Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I love Shahrukh...

...well, right here

Ladd, jhagad, aage badh?

Went to Jadhavgadh for lunch with hubby and beti this Sunday. A nice one hour drive from KP where we live with a cute little uphill route thrown in. Nicely restored fort .. good lunch and a tour of the premises which includes a museum. The building that houses the museum reminded me of traditional homes in Kerala somehow...the open courtyard in the middle, etc. unless ofcourse its because I've not visited any ( if there are any) restored or 'converted to hotels' havelis or homes in Maharashtra like I have elsewhere. I know surprisingly little about traditional Maharashtra though I've spent more than half my life here.

"Ladd, Jhagad, Aage badh" is the catchline on the signboards and advertisements for Jadhavgadh. Beat that!

My daughter wanted to know what the word FORT means. I had to explain how rulers and warriors had to build them to protect and defend their lands against attacks by foreigners. They showed us a dungeon where prisoners were sent. I didn't go down the steps, the very sight of it was claustrophobia inducing because it reminded me of another dungeon in some castle in England where we'd seen wrist and ankle clamps on walls to chain prisoners vertically one foot off the floor and other more inhuman instruments of torture. They were left there to die.. with rodents, the cold damp air and hunger for special effects. She then asked me who the "good" men were in this picture and (as happens often when I'm with her) I had no answer.

These were HUMAN BEINGS of yesterday. Some who attacked and some who defended...like territorial beasts . Some who were 'right' and some who were 'wrong' depending on which side of the border you were on when you took down minutes of the war to be recorded as History for posterity. Land, women, wealth, fame. Wonderful things to have at the cost of other lives and one's own moral dignity.

One glimpse at the newspapers today will tell us nothing much has changed. It is still 'Yeh mehlon, yeh takhton, yeh taajon ki duniya" where we fight using the slightest excuse. Where we're constantly comparing one with the other and fighting over differences instead of celebrating them. I am guilty of this too.

My daughter goes to Karate class, I tell her she must learn to 'defend' herself and not be a weakling. She wants to know who she must defend herself against and why. 'Others' I tell her...others that are physically stronger and who might use that physical strength against her someday and also to protect those others who're weak and might need her help. I tell her not to trust everyone who is sweet to her. When she began school I had to tell her not to be too generous with her snackbox unless she has saved enough for herself. She used to come back home, often hungry and with an empty box thanks to other tots her own age, which is sweet in hindsight but wasn't, back then. She's slightly older and smarter but still asks me when I remind her...'Amma, sometimes you tell me it is nice to share, sometimes you tell me I must not...why do you confuse me?" So now she takes a little extra so she can share and still have enough for herself. I ask her to respect the same rules when she's peeping into a friend's snackbox.

How does this work in the larger picture? I don't know.

These days everything seems to push me down some psychedelic philosophical spiral leaving me angry, drained and disillusioned. (Definitely not great company unless you have a couch and charge by the hour....NO..THAT is not what I meant! )

Fences, defences...around hearts, souls, minds, bodies, homes, cities, countries....and so it goes on. We're isolating/insulating ourselves from everything around us because we're afraid of each other on more levels than one. We'll live in fear till we die... par yeh jeena bhi koi jeena hai, Lallu?

Monday, December 29, 2008

WHAT is going on?


Recieved this link from my pal Rati Parker and think it MUST be shared. Please read.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The mind goggles

Is this true?

I asked in another blog why Kasab and his friends turned to murder and mayhem. Maybe this will give us a clue.

Why are they fed lies and given a distorted self image at an age when they must be innocent and building self esteem? How will they be responsible, self respecting citizens of the world if they're told that they're universally hated? Why wont Pakistan's 'educated' as opposed to 'indoctrinated' citiziens wake up and demand to be told the truth? From Jinnah to Zardari, all their leaders, like their mullahs, have lied to the Pakistanis. A country established and run on the poisonous fuel of lies and dirty politics, it is now seen as an international migraine. Isn't that sad? They used to be us not very long ago and today they're this cringing, kicking, impoverished, frothing at the mouth, mutilated, infected neighbor that we can't bring ourselves to tolerate any longer.

We pray for a real Jihad in Pakistan. A revival of the real Islam. A new dawn of respect...for the truth and themselves. And when that happens, maybe they'll learn to respect the rest of us and earn our respect in return? Inshallah!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera!



Kya irony hai!

Sri Sri Ravishankar "Sssoooooooo Hummmmm fame" goes to Iraq to unite Shias and Sunnis.
Zakir Naik ji? tsk tsk!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Antulay still a Union Minister at 79?
And why is he having to quit over this? Don't you have your own doubts? I know I do.

Why are we doing nothing yet? So much discussion...so much self doubt. If we're confident that we have proof, we must act. But will we?

The ball is in our court...and all we're doing is making a racket?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pune wakes up to Bombay's darknight

Yesterday in Pune....

Women in silks, labels and warpaint, men in designer track gear....protesting against corruption and 'mourning' Mumbai's night of terror. More like laughing, catching up...ambling up and down about 1/10th of Pune's little M.G. road. The youth thankfully seemed committed to the cause. Their banners left very little unsaid. A lot of energy...untapped, looking for direction. It frustrates me how not many older people looked 'clued-in' or interested even. I guess it comes from years of taking things for granted and just not caring. I belong neither with the youth ( except in spirit) nor the 'elders' ( except in physical fatigue)..am fuming and self-doubting...a bad position from any angle. Anyway, I signed up ( a little form) for what seems like an impending war against terror and corruption. Small scale, but a war nevertheless. Waiting and hoping it really happens.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Words aren't coming easy. So much has already been said about what has happened in Bombay, the city where I was born and spent a good 27 years of my life. A city which gives everyone a chance...now, even the terrorists. In the eye of this crazy storm of negative emotions are my feelings of pity, for these young boys who were brainwashed and sent to their deaths. How were they brought up? What were they before they became these killing machines? There was a piece in yesterday's newspaper which said one of them was given up by his father in exchange for money. Dirt poor, they were. Now they're rich? I don't think this could have been an easy decision, for the father or the son. Yet they made it and acted on it. And suddenly this isn't only about money. There are 'educated', well to do, 'everyday' folks involved in many/all aspects of these operations too. What leads them down this path, I wonder. What sense of injustice, of persecution drives them to plan and execute these dastardly acts? Do the results satiate them? Make them feel better? I doubt it.

While everyone talks of control and reaction, I'd like to speak of positive action...finding the root cause of all these ills. Is it religion? I don't think so...religion is also only another crutch, another means of brainwashing those who need something to hold on to in desparate times. These boys were mere puppets. We need to get to those who hold the strings. Yes, I suppose I seem like some kind of traitor, sitting here and typing away about people who deserve nothing more or less than our complete contempt. They probably always had enough of that, atleast in their minds. Was that what pushed them over the brink? If I feel helpless about Bombay, I also feel sorry for those boys who came here and caused such misery. They weren't bold, they were cowards, scared of some demon they were convinced could be exorcised only this way. They were miserable inside, there was something missing. I don't see an end to this problem unless we find that something and restore the self image and self respect of a people who are perhaps in a scarier hell than we are.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

'Horn ok please!', 'Buri nazar walay, tera mooh kala', 'Maa ka ashirwad, Babuji ka prasad', 'Hum do, hamari ek', 'Pappu teh Dinky di gaddi'....and all

When I'm not jetting or driving off to some crazy place thanks to my stars and planets which seem to be spinning wildly out of control in the past two odd years, I'm travelling the virtual world on my laptop. Came across a nice blog today ( can't link, don't know blogger, random find) where the blogger lists the places she's been to and I wondered why I shouldn't too. So, I sat me down and made that list. Mine seems modest compared to hers...but hey! atleast I have a list...so, grateful to dame luck for family ( parents and hubbusky and dotty) and all the unearned chances.

Ready or not, here comes the list in no particular order:
Saudi Arabia
Hong Kong
Sri Lanka

This is ofcourse besides our crazy Bharat Darshan trips by car ( and flight, mercy God!) thanks to hubby dearest's passion for driving across the length and bredth of our great country. If he had his way, he'd go around the world in his car. He wanted a son ( hmm) only so they could do a world tour by car together. Now, luckily for him, our daughter is proving to have the same 'drive'!

Have a friend in Gurgaon who'd taunt...'Have a baby, we'll see how you guys continue to travel like lunatics then'. And hey presto!...well almost! Dotty already has an enviable passport (her first flight was Delhi-Bangalore when she was less than 3 months old...her first trip abroad - test trip- was to Nepal at 6 months). She's an absolute darling whether it is a drive to Badrinath from Delhi or a flight to Miami via NY from Delhi. Total veteran at 5 1/2 ( Chashme baddoor!!!). I just pray that it stays this way and that she gets to travel the world and like she says often, to space even if it becomes possible in her lifetime. Nothing compares to travel when it comes to education in the real sense.

One thing that all this travelling has taught me is that being vegetarian is not so cool. I mean, it would have been so much easier for me to eat whatever was available wherever I went rather than waste precious time finding vegetarian food ..and desi, if possible. I hope dotty grows up without any biases but she already says she'd rather not eat a dead animal/bird/fish on a plate. I hope for her sake that that changes quickly tho I'd probably be grateful not to know.

Another thing I've learnt is not to stay too long in any one place as a visitor...it gets suddenly boring and there is this nagging homesickness which sets in and takes away from the whole experience. AND, I still haven't learnt to pack light. I am embarrassed but not enough to change, I guess. AND...never stay with family ( no offence - just in case my family is reading, hehe). Never everrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If you can't afford a B&B even, don't travel but never stay with family (immediate family is exempt thanks to immunity ofcourse). Similarity between family and fish - both stink after 3 days. Love and mirth and merriment fly right out of the window and a strange sort of discomfort takes over, for both the guests and the hosts. Just not worth it. So...!

Out of the many places I haven't visited, I'm eager to go to
Alaska ( Amreeka, I know)
New Zealand
Brazil and
and in my own country, I'd like to visit Leh and Ladakh, Khajuraho ( Oye! Why the smirk?), Cherrapunji in the rains ( yes, why not?)...and I'd like to take my daughter to Kashmir before we lose it to some idiots with no foresight.

Ooh and talking of Kashmir, Pakistan is another country I'd like to go to. Traitor? No...just curious...like when you have kidney stones removed, you want look at them just to know what caused all that pain, no? LOL!

What scares Hubby and me is the day when age and health will force us to hang up our travel gear. We hope to be beamed up a la Spock before that happens.

Sometime soon, I'd like to gather the patience to write about each place I've been to and all the memories I cherish most. For that, I'll have to travel quite some distance back in time. Bon voyage, me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Random thots

....another temporarily happy rewardee of your 'offering my shoulder...being nice to emotional imbeciles' scheme...pink tinted glasses for the winner and brownie points in heaven for the devil!...hmmm...

....I'm comfortable being uncomfortable in today's world. I think I'd hate myself if I didn't feel uneasy living with/like/in this...

...It bothers me how NRIs return to India for holidays and comment on just about everything even when they know they don't have to put up with it too long...are they rubbing our poor 'stuck Indian' noses in it?...

And it bothers me even more when firang expats comment on just about everything when they aren't going to lift one finger to change anything in the three odd years they'll spend here and would gladly EAT a stinking dead fish on a fancy plate for a fancy price in a sushi bar in Kyoto because the rest of the city looks clean and they SO want to be part of the 'been there, done that' brigade. They complain about the water, the air, the traffic, the people, the smells ...makes me want to gift them a roll of toilet paper and tell them exactly where I'd like them to shove it!

What secretly and honestly bothers me the most is that they're right. I'm told India is shining but the smog in most cities hasn't let me check...and if we're really coming up roses, when did they begin smelling like this?