The father and his doting daughter-bride


Adorned with jewellery and decked in a shiny red saree, the bride sits in the mandap,

the father performs the Kanyadaan with a heavy heart.

He expresses pride for marrying his only daughter,

as a tear or two falls on his cheek.

Holding a small bundle of joy in his hand, as he taught his doting daughter the first step,

today, his crying.

Yet, he may not be able to express his love and feeling for his daughter.

Only his heart and soul can feel the love.

The father taught his daughter love, scolded her when she was naughty and kissed her on birthday.

It’s a moment of pride and sorrow today as he holds his daughter’s hand, expressing hope that her new home will treat her with love and respect.

The heart doesn’t know how to lie yet he cannot express his feeling.

With Love

V

Today, my next-door-neighbor who is like family to us is getting married. We played together as kids. What struck me yesterday is the moist eyes of her father that inspired the poem. Her father cannot speak a single word since he is deaf and mute.

30 Day Letter Challenge: Friendliest Ganesha


Today is Day 5 for my 30 Day Letter Challenge. I am writing on Day  27: The friendliest person you knew for only one. It’s Ganesh Chaturthi and this post is dedicated to Ganesha. Hope you like it.

The friendliest person you knew for only one

 

His name is Bappa! We hail him ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’. He is visiting us right now to stay in our home and heart  as we adorn his abode made with love, offering his favorite sweet, Modak. He is such a cute kid. We call him Ganesha, Siddhivinayak, Lalbaug Cha Raja, the remover of all obstacles. He is friendly and charming as he stands tall, displaying his mighty trunk.

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The picture was clicked today on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Bappa is truly the delight of children and grown-ups as his innocent face draws us to him like magnet.  We perform the Dahi Handi, climbing on each other’s back, forming a vast swathe of human chain to break the earthen pot. What a scene! The icing on the cake is when kids gyrate to your name, dancing to the typical ‘tapori Mumbai’ style song. Our Gangnam to your name. Jai Ganesha!

You gave me wonderful memories in Pune and Mumbai where we celebrated you with passion, fervor and devotion. Our joy knows no limits to celebrate your presence among ourselves. Hopping from one Pandal to another-there is no dearth of it in every nook-and-corner of cities in Maharashtra- to sing your glory and perform arati in fill swing-cum glitzy celebration. It’s our moment of utter madness as we witness cities like Mumbai and Pune becoming a celebration of sort, crowd teeming out on the street, carrying you on their shoulders where film and cricket celebrities, politicians and commoner become one.

How I miss the Visarjan in Mumbai! Walking at length to reach the sea water at Chowapatty in Mumbai, storming our way in the crowd, struggling to find our steps on the beach, as we get carried towards the water. A jamboree of sort and your life is made into a big party on the beach witnessing a communion among the crowd, irrespective of race, caste, creed or sex. You know why we love you our most friendly, Ganesha? Despite minor squabble and riff during the year, you unite us as we smile and laugh by chanting your name loudly.

Stay charming, my friend Ganesha.

Ganpati Bappa Morya!

Wishing all of you folks, a very happy Ganpatti.

Ganesh Chaturtiya Hardik Subeccha.

Love you my friend, Ganesha

V

 

 

 

The person you know that is going through the worst of times


I am participating in the 30 Day Letter Challenge. Today, is post no.5 for my selected posts as part of the challenge, ‘The Person You Know That is Going Through The Worst of Times’ for Day 25. It’s a true account on someone who is going through the worse phase of her life and hope she finds respite in this crazy and ruthless world.

The post is linked to: http://30daychallenges.net/challenges/30-day-letter-challenge

WRITE  A LETTER A DAY FOR 30 DAYS.

 

The person you know that is going through the worst of times

That’s what I like about meeting people. Being in the habit of getting peeved too easily and hitting at the fact that I am not getting a fair deal in life, someone may just open up to you to share her troubles. Trust me, it’s an education to meet such beings who make you realize that your troubles is nothing in comparison to what they face. I wonder how they deal with so much pain, physical and verbal aggression.

Few days back, I met this outspoken lady from India and it’s always lovely to meet an Indian when we are out of our country. In fact, next-door Uncle who is a lawyer is helping her a lot and he introduced me to her. She narrated her story on how she married a sicko who dragged her out of the house and beaten her so mercilessly. She was beaten black-and-blue and dragged on the street, in front of people. Even her mother-in-law didn’t say anything to the psycho son. She tells that the husband left her in the lurch. She obtained a court ruling, ‘Protection Order’ that the moron doesn’t have the right to approach her.

What’s worse is that she is out of job and dunno how to make both ends to meet to pay the rent next month. She is surviving on some money sent from India and some assets that she sold back home. She worked at some shop, mind you, owned by some Indians, who are settled in our part of the world, as an assistant, paying her peanuts and exploiting her. They made her lift heavy boxes. She is desperately searching for a decent job since two years and, unfortunately, she is not find anything.

How I wish I could help her! I gave her some reference last time where she can apply and try her luck in securing a job. That’s the least I could have done for her since I am also in a catch-22 situation. But, my situation is not was worse as what the lady is going through. The sad fact is that no one wants to help. One can imagine how tough it must be for her, facing the trauma of fighting a court case, handling the pressure of this crazy family, threatening her and cops refusing to take her statements since the ex-husband has some relatives working as cops. A tale of a system, outside India, in a country where so many people of Indian origin live, gone terribly wrong. I’ve lived in this country which is out of India and it makes me wonder the problems that we Indians face, getting sarcastically to blame India as the worse country. I mean, corruption and violence can happen in many parts of the globe.

This made me realize that I am whining about life when someone is  going through her worst tribulation and I can only hope that she gets relief, finding light at the end of the tunnel. My life is a kinda mess right now and I am working at a place where we, people, are exploited as we are sweating our blood. Tis too shall pass and pray for the lady to get out of the shit.

Love

V

 

 

Day 23: ‘The Last Person You Kissed’


Day 23: ‘The Last Person You kissed’ for http://30daychallenges.net/challenges/30-day-letter-challenge

It’s my fourth post for the challenge, linked to the challenge:

I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challengewhere you write one letter each day. The 23rd in the list is a letter to The Last Person You kissed’. Of course, it’s fiction and brace yourself:)

 

‘The Last Person You Kissed’

 

Our lips melted and stroke each other,

it was heavenly bliss;

Your lips taste like honey dipped in the mouth, as I curled my tongue 90 degrees to feel the taste swirling like magic;

It’s  a dream coming true,

How I always wanted to kiss you,

running my fingers on magazines cover;

You are desired by millions yet we kissed that night;

I was drawn to you like magnet, lusting for you ;

You gently touches my lips, running your saliva on my mouth.

Smiled naughtily and disappearing out of thin air.

I turned around on the bed to caress your lips only to realize that it’s an illusion;

They call you ‘Leela’, ‘300 crores heroine and the girl with the hot bod;

Appearing in my dreams, we kissed our way to heaven.

PS: It’s a fiction tale of kissing, enshrined in my imagination.

With Love

V

Dear Someone I judged By Their First Impression


 

Day 21 of http://30daychallenges.net/challenges/30-day-letter-challenge. First things first, I am not a regular at the challenge and I had no inkling of posting Day 21 on Day 24. After reading Shail’s post (http://shailsnest.com/), it proved to be the defining moment since memories flooded with my mind on how I misjudged a class mate who is such a good friend today. I feel Shail’s interaction is, somehow, a coincidence when I judged my dear friend. I will try to keep it short and avoid the flooding of emotions which is so typical ME.

It’s written as part of Written for the 30 Days 30 Letters prompt. Note, I am not doing the write up for 30 Days but for selected posts.

 

Dear Someone I Judged by their First Impression

Rebellious streak, short hair, outspoken and gypsy! That’s your trade mark, S! In second year, way back in 2004, we were plain strangers in college campus yet we were class mates. You came from Delhi to Pune. Not that I have a problem with your personal traits! I loove the rebellious qualities in human beings since I believe in being who we are and not live according to stupid rules.

I wonder why we couldn’t click and missed out on everything. Yet! I am happy we clicked towards the end of college days. I somehow didn’t like what happened on 1st January 2004 because I was stupid. Yeah! I’ve been stupid. How we became fond of each other as super awesome friends is another funny story. What happened exactly on 31st December at Midnight for our SYBA class ka party?

I was sloshed after downing just three pegs of Vodka mixed with Orange juice. I wasn’t having Vodka but Orange juice in my mind. See, I have a sweet tooth which compelled me to down three pegs in less than 30 minutes. Haha! But, that’s me. I had a crush on G and suddenly became so jealous, when G was dancing with someone else. I felt rejected and dejected. How I hated it!

Come First January 2005! Waking up with a baaad hangover and sipping coffee for the rest of the day in the company of Adi, the best friend, and people. I felt that I had a heart break, owing to jealous mind wrecking havoc on me. Of course. S! Everything is so unrelated to you. In the afternoon, I took a long walk on Fergusson College Road, our alma mater, I saw you sitting with K, the gay guy, I had a certain dislike for-not because he is gay but he is provocative and ends bitching about every one and saying the wrong things. I saw K pointing at my direction and you were laughing, while looking at me. I thought that you were making fun of me. I felt so bad. Hence, I had a certain dislike, but not hate, for you. We crossed each other’s gaze at a common friend’s party and I didn’t say Hi to you. At the times, you were working at Pune Times, you had to meet some of us for a story. I didn’t came. They convinced me you are such a nice gal, well read, intelligent and well spoken. I didn’t relent though I knew you had those qualities.

Then, one day, you met with an accident and you were hurt on your head. Somehow, I was conscious of how bad it is for someone who fell from the bike. It could have been ME. When I saw you at ‘Savera’ our college gateway, I asked how you doing. You smiled! We broke the ice, became friends, laughed together and smoked a lot. I am happy, I made the effort to speak to you. You are a gem of a person. I had the best of times in the remaining days at college or the time we partied hard at Colaba, boozing at Monde or SFX. You saw me through my terrible break up. I saw you through the worst of times and one thing I can say S is that I am very proud of you. You are destined to achieve extraordinary things in life and you are already half-way girl. Whizz kid! Keep rocking.

I totally love you for who you are. I call you my lil’ Star.

Lesson: Never judge someone on first impression. I’ve been judged, I know, and I will be because it’s natural tendency in the world. But, I am happy things changed for us.

Loads of Love

V

In the name of God, losing my religion.


I recite the Gayatri Mantra 108 times. I shake with fear, invoking the name of Gods to save me from flunking the exams. The palm of my hands is swollen and reddish, writing the name of God, like a parrot, more than 1000 times. Pinning for a miracle to save me from the jaw of death. Ultimately, I failed the exams. Oh! God! You didn’t spare me this time. The pain of lighting the diya (earthen lamp) every morning and evening, longing for a change in the tide of fortune.

It’s the diary of a 16-year-old-me, attending the prayers till late in the temple with Mom and Dad. I am snoring, plain bored, listening the Pandit, chanting the  name of Gods, narrating stories of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna or religious hymns to the names of Goddesses. You name it, you get it! Mother Kali, Mother Durga and Mother Lakshmi. Trust me, it’s a torture against young children, too scared to say anything.

Does it make sense to me? As I hark back to the past of bowing in deference to God, calamity save me for ignoring the Gods or infuriating their fury. Sinner! I was in my mind or the mind of God?! I was told that not praying to God will mean a curse on my life. Or! The curious me who broke free from the hands of my Mom to dash my way to the Sathya Sai Baba Center as the sound of music pushed my legs to act. Yet! They told me Baba called and I didn’t run on my own will. It makes me wonder on free will as an individual.

The bottom line is my parents have a certain psychosis fear ingrained in them that if they don’t offer prayers to God, they will be punished for lack of deference to God. I don’t blame them for that! The fact is that society doesn’t want us to read, appreciate and assess religious scriptures on its own merit or see, for that matter, the underlying philosophy of religion in an objective and unbiased way. The stark reality remains that the patriarchal society put blinkers on our eyes so that we see reality their way. I believe that all religions, be it Hinduism, Islam or Christianity carry the same underlying message of peace, love and justice. Unfortunately, there are huge misinterpretations in all religions in the world, owing to their own self-serving and selfish interests. ‘Thou shall not kill’ hold true for every single religion.

I remember when Dad passed away, the officiating priest made us spent a fortune on buying items to perform rites of passage, three and ten days prayers, which cost us a fortune. At that time, we couldn’t afford but still forked a cool 40,000 bucks. You name it, you get it. Stacks of potatoes, sugar, chappal (sandals), fruits, milk and what’s not. At that time, I didn’t complain. But, deep inside, I knew that it’s a very wrong interpretation since my study of Philosophy helped me a lot to understand well enough that Hinduism, read, Puranas, is being misinterpreted. No prize for guessing! The goodies and abnormal fees went into the basket of the priest.

I don’t get it why a widow should forever wear White saree, mourning the death of the husband? They keep telling us that a woman who loses her husband should avoid colorful attire. I am aghast when I see the culture of exploitation, perpetrated by the ugly male society and speak about, new age Sarpanch. Whose interest does it serve? Makes me wonder! After reading Hindu scriptures, I have realized that true Hinduism lies in the Vedas and Vedic culture where God is worshiped but not in a given a form. I respect people who pray to deities but I firmly refuse to worship forms of God, in terms of statues. Make no mistake. I respect everyone’s religious beliefs but I feel that one has the right to question things as a human being. I am a free-spirited person. My Mom is a staunch believer in various forms of idol worships and I respect her ideologies. But, the fact remains that I am now an agnostic after reading scriptures and religious books, whether it’s Hinduism or Islam. I believe that one should take good values from the Bhagawad Gita, Bible or Qu’ran. All the different routes lead to one single journey in life.

I recall the caste-based discussion I had with the priest who insist that ‘I am a Kashyap’, according to my Gotra. This is something I vehemently oppose, considering the pride that the priest take in clamoring that he belongs to the highest caste in Hinduism, Brahmin. From an ideological perspective, I am dead against caste-based discrimination, class or religious differences. It’s rather sad how people who are the ‘chosen’ ones to impart religious knowledge revel in casteism. The guy wanted me to say that I belong to the Brahmin caste but I refused, gently telling him that I am a human being and I believe in the religion of love and humanity. The rest doesn’t matter.

Nowadays, I sit in prayers at home just to make mom happy because she is someone who will take offense if I do not sit, fearing calamity. Honestly speaking, I see no point in attending something which I do not believe in but, sometimes, we should make parents’ happy in their belief, no matter how dogmatic it is.

I remember last year, after resigning from my job, I didn’t want to fool myself and didn’t sit in the Katha (narration of God’s name) at home and most of our family members were pissed at me. It was the time I wasn’t getting a proper job and I am still struggling to find something better, when someone belonging to the younger generation told me, ‘You made a mistake by not taking part in the prayer. May be, it’s one of the reasons luck is eluding you considering that your ancestors performed prayers.’ Does it get more ridiculous than that?

I mean, what kind of education, we are impart to our children? How can one instill the fear of God and religion in a young, inquisitive child, telling that they would be punished or go to hell someday. Children grow up with a certain mindset and attitudes which they believe to be a universal truth of life and doesn’t flinch before labeling a non-believer or widower as such. Unfortunately, questioning God or religion is regarded with contempt and when we shunt them, it stifle creativity as human beings. There are also cases where widowed women are not allowed to perform rites at the wedding of a young bride or religious ceremonies, calling them, ‘Achut’ (Outcaste coz they will cast a dark spell). I find it shameful how religion is being used to divide people rather than unite people across the globe. It sucks big time.

This post is in no way demeaning to any religious faith or devotees who pray to God and believe in idol worship. It’s my honest views on the flip side of worship and religion that stifle our freedom of thoughts and creative thinking. I believe that anybody has the right to believe or not believe in God or follow their religion of choice. My only issue is that religion should never be imposed on a free thinking soul. After all, we are all travelers in this amazing journey of life who has the right to question things, doesn’t matter if it has been established by our ancestors or not.

A final word here: With due respect to my fore parents, nothing says that they were right in everything they saw or believed. For sure, they taught us a lot in terms of wisdom but does that mean they were right in all respects?

I leave the question open for interpretation!

PS: I am an agnostic since I am not sure about the existence of God. Yeah! I celebrate Holi, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi because I find them endearing and fun in the same way Eid and Christmas is. I may not be a believer but I am a spiritual person, believing in love, peace and humanity. I refuse to bear prejudice against person of any caste or religious faith. This post was prompted and inspired by few blogger friends who wrote honest account of traditions of Gods, religion and traditions.

With Love

V

Re-blogged: Mother India visits


Hey folks,

I wrote this post on the other blog for Blogadda’s weekend prompt, Write over the Weekend, ‘

It is the night of August 14th. You are sleeping peacefully until a lady, who identifies herself by the name of Mother India, wakes you up and starts talking. What does she talk to you?

For some reason or another, I couldn’t link it up to Blogadda’s prompt and guess, there was some technical glitches. Here’s reproducing the post here. Hope you enjoy reading.

Cheerz

V

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Mother India visits

I am carrying the Indian tri-color in my hands at Red Fort in Delhi, running with pride as the mammoth crowd clap for me as I dash around the venue, running through the vast swathe of humans. Suddenly, I over hear AR Rahman voice, singing in my ears, ‘Maa Tujhe Saalam.’ It feels like a lullaby.

 I turn around and saw myself on the bed. Somebody caresses my forehead. I look up to see a beautiful and attractive lady in her late 60s, smiling to me. ‘How can anyone be so perfect and divine?” I ask myself.
I am astounded and look around the room. “Who are you? What are you doing in the house?” She sports an angelic smile and caresses my forehead, “Beta! I am Mother India.”

Mother? What? India! How can it be?

 Everything is possible, son. Haven’t you been calling and imploring for my presence? I know what my child wants. Listening to my songs on your computer, standing in deference to me, watching Jnana Gana Mana, Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon, Saare Jahan se Acha Hindustan Hamara, Aye Mere Watan Ke logon and Dil Diya hai Jaan bhi Denge Aye Watan Tere liye on You Tube. What do you think? I can see the tears rolling down your cheek when you think about me?

“You? Mother India. Do you know…..?”

 “I know everything, Beta. Your dedication and love for me. Some call me, Dharti Maa, some Mother India?”

I can’t control my tears. Mother India, you don’t know what these people are doing? Fighting and killing each other in the name of religion and caste, raping innocent girls, exploiting women, dirtying India. How can we be united? Why don’t you do something?”

Mother India makes me sit and hold my hand. “My son! What’s the point of standing in deference in front of my image and singing my anthem, Jnana Gana Mana with pride twice a year when they abuse me and break my heart? They don’t understand and think they can fool me. I know everything.”

 “What don’t you do anything?”, I ask.

“I am angry at every point when I see how they abuse me. They throw their filth in river Ganga and at holy places where I am present. For how long, I can sustain abuse? Sadly, so many people lost their lives in Uttarakhand last year and every monsoon, lives are lost. They don’t realize that they are the ones who took innocent lives. I feel so hapless. My heart cries when I see so many atrocities when people don’t respect their wives and daughters, destroying their souls.”

Mother India bears her heart out. “May be, they don’t realize it. When they jump on the ground like crazy, I feel the power of their legs on my soul. I am happy when I see them stomping their feet in joy but it hurts me when they use violence in their acts. When they kick someone, I feel the pain inside my body and soul.”

“Mother India, why don’t you do something?”

“Sometimes, people need to realize on their own, what they are doing. All of you must do something to make India a better place to live. It’s very easy to criticize me. I can be ruthless at times. I may be ugly but that doesn’t mean you should stop loving me. You speak of finding another attractive Mother, going to a new land but, if you don’t anything to make your mother loving, who will? Be the change. You will win my heart when all my children will teach each other love when stoking up communalism, casteism and sexism will be a thing of the past, respecting each other in a world filled with love and peace.”

“Son, I know what you are thinking? If you wish for something with your heart, you will get it. I know you really want to come to me. I know you will. I will always call you for a mother never stops loving her children.”

I smile. Mother India disappears.

Wordless Wednesday #48


Hi,

I am linking the picture prompt to Wordless Wednesday #48 hosted by Ruchira (http://abracabadra.blogspot.com/2014/08/wordless-wednesday-48.html)

The pictures were taken for the celebration of India’s 68th Independence Day at Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture in Mauritius, last Friday. Here’s have a look and enjoy the pics.

IMAG0839

The growing number of Indian expats seem to be growing every Independence day.

IMAG0840

Absolutely love the patriotic fervor and makes me so proud to be Indian.

IMAG0845Finally, me proudly holding the Indian Tricolor.

Jai Hind

V

Guest post and words


Hey folks, Eli of expat blog featured me on her space as a guest blogger. I’ve met Eli on the blogging space and she asked me to do a post for her. It didn’t take me long to figure out, ‘Mumbai’, owing to our fascination and passion for maximum city. Click on the link to know more about Eli, a blogger, whose works I totally love. I call her, the true blue Mumbai girl.

Have fun

http://expatliv.blogspot.in/2014/08/mumbai-and-me-guestpost.html

 

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Longing for the perfect life,

wondering when it’s gonna happen when I’ll be blown off my mind;

Fables narration about patience seems to belong to another age;

Anxious I am,

wondering why I am doing all this;

Have I lost the motivation and drive?

Makes me wonder when the next big opportunity will hit!

I can only go easy, with the tide that lifts all boats;

What one makes of life when it gives you lemons?

Milestones, of course;

I can’t wait to hit the sixer,

freeing myself from the chain of mechanical existence;

Following my passion,

I can’t wait for the magic to unfurl;

Till then, back to the grind.

Good Night

V

PM Modi strikes at Red Fort for a strong, united India


The speech of a new Prime Minister, sworn to power, in what many regard as one of the biggest majority in parliamentary democracy is awaited with anticipation at the Lal Qila in Delhi. The biggest democracy in the world, India, saw its new Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi deliver his first speech during the 68th Independence Day which millions of Indians across the globe waited for. Narendra Modi has its fair share of admirers but also the staunchest opposition among the people in his country.

I am no Modi-Bhakt. But, I have to confess that the Prime Minister’s speech took me by surprise when he enumerated measures that he, Pradhan Sewak, believe would wake India up from its slumber. It is heart warming to see the PM speak like a statesman and in no unequivocal terms spoke on our need to maintain our secular fabric as a nation, financial inclusion, clean India, Model Villages and The Rape Shame. Credit goes to the PM who spoke to the nation as a commoner, read Pradhan Sewak, avoided to criticize the opposition or Pakistan. It is heart warming to see the sparkling difference between NaMo and the PM. Yesterday, at Red Fort, it was not NaMo speaking to his country folks but the Prime Minister of the greatest democracy in the world, Mr Narendra Modi. What didn’t change was the PM’s trade mark Churidhar and short sleeve Kurta, adding to it, a new sartorial style, his Bandhini

1. Rape Shame

As a country, we should be ashamed how rape is taking place in every nook-and-corner, be it prosperous cities and obscure villages. It is a fight few people with lofty thoughts and intentions are raising against the ugly patriarchy who blame a girl for every crime committed. Name it, you get it! Short skirts, venturing out at night or partying. It is a matter of disgrace when we see so-called saints or political leaders blaming a girl for being raped or the disgusting, ‘Ladke hai galati ho jati.’ PM Modi stand on rape took me by surprise and it’s heartening to the massive elected PM to speak on those terms, ‘Our heads hang in shame..Parents ask daughters hundred questions..have any parents ask their sons where he is going, why he is going..a rapist is also somebody’s son.’

It was the need of the hour.High time we stop blaming girls on what they wear and educate our sons to respect women in our conservative society that exploit women. I believe it starts from a very young age where we need to teach parents by spreading awareness about respecting women and including sex education and equality in school curriculum.

2. Clean India

The PM rightly pointed out that we need to make India a clean spot and filth free country. Just look how people have dirtied Ganga river, littering every where and throwing wrappers, tea cups and garbage on the streets, rivers and sea water. It’s our country and not a garbage spot. How can we claim to call ourselves a powerful country with rising economic growth and affluence when we can’t keep our country clean and spotless? Let’s pledge to make India a hygienic country. Avoid throwing stuffs from the top of our expensive sky-crapers and car windows.

3. Model Villages, Sanitation for women

Model villages is something I strongly believe in. ‘MP Model Village’ as announced by the PM, is something one must delve on and it’s a fact that MPs get a yearly allocation to spend in their respective constituencies. How many of them spend the allocated money for development purposes? Let’s make every single village in India a model of development with necessary amenities such as water, electricity, school, toilets and other state-of-the-art facilities.

It’s a matter of shame that women need to wait for dawn to relieve themselves in open fields. The tragedy is that lack of sanitation facilities and open defecation is unhealthy and trigger early death not just for young women but those expecting babies. Little do we realize that open defecation is so harmful to the health and spread diseases that claim lives. High time for corporates to step in and work in tandem with the Government to ensure that there is no difference between rural and urban India. There is only one India and hope words translate into action. We don’t want Bharat, on one side and India, on the other side.

4. Skewed Sex Ration, Communalism

India can become a super power in the long-term and for that to happen, we need to practice the politics of inclusion and shed communalism which is a blot to our constitution and democracy. Let’s ensure that no one is discriminated or violently murdered on account of their religious belonging or beliefs. We need laws that will put behind bars anyone who stir communal riots through inflammatory speech that leads to killing people of the country. United we stand, Divided we fall.

Skewed sex ratio is the biggest tragedy where a daughter is sacrificed for a son? Why? Our attitudes as human beings who take pride in the birth of a son and we cannot call ourselves a civilized society when we indulge in skewed sex ration. A developed state like Kerala has telling figures that cause us to worry how the girl-child is sacrificed and high time, we believe in our girls who can do as good as boys, if not better.

5. Made in India

 

Made in India has always been my life philosophy. Wherever I am, I make sure to buy Indian products in the super market. I am not saying that one shouldn’t buy good foreign products. The idea is promote local products and perhaps the slogan, Be Indian Buy Indian must be popularized again by adding a new twist and form. As the PM said, we must ensure that we make products meeting high standards and ensure that foreign businesses set plants in India, train local people for us to hit high path of growth. I highly believe in ‘Made in India’ and let’s overcome negative attitudes that local goods are inferior. They are not. Despite the fact that I am out of India right now, I always make sure that I buy my Britannia, Parle G biscuits, Basmati Rice, Appy Juice and Desi Masala, wherever I find them.

PM Narendra Modi came to Red Fort as commoner and it’s comforting to see, shedding bullet-proof shield, delivering a speech, enumerating the vision of his Government for Modern India. I’ve been a staunch opposition to Modi and perhaps I will in the future on ideological differences, but its heart warming to hear his speech and vision for a modern India. This is what India needs, a blend of modernity and traditional values such as Made in India and Model Villages. I really appreciate the fact that he spoke of being a Pradhan Sevak and all elected representatives are Sevak (servant) to this great nation. It augurs well for the future of India as a nation.

However, speeches are beautifully delivered. Hope the ideas will be swiftly translated into actions and if we manage to do so, nothing shall stop us from becoming a world super economic power. Let’s the Government restrict themselves in indulging in rhetoric at Red Fort every August 15 and January 26. We owe it to the nation. Or else, what the point of boasting of growth if the majority of the people cannot have access to education, nutrition, sanitation, respect for women or upholding our secular fabric as a nation?

I may disagree with some points made by the PM but let’s keep that for another day. Our Independence Day is a solemn moment for the nation to unite and look for a brilliant future. It’s the way ahead.

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.”

Jai Hind

Proud to be Indian

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