No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star. ~ Edwin Hubbell Chapin
Does your mother love you?
Does she care for you? Does she tend to you, comfort you, support you, provide for you, thinks for your well-being and comfort before hers ? Be the tree providing shade in the harsh sun called problems and difficulties which life gives to you?
Are you a mother and do you love your kids?
Does you care for them? Do you tend to them, comfort them, support them, provide for them, think for their well-being and comfort before yours? Be the tree providing shade in the harsh sun called problems and difficulties which life gives to your kids?
A prestigious school in my city is taking its middle and high school students on an Educational Tour to Europe. For this they are taking around 1 lakh rupees from the parents interested in sending their kids on that tour. And strangely people are giving it to the school administration willingly. I do not understand that why do the students need to go to Europe for learning? What sort of education does the school want to impart by taking them to Europe? Till class 10th all students study History under CBSE board and 80% of it comprises of Indian History. Rest is just World Wars, Dark Ages, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution as far as I recall.
So its that time of year again. The time when my Dad uncovers the cassette player and digs out two cassettes of devotional songs in Bengali from the pile of cassettes which are now ignored in today’s world of Winamp and Channel V. He plays them every year on the first day of this time of year at an unholy hour of 7.00 am that too quite loudly. And we know by listening to “Mahishashur Mardini” that its Mahalaya i.e. the beginning of Durga Puja that day. You can listen to some songs at this link here.
Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It’s a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth – “Jago Tumi Jago”. This is done through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs. Since the early 1930s, Mahalaya has come to associate itself with an early morning radio program called “Mahisasura Mardini” or “The Annihilation of the Demon.” This All India Radio (AIR) program is a beautiful audio montage of recitation from the scriptural verses of “Chandi Kavya”, Bengali devotional songs, classical music and a dash of acoustic melodrama. The program has also been translated into Hindi set to similar orchestration and is broadcast at the same time for a pan-Indian audience. This program has almost become synonymous with Mahalaya. For nearly six decades now, the whole of Bengal rises up in the chilly pre dawn hours, 4 am to be precise, of the Mahalaya day to tune in to the “Mahisasura Mardini” broadcast.
Before expressing my personal opinion, I want to share a news item. I don’t know how many national dailies featured this news. But it is this news that inspired me to write this post.
Mon, Sep 8 2008 :- Christian organizations have demanded action against activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal who misbehaved with two nuns at the Durg station on Friday. The two nuns, carrying three babies with them, were on their way to Bhopal on the Chhattisgarh Express when the activists forced them to get off the train at the station. The nuns, of the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity, were handed over to the railway police when they refused to answer questions on the babies. Later, the nuns told the railway police that they are carrying the babies after taking consent from their parents. The parents were very poor and could not take care of the infants properly, the nuns told the police. The babies were being taken to an ashram for children in Bhopal. Christian organisations have conveyed their dissent to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and have demanded action against the VHP, Bajrang Dal activists.
Please read the more detailed news here. Somehow there is no update available in local newspapers since that day.
Of all the weird, bad, happy and exciting things that happen in my life, the one I’m going to narrate beats all the uninvited weird events that have ever happened to me. But the point of my post is not the event. Its my contemplation on the attitude of Indian society which caused this incident. On Thursday night, I was coming back from a dinner party with colleagues and it was bit late (10.30 pm). Suddenly this guy (read:weirdo) came along on bike and started driving beside me. He said hello and I sped up totally ignoring him and his blabbering. He drove all the way to my home. By then I had started to lose my temper. I stopped my Scooty, turned to face him and our conversation followed:-
Weirdo : What were u doing back there, standing and talking with a guy in front of my house?
Me with incredulous look : What on earth are you talking about? Do you even know who I am and where I’m coming from?
Weirdo : You were standing with a guy in front of my house. Don’t stand in front of my house ever again. Its not a good thing.
Me with my temper lost completely and shouting : Are you mad? I’m coming from xxx and haven’t stopped anywhere to talk with anyone. I think you are mistaking me for someone else.
Weirdo : No its you. Its not a good thing to stand and talk like that. Is this your home?
Me shouting : Yes it is. So?
Weirdo : I’ll tell your dad what you were doing.
Me hopping mad and shouting : Yeah?? By all means do so. Just get off your bike and tell my dad.
The duties and responsibilities of a technical lecturer comprises of teaching, instruction in laboratory, students assessment and evaluation, assisting in departmental administration and so on. Some may think teaching is a boring and dull profession but the truth is that the nearer one is to the youth, the more exciting life/job is. Now before I narrate an incident you must know that I work in a private college and many influential people’s sons & daughters study on management quota. Few days ago, over a girl; boys of two different streams (IT and Mech) had a fight which led to serious injury to one of the boys (Mech). Police came to arrest the main accused (IT) and our Jt.Director of college is said to have slapped him too. But the student turned out to be the nephew of a big politician and somehow construed the slap as politically motivated. So on 6th Aug around 100-150 boys (goons??) came to college and wrecked the administrative building. They even hit the Jt.Director with stick and manhandled the Chairman and Director. We all thought the repercussion had ended there.
Have you ever had a letter delivered to you by the postman which didn’t have the adequate postage stamp on it? Have you ever paid the bearing charge (fine) for such a letter and said expletives in your mind for the careless sender? Many of us may have encountered such incidents. In most cases we blame the sender instead of suspecting the postal services. But a recent incident led me to strongly believe that there is a huge postage fine (bairang) scam going on in Indian Postal Services.
A shocking news once again exposed the fact that how desirable sons are in Indian society. And up to what extent many prejudiced Indians are willing to go to get a male child.
At the age of 70 years, this woman went for assisted reproductive technology (ART) to conceive and has given birth to twins, one boy and one girl. The rural couple said in the interview that they have lots of property but had no “heir”. Apparently their two daughters can’t inherit it as I suppose they have done a crime by being born as girls. Challenging the limitations set by Mother Nature, a woman risks her life just to have a son because of deep rooted age old beliefs and discrimination against the girl child. The couple is so old that I doubt if they would be able to see their son reach 5th grade. After they pass away who is going to look after the kids? Their sisters or their relatives? I can’t even imagine the embarrassment the daughters must be going through. Imagine the grandchildren going to school where everyone knows their grandma has given birth to their uncle!! Its being ethically justified on the grounds that there is no maximum age limit for ART in Indian Law. Even young women conceive one after another just to get a son and end up having a huge family and losing their health, sometimes even life.
Restaurants are now a flourishing, profitable and popular business in the country. Even celebrities have opened their restaurants. But I feel little attention is being paid to the recruitment of qualified,experienced and good waiters. By a good waiter I mean one who is smart, has a pleasing personality & good manners. Instead rude, argumentative and greedy waiters are being inflicted upon unsuspecting customers. I would like to share some of my experiences.
Our 1st year batch in hostel consisted of 17 girls and it was our first outing on our own after getting Freshers Welcome party. Just as we were entering a restaurant in Bhopal (thats where I did my B.E. from), a waiter came and started counting us like 1..2..3 !!!!!! As if we were some beggars lining up to eat at some temple to eat free food!!! We should have walked out but we didn’t…God knows why! The service was horribly late and the food wasn’t worth the price. (Shall I reveal the name of the restaurant to save any future customers?)
So now I know how the world is going to end. It will be annihilated by the commencement of World War III. How did I reach to this conclusion? Read on.
There was a bomb blast in Thane, Mumbai on June 4 2008. Some more bombs were recovered live from other places. Two Hindu extremists have been arrested for the same. Supposedly they belong to some Hindu organizations called Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and Sanatan Sansthan. Read the whole news here. Now after this happened, the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna ran an editorial in which Mr.BT (the editor) advocated “build-up of Hindu response to counter the ‘growing Islamic terrorism’ in the country while ridiculing members of a Hindu fundamentalist organisation held for low-intensity bomb blasts in Thane.” Of course it doesn’t matter that 7 people died (correction:injured) in the blast and my guess would be all of them were not Muslims. What is the problem if 7 die (correction:get injured) among 13 million population of Mumbai? Sacrifice must be made for the greater good, right? I guess this is the convoluted mentality of these people.
So Mr.BT has commended the creation of Hindu suicide squads as a tit for tat for Islamic outfits. I’vealready expressed my indignation over how irresponsibly leaders speak and behave. But this has crossed the limit. How can a leader in his sensible mind ask his people to form suicide groups for spreading violence? How can he ask them to sacrifice their lives and families to die for his absurd cause or rather I presume his personal vendetta? In today’s world how can a leader champion the cause of terrorism and blood for blood? Our Nation’s Bapu must be turning and tossing in his grave!! (yes, I know he was a Hindu) How can a leader encourage his people to take the law in their own hands?
I condemn such fundamentalist leaders of any country who show the path of violence and bloodshed to their people. Instead of waging wars why doesn’t he encourage people to form cleaning squads to keep Mumbai clean and water logging free?
According to Mr.BT these Hindu squads should go to Islamic countries and carry out bomb blasts there. I guess if this happens those countries will retaliate and US & EU will jump in too in the foray. Taking the opportunity China may attack India from other side. And thus World War 3.0 will ensue. And the world will come to an end.
On second thought, that might be a good thing. Everything will start anew after humans have wiped out each other. Sigh! A 6 yr old kid is wiser than a 80+ adult.