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Friday, April 29, 2011

Silent love

(dedicated to my parents )

One day, as Madhav was coming home he heard a screeching noise of a car. As he rushed to see what happened, he saw a car was about to hit a blind lady when she was crossing the road. He asked her where she lived and if he could drop her. He told that he lived only a few streets away from hers and so if she allowed him to accompany her. As they were walking, they chatted throughout the way.

The lady was really polite and humble. Her voice was soft and gentle. She said she didn’t want to trouble others and so she doesn’t take anyone’s help. She asked him various questions about his education, hobbies, parents etc.  And then she told him that she could go by herself and they parted at a junction.

As coincidence had it, the two met again at the same road. They greeted each other and the lady asked why the boy was so upset today. In an irritating tone he said, “Parents are really annoying at times. They want to know each and everything. Why do they keep interfering in my life? They don’t know anything about today’s competition, success, glamour and fame. They want to go things in their own orthodox and conventional way. I really want to leave them and I know I would be really able to achieve everything all alone.”

The blind lady was listening but suddenly got a tear in her eye. The boy asked what happened to her.

She said
“Boy, do you know how did I lose my eyes? When my son was very little, he got into an accident, and lost his eyes. As a mother, I couldn't stand watching him having to grow up blindly... so I gave him my eyes and didn’t tell him about that... I was so proud of my son that he was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with those eyes. He always said I was an embarrassment for him and he could not take me anywhere as he felt ashamed. But, I was never upset at him for anything he did. The couple times that he was angry with me. I thought to myself, it's because he loves me. But then he left abroad for higher studies. He settled there and never returned back. When I called him once, he said he didn’t remember who I was and said never to bother him again………..”

“Boy, I don’t have a problem with that. I want him to have all the happiness of the world. But, I want to meet him just once. I want to see my successful son with his family.  I really miss the times when he was still young around me. I miss him so much. I love him. I love him. He means the world to me. And now my world has shattered!”

Saying so, the lady was all in tears and left. Madhav was still wondering how parents are so loving and selfless. He kept thinking about it and looked back. The lady had already somewhere disappeared.

[Courtesy: inspirationalstories blog for motivating me to write my idea by their story]

Monday, April 11, 2011

The memories of Navratri

Chait Navratras, the festival of nine nights was observed from 4th April to 12th April this year. They start on the first day of the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar and ends on Sri Rama Navami, the ninth day of the month. The first day of this month is celebrated as Ugadi (The New Years for Hindus).

We started our Navratras by decorating our small temple. My mother did all the preparations, I was the important moral support she so needed ;-) 

People all over the country also fast for all the nine days. What I like about fasting is that the days I keep a fast, I always feel famished all the time. I keep eating fruits the whole day. But, my mother who is really devotional has never complained of hunger despite all the work she manages and neither have I ever seen her eating a lot. She has always believed in it from her heart and I have seen so many other people who do so too. 

In stark contrast, are some people who go on boasting about fasts and other sacrifices they make. I even heard a person once saying he would do it alternate days. What I think is God doesn’t ask of us to show off our devotion, and He doesn’t even ask us to say to leave work for him. He asks of us to have that belief and to remain good all the time with each and everyone. 

What I love about Navratras is the last day, when little girls come to our houses and they are worshipped. It is the Navmi. My mother says they are the 9 goddesses. Her face is always gleaming with joy to see them. Delicious delicacies are prepared and the girls are served. And I am always hovering near by and waiting for my chance :)…. This time very little girls of around 4-9 years came to our place. I sat with them and was enjoying listening to their discussions

And then memories of my childhood came to my mind. I still remember well how each one of us used to get ready in the morning to be treated as a Goddess in every house of the society. We used to eat from morning to afternoon and every family treated us with love and care. And while leaving, they used to ask us to bless them…. They believed that our blessings would bring them prosperity and success. And now when I saw these kids, it was the same. True it is that the times have changed but the rituals are the same. I was glad to see it. I later on ate with all those girls and then took their blessings.

With it ended my festivals of navratras, one which left many memories etched in my heart.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A war on girl child ??!!

It is a parody that a nation that aspires to be a world power has no social respect for its women. Various social, economic and demographic indicators provide evidence of a gender bias as well as discrimination against women and girl children. A country where a woman is identified as 'Shakti' ,where  Durga, Laxmi, Saraswati, Kali and many more such female deities are venerated as the highest form of God and sometimes even greater than Brahma , Vishnu and Mahesh actually has no place for a girl child. 

A century old Indian history shows that in the matter of sheer numbers, the female ratio in total population had always remained unfavourable. In this regard, the number of girls per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age band, or the child sex ratio as it is called, has dipped to its lowest levels since Independence to 914. 

In 27 states and Union Territories, including Delhi, the child sex ratio has declined. The figure has dropped to 866 in Delhi and 899 in Uttar Pradesh. Haryana and Punjab remain at the bottom with child sex ratios of 830 and 846 respectively. In Rajasthan, the figure has sunk from 909 in 2001 to 883 in 2011, thanks mainly to growing no. of sex-determination clinics in the face of lax laws. Despite prolonged campaign by the People's Union for Civil Liberties against sex-determination tests, the authorities have not been able to take the guilty clinics and doctors to task.

In India, this brutal discrimination has become worse due the enduring dowry system: poor families go bankrupt trying to raise the cash or goods needed to get a daughter married. According to them “a boy is a better bet on the future”. Female foetuses are aborted by amniocentesis and ultrasound exams (although the practice is illegal) and if they are alive, they are kept malnourished and less likely to be taken to a doctor when sick.

This issue of the survival of the girl child is really a critical one, and needs systematic effort in mobilizing the community. Actually too many legislations and Acts are not needed, what is needed is to change social behaviours. We know that even the most educated, well paid women are unable to contribute to their parent’s well being. As a result parents consider them only as an economic burden. If some changes in such socio-economic and cultural fundamentals can be improvised then male preference can be reduced considerably. Similarly, there is a need to minimize the age gap between bride and grooms at the time of marriage. This would reduce the widowhood period among women and the motivation to produce sons will be lower.Several other measures can also be taken.

Now the time has come that the state needs to facilitate a change in fundamentals, directing programmes in the spirit that “the woman brings human life up so we all should bring her up”.  No other new laws are required. What is required is to actively enforce the older ones. 

If we wish to march shoulder to shoulder with the world's top economies and believe in giving equal rights to each one then we must address this problem very seriously and actively.

[source of data used: India Today]