Monday, October 31, 2005

Divali & Ramzan

I just looove this time of the year! It’s the season of Divali and Ramzan. But sadly in Bombay there doesn’t seem to be a festive atmosphere anywhere! All I saw were a few shops and homes lit with a few desultory lights. Or may be I’m just too much into my college work and internship duties. :(
I miss Hyderabad so much right now. At this time of the year the air is crisp and cold and the streets of Hyderabad are suffused with a festive spirit. All the shops are lit up with colourful, twinkling lights arranged in all kinds of shapes and designs; the jewelry shops are decked with garlands of flowers in the most amazing designs!
All the little caf├ęs are filled with people savouring the delicacies that Ramzan has to offer – haleem, hareesh, paya, kheer etc etc. And this is not limited to only Muslims; Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs; everyone who is basically a non-vegetarian has a great time in relishing all this lovely food.
The old city looks even more beautiful, the Charminar is beautifully lit as people throng there to buy clothes, accessories from the famous “choodi bazaar” and to of course gorge on all the marvelous food!

During Divali and Ramzan, Hyderabad truly gets transformed in to a fairy town! Everything just looks so beautiful! The Public Gardens buildings are also lit up beautifully!
And at this time the best thing to do is to go to the Golcunda Fort to watch the light and sound show. It really takes you back to the olden times, and you can imagine so clearly what all had taken place so very long ago! The partly animated movie, “Bhagmati” is based on the love story of prince Mohd.Quli Qutub Shah, the fourth Qutub Shahi ruler, and Bhagmati, a court dancer.
That brings us to the Qutub Shahi tombs. These tombs have some lovely architectural qualities (By the way, the climax of “Mohra” plus the song “main cheez badi hoon mast mast” has been shot at the Qutub Shahi tombs. The maze like place where Naseeruddin Shah beats up Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty is a place that we kids used to love to go to, whenever we went there for picnics.) These tombs are also are lit up in muted colours.
This year I thought I would not be able to go down to Hyderabad to celebrate Divali with my family, as I’ve still not completed my internship. And I was terribly depressed because of that. I couldn’t believe that I would not be able to participate in the pooja, or go for a long midnight drive, watching all the rockets burst in to iridescent showers of light…
Of course, it all just boils down to having a great time with family and friends! And now I’m just so glad that I’ll be able to go down at least this year to be there with my family. Who knows where I’ll be next year. But at present I’m the happiest girl on this planet! Hyderabad, here I come! :D

I’ll be gone for a week, so I won’t be able to blog or blog hop for a while now. :(


Monday, October 24, 2005

Sky High IV

Here are two pics that I thought looked worthy enough to post!! :D
I took them from my Nokia 6610.

I took the latest two pics the day before yesterday. Afterwards I was just standing on the balcony and gazing at the sky, and that triggered a memory of my childhood. When I was a kid I would just go up on to the terrace of our home in Hyderabad in the evenings and sit there and just gaze at the sky changing colours gradually until the sun had set or my mother called for me to come down! I just loved watching the evening sky, everything was so peaceful at that time; birds would be flying back to wherever they came from, one could see the eagles circling lazily in the sky lower and lower.
There's a mosque just opposite our home, and at that hour I would hear the aazaam calling out for the faithful to come for prayer. The melody of this would send shivers down my spine! It was a magical time for sure!
Someone had asked me why I post so many pictures of the sky on my blog, and at that time I'd said that I just like to, not realizing the deeper meaning behind me going crazy clicking away at the sky. Well, here it is then, it just takes me back to my childhood and more precisely to Hyderabad. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Recently I’d had some really disturbing news about this girl I kind of knew during my graduation. She got married soon after college. She became pregnant too but had to get the baby aborted as the doctor had said that the baby wasn’t developing properly. It was only after the abortion took place that the girl learnt the real truth. During the sonography her parents-in-law found out that she was carrying a girl. So they took her to another doctor and had it aborted.
What’s more, during her pregnancy and even after the abortion procedure she wasn’t allowed to rest or regain her strength. She was made to work like a slave.
This girl’s woes don’t end here. Her husband is basically unsupportive and demands to sleep with her even when she is not feeling well. Right now even after she had to go through the painful process of abortion he forces himself on her, unmindful of her stitches and the fact that she is bleeding. So the truth is that her own husband is raping her every single day.
The worst part is that her parents have washed all hands off of her. They say that now that she is married what her in-laws and husband do to her is their problem. They have a right to treat her as they wish. It’s like she is no longer their daughter.

I was aware that there are families in India who treat their daughters-in-law as unpaid servants, and the husband just uses the wife for his own pleasure. But actually knowing a person (even though she was even less than an acquaintance to me) who is going through all this really hits the situation home, and hard. I was simply furious when I heard about this girl’s condition. How can human beings be so cruel? The capacity that a human being has to hurt another human being simply astounds me!
When someone behaves in a boorish manner most people say things like, “don’t behave like an animal”. But the fact is animals are much more civilized than human beings. Human beings are the only species on earth who kill each other in large numbers. No other species go on a rampage killing or hurting those belonging to their own species.

From the above incident it is apparent that India still has a long way to go in according its women the respect that they deserve. What is the use of worshipping Durga Mata or Kali Mata or other goddesses when you don’t give your own mother, wife, daughter or any other woman the respect that she deserves? We Indians very proudly refer to our country, as “Bharat Mata”; and this is how we treat our women? And what is the use of celebrating Women’s Day? How hypocritical can we get?
On the one hand it is said that only a woman can understand another woman’s pain, and on the other that a woman herself is another woman’s worst enemy. Which one is true? I would naively want to believe that the former is true. But sadly it is not, because if it were then mothers-in-law wouldn’t participate in the harassment of their daughters-in-law, or in their cold-blooded murder.
It is of no news singing the praises of our ancient “culture and traditions” and priding ourselves on following ancient rituals. It is a fine tradition indeed to degrade women and treat them as third class citizens!
We Indians need to stop acting like ostriches with our heads buried in the sand thinking that India is the greatest country in the world and hoping that sooner or later these ages old practices would change on their own. They will NOT change on their own. We need to be more proactive. One Nisha Sharma is not enough to bring about a change. Link
We sure are educating our daughters but we still do not give them the freedom to make their own choices and decisions in life. Women are still seen as the weaker sex, that they cannot do anything on their own, they always need a man by their side; when the truth is that it has been scientifically proven that women are emotionally stronger than men. How else do you explain the countless women not only in India, but also around the world undergoing daily debasement but yet living through it all?
I’m doing clinical psychology right now, and I’ve learnt that anxiety disorders and panic disorders are more prevalent in Indian women than Indian men. The reason for this is the fear that is instilled in the girl child from the moment that she is born, that she cannot do anything on her own and will always need the support of a male figure in her life.
Finally, it is up to Indian women themselves to say, “Enough!” We need to stand up for ourselves, for our rights as well as for the rights of our sisters, mothers, daughters.
I feel a desperate need to bring about an attitudinal change in our society. It is a Herculean task indeed, but if I am able to change the views of at least one person through my message then I would be happy. The order of the day is to DO, and not only to THINK.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Apparently the picture that I put up under the "Night and Day" post is a hoax. For those of you who haven't been on the link provided by Abhijeet on the comments page, here it is