Sunday, December 27, 2009

obituary


Office work was on after a long leave taken for wedding celebrations in the house. Seemed like work had piled up and the monotony of daily chores had started go set in. Suddenly the phone rang. It was mother in law asking me to come as grandmother (husband's granny) was very ill suddenly. I was home in 5 minutes and saw my son sleeping alone in mom in law's room and guessed what happened as Ansh was never to be left alone. He woke up and I cuddled him and climbed the stairs to dadi's room. She was lying in silence on her bed, a peaceful expression on her face....she had passed away peacefully after drinking a spoon of water.


Dadi was 84 years old & had been a widow for the past 33 years. Seemed like she herself timed her death. 2 weddings happened in the house the last ritual being just a few hours before she passed away. Seemed like she lived to bless us all.


Going through her old albums I could see how beautiful and royal she looked- perfect features, lovely complexion and lovely hair. She suffered from filaria and had swollen feet which disabled her walk. I never knew her well as the interaction was very less. But now I realise how her absence has left an emptiness in the house and in our lives.


We will miss you dadi...


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

fortune in your coffee!

Worried about your future or want solution to something? Get your coffee cup "read"!! Sounds really strange and freaky. isnt it? Yesterday I chanced upon this entirely new thing of which I had never heard before and seemed to be the wierdest thing to know about!

A TV show on 9X called "Sambhav kya" introduced me to this concept. A woman on the show talked about reading visuals created by the dried froth on empty coffee cups. Her readings would identify and solve problems of people within minutes!

The process was simple: The concerned person takes 10 sips from his/her coffee. The cup is covered and rotated clockwise 3 times and then read!

The woman could also "read" dust collected from any household and identify the presence of something paranormal or an "evil eye"! This was totally mind boggling but based on a true incident which further bewildered me.

I am not sure of the authenticty of such practices but yes I personally believe that there are several things on this earth that are related to us but we can never get to know about them! There are so many unanswered questions and so many instances related to the paranormal and however smart and technologically sounds we human beings might become, we can never decipher these "secret codes" of God or whoever else is sitting there monitoring everything.....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009



My phone rang and it was sis giving bad news of her not being able to come to Ranchi for Durga Puja..In low spirits I sat at my workplace thinking how to make the Pujas this year exciting for myself and I decided to check out flights to Patna......


Durga Puja time is always nostalgia time for me..brings with it strange feelings and remembrances of my child hood, the weather transition, the "smell of winter", not to mention the pundals and the cocktail of loud music alongwith the voice of an elated pundit chanting shlokas sitting in some pundal and getting to use the mike! Since the past 6 years I was missing out on the real fervour of the festivities as I used to experience it back home in Patna.


Now that my little one is a little grown up and ready to travel with me, I planned to go visiting my nani in Patna. The moment I was on the roads of Patna going towards nani's house my school days and times when we used to visit nani came back to me. My little one sitting in my lap was amazed at the "baaja batti" (lights and music) and "jai jai bum bum" (Durga ma). Nani was standing at her gate to welcome us ..while we settled in the house my little one went off to sleep. We chatted away and planned the next day which was a trip to "Patna market". For those who do not know about it, its the oldest "bazaar" in Patna and you get lots of interesting stuff there. The icecream and chaat was something that we never missed when we went there with our dadi :) However it was very hot and the shopping experience did not turn out to be very interesting. After that we kept indoors and ansh loved to walk in the nani's gardens. I slept away all the time and ate till I was stuffed with all my favourite "nani dishes" :)


Now I am back to work and back to business....but it was a relaxing experience and I had a lovely time....


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

where is the real news???

After office while sipping my tea with kurkure I made another attempt (like everyday) to catch on some latest news. Like everyday could find any news channel that was airing news as such. Some went on and on with advertisements, some with detailed reports on some stale news and the best was 2 channels airing a detailed cover on the same news! Want to know what the latter was about? Well it was about a "swayamwar" to be aired soon. No No Rakhi is already done with her share of drama. It is Mr Rahul Mahajan this time. Who on earth wanted to marry Rakhi and now who on earth wants to marry Rahul!

Ofcourse such shows have very good TRPs as they are full of drama but I am sure Rahul will not be able create the effect that Rakhi could do. Her brainlessness, idiotic facial expressions, recently learnt few english words like Thank you and drama drama and more drama were enough to attract a lot of attention.

But I must say a lot of background work had been done for the show as Rakhi looked her best and turned up in awesome attires. But still I am sorry Rakhi I just cant get my self to say that you were looking pretty! You must thank all the news channels to cover your drama 24 hrs just before your "dday" (I am still not sure whether you actually intend to marry that Toronto guy. kya hoga us aadmi ka bhagwan!!!!!???)

Now let us see what Mr Rahul has to offer us. Is he calling Monica and that other item girl (Big Boss 2) for his "swayamwar"???

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the changing face of Ranchi

A researcher who was supposed to visit us and provide "technical inputs" declined to come down to Ranchi as she had her own reservations about the place and we had to re-schedule the meeting in Kolkata...

Additionally recently I have noticed the mention of Ranchi city in some bollywood movies (Bipasha a "small town girl"in Bachna ae Haseeno hailed from Ranchi) and Suhel Seth's surcastic takes on this "small town". All this categorisation and perception of Ranchi being some remote destination is saddening.. So I decided to put across some points. Please read on...

Ranchi in 1995

- The city slept at 7:30 pm. With not many options for a night life there ws no other alternative but to sleep at night!

- Brands: What are they?!!

- Eat outs: the famous ones were Kaveri,KRSNA, Punjab Sweet House (economy dining) and if looking for a better ambience the destinations were Yuvraj Palace & may be the Gymkhana Club

- Theatres: walls qouted with paan stains, strong stench of urine, an indisciplined crowd that would whistle at bizzare things and suffocating ambience

- the comfort levels of girls wanting to freak out: Firstly the city did not offer more than a crowded Church Complex to "freak out", girls in western clothes were usually ogled at & at times followed home after "boarding a rickshaw"

Ranchi in 2009

-You are standing at a busy take away counter and savouring chicken pita bread rolls from their lebanese menu..its 10:00 pm and the city does not show any signs of sleeping!

- Brands: ahemm...UCB,Wills Lifestyle,Reebok, Adidas,Woodland(all exclusive showrooms & Ranchites please add on to this list) besides a Big Bazar and Reliance Mart. Grocery stores like Spencers and Reliance Fresh, Beauty saloons of Javed Habib, VLCC and Loreal & last but not the least - Satya Paul's sarees...

- Eat outs: while Kaveri,KRSNA, Punjab Sweet House still rule the taste buds of Ranchites but this sector is the one that has transformed completely..the hospitality, the ambience, the menu, the food (even the bars) of these new hotels (Capitol Hill, Capitol Residency, BNR Chanakya) are really commendable..Besides these there are several new restuarants and 2 CCDs & the under construction Raddisson is very much looked forward to

- Theatres: gone are the days of walls qouted with paan stains, strong stench of urine, an indisciplined crowd. yes we have just one multiplex today but with several others being under construction movies will no longer be watched on pirated DVDs!

- As you drive out of your house noticing dozens of girls speeding past in their scooties is a common site..not only do the girls freely hang out, the scooties are made use of to even empower the mommies who do not need to hire rickshaws any more!

The best part is that people's purchasing & spending on entertainment has really increased even in this so called small town. So do not have preconcieved notions in your mind when asked to visit our city! (After all even our very own captain Dhoni has decided to build his house in his motherland!!!!) 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Associating him & death..!!!!???~!


Its a usual day, I have come to work at 9:30 am and have logged to email first thing & see this status message of my closest friend - End of pop era...am not able to make sense of it, then I login to facebook and am face to face with one of the most unbelievable things I heard (after Kishu's death)- MJ is no more!! Its truely bewildering and incredible! Not that I am a fan or possess a collection of all his albums but yet it strikes u as something very strange. I love his songs - heal the world, earth song, the way you make me feel etc...but this is what everyone feels about these songs.

Its just that you cannot associate death at all with some people & he is...err was one of them. But I guess the world feels the same as there are updates of media going haywire and sites like twitter and google coming crashing down with overflooding of updates on the news.

I remember the first time I had seen him in a newspaper snap when I was a kid and was scared to the bones! Yes he looked really strange and infact "paranormal". Then I read about him and came to know about his numerous surgeries and transformation. I also hated him at one point of time when he hung his newborn like a piece of cloth for "display" from his hotel balcony.

However it is disheartening to know that we could not witness his forthcoming comeback concert to be held in July after a long exile.   Needless to say he will never die in the minds of his fans and also those who hated him for being a suspected peadophile. But the point is this death makes you think again that everything ends in one moment and someone with   such a strature and popularity can not elude it either.............

Thursday, June 11, 2009

for someone special...

This is about a woman to whom I owe my very existence.  I have never valued her so much or missed her so much as I do today when I realise how much she did for me, how much I owe to her, how much she slogged to make me comfortable and how much she loved me.The strength of education and self dependance that she has given me helps me survive and take on the world each day. In sad moments this is the only word that comes on my lips...yes its noone else but Maa....

I call her mummy and today the only interaction that we have is through brief telephonic conversations though I live half a kilometre away!Life has really strange ways... I pass through my own home at times as if it was just another house. The memories of childhood when she used to go out of the way (in a conservative) to ensure we wore the dresses we wanted to, ate the food we wanted, that our birthdays were celebrated and we scored well in studies. I feel guilty today to have declined her requests of helping her out with small chores and for arguing and complaining about irrelevant things.

After a certain period of time a woman becomes the care giver of the family and noone realises she also wants to be loved and cared and cherished and appreciated..I realise this today when I have reached this side of womanhood and yearn to be taken care of at times..

Mom you are really a super human and I am sorry for having hurt u at time. But you also know that I love you and miss you lots...

&

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

the break

Yes my absence has been a long one. Office shifting, holidays, personal chores and a temporary loss of interest in writing can be some of the reasons that I can think of immediately. The first one has been a major deterrant. I usually write when I am in office! After work its only me and my little one. I have no time and inclination to do or be with anything else in the world :)

Talking of my little one, he is growing up fast and has become virtually a parrot. He catches words from our conversations and repeats them. Its damn funny at times!

Coming back to my new office, its not at all comparable to any of the corporate ones in big cities but still I can say that now we have a better one! We work for women, children, adolescents and HIV/AIDS infected and affected and hence an arrangement that shall intimidate our target groups is not all desirable for us. Hence we have this house with a huge garden and all basic necessities like 24 hrs high speed internet, 24 hrs generator back up etc .etc . but yet nothing is on the face or intimidating.

I love my profession and now my new work station too (to which I have attached speakers and can occassionally listen to music from the internet!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The fate of our priceless memoirs

Very recently the priceless belongings of the Father of our Nation were auctioned. While the Ministry of External Affairs "struggled" to "procure" the country's heritages, Vijay Mallya, made their job easy. He bought all the items for a whopping Rs 10 crore (USD 1.8 million).



The whole episode was a complete mockery of the Indian Government. The moment I saw this news item in the Telegraph I was amazed & asked myself "What are bapu's belongings doing with some James Otis guy in New York!!!" Somehow all the priceless items from our country seem to end up in some museum in some other country (Britain or Iran), be it the kohinoor or the peacock throne or the sword of Tipu Sultan.

Gandhi ji's belongings - his trademark round eyeglasses, a pair of worn leather sandals, an inexpensive pocket watch and a simple brass bowl and plate were consigned by Otis, a private American collector who obtained them from the descendants of the Gandhi family to Antiquorum Auctioneers. To add to the humor of the whole episode, the government went about claiming that Mallya took up this cause on their behest which was completely denied by the latter. Mallya said he had, in 2004, bought and brought to India the legendary Sword of Tipu Sultan and this time again he was working from his own consciousness.

Its high time the government acts and prevents such episodes of embarresment in the future.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

THE FESTIVAL OF COLORS IS BACK















WISH U ALL A VERY HAPPY HOLI!





Thursday, March 5, 2009

spooky but true



I have been thinking of writing this up since long. Its a topic that deeply interests me and although more than 5 years have gone by when I heard about it, the account is still fresh in my mind.


Real ghost stories, near death experiences and paranormal activities are something that rouses interest of all quarters. I have come across several forums where people share & discuss their unsual and sometimes spooky experiences. The one that I am going to share here was narrated to me by someone who would never have believed and would have laughed off the whole episode had it not happened to him! This happened with my uncle who went to Hyderabad for an on job training. After he was back I visited him and my aunt and was horrified as they told me about the incredible incident!

Not dragging it further I shall get to the point. My uncle was assigned a room in the guest house of the institute where the training was happening. He went to sleep at night and though he was v ery tired he kept awake and felt uneasy. Suddenly he could smell incense sticks burning and the room seemed to be getting overpowered by someone's presence and smoke. He started to get up and to his surprise he just could not. Someone was holding his ankles in a tight and vicious grip!!!

The strong hold continued for sometime till it got painful and then he made an effort and went out of the room. He also felt some burning sensation on his back. The next morning he discussed it with a colleague who was occupying the adjacent room. The other guy jumped at the elucidation and said that the year before he had been occupying the same room. Something similar had happened to him and on returning home his wife noticed the scar on his feet and burn marks on his back as if someone had touched the skin with a burning incense stick!

On further probe it was found that the guest house was made on the grave of some nizam and probably his mistress was also buried beside him.

I would never have believed such a story but coming from this uncle of mine it felt very very true as he normally he would himself never want to relate himself with something as "silly"!

Integrated Child Protection Scheme: the roll out challenges in Jharkhand

ICPS: what makes it different
La
st week the Government of India approved the launch of a comprehensive centrally sponsored 'Integrated Child Protection Scheme' (ICPS) aimed at providing safe and secure environment for the children of the country. This is a welcome move as the existing child protection schemes are marred by poor planning and coordination, low coverage, poor Infrastructure, inadequate human resources and service gaps. This is also true in the context of the state of Jharkhand where the Child Rights Report which is a part of the UN Convention of Child Rights has not yet been tabled. Besides this the State Plan of Action for children has also not been drawn.


Child protection incorporates both prevention and care as well as recovery and rehabilitation aspects. The National Plan of Action for Children 2005 is the basis for planning for children in the Eleventh Plan which places Development of the child at the centre. The Central Government has provided an outlay of Rs.1073 crores during the XI Plan period towards implementation of this scheme.
The launched ICPS brings together multiple vertical schemes under one comprehensive child protection programme and integrates interventions for protecting children and preventing harm. It does not see child protection as the exclusive responsibility of the Ministry of Women & Child Development but stresses that other sectors have vital roles to play.
The scheme targets children in need of care and protection, children in conflict with law & any other vulnerable child like those belonging to BPL families or infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. The ICPS is based on the cardinal principles of “protection of child rights” and “best interests of the child”. Some of the key principles of ICPS are reducing child vulnerability, strengthening the family and promoting non-institutional care, establishing standards for care and protection and building capacities of the concerned personnel.

ICPS: the roll out challenges in Jharkhand
When one looks at the key strategies of the ICPS and relates it to the existing scenario and infrastructure in Jharkhand little convergence can be observed. An analysis of the key programme components on which the scheme’s success rests can throw more light on to it.

THE CHILD LINE: This 24 hour emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection links them to long- term services for rehabilitation & comes with a toll free number 1098. The Government of India established this service in 2001 and it is presently operational in 74 cities of the country. In Jharkhand the Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi is the nodal organization for Child Line in collaboration and support from a local NGO Samadhan, Ranchi. Samadhan reports getting around 35-40 cases of runaway, orphan & trafficked children every month. Dr N. K. Tah, Director, Samadhan indicated that more cooperation from the state telecom department was required for smoothening the service. The organization faced problems in getting the line installed and the erratic connection forces them to pool resources through other phone lines which may not be toll free and covered under the outreach activities to advertise for the service.

HOMES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED OF PROTECTION IN JHARKHAND


NUMBER OF VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF HOMES AND CAPACITY OF EACH CATEGORY OF HOMES
SL. NO. CATEGORIES NUMBER OF HOMES CAPACITY AVERAGE OCCUPANCY
A CHILDREN’S HOME 2 50 60
B OBSERVATION HOME 7 50 70
C SPECIAL HOME 1 50 10-15
D ORPHANAGES 7 ( GOVT. AIDED) 50

As is evident from the above statistics all the children’s and observation homes are packed to capacity and the state is badly in need of new ones who have not yet been brought in the purview of law. 20 organizations have applied for running new orphanages.


Drop in shelters: A vast majority of children, with or without parental support, generally end up at traffic intersections, railways stations, streets, etc. where they are vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional as well as economic exploitation. For these children the ICPS would facilitate setting up of drop-in shelters largely in urban areas. Such centers shall provide space for children where they can play and indulge in creative activities through music, dance, drama, yoga & meditation, computers, indoor and outdoor games, etc. and use their time productively.
At present there is no concept of such centres in Ranchi. Samadhan, the local NGO running the Child Line is forced to give shelter to runaway or other children in their office before restoring them. This is primarily because of the complete absence of shelter homes and those being run by local NGOs like Karuna and Aanchal Shishu Ashram are packed to capacity.

Juveline homes: The State Government has formed Juvenile Justice Board, Child Welfare Committee, and Special Police.
Status of Boards and committees meant for children in conflict with law Number of Districts
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Number of Juvenile Justice Boards 7 7 21
Number of Child Welfare Committees 2 2 11
Number of districts having special police for dealing with Juveniles 22 22 22

However the CWC in the state of Jharkhand is still not functional as it has not received any formal training on its roles and responsibilities.
Promotion of family based non-institutional care through adoption: It is an accepted fact that the child develops best in his or her own family environment and thus adoption to an indigenous setting is ideal for his or her growth and development. The Department of Social Welfare, Gov. of Jharkhand has registered Missionaries of Charity as agency for adoption.
In Jharkhand State total number of registered orphanages is seven and total numbers of orphan children are 420. Central Adoption resource Agency, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India and Department of Women and Child Development are making guideline for extending the adoption rights by for extending the adoption rights by revising Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.


After care for children from juveline homes: the ICPS proposes to provide funds to respective District Child Protection Unit (DPU) to identify suitable organizations to take up this responsibility. Such organizations shall formulate an after-care programme for every child and ensure meeting basic needs of the child, education and vocational training, counselling and life skills training and assistance with job placement/entrepreneurship development.

CONCLUSION: the Way Ahead
The scheme’s approach of bringing together multiple vertical schemes under one comprehensive child protection programme is indeed laudable. However the deprived and vulnerable children of the state of Jharkhand are badly in need of concrete implementation of these well thought of plans. The 4 basic rights of a child need to be restored to them viz. Survival, Protection, Development & Child Participation through appropriate measures.

For instance, to ensure better child survival the new births should be registered and the community made aware of the services available for them so that they are mobilized to access the same. A state wide mapping exercise to track all vulnerable children in need of care and protection and the resources that can be channelized for them is an immediate need with respect to the Right for Protection. Children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS need special care and support and must be mainstreamed to all programmes launched under the scheme. Fast track courts for speedy disposal of cases of juveniles and increasing the number of observation and shelter homes specially for girls in the need of the hour. Disabled children also need to be provided with education and mainstreaming. The State wing of the NCERT needs to be made functional to impart quality education and the vocations offered in homes should be more specialized and linked to profit making industries.
To ensure participation and equip children in influencing issues affecting their lives, by speaking out or taking action in partnership with adults, the foremost step should be to scale up the Bal Sansad (Children’s Parliament) to the entire state. The State Plan of Action for children which is not yet underway needs to involve children while making the same.


Last but not the least the humble request to the state and the concerned departments is that the prime duty of the state is to protect the each and every child and provide a safe and secure environment.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ramchand Pakistani


My 16 months old son was not well yesterday, so I was at home with him. Switched on the TV in the afternoon and saw a man being beaten up by a policeman. Taking it to be another boring movie was about to change to channel when the next scene showed a little boy, scared and confused. Since motherhood has dawned over me any child in trouble makes my heart go out for him/her. So I continued watching. It turned out to be a very well directed and enacted movie with some good stars like Nandita Das. The little boy was Ram chand Pakistani and it was about this 7 year old and his family's misfortune. He alongwith his father had mistakenly crossed the border in to India & held by the police. What followed was the heart wrenching agony of separation of the mother and the little boy, the experience of being in jail like a criminal at a tender age as there is no provision by law for such "criminals" to be kept in juvenile homes & how the family coped up and finally got reunited after several years.


Based on a true story during a period (June 2002) of extreme, war-like tension between the two countries by two members of a Pakistani Hindu family belonging to the 'untouchable' (Dalit) caste, this movie has won several accolades.

http://www.ramchandpakistani.com/

Either I am totally cut off from the entertainment world or this movie has been very poorly publicised as it was a pleasant surprise for me to watch such a nice movie after long.


Do watch it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

in grief



His face used to lit up and would always make the surroundings bright. His presence always had a positive feel and whenever I think of him I picture him as the younger bro who was full of concern & warmth for his sis. We used to chat away for hours discussing his life, his problems, his achievements and sharing ways to deal with eachother's life. We also used to get a bite of chaat, momos or rolls while we conversed. Such was my interaction with the little bro of my closest friend.


Today he is no more......


My eyes get wet while I write this & yet I cant believe I will never ever see him again. A few days back my friend and me were discussing his marriage & how should the potential match be. Today I called up my friend & she choked while saying that the picture clicked for the purpose of matrimony was being used today to pray for his soul to rest in peace.


His face is always in front of my eyes -his usual cheerful self trying to cheer up those around him & today he is so far away that noone can reach him. This misfortune has left me speechless. Dont know who is to be blamed- the accident, god or the stars when he was born. It is unimaginable to assess the grief of the family who has lost him when this has left such a deep scar in my heart. I will never be able to overcome this loss & my eyes will always search for him in a crowd ...


God please do this much - help the mother, the sister, the brother come to terms with life without him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Roadies: what makes it different


Call it obscene, full of censored words, foul language, dirty bitching & girls who are nothing but bimbettes, but there is something about it that keeps you glued to the television set. Yesterday night I was watching a rerun of the last week's episode & though I was sleepy I didnt hit the bed till the show said good bye! I am never particularly interested in any show for that matter but yes never flip the channel when this one is being aired. An analysis of why it interests me is probably that it is one of the "most repulsive" things I have ever seen!!! In order to see how much it can test my senses I watch it again and again!!!!
I might sound weird but the show is wierder & its wierdness keeps you glued to it! Starting from the auditions, this time when I saw 2 Raghus I was taken aback and besides the loud abuses and "taking on" for nothing I wanted to find out more about these 2 absolute replica wierdos! Noone else but a lunatic can stand in a queue and travel from city to city to get himself/herself abused, embaressed and thrashed in public.
Sample this: a girl wearing the wierdest outfit, having the most irritating voice, covered with make up and trying her best to show off her "assets" was one of the selected ones the reason being she would add some spice to show!

The tasks given are equally ridiculous (but they make you wonder how, who and when invented them). The last one that I saw involved asking the bimbettes some IQ testing questions and any wrong answer would lead to hitting the boys in their team "between the legs" and no if the answer is even then the masculinity of the boys is not safe!!!! The members of the opposite team were then "bajaoed"!!! It was soooo gross, disgusting, sickening & you feel nothing but pity for these bunch of men whose drive to be on TV and get popular was more than their self esteem.
All the Raghus of the world might relish such language that is full of slander, such bimbettes who are shame to the 21st century women & such tasks which can only come out of a sadistic & loser mind!