God’s Religion

When in religions all,

‘Mother’ means the same,

‘Father’ means the same,

Duties mean the same,

Rights mean the same.

 

When in religions all,

‘Good deeds’ mean the same,

‘Bad deeds’ mean the same,

 

When ‘Nature’ is the same,

‘Universe’ is the same,

When each one is the child of God;

 

Why then are sins committed?

Why does man kill man?

Though depart must we all,

To the same Destination.

Housewife are Nation builders

On this international woman’s day I would request all men and women to pledge that the housewife be given the status of Nation builders. Please let not the census group housewives in “economically non-productive” category with prostitutes, beggars and prisoners. It is an insult to the community by referring them as non-productive community. If a mother is able to give just one conscientiously sensible son or daughter to the nation a major part of the problems are resolved. I am sure there will be innumerable numbers of great sensible sons and daughters who would agree with me and help housewife the required sensible respect and status in the society.

I have an accomplished background with great respectable achievements but just for the sake of my children I have given up my profession. Rather than giving excuses everyday in office for the sake of my family and children I would prefer to stay home to imbibe the culture and tradition I have acquired from my mother. I would dedicate my life to all those high achieving women who preferred to be an housewife and work only during their leisure by exploiting their inherent talents. I have no other way to reach the community for support rather than to sit at home and start his blog.

Simpy

How do we strike the balance?

Last few years besides the global warming a lot of heat has got generated around the fact that much fewer women than men make it to the top in the corporate world. YES they seem to hit the glass ceiling much earlier than their male counterparts.

Today I listened to an interesting talk on a similar topic by Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders on www.ted.com. She brings out her perspective on how women can find their way to the top. Great tips!!

On listening to talks like these, like many others I wonder if this fight is really between Men v/s Women. If we are made differently why should we at all try to be at par in all fields ?

In my days of playing a bigger set of roles at work and at home I have sometimes felt stretched out and wondered how life was in the older generations. Would life not have been a little easier when the roles were more clearly defined – the bread earner v/s the home maker? In the current world while both the sexes try to do little bit of both is what I think is creating the tension.

Rather than getting more and more women join the corporate work force and then try and get them to the top I think the focus should be on making a full time home-maker too as enterprising as going outside and working. Why is being at home considered such a low end work and is taken for granted? Have you ever made a note of what the responsibilities are of a home maker? Being on the job 24* 7 is not an easy thing. Being on job without any leaves is not an easy thing. Always being available at the partner’s and children’s disposal is not an easy thing. I think we just need to give the due credit to the home makers. So really the fight should is not women v/s men but it is between the roles of the bread earner and the home maker.

The assumption that women can double up as the bread earner and the home maker if they choose to step out of the house while the men continue to be the bread earner is invalid. Also trying to divide both sets of responsibilities amongst both the sexes is the ideal thing to do but it probably is far from possible to do a fair division. Why not give better credit to the stay at home wives/husbands? Why not give more credit to men who choose to be the home maker over being the bread earner?

How many of us will not look down to the women who has chosen her career over being a stay at home wife/mom? How many of us will not make fun of the husband who chooses to stay at home and take care of the house while his wife goes out to work and be the bread earner? This is where I think the focus should be on. TWO ROLES, TWO PARTNERS….leave them to decide who picks which one…why stereo type who should be playing what role. Let them take their pick and live their life!!!

A chuckling visit!

All those ladies who frequent visits to a tailor to get their salwar kurtas/ dresses/ trousers etc stitched—this one’s for you—

Months back, I landed at a tailor’s shop, to get some kurtaas stitched. I had hoped to quickly hand him over the materials and move out of the shop within 20 minutes maximum. But Alas! I was strangled there to my patience’s end.

To my dismay, there was this smart looking, well dressed lady accompanied by her hubby. They were standing by the tailor’s counter. Now the reader would wonder, ‘so what?’ But hey! That’s not the case. The thing is that the lady was merely standing, like a mannequin, whereas it was her hubby who was going on and on instructing the tailor to stitch the dress in a certain way. All that the lady had to do was to stand and give measurements, because the rest of the instructions were coming from her hubby…! I mused over and thought that the lady would rather herself stand as a mannequin, instead of another actual mannequin that the tailor had installed there!!

I was so amused by this scene. It was indeed weird. The man was even instructing the tailor things like keep this measurement 5 inches, don’t make it 3 inches, and don’t stitch the attire too jazzy, just keep it simple; have some simple patterns on the dress. He was even browsing through the pattern designs booklet which tailors usually have, letting the fellow know which pattern would suit better on his wife!  …..Thus he was going on and on with his petty nosy advices, and the lady for whom the dress was being stitched, was standing by his side, quiet, absolutely noiseless. Wonder where her decision making skills had vanished? And wonder how two different people can have such similar opinions and likings. Didn’t she feel like differing with her husband’s set of instructions? Didn’t she feel like taking a closer look at the pattern booklet herself, just in case she’d end up liking a different pattern than what her dear husband had already zeroed in on?

Looking at that somewhat funny conversation, I chuckled, no doubt. But at the same time, another thought raced through my mind— Who says modern women have become independent minded and have the ability to make decisions on their own, even with trivial matters like suggesting their desirable stitching designs to a tailor?

A day later I asked my friend if there has been any time in her married life, when her husband had accompanied her to a tailor’s and she gave me one look. She remarked that a visit to a tailor would be the last thing on their combined outing agenda. Besides, she said, what’s the need to tuck along your hubby, of all the places on earth, to a tailor’s! She said her husband would get completely dazed, if she were to ever do such a bizarre thing!

Anyways, that way it isn’t a big deal, some would think. But to a practical independent minded woman of today’s times, it’s a strange thought. To accompany your husband to a tailor’s shop, letting him do all the talking, while you stand there mum, passively listening to all the talking going on, between your husband and your tailor!!!; it just isn’t digestible.

And then another thought came over me. What’s the point in ladies merely dressing up and outwardly looking smart, whereas from within, they cannot even open their mouth and voice their own stitching related requirements to the tailor?

Wake up guys! It’s 2010 that we are living in. Not some age old times, when this scene might not have been so uncommon. Months have passed, but even today, when I recall that scene, it makes be bemused to no end. Reminiscing that morning’s tailor visit indeed makes me chuckle till date!

The prodigal wife

The phrase struck him like lightning while he was sitting in the church awaiting Anita’s arrival.  “Yes, that’s it,” James  said aloud.   NO DIVORCE EVER.

Anita, the bride  was an  impulsive character;   often made rash statements and resorted to silly actions. During their love days, while  in a restaurant, she suddenly   rushed out when James refused to order ice cream because of her heavy running nose.  He  too had to follow suit   depriving himself  his favourite strawberry ice cream

All tantrums apart,  she had many good points.  She was a good social mixer and an excellent singer. One had to just say, “Anita, a song , please” and she would render a melodious classical  number mesmerizing every listener.

By the time they entered their room in the hotel, after the solemnization of the wedding  followed by the usual reception, the time was 11 p.m.   “Oh, at last…” sighed Anita and ran into her husband’s arms.

Seating her on the bed, James  announced a short prayer.  Anita bowed her head. “Lord Jesus, thank you for uniting us after three years of courting. Help us to live for hundred years. In  Lord  Jesus’s  name.  Amen.”   Anita also said, ‘Amen’.

Then James fired his salvo.  “Anita,  give your word  that you would never ask for a Divorce…” Taken aback, Anita felt like laughing.   “No, I am serious,” James repeated. Anita accepted the demand, slapped his palm and said, “No, I will never …”

“Good.  I will never too, not in one hundred years,” James reiterated and hugged her tight.  “Another thing, my love…”

Anita cocked up her ears not quite knowing what wise-crack she would hear this time.   “Say, you will never remarry …?”

“Shall never remarry.”

James, a confident person now, knew that the First night’s assurances were sacred and one never violated them.  He sincerely wished that Anita won’t play a spoil sport . He feared that she might if she got into one of her defiant moods. Therefore he had extracted out the promises right from her mouth.

Honeymoon over, they settled down in James’s parental home in Chennai.   James joined his father as his  partner in his  manufacturing industry despite his  M.A English  qualification.

Within three  weeks, Anita had captured the   mother-in-law’s heart   wholesale.

“Listen Anita,” her mother started a couple of months back, “You may be deeply in love with James all right and that’s not enough. Don’t take your culture to that house.  Merge with theirs.  What they do is right.  Never criticize and never make faces at anything. Finally, trap them with your cooking.  OK?”

It was news to James that Anita was a first class cook.  The result was that Anita was given the house running responsibility   even before  a month had elapsed.

James suggested  one morning that Anita visit the factory  so that she got to know exactly what he and his father were doing there. She showed a lot of interest in many manufacturing processes, being a Science graduate herself. On their way back to the office, something caught Anita’s attention. “Who is she?” she asked.

James turned to see.  “Oh, she is  an office assistant.”
“You know her name?”
“Priya Darshini.”

In course of time, the father handed over the ‘Motor parts industry’ to James and started a tyre manufacturing unit under his command.

All workers in the two factories  were extremely happy and contented;  they worshipped the Thiagaraj family members like they were demigods.

Anita asked of her husband that morning,  “I believe you have a new Secretary now?”
“Yes. Priya Darshini. “

After a week or so, Anita enquired “  Is Priya Darshini still your secretary?”  James confirmed and added, “ A committed worker.”

“A committed worker, my foot ,” Anita cried and  commanded him bluntly, “Sack her.”

“Wh……aat?”
“You heard me all right, James.  Sack her and  fast.”
“But, why Anita?  “

A Beauty Queen walking in and out of her husband’s office could become a dynamite one day and sabotage her own marriage …?”  So, she had to take some precautionary measures at  the earliest.

A patient James had lost his cool now and for the first time as well.  “It’s impossible Anita.  Priya is IN..”  His words were firm and resolute.

“In that case, I am OUT.”  Anita started packing up a suitcase.  James wondered if she was leaving him. Tried his best to stop her.  Nothing doing. She was out of  the house within ten minutes.

On returning from an outing  that evening and   noticing  a kind of vacuum in the mansion, mother Mona  asked, “Where’s Anita?”
James gave no reply and dashed into his bedroom.

Way back in her Adayar house, Anita gave a different story to her parents:   James was having an affair with his  Secretary and was planning to divorce her.  “I shall teach him a lesson,” Anita roared.

Early next morning, James’s mother asked, if Anita had telephoned and when she was returning home? No, she didn’t phone  nor did she do that in  the next five days.

Time didn’t sort out anything.  “I have always held a very high opinion about Anita,”  Mona observed  at the dinner table that evening.

James  cut in.  “She could be as stubborn as a mule, Mamma.”

Mona’s view was different and she  missed that most charming face. “When will Anita come back?” was her refrain.  But she never expressed her anguish in words.

In the  Adayar house, the  story had taken a different turn.   She had told her parents,    “I want to teach James a lesson, Ma. Shall send him a Divorce notice shortly.”

On the following morning as she walked towards the telephone to call her lawyer, she heard a voice which asked,   “Listen crack pot, you have given a promise never to divorce nor  remarry.  What are you trying to do?”

A few seconds later another voice whispered, “Are you sure James is in love with his secretary?  Could it be your own imagination…?”

Anita scratched her head.  Indeed she had no idea on it at all. She was all confusion.

All at once she started missing James. She was still in love with him. The secretary dare not grab him.  “Who does she think she is.  I am his wedded wife,  understand?”

James missed Anita a lot.    A voice suggested, “ James, why don’t you surprise her by a telephone call, dash it?  The MD  deliberated on this novelty.  Then the  Rebel in him  objected and said, “No, no. She left the house and she must ring me up, she must  …. ring me… “  Sleep overtook him.

It was after 3 days and six attempts that Anita made up her mind to touch the telephone today.  James wouldn’t be in the house then. Who would answer  the phone in his office.  The secretary. naturally. What’s the name …?  Yes, Priya Darshini …. Priya..?  That home breaker…? A wretch?

Anita heard the ring back tone.  A female  voice announced, “Motor parts industry.”

With her heartbeats suddenly revving up, she said , “This is … Anita .. here…”

“Is it Missus Anita Thiagaraj?  Is it really Missus Thiagaraj …?  Are you  really …..?” cried Priya inflating her lungs a couple of times.  “Am I speaking with Missus Anita …?”

There was a thunder  burst in Anita’s heart instantly.  Was the person speaking  Priya Darshini?  Was it really her voice and words?  “Are you Priya Darshini?” she repeated.

“Yes, Madam.  MD’s secretary”.

Anita felt a big lump in her throat. “Never … had …  talked to … you …. before… Priya  ?”

Priya surely didn’t sound like ‘the other woman’.  Had she misunderstood this young secretary?  Anita heard no hint of jealousy or bitterness in Priya’s tone.  She couldn’t have been possibly  in love with Jamesy.

“Are you keeping all right,  Madam..?”  Priya imagined that all employees of Thiagaraj industries would celebrate this wonderful day at Anita’s Home coming.

“OF COURSE” Anita  cried out excitedly when the secretary offered to connect her to the MD.  A click and hushing sound. No thrill whatever. Anita expected a kind of tremor from Jamesy’s mouth.  Alas! No.

“It’s me, Jamesy?” she stammered.  Though she tried to sound like a koel, James answered curtly, “Yes.”

Then  throwing away all her pride and ego she said, “Won’t you take me back Jamsey? A prodigal wife? An undivorceable wife?”

Though touched, James responded coldly.  There was a long pause.   Then James came out alive. “If you are in my office in the next hour with a kilo of strawberry ice cream, I can consider it.”

Anita became a  jumping jack now. “Oh, he is ready to accept me  back.  He is ready ….”  Without even telling her mother she dressed up at top speed and charged out of her Adyar house.

James had to exercise considerable restraint  to conceal his exhilaration when he spoke to Anita.

It had taken Anita nearly 45 minutes to reach the Guindy factory in a hired auto rickxhaw.  It was Priya who received her with a smile that stretched from ear to ear. “Please go right in, Madam. Right in…”

Word had gone around in both the industries that Anita madame  had returned.  James and Anita were locked in  for nearly 2 hours. In the Thiagaraj mansion, the atmosphere was charged with high voltage.  Tears welling up  in her eyes, Mona had spread out her arms wide beckoning her daughter.  Anita charged into them crying, “ I am…. sorry  Mamma.  Sorry.”

“You have come back.  That’s  enough, my child” Mona acknowledged and held her tight.

Later that night in their bedroom, Anita  sat down James  at one end of the bed,  knelt down clutching his legs tightly and  proclaimed,   “I swear in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that I shall never never leave my husband’s home.  Never.”

At this point, James wanted  to add,  “If I leave for any reason, shall return to husband’s home the same day.”

Oh Man

Oh man

behave like a human,

and help those who are in need

remember that

” a friend in-need is a friend indeed”.

Oh man,

become a human

not a he-man

and don’t try

to destroy

the nature and human being

created by his almighty

The God.

Oh man

become a human

not a he-man

and  surrender to the God

who forgives his children,

human or he-man

provided

he-man tries to correct himself

and become a human……

a good man…….!

Tired of Saying ‘I LOVE YOU’

New text message.

Sender: Ishaan 🙂

Content: You know what? I think I have a crush on this girl from Chem. Her name’s Nikita. Anyway, how was you day, dear? Take care, love ya :-*

Ishaan and I had been friends for nearly a year and a half. We had met through common friends and had instantly become good friends. Initially, the world wide web had played a major role in our communication, but then we came to exchanging numbers and talking through text. We were both sixteen and texting was the new msn.

We were now freshly in juniors in high school, and eleventh was conventionally the space of time when teenagers brush shoulders with change, for better or for worse, you could never tell until too late. Yet, as of yet, the change had not set it, we were just trying to fit in to our new roles as juniors.

I was scared of change though. Who isn’t? You may wonder, but I was nearly borderline phobic. Change scared me, made me want to cry, hide…and made me question if I would finally lose everybody whom I love to change.

However, even as I stepped into grade eleven, I was not that scared. The reason: My best friend Ishaan. He was my light in the dark, my wish upon a star. He was perfect, the best friend one can ever hope to have. I felt lucky to have him.

Now, the typical thought whenever a girl and a boy become very close is that they are sure to fall in love sometime, have a bitter break up and end up regretting it all. However, I was convinced that would not happen to us. We both agreed that a girl and a boy can have a strictly platonic relationship. In fact, each time I told him I loved him a lot, I never failed to mention that it was “only as friends, not in that way”. Truly, it felt absurd to even think of the possibility of us falling in love. Even now as I mention it, the concept is seeming laughable…

However, that never stopped me three months ago from looking at his lips and thinking, hmmm, he has nice lips…he must be a good kisser. But, I knew that he had never kissed anyone and I wanted to be his first kiss. Though I would never really accept it.

He was really wonderful, I must repeat, the way he always takes care of me and does everything to make me happy. We had grown so close in a year and a half that we never failed to wish each other good night, sweet dreams before going to bed. I remember having felt ecstatic when he would write “luv ya” in the end and add a kiss smiley.

But, all the love was platonic… I knew it. He was too shy with girls, me an exception, to actually fall in love with one. And me? I was almost one of the boys. Even associating me with sappy things seemed taboo.

But, one day, when we were talking over the phone, before hanging up, I told him, “Bye, and I love you.” It wasn’t a proposal or a confession. It was platonic emotion. It was met with mere silence.

I cleared my throat, going red, and said, “Not in that way, don’t worry…”

He, apparently finally finding his voice, said, “Same to you. Bye.”

I was crushed, I did not know why. Isn’t “same to you” the same as “I love you too”? I asked a friend, she said not. Well, maybe he doesn’t love me, they do say that girls have more passionate feelings…it’s all fine.

We were best friends, we loved each other…He could be my brother, it was all so platonic…

But, today, that text message got me thinking about the definitions of platonic love again. What was this pain that I was feeling in the place where my heart is supposed to be? I felt like I could not breathe, I had to struggle to keep my tears from pouring out. How could my heart suddenly feel so black when I have always prided its golden purity? How can my smile suddenly be washed away? What would Ishaan say, if he were to know that I was feeling this way?

Oh, yes, he would not be much bothered, would he? I loved him, he did not love me back. Now he even has Nikita! Why would he love me, anyway? I was hardly pretty, my hair was a perpetual mess, I did not have the figure of a model, I never wore short skirts or showed off my assets. Would a boy ever want ME?

I thought about Ishaan’s last crush – it had lasted three years and did not materialize. This one? How long would it last? Well, at least this Nikita bitch has a boyfriend. Forgive me for thinking this way, Ishaan, but I have always thought of you as mine…it’s difficult to think you may ever not be….

We went out for the first time. Well, not just him and me, it was six of us – three boys, three girls, none dating. We watched a movie and then ate lunch at KFC. He sat beside me though, my best friend after all. Even when my head found his shoulders and my hands touched his arm, it was purely a friendly gesture, or so I told myself.

During lunch, one of his friends commented about how Nikita had had a break up recently. I cringed. The next statement felt even worse – “You know, last day her hand touched his, albeit by accident, and he loved it!”

My hand on his leg suddenly disappeared. No, I was merely his best friend…

It would not take a genius to figure out that I was in cold, hard denial. But it took me long enough because that had been the day I came to terms with my feelings. I had been in love with him for months on end. Suddenly everything seemed to make sense – why I would close my eyes when he would talk over the phone and it would feel like bliss and I wished he would go on talking for eternity…why I felt so broken when I considered him being with anybody but me…and why I would often tell him stories about best friends falling in love.

You Belong with Me by Taylor Swift suddenly became the theme song of my life. Except where the girl gets together with her best friend, I thought. He was too shy and I was too scared, there would never be a mutual confession.

In spoils and tears, I finally confessed to my friend Rupsha. She gave me a duh expression. Yes, she had somehow always known that this would happen. And, apparently it was the same for practically all our friends, they all knew that we were perfect for each other…it was just us who were too blind to see…

Three days passed in a haze, and it was midnight and I was up studying for an important test. During a short break, I tucked my headphones in my ears…and, a song began to play – a song about a girl in love with a boy who liked a girl who would never love him back. It made me realize how much I needed him to be mine. I had held back my emotions and hidden them from him because I feared that I would hurt him. I never wished to be the reason of his hurting…

But, today I realized that by hurting myself, I was hurting him. I had nothing to lose. He had told me “I love you” verbally a month after I’d received a cold “same to you”…and he never lied to me.

I sent him a text telling him. And apologizing, if I lose our friendship because of feelings I could not stop.

I was scared he would say no, we can merely be friends…I waited for hours for his reply…but, his reply put my line of thought to shame.

New text message.

Sender: Ishaan 🙂

Content: No, you have not ruined our relationship. I love you, too. I was scared, okay, to tell you. I had tried to suppress it, Nikita was a far-fetched attempt to deny my feelings for you…and even you always said that it was all platonic. But, I love you, and I do not think I will ever get tired of saying it…:)

Book Review—P.S I Love You

A captivating, riveting and beautiful read—simply put, it effortlessly makes one fall in love all over again……subtly conveying a message, that true love is extremely crucial, and that one has to learn to value it; not just value it, but live it every moment, because you never know there just might not be a tomorrow……….

A tale of saga and loneliness; pain and tears, yet with a subtle overtone of hope and overabundant love–. P.S I Love You is all this and much more.

It is about a young Irish widow named Holly Kennedy, whose husband passes away due to brain tumor. All her life, all that she’s done is love her soul mate Gerry, as they together had taken vows to spend a lifetime together, until fate had something else lined up for Gerry…..

She had known nothing as beautiful and as cherishing as their bond together; their love, their cordial relationship, their intrinsic friendship, their petty squabbles, their absolute unconditional love for one another itself defined her every breath …All her life had revolved around Gerry. And then amidst all this overflowing bliss, one day she loses Gerry forever. ……

Nothing excites Holly anymore. She’s been a job hopper all her life, trying her hands at small jobs here and there, only to see herself quitting and repenting her career decisions later. So she hasn’t been much of a career woman herself. So indeed, it was just Gerry on whom she’d literally devoted her whole life, and now that she’s faced with his untimely death, she’s shattered completely into pieces; helpless, with a BIG question mark haunting her, as to how she’d pass every single day, in fact every second of the future without Gerry by her side.

For over a year Gerry is bed ridden as he fights a lonely and lost battle against brain tumor. He knows his end would come soon, and hence he decides to gift his beloved a lifetime of memories— Letters handwritten by him addressing Holly; one letter for each month, covering twelve months, the duration which he knew would be the most difficult and painful phase for his wife, she sitting alone trying hard to cope up with her life sans him.

Holly doesn’t know a bit about these letters, and when she does come to know about them, she’s awestruck. She’s eternally thankful to Gerry because it is those precious letters which guide her and navigate her through the months following Gerry’s demise.

The letters are written in a communicative flow, as if Gerry is standing right there in front of Holly, trying to converse with her, trying to convince her on doing certain things. So from things like recommending her to buy herself a new bedside lamp, just in case she topples over in the dark, to things like making her do a Karaoke singing stint at a local club, to pushing her to let go off his possessions at their home- like distributing his stuff away, to booking a getaway for her and her two closest friends in a faraway country…..his letters just bring her back to life, after the mammoth pain that she’s engulfed with after his death.

Her lively family- mom, dad, sister and brothers, her two closest friends Sharon and Denise lend her an amazingly supportive hand, ear and shoulder as they tirelessly help her cope with her inexplicable grief. In days following Gerry’s death, Holly comes to realize that it isn’t merely she who’s lost a partner, but even Gerry’s parents have lost their only son, Gerry’s closest friends have lost a dear friend…so it’s everyone around her who in their own way are trying to come to terms with the new-found grief.

Holly also realizes that her sorrow gets onto people. It’s like a contagious thing, which she passes on to people around her. So thus, slowly yet surely, Holly comes to terms with her new life. A realization seeps into her that she needn’t affect her surroundings by all the time bearing a grim face and psyche. Though, this change does take its own time.

One of the altering events which happens in Holly’s life eventually is when one of Gerry’s last of the bunch letters persuades her onto getting a new job. This was something which Holly had never been good and consistent at. She’d been a mega job hopper all her life, with not having being able to stick to any one particular line of stream and job all these years. However, this time round, Gerry instructs her through the letter to just give her best shot and pursue her dream job. Holly had never been a dreamer when it came to career and jobs.

But this time, it was Gerry’s letter, so she knew she had to show persistence and patience and hunt the job she’d love. With a spark in her eyes and hope in her heart she attends an interview at an advertising firm, and ultimately ends up earning the job. In the process of getting back to work, she thus gets a little busier and occupied, mentally and psychologically.

In the course of time, Holly changes her sour relationship with her eldest brother and she also becomes close to her youngest sister. Time had made her grow and mature as an individual, and thus she learns to become more empathetic towards her own siblings.

Towards the concluding chapters of the book, one of her close friends whom she had met for the first time in Hogan’s pub, with whom she felt absolutely herself all these months since Gerry’s passing away, he proposes her to marry him.However, Holly shows her reluctance to get into any new relationships, because it was Gerry and only Gerry who had that place in her life.

One instance which touches Holly’s heart is when Sharon, her best friend who’s pregnant declares to her that she and John, her husband and Gerry’s dearest friend, had decided to name their yet to be born son as Gerry. There are moments like these which fill Holly’ heart with inexplicable emotions.

It is the thought going on behind sick Gerry’s mind, when he feels like writing such wonderful letters to his wife, the very concept of this storyline is something which catches the reader instantly and lingers on throughout the book. Twelve letters for complete twelve months, to help Holly pick up her life’s pieces and move on, as if they are absolute guiding lights, which show a saddened Holly a new light, new directions, and newer paths, helping her to rebuild, rejuvenate and revive.

The timing of the letters when they fall into her hands is the most crucial element; because that is the time Holly really needs that kind of guidance on coping with the sudden grief that has engulfed her. And what better way to cope than getting Gerry’s handwritten letters reading P.S.I Love You, a treasure which taught Holly in a way, to live life all over.

A FEMALE CHARACTER

FEMALE CHARACTER

OR                                       IMPORTANCE OF BEING A WOMAN

Behind every man there is a woman. Great men are made by their mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters.

Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, all had women who managed their affairs. The great men- Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Alexander, etc. – were driven by women. The woman has one great quality about her. She is, in a way, very contented with small things. She has a natural capacity to create children. She is a creator naturally. Her desire for creativity is fulfilled biologically.

Man cannot produce children. Only woman can. Therefore, she is more important than man. She has something to contribute to the world. She adds to the beauty of the world its power, its art and its music. She is indeed the conqueror of man both husband and son.

When a man falls in love, with a woman, he becomes important. He starts earning money. He wants to become a business executive, a commander, a minister, or a president. He feels his importance and becomes a responsible person in life, because he has to support a wife and children.

Woman has a balanced biology. Her chemistry is equally balanced. World is dominated by men because women is not interested in dominating men. Shakespeare has called her a paragon of all virtues. She possesses everybody. She is not possessed by anybody. Beauty and love are her greatest weapon of conquest. She rules with love. Her beauty is her wealth. “My face is my fortune”, rightly said a lady.

Please remember to post your comments!!!

Praveen

The Strange Case Of Billy Biswas

Arun Josbilly biswashi’s THE STRANGE CASE OF BILLY BISWAS, appeared to me in the first glance like another boring novel, hence my first chance to read it was thus deliberately missed.Almost an year afterwards,when I had to present a paper on the same novel, I literally cursed all my stars for not getting me novels like GOD OF SMALL THINGS or THE AUTUMN OF THE PATRIARCH, which were all amidst the possible list. Our seminar sessions, as like anywhere else is succeeded by a heated discussion on the novel and this is the platform where we get a deeper understandings and  connotations of the work.

I set about reading THE STRANGE CASE…half heartedly, but I finished the book in a couple of hours and its in the end that I realized I had been enjoying the book immensely.There is that primitive tug in us that would keep us glued to the pages. THE STRANGE CASE…is a novel about man’s unquenchable desire to be understood. It is about freedom and it is about our deepest self, discovering it and setting it free. Billy is a student of Anthropology in America. From the beginning, he displays a curious demeanor. Even his collection of books, ranging from biographies to pornographies are  interesting. The novel is narrated by Billy’s friend and he, himself is the only person from our part of the world who could accept and perhaps understand Billy.

Billy’s is a strange case, for he finds himself in a labyrinth that is too hard to get out of, this labyrinth is our society. Thus, on an expedition to the Saal forest with his students, he goes missing. He crosses over the boundary of civilization to an another culture which is purely rhythm driven. He meets his primordial love in the form of Bilasia and he forgets his much sophisticated city dweller of a wife. Billy thus had everything, from a prestigious family to a rocking career, a beautiful wife and money. His was a perfect life but he obviously didn’t feel so. We find Billy through the narrator’s eyes always in some sort of turmoil and disturbance. Thus staging his own ‘man missing’, he joins the tribals  of the Saal forest. Narrator finds him years after in the forest, as a completely transformed being, happy and healthy. Billy is also happy to see his friend, asks him never to disclose his existence to anyone back. A simple confession to the narrator’s wife who is a friend in adversity of Billy’s  city dwelling wife, leads to the collapse of the farce which is Billy’s death. Love can sometimes kill too,thus he is hunted down by his family and society and in the process Billy gets killed when he tries to escape.

STRANGE CASE… is a novel of immense depth, layers that remain hidden in our deepest conscious. It is about the spirit of man that can soar only amidst giant green canopies. Buildings and civilization will hold no gilt or glamor or even a mere sense of belonging for them. We have the likes of Billy amidst us, who still have a vein in them directly connected to our primitive past, where men roamed free in the lap of nature.

Pepper Spray Point

Crowded-Bus-1A ride in the public bus, thickly packed, made me find 2-3 prospective rapists and eve-teasers. Comfortably perched on my back seat, I could make out what’s going on at a distance towards the front of the bus and also towards my side at the back. It’s strange the sort of people you share your journey with.

A journey is almost always associated with destination and change, well in today’s times for a woman, a journey is of self preservation, preserving and protecting her body. So as I saw a potential rapist doing what he does best, I couldn’t help but notice the victim doing what is worse, cringing in fear. Now, fear is a very potent emotion, victims fight back when cornered.  So by the intensity of fear and disgust coursing through the victim’s face, she had to break at least a few of his bones. But all she did was cringe and try to dissolve in the fat crowd around her. For some reason my sympathies evaporated into disgust.

Well, I didn’t expect her to fly in the air and kick the life out of that culprit; the least she could have done is shout. Most of the time that would have done the trick. Or better yet, she could have used pepper spray, something every woman ought to have along with her wallet and mobile phone. Hailing from a small town, I relied on my very popular ‘freeze’ look for self protection. But somehow, I always walked off like I had to do something other than just retorting. So when my friend gifted me pepper spray, just for the fun of it, I immediately made it into my funky accessory. My handbag was more than happy to have it. Walking around with it was like walking around with a loaded machine gun that no one could see. The security and confidence that it bought is indescribable.

Our roads have become pepper spray points, perhaps many won’t agree with me. But that’s ok. The very fact that today the outside world is no longer secure for women is all that I mean. Its time we stopped merely retorting verbally, a stinging retort will go all the way down in the memory line to never be forgotten. Hence we need to stack such self protection technique that would do the talking by itself. We must also educate the young girls of having such measures observed since we don’t know, whom we might run into and what might happen.

The demon called man!

The time flowing by
Everybody seedemonking life in vain
You never know, someone is ready
To drench you in bloody rain.

Region, Religion,
Partitions of mankind
The wall of hate
A terrorist lurking behind.

My mind numb with shock
Refuses the reality
A bundle of bone and mass
Created by humanity?

The moon too is
Shuddering with fear
Does the same fate await me?
OH, God! The man is so near!

Thrown down the gutter
The precious birth human
The purpose of life defeated
By the demons called Homo Sapiens

House husband’s tale

hhMany learned people have recommended voyage as the best way to gain wisdom. One is always exposed to the latest social conditions and the changes in the trends while traveling. And if one gets the delight of traveling in the side berth of ac compartment of the great Indian railway one is three times wise. I say so because from that position one is exposed to three different worlds at the same time. I happened to be in that lucky position recently and I can claim that I have returned wiser.

It so happened that while pretending to sleep, I over heard the conversation of the group of women sitting across. It is the subject of their conversation that makes it quotable. They were probably employed with some IT firm and were earning a handsome salary. Their conversation was about some colleague who was absent. One of them asked, “Where is her husband working?” all of them answered back in chorus, “he is a house husband” and a fit of sarcastic laughter followed. “He serves her tea with water and biscuits “. Some one added. “And also does all the household jobs like looking after the kid and maintaining the household”. They kept on adding the details.  I opened my eyes to observe the feeling behind the conversation. None of them had any respect for the guy who was coping so wonderfully with his own unemployment and his wife’s employed status. Instead they chose to ridicule the guy. I suddenly felt sympathetic towards this unknown fellow. It comes to me as a surprise that women who are always up in arms for equality do not like men catching up in this regard.

We fail to understand that the household chores were assigned to women because they could not go out and earn a living for the family. Now with changing times both the genders have equal chances of earning a living for the family so what is the problem if the man of the house decides to wear the apron while the woman chooses to wear the pants. It is the dignity of labor that we must respect than the fact who earns what. In the era when opportunities are plenty so it is a difficult preposition for either of the partner to stay at home and look after the home and the kid. Women had been doing the household chores for ages and men the earning business for long times but the recent change in roles is bound to create some ripples in the Indian  society , where men are not supposed to enter the kitchen and help in daily chores it is thought to be unmanly. This scenario was expected to change when the women entered the areas which were supposed to the strongholds of men.

There is always a great hue and cry about the fact that women are perpetual victims of over burden and that they have to manage the household chores despite having good jobs. The mother in law is always blamed for not educating her son to cope up with an educated wife .but the fact is women are so much in the grip of traditional patriarchal thinking that they themselves are responsible for their lot. And the sad part is educated girl are more orthodox in their thinking when in come to their partner helping them in daily chores. Till the time we stop ridiculing the educated men who respects the dignity of labor and try to help their wives in this age of recession when every penny is important I can do nothing but narrate the househusband’s tale.

More in Life than Misery

mother daughterShe sat alone on her favorite light blue couch wondering what to do. Earlier, whenever she used to sit here, George would be doing his work at the study table. His presence gave her a secure feeling even if they did not talk much. Today, as she sat on that very couch, she felt lonely for the first time in her life. She brooded and sighed after streams of tears had moistened her soft cheeks. Her long hair piled atop her head into a bun, her trim silhouette made a tragic figure against the backdrop of the gloomy atmosphere.

It was a year since George had passed away. The sudden demise of her young bespectacled husband seemed to rock her very soul. She had never known until now that she had felt so very much for a person she had not really loved. A popular professor at the University, George had cared for Anita as any loving husband would. Those delightful evening strolls amidst the cool breeze, those enlightening discussions on literary figures, it all had been so nice. Anita and George merged blissfully with their common tastes and dislikes. It all made life less of a challenge and more of a harmonious journey.

However, Anita’s love was once the tall, curly haired Ajith who she had met in college, back in India. They used to be happy then – bunking classes, having tea in the canteen and the long unending telephone conversations. They almost got caught once when Anita’s brother lunged unexpectedly at the telephone receiver one day only to hear a male voice at the other end. It had enraged Anita a lot and a huge furore was raised in the conservative Indian Protestant home. Mercifully, she had escaped that day as guests had come home and the matter was pushed under the carpet.

Reading the Bible every morning and evening, Anita clung onto the words of the Bible for comfort.

“Let not your heart be troubled: Ye believe in God…”

Of course, she did believe in God but she seemed to have lost faith in herself.

Her heart bled and cried for her stranger husband and remained empty for a love once known and felt.

‘Why was it so?’ she was baffled.

‘Lord! Give me a solution,’ she pleaded desperately and as if in response to her plea a three year old doll ran towards her crying, “Mummy. Mummy.”

It was her darling daughter, Marie who she adored and treasured greatly. Marie came to her mother and sat down comfortably on her lap. Almost immediately, Anita’s woes and worries vanished and she spontaneously smothered her child with huge hugs and kisses. Her baby girl was a joy to Anita. She even felt that if life was worth living then, it was because of her baby girl. Marie reminded her so much of George. She had his eyes and that same dimpled smile! Her thoughts of George made her happy and she wondered, ‘Was her heart deceiving her?’

‘What about those exciting adventurous encounters with Ajith in India? Ice creams and groundnuts on the beach? Those mushy sentiments that they professed for each other, the love and the tears? Were those just dreams? It couldn’t be’ Anita wondered.

She was a rich woman now. George had left her plenty of money. She was a young pretty widow with a little girl to take care of. In spite of it, life in Canada was proving to be very miserable. The financial security that George had left behind was more than sufficient for her baby and herself. Yet, after George’s death India seemed to beckon Anita. George had never been serious about going to India. He had always felt that a foreign country gave more scope for development of intellect with its facilities and the benefits. In fact, he had even told Anita one day,

“Oh! C’mon Anita! Why don’t you understand? What is left in India? Here, you are well off and happy. You have no problems, do you?”
“True,” Anita had said, “but something seems to be missing in our lives. Everything is so very perfect so much so that I feel more like a robot.”

“What do you mean? We are happy, aren’t we?” fumed George.

“Of course George!” Anita replied, patting George’s shoulder. “I am happy with you but we have a baby now and I want her to know something about her roots. And, just telling her will not do. She must grow up there in her native land like we did. Whatever we are today in terms of our ideals and beliefs is because we grew up in India George.”

Anita had seemed right so George had preferred not to argue with her.

‘But, what will she understand? How many people want to get here but just can’t? How difficult it was to get here,’ he thought ‘and she wants to give it all up for ideals, roots and what not.’

After that heated discussion, both George and Anita never spoke about this topic again. That was the end of Anita’s desire to get back to India.

Now, George was no longer there and the urge to go back to India was intense so, Anita settled matters, gathered her child and goods and headed straight for India. Her parents received her at the airport. It felt so good to walk on Indian soil! George’s mother had passed away some years back and his father much before that so Anita stayed with her parents for sometime. Later, after having surfed successfully for a job, Anita moved in to a new apartment much against the wishes of her parents.

It was here that Ajth began calling on her, wishing to renew his old association with Anita in spite of her ‘betrayal’ as he referred to her marriage to George. Anita did feel apprehensive in Ajith’s presence initially but later, got used to his unexpected visits. She got to know from him that he had married after Anita had left for Canada but was divorced now.

It was more than a year since George had died and Anita was at a crossroad, because she had genuine caring and loving feelings for her dead husband but Ajith was distracting her. Many a night she turned and tossed in bed as she remembered her husband and also recollected Ajith’s latest visit.

‘Should I spend the rest of my life in my past or begin a new life?’ she asked herself many a time.

‘What is it that gives me peace and contentment, sweet memories of my marital life or a long lost love life with a friend?’

It could have been an easy decision as George was already dead. But, what Anita wanted was self-satisfaction, not a compromise.

Things carried on with Anita going to work, visiting her parents and of course getting to see Ajith every other day. Not that she wanted it. But, he seemed to want it.

Ajith visited her one day and asked her how she was.

“Fine,” Anita had replied and then, lapsed into an embarrassing silence for want of words.

“What’s happened to you now-a-days?” Ajith demanded of her. “You don’t talk much. Say something!”
“Err.. How is your ex wife?”

“Couldn’t you get a better topic?” Ajith asked angrily.

“Why? What is wrong in talking about your wife?”

“Nothing.”

“So, how is she?”

“Fine.”

“Okay, now you tell me. Why don’t YOU marry again?”

“What?” Anita was startled.

“Yeah. I am there for you anyway” Ajith grinned.

Anita was at a loss for words. She gave a weak smile.

“Yes. Anita. After all, we have known each other for a very long time, longer than you knew your husband.”

Anita was shocked to say the least. She had begun to have ideas earlier but this attitude of Ajith disgusted her. He sounded as if he was doing her a favor.

“I don’t have to marry anyone. I am contented the way I am” Anita replied.

“Ha! Ha!” Ajith laughed loudly. “Don’t tell me that Anita. You need a man. This is India, not Canada. Without a man, you cannot do a thing. And, I am willing to marry you even though you are a widow now not to mention that kid of yours. Of course, you are still attractive too!”

Ajith’s narrow minded behavior silenced Anita. But, now, she was no longer in conflict. She knew what she had to do. She would go back to her parents and take care of them just as they did when she was young. And, even though destiny had forced her to marry someone she did not know, even though she had married to keep her ailing father happy years ago, she knew that destiny had done right. She had so much to look forward to in life – her parents, her daughter, her new job and no, not Ajith!

destiny

Destiny-Calligraphy-Poster-C12331207The imperceptible force that is beyond human understanding is popularly called destiny. We become aware of it when something good or bad or something specially shocking and unexpected happens.

When such a thing happens human mind seeks solace in god. The confidence in one’s ability is lost and the hapless mind seeks the unknown and that prompts the search for God, the omniscient. Even an eagle falls short of strength in the face of storm so also the most talented, the most efficient people face defeat in trying circumstances. It is here that the debate whether man is the architect of his own destiny or the destiny shapes a man begins. The hundreds of people who died in recent terror attacks were preys at the hands of cruel destiny. They were innocent people who lost their lives for no fault. Some were killed some escaped the death by a whisker. Some escaped unscathed but will carry the trauma for many days to come.

Many ministers have resigned but after that what have the home minister, the prime minister or the defense minister or even the lady above all ministers done to ensure our safety. When we see such incidents the puzzle about destiny deepens .we end up thinking human inefficiency is behind such episodes. And is it not cruel on part of destiny that the country with a second biggest population should not have one good statesman to see that the ten dastardly hooligans do not put us on tenterhooks for sixty odd hours. One accepts it as thing beyond our control when it is something like tsunami or the earth quake or even the draught. Yet the picture of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross makes us think why this great human being had to endure so much pain. Should we just accept it as human destiny? Despite all the pain and suffering one does his best to survive .

The teachings and the path shown by the great leaders gives us strength to endure the sufferings and we start believing in “nothing happens to anything which that thing is not made by nature to bear”. They say it is our duty to do our best to steer our life in the direction of happiness and prosperity. We cannot depend on destiny alone to take us to this goal. “Aspirations, love and hope are boats on endless streams, yet madly we chase these deceptive dreams.” Human mind is ever hopeful. And this quality of human mind helps man take up the several harsh blows that destiny has to offer. The girl who was hit in her head at the CST went ahead with her marriage with a part of the bullet embedded in her head. Such brave people show us how to take destiny by its horns when it goes wild. The announcer who kept his cool and dispensed his duty when the terrorists were showering bullets has changed the course of destiny for so many people.

So can we by doing our duty sincerely be the masters of our own destiny and also pave the road to happiness for others. Man is very frail compare to the other creation of god but the only thing that makes him powerful is his hope and expectation for that destiny smiles at him