latter is the case of Shri. Narenedra Modi, the Prime Ministerial Candidate of BJP and the Chief Minister of Gujarat. When I tend to talk with people about Modi, the 1st thing they say is Riots in 2002. Even after the verdict of the Supreme Court giving clean chit to Modi, the mindset that these people have him, did not change to a greater extent. Now my question is, how many of them are aware of the following facts?

25% of India’s GDP belongs to Gujarat.  22% of India’s exports and 51% of India’s petrochemical production is contributed by Gujarat. Nearly 100% of Gujarat’s 18,000 villages have electricity connection for 24hours through the Jyotigram Yojana.Statistics show 12.8% agriculture growth in the last five years in Gujarat against the national average growthrate of 2%. Krishi Mahotsav introduced for agricultural research labs. “Shala Paravesh Mahotsav” was introduced to reduce the dropouts in school education and the droupout ratio of 21% is reduced to 2% in 2011. Kanya Kelavani Yojana was introduced to encourage education amongst girls.Chiranjeevi Yojana was introduced to reduce infant mortality rate. (This scheme was rewarded with Asian Innovation Award.). etc etc.

I can add hundred things to this. But the point that I wish to convey here is, as a Chief Minister, Shri. Modi has brought tremendous changes in Agriculture, Electricity, Education, Technology, Hygene and health, infrastructure and whole development of the state, what is preventing us from confidently entrusting the Indian Government with him?

The future of our Country is not anywhere but in our hands to exercise effectively our duty and responsibility.

As a citizen of this country, every one of us has a RIGHT to question the wrongs that are happening in our country. At the same time, we have a DUTY to cast our vote in the upcoming election. Our role does not end up with the right and duty but the RESPONSIBILITY to choose the right person as our leader.

IF YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FAILS, THERE IS NO POINT IN EXCERCISING THE DUTY.

IF YOUR DUTY FAILS, THERE IS NO USE IN CRYING FOR THE RIGHT. YOUR RIGHT CEASES!

Be responsible in choosing the right person. Think wise and Vote for India and its Development!  Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar!

Thanks for the read!

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating my love

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Every year when I cross the date 14th February, I use to get lot of messages and pictures wishing for Valentines day! This year, in addition to the wishes, people started asking about my plans for that day, as I am newly married!

To them when I say that I don’t believe in the  concept of celebrating “Valentines day”, without even questioning the reason behind , they ask me, “Why are you against celebrating love?” The question that is hiding inside my heart is “Why won’t I celebrate love?”

Before that let me answer this! Right from my younger age I have a tendency to follow and adhere to things that I sincerely believe and I am convinced with the reason behind it! Valentines day is celebrated in the memory of a Christian Saint Valentine. When he was in jail in Rome he wrote a letter to the jailor’s daughter signing it with the words “your valentine”. (Courtesy wikipedia). I am not able to derive any connection between this story and celebratiob of Valentine’s day in India!! If I am able to get some other better connection, then let me consider! !

Love is a beautiful feeling. It knocks the door of every individual in some way and in some form. There lies the triggering point! The first impression about love determines their view about love for their entire life. There are people who feel it as breeze and on the other hand there are people who view it as fire! It depends primarily on the first Incident that made them understand what love is.

The triggering point came to me in my late school days when I was ispired by the love of “Andaal” (Kothai) with Lord Vishnu! Though I have heard her story from my father for atleast 100 times, I realised the magic of love when I read that myself after my schooling.

Right from her childhood Kothai developed a divine love towars Vishnu and she always visualised herself as a garland in the shoulders of Sree Vishnu. I admired the beauty of her innocent love when she wears herself the garland before offering to Maha Vishnu and felt the bliss. For her, nothing else than Sree Vishnu was the priority. This small act of love proved the basic theorem of love “Love makes the life so beautiful ” .

More than everything, the way in which she pursued her love was just amazing! During the whole month of Marghazhi she composed and offered Thiruppavai, a set of 30 songs. They were just not poems of love but millions of information were beautifully painted in them.

Contradicting the so called modern definition of love potrayed by the media today, Kothai’s love was not mere madness. Her love was entirely filled with divinity. She set a glaring example for dignity of Insian woman.

Though her intent to pursue her love gave a fear in the mind of her father, the manner in which she took it forward and set a role model for young women was amazing. Her life clearly establishes the glorious culture that we belong to and the dignity of women that our culture witnessed.

But what is potrayed by the media today? Both the concept of love and woman have become business strategies!! It uses both women and love as a tool to brand their business products. That is what is happening in every Valentine’s day!!

For a man or a woman who understands the purity and divinity of love, every second of their life is a celebration of love. They need not wait for a special day to celebrate it. We don’t need cakes to cut and teddy bears to hug! I am proud to be one!!

On the other hand if a person does not celebrate a Valentine’s day, then I think the loss is not for them but for the businessmen who use woman as a strategy to sell love!!

Thanks for the read!!

P.S. I am not answering anyone here. Also this is not written to blame anyone who celebrates Valentine’s day. This is mere expression of my way of celebrating love!! All I am saying is love is making my life beautiful.

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Marital Signs -Game, shame or Crime?

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After a very long time getting a opportunity to write about something which I have been waiting to write!! But this time I feel is the right moment for writing on this topic.

In the recent past when I had chances to interact with a couple of married women, I found a shocking similarity among lot of them – They are not interested in wearing mangal sutras (mangalyam / Thali), their leg rings (metti) and kumkum in the top of their foreheads (This may not be a custom for few communities). When I enquired about the reason for the same, probably the reasons were one among the follows:

1. Are men wearing any of these? Why women alone are forced to wear them?

2. I am same even after a marriage and I want to be the same for ever and not interested in changing the way I look.

3. When the relationship is based on mutual love and affection what is the necessity for symbols like this?

4. It does not go with my dress and lifestyle

Though these seem to reflect intelligence, I felt that people are ignorant and decided not to comment on them thinking that it is their life and their discretion.

My patience was tested when I was participating in a debate where my opponent who was a lady spoke that “These signs of marriage are imposed on women and empowerment of women can never happen if this continues”

Though this statement was completely ignorant,  I was terribly shocked to see that this attitude and culture (So called modernity)  is spreading like a disease everywhere. Not just women but lot of men adhere and advocate such acts of the so-called modernity.

Here are my questions to these modern thinkers:

1. Marriage brings ample changes to every individual specially for every women. A woman who is married is given due respect in the society that we live, the places she visits.  Even the friends and her social circle sees her in a completely different way with dignity. More than everything her parents treat her with due respect when she visits her home where she lived for yeas before marriage.How can you say that there is no change in a woman’s life after marriage?  Does a change necessarily be negative always? Why to ignore these positive changes occur solely on account of marriage?

2. Our culture and tradition gives more sanctity to women who is married.  According to our shastras a man is not complete without his spouse.  A man cannot perform many Vedic rituals without his wife. Even Rama witnessed it without  Sita Devi. Now how are woman becoming or treated inferior after marriage?  What will you call these sanctity that is given to woman solely on account of marriage?

3. Apart from the spiritual and social significance,  there are also science involved in all these customs. For instance wearing a metti in the leg gives adequate pressure to a nerve that connects the uterus, which in turn is good for pregnancy. For those who claim that men is not wearing these, I ask a simple question – How is this significant to men?

I can bring hundreds of arguments here. My intention here is not to change individuals who are not adhering to these customs in the guise of modernity.  My work is not that.

On the other hand, any individual who loves to be a part of this valuable tradition will never stay quiet seeing people atrociously spreading myths in the guise of modernity and misleading innocents who are unaware of such things.

This is just one thing out of which I have spoken just less than 50% of the issue. There are huge number of incidents that are trying to kill our customs and culture.

Every one of us in some way or the other are responsible for preventing such diseases spreading all over the country. And we owe duty to work towards it.

Thanks for the read!

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PINKISH LOVE AND GREENISH CONCERN

Writing about my “area of interest” gives me some satisfaction. Generally when I write about something, I will try to convey some message, place some request or to some extent try to stress the seriousness of what I write. But for the first time, I am writing something because I am happy and feel like sharing it. I agree that elements of “stupidity” definitely exist when reading this. So without any expectations, proceed further.

My “Pinkish love” is not something new to me. Apart from my routine, if I am asked to do something interesting, immediately my mind says “Babysitting”. Whenever we have a family get together, the department that is assigned to me is always to take care of kids. This is for two reasons – 1. I am good (At least slightly above average) at handling kids. 2. I am not good at anything else!!

I have seen people who had tough time with kidoos specially those who are very naughty. They use to crib that they can manage a company better than taking care of a kid. But for some reason I felt the reverse. For me, handling a kid was the easiest thing that I can do on earth. Beating, Biting, Kicking etc will definitely be there (Depends on their ability and our capacity), but when we identify their ‘area of interest’ then the attachment that they show is really priceless.

For many years I was doing this as and when it comes. I was so mad that it took these many years for me to realize that I am deeply in love with these pinkish roses!

 

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The turning point in the story comes when we actually build a confidence in them. They will immediately take you to their pinkish world which is so beautiful. When they react to what they say, that is the first stage. The maximum in this benchmark valuation will be attained when these pink hands hug us and we get a kiss from a kidoo.

Being part of this pinkish cycle is not something insignificant. For them, we are heroes and heroines. Even if you say that you are a super man, they will open their eyes widely and ask “Oh reallllly!!!!” If you impress them, they spontaneously giggle and react. On the other hand, if they don’t like something, without even a second that they will show it in front of your face!

They don’t know to over react! They shower genuine affection! Their innocence will be unique! Their anger is very simple to solve. (An attractive story plus an ice-cream is the maximum bid). Their possessiveness is harmless! Their lies will be beautiful especially when they get caught! The way they see miracles in even small things is amazing. When they raise silly questions and get answer for that, they feel as if they conquered the entire world. More than everything, the expressions that they give in their pinkish faces are super cute.

For people who don’t like kids, I am just telling just a simple thing “You terribly miss the divinity of this pinkish love!”

Though “Green” is not my favorite colour, it gives some pleasant feel whenever we see it. In fact the colour green is used in many places as a symbol of prosperity, fertility and cheer. In relationship, I can correlate this colour with the concern that elderly people shower on us.

Being with my Grandparents right from my birth I was pampered at each and every stage. At the age of 21 when my “Grand pa” passed away, I realized a huge gap which made me to recollect each and every moment with him. Though there was lot of grand children, his love for me was special and unique. Unfortunately I realized it in a better way after his life.

Old age is a rule of nature. But how many of us are able to understand them? When they “Address” or “advise” us, most of us hardly sit and listen. Some even go and mock at them.

The society that we live is very much different from the one that they lived when they were young. Obviously opinions and outlooks differ! When we are not able to understand this simple fact, it is absolutely  unjust for us to expect elders to understand. We claim that we know better than them because of the “exposure” that we have!!

Throwing complaints away for a while, when we try to understand the heart of these old people, the result of the analysis will slap each and everyone who mocked at a “Grand pa” or a “Grand ma”

For them, son/daughter/grandson/grand daughter is not different when they show their concern. It is possible for them to take care of hundreds of people like their own children. Their world may be small but their attitude towards people and the manner in which they socialize is something which should de appreciated (Of course that is inversely proportional to the present generation’s attitude of mingling with people).

All that they expect from you is to ‘nod’ your head when they speak and give minor reactions. That’s it! They will cover you with a smooth green blanket of concern which cools down the maximum temperature.

Most people think that they are rigid and don’t even know what softness is! I also admit that they are not that expressive as we are (At least what we claim). But when we sit with them and analyze closely, the truth will come to limelight. Not just their family, kith and kin, I have seen elders who cry and pray for disasters that happen in some corner of the world. [They are very much capable of even crying for problems faced by women in TV serials – My maternal grand mother is a best example ] Their Green umbrella of concern is very huge to protect as many people as possible.

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As they grow older, they become kids at heart and expect love and affection from people who are around them. Winning them by love is not so challenging. When you give 2 things for them, they treat them as million things and jump out of joy. It is possible only for them to exaggerate and explain the whole world, a small act of love directed towards them.

The intention of this note is not to convey that people in between these two age groups are useless. The point is people at times become colour blind with respect to these two colours. These age groups are ignored by many. But when we fill these two colours (pink and green) in our life in a right proportion, life will be very meaningful (I know I am not that old to advise this). Let us not see them just as an existing element but as attractive colours. I am very sure that they will add value to our art of life.

P.S: Exceptions are always there for everything, about which I am not bothered here!

 

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THE WEEPING PRINCESS

Debates on “Women rights” are happening all over the country for the past few years. The country is not completely out of the cold blooded crime in the capital city which shook even hard hearted people.

Prayers were made; Protests were raised; signature campaigns took place; Capital punishments were insisted. All these efforts are appreciable. Beyond all these, how many of us took sincere attempts to analyze what is cause and what is the effect?

The fact that these efforts are extra ordinary is something which cannot be denied. But will this alone bring the change that we want to see in this world?

People started to even blame the unsafe atmosphere prevailing in our country and felt ashamed of being part of this country. But they forgot the fact that the term “India” includes him or her and they have moral responsibility in breaking this unsafe atmosphere which is prevailing today.

Reading the half baked and incomplete history of India, they say that this is a country which treated women inferior to that of men. That existed for some years. Agreed! But what was our ancestry? At that time, women were not treated in par with men, but a step above men with respect and divinity.

Our ancient history, epics, religious scriptures, everything glorified women as a form of goddess and showered respect upon her.

When talking about ancient women, first and foremost picture that hits my mind is Shri maa Sarada Devi. When I read her biography, my mind was mesmerized by the way Shri. Ramakrishna paramahamsar (Her Husband) did Shodaji Pooja to her. Despite of the fact that she was his wife and she was much younger to her, he viewed her as a human form of goddess Shakthi. 

Gargi and Maitreyi were respected as learned women in ancient society. So many women can be listed out in this regard.

Is that the situation prevailing now? Crimes against women are increasing in the geometric progression. Government of India’s recent statistics reveals that the percentage of increase in crimes against women from 2010 to 2011 is 7.1%

Before going into the cause aspect, the consequence aspect which is vital needs to be looked into. Crimes like rape, sexual harassment, molestation, immoral trafficking in women are poisonous when compared to crimes like dowry demands (Just my point of view), for the sole reason that these crimes will just not cause violence at the time of commission but implant severe disease in the minds of the victim and the society surrounded by her. In most cases, a sexually abused victim hears an alarming cry inside her, when she faces the world, however supportive the society around her are!

When women in the west fought for rights for their equality our Indian culture granted respect to women even much before the so called rights came into the picture of many countries. This is a fact that cannot be denied!

Swami Vivekananda, when writing about Indian women said, In the west, all women other than the mother are looked at as wives. In India, all women other than the wife are looked upon as mothers.””

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There lies the point. The solution lies nowhere else than here. It was this culture which respected women; Treated her in par with men; Added value to her life; Recognized the sacrifices that she made; Gave sanctity to the roles played by her as a daughter, wife, mother and so on; Witnessed the “Shakthi” in her; And so on.

And now?

One among of the best thing that we have lost in the phase of modernization is the sanctity given to women. Now the question of sanctity becomes less important, as safety itself is in deep danger!

Not just we are harassed in various walks of our life, but are viewed as objects of lust. Indecent portrayals of women have become the fashion of the day! Pornography and prostitution are increasing day by day. The shocking fact is even mobile phones have indecent applications that degrade women. There are even instances where women are cheaply harassed without even being physically contacted.

This is the price that is paid by the country for destroying our priceless culture in the guise of modernization and westernization.

When a person blames the country and the legal system alone for the injustice that is happening to women, and calls himself/herself as an activist, then all that can be done is feeling sorry for their ignorance of the fact that they themselves contribute to the irreparable loss caused to the country.

Stringent laws and capital punishments are mandatory for these anti – social elements.  Though they may not bring these crime rates drastically, such punishments are required for the sole reason of destroying these bacteria which planted venomous mental sickness not only inside the victim but inside the heart of each and every women. But the permanent cure lies only on adherence to our values and culture. This cannot be disputed.

I am a princess for my parents. Each and every woman is a princess for her own family.  After crossing hundreds of barriers, each and every princess steps forward to achieve so many things. Whatever achievements we make, however supportive our surroundings are, the hidden princess inside us is still weeping, which at some point or the other is hindering us to walk forward! And it’s really difficult to wipe her tears completely because, one after the other our kith and kin are harassed.

When someone ask whether I want “Women rights” or “Women respect”, I still say women right, not for copying whatever men do, but just for safe position in which they are placed. (I am restricting only to this aspect). I am ready to work for the respect. But I should first be safe for working for women, because I also belong to the womankind whose safety is in danger now.

Feminism just not lies in blaming men and the country, and voicing for temporary solutions for a temporary period, but working towards the permanent empowerment of women, not only by bringing her the rights but empowering her with respect.

Looking forward to take the first step as a feminist which I wanted to take from my 12th age and the time for which is almost come.

Thanks for the read!

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AN ATTEMPT TO ANSWER

Being part of an organization called “Youth for Dharma” for 3 years and above, I faced different experiences from different set of people at different occasions. Elders who see me participating, with full of excitement ask me a question frequently “How is it possible for you to be a part of this, at THIS AGE?” On the other hand people in and around my age group ask the same question in a different tone! The former is filled with pleasant surprise and latter contains terrible shock in it!

After 3 years of divine experience, I am now making an attempt to answer to the second set of people! This attempt is not made to just prove where I stand, but because of the people who ask this to me, as they mean so much to me.

Now wait! Here I am not going to explain the activities and objectives of YFD, because I am sure that this will not be the first time my friends hearing it from me. Then? Whenever I start talking about the divinity of and the need for such a work, the first and foremost question that people ask me is “What benefit did u gain from being part of it?” I will share few of what I gained here apart from the priceless feel and bliss I am getting which cannot be measured.

Being part of a NGO is a beautiful thing. The difficulty lies in selecting the organization which you want work with. Once the right selection is made, then the rest of the organizational life will really be a joy! For me, that difficulty also did not arise as the person who showed this to me was my well wisher.

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As an advocate by profession, I need to interact with more and more people. Interaction is not an easy job, atleast for people like me who came from a very “reserved” set up! I hardly had friends and never opened my mouth with full confidence even when I was right. A proper interacting person should both be an attractive speaker and a good listener. Many advocates start to learn the art of interaction and public speaking once they step into this profession. But fortunately, interaction was not a challenge for me as my YFD trained me sufficiently before my first step into this profession.

Women empowerment was my cup of tea right from my school days. The Macaulay’s education and the people around me injected me wrong facts which made me to draft a totally different hypothesis for my work on W.E. YFD and the people whom I met in YFD gave me an entirely different perspective on W E, whereby I am able to frame a logical hypothesis on WE and start working on it.

The biggest failure in the lives of many professionals is the work-life balance. After being an active part of YFD I learned the art of balancing not just work and personal life but also one more phase called “Social life”. Balancing is not just being a spectator, but a considerable extent of participation thereby doing justice to the roles I cast in all the three plays.

An admirable factor in my YFD life is the people I met through YFD. Our executive team consists of active youngsters who hail from different professions. Beyond our hectic professional life in this competitive world few of us decided to keep one more step to do something for the society. And that brought us together! So this acted as a forum for meeting like minded youngsters who strive to see a change in the society apart from just talking. Apart from YFD, they have minimum 2 other causes for which they want to work and they actually work. Few speak W.E. Few dream for change in educational system. Few help differently abled. Few donate for the needy. Etc.. Whenever I listen to such thoughts and ideas, the amount of positive spirit that follows is priceless!

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At times, I get chances to coordinate events where I require taking lead role and delegating work. Initially I was highly uncomfortable for doing so as most of my team mates are elders. But surprisingly they broke my fear and gave me the confidence to walk forward! I can say that this is a blessing for each and everyone here.

The value of time became so precious like gold to me in these days. To be precise my focus these days lies mainly on time management. Situations made in me to do 50 things in the place of 5 things, which improved the productivity in me.  The sole reason behind this is YFD.

Crisis management was something I learnt from being a part of it. For that matter, I can say that this is a best thing that one can learn being part of a NGO. You will at times have to face multidimensional problems and unrealistic deadlines. This also helped my personal and professional life very well.

My learning graph suddenly started to travel in a growing phase. YFD not only gave opportunities to learn our values and traditions (Work in Progress) but many minor things as well. I learnt to make best use of technology as I never knew social media is so powerful. I started using word, excel and PowerPoint frequently and have attained a decent level.(Definitely not an expert) I would never have opportunity to either learn or use it otherwise than in my profession.

Creativity knocked my door again. I opened my music book back after 7 years. I started making decent contents. I had opportunities to participate in event management. My first attempt in making a photo collage is for YFD.(Now I am confident in making many). And yes! I have lot more to go.

I can add so many things to it. I am not going to do that. I will wind up with a small but an important feel!

Being part of an organization is a beautiful feeling which cannot be explained but only experienced. More than that, at the age of 23 years, if someone is looking up to you, then obviously that adds responsibility to your life! I am so happy and thankful to take up this responsibility at this age!

P.S: Kindly press “SHIFT + DELETE” to your idea if you think that this is promotional note. One more “SHIFT + DELETE” to people who think that this is an arrogant reply to people who ask me reasons for being part of YFD. This is 100% an attempt to answer my dearest people, who want to know what I actually gain from this apart from the service point of view and whose presence in my life are so important.

Thanks for the read!                 

 

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Missing my Madness

Finally I am writing an explanatory note about my frequent status message! Though this is about me, I can see many others coming across this phase in life!

This was not long long ago and so long ago. Just very few years back! Life was totally different for me. The people and the circumstances existing around me are the same. But the way I handled things and the way those things handled me, underwent serious changes!

Life for me, at that time, revolved totally around me and with a small circle. No one other than me was there for me. When I came across a happy moment, I penned that down and read myself (So many note books full of essays and poetries are still with me). On the other hand, when I had to face serious insults, Yes! I was the best friend for me to console me. Abuse, anger, betrayals, blackmails, defeats, threats etc.. touched my life someway or the other. Fortunately, just a pen and a paper (That alone!) helped me to get rid of all these. People told me that I was very poor in the art of socializing and called me MAD! Yes! That was a self- centric madness.

I gave abundance of importance to straight forwardness. I have paid so much for retaining such a character with me. Whoever it may be, wrong was always a wrong to me. And whoever it may be, I never bluffed or gave honey quoted fake words. I always pointed the bull’s eye. No concessions, exemptions, conditions subsequent, were able to convince me. In my high school days, I was actually a “Strict officer” class leader. My school friends can never forget a character that caught people who copied in class tests!! The lies that I spoke can be counted with my fingers. People around me said that I was not at all adjustable to the reality and called me MAD. Yes! That was an unrealistic straight forward madness.

More than a person, I was attached to a person’s qualities. I gave a form to the character of a person, and respected it. So according to me, a person’s existence in my life journey depended solely on their character. My mind never accepted a compromise when such a character is lost and the person alone wanted to survive with me! But on the end of the day, I never regretted for the cost I paid for this. People around me told that a small consideration or some relaxation is required to be given for close friends and they finally called me MAD. Yes! That was Personality madness!

I was the antonym for the word “Anger”. Anger or some form of an emotional outburst was almost nil in my earlier life. I hardly reacted to anything that happened to me! (Even when I was heartlessly ragged at the age of 11 by 20 of my class girls). Similarly tension or fear was the least known thing to me and I hardly remember any incidents flavored by these emotions. Not even once at that time, I was emotionally stagnated. At times few of my friends ask, “Do you know what anger is?”  People around me criticized that I am a blind missing different colors of life and finally called me a MAD. Yes! That was a senseless dumb madness!

I admired even small things around me. I played games with kids and nodded my head for the tales of grannies. I posted goal command in my book cupboard! I drew my own crayon smiley in my room and spent time for silly things that gives a small smile when someone views that! Small smile and all was ok! But after that? A big lecture will follow. The first thing they say is “What the hell is your age?” I still remember the day when I brought a butterfly pencil and got blasting from my friends that time. They told me that age is a vital criterion to determine our dos and don’ts and called me MAD.  Yes! It was an immature madness!

I can accumulate so many other incidents of my madness! But I don’t want to do that. What is the use of that?

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Now let me come to the point. Now in the guise of living a “Social life” I am not doing many of the above things. I cannot deny the fact that I am happy. I have loads of friends. I am pampered. So many people like to spend time with me. I am sharing both my happiness and sadness with them. Everything is good only. But something is missing in all these. When I seriously ran a search of that, my mind is asking me a question.

WHERE IS MY MADNESS?

Though I am completely not out of my reality, I cannot miss out the fact that I miss the madness in me.

I am happy: I am blessed. I am fully enjoying my life; I am highly satisfied with what I am now. But if you ask me that this is 100% I will say no. because I miss my madness.

P.S: I know this is a difficult question and there are chances of it irritating you. But still let me proceed with this. Can I get my madness back with the benefits of the present life? Only serious answers are accepted!! Thanks for the Patient read!

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QUESTIONS OF A COMMON GIRL

Bharat is a beautiful country which rightly depicts “Unity in Diversity”. There are plenty of differences among people on the basis of religion, caste, creed, language etc. Beyond all these, the patriotism inside everyone brings people together under one shade called “Indian”. However these differences created by nature, at times, give room for few problems here and there. Some of them are seasonal but few of them continuously in some way or the other affect the society. These problems shoot up some controversy and at times disturb the mental peace of people living around. One among such controversy is the Reservation system based on caste and gender.

When we look at few pages of Indian history, we cannot refuse to flip through the period of caste based discrimination, where, people belonging to few castes were deprived of their basic rights as a human being. Though that was not the original position of the prior Indian history, we cannot deny the existence of such a phase. When reading about such acts of discrimination, this common girl had so many questions like “why?”, “who” and “what for?”! But the fact is that this common girl was not even born when such things happened and as a solution, provisions of our Indian Constitution and few other enactments were brought into picture.

Just because of her birth in a Brahmin family, this common girl never had any problems with the reservation system per se, as she was able to understand the justice that is required to done for backward classes. Though she was chased in each and every phases of her life like education, employment and everything, she was able to justify the reservations on the sole ground that there should not be any Forward – Backward differences based on castes .

When she was able to see reservations adversely affecting her kith and kins, she silently smiled saying “Nothing harm in giving my piece of a cake to someone who is starving!”

When her cut off was fixed as 96% as against the BCs who had a lower target, she was able to digest that saying “My father and forefathers leant and they taught the society! We inherit knowledge by blood too. But these people lack such type of inheritance”

She was completely focusing on chasing her dreams in this competitive world with tough targets ahead. But the moment when she started looking what is happening around her and where these reservations are heading to, she cannot stop asking few questions.

Here are her scenario type questions:

1.      A candidate is required to pay 1/10th of the college fee because he belongs to a particular community. This is given to all the candidates of such community, irrespective of their financial strength. Apart from this, all of them who fill a particular application form are entitled to a scholarship exceeding Rs. 10,000.Again financial strength is not the eligible criteria. For a student who is born with silver spoon the money becomes a day’s pocket money. Is the money going rightly to the pockets of the needy? Is financial stability not the criteria for scholarships?

2.      One person obtains MMBS admission through reservation. He joins the college and studies for 2 years. Then he discontinues the college and joins other college through the same reservation. Finally he gets a MBBS degree. He then writes UPSC and gets a government appointment in a Registrar Office again through Reservation. He has achieved the desired upliftment. I agree. But what is the cost? 2 medical college seats + 7 years of incentives provided by the Govt. Why can’t these places be filled by the deserving candidates who aspire to become a doctor?

3.      A ST candidate does not qualify even for the minimum requirement of marks for a professional course. He also failed in the entrance examination. But no one other than him applied for the course under that particular quota. Now he filed a writ asking the Govt. to give the seat to him because he was the only ST who applied despite of him not even passing the exam. What is giving him such right?

4.      A college gives 30 seats for SCs and STs alone! I accept it. Now only 5 of those seats are filled by the candidates. What is the fate of the 25 other seats? Some colleges waste these seats. Some people sell these seats for a higher donation. Now who is the ultimate sufferer?

5.      A girl, who is a BC by her caste, fraudulently obtains a SC Certificate. She gets all her reservations and comes out well. Now by marrying a man who is a BC, she also claims the incentives provided by the government for inter caste marriages without even doing one such marriage. Subsequently she continues the same with her children. Now how will we deal with such situations?

One can add on hundred situations like this. None of the above is a fake story, but the outcome of true colors of the society.

A Brahmin common girl will not have a reservation. She should secure highest marks to get a decent degree. (At times unrealistic targets were also set for her). She hardly gets scholarships from her community sanghs. She cannot dream to step into a Government job that easily. She should be able to give up her preferences, if the targets set are not achieved! But the moment when she opens the mouth and says a word against reservations, then that will be the end. She will be called a chauvinist!

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Ok! Now the common girl is putting an end to her questions and trying to give her answer:

SC/ST or Backward class empowerment is very important and there is nothing harm in giving top priority to this cause. Giving Reservations do boost them and encourage them to step inside and acquire various positions. On the other hand, the question of it fully reaching the real sufferers is always there.

Every piece of legislation is misused by one segment of the society.  Likewise these reservations are also grossly misused. The effect of these misuses is serious as it catches the life vein of not just the upper class common people but the real backward class sufferers.

This common girl, taking her restricted liberty to speak, puts forth her view: Instead of asking for more and more reservations for the empowering the backwards,

1.      Why can’t we step into the position of illiterate villagers and educate them about the benefits that Indian legal guardian provides for them?

2.      Why can’t we take a  resolution among ourselves to waive the reservations which is not required for us and waste them thereby allowing the needy to get that? Why can’t we advise our friends to do that?

3.      Why can’t we try to curb the misuses of such caste based reservations both by the individuals and institutions? If discrimination is a sin, then what is abuse?

4.      Why can’t we ask the Government to make stringent provisions to penalize these abusers?

To all my “Caste Empowerment” activist friends, here is a request. If your work for the Backward classes empowerment involves any one of the above 4 methods, then this common girl will be happy to paint your activist image on her face.

But if your activism is restricted only to ask more and more reservations, then this common girl, without any choice, will hopelessly look at her common brothers and sisters and pray for their survival.

Thanks for the read!

The common girl

 

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LAST FEW MINUTES OF LIFE

This may seem to be really pessimistic! But the intention behind is actually NOT. Though this is not a preplanned note, the issue which I am going to discuss here is pressing me for quite a long time! To some extent this note is risky as there are chances of controversies rolling all over the note! [Even if I add a disclaimer clause at the end]

Every human being in this world faces hundreds of challenges in their day to day life. Almost every one of us want to get rid of all our difficulties and challenges in some way or the other. Every problem has its own end and people are left with the only option to accept them irrespective of the fact that it is desirable or not. And most of us do accept it.

If our problems end in an undesirable way, some of us appeal for an alternative without losing our hopes. Some take that as their fate and walk forward. Few people bust out their emotions whenever they require on this regard. All these are different ways of accepting such undesired results.

But beyond all these, few people step forward and refuse to accept the undesired end by committing certain acts. One among them is SUICIDE!

Suicide is a sharp edged weapon which tastes the blood of both the person who handles it and the person against whom it was aimed! [There are also instances where the weapon is aimlessly triggered]

Life on earth is so beautiful. Each and every life in this world has its own value. Throwing all these colors of life, when someone jumps into this graveyard, then that is something which cannot be taken easy!

When someone faces a problem, they will obviously try their maximum to solve that. The battle commences here, and they rush to take every possible alternative to win it.

As a first step they try solving the problem on their own. Then they will take it to the person concerned! If this stage did not work out, then they resort to“third party” assistance. Such people may be parents, life partner, siblings or friends. This stage might solve the problem. Even if it is not solved, at least the power of well wisher’s support is capable of healing even severe wounds!

Now when all these let outs are shut down, the unreleased problems get stagnated and start burning from inside out and at times lead to this disastrous end.

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When I come to know about people who commit suicide, I immediately peep inside to know the reason. The moment I hear the reason I obviously comment saying, “Is this is a valid reason?” In many cases, I criticize saying “Is this a reason to end a life?” I also branded few of them as cowards!

When I had a discussion recently in that regard as to the gravity of the problem for a suicide, the question that was put forth was “WHO ARE YOU TO ESTIMATE?” Ya! That is right only! We need to understand that the gravity of the problem is to be measured not based on our intelligence to go about it but by the bearer’s ability to bear it! Not everyone in this world is able persons to stand and look back to chase out the problems! Here, the person concerned alone should not be blamed ecause the way they get toned, is influenced by a combo of external factors too.

I realized that it’s so cheap to accuse someone as a coward without stepping into their shoes. The heartbreaking agony that they undergo before they shut down their life machine cannot be understood by anyone else than god.

More than people who end their lives, my concern is on those who attempt to suicide and come back. Though their lives are saved, the way they are treated for the rest of their lives, harden their emotions. The challenges they face in life are multifold. Even people who hesitated to help them before the incident come forward for criticizing them by showing their cruelty. At that point of time, these poor minds will not even able to understand the reality!

Another cheapest thing on earth is spinning stories behind these suicides.  When a teenager commits suicide, then immediately they say it’s a love failure! [This is the less offensive version]. My question is what do people gain by these unnecessary gossips without even knowing what kind of sufferings these poor minds underwent!

As a lawyer I will not support a crime. Indian law says attempt to commit suicide is a crime. I do admit.

My mind only worries for two things:

·         When a person is recovered from a suicide attempt, he is saved from one death, but is subject to cruelty on a daily basis the pain of which is worse than death

·         Spreading unwanted gossips behind the suicides and defame the soul even after their unwarranted end.

These people are also human beings and of course life for them is also important! But unfortunate happenings guide them this way. Now what is the need for the society to fuel the burning flame?

My humble request to all who read this is, not to involve in both the above mentioned acts, when you come across such situations. Handle these situations in better and wiser way. If not, at least leave it go as it is.

P.S: Comments are welcome ! Even though the possibilities of adverse comments are very high, I am happy to the extent that this will make at least one person to think what my actual concern is!

Thanks for the read.

 

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