Uncategorized

The Father-Daughter Bond ?


Dear Myra,

A lot of people define our relationship, as a usual Father-Daughter bond. They say, daughters are daddy’s girl; or for fathers, daughters are special. Trust me, I will never reduce my relationship with you to that !

Yes, we share a great rapport. And for each and everything, your first go-to person is “Papa” ! But this not because you are my daughter. I believe, irrespective of your gender, I would have remained the same, in terms of parenting. We have a special bond, and it is largely, because I have put in lots of love, time and effort to earn it. All those hard work and patience can’t be just reduced to a usual Father-Daughter cliche.

So, when you grow-up to understand all this, please put this upfront to all those, who will equate our bond with others with mere Father-Daughter analogy. Because more than it was destiny, our relationship is what we have earned !

Advertisements

On Padmavati… Everyone is to blame?


Extremely brittle and fragile honor of the descendants of Rajputs is in danger, thanks to the movie “Padmavati”. Release of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus “Padmavati”, (loosly based on the book “Padmavat”) is under doldrums, because of portrayal of Rani Padmini in the movie. Meanwhile none (except the makers and few journalists) have seen the movie, yet their apprehensions have turned violent. From bounties to threats to abuses, have been slinged against the director and the actress Deepika Padukone. But who is to blame?

I had no hopes from the existing government of BJP, who also rules most of the states with hindi speaking population. Their major votebank has always been these bigots and hindu fundamentalists, and dare they have ever gone against them. Liberalism, which is core to any art-form including cinema, is something incomprehensible for them. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry led by Smriti Irani, was found missing too, may be busy beefing up her arrogance a lil more! They have behaved, the way it was exactly expected out of them. Just like an ostrich, their heads are in stuck deep in regressiveness and the best they can do, is just shit or fart!

My major disappointment is from the ideological opposition, largely Indian National Congress, which boasts itself to be liberals! Just because elections are near by, they chose to stay mum, and hope that the controversy just pass through them. Their so-called leader Rahul Gandhi was found hiding on this topic, even after his new found resurgence on social media, where he leaves no stone unturned to prick holes in the Government’s development bubble. Even their governed state Punjab’s CM supported the ban, which is utterly reprehensible. The only hope was their party member Shashi Tharoor, a true nehruvian, who spoke his mind for the movie’s freedom of expression!

Another big disappointment was the timidity of the Indian Film Industry itself. Though in their individual capacity, most of them came out for the movie’s support yet together as an industry, they failed to voice it out! Bollywood could have had its own “The Meryl Streep Moment” during the recently conducted IFFI Ceremony by the Government, instead they chose toadyism. I guess, they chose the pragmatism of the business over the creative freedom of the art. None of their guilds or organizations also didn’t actively registered their support for the movie, as they did for “Udta Punjab”. The Shahrukhs and Aamirs, have already bore the brunt of voicing their opinions in the near past against similar tyrannies. Amitabhs, Akshays and Ajays of the Bollywood chose to stay dumb, to earn and repay the shield of the present Government (may be credit goes to their Hindu lineage) !

And CBFC… Who cares? They are just puppets!
And Courts… Who cares? Especially when the country is run by the goons encouraging instant verdicts through mob violence , and not by sloth paced criminal justice system!

And Army… Who cares? They are busy defending the nation at our borders, away from this hullabaloo, and in midst political apathy of being just a pawn.

And Media… They cared too much for the topic! I guess to avoid more serious topics like postponement of Parliament’s winter session, Rafale Deal, Murder of Justice Loya of Sohrabbudin Case, Farmer’s Distress, Jobs Crisis and Inflation!

And average Indian… They are enjoying it anyways! Either through News-Channels or later through the Movie (if it ever releases), without realizing that slowly they are losing the basic ingredient of their culture and democracy – Diversity and Freedom!

From Kashmir… To India !


जिसकी जन्नत का, ज़र्रा ज़र्रा डोला हो,
उसका क्यों न, ख़ून ख़ौलता हो !
जब मरा हो कोई अपना, बेवजह यूं ही,
आक्रोश में फिर भी, सिर्फ पत्थर ही उठता हो ?

माना की ओढ़ी थी, नपुंसकता की चादर मैंने,
जब कोई भयाकुल भाई की, चीखें भूलता हो !
हाँ निकला था मेरा गुल्शन-ए-फ़िरदौस , इंक़लाबी होने, पर
उसे जिहादी बनता देख, अब वो सुनेहरा चिनार भी रोता हो !

पर न शहीदियों का मलाल होगा, न जेहादियों का महिमामंडन,
जब कोई कश्मीर की नहीं, कश्मीरी की हक़ की बोलता हो !
पर जंग की ख़ेती, कब समझे है, ये बन्दूक-धारी,
वर्ना एक गोली से क्यों, मिटटी में सौ बवाली बोता हो ?

रोज़ डूबाया जा रहा हूं गहरा, सियासी दलदलों में,
कि देख, इस बाग़ी का बाक़ी, अब बस एक हाथ ढूंढता हो !
की उस ज़िंदा लाश में, फूँक दो थोड़ा अपनापन, ए हमदर्द ,
जिसे हर रात दस्तरख़ान पे, पूरा देश कोसता हो !

ए हिन्द, बचा लो, लगा लो गले, और पूछ लो प्यार से ,
क्या पता, कि कश्मीर, सिर्फ़ तेरा साथ ढूंढता हो ?

#Poornaviraam

From a Nitpicking Feminist to writers of “Badrinath ki Dulhania”…


Saw “Badrinath Ki Dulhania” few days back, and it was an enjoyable outing. Can point few flaws, if I chose to don a critic’s hat, but that’s for another day. The movie was an attempt to lynch the patriarchy and fake masculinity of the male lead played by Varun Dhawan, layer by layer. But as a feminist, I would suggest , 3 minor changes to the writers, which could have made the movie true to its feminist agenda, without reducing the entertainment value. Beware readers, spoilers ahead.

Badrinath_ki_Dulhania.jpg

1) A scene depicted as funny, where Varun Dhawan aka “Badri” is molested by few men in Singapore. The crowd laughed but I couldn’t much. Imagine the same scene, with girl being the victim. It would have been horrific. Molestation is as bad for men as for women, if not more. Wish audiences and the writers too grow up with such sensibilities.

2) The female lead, Alia Bhatt, aspires to have a great career. And she dreams to be an air-hostess and is able to be a very successful one. Everyone has right to own a dream and is a very subjective issue. I just felt that writers could have thought off her as Pilot. Air Hostess is a little too easy, with vital stats being core to it. Being Pilot could have given more motivation to those who believe in grey cells.

3) The climax of the movie suggests that after couple of years of experience in Singapore, the girl prefers coming back to boy’s town – Jhansi and sets-up its own air-hostess Training Institute. Meanwhile for those two years “Badri” aka Varun Dhawan stays in his hometown and helps his Dad’s business. Being soulmates if both leads wished to stay together, I would have suggested writers that Varun Dhawan should have shifted his base to Singapore, where Alia Bhatt’s job was ! This would have been great message for the society where the male choses to move to the location, where the major earning partner (female in this case) resides.

In the end, this all could be nitpicking as it was just a movie, but I felt it, thus saying it !

Happy Women’s Day…


Hey,
The world always knew that you are better, bold, beautiful and brilliant. And thus they created methods to pull you down through religion, society, culture and what not ! I just hope you are liberated soon, atleast to be equal.
Charity begins from home, and every home !
Hope the Man in me, and society around me, makes it less difficult for me, to do my bit for you !
Happy Women’s Day !

मेरे “दूर के बाप”…


आज फिर कई महीनों बाद,
फल, मिठाई और मेरी “सगी माँ” के साथ,
मुझसे मिलने पहुंचे,
मेरे “दूर के बाप” !

कंधों पे चढ़ी, गोद में जिसके खेली मैं,
जानें कब बदल गये,
उनके वो जज़्बात !
इक उम्र आते ही,
स्त्री हो गयी मैं,
और मर्द हो गये,
मेरे “दूर के बाप” !

नाती को सर पर बैठाया,
दामाद और टीवी-रिमोट संग,
पूरी दुनिया घुमवाया !
मौके पर, नींद के झोकें में,
कितनी ही पलकें झपकाया,
और मुझे, बस “कैसी हो”,
कह निपटाया !
ये कैसा रिश्ता, ये कैसा श्राप,
ओ मेरे “दूर के बाप” !

लाड़ प्यार कहकहों का, था हमारा संसार,
फिर क्यों इतनी खामोशी भर दी,
इस बेगानी शादी के बाद !
कि क्यों अब सिर्फ आंखों से ही,
पूछते हो मेरा हाल,
फिर से लगा लो न गले,
ओ मेरे “दूर के बाप” !

इसबार आए हो,
तो थोड़ा ठहर के जाना,
सिर्फ “मेरे उनसे” ही न बतियाना !
तोड़ देना वो कड़क छवि का झूठ,
और जाना औपचारिकताओं को भूल,
फिर से “मेरे पापा”, बन जाना आप,
प्यारे, मेरे “दूर के बाप” !

Being Married is just a “State of Mind” !


I am of the belief that the concept of “Marriage” as a social institution, is slowly fading, and in next 20years, it could be an extinct theory. While I mention the word marriage , I refer to its conventional meaning as the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman as partners in a relationship. Marriage is conventionally associated with an appropriate age, gender, sex, ceremonies etc. But as I see it, Marriages are beyond these rules and rituals. Being married to someone is a state of mind.

Society expects one to get married under a particular age bracket, even if the person is yet to find a soulmate. Else, they are either coerced or influenced to put with someone (to an opposite gender only), who is atleast “Suitable” under respective societal norms. Marriages are also considered as an societal permit to have sex and henceforth a societal responsibility to reproduce the next generation. And thus many fall into the customary trap built-in through family and peers. Resultant is a huge expansive event ceremony, largely enjoyed and celebrated by the non-protagnists.

I believe, marriage is an emotional connect between two human beings irrespective of any boundaries. One comes across a person with whom he/she chooses to devote their part of life. Marriage is imbibed subconsciously when one feels and performs love, care and respect towards his/her soulmate. The great “Meera bai” was married to “Lord Krishna” and it breaks all marriage myths. The legend of Radha -Krishna was beyond any ceremonial barriers. Most love fables have not resulted in actual wedlock yet no one can disagree of them being not mentally married. Many of today’s generation are moving into Live-In relationships irrespective of when or if they want to get ceremonially married. Their are those, who are into “being married” mode as soon as they propose to their soulmates even before any form of ceremonial wedding. And I also know many, who have shared their lifetime together and are yet not being emotionally wedded to each other. Marriages don’t and shouldn’t be driven by societal norms but should be purely out of love.

Also, marriage is not compulsorily a bond for life. During a relationship, after all genuine efforts, if incompatibility grows into valley of sorrows, the mind itself call it quits. No ceremonial or legal vows can reignite the feeling of being married.

Thus, I hope the society today liberates itself from the strings of existing marriage norms. It is time, parents should stop shoving marriage into their children’s life. Parents and families must allow and trust the younger ones to wait for their time. With no strings attached, sooner or later they would be emotionally connected with someone. As marriage driven by love, is a beautiful phenomena and it will not let anyone seep through it. “Being married – The state of mind” may slowly but surely, would occur atleast once in everyone’s lifetime.

This Raksha-Bandhan – No Raksha, Only Bandhan !


Dear Sister,

Till date, Raksha-Bandhan, which literally means “the tie or knot of protection”, have been joyously celebrated by us, with customary rituals. Sisters tie a “Rakhi” (the sacred thread) on her brother’s wrist symbolizing her love and prayers for brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. While you being into your adulthood, and also being employed, I propose to forgo my promise to protect you. I choose not guard you, against any of your life-problems, be it your physical bouts, financial tangles or scrambled relationships.

I want you to hold your head high, and resolve your own disputes. You don’t need “A Man” (a brother in this case) in your life, to shield you. Raksha-Bandhan, is a celebration honoring brother-sister love and the influence of siblings in our lives. But by offering you protection, I just don’t want “Rakhi” to be a sign of your weakness. Stay strong, augment your skills, be fearless, and fight your own battles. Be financially independent and persistently train and educate yourself, to combat your professional and economical challenges. Decrypt your relationships with patience, love, care and honesty, but don’t let anybody crumble your dignity.

While I chose, not to “Guard” you, I volunteer to “Guide” you. Instead of being protective brother like a “Cage”, allow me to be your “Wings”. Let’s laugh at our miseries, sob at our cherished memories and heal our injuries together. Let’s share our hearts, and choose to remain as friends forever. As we always have had, let’s build more memorable moments, and make our bond, stronger each day, irrespective of rituals, circumstances, distances or time.

This year, let’s tie “Rakhi” onto each other’s wrist, and be equivalent. Let them be the embodiment of our love and prayers for each other. Let’s junk “Raksha-Bandhan”, and celebrate “Sneha-Bandhan”.

Stay Blessed,

Your Friend-cum-Brother

“I Could Have Done More”…


Driving with family, is fun these days. With my daughter aside me, dancing and waving her hands on every song, lifts our spirits. While peeping through the window, she yells “bhow-bhow”, whenever she sees any dog on the roads. And points out “Baby”, wherever she sees kids across streets. During one such exploratory drives to West Delhi from Ghaziabad, we halted at a red signal. While we were awaiting for the traffic lights to turn green, she sprang from my wife’s lap and pointed “Ball”! We gazed off our windows, and saw an underprivileged child selling “Balloons”.
And then, the reality struck!

In one frame, I could see two lives, of similar age group, separated by a car window. Inside the car, comforted in the arms of her mother, there was my daughter, pleading us to buy a balloon for her. And beyond the windows of air-conditioned frills, there was kid, just few years older than my daughter, pleading too, for us to buy a balloon from him!

Like every childhood should have been, my daughter craved for that balloon to play and have fun. But for that rain-drenched kid, that balloon was all about surviving that day, to be the least. Marred by destiny’s cruel joke on life (just by birth), one kid is blessed to savour the best of its childhood. While for the other, even being “child-like” in this cursed life, is a luxury. Seeing such kids begging or selling on roads have always made me heart cringe, and it was no different day.

Meanwhile, I bought the balloon, hoping to add some “life” to each kid. But no sooner I did this, many more waifs, holding balloons swarmed around my car. All eyes hoping me to buy another one too. The signal turned green, and “the Orchestra of Horns” brought me back to my make-believe world, and we moved ahead to our destination.

That day, my daughter relished frolicking with that balloon, with laughter and giggles being the icing. But trust me, deep inside, there was a wounded soul screaming with huge discontentment – “I wish, I could have done more”!
The image and the thought of paralleled lives of these kids and my daughter (both holding a balloon) still haunt me. Hope God helps me answer these anomalies sooner. Though today, I am back, juggling with our daily chores.
But I hope one day, I will do more, much more!
Will you too?

2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.