Posted in History-Culture

History Made: Ram Mandir Bhumi Puja in Ram Janam Bhumi, Ayodhya

Prayers & Aspirations of a Billion plus hearts and a Billion Hindu ancestors force-converted and/or massacred in Bharatha Varsha the Indian Subcontinent as we know today. Raam Janam bhumi Mandir is not just for Ram but for all of us of all ages and eras. Irrespective of your caste, creed, faith of the present that is, to those Hindu by race.

For the simple reasons that

  • Bharat (India) is the birthplace of Hindu Dharma
  • Raam is a household name in India thousands of years after His times
  • India never invaded foreign nations or force converted natives or massacred them
  • Ram Janam Bhumi Mandir is not in Arabia or America or Australia or Africa or Europe
  • Every single Hindu’s aspiration is Ram Mandir in punya Ram Janam Bhoomi – and that is the aspiration of a billion and more from around the world
  • 55 countries live telecast the Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan which reflects the global sentiment on Ram Mandir
  • No invader is worth our Ram least of all an afghan following desert cult with no connections whatsoever with India whose bloody savagery plunged us Hindus into unspeakable misery for over 500 years, broke our hearts to smithereens, who plundered this nation, massacred us natives and force converted our forefathers and today have the converted minorities turned and pitted against us after centuries undermining the unity of this nation – whose name I do not even want to invoke on this auspicious occasion… just that for the sacrilege he committed his motherland is paying a heavy price ever since – and that’s Karma.
  • Finally India has for prime minister a brave soldier, son of Mother India, who is unapologetically Hindu, who is a proud Hindu…
  • A billion pairs of eyes watered today, speechless, a billion hearts brimmed overwhelmed …
  • Our Ram Lalla will finally be restored rightfully to His birth place/home from the makeshift tent that He is in, ever since the barbaric marauder displaced Him and desecrated His holy abode…

I am for Ram Mandir in Ram Janam Bhumi, Ayodhya. Simpletons like me do not care for Hagia Sofia or whatever. What matters is India. What we want is Ram Mandir. India is none of those other nations. A Hindu is not an Abrahamic. Our Gods were our forefathers who walked down the Himalayas, not descended from Middle East.

An interesting snippet from history (unverified source):

Suryavanshi Kshatriya families in Ayodhya and adjoining 105 villages will start wearing turban and leather shoes after a gap of 500 years. The reason for this is that their resolve to rebuild the Ram Temple which was destroyed by Babur will be soon fulfilled. Turbans are being distributed to every homes of Kshatriyas in these villages. Public meetings are also being held for the same purpose.

After the Ram Temple was attacked and destroyed, the ancestors of the Suryavanshi Kshatriyas had taken an oath that they would not wear a turban on their heads, use umbrellas and wear leather shoes until the Ram temple was rebuilt. Apart from Ayodhya, Suryavanshi Kshatriyas live in 105 villages in the neighboring Basti district. All these Kshatriya families consider themselves as descendants of Bhagwan Rama.

https://www.organiser.org/Encyc/2019/11/20/Kshatriyas-to-wear-turban-and-leather-shoes-after-500-years.html

Let me add more in coming days.

Posted in Environment, Political

NEW EDUCATION POLICY (NEP) 2020 & ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA) draft 2020

Let me do a copy-paste recap job on New Education Policy 2020 from the social media.

New Education Policy 2020

1. 10+2 board structure dropped
2. School structure will be 5+3+3+4
3. Up to 5 pre school, 6 to 8 Mid School, 8 to 11 High School, 12 onwards Graduation
4. Any Degree will be 4 years
5. 6th std onwards vocational courses available
6. From 8 to 11 students can choose subjects
7. All graduation courses will have major & minor
Example – science student can opt Physics as Major and Music as minor. Any combination can be chosen
8. All higher education will be governed by one authority.
9. UGC AICTE get merged.
10. All University government, private, Open, Deemed, Vocational etc will have same grading and rules.
11. New Teacher Training board will be setup for all kinds of teachers in the country, no state can change
12. Same level of accreditation to any college and based on its rating college will get autonomous rights and funds.
13. New Basic learning program will be created by government for parents to teach children up to 3 years in home and for pre school 3 to 6.
14. Multiple entry and exit from any course
15. Credit system for graduation, for each year student will get some credits which can be utilized when a break is taken in course and could come back again to complete the course.
16. All school exams will be on semester basis twice a year.
17. The syllabus will be reduced to core knowledge of any subject.
18. More focus on student’s practicals and application of knowledge
19. For any graduation course, if a student completes only one year, will get a basic certificate, if complete two years, then will get Diploma certificate and if completes full course then will get degree certificate. So no year of any student will be wasted if a break is taken in the course in between.
20.All the graduation courses fee of all Universities will be governed by single authority with capping on each course.

Education system to be at par with education in modern countries and future of our children to be brighter.

My Comment:

If New Education Policy is indeed implemented successfully, it will prove to be a turning point in Indian history for the better. Long since overdue. Vocational education and training to be at par with academic studies, which is a welcome move. Education will cease to translate to mere book knowledge. Practical application of one’s learning will gain impetus. School and college drop-outs will be minimal. Education being equally skill-based and on even footing with academic proficiency can ensure dignity of labour and bring about a more equitable society in the long run. Special children will stand to benefit. Knowledge imparted to be qualitative. Quality of manpower will see tremendous improvement. Holistic approach to Education. Development can be wholesome. We can have a far mature society in the making.

However the new policy sounds too very ambitious, but then knowing Modi and his demonetization and Balakot surgical strike and even the implementation of NEET for Medical entrance throughout India in one stroke and of course the revoking of article 370 in Kashmir, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets things rolling as soon as possible, beginning with teachers’ training on war-footing basis (this is more important than going on war really), upgrading our schools’ infrastructures, overhauling the entire education system which is in kind of a mess… although I can’t rule out the possibility of the first few batches becoming the experimental scapegoat… Streamlining such a massive machinery of education is no easy task in India, especially given the very brief time frame…. then again I pin my faith on the one-man-army called Modi. No, he isn’t really a one-man army or your usual sycophant surrounded by gibberish fools. I understand, a totally dedicated, devoted team of thousands of engineers and medicos and technocrats and scientists and educationists and bankers and others work for PM Narendra Modi fashioning his policies for the nation over which the bureaucrats and Delhi Babus of the ministry have hardly a say. This education policy so well outlined could be the brainchild of such an expert team. How to standardize education in rural and urban dwelling. A big challenge here.

Environment Impact Assessment Draft 2020

The best efforts ploughed in by our prime minister with the New Education policy 2020 may come to a naught if EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) 2020 is to be enforced as well.

The draft EIA paves way for environment clearance for future (foreign) (mega) investments in India without adequate notification and assessment of the impact on nature and wildlife in India. Most of the protective measures instituted so far for safeguarding the natural environment in India can be bypassed, should the EIA draft 2020 be approved. This means, our rivers can get even more polluted or even be sucked up dry, and India can be completely depleted of its natural resources such as water, minerals, metals and forest wealth in no time. If the draft EIA is facilitated at the behest of MNCs, then in less than hundred years, India could become the next Somalia so that the present generation capitalists can live life kingsize.

https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/environmentalists-voice-concerns-against-draft-eia-notification-2020

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/tnm-explainer-why-are-activists-and-experts-against-draft-eia-2020-129566

Every highway bisecting the elephant corridor in India is one more nail in the coffin of India’s natural environment. Shiva can never become the Adi Yogi turning back pachyderms descending down the Velliangiri Hills of the Blue Mountain (Eastern Ghats) of southern India. Their home is lost. Pathanjali the ancient Yogic Guru, can have nothing to do with the Ayurveda brand promoted by destroying the forests of Assam. This is the only Dharma that I can reckon with.

https://sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/eia-2020-legitimises-environmental-damage

One of the best things about Nehruvian era was the unwavering protection of our reserve forests that are the natural habitat of some of world’s most endangered and exotic species of wild life, animals, birds and plants. These are the very lungs of India in this 21st century. India’s forest cover has remained vastly untouched over decades. Disturbing or encroaching upon Reserve Forest range and/or harming wildlife are non-bailable criminal offences. Forests department is very much functional. Which is why actor Salman Khan got into legal trouble when he shot the blue buck, a native species.

https://www.outlookindia.com/outlooktraveller/travelnews/story/70392/guinness-world-record-for-indias-tiger-census

Indira Gandhi directed the Project Tiger which is bearing fruits today. India accounts for maximum number of tigers in the wild in entire world. India is also home to over fifty percent of the world’s elephant population.

https://swarajyamag.com/magazine/the-other-side-of-indira-gandhi-how-she-helped-save-indias-wildlife-habitats

Elephant population in the country is estimated at 29,964 as per the census conducted in 2017. The South Region accounted for 14,612 followed by North East with 10,139 elephants. The tiger population across the country is estimated at 2,967 as per the 2018 census

https://www.indiatoday.in/fyi/story/elephants-assam-india-poaching-deaths-population-1314727-2018-08-14

The current government has a policy for compensatory afforestation when prime forests are claimed for development purposes. However in truth, the secondary forests can never make up for and match the primary forests limb to limb. Despite our best and no holds-barred conservation efforts, forest cover in India is steadily shrinking, with loss of natural habitat for our wildlife reported every single day from every corner of the country.

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/wildlife-biodiversity/world-elephant-day-india-s-jumbos-stare-at-a-worrying-future-66127

Science is for arts’ sake, never vice versa. This is my last word on EIA if this controversial amendment is to go ahead.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-gives-over-rs-47000-cr-to-27-states-for-green-activities/article29289605.ece

Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Man vs. wild’ with Bear Grylls seems a cruel joke now.

The rich bio-diversity we have in India is unparalleled in any other part of the world, except for Africa. Gir Lions to Asian elephants, and Bengal Tigers to Single horned Assamese Rhinoceros, with the spectacular array of flora and fauna we boast of, along with the brilliant plumage of avian population co-existing with the 1.3 billion strong humankind is a miraculous feat we can find nowhere on earth. Well, I remember once driving through the sandalwood forests in Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Sheer magic in the air. For how long shall we have this precious cherished gift? Man-Wildlife conflicts are on rise but so far we have been able to arrive at a truce. For the first time in Indian history however, nature stands to be beaten black and blue and man will trudge on merciless, leaving in his wake the carcasses of rotting wild elephant and tiger…

The price we have to pay for wanting to become the next China!

Posted in Political

Continuing Atrocities Against Hindus In Pakistan

Updated July 23, 2020

Torture and massacre of minority Hindus in Pakistan is no news. Hindu population in Pakistan stands decimated and is on the brink of extinction in their very native soil. From over 12% in 1947, it is now under 1% which must explain the systematic Hindu persecution in the country. Everyday news from Pakistan is of abduction and rape of Hindu girls who are then sold to prostitution and/or converted to Islam forcibly married to muslim men. Even so, two recent videos that surfaced in social media shed shocking new insights into cruel fates of Hindus hanging by bare threads for survival in Pakistan.

One is of the demolition of a wall of a Hindu temple in Islamabad, Pakistan by Pakistani muslims. A second is of a Pakistani Muslim father looking on proudly as his child not even about 10 years, threatens with killing every Hindu if the Hindu temple is constructed in Pakistan. The boy of such a tender age already bears the markings of a perfect future global terrorist, clearly a terrorist in the making.

(A third is the brutal killing of a Pakistani Hindu man butchered to pieces. It is a gruesome video that I opt not to share.)

Obviously, both might not have made to headlines in any Arab news agency or to the media news like BBC or CNN.

Well, there is now a fourth video surfacing, of a 1700 ancient Buddha desecrated and destroyed in Pakistan, with Pakistanis stepping on the Buddha with their foot. Heart-stopping footage. How about getting some return respect of same degree for their own belief system now. I have grown up believing that whichever civilization or nation that desecrates Hindu/Buddhist temples/Gods live to realize their past Karma the way we see today in Afghanistan, Iraq etc., and this video could be the ultimate proof of why this deep-rooted Hindu philosophy of justice is proving to be true. Hindu-Buddhists are passive by nature and in India’s history of over 10,000 years, we have hardly invaded a foreign nation. Never plundered by aggression and destroyed native cultures and decimated the original sons of soil, to live a proud and opulent life the way Islamists have done. Even today, India’s conflicts are about protecting our own sovereign territory. Defensive, over offensive. Which is why whether China or Pakistan, their future generations will pay back their bad Karma one day.

The British were in India for 300 years, but they never razed a single Hindu temple. Temple histories and edicts in some cases reveal, how the British were in awe of Hindu Gods. Quite a few of them paid obeisance to ancient Hindu temples and contributed towards their upkeep. Prime example, Eri Katha Ramar temple, near Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu.

The other day I was watching Vox You Tube video on Kashmir. Not a single mention of the massacre and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu pundits in 1990 by the Kashmiri Muslims who hunted down and chased away the Hindus overnight, burning villages and towns, raping Hindu women and killing in cold blood the Hindu men who dared to stay back. The Kashmiri Hindus who fled the valley have ever since been living as refugees (IDP) (Internally displaced persons) in refugee camps near Delhi, with their homes and wealth and belongings taken over forcibly by Kashmir muslims. How can a media report ever be complete without an honest mention of them. However Burhan Wani made it to the Vox report. Not surprising.

All these go on to show how mainstream media is paid media and how journalists don’t hesitate to sell their soul if it can butter their bread. Intellectual Honesty: not a characteristic trait of any political columnist or journalist or media person/house.

There is no way we passive Hindus can win against this kind of hatred, barbarity and cruelty. But we win when we defy them in every way, refusing their supposed maker, denying their faith, disrespecting their community, cold shouldering them in international arena and isolating them, and forever branding them as terrorists in our hearts and minds. The universe has awarded these violent perpetrators of inhumane crimes SHAME. Their bloody brutality will go down in recorded history, forever tainting their origins and beliefs and customs and general life. World will always nurture this phobia against them and treat them with indifference. May be this is the best punishment of all.

Posted in Lateral Thinking

Race For Covid-19 Vaccine: Will India Make It First To Finishing Line.

India leads the pack with Covaxin, the indigenous Coronavirus vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech labs of Hyderabad, undergoing clinical/human trials, promising the much-sought over relief in near future. However critics rule out success anytime before 2021.

A second Indian pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila too bagged DCGI approval for human trials for the Corona vaccine developed by them.

Two Indian vaccine hopefuls thus among total fourteen research labs/pharmaceuticals to enter Phase 2 of human trials for Sars 2/Covid 19 Vaccine to date.

https://www.bharatbiotech.com/covaxin.html

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/jun/29/indias-first-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-covaxin-gets-dcgi-approval-for-human-clinical-trials-2163105.html

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/pharmaceuticals/bharat-biotech-hyderabad-company-among-frontrunners-for-a-covid-vaccine/articleshow/76764340.cms

Pics courtesy: Google Images (!) 😀

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/potential-covid-19-vaccine-by-zydus-cadila-gets-dcgi-nod-for-human-clinical-trials/article31977556.ece

Interestingly, Bharat Biotech is founded by a Tamil farmer’s son Shri. Krishna Ella who has had humble origins quite like ISRO chairman Dr. Sivan, also hailing from rural background in Tamil Nadu (not to leave out late Dr Abdul Kalam, the nuclear scientist turned President from Rameshwaram, tip of the Indian subcontinent).

India also developed indigenous Corona testing aid that minimized testing costs in May that led to far more and wide spread testing to root out the virus. This saved the nation precious foreign exchange, preventing import of testing kits.

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/indian-owned-company-develops-test-kit/article31495728.ece

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/pune-virologist-develops-indias-first-covid-19-testing-kit/articleshow/74887380.cms

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/pune-virologist-develops-indias-first-covid-19-testing-kit/articleshow/74887380.cms

India leads the world in Vaccine and Pharmaceutical manufacturing and export. Incidentally, India was/is also supplying the world with Hydroxychloroquine now discontinued by WHO for Covid 19 treatment (although some like Brazil continue with the administration). So it is no surprise that India is a frontline contender for invention of the Corona vaccine. After all, the world’s first ever plastic surgeon was a Hindu.

There has been the news of Dr. Sudha Seshayyan developing Corona vaccine at Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai, with no latest updates.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/medical-university-identifies-vaccine-candidate/articleshow/75306425.cms

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/coronavirus-mgr-medical-university-develops-vaccine-candidate/article31410701.ece

Hopefully our research scientists prove their critics wrong this time over with their development of vaccine in short period. India will be doing the world a great favour.

Even if others beat us in the race, India will still be the manufacturing hub for most vaccines developed in other parts of the world ironically and coincidentally!

However, Indian citizens have every reason to believe, we will be receiving our own indigenous corona vaccine in future for our immunity. Our vaccines are anyway exported to most of the world for prevention of Polio and Measles to Ebola and Malaria.

India will still be in a position to make free indigenous vaccines available to poorer nations. This will be our greatest service to humanity. This is our Karma. I don’t want to think of India being in a competitive race with the US or Russia or China when it comes to developing the vaccine. I would want India to take the vaccine to the poorest of the poor nations that cannot afford the import costs of vaccines from the first world countries. Pranaams to our medical fraternity and selfless scientists who are spearheading a great revolution. Will not push you, but will wait for you to come out with your precious life-saving gift for the entire humanity. Thank you so much!

Vaccine from Russia: Sorry but excuse me, never heard of a successful vaccine on human trial completion done on 20 individuals 😀 May be that is total population of Moscow 😀

Posted in Food For Soul

Unfair & Lovely

Lever is dropping the word ‘fair’ from its fastest moving fairness cream brand in the Indian market, ‘Fair & lovely.’ And I have a confession to make: it is something i can’t do without either. My tube of Fair & lovely is really like my foundation/moisturizer that I wear whenever I go out (MRP < Rs.100/-) That is my make-up maximum. Otherwise at home, I use natural Ayurvedic moisturizers or skin nourishing lotions. The foreign brands that I have experimented with are Body Shop and Loreal (not in India) but i have slowly come out of these. None of these are fairness creams. Meant only for skin maintenance/repairs. Basic minimum. Why I use Fair & lovely is that, it is non-greasy and gives a smooth finishing comparable to or even better than any expensive foreign brand foundation that one may use (which may cost over 1 k or 2k). Mine is cheap and best and non-allergic. I hate Lever company but I like this product of theirs. Vanity is not healthy but wanting to look crisp must be okay. I appreciate Kangana’s stand and adore her uprightness and non-materialistic attitude. Nandita is another classic black beauty. Tamil cinema has had dusky women like Saritha, Suhasini, Sujatha for leading ladies. The fairest ones from Madras like Vaijayanthimala, Hema Malini, Rekha, Jaya Prada and Sri Devi went to Bollywood rejected by Tamil filmdom (except for Sri Devi and Vaiji)! That must tell you something…

Never owned a mascara or foundation in my life, never will. It is good to know I have like minded friends from school who share similar values. Have never owned a make-up set. May be lipsticks and eye pencils in the loose and face compacts. That completes beauty routine (for parties only) for some of us.

Many of us go for facials. In my case, I started with visiting beauty salons very late in my life – after my 36th year. I go for mostly gold facials once or twice an year that are turmeric based. In India, we get herbal/Ayurvedic facials which is our greatest advantage. These can bring a glow to our face without making us appear fairer. The de-tan is natural. I don’t think removing the tan is by itself bad. It’s like removing the top soil grime, nothing more. It can’t make you permanently fairer. Maximum a shade lighter, that is all. But I learn, there are now expensive toxic methods to completely change/replace your skin, if you so wish. Yes, you can buy somewhat permanent fairness these days (that may last upto years). I can name a few Bollywood heroines and Tamil Nadu women politicians who have supposedly gone for such skin treatments. This is the reason some salons have cosmetic dermatologists in their payroll.

While condemning the clamour for fairness, we have to know the difference: it is nothing wrong in wanting to look good and presentable. Neat and nice. Most of us middle-class and middle-age women are for like reparation and skin maintenance only. Our age demands it.

Even for hair, so far I have not resorted to chemical dyes. Only the natural henna. Most of my friends are like me. India again has the home turf advantage here. We have shampoos that are non-soap based. Completely natural. (I am limiting myself to skin colour in this post).

More than that, any accentuation to fairness is vain and distasteful. I don’t even attempt it because I believe in myself first. I don’t want to look paper white like South East Asians or Arabs or Europeans or Americans because I am not them. I am Indian, and I am a Madarasi, a Tamil, and I am proudly dusky. Someone married me for what I was, what I am. And that someone is a responsible man, not just any tom-dick-harry. Like in my case, for most girls, skin colour plays no significant role in our life as far as India is concerned. I graduated, got a decent job, married – all in my chocolaty brown skin. Briefly for a while, my skin colour was refered to as ‘wheatish’ in my Kundali (horoscope) around the time of my marriage. Never before or after that.

So that is why I was pretty much offended that the Fair & Lovely commercials showed as if we women got anything and everything done capitalizing on our looks and gender. Which is so much untrue. It is an insult to our very womanhood, this downplaying of our hardly won battles and success stories. Such a belittling way to portray women. The ads need a tweak first. Their grand lies do more harm than flatter.

what a damaging ad.

The south is pretty comfortable in dusky tone. Let north Indians stop calling us Kalia. The north easterners are called ‘chinkis’ by north Indians as well (for their resemblance to chinese).

But fair or dusky, I do have the habit of rubbing a lemon slice in my face regularly to de-tan naturally. We use haldi (turmeric meant for grooming purpose; this haldi is bit different from the haldi we use in our kitchen) and chandan (sandal paste) and coconut oil for skin toning and improvement down south.

I believe strongly that we all have to look and feel beautiful inside out. Insides first. Physical workouts are the best way to beautiful self. That by itself takes care of all our beauty concerns. Physical stamina and fitness will automatically radiate to our skin and face. Similarly if we are happy than brooding, that reflects in our face as well. This kind of radiance one can spot readily in newly married women, pregnant ladies etc., for instance.

Next comes our food habits. Vegetarian food habits delay the ageing process. Infuse lots of fresh greens, vegetables and fruits and wholegrains, pulses and nuts in your everyday diet and see the difference. While this may have nothing to do with your skin colour, you can notice a telltale welcome change in your skin tone. After all that, there is the gene factor.

When the foundation deep inside is firmly rooted, the superstructure will be good, in my opinion.

I am always for a healthy sheen and skin. I can’t believe some women spend obscene sums on chemical beauty and make-up products. Mostly these are other Asian women from Middle East and Far East Asia who indulge so much in frivolous superficial beauty. You can never catch an Indian woman spending such indecent sums on vanity – except for in some rare cases of north Indian women. Kerala women like it best to appear with coconut oil dripping from their faces hahaha! Tamil Nadu slightly better than that! But I love and respect the fact that they couldn’t care less!

I guess Indian women invest more in precious gems, gold, diamonds and in silks when it comes to clothes. And real branded accessories that are worthy of the price. I have seen such an elitist shopping interest in our NRI women abroad. Our tastes are eclectic.

Times may be changing even for us Indian women but certain things ingrained in us by our grandmas hardly leave us so easily. We are still a very traditional community adhering to our own set customs and values.

As someone who never used a chemical soap for the first ten to twelve years of her life (besan for skin and shikakhai for hair), I can vouch for the healthy effects of our natural beautifying ingredients right from our kitchen shelves. These are tips passed over generations. I still follow the ritual of soaking in coconut oil head to foot twice or thrice a week, at least for an hour before shower. Rain or shine. I believe this is the best natural anti-ageing treatment that we can give ourselves within the four walls of our home. And it costs very minimum. Only the pure cold pressed unbranded coconut oil from our nearby farms (in India).

Ayurveda has natural nourishing beauty products that can improve skin tone and de-tan us without the harmful side-effects of imported chemical brands. To my knowledge, many Indian women and beauty salons in India make good use of these.

I figure that, women spend more on vanity when they lack the sense of security and self-confidence. Also when they may have forgotten their roots and tradition and are westernized. Indian women are well placed generally and may still be culturally oriented. Well accomplished careerwise, well qualified and settled early in life. My view is that, therefore our women don’t need to look to hooking men or retaining men or even dating men! By 25-26 we are mothers already, taken. We start our lives pretty soon. Delayed marriages are happening of late in India, even so our women are extremely smart. Very few accord extraordinary importance to grooming, at least down south. When there is solid substance, why do you need any other crutch. In south India, being coffee brown is natural. No big deal. I come from the land that gave the world the Sundar Pitchai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Indira Nooyi of World Pepsico. What role our Indian skin colour played in the global success of our sons and daughters?

India ladies: beauty with brains. Both Mars Mission rocket scientists as well as successive Miss World/Miss Universe title winners. With the brown skin.

Prejudices exist everywhere. In Arab countries, we cannot even pronounce our Hindu Gods’ names in public. Cannot openly pray/worship. Is n’t this far worse than racism. What ethical rights Islamic nations have in even condemning racism in any part of the world. Pot calling the kettle black.

Before talking so much about ‘Black lives matter’ – let every nation on earth turn secular and democratic first. Black Lives Matter or Islamophobia merit discussion in some societies only when they reciprocate 100% equally and justly whatever freedom they expect to enjoy in open secular democratic countries.

Within India, as I said, the distinction is there between the north and south. In fact, i have faced racism more in my own country whenever I have come across north Indians, over foreigners abroad. Of course, this kind of racist remarks have been mostly harmless. Either that, or we down south are thick-skinned.

Having said that, I like to feel beautiful inside out and have always considered myself beautiful! I don’t need certification from anyone on that! Beauty also lies in the eyes of the beholder. To groom well effortlessly is my mantra. I mean, to groom decent. In India, i feel no need to use even perfumes that block our sweat glands! India is airy lol! Even when it comes to clothing, i prefer desi yarns and weaves and natural vegetable dyes. Ethnic motifs, ethnics clothes. A sari is the most beautiful and sexiest fashion statement in the world! If women are gifts, then the sari is the best gift wrap indeed! I feel most beautiful when I drape my sari.

BE ORIGINAL, BE BEAUTIFUL, WEAR YOUR ATTITUDE IN YOUR SLEEVE. BE JUST YOU. Most importantly , do not become cheap imitation of the west. Music or clothes or food or culture, uphold your native heritage. Stand out. Let your individuality do the talking. You just don’t become ‘them.’

Feminism is oversold and so-much cliched. I am NOT a feminist. I am me. I don’t consider it wrong to want to look good. As I said, any obsession with this beauty concept is though unhealthy. Fixation on these distractions will waylay us on our journey to reach our true goals in life.

I remember my granny saying, ‘Karuppe azhagu, kandhale ruchi’ which translates into ‘black is the most beautiful and the (browned) crust (in the pan) is always the tastiest (in food).’

Hahaha!

Actually, i don’t even feel the need to justify or defend my brown skin that I am too very comfy in.

proudly dusky! black is beautiful!

Posted in Food For Soul

Positivity Vs Negativity.

Positivity Overload reminds me of the Emperor’s new clothes. Excuse me.

Positivity is overplayed a lot of late. Negativity bashed ever since Corona virus became the topic of our conversations. One group flushing with positivity felt that any corona news was more toxic than the virus itself. The sanest way to stay alive was by shying away from mass or main stream media as well as social media. It is true to some extent, that fake news are doing rounds. We are all adults who can filter news as to what is real and what is fake. If it is indeed fake, we are free to dismiss it and move on. If it is real, we can still deal with it given our resources. We can learn from experiences or we can simply mute/block/delete data. As simple as that.

What is positivity to these faint-hearted. It is banishing reality, living in denial. Life is not an odyssey of good times alone. Positivity 100% is as much toxic as 100% negative outlook. In fact, it is the polar opposite. Staying optimistic acknowledging reality is a different scenario though.

In most cases, the negatively portrayed people are talking from their experiences. Theirs is cautious optimism, carefully cultivated in the face of adverse reality. To those who have been shock absorbers for a life time, it is natural to indulge in risk analysis before taking a step forward. In fact, the skepticism gets so ingrained in you that building of trust takes it own sweet time. But once the confidence is gained, the trust so built can be unshakable.

Negative portrayers are responsible people who weigh pros and cons. Their negative outlook is reserved to their closest circle, not for all and sundry. This is one tightly-wrung highly stressed bunch.

Overt positivity on the other hand is a privilege some are born with. Mostly the positivity proclaimers never are in the driver seat. These people delegate responsibility. Responsibility thus diluted, shirked or passed on to next level risk takers such as mostly spouse/family, the supposedly positive outlook ones can afford to stay upbeat retaining their composure. Stress level is negligible.

The same positive group also sometimes may miss out the everyday negativity they may be subjecting their friends and family to, with their (un)solicited

  • opinion on superficialities such as clothes, etc
  • opinion on others choices
  • opinion on others faith and beliefs
  • forcing their way/opinion on things/issues
  • hijacking conversations, deciding conversations, steering conversations
  • never self-doubting, projecting and oozing 100% confidence
  • wanting to have the last word in every conversation
  • believing the best in themselves and the worst in others

Negative outlook group at the best or at the worst, are sincere and ultra cautioners. . If you notice closely, the caution is for saving someone from something ugly and therefore never intentionally cruel. Theirs may be constructive criticism. Negative people still may not single out anyone for scathing attacks. The negatively projected are risk takers who are willing to try untested waters before anyone decides to take the plunge. The negative minded know their limitations and are super-conscious of reality checks. Lacking a safety cushion unlike the privileged, the dooms day prophets are aware of consequences and therefore plan ahead. They are listeners first. They seek clarifications for doubts. They don’t assume things and never take things for granted. Limiting damages becomes their utmost priority as they count in the risk factor. If it can help, they share their stories to trusted circle. Well intended, these cautiously optimistic unfortunately get labeled in return as ‘sinks.’

You may never catch a negatively portrayed friend talking you out of your party dress for wrong colours or whatever. The negative group has in all probability walked the difficult path. They have their priorities right. They know what matters and what is frivolous. For all their supposed negativity therefore, the negatively portrayed friends know what to vote up and what to vote down. Their negativity is all about prudence, never a judgment.

You may be a positive person totally if

  • you have not stood in a PDS queue an entire afternoon
  • you have not stood for hours for school admission or university admission for your kids in hot sun
  • you have not taken a driving test in India
  • you have not commuted regularly by city bus
  • you have not tended to your inlaws or cooked for your inlaws or have had your inlaws at home with you
  • you do not entertain/feed friends and family at home
  • you do not look after others kids/babysit
  • you do not cook/clean/iron on your own
  • you have not lived life without a maid/driver/cook
  • you have always had someone to run these aforesaid errands for you
  • you are of the opinion that you can pay/substitute for humanitarian/physical works/services with monetary compensation
  • you have never worked for a single day in your life (in the case of housewives) reporting for duty to someone hierarchically your superior, waiting with bated breath every month end for your salary to get posted.
  • you downplay humanitarian/physical services
  • you have not missed trains/flights and have been holed up in railway stations/airports for hours/days
  • you do not share equal responsibilities with your spouse economic/familial or whatever
  • you are kept in the dark on your exact family status
  • you are not a decision maker in your family finances/businesses
  • your spouse asks you to mind your own business
  • you have not mingled with Indian crowds
  • you have never been a part of the general janata living the average life of a fellow Indian citizen
  • or in general YOU HAVE NOT STEPPED OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE ever in life…

Such a wonderfully positive feeling group is always 100% politically correct. On the record. To the dot. Very diplomatic. High up in their ivory towers, the cautiously optimistic people to them will always seem the sinks.

Well, the negative ones hardly bother. Otherwise, we won’t belong where we do today. For every step forward, we turn to look back two steps if we have trodden the right path, taken the right step. We value suggestions and welcome wise counseling. We have dealt with disappointments and failures. Most of all we do not live a life of mirage for others. We live a life for ourselves. Since we have had no pressure to impress anyone in the first place, and we dare with our negative approach, we are real and brutally honest.

There is hidden negativity in most of those who think they are positive people. What the heck, that is hardly my agenda.

The negatively stereotyped refuse to count the chicks before they are hatched. They wait to see the colours at the end of the rainbow. They do believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. That is the final word.

Posted in Political

DRAGON SLAYER

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/india-china-tension-35-chinese-troops-dead-in-clash-with-indian-army-us-intelligence-says-report-5415491.html?fbclid=IwAR2wzpGYqNabfhnMqaCHzRqjJwtRaisrOCMWLuf386bQnieTnv6brFc2p8Q

This time China has bitten more than it can chew. India of 2020 is not the same as India of 1962. The Elephant has an indelible memory. The Elephant will neither forgive nor forget. China will be sued in international courts and be made to pay back each and every nation/economy ruined by the chinese.

Shameless remorseless China with not an iota of conscience has not even begged forgiveness from the world community for the endless misery it has caused to entire humanity with its China virus. Let us call it China virus officially from now on, no more Novel coronavirus. Will the Indian media and Indian govt do it? Let us represent Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan as independent nations in the maps across India and entire globe. My heart goes out to the Indian army men who martyred their lives because of unprovoked attack by the chinese executioners in the Ladakh Himalayas on their illegal incursions into Indian territoty, but who claimed 43 chinese lives in return. India may go down in world history for taking on China and killing the chinese in hand-to-hand combat primitive style. India will not allow China to get away. China can step back in defeat of course. Taiwan, Hongkong, Tibet please take note. You can. You will. You must.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3949620?fbclid=IwAR1CNvobLJwJwREJLOC6YqqA6jkYKzB63qiNoB7Q5zWsR-_txgPGjPGicaY

Pakistan is China’s pimp. Sums up in one word the typical Pakistan character (if there is any character at all). India will know where to play the card and when.

Pakistan’s pimping is legendary. Pakistan will be consumed in due course by China. Right now of course, the Chinese are ingesting salami strips of Pakistan. The monkey and the cat story.

Superb write-up:

Posted in Socio-Political

Two Sides Of The Same Coin: India Vs China Perspective

Watched the picture ‘Padman’ based on real life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, with Akshay Kumar in the lead.

Not really new to local scene, it still is a powerful message to hit rural India. Firstly, womanly matters are deemed too private in India. At least that is how it was until very recently. Now that even I can bring myself to write about it, I guess we are changing.

How a school dropout single handedly takes up the women’s hygiene issue is astounding. But knowing about the steadfast determination of fellow Tamils especially from the south of the state, I am hardly surprised. I was browsing a Whatsapp post that was comparing the Dravidian women with Aryan women. Modern historians would like to challenge the Aryan invasion theory. I wouldn’t want to get into that. Seetha from Ramayana and Nalaayini are two women from northern India who were pitted against Kannagi of Silapathigaram, and with Manimegalai and Kundalakesi of the south to showcase how liberated women from Dakshina Bharat were even 2000 years back, from before the birth of Christ. We had women court poets. Excavations in Tamil Nadu reveal a very literate society with constructed grammar and literature in usage at least two millennia before. Whatever happened to us in the interim ages. Murugantham’s clamour for a solution to women’s health woes somehow reminded me of our roots.

Muruganantham aka Padman is invited to TED talks, to Harvard, to all the IIMs in India! Unwavering he says, he will not commercialize his invention of breaking down the complex and 10-million US$ sanitary napkin-making machinery into simpler uncomplicated production units hand-operatable by villagers, because, that will defeat the very purpose of his intention and invention. He refuses to be bought over by corporates and uses his Indian patent to take the new economic sanitary pad revolution to rural India personally so that the illiterate and poor women of our villages would stand to benefit. What a refreshing change to the mindless commercialization of anything and everything. I am neither a capitalist nor a communist. In India too, we have a mixed economy with active participation of both private and public sectors when it comes to nation building. The key sectors such as our nationalized banks, central insurance agencies and railways are with the government so that the profit making by private enterprises would not deny essential services to the economically vulnerable sections of the society.

You need to be a very balanced humanbeing to deny yourself the golden chance of becoming a billionaire after all the spade work that you put in. Hats off to Padman. The picture in question is based in Madhya Pradesh to give the idea the pan-India appeal so that it reaches every nook and corner of India. You need to get a grasp of the socio-cultural undercurrents, the local customs and practices, the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’… and what a delicate subject to touch. Every single reaction of the villagers in the movie is justifiable really. You can call them country brutes but then I live in such a society. May be not exactly being urban based, but then India is like a huge village even now…

The Padman’s naive and yet bold initiative is what touched my heart. His single-minded pursuit of his ambition and confident drive. And his strong determination in adhering to the very purpose of his pet project not to be side-tracked to becoming one more money minting modern day start-up.

I doubt whether you can find a soul or story like this in China. Was watching ‘One child nation’ – the award winning documentary. The very chinese ruthlessness is so disturbing. Such a coldblooded calculation about everything. Remorseless. This you can notice from how they haven’t had the decency to apologize to the world community for destroying so many economies and for being solely responsible for wrecking havoc of unimaginable magnitude across the entire globe, with thousands of lives lost.

How can we even compare India with China. Padman for instance, is one of the million reasons, why we shouldn’t. You know, one thing common about both Padman and One Child Nation is that, both deal with fertility issues of women with the supposed weaker sex at the receiving end. How we go about these sensitive matters is the question. Both are physical to say so, but take a heavy emotional toll on women as well. It was sickening for me to watch the chinese documentary (of course not made by chinese). These are the guys who manufacture plastic rice, plastic eggs and add melamine to baby food. What standards are they setting for the world now. How can China even be deemed a super power. Is this really some growth story. Where is the heart and soul in chinese. Or is their heart made of plastic as well.

Indian kids who go to the US for university education bring back stories about China from their chinese friends. There is no mention of ‘Tianenmen square’ in their history. Kids born after 1990 have been ‘tutored’ into believing and contesting that the Tianenmen NEVER unfolded in their soil. It is shocking how the communists have successfully erased a political memory from the psyche of an entire nation. Reminds one of George Orwell’s 1984. If this is the nation that is to become the no.1 super power in future, then it is doomsday for Planet Earth. This country China does not believe in barring ivory trading or whaling. They think they own up everything from Tibet and Hongkong and Taiwan to Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh but do not have an ounce of honesty or shame in them to own up to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. China is the cancer of the world. China is the one truly lethal virus that we are all fighting. Only the sidekicks Pakistanis will lick the chinese boots like their lapdogs. All for a few crumbs of bread, what else.

Now no more does poverty in India concern me. The Covid-19 scare is revealing to us the humane side of the Indian society. The poorest amongst us are the strongest physically and emotionally. As for economics, they can survive with bare minimum. The truly handicapped are the better-do-do among us.

Heartwarming real life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham shows how humanity still has a chance in India. Our temples and classical music and dance forms and lighthearted movies reveal to us the beautiful side of our human nature. Science exists so that art can flourish. Not the other way around.

India too has populations issues. I am not saying ours is a land of milk and honey. Family planning is mostly suggested to us Indians. The choice is ours to make.

A pregnant wild elephant that forayed into a Kerala village was fed with a pineapple laden with firecrackers (to ward off the animal feeding from on agricultural farms). As the cracker exploded, the elephant with its bleeding mouth ran with searing pain to the river nearby. Refusing to be rescued by the forest officials, it died standing for hours in river water moving an entire nation. Now this is our headlines. The young mother elephant with its unborn calf in the womb broke a billion hearts as the nation mourned for the mother-child duo that bore the brunt of extreme barbarity at the hands of humanity. I remembered how China refuses to curb ivory trading and in fact deals in and promotes trades in wild life skins, hides, organs, teeth, nails etc endangering myriad species that are already in the verge of extinction. Who can stop them ever. When I think of the agony of the mother elephant, I think of how millions in this country of mine hold unshed tears for the voiceless gentle beast demanding justice to be served to the assailants. Mistakes and horrors happen everywhere, but there must be a willingness to acknowledge and admit to them and correct them.

China will NEVER pass the acid test of Democracy & Secularim. China will die and dissolve into thousand parts if they are put to this imminent test someday. China feeds and thrives on suppressed human rights. Now that is a simmering volcano that is bound to explode one fine day.

This soulless nation China can never become a super power or world leader in true sense. We must not allow that from happening either. Let India develop at her own pace. We are in race with none. Let us work and learn to serve not always with a profit motive. Let us go to the mandir, let us do the bhajans, let us dance and sing or just waste away lying bored in the sofa doing nothing. Let us laugh with friends, go out and have a jolly good time not making money. Because, this is how we are meant to be. We are not robots. Not everything is for sale in India as in China. Not everything has to have a price tag.

One of the greatest regrets of my life, is to stop with one kid. But that was a decision based on my circumstances. I see the lower middle class women in my city voluntarily opting for family planning. Not everyone goes for a second kid. This is an informed decision, not an enforced one. The success of India lies therein. But this applies only to Indian Hindus and Christians and Sikhs who put nation first over their religious affiliations. India is fighting the population jehad as well yet, family planning is not mandatory for us.

I would never want India to become the next China. Not in a million years. Let us see to that we are always the country where God wants to dwell in, not the devil. Let us be that divine spiritual beautiful temple, not a glazed lifeless mall that is China. The Padman Muruganantham with his life mission of taking affordable sanitary napkin to rural Indian women and the women of China abducted for sterilization, with their homes pulled down for going for a second pregnancy are the defining differences between us.

Posted in Political

Time To Call It A Day: TASMAC & PDS In Tamil Nadu/India

No one died of non consumption of alcohol in Tamil Nadu since this March 25th. Not many make effective use of the rice rations in Tamil Nadu either. The subsidized/free provisions meant for the BPL families, distributed through our nationwide network of PDS (Public Distribution system) outlets are invariably sold in the black market to make a fast buck. Last heard, rural Tamil women use the 20 kg rice issue for cattle fodder.

India Lockdown 1 started by the midnight of March 25th for a period of 21 days. Lockdown 2 followed from/after April 14th. Lockdown 3 commenced on/after May 3rd and currently we are in Lockdown 4 that began on/after May 17th.

After every enforcement and release of a lockdown, certain restrictions have been lifted. This was to ensure that the return to normalcy could be seamless and smooth. In any case, Section 144 was imposed absolutely in the first phase that still saw the essential services such as food and health, banking etc., functioning. Public transport ceased in totality. Malls, restaurants, cinemas, educational institutions and places of worship remained closed. Farming, food deliveries, milk and grocery supplies and other crucial economic activities were permitted during lockdown 2. Lockdown 2 also eased restrictions on street hawkers who brought fruits and vegetables to doorsteps, as the general public continued to stay home. Lockdown 3 was a bit more relaxed with more services including those non essential resuming. Proprietors of small business were allowed to reopen. Air-conditioning to be switched off. Lockdown 3 also marked the country into 3 zones: Green, Orange and Red. Green zones were those that recorded no fresh Covid positive cases. Barring entry of outsiders, the zones were opened up completely. For instance, the Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu fell under green zone. Even in the green zones, economic activities have been permitted with certain conditions strictly: Social distancing and donning a mask have been made mandatory.

Orange zones are moderate centers with minimal recorded corona virus cases. Risk factor here for covid 19 infection to become community spread is perceived to be very low. Selective economic activities have been reinstated in the zone, with total covid containment viewed as a near possible reality. The next move will be progression to green zone with all loopholes plugged. Kerala and Bangalore (where liquor bars have been doing booming or perhaps record business since day 1 of reopening) may fall under Orange zone. Even BBC and CNN got stumped with the mind boggling sales statistics in our third world nation liquor bars. Bangalore is not only the Silicon valley of India being the backoffice for the entire world, it also boasts of Asia’s largest pub and brewery. Bangalore’s pub culture is legendary.

Red zones are those that sustain yet virulent hotspots where areas are cordoned off to contain covid spread by the super-spreaders. Chennai is unfortunately still the red zone. In red zones, except for the barricaded localities, limited economic activity is permitted in other non-infected areas. Freelance semi-skilled blue collar workers such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons etc., have since resumed working, adopting social distancing and mask wearing safety procedures.

However, downed shutters it is for liquor bars in red zones in lockdown 4. TASMAC outlets run by the Tamil Nadu state government , were about to be opened for want of funds. New kid in the block Kamal Hasan, the actor turned politician, obtained an injunction order from court that stayed the reopening of TASMAC in the state, much to the chagrin of a disgruntled state government. It is open secret that TASMAC is gold mine for our treasuries to dip into at their convenience. Along with Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Board that governs Hindu temple managements alone syphoning off collections that can put the entire SAARC block to shame with their immense volumes. Interestingly, ‘the dry spell’ that has lasted for almost 60 days in the state (and mostly in entire India except for those  metros like Mumbai and Bangalore) with the closure of TASMAC did not kill anyone – not even the so-called hardcore addicts. No expensive detox routines and spas. Nobody speaks of splitting headaches and withdrawal symptoms. House maids and such women workers in menial jobs married to wife-beating alcoholics wasting their entire day’s earning in TASMAC now gossip of husbands chopping vegetables and cooking rice and roti sharing domestic responsibilities. There has been a whole loss of one major earning in the family – the head of the family is at home. Anyways, corona or not, Tamil Nadu govt gives everything free: from rice to cash subsidies. If your kids attend corporation schools, mid day meal is free (with egg served thrice a week and banana too) for them, and also a laptop and a bicycle to go to school. Diwali and Pongal means freebies such as new clothes (sari and dhoti). Pregnant women, widows, the issueless poor – you name the destitute, they all get subsidies ranging from 1k to 1.5k every single month! Why should anyone work for an honest living.

(The last but not the least spoiler is the MNREGA, the minimum employment guarantee scheme introduced by Sonia Gandhi’s Congress govt that assures a daily average wage of Rs.90/- for minimum 100 days an year, whether or not you work or laze around. All you have to do is, fix your thumb impression. Agriculture is in doldrums in the state as the marginal and small farmers do not have it in them anymore to engage in productive farm activity. Why should they. And then the shameless Tamils have the audacity to complain that the Bihari and Bengali are stealing their jobs! The north Indian labourers from Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, the north easterners from the 7 sister states such as Assamese etc., and the Nepali are our lifeline really. But for them, the south India and especially Tamil Nadu and more particularly Chennai will come to a grinding halt overnight. It is easy to dismiss the migrant labourers as ‘panipuri wale’ as we would like to. But no, they are here to stay. They work our restaurants to our rice mills and our textile units and factories to small scale industries. They are our technicians and our pizza delivery men. Boy, don’t they learn Tamil quick! So where is the Tamil worker? At TASMAC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months an year. No wonder our government is dying to open up the state run liquor outlets (what a state business to have. have you come across any government running liquor chain) to fill the emptied coffers overnight.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/sales-of-rs-45-crore-recorded-on-first-day-of-opening-of-liquor-shops-karnataka-excise-department/articleshow/75541529.cms

https://www.mumbailive.com/en/civic/coronavirus-latest-news-maharashtra-has-reported-liquor-sale-of-rs.-62.55-crore-in-2-days.-total-16.10-lakh-litres-sold-from-3543-shops-during-the-lokdown-49142

Who says India is a third world nation.

Is MNREGA a curse or a blessing? In case of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, etc., at least, there seems no justification for the scheme to continue.

PDS ration shops have to go in the metros for the starters. The worst fallout from PDS to me is, the making of a lazy society who have no shame living on welfare. Pointless queues are the only spot where the blue collar population of Tamil Nadu may appear brusque. The rations are up for the grabs of black marketeers. Why not an equivalent subsidy in the place of PDS rations, as with the case of LPG refills. Govt can rethink on the issue. It is true, in times of emergencies such as even the present Novel coronavirus pandemic, the PDS proves to be an effective way of transferring rations/utilities. If PDS has to go, government has to devise a secondary means of functional mass/public distribution of provisions should situation present itself.

TASMAC however has no such strings attached like the PDS or MNREGA. TASMAC closure can be made permanent. When some state governments such as Gujarat have had prohibitions for decades with a roaring success, why cannot Tamil Nadu follow suit. Kerala government too as such is raring to open the liquor outlets vying with Tamil Nadu.

Coronavirus is bad news to rest of the world. To some communities however, it is a blessing in disguise. Husbands and wives and the children and the helpless aged parents are for a very first time in our living memory, finally happy. With very minimum or almost nil income, there is still so much to smile and hope for in the BPL rungs of our society. No drunken brawls in the bars and in the streets, no wife beating, no abusing the kids…. we have precious harmony in families that used to be torn apart by ugly spats every single day of their lives. And what it did take for such a peaceful heaven to descend on us is the Novel coronavirus pandemic – the Covid 19 scare, and the ensuing back-to-back lockdowns. But more than anything, it is the closure of TASMAC that is working wonders for our lower middle classes who have been through hell, with hopeless alcoholics for head of the family. Or, it can be like this. Let TASMAC sell liquor on Aadhar basis. Those of the denizens who can afford TASMAC must not be entitled to any government sops. No more PDS rations either. Does our government have the nerve and honesty to go about this exercise free and fair. Because, none of us tax paying citizens would want to foot the bill for state subsidies and rations to families who can afford TASMAC.

TASMAC online! Now what is this!  Such a creepy thing, is all I can say.

Undeniably, Indian economy is having it rough. There is massive unemployment surge, cash crunch, revenues strapped treasury in the case of state-central governments, crimes happening, migrant matters, natural woes and calamities, defence issues, etc., etc. This is on top of Covid 19 scare. Is TASMAC panacea to all that has gone wrong.

Thank you guys for going nicotine-free during the lockdowns, maintain status quo. Cigarette smoke is reportedly a very potent corona carrier.

Finally, free our temples from the clutches of state governments that rob us of our legitimate collections that must benefit the Hindu community. When the church and the masjid that are on conversion spree flush with NGO and hawala fundings from overseas remain autonomous, why are Hindu temple revenues channeled to government treasury.

A small beginning is made:

https://swarajyamag.com/news-brief/tamil-nadu-government-gives-free-rice-to-mosques-in-state-gets-slammed-for-asking-temples-to-donate-to-cms-covid-19-fund

Kerala HC To Hear Petition On Temple “Donating” Money To CM’s Relief Fund

Posted in Food For Soul

Little Women.

my little women were women of character and substance.

Today is Mother’s day. We have never celebrated or observed anything like this in India until say some last 5 to 10 years when this has become fashionable!

So I wished my aunt and my MIL – and I am writing up this only because I have ample time on my hands !!!

But I do want to put in one point here.

You don’t have to biologically have kids. Your parents need not have to be biologically yours. I say this because, to me my Chithi and Chithappa meant everything. More over my biological parents. My chithappa is no more. My chithi is 75. Even now my biological mother holds a power over me that I don’t deny. The moment I think of her, my eyes water. I can’t go about her school in the heart of the city without breaking down even in public. She died in 1982. She had a host of health issues. She worked until the last day of her life. She was teaching deaf and dumb middle school girls. There are bits and pieces of her memories. From the tapes left behind by her (TDK cassettes recorded with bollywood and tamil songs and bhajans) that i managed to save until 1990s…. and from what others told me about her, i have been forever reconstructing my mom in my memory.  I have one of her tattered saris and I have her handwritten ‘Notes of lessons’ that she prepared for her teaching class. These are like gold and diamond to me. I am almost 52 now. I still amazingly remember my mother’s fragrance – that of Vicco turmeric. I have lost her voice though. Or perhaps i vaguely remember the voice. I don’t have a single photograph taken with my mom. Or may be it is there in some relatives’ albums….

My chithi and chithappa who were childless for many years were like my very own parents even when my mother was around.

Together with my Paatti (granny – maternal grandma), the three women – mother and two daughters still fill my mind’s eye with their beautiful and unforgettable images.

I remember coming home from school in those sunshine days before my world fell through.

My patti (granny) would be keeping evening tiffin ready with coffee. Home brewed after grinding fresh coffee beans at home. From puris to uppurndai to adai and masala dosa, bajji, bonda, my granny’s evening tiffins were very popular that sometimes even my mom’s and chithi’s friends came home for her food! Her famous delicacies were our Diwali sweets: laddoo and jaangri to wheat halwa and kaju katli.

My mom and my chithi would return home with their school bags around 3.45 or 4. My chithi also worked as a teacher. The sisters commuted to their schools by bus.

I and my sister would come home from our schools.

My little cousins – one son and one daughter who were my chithis kids were looked after by my patti. They were not of school going age still.

My chithi would be getting cakes and biscuits for me and my sis from a bakery.My mom would rush in to take her niece and nephew in her lap to pet and spoil them.

We all would sit around and share the day’s stories nibbling the evening snacks.

Few more hours left in the evening for the menfolk to return home. My chithi’s family lived in the next street. My patti cooked everything for the family and packed tiffin boxes. My chithi left with the kids always by 6 pm.

Happiest days of my life.

All the three women I used to call ‘Amma.’ Or simply ‘Ma.’

My chithi and chithappa gave me away in ‘Kanyadhan’ in my wedding in the place of my parents. I married as an orphan.

As a woman with a son almost in marriageable age, I realize now how generous my mother-in-law must have been all those years back.

Too many good people made my present life possible. I will never forget that.

On Mother’s day, the unselfish, unconditional love of these ladies is what I remember most.

I think I have written something more about my biological mom in some other posts – i will tell here of a couple of incidents that define for me my mother even at this age. (May be a repeat).

My mother worked for a catholic institutions that had hostels for the deaf, dumb and blind girls upto SSLC. My mom taught 6th to 8th standard deaf and dumb girls. For Diwali, almost all girls went home picked up by parents. My mom used to take special permission from Mother Superior to get home the girls left behind in the hostel. Most of our Diwalis were celebrated invariably with these deaf and dumb girls at home (sorry that is how we used to call them then. i want to stick with the old lingo). My mom used to gift them bangles, new clothes etc and went back with them to school after Diwali.

My first 12 to 13 years were spent going to the convent for quarterly, half yearly and annual hols and then for their sports day, school day etc., along with my sister and playing with these girls (as equals always). I have this memory of watching sack race for the blind girls every year. I remember the class rooms vividly. Not more than a dozen girls in each class. If a teacher could be 5 min late, the girls had to stand in hot sun for 1 hour as punishment, so my mother was always punctual to work.

I learned of the seriousness of my mother’s health conditions belatedly after her demise. We never thought she could die for that. My parents saved and invested well in the short time of their lives and left us handsome income for even today that we daughters enjoy. They lived a very simple but satisfied life. Not at all ambitious. I remember my mother planting 7 coconut trees Ceylon variety, 1 mango tree, 1 neem tree, 1 drumstick tree, rose and jasmine plants etc, all around our new home that my parents built. She had a terrace garden brimming with flowering plants that she watered everyday immediately after returning from school. The rose plant lived for years after her, blooming with a dozen roses any single day. I remember the big gardening scissors my mother held in her hands. Strangely my mom trained me in cooking and cleaning in those young years. I didn’t know that God was preparing me then for taking over her role shortly.

A second incident is that, a christian girl by name Rosy who had passed SSLC and engaged to marry someone, came home one day with my mother from their school. She had no home to stay having been evicted from hostel. She was an orphan. She stayed with us in our house for 1-2 months until she got married. I remember an argument my mother had with her fiancee. He was like, Rosy was lucky to have found him. My mother roared up like mother hen and made it clear to the boy that Rosy was inferior in no way. My mother threw back the sympathy at the groom’s face and was very proud of Rosy, her ward.

A third one, our house maid was Kanniamma, a teenage girl. My mom got her married getting her all her household needs and saris and footing her marriage expenses. Kanniamma married an autowala. My parents attended her wedding. I tagged along too! On my mother’s demise, Kanniamma’s husband printed my mother’s name in their auto ‘Susheela.’ They named their first born daughter ‘Susheela’ too – my mom passed away soon after their wedding.

My mother touched many lives. I wish she had lived longer enough for us daughters to have known her better. My Thatha (grandfather) always called her ‘his son.’ My mother was a working woman by 1965. Far ahead of her peers in many ways. Very religious, spiritual. Never missed a puja. If my Thatha could be late from his meditation in Ramakrishna Mission mutt, my mother would rush there and get him back. Father driving the scooter with daughter (my mother) as the pillion rider would make our neighbours smile good heartedly! My mom was overtly attached to her parents. More attached to them than with us really.

My chithi in contrast is quietness personified. If my mother was hurricane, my chithi is like a cool gentle soothing breeze. My mother looked after her sister like a daughter. In my mother’s time, i never heard my chithi talk aloud.

Memories of my loving family bring tears to my eyes. Our happy world crashed that fateful day in July 1982 and our lives were never the same again. Broken.

I lost a dozen closest relatives between 1982 to 1993.  Including both my parents and my dear grand parents. Uncles and aunts from father’s side who were our support system. That eleven year period was sheer hell.

That hell was made a lot bearable by my school friends who are proud moms themselves now.

I have to thank my friends moms who all lavished their motherly love on me when I lost my mother. Even my school teachers.

My mom and I went to same school. My mom was popular in my school too that the school management sent 2 teachers including my class teacher to garland her on behalf of the school when she passed away.

I don’t know how I crossed the ’80s alive and in one single piece. My chithi and chithappa took over my parents’ role.

My chithi and chithappa taught me a new meaning to love and kindness and generosity and magnanimity. My MIL taught me how to stay strong and be that pillar of support for everyone.

My chithi chithappa’s advice to me always has been like, ‘be patient, tolerant, flexible, keep your faith in god, your day will come.’ Never did they encourage me once to badmouth my in laws or husband. I now realize what a gift it is to have such a wise set of (foster) parents. I am seeing mothers spoiling daughters lives as well on another side.

I have written little of many precious memories of my mom that I still hold on to. If this is one page, then I can fill up a 100 or 1000 pages about my chithi. I am what I am because of her.

These women are truly the Devis of my life. Mother Goddess Shakthi lives in each and every one of them. I see my Goddess in all these women. COMPASSION, EMPATHY. This is what maketh a mother out of a woman. This is what I can say. The innate sense to understand a third person’s hunger and pain and trauma. Feeding someone anticipating their hunger in advance. This is what it takes to be a mother. Only a mother keeps asking always, ‘have you eaten?’ My hubby and son keep complaining that I always ask first and foremost whether they have eaten! That eating to me by my family is most important! I can’t eat if they don’t eat. That’s what i guess makes me a mother.

The Little Women of my life, saw beyond the exteriors. They’re the kind of women who looked deep into one’s soul. Nothing superficial moved them or moulded them. They were/are REAL women of substance. Women with kindred heart. Women who charted beautiful paths of life filled with love, hope, faith and respect for family and friends.

My patti – not to mention the least… Watching her daughter die before her eyes… My patti, the true mother, never recovered from the shock. How many lunch packs she used to keep ready? Lunch for my amma, appa, chithi, chithappa, myself, my sister. Cooked 24 hours a day. Summers were ‘vathal’ times when she pick;ed mangoes etc., and dried fryums in hot sun. I haven’t come across a better cook than my granny in all these years. Some of her dishes I remember them astonishingly with their unique taste.

Sometimes out of nowhere I long to meet these woman again and bring back the magic of those days….

My chithi has had double mastectomy. She is a cancer survivor for last 25 years. She was teaching board 10 kids even as she went for chemotherapy and radiation in 1996 after which she would go direct to her school as she was teaching board exam batch. She has also since had double knee replacement surgery, neck surgery. Yet I have not heard her complain of anything – she took care of my grandparents and her own in-laws in their death beds. My chithi and chithappa cremated both sets of their parents taking care of them in their old age through death and disease. Physical service they rendered!

My chithi chithappa’s house was always a sanctuary for everyone. Food service to guests 24 hours. Nobody left our house without getting their belly full first. Even postman may expect to be served with a coffee or tea! Such a hospitality is now becoming rare. Not rich people at all. But they paid fees for many poor students and served home made butter milk in liters in front of temples. Extremely pious and god fearing.

I don’t think I will see anyone like this generation again in this materialistic, ungrateful, selfish world.

They’re my own Little Women. My patti, amma, chithi. Most generous. Kindest. Most sensible at the same time. My granny used to read both Dina Thanthi (tamil) and the Hindu (english) newspapers with equal flourish even in those years! She was a 5th standard drop-out. One of the chitchats between the women i remember is : discussing the Warren Report on reading it. My mom owned a copy. I don’t know where it went. Another was a tamil novel: Washingtonnil thirumanam. Based on a tamil hindu wedding in Washington in the 1970s. My mom bound together into thick volumes, great tamil novels that were published in tamil weeklies in those days. After her, the books were borrowed one by one by neighbours never to be returned. Kalki and Jayakanthan and Lakshmi were some of the authors she read.

One snippet: no iron box in our house. My patti used to fold the starched cotton saris of my amma and chithi and keep under bed. So neat would they be! Other memories: baskets of mangoes held by my patti, ghee rice with family, beach with family, card games, carrom board … tv had no role in our lives.

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PS: Are our moms our guardian angels ?

I don’t know about that. I used to dream of my mom until 1993 when I got married. Then she abruptly stopped appearing in my dreams.

In 2003, I visited my sis in Mumbai with family. My sis by now had 2 sons. My mom appeared in my dreams with her school bag neatly draped in her regular voile sari. The sari and the school bag i distinctly remember. She told me, she must leave. This she says looking at me and my son, and my sister and her sons. It’s like someone is waiting for her impatiently to take her somewhere. She said a proper goodbye and left, never to appear in my dreams ever since. After 1993, she visited me only once in 2003 in that early morning dream in Mumbai. May be for others this may sound fictional or hallucinationatory, only those of us who believe in miracles will believe what I believe in. I am sure, my mother would not have had a punar janma (rebirth). She must be a shining star now in the sky up above me.