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.

 

Posted in Temples Of India

Gopura Darshanam Kodi Punyam 2

Downloaded from FB Pages Lost Temple, etc . The architectural splendour of ancient India. Now this is history. This is pedigree. This is culture. This is civilization.

And this is what still remains after 800 years of barbaric islamic terror reign of India under the turks/moguls/persians/arabs when tens of thousand more architectural marvels were razed to dust, and after 300 years of looting and pillage under the British. Otherwise just think, what India still could be. No way can we accept or ever come to respect invaders. We live with a bruised heart. We can come to terms with reality. Forgiving may be possible, forgetting, impossible. What a glorious nation is my Bharat! Taj Mahal will always be the most despised monuments for most Hindus. To us, it will always be our Shiva temple, Tejo Mahalaya.

 

Posted in Political

Corona Reality Check: You cannot eat and drink Oil & Gas

YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS INTELLECTUAL HONESTY TO AGREE WITH ME NOW. OR YOU SIMPLY ARE A DISHONEST PERSON LYING TO YOUR OWN HEART.

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Most Arab nations do not have places of worship such as temples or churches for millions of white and blue colour expat workers who work for their countries, running virtually their entire economy.

Most Arab nations do not even legally permit practice of alien faiths such as Hinduism or Christianity in public – in fact, anyone who dares to practice openly any faith other than Islam in public may have his/her visa revoked and deported. Worse still, could be imprisoned. 

Serious violation of not only human rights in Middle east, but total disrespect  and disregard for others’ way of life. The working population in Middle East is thus denied their dignity, with their most rudimentary aspirations suppressed by islamists ruthlessly. Well, every dog has its day under the sun. Let me say, this is just NOT our day. In the islamic Arab world, it is just to practice inhumanity in the name of their god, but injustice to point out to their inhumanity! In fact, the rightful whistle blower may be coloured ‘communual’! Such a shameful ‘holier than thou’ attitude!

Even a 5 year old KG non-muslim kid cannot eat or drink even in hot sun in public in their so-called holy month of Ramadhan. Kaffirs eating in public is a legally punishable offence. The self-control has to be with the ‘infidels’, never with these ‘believers.’ No restaurant can remain open, no sight or smell of food in the fasting hours.

Yet the expat communities keep their mouth shut and drudge along only for one reason: to earn an honest living. Some extra pennies to put it precisely. Which most of us can do without as well.

What if we do not work in middle-east? Nothing to lose, we will own one house less probably and a few less lakhs or rupees as balance in our bank account.

It is no wonder that none of these Arab nations that are oil rich granted citizenship ever to Palestinians. Only big talk. No Syrian was taken in either. Such a selfish spoilt arrogance, one can see nowhere in the world. But secular, democratic nations that refuse immigration to would-be terrorists get widely criticized. This is the so-called media-justice.

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Oil & gas is jackpot. Fluke.

Nations have been encashing it for too long.

Other nations work. Produce. Morally, ethically earn an honest living.

Last few decades have however showered better life on those who do not lift a finger. Who are rich only by the blind stroke of luck.

World is such an unfair place to live in.

Love and respect are not one-way street.

Where there is no respect for the faith of the working community, there will no loyalty or respect in reciprocation for the bosses either. Middle eastern nations are NOT doing charity to expats. Without the expat community working the oil rigs and running their machinery and economy, the arabs cannot get out a single drop of oil onshore or offshore. Not a single mall can remain open either.

When you have mosques in America and India and Europe, there must be temples and churches in every single Arab country on earth. If you want to play the azaan loud in the mornings of secular democratic nations, let our temple and church bells toil in every islamic nation on earth. Any nation that denies their working population this basic human right – the right to worship – will lose the loyalty of the expat community.

Oil trades in minus, good. Even India has signed up Climate Change Treaty. We are to go completely fossil fuel-free by 2030. Or mostly we will be there. Europe and America are already going fossil fuel free in a big way, and even China, Japan, rest of Asia and Australia.

In the aftermath of the Coronavirus, let’s say the international borders are sealed forever.

India can still go on. We have surplus foodgrains to feed 1.3 billion for over an year and still go on. We will still have surplus capacity to export. India is locked down since mid March. But agriculture/farming activities have been exempted from lockdown.

Contrast this to the sheikhs locking themselves safely up in their villas not enforcing lockdown on the working community expats in Arab nations.

So what will happen if our borders are to be sealed for good for even a mere two years?

India can go back to oxcart civilization easily. We mine enough oil & gas locally to keep our public transport working. We can still keep the wheels of our national economy oiled and well running. We will survive the storm. We can afford to simply sit through. And hello, vaccines for corona may still arrive from India.

But will the arabs from Middle east eat and drink oil and gas in the meanwhile.

To hell with your dirhams. You give us nothing free.

This is the right time to do some real homework. For self interrogation. For self-reflection.

No Indian wants to delude himself/herself that Middle east is doing them any charity. We are only paid probably the right price or perhaps in most instances we are underpaid for the sacrifices we undertake to enrich the gulf economy. The employment is only mutually beneficial.

We Indians are in Gulf only for money. And money only. At least non muslims. Not for our very survival like some other nationalities who cannot even dare to go back to their home soil.  No Iraqi, Syrian, Egyptian etc even dream of going back home for good. Even Paksitanis. Going home is a luxury reserved to very few nationalties like us Indians. Which is why, we Indians will never sell our soul to our arab employers.

Let things remain businesslike.

You pay, we work. We share no bonhomie over that. Period.

The only Love i know of is, love that means respect. Respect that is mutual. Loyalty does not grow on trees. Loyalty is cultivated with care and devotion. You reap what you sow. You show my culture and my nation the slightest disrespect – you won’t even exist for me.

Lack of respect for others ways of life and beliefs will earn a reciprocal lack of respect, love and loyalty. for arab nations.

Would love to see the last drop of oil dry up in Middle East in my own lifetime.

World terrorism will come to an end.

Terror sponsors will run dry of resources for terror funding.

Finally India and rest of the world may breathe free.

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PS: So why don’t we expats then quit middle east. Yes, true we must. We will, when the entire islamic community quits secular democratic nations on earth and converge within the boundaries of Saudi or Pak or Arabian peninsula for instance. Just like we tolerate and put up with you islamists against our will, you will have to simply live with us and bear with our benign hostilities.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Lockdown Watch: Recommended Flicks

Updated: April 29, 2020.

Watched ‘Lunch Box’ this evening in memory of the fine actor Irrfan Khan. I remember him from ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Talvar’ and of course ‘The slumdog millaionaire.’ His role in Talvar that I watched once in flight made me change my opinion on the notorious (real life) Delhi murder case. Even today’s picture was such a gem. Irrfan’s character so original like the script. Well crafted. No other actor could have fit in.  Just too perfect. That’s what I was thinking.

Mother Goddess cherrypicks the best always from Her Garden.

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India is on total lockdown since mid March except for essential services.

How do most of us spend our time.

Watching pix in tv, Netflix and Prime of course. Besides cooking, cleaning, mopping, washing, drying that is.

I am on a picture-watching spree as well. I recommend the following Mallu pix (based in Kerala) plus some Tamil films.

MUST WATCH. You will learn the difference between third rate Bollywood and true and original/authentic Indian cinema which is regional,  that way. I just can’t stand Hindi pictures, sorry. To me, Hindi filmdom died with Sanjeev Kumar, Rajesh Kanna, Vinod Mehra and Shashi Kapoor. I miss the charm of Hindi films of the ’70s when Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan were the heartthrobs of ladies. Now I feel like throwing up looking at Kareena Kapoor and co. Can’t get more gross.

All the same, the south Indian films have been getting better and better. Tamil cinema of the 70s was matchless and far ahead of times. Groundbreaking pictures were made. Heavy subjects. Please catch ‘Apoorva Ragangal’ starring a very young Kamal Hasan and Rajni Kanth and Sri Vidya in black & white, in K Balachander’s direction, in Amazon Prime. Comes with subtitles. But knowing Tamil sure helps. Because certains idioms and puns have to be heard in local language.

Growing up on south Indian films, I can hardly stand the hollow pictures churned out by Bollywood. With superficial heroes. Heroes shaving their chests ugh omg!!! Rajni Kanth and Chiranjeevi may be overrated superstars down south, but they are a mere 10% of south Indian film scene. The rest, you have to discover. The magic called Indian cinema can work wonders for you,

I will post the flicks that I have watched since lockdown. Highly and heavily recommended:

  1. Trance  (Mallu)
  2. Charlie (Mallu)
  3. Driving Licence (Mallu) (good)
  4. Anveshanam (Mallu)
  5. Uyarae (Mallu)
  6. Lunch Box (Hindi)
  7. Silsila (Hindi)
  8. Ghar (Hindi)
  9. Kumbalangi Nights (Mallu) (sweet)
  10. Ayyappanum Koshiyum (Mallu) (the best best best, go for it)
  11. Amar Prem (Hindi)
  12. Vikruthi (Mallu) (good)
  13. Thappad (Hindi)
  14. Lift Boy (Hindi) (good)
  15. Kabhi Kabhi (Hindi)
  16. Anand (Hindi)
  17. Captain Philips (Hollywood)
  18. Avatar (watched a 1000 times)
  19. Choti si baath (Hindi)(sweet)
  20. Kaadhalum Kadandhu Pogum (Thamizh)
  21. Nadigaiyar Thilagam (biopic Tamil)
  22. Khatta Meetha (Hindi) (sweet)
  23. Padman (Hindi) (unmissable)
  24. One Child Nation (documentary)
  25. Helen (Mallu)
  26. Unda (Mallu) (one of the best)
  27. Badla (Hindi)
  28. Sui Dhaaga (Hindi) (one of the best)
  29. Life in a metro (Hindi)
  30. Wild wild country (documentary)
  31. To Let (Tamil)
  32. Varane Avashyamund (Mallu)
  33. Chandana – the daughter of the Elephant whisperer (Sinhalese) (documentary)(for elephant/wildlife lovers)
  34. Mahout: the Great Elephant Walk (Documentary)
  35. Mom (Hindi)
  36. Palm trees in the snow
  37. Visaranai (Tamil) (violence content)
  38. Sillu Karuppatti (Tamil) (sweet, unmissable)
  39. Rajnigandha (sweet)
  40. Shakuntala Devi (Hindi) (by far the best, best, best)
  41. Sufiyum Sujathayum (Mallu)
  42. Aakaashantinte Niram (Mallu) (slow pace)

In my watchlist:

  1. Bangalore days (Mallu)
  2. Super Deluxe (Tamil)
  3. Joseph (Mallu)
  4. Lucifer (Mallu)
  5. Thanmathra (Mallu)
  6. Hindi Medium (Hindi)
  7. Anjaam Pathira (Mallu)
  8. Maheshinde Prathikaram (Mallu)
  9. Thannir mathan dinangal (Mallu)
  10. Thondi muthalum drikshashiyum (Mallu)
  11. Pranjiyettan and the saint (Mallu)
  12. Nandhanam (Mallu)

Other Tamil flicks I recommend: (no Art/Award film):

  1. Papanasam (2016)
  2. Sindhu Bhairavi (1985)
  3. Anbe Sivam (2000s)
  4. Saivam (recent past)
  5. Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa (2000s)
  6. 96 (2018)
  7. Kaadhal (2000s)
  8. Asuran (caution: violence content) (latest)
  9. Kalyana Agadhigal (1980s)
  10. Poove Poochoodavaa (1980s)
  11. Autograph (2000s)
  12. Pirivom Sandhippom (2000s)
  13. Aval oru thodarkadhai (1970s) (b&w)
  14. Avargal (1970s) (b&w)
  15. Apoorva Ragangal (1970s) (b&w) (print not good)
  16. Aval Appadi Thaan (1070s) (b&w)
  17. Oru Nadigai Nadagam Paarkiraal (1970s) (b&w)
  18. Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal (1970s) (b&w)Thanneer Thanneer (1980s)
  19. Raja Parvai (1980-81)
  20. Thunai (1980s)
  21. Keladi Kanmani (1990s)
  22. Kumki
  23. Thillana Mohanaambal (never tire of this classic) (1950s) (eastman colour)

After watching these, let me know why we need Hollywood at all. None of these come under Art film category. Rather, box office hits. Indian regional films can be real good. Sensitive and sensible portrayal of characters. Screenplay and direction a cut above the rest. Great editing with class cinematography. For the art of story telling, you only have to watch ‘Charlie.’ We don’t make sci-fis here sorry. We live in the present, logical world. Not imaginary, illusory. South movies not to be judged with Bollywood eyes. Let me say this, most of the nice and agreeable Hindi pictures have been remakes from south. But I do love mega movies of Bollywood like Padmaavat, not denying. For relaxation at home without headache, for making you pause and think and self-reflect, to be at peace with yourself, to feel good about yourself – you need the south Indian pictures. Bollywood to me mostly is junk. There have been some nice, thoughtful ones like those of Vidya Balan for instance, but a vast majority is utter crap. I am used to watching tanned mustached unruly Tamil heroes with dusky oily haired heroines because, that is how my folks are. I can’t palate the ‘Zindagi na milegi dho barah’ nonsense sorry. It is not my world. I will never belong there.

Posted in Political

Dignity denied at death: Dr Simon Hercules

The neurosurgeon who died of Covid-19 in Chennai was refused burial in the Christian cemetery in Kilpauk and was later buried in a Hindu crematorium in Ayanavaram. Media in India never reported the whole truth. The  media as usual tried to whitewash the incident of attack on ambulance drivers etc., generalizing the attackers as ‘Tamils.’ No mention of the community involved. Like ‘single source’ Tableegi Jamaat, the communal identity of the christian attackers who refused the noble soul a burial in their burial ground was omitted in the mention.

Attack on medical fraternity is unfortunate and India has history on this.

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/how-dr-simon-hercules-who-died-covid-19-chennai-was-denied-dignity-death-122947?fbclid=IwAR3xv4wuosp3cgxQWwTSrizrD4xVDaIeQWFcD0tnqHtAkEn6sy1QGbxA1ls

This is from a Facebook post:

Anish S Naidu to Dumeels

சொந்த மதமே ஏற்கவில்லை ஆனால் இந்துமதம் ஏற்றது

கிறிஸ்துவர் கல்லறையில் புதைக்க எதிர்ப்பு இந்துக்களின் இடுகாட்டில் புதைக்கப்பட்டார்

இந்துக்கள் யாரும் எதிர்க்கவில்லை

நேற்று கொரானா நோய் தாக்கியதில் மறைந்த டாக்டர். சைமன் அவர்களின் உடல் கீழ்பாக்கம் கிருஸ்தவ கல்லறையில் புதைக்க கூடாது என கிறிஸ்தவர்கள் ஆர்ப்பாட்டம் செய்த காரணத்தினால் டாக்டர் உடலானது அயனாவரம், வேலங்காடு இந்துக்களுக்கான இடுகாட்டில் புதைக்கப்பட்டார்.

அவருடைய ஆத்மா சாந்தி அடையட்டும் அனைவரும் பிரார்த்திப்போம்😥😥😥😥

Finally this son came home. That is how i feel. You can be anything you think, but you are Hindu by race. Hindu Dharma will never abandon you. It is okay, we are proud to have you Dr. Simon. For the selfless service you rendered and for martyring your life in the first line of defence fighting the coronavirus.

Source of this news: