Tag: contest

Language of compassion

Language of compassion

had been standing there for a good ten minutes. Traffic flowed like a river
in flood. Never unceasing, fast and incessant. She had
come to dread her morning trips to the market. Despite her years in the city
she hadn’t mastered the art of zigzagging through it all.
She waited on.. uncertain, scared.
Finally, she took a step forward and was greeted by a flurry of
honks as a scooter whizzed by almost brushing her sari. The driver waved her back with an impatient look, like she had invaded his personal space. She stepped back almost guiltily.
She wiped her sweat, adjusted her glasses, shifted her bag to the other hand and readied to try again. A giant city bus
materialised blocking all else other than its dirty red as it creaked to an angry halt.
Flustered, she stepped back onto the footpath again.
She looked around in part dread part fascination at other pedestrians making a dash through the
I cannot stay here forever, she reasoned. She straightened her shoulders and with a bravado that felt false
to even to her own self, she stepped into the traffic. Within seconds she heard a car
screech to a halt inches from her… horns blared, people cursed. She tried to
look up but panic blinded her. Someone wrested her bag from
her hand, someone was grabbing her shoulder, propelling her forward. She tried to resist, but
And then, in a flash, she was on the other side. Her bag was back
in her hand. She stood breathing hard, heart hammering. “It’s alright,” said the young girl, “you’re fine”. Relief and gratitude brimmed over. She tried to focus, a thank you on her lips, but the girl had already melted in the crowd.

Sometimes it takes just a minute, just a tiny gesture to express it
all.. tolerance, compassion, love.


Edited to add: Do check out this page here…
Random Acts of Kindness Week.
No means No

No means No

Dear Hrit and Naisha,

Today morning as we sat watching the news you suddenly asked “What’s Rape?” and left me completely flustered. I struggled to find an answer even as a hundred thoughts flashed across my mind. You’re just 10, where had you heard that word? Are you even old enough to absorb this stuff? Who had you been talking to? Were there other things you’d heard of that I needed to clarify?

I floundered in the dark wondering how to explain it all to you. How to explain the heinousness of the crime without explicit details? How to reveal to you the horror of the word without scaring you? How to teach you to be careful without extinguishing your carefree spirit? How to help you grow up to face reality without taking away your innocence? I wondered.

I struggled along babbling about ‘good touch bad touch’, about never being alone in washrooms, about being wary of overfriendly strangers.. trying to warn you… yet never really getting to the point.. never really telling you what I was warning you about.

You’d both looked from me to the television a little lost at the connection between thousands of people being bombarded with water cannons and lecherous men in lonely bathrooms. A hundred more questions unfolded. “But why are so many people there?” “Why is the police pushing them?” “Who are they shouting at?”

Oh you were so confused.

And so here I am trying to get some answers for you. Those people, dear children, are angry. Angry at something that happened to a girl and her friend. They were both raped, violated, hurt, harmed by a group of cruel men — the girl physically, her friend mentally. The scars will take a long long time to heal.

Those people are all standing out there in the cold and the rain demanding for those men to be punished. Will they get justice? Is this even the right way to demand justice? Are they doing the right thing? I don’t know. What I do know is that the need to demand why youngsters are not safe in a country built on tolerance, is right.

The anger is right. I feel it too. Anger, frustration, empathy, shame, hurt, worry, fear.. I feel all of that. I wish I were there. I wish you were a bit grown up and I wish you were there too. But we cannot be there. What we can do, however, is to learn to respect people’s right to be the way they want to be, to not force our morality, our sense of right or wrong on them; to look beyond short skirts and skimpy tops; to create and respect boundaries; above all to learn to say as well as to  understand and respect that small word ‘No’, so that no one is raped ever again.. mentally or physically.



This is a part fictional letter inspired by a friend’s inquisitive 10-year-old. The post is written as part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

We are Maganlal Dresswala

We are Maganlal Dresswala

Check this out….

1. Sher Khan from The Jungle Book
2. Mowgli from The Jungle Book
3. Ladybird (2 sets)
4. Bee
5. Octopus
6. Jelly Fish
7. Air Hostess
8. Pilot
9. A river
10. An astronaut
11. Planet Venus
12. A Russian dancer
13. Spiderman
14. Nurse
15. Baker (2 sets)
16. Queen of Hearts
17. Spider

That’s our DIY fancy dress inventory. Crazy isn’t it? The kids have worn all of those over the years, of course not counting the ones I’ve rented/borrowed from kind friends. Add to this sets from varied annual day programmes and you’ll know why the kids’ cupboards are overflowing with clothes they do not wear… and this in just the four years since they started school.

I really should host a dress-up party for the kids and their friends.

Getting back to where I left off in my last post — the fancy dress was a grand success. They looked glittery enough and scary enough to each of their complete satisfaction. Here’s how they looked..

A crown, a cape, an apron and a heart worn over a red and white dress.
Naisha painted a thermacol plate with hearts and also made some playdough tarts
(which were demolished before they got back home).
I swear I didn’t ask her to show off her cape.

That’s the spider. Erstwhile octopus tentacles were covered with black ribbon and poof! they turned into spider legs. Hrit wore them with slings. A piece of black cloth with the web, a hole cut out for the head to go in and tied at the sides with black ribbon, worn over a black T shirt. This one was easy.

Obviously, this then is our entry for Shruti’s Artsy Craftsy Challenge .
A glittery Queen of Hearts crown
Scallops cut into some red chart paper.
Paint on fevicol and spread glitter. Shake off the excess (and store for a glittery craft another day).

Paint on silver hearts
Add tiny hearts cut out from silver paper.
We’re planning to help Naisha’s friends make similar crowns, the colour preferences are already pouring in. My only reservation is …… the glitter. It has a nasty habit of spreading itself all over the house. It’s been two days since I finished that crown off and I’m still trying to get it off me.
Even though this was easy enough Naisha didn’t help with it at all so we’ll probably have to have another entry. I had fun, though.
Devil’s advocate

Devil’s advocate

I refuse to be diplomatic on this one. When it’s about love marriage versus arranged marriage, the choice is clear — arranged marriage for sure.

Don’t believe me.. believe Shakespeare… will you? Wasn’t it his beautiful Jessica in Merchant of Venice who said “Love is blind and lovers cannot see…”?

He said it….. Love is blind.

 Would you make the most important decision of your life blindly?

Think Shakespeare is old fashioned? Believe the Discovery Channel? Here read this..
A study

by Rutgers University biological anthropologist Helen Fisher and colleagues examined the
brain scans of men and women reported truly, madly in love.
Each of the images showed the same activity in the brain’s reward system as that
which occurs in the brain of a cocaine addict.

Yup.. that’s what addicts think they are…

… that, my friends is the real deal

That’s right .. cocaine addict!!! Would you make the decision of your life under the influence of cocaine?

I rest my case.

I, of course had an arranged marriage… the whole deal. Sari perfectly draped, tray in hand, laden with mere haath ke bane samose and steaming chai, that’s how I made my entry. One bite of the samosa and The Husband nodded out an emphatic ‘Yes’. No one knows to date, whether it was for the marriage or the samosa. Both, I hope.

It’s been over two decades and he continues to love the samosas of my hometown, which he later discovered, were bought from the neighbourhood halwai. What? Cheating? Oh so now you’ll get all righteous and carp about one tiny samosa. What about those hundreds of lies people in love tell each other? The whole tare tor laoonga bit and the duniya se ladoonga promise, then there’s the tripe about sab kuchh chhor doongi, mujhe paisa nahin chahiye. Lies.. all of it.

In fact, I think one should go a step ahead and opt for child marriages. For one there’s the obvious advantage of the girl adapting to the ways of her new home. Also, she learns to love her new family like her old one. I mean no matter how horrible our siblings are or how eccentric our parents are we still love them, don’t we? Well that’s how she’ll be with her husband and in-laws. Perfect recipe for a happy life. Right?

Doesn’t happen in today’s times, you think. Don’t you watch television? Haven’t you seen our own Anandi raking in the TRPs? And here’s an instance from real life.

That’s 5 year old Khalid and 3 year old Hala, on their engagement

Had my parents had the foresight to marry me off young I might not have needed that halwai at all. I’d have made perfect samosas, just the way mom-in-law makes them, just the way The Husband likes them and my life’s ambition would have been complete. Foresight — that’s what my parents lacked. I spent years and years slogging, studying, working but what’s the point? Can I get the samosa right? Nope.


While we’re on this.. suitable alliances are invited for a strapping 6 year old boy and a delicate 6 year old girl. Send in with photo.

Thank You

Disclaimer: This is completely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to people dead or alive is merely coincidental. Oh the bit about inviting matches is true.. just wait for another 20 years, though.

This post is part of the raging controversy between love and arranged marriages. For more points of view go here

Crafty Sunday

Crafty Sunday

My weekend resolution   seemed in trouble this week as we were expecting guests but a last minute cancellation meant we could do our weekly craft. Here it is… a peacock out of some cardboard and plastic spoons. It is everything Naisha could ever have wanted in terms of colour and glitter.

Naisha drew this peacock on a bit of cardboard.. a bit crooked but never mind.

We cut it out and glued on plastic spoons. I never thought they’d hold but they did, beautifully.
You have to be generous with the fevicol.

Paint it blue/green/gold/glittery.. whatever you have. Naisha was too impatient to try more detailing.

Her favourite part.. thumb printing the peacock feathers…

… like this

Then some blue glitter

A yellow beak and yellow feet..

And of course the sequins.
The bestest part of all – I found googly eyes, finally. (at Hypercity, Pune) So we had to use one.

.. And it’s done. It looks much better than the picture.. my photography skills leave much to be desired.
That reflection will be the death of me.. sigh!

Linking this to Shruti’s Artsy Craftsy Challenge .


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