Friday, March 5, 2010

Saluting Woman Power!

When I was asked to write about the one woman I look up to, it did not take me long to come up with an answer. It is my grandmother.

My grandmother was the most courageous and progressive woman that I have come across till date.

Being a woman, what she lacked in physical strength when compared with a man, she made up with her inner strength. It was this innate courage that helped her cope with this roller-coaster ride called life.

Her patience, tolerance, courage, and compassion were the four pillars of her strength.

She was a woman who was barely educated (in the traditional sense she had been to school only up till class 3), yet she was one of the most knowledgeable women I ever knew. She had embraced the philosophy of aryasamaj. Her views on society, politics, education, women’s liberty would leave any so called intellectual to shame. She had read all the Vedas and was a truly liberated woman.

She encouraged her husband, my grandfather to move to the city (Delhi) from a small village in Haryana because she wanted a better life for her children and herself. A truly ambitious woman, she left no stone unturned to help her husband fulfill his dream of a flourishing business in Delhi.

It was her loving and motivating presence that allowed her children to excel in their chosen fields.

She raised her granddaughters as sons and instilled a sense of independence in them from a very young age.

Today, she may not be there with me anymore. But she has left her values and courage as a legacy to me and my sisters.

This women’s day, I take the opportunity to salute my grandmother and sing a song in her honor, praising her dignity and a sense of self respect.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Redefining romance!

Growing up on a staple diet of mills and boon novels, I had a certain notion about romance...very very mush, extremely OTT, and the hero and the heroine would inevitably ride together into the sunset! There would then be that predictable happy ending with the declaration "And they lived happily ever after!" 

Then I read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell where the hero and the heroine did not ride together into the sunset, where the heroine did not swoon at the sight of the dark, brooding, grumpy, filthy rich and sickeningly gorgeous hero. Rhett Butler, the sexiest fantasy man to date was all of what I described earlier, but the heroine was different too. She was no virgin, definitely not miss goody two shoes, had a mind of her own, and stood her ground in front of the super sexy Rhett (I'm almost swooning already at the thought of him!), and did not cry copious tears pining for the man she loved. She wasn't apologetic about using him for financial security or about using any means whatsoever (what is popularly and cheaply known as womanly wiles) to get him back when she realized that she wanted him. And in the end Rhett and Scarlett do not ride into the  sunset. Instead of the happily ever after, the book ends with Rhett telling Scarlett "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" To this Scarlett replies "I'll go home, and I'll think of some way to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!"

Wondering what's gotten into me? Why have I suddenly unleashed this summary of probably the original chick-lit novel? 

Well, over the years, I thought I had finally become practical and mature and had moved into my Scarlett/Rhett romance era as opposed to the Mills and Boon romance era for good. ;)

That was until today!

:) the thing is that today was my parents' 30th engagement anniversary! not wedding anniversary but engagement. And what happened during the course of the day took me back to my pre-Gone with the Wind fantasy days!

8:00 AM: My parents and i are driving to the nearby park for our customary morning walk. Mom casually mentions, do you know what day is it today? I take the hint and excitedly say that it is their engagement anniversary. This of course was for my father's benefit who I was sure would not have remembered. :)

12 Noon: Papa comes home to pick his tiffin. Mom packed kofte for papa. Normally, she would not, coz papa is a diabetic, but today was special, you see!   

3 PM: Papa calls to check if my mom is around. I tell him that she isn't.  I ask him if there is a message and he shyly says "Nahi aise hi baat karni thi." 

He then goes on to say, "Achcha aaj wo hamari anniversary hai na. kuchch lau?" I tell him excitedly, "bouquet le aao." :)

8 PM: Papa and my brother are having dinner. Mummy enters the room. My father is shy to give the bouquet to her so tells her "ye bouquet rakha hai." hehehe. Mom looks at it and like any self respecting woman would storms out of the room. I ask her "kya hua? papa itne pyar se aapke liye bouquet laye hai aur aap..." and she says "dia kaise?" :) i go to the room and tell my father "ache se do na, warna nahi manengi" then mom walks in again. This time round papa gives it to her nicely with a smile on his face. I wish you all could see the look on my mom's face. She was blushing like a teenager. hahah I know this is getting more filmy by the minute! 

10 PM: Papa Mummy go for an after-dinner walk. Normally, my brother and I accompany them. Today, we give them some privacy. Its a moon-lit night and my parents walk hand in hand. (Okie that bit I added on my own :) but it sort of fits in!) 

11 PM: Papa tells me that he will ensure that she takes her BP medicine first thing tomorrow morning. He says "Mai apne hath se khilaunga. Fir kaise bhulegi?" 

 Who says romance dies after a few years of married parents are going great guns...with god's grace! I think I am going to stick with the mills and boon romance era for a while now! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Butterflies in the tummy!


****! the expletive is a result of the few butterflies who seem to be wreaking havoc in my tummy right now! You know that feeling when you are trying to keep everything in your tummy down but they seem to be having a party of their own! 

Have been having a few of these riots in my big fat tummy lately!

I remember feeling like this when I sat on one of the rides in the amusement park last can't control the can't decide if you want it at all, you aren't sure if you want it to stop! Hell, you aren't even sure if you won't go back to the ride to experience the feeling all over again! 

So a lot of things seem to be happening...a lot of changes...and I always thought I had a huge problem accepting change...then I turned 30-1 and I realized that I could live with any thing life had to offer :P

Honestly, not just griping as a woman on the wrong side of 25...but life takes an about turn when you reach the ripe age of 29. :)

I'm deviating again....So, like I was saying...this time round the butterflies have had quite a few occasions to party.

Let me not be a party pooper and spoil their fun...I wont spill the beans on the reason for their celebration either! All I'll say is...on account of my old age, could the adult larva please keep the noise down? :D 

Oh! and I'll heartily welcome any suggestions that you may have to tame these lil wild things a wee bit!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Save Tigers…a Great Initiative


I am not one of those great nature and animal lovers whose heart goes out to animals…which is not to say that it does not pain me when I see bears with jugglers and horses and camels being used for “sawari” in melas…. kids and adults as fat as elephants fit to be ridden themselves plonk their behinds on these animals while they shed tears!

It boils my blood when I see all of this…but sadly, I don’t do anything.

I remember having numerous “naughty” conversations with gal pals about what a beautifully powerful animal a tiger is. Conversations range from how majestic looking a tiger is, what sexy eyes it has, and what an amazing gait!

But, honestly since most of us quit going to zoos before we got into our teens, our image of tigers is relegated to what we have either seen on television or in books.

Each time I have spoken to people who went to Jim Corbett or Ranthambhore to spot tigers, they have only described their sightings of beautiful birds….

This in a way is an indication of how prominent is the danger that tigers find themselves in.

Just 1411 tigers left…isn’t that particularly ominous?

This was one initiative that truly captured my attention, more so because I recently witnessed how this majestic animal was literally tamed and domesticated.

I had gone to Thailand where for INR 350, you can feed a cub some milk from a feeding bottle…If that is not piteous, I don’t know what is…

The cub is nearly starved to death, so that the moment a bottle is brought close to its mouth, it suckles at it, without pouncing on a mere human that poses to hold it in his or her lap. It’s a hideous sight. Unfortunately, I was one of the people who willingly posed for this cruel spectacle. The sheer injustice dawned upon me much later.

These safaris to my mind are a mockery of wanting to keep the tigers alive. A tiger or a lion is a majestic animal. Irrespective of the area kept for these animals, you cannot deny the fact that at the end of the day, the tigers are living in captivity, not in their natural abode as they should. Why should that be?

I think we will do nature a great service if we allowed these animals to live in their own habitat. It sounds preachy alright, but all it takes to get you to understand what I am talking about is to go visit a zoo and spot a royal animal like a tiger or a lion in a cage looking helpless.

On an ending note, the least that you can do is when you see a disgusting brat of a kid or his or her more disgusting parent poking the animals at the zoo or pelting stones at them, throw a stone back at them…They deserve it!

Y is the whole world going gaga abt Avatar?

Prachi: My analysis of 3 D avatar: i say its an english remake of any rajanikant movie...itne lambe lambe fatte! by god! its like straight out of a manmohan desai top it all jaise jagran me "mata" aati hai, wasie ek jagran type scene me Ihwa mata blesses Jake Sully! kamaal hai!

Saurabh:  prachi .. kyon logon ki life main tension la rahi hai .. aachi to movie hai .. rajnikaant to pata nhi but ..old hindi movie jaisi jaroor thi .. : jamindar , jamin hatiyana chahta hai .. , bhoodhi ma .. ko marne se nhi bacha pata bichara hero, fir sub bhajan gate hai .. sub tha movie main .. mujhe or Rush ko " oo palan hare " yaad aa raha tha .. jab sub baith ke Iwaha ki wait karte hai .. 1 bar to hume laga .. vo Jake Sully nahi Shake-chillii bot rahe hai .. :D ask Aki n Soumik...



Saturday, February 6, 2010

30-1 Series: Episode 3

 All izz well :)

So, finally the D day is my happy budday! :) 30-1, does not hurt any more! hehe who am i kidding! it's killing me!

so here I am blurting out all...the countdown to this momentous occasion of celebrating my arrival into the world year after year...almost thirty years...was rather tumultuous!

As people my age are wont to...I witnessed several incidents that reiterated what amir khan said in 3 the end of the day, all is actually well...or so you should constantly tell yourself!

Here are a few things that happened:

I tried to withdraw Rs 50 from my office ATM machine...yes you read right...Rs 50...and no it wasn't because my bania instincts kicked in....well maybe yes! but whatever! so i was trying to withdraw some money when my card was detained in the I don't know if it has ever happened to you...but I felt as helpless as a school girl who watches the class bully gobbling down her favorite cookie right in front of her eyes. :( When a message flashed on the screen saying "Your card has been detained. Contact your home branch," I felt as if the bully was saying "go do what you can!" 

I called the bank customer care executives repeatedly to find out why my card was detained. I had a feeling that it was coz the machine was angry that I had the temerity to want to borrow Rs 50...i was silently praying that some sniggering executive would not ask me in incredulous tones, "Miss Bansal, did you actually try to withdraw Rs 50 from the machine? how could you? Did you not know any better?"

Thank god, that was not the case. They had actually blocked my account. They very "helpfully" told me that they could not tell me the reason for this and that I would have to go to the "Home branch" to find out what yours truly had done to bring about the bank's ire upon herself. 

I particularly felt betrayed coz i was all set to go to Select City Walk and indulge in some retail therapy to hopefully forget about my age-related woes! God was not on my side!

Not to be deterred, I told my shopping partner that her debit card was henceforth going to be "our" card! After a serious dose of shopping, i must admit that I felt a helluva lot better...I also got my shopping partner to agree to present the clothes that I had shopped for as my birthday gift! :) so the thought of not having to pay her back made me feel MUCH better.

Any way, the following day, put on a sorry face and convinced my father to accompany his turning-thirty-in-a-year daughter to the bank to fight the big bad wolves at the bank in noida. Noida is a freaking 60-plus-or-minus-two-kilometers away from my place. There was no way I was going to travel on my own that far....

Because of this stupid trip, I was going to report late to work...really late. I had foreseen working over the weekend...exactly what I wanted...since on one of the fateful days, i would be giving in to the forces of nature...and would be turning OLD! :( 

So papa and I go all the way to noida to be told that the bank of today's times committed to serve its customers had closed my account because they had tried to send some silly mail to my postal address, which was returned twice due to nonavailability. This was my previous organization's address. Because I am really conscientious and a crusader for saving the environment, I had opted for the email statement facility. The #%$&*** also had my god-damned phone number. However, the morons insisted on contacting me through snail mail for some inane reason.

So, when the bank told me that they would take about 10 working days to open the account again, papa told them that we would close our account. Poor papa was hoping that his threat would work and the bank would bend backwards in expediting the process. :( no such luck, the jerks wouldn't move their you know what. So, the amazingly blank looking lady at the bank told us that we would be receiving the balance in my account through a check. The spiteful woman ensured that we had to spend at least 1.5 hours waiting for my hard-earned money. Okie, I take back the hard-earned bit...but MY money that I earned through whatever means.

So, basically, i was in a mood where I was screaming at everyone, feeling rather bad about the human race in general, and wondering...then while we were waiting papa suggested that we eat something.

During my LSR days, papa would sometimes go all the way from our house to drop me to college, and we would gorge on the yum egg parathas behind the college. We would pack some tea in a thermos and have our picnic. That was eight years ago...yeah yeah..that's how old I am! 

And, here we were, because of a twist of fate, after all these years, papa and I were all set to have our own picnic all over again after all these years! I know saying this goes against the vein of this blog...hehe...but I felt really genuinely pleased with life...and thankful for the turn of events!

Yes, I know you are reaching for a writing does have that effect! 

I shall take your leave now...and come back again with another masterpiece soon! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

30-1 knocking Series: Episode 2


The Scent of Something

The second episode from the 30-1 series!  

Was randomly going through blogs online and came across one that was in the same league as my blog! It was witty, engaging, and different from the run of the mill stuff you readily get! :P
I don't think I want to share the link! not when you have a better option available in my blog! Besides, for a change, I have made up my mind to be heavily inspired from this blog in future :P Lucky ***tard, I'd say!  

When you reach the ripe age of...(its okay prachi, you can do this!) 29, (there, I said it!), you kind of believe that you know all that there is to know about life, marriage, relationships, bla bla bla. People often approach you to seek your expert advice! I don't think any body's ever felt let down after one of my pravachan sessions.  

Anyway, so I thought I'd share my thorough knowledge of perfumes. I'm dispensing with this precious bit of information that may also answer the most perplexing question of all times...What to look for in a relationship?  

Here goes! We'll start with the discourse on perfumes first....why perfumes? Just coz I want to! :)
The picture above owes its presence to the following description:    

"Perfumes are generally composed of three different fragrances called notes,  which makes up for a harmonious scent. The top note or the head note is the scent you get immediately after you apply the perfume and remains with you for the next few minutes to an hour. Then, it makes way for what is called the middle note or the heart note, which is the main body of the perfume that kicks in once the top note starts to fade; this scent can last for many hours. Eventually as the heart note grows lighter, you start to smell the base note of the perfume. The base note is the underlying tone of the perfume and brings depth to a perfume. Over time, the top note and the heart note soften and the base note is the scent left at the end of the day."

Now, the pearls of wisdom…

“You should look for the base note in your partner! When all else fades away that is what matters...”

The applause is almost ringing in my ears!