Posted in Political, Women & Family

Pro Choice Vs Pro Life.

Pro Choice Vs. Pro Life, an Indian perspective

The raging debate in the US right now is on women’s rights on abortion. Its a very sensitive issue there where teenage pregnancies are not rare. And equally common are broken families, adoption, foster homes. The legislation expected could have political, social, economic ramifications. I never expected any nation to be so much alive and politically-socially conscious as the US, although I have been increasingly aware how mature and literate the American population generally is. And I am also surprised how the country is divided on opinion. Well balanced. I guess America has come of age. I respect the way they dissect a bill before it becomes a legal statute. The pro-life – pro-choice arguments are heated, and for reasons justifiable. How the population engages in healthy discussions and present counter arguments is interesting. There are campaigns, rallies educating masses and gathering support. Before the motion is brought to the floor of the house, the finer aspects are contemplated and analyzed logically in great detail leaving no room for misgivings. Witnessing the democratic way the entire construct is executed building momentum showed me how every voter’s or citizen’s right counts in democracy. I wish India is as mature, and not just the world’s largest democracy. We have to move things from grassroots level and our masses need to be well informed and opinionated. In coming months we shall come to know what will be the law of the land, but as of now the pros and cons are doing the rounds in the States.

I may be an outsider, but my family is American so it concerns me as much. I was not vocal on the matter during my recent visit to the US because, women there are extremely sensitive when it comes to women’s rights and issues especially when it comes to something as personal as women’s body. Precisely this is why I am Pro-Choice.

a question of quality vs quantity. don’t our unborn children have a right to dignity. https://vijiravindran.com/2019/03/30/when-law-needs-to-take-a-walk-medical-termination-of-pregnancy-after-20-weeks/

As a grandmother, as a mother, there is a lot I have seen in my life than the younger women of today who are raising banners for Pro-Life. They in all probability have no clue what they are talking about. How many of these women in twenties or thirties or still in teens will have the patience or mental strength to raise a spastic child or a Down’s syndrome baby whose birth could have been prevented. Leave alone the medical bills to foot. India has such Draconian laws that do not allow women to go in for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) when the foetus is twenty weeks. I have known a case when the ultrasound scan and other medical test reports showed anomalies in the second semester when the pregnant mother was forced to carry on with her term against her wishes, expecting the birth of an abnormal child. The couple have been raising a boy physically and mentally handicapped since his birth and now he is eight years strapped to his baby cot, fed through tubes. How many women who shout slogans arguing for pro-life will have the devotion, courage, financial backbone and/or strong heart and mind to go through what these young parents are undergoing. Their happy life as they knew it long since vanished with one scan report years back. A simple MTP could have done everyone good. Only, the detection came a couple of weeks later. Laws that are outdated need repealing. In this scenario, I do wonder how mature societies like the US can actually go on and frame constricting laws that can do more damage than bring in welfare to the society.

The religious perspective adds fuel to the fire as we can see. The Catholic church is not for termination of pregnancies.

What about teen pregnancies. Illegal pregnancies appear to be rampant in the US in underage women which can be constituted as ‘rape’ (as in any other country). How can any legal statute try to legitimize the birth of a baby born out of such unholy nexus. How can any law enforcement agency reserve the right to deny these victims their fundamental right to abort what they do not want or deserve. How many babies are abandoned in the trash can every year? How many end up in foster care? Is this what the state wants for our unfortunate unborn children and their poor unlucky mothers.

It is not just the US, it is high time even India revisits the law governing MTPs. If abortions cannot happen for valid medical reasons on completion of twenty weeks of pregnancy, then the screenings for anomalies at any stage is pointless. Quality of life is worth considering than quantity of life. These were media reports stating that government was considering allowing legal abortions until 24 weeks although there is no update on the issue. There is always misuse in some quarters but this is a small collateral considering the larger benefit on anvil. Govt of India can weigh allowing MTP upto 24 weeks consulting a medical bench when the mother’s life may not be endangered. Asking for sex of the foetus is illegal in India punishable with a sentence. This is to prevent gender-based crimes in the garb of MTPs. It seems to be serving the purpose.

Posted in Women & Family

Can Vitamin D be absorbed by our scalp, hairline, crown?

I have always had this doubt regarding vitamin D which is best absorbed by human body from direct sunlight. Many of us however miss it. Even those of us who have scope for sun exposure sadly dab the SPF(Sun Protection Factor) creams of various strengths ranging from 15-20 to 60-70 (in case of those who have to be under direct sun for hours in tropical climate). Since I am a home bird, I have never had much of use for the SPF sunscreens. Also I am out of touch with the cosmetic world. I go for a few known brands whose produce are not tested on animals. Plus I am missing out the beauty routine as I am not the salon person. All these put me in fix and I have no idea on anything when it comes to grooming. My friend’s young daughter of 22 recently advised me that, even at home I need the SPF protection as I am exposed to ultraviolet rays from my desktop/laptop and mobile phones. Also I spend hours close to my window. Although there is no direct sunlight filtering in, she said I may still be exposed to the uv rays that infiltrate the atmospheres. I wondered whether vitamin D from sunlight is better and healthy choice, or the protection of our skin from ageing because of uv rays of the sun is! As I am mostly based in middle east whether temperatures can hit 50 c easily in summers, I do make it a point to apply a coat of sunscreen whenever I go out. I leave it to my exposed arms to soak in the vitamin D, saving my face and neck from the job! However, whenever I have to wear full sleeves, I rue the fact that not a square inch of my skin is open to sunlight. After all, sun light is the best and natural source of vitamin D and it comes free! I wondered whether my exposed crown and scalp can absorb the vitamin D for me! Can nails and hair that are external growth without nerve endings absorb anything at all, even something as finer as the rays of the sun? I googled for information but there is no satisfactory answer. The search results all summarize that loss of vitamin D can lead to hair fall. Anyway, this is also news to me! But my question is different. I just want to know whether my scalp, my hairline or my crown may be capable of absorbing the vitamin D from sunlight. Thanks to some indoctrination on importance of sunscreens, nowadays i am habituated to moisturizing my face and neck with at least a weak SPF cream that I never used to until a couple of years back. In cold weathers, I have no option but to wear full sleeves. I wonder whether my scalp and hairline are doing some OT (overtime) work for me in the circumstances when it comes to vitamin D absorption! Just a thought lolz. I wouldn’t really bother about a tan. Bleaching which is staple with most women where I come from, is ruled out for me as I can’t stand the whitening treatment. So I have to balance my sun exposure and vitamin D soaks. Any day vitamin D wins hands down! Still if anyone can assure me that my scalp/hairline/crown can absorb vitamin D for me, I will feel free to lavish on SPF creams. I feel guilty for dabbing a blob from a tub of sunscreen everyday now. Am I denying myself the much needed super vitamin for after all some useless vanity. Honestly I couldn’t care less! We menopausal women have much use for vitamin D as we tend to lose our capacity to make more of this vitamin resulting in the onset of Osteoporosis. Yet, given the level of air pollution in India and the heat and the dust and the high temperatures of both India and Qatar that are sunny most part of the year, I would like to have both the protection of an SPF layer as well as my quota of vitamin D from direct sun whenever and wherever possible. If only I get credible evidence that our scalp and hairline and crown soak vitamin D, it will ease my conscience and I will feel less guilty going for the SPF. Where to find the answer to my curious questions. Nobody I have asked to, has provided me with satisfying solution. Nobody simply has any idea. I do have the habit of feeling my scalp whenever I am out in the sun with a veil of sunscreen on my face. Whenever I would feel the familiar warmth of the sun in my crown, I would wonder if that’s vitamin D that is seeping in right at the moment hahaha!!! Anyone ever wracks one’s brains to think the way I do?! All said, my friends are going for an annual course of Vitamin D therapy that is recommended to me. As most of us do not absorb sufficient vitamin D from direct sun, physicians are prescribing the 7 day vitamin D intake that I am planning to commence shortly. The procedure is to be repeated every year. Hopefully that will allow me to go easy on SPF sunscreens. A friend recently felt disoriented and the diagnosis was Vitamin D insufficiency. Ever since I am taking vitamin D much more seriously. In any case I do not go for more than SPF 25 that can last me for maximum of two to four hours after which I am open to sky when outdoors. I guess this is good material for research!

Posted in Women & Family

Why aren’t there separate rest rooms for ladies and gents in flights and trains.

This has been on my mind for years or perhaps decades now. My friend voiced the same and asked me to blog it. She was asking how the 14-15 hour nonstop to the US would go down with me. Pretty bad, I admitted. I have a mental block when it comes to the loo used by men. I don’t trust men with hygiene! I mean, we ladies are a bit fussy about these things. First time we flew to the US, we switched flights twice. So there was no need for me to use the inflight loo shared both by female and male passengers. The transit airport restrooms saved the day for me. It was the second time I took the flight that dealt me a blow below the belt literally! Over 15 hour nonstop that was supposed to be a song, and yes indeed it was, except for the loo for me! As such I have knee issues associated with rheumatoid arthritis from my teens. This complicated matters for me. I kept crossing my legs every now and then making myself as comfy as possible. My spouse kept reminding me, what I did was not enough. I needed to empty my bladder that I refused to do. On intense pressure from him, I rose from my seat and walked the aisle to the restroom. Some three or four caucasian men stood in queue before me and each weighed a ton, towering minimum 6’2. I wondered how they would even fit into the tiny cubicle. Then I almost threw up imagining the loo after it was used by them. Right turn. I decided to hold my bladder until we landed. And even before we had the chance to approach immigration, I looked for the nearest restroom once we touched down. Return was same story. But I am more than comfortable in home turf that is Doha. I did experience slight discomfiture when I held my bladder back and my friends warned me that I must not. I am repeatedly advised by everyone not to do that. Same issue I have with trains. But in India, matter is different. We leave home after emptying our bladders and board mostly the night train. We sleep it off in our second a/c or third a/c berth. And before we know we may be arriving at our destination. Our address would be just an auto ride or uber afar. Trains too with their non segregated rest rooms have been a problem for me in the past. One way of solving it is, not setting your foot into it! But women when we are in our fertile years sometimes, cannot totally avoid visits to restrooms. That way I have. Now with the fertile years almost behind my back, I don’t have the compelling urge to visit the restroom in flight or train. Thankfully that era is coming to a close almost. But been there, done that. It is extremely inconvenient not having a demarcated loo for women in our trains and flights. Some of us women tend to have unpredictable cycles especially as we come close to menopause. We would benefit enormously by segregation of restrooms for men and women in our public transport systems. Compared to how it used to be, IRCTC have definitely improved our train restrooms with complete stainless steel fittings, still they leave a lot more to be desired.

When it comes to restroom facilities, I am most comfortable in foreign soil. Now that I am a grandma, I can appreciate the baby diaper changing rooms, feeding rooms etc., better. It is in India that we suffer most especially when we travel. We have to go look for hotels with decent restrooms. Nobody seems to bother really. I really loved the A1 petrol stations of Reliance with excellent rest room amenities. Unfortunately they had to be shut down when the gas became unviable. For a brief time I did feel safe when we drove through the highway because every 50 km to 100 km there would be a Reliance A1 petrol station with attached restaurant and good clean rest room facilities. India is manufacturing and exporting sedans, but these guys out there, do they even think about the package this must come with. 1997-2001 when our residence was in Malaysia, we could go on long drives and road trips with our little son because, for every 50 km there was even then excellent rest rooms and restaurants. What is the point in toll collection and even having the Ferrari in our roads when the basics cannot be met. I agree, the citizens lack precious civic sense. Make it payable I say! Staff it. Educate people. But do bring good restrooms to our highways.

Indians just do not understand the concept of having a dry restroom and that is a problem! They have to water down the entire compartment or airport lounge to feel clean! I wonder when we will grow up!

Anyways, I have said enough. Would be relieved if any airline gets a cue and starts setting a precedent with at least one restroom in flights earmarked exclusively for women. This will benefit a lot, especially women having their periods. Experience! Same goes for our trains.

In nonstop long haul flights, there are at least four restrooms for economy class passengers apart from those reserved for business class. Why can’t at least one of the restrooms be reserved exclusively for women. The other three can be common loos. Just a thought.

I have to thank my friend who asked me not to hold back both my bladder and my peeve against the flight restrooms that is a nagging issue with me always! One of these days I would like to see one restroom at least in flights marked for women. I guess, this is subject for conversation and consideration only with Asian women. There is widespread equality among sexes in the Europe and America. However, in my limited time and exposure in these two continents I still found restrooms segregated for sexes and no common restrooms (at least so far). So why can’t we have restrooms for women in flights? I agree inflight space is precious. We are not asking for extra space creation here. Seeking only allotment of one of the four economy class restrooms in long haul flights exclusively to women.

Posted in Women & Family

Menopause: A Different Perspective.

I was googling on something and chanced upon this accidentally. Not in exact words, but i try to reproduce here whatever little I could glean.

Surprised to learn that only homo sapiens reach the menopausal stage. Menopause is not the biological phenomenon with any other species in the animal kingdom than humans. This bit of info is news to me. This singular fact puts the human race in a league of its own, far and away from other living organisms with five senses. Human beings alone are endowed with the sixth sense of reasoning. Menopause or waning of fertility before one’s life time has enabled the human mothers who progress to become grandmothers tend better to their families and steer them forward with strength and purpose. All other living creatures retain their fertility until the fag end of their lives so that their preoccupation with procreation and food procurement keeps them busy leaving no scope for energy or efforts to think out of box. Their brain faculties therefore never got to develop like that of the humans. The chimpanzees and gorillas may not survive their full life span, dying well before their times. Human mothers’ fertility comes to an end with age, long before their lifetime can get over. The ‘free years’ when the females need not have to concern themselves with reproduction and nesting of a young family, spare them the absolute and essential time to devote and care for the youngest members of the family like the grandchildren for instance. Grooming of the youngest is mostly the responsibility of the seniors. Grandparents play a proactive role in the life of the grandchildren. Skills get honed and talents identified and developed thanks to them. The age old wisdom and logic of the seasoned matriarchs can have beneficial effects on the new off springs. The women pass on traditions and values that will be carried on further for generations. The elephant matrons may come a closest second to the human mothers when it comes to herding their families.

The article shed new light on impending menopause for women that occurs anywhere from their forties to mid fifties. The fertility gene is also a DNA inheritance from the maternal family tree for women.

This really has helped me look at menopause at a totally different angle. At 52, I became a grandma and that’s the best gift that has come my way in life so far. Most of my friends have reached the milestone of menopause, some of us are almost there… with a bit of trepidation. We have been having mood swings and hot flushes for years now. We feel bloated and cry for nothing… our nestlings have grown wings and taken flight.,… and we are enduring the ’empty nest’ syndrome… my working friends are also going for premature retirement… all of these affect us women emotionally, psychologically, physically… as we try to come to terms with the drop in estrogen levels, the single hormone that has played a vital role in our lives since our twelfth or thirteenth year on menarche… Women’s health is incumbent upon oestrogen to a large extent that I have known ladies taking to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to extend their fertile years for the benefits it promises: such as preventing breast-ovarian cancer and heart disease. However HRT is a double edge sword to be handled with extreme care and caution. As much as possible, in my personal opinion, it is better to let nature runs its course without medical intervention.

The simple and beautiful explanation on menopause was educative to say the least. At 53, I have had my full course and have no reasons for regret. I guess there must be more articles like these in the media, tipping women on not only fertility and menopause but also on adaptability and work/business options. Some of us do pop pills already for ‘lifestyle conditions.’ We are well aware, with the estrogen stripped, we will have no armor for protection for even our knees that carried our tired bodies all these years – and osteoporosis might be lurking around the corner.

As someone who lost my parents before I tied my knot, I am grateful for every extra year that I get blessed with. Appreciate it far more when I think, I have lost two of my classmates (from school) to cancer before they hit the half century. A couple of more took out their wombs in their thirties or forties. I am here, I am doing good, why complain.

Blessed with abundance of kindness, love, affection, gentleness, decency, everything. There is nothing more we women may want out of our lives.

Enlightening article on menopause. I have to search for it again. Proudly a grandma!

May be I have blogged on Sabarimala, but now we couple of girls are waiting for the inevitable biological cycle to complete its course so that we women can go have a darshan of Lord Aiyappa ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CLEAN.

Uplifting and sensitive write-up. Logical. No wonder, the menopause or cessation of fertility in human mothers at a stage long before their time is up, helped the humans evolve into the numero uno species on Planet Earth as their focus shifted from tending to families to opening up of bold new horizons.

Posted in Women & Family

Kick Like A Girl.

This (my altered version of the story) is inspired by a whatsapp share. A young boy goes to play football for the first time. His teammate, an older boy, teases him not to kick the ball feebly like a girl but with gusto like a boy. The boy’s dad assures him that he must kick (the ball with force) like a girl. What a way to parent our children. We women are always on the defensive, at the receiving end, rarely mustering courage to rise up to the occasion to kick an offending man right in his groin. It is time we girls go offensive to score a point! It felt good to read up the post that was a forward. Ironically, it is the men who preach equality of sexes who seem to hold least respect for women’s honour. My logic is simple: treat women the way you may want your mother/sister/wife/daughter to be treated. Or else let me PUNCH, KICK, KNOCK YOU OUT for the girl I am!

Posted in Women & Family

Sajda for the sweetest souls.

I just want to add a small late night post before i hit the bed. Watched yet again the ‘sajda’ song from MNIK picture. I think SRK has done a fab job enacting the ADHD character. Those of us who get to see kids on the autistic spectrum – even in the rock bottom level of 1 out of 10 or what we call ‘borderline cases’ may know what to expect. Or we can easily identify with SRK’s role that he has performed to perfection. May god bless these special kids and may god gift their parents with enormous patience. I would like to expand more on this one but reserve it right now for a future post. I did a lengthy one quite a few years back but for reasons that I cannot disclose, trashed it. Let me try to do a fresh one, so until then.

Posted in Women & Family

The take on Aspirin.

Its an ongoing debate for decades: whether or not take Aspirin, one a day. The first time someone suggested aspirin to me was in the year 1998 in Malaysia. In the south east Asian country, I was surprised to discover that the locals irrespective of their race or sex and physical attributes, took a minimum dose pill every single day of the week once he/she crossed into thirties. By thirty-five or forty, an overwhelming majority of adults healthy or otherwise were on aspirin already. Aspirin was like the sleeping pill. I put it down to heavy consumption of red meat even if the Indian (read Hindu) community mostly restricted themselves to staple non vegetarian fare of chicken-mutton-fish-prawn. Aspirin was after all touted to be the best and cheapest blood thinner. It mattered most to the south east Asians who vied for a place with south Asians when it came to coronary heart diseases. Because whether Malay or Indian or Chinese, the population had major cardiac issues owing to genetic dispositions. Lifestyle conditions such as elevated blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol also ran rampant cutting across races. Since Aspirin was sold over the counter, it was not difficult to procure it in an otherwise stringent nation that Malaysia was when it came to medication and pharmaceuticals. Medicines were not in general procurable without a medical prescription and medication was always the responsibility of the physician who also doubled up as pharmacist. I never came across a single pharmaceutical that did not sell anything over generic medicine in our four year residence in Malaysia. Whereas, our India is free for all! Antibiotics to anti-venom serum for snake bite, anything can be procurable without a medical prescription from competent physician top of the counter in India! This now can be a blessing as well as curse to which I shall come to later in an other post.

So for years doubts persisted in me about Aspirin. I got it cleared from my brother-in-law who is a general practitioner with his own private practice. He advised a strict NO saying, there were also associated stroke statistics when it came to long term usage of aspirin. He asked me not to go for it even very recently when I expressed my concern as I have a mild lifestyle condition. Our family physician also ruled out aspirin for those who drive long distances like for instance, to work. For any medical emergencies, he said, for someone who took aspirin, the medicos needed to wait for 36 hours minimum for the aspirin to be completely washed out of the system. Too much blood dilution thus could prove to be counter productive. Aspirin was basically blood thinner and therefore, even if it prevented arterial clogs, it also made sometimes bleeding unstoppable during surgeries or on injuries which made it a potential life risk. Hence the waiting time, that could cost one his/her dear life in critical emergencies. Aspirin was also claimed to cause intestinal bleeding on prolonged use. When you drove a lot, faced physically challenging situations, traveled frequently, said my doc, it is better to avoid aspirin. For him, the low dose must be reserved for septuagenarians and octogenarians who may have coronary issues. His prescription to unclog blocks in middle age was by way of physical fitness regimen such as workouts and healthy dietary habits.

I am just learning about baby aspirin which comes across as the least minimum dosage prescribed for adults which is supposedly safe intake on regular basis which is about 81 mg per day. Whether it can prevent vascular diseases remains a big question mark yet, but baby aspirin could be harmless dose that can be taken without a doctor’s prescription – provided the concerned individual is not under medical treatment for any health issues. Anyone on other prescribed drugs would simply have to consult his/her physician before deciding on aspirin.

Personally, into my early fifties, I do feel like I have reached the stage when I must start popping a baby aspirin at least once a week even if i am a lifelong vegetarian. We simply have to read up much more on the topic before we arrive at a decision. The call i guess, is ours to make entirely. By world standards, we Indians are pretty late when it comes to aspirin intake. We reserve it mostly to our retirement or for post coronary bypass surgery. To my knowledge, Europeans, Americans and South East Asians start taking low dosage aspirin by their late thirties or early forties. May be many middle age heart attacks are preventable with lives saved with early start of aspirin who knows. Divided on that.

Posted in Women & Family

Miss India Universe 2021

Harnaaz Sandhu of India crowned Miss Universe hardly makes me jubilant. India is a big, big, colossal market and they just know what buttons to push to tap into the resources here, to my reckoning. A series of women have won the Miss World and Miss Universe title from India who have all subsequently become Bollywood heroines chugging the beaten track. So that kind of makes me sick that a fellow Indian must win the title now that can later become her passport to stardom. In fact I was told of this news by a pretty filipino girl in a medical clinic last morning. She congratulated me as if it was I who had won the beauty pageant! She said, Indian girls are beautiful. I was kind of embarrassed. I said, Indian women were beautiful and brainy and she smiled nodding her head. She got her third shot and I had to reschedule my appointment.

After Aishwarya Rai and Sushmitha Sen won the Miss world and Miss universe titles the same year in the early ’90s, it became even more easy for the multinationals to gain access into Indian consumer markets. Up until then, we Indian ladies hardly used to groom so readily. Overnight, every little girl seemed to want to become the next Ash which was kind of insane. I was pretty worried like, what was happening to my country.

Girls in my country today are spending too much on chemical skin and hair care and garish make-up that looks cheap and vulgar on them. The painted faces are like a cruel joke. How can we even try to impersonate the models on catwalk or the Hollywood belles. We just cannot and do not become them. We don’t have to. My friend who was visiting the US told me how she spotted the top models in Miami. Nobody gave a damn! It is the young women in India who are shamelessly mimicking the celluloid stars. The Miss India universe crown is only going to precipitate the matter. A good chunk of our women’s earned income these days is spent on personal grooming. Self care is undeniably important, one has to feel good and even best about oneself. Of course we have to live it up, but never like this! But the obsession of our young ladies with the beauty business is going out of hands. It is totally fake.

Indian govt has to keep a vigil over the cosmetics imported into the country. Most beauty salons in India also use products that are prohibited in many foreign countries. For instance, formaldehyde used in hair straightening in India is proved toxic and directly linked to cancer. Beauty products in India also are sold/used in parlours after the expiry date.

In my experience I have seen that the girls who are engrossed with their academic or career accomplishments hardly pay attention to these trivialities. This kind of beauty business is extremely distracting. I was shocked to see a five year old girl don the lipstick recently. She was already choosy about her clothes, colours and boots. I found that to be extremely unhealthy. Boys of the same age play more and hardly give attention to physical grooming. May be the boys may ask for shoes or denim, but more than that, I have not come across Indian boys of similar age express interest in grooming the way our girls do. Where is the flaw? Does it lie in parenting or with the way our society is evolving. Are we promoting wrong values in our children unconsciously. When as women we seek equality in everything, why do we want to raise our daughters preoccupied with grooming?

To me, self confidence stems from self assurance that we are enough. We need not have to rely on a tube of concocted paste and lip filler and bleach to present to the world a version of us that we are not. A decent cleanup or maintenance keeping with times must do. Anything more than that points to a psychological disorder sorry!

Feeling beautiful inside out comes from maturity and life experiences, something that cannot be bought over for a price.

A friend of mine was recently saying that to distract her teen daughter from grooming, she was advising her to take MPC (math physics chemistry) stream in higher secondary school because, art or commerce could leave the girl with a lot of time in her hands that she may use for banal purposes. Someone with a very balanced outlook on life making this observation is like an eyeopener to the scene we have presently in India.

It is nice to wear good clothes, change your hairstyle once a while, overhaul to look different or take care to be presentable, but all this can be done with a little dignity, without us having to look like B or C grade film artiste. Why should we have to draw our strengths from creams and lotions. There has to be an element of reality in whatever we do. We cannot stay in denial forever of who we are originally. It is time to wash and cleanse off our faces to unearth the raw and natural beauty beneath our skin.

Meanwhile I am waiting for the list of multinationals waiting for their chance to enter India anytime now, if they haven’t already. They just needed this stroke to be played out. With our new Femina Miss India Universe, their prospects look brightest.

Posted in Women & Family

Life Is Beautiful!

being woman

No flower blooms for anyone. Every flower blooms with its own fragrance. Every flower delights in its own blooming. Why should one compare a jasmine and a rose or even an unscented flower. Lack of fragrance is also flowery and will not strip an unscented flower of its beauty or elegance. Or its essential substance. I am that flower on its proud stalk holding its head high, not the droopy and withering, bowing out.

Why do we women compare ourselves with others. I don’t consider myself to be pitted in contest against anyone. None of us is on mission to usurp others positions. We all have our own sunny spots under the sky where we revel. Women and insecurities! Low self-esteem is just not one of my characteristics.

I don’t consider myself lesser than anyone just like I don’t put myself above anyone. Younger women, wealthier women, healthier women have been following behind me since the day I was born. If I have to turn back and reevaluate myself at every step, I would n’t be half a woman that I am today. I would have perished wallowing in self pity since long, if not quashed by ego. I am not the designer kurta or jewelry just like someone else cannot become the fair-skin. I am not my age and I am not my bank balance. Not am I the creed or the faith. I am not the book I read or the food I eat. I am not my trade, nor am I any brand. I am not my place and I am not my accomplishment. Neither am I my fertility or my marital status. I am not the current station of my life. I am not the vibe or the mood of the moment. I am just me. I can be simply me. We women have our souls and characters. We are made different. I am not beautiful like any other, I am my beautiful self. BEautiful me!

Neither impressed by sedan or villa; nor by social status or charisma. There is a small tribe of us ladies who are immune to whatever male charm.

Why should we women prove anything to anyone. I have never had the urge. I can do without constant validation and judgment. I prefer to keep a low profile. My blog has compromised my privacy, about which I am helpless.

My cup of happiness and contentment is brimming. I lack for nothing in life. I am not looking for a refill. I am one wholly satisfied woman. I am complete and enough by myself. I don’t need to be measured against an other woman. It is an affront to my womanhood. I am the spirited. I am the feline feminine me. I can be the angel and, I can be the witch.

But I do pause to count my blessings. Respect to me is the highest form of expressive human emotion, transcending any other. It is lovely to be treated with that kind of respect. This one trait in humans moves me for some reason. Respect is also mutually reciprocal.

Life comes a full circle! Life is beautiful!

Posted in Women & Family

பூவல்ல பூகம்பம்

The following was drafted for a brief speech, more like exchange of ideas in verses, at Thamizh Koottam, an informal Tamil gathering. Otherwise my preferred medium for amateur blogging is English language. A few rare Thamizh posts here.

Some corrections pending, mostly ‘yaranaa vazhanaa’ kind to put it in Tamil.

பூவல்ல பூகம்பம்

மலரோடு பெண்ணை ஒப்பிடாதீர்… பெண் மலர் போல மிருது அல்ல. பெண் பூ போல அல்ல. பூகம்பம் போல.

பெண்ணை பூவோடு ஒப்பிடுவதிற்கு தமிழ் திரை உலகமும் காரணமாக இருக்கலாம்.

ஐம்பதுகளில் அரங்கேற துவங்கியது இந்த நாடகம்.

‘மலர்களைப்போல் தங்கை உறங்குகிறாள் என்று துவங்கும் பாசமலர் பாடல். நமக்கெல்லாம் பிடித்த ஒன்று. அடுத்த வரி ‘அண்ணன் வாழ வைப்பான் என்று அமைதி கொண்டாள்’ என்பது.

இதில் பாருங்கள் எப்படி ஒரு கருத்து திணிக்கப்படுகிறது என்பதை.

ஆண் வர்க்கம் பார்த்துக்கொள்ளும் தமக்கையே, கவலை படாதே.  ஆண் இருக்க பயமேன். இதுவே இதன் பொருள் உள்ளடக்கம். ஏன் பெண் தனித்து தன்னை காத்து கொள்ள மாட்டாளா. பாசமாகிலும் கட்டிபோடுவது ஏற்குமா.

‘ரோஜா மலரே ராஜகுமாரி’இதுவும் பிரபல பாடலே. பராசீகதில் இருந்து இரக்குமாதி செய்யப்பட்ட பூவகை அல்லவா ரோஜா. உயர் சாதி மலர். ராஜகுமாரியை ரோஜா மலராக உருவக படுத்துதலின் காரணம். சமூக ஏற்றத்தாழ்வுகளை கூட நாசூக்காக புலப்படுத்தும் வரிகள்.

‘மலரே குரிஞ்சி மலரே’ என்று துவங்கம் ஓரு பாடல். அடுத்த வரி ‘தலைவன் சூட நீ மலர்ந்தாய்’ . பெண்ணின் வாழ்க்கை குறிக்கோளே ஆணை அடைவது தான் என்பது போல.

ஆகா, பன்னிரண்டு ஆண்டுக்கு ஒரு முறை பூக்கும் அபூர்வ குறிஞ்சி மலராகவே இருந்தாலும் சரி, பெண் என்பவள் பிறப்பே ஆணிற்காகத்தான் என்று உரைப்பது

தற்காலத்திலும் தொடரும் கதை இது.

‘மலரே மௌனமா’ என்று ஒரு பாடல். மலரை பெண்ணுக்கு உருவமாகவே கொள்ளும் வரிகள் இதை நாங்கள் என்ன பூச்செண்டு கொடுத்து வரவேற்க வேண்டுமா என்ன.

ஆங்கிலத்தில் சொல்வார்கள் இதை. Pun என்று. Pun intended here.

மலர் தான் மௌனம் காக்க வேண்டுமா என்ன. பூகம்பத்தை கிளப்பும் எரிமலையும் அமைதி காக்கும் பல நேரம். பெண் குமுறினால் அந்த குழம்பில் உருகாதவர் எவர்

பெண்ணை மூளை சலவை செய்து செய்தே அடிமை படுத்தியது போதும்.

இந்தியாவும் ஒரு இந்திராவை பார்த்துள்ளது. லங்கையும் பண்டாரா நயிகாவையும் சந்திரிகாவையும் கண்டுள்ளது.பூ என்று தான் என்னை கொள்வீர் எனில், சேற்றில் முளைத்த செந்தாமரை நான். ஆதாரமற்ற ஆகாய தாமரை அதிலும். இது போல. என் நிலைக்கு நீர் உமது வேட்டியை மடித்து கட்டி தான் கீழிறங்க வேண்டும். இது தலையை குனியாத தாமரை.