A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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A Woman …

Am I, am I.
And glad of it.

I’m Daddy’s Girl, still Growing Up
And I wonder if I’ll ever be
The Right Age 🙂

I’m that Little Girl yet
Who hasn’t given up on dreams,
And Carousel Rides 🙂

I wish I was stronger.
But then I might give
Mr. World a run for his money.
Thank you. I am happy this way 😀
For now. 😛

I’ve lived Sepia Dreams
And coloured them bright 🙂
I have my reasons and seasons 
And most times, I am defiant 😀

Today, too, like other days
I celebrate me. And you….
All of you, who be humane
Who loves and respects another,
Especially a woman; for then,

You truly live.

8 March, 2013
Wishing every reader here, both men and women the best of the day, and of life, as you walk through the world, sharing your respect for everyone, especially women. Happy Women’s Day.
And for a change, I shall not excuse myself for a self-aggrandizing post, linky linky one at that 😀

Listened to, as the first song of the day, “Woman” by John Lennon. Magic 🙂


33 Comments

Being Humane

This post has been picked by Blogadda  for its Spicy Saturday Picks! Thank you Blogadda!

Yet another March 8th, in a day’s time. 2012 this time. Time to start wishing women one knows “Happy” Women’s Day. Time to preen and pride oneself on being the fairer/weaker/stronger/gentler sex. One whole day, and few days leading up to it, and a few days after, one ponders, and I use that word with the full weight it comes with, on what women do/want/mean/emote and how they survive/ exist/live/manage, most of the time awing/ inspiring/ demeaning (here I mean others who look down upon her 😛 ) other womanly traits, other women, and , but of course, Men. Capital Letter “M”, for the “proper” persons they are. Hmmmphfrrrrr !

This year, I choose to simply admire and comment on what I know, not think. Of women, of men, of humanity. The usual yada yada on why is it only on this day you talk / write / speak/ express argument, notwithstanding (phew whatta word :P), I still choose to write.

I remember reading on Leenuka Reddy’s FB update a couple of months ago,

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
~Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx.

It struck me then, each time I had a “down” day, only I could choose to make it better. And it became a sort of mantra “I not Events” I’d chant to myself. So onward to what I meant to write about 🙂 (As usual, I’m digressing. Sigh. I can never be prosaic, that is for sure- giveme a Haiku to compose, and I’ll do it, but prose? Dear me!)

I know for a fact that this world has so many feminists, and I don’t mean women, who shriek violently piling curses on all men, because they are men. Nopes. I mean feminists who are women and men, for they are humane and sensitive, and open minded and culturally zombies, because they are so accepting of any and every human. For all the goodness they have within. For all the love shared, openly. For the respect given to each other, for who they are , not who they want others to be. For Acceptance. For Forbearance. For the Charity of their thoughts. And most of all for the Courage to show their true feelings, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Practically all the women bloggers who come by here, I know for a fact are one 🙂 And as for the men, I must mention Hitchy, Tito, and from comments that have touched me deeply on others’ posts, Bikram, GeeVee, Kislay, and ever so many many more. A feminist is humane. Just that. And no, one cannot be defined as humane, if one wants to “control” “judge” and “restrict” a particular sex because of tradition and convention. Bad idea, old idea, not my idea of humane. And therefore, by association, not my idea of a feminist.

I recently attended a book release function, where a cousin, Krishnakumari, Senior Sub-editor, Deshabhimani, in Thrissur, was releasing her book, in Malayalam, “Samarapaathayile Pennperuma” published by a Collective for Gender Justice called SAMATHA, a group of 29 women. (The title refers to the wonderful women who have been involved in rising against authority and against injustice, in society, not just of the Leftist Movement, but in general) Two of the invitees were persons she had interviewed. The entire book contained bio sketches of women who had undertaken such rebellions, revolts, strikes and mutinies against social injustice, successfully or otherwise. The proceeds of the book were to go to helping one of the women written about, whose name is Ittyaannum, (In The Hindu, dated 7 March 2012, read about her!)an illiterate common labourer, now elderly, 80+, to help build her house. She shared her experiences of being brutalized by the police who were hell bent on suppressing the revolt of the Left/proletariat workers on the farms, and paddy fields in Kerala. A simple woman, with the deep sense of injustice happening, and how she took it up, with no help from her husband or male relatives. The other invitee was Devaki Nilayangode, a woman of “higher” caste who also stepped out of domesticity to participate in the movements for justice in History (His story… there was much discussion on the chauvinism in the subject nomenclature too 😀 ) The book is in Malayalam, and it will take me a long time to finish it, being a slow reader in that language; but read it I will, and hopefully complete it soon enough. A positive this year, for Women’s Day.

This year I also want to remember and acknowledge someone I see daily, who I look up to, endlessly, for the sheer strength of her resolve and her determination to see that life works out, especially for her children. I write of Chandrika, my help at home, and how she has surmounted odds, against fate, an unhelpful family and husband, and society, to walk on, proud of having got both her kids to college, with one of them about to graduate as a Medical Lab. Technician, and the younger one as a Commerce Grad. She continues to make me feel that nothing can ever but ever get you down. Nothing. There is always a way, and it is always UP. I’d shared a bit about her on our other group blog, “No Gender Inequality” which is on hold at this moment 🙂

I think too, of the everyday hassles women have to face, and how they cheerfully, and without rancour go about their daily work, be it as an SAHM, a sweeper on the street, an executive in a Corporate Sector, a college student, a school girl, a teacher, a woman. Just that. Women, unfortunately, have that inbuilt mechanism to take it all. Sigh. If only we did not have such a high threshold of tolerance I sometimes feel. My take, that is all. And while men too may have all these attributes, they face less than a fraction of a percentage of the trouble women go through. Undoubtedly so, in mainstream life, in India, anyways. So, a salute to the ordinary Indian woman, for being able to survive a single day, each day. And to all the men who do help out. Salutes to you all too. Among them my brothers and Dad as well. And my sons 🙂 🙂 And my two nephews 🙂 🙂 They know better than to be otherwise 🙂 🙂 Thanks to Mom and me 😛 😛 And my wonderful and lovely sisters in law 😀 !

The other day, we had this discussion, among some of our colleagues, on how girls these days are probably the ones who are making all the trouble! How they Dress! And how they talk and touch the boys! And someone said, you see it’s the clothes. Perfect opportunity for me to get on my soapbox 😀 I spoke. Or rather ranted. And I also said, the only reason why it is happening, the violence, is that women no longer keep quiet. That, I feel is the one main reason. If we kept quiet and “listened” perhaps there would be less trouble? Maybe. And then again, Maybe not. What we needed was to be more accepting. Let go the deadweight of things said to be/ thought of as “proper”/”not right” for girls. Why only girls? Sigh. And we teachers can make that difference. I tend to get on the soapbox in class, when I get a chance, because of some prompt in a lesson, and egg on a discussion :D!

And yes, I want to dwell too, on a prayer for all of us, The Serenity Prayer, which has helped me many a time, and I hope will help anyone who faces a paucity of courage, who needs wisdom, and has to make the choice of who to be, and what to do.

May God grant me the Serenity

To Accept the things I cannot change

The Courage to change the things I can

And the Wisdom to know the difference!

I hope each day that dawns will bring home to each of us, the need to be more humane and accepting in our lives. Live, and let live 🙂 Break down in-built prejudices and open our hearts and minds 🙂 I hope women can walk in the land Tagore once beseeched the Lord to grant:

“Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high
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
*In that Heaven of Freedom, …”

I hope we all can meet.

God Bless!

6 March, 2012

Edited to add:

Related post on a Feminism tag.

Also, the reference to Ittyennam… Ittennam… the 80+ lady whose biography has been included in the book I have spoken of up there, has been featured in The Hindu, Kochi edition. Unable to get a copy of the e-paper to share here, but will do so, once I get it!  

Got it! Sharing 🙂 Thank you Sneha 🙂


39 Comments

A Sinner Confesseth!

Couldn’t not.

Been tagged by Sash 🙂 And been instructed likewise by the Facebook Group 🙂

And… When there is a spate of confessions that our High Priestess on SAGS, IHM is egging on Wordfully and Wordlessly; and multitudes simply revel in sins they  have gleefully and willfully committed; I am now giving in to temptation.How could I not! I have EVE to thank, don’t I? For me she is the Awesome SAGS 🙂 (no blasphemy here, honest!!)  Well, she was told not to eat the fruit, and being a typical SAGS, very unlike a Gender Stereotype, she had to go and eat it. Adam, well, he was a good boy; and faithfully followed her out! I like to think of that as being the first time, perhaps,  Stereotyping, if at all intended with the package, got thrown a brick at!!!

I guess I do not need to go into the details of the tag, but since I have tagged others, I feel it is my duty to do so 😀

Please list at least ten things you have ever wanted or done which your gender is not supposed to. The tag is called ‘My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes’. And you must tag twelve blogging friends :twisted: or else you will be cursed to wear blue clothes pants if you are a woman and pink shirts if you are a man – for next twelve years :twisted:

Bless me, O Others, for I have sinned… 😀

  • I am (not was, please note :D) a tomboy. I sometimes do not understand why they have to say “Tom””Boy”. Lol! Double underscore a variant in the gene? I grew up with boisterous brothers, and their gang. I played gilli danda, lagori, Cricket (Darned good at pace, I was!), Hockey, Basketball, Throwball (Now that is more girly, but I loved that too 🙂 🙂 ) I still join in the Sports day stuff at school, cheer wildly and jump about, and egg the girls, especially, to go on and out and run and play and all… And watch sports channels. And discuss the latest on the EPL, Champions League, or even the WC, with the class 🙂 You need nothing more to bring zip into the grammar classes 😀
  • Our neighbours would constantly tell my mother to get me out of shorts, during my school days. In Bangalore, way back then, we used to have rather conservative Mallu and Kannadiga neighbours. To give her her due, she did try. I didn’t listen! :P! Even now, at almost 50, in the back of the beyond of the backwaters land, in the small suburb of a semi rural city I live in, my favourite clothes, jeans, is what I wear most often. Not to school though. Dress code, you see. So I can’t 🙂 You can, without any further help, imagine the the expressions I am met with. For a long while, I did not wear trousers; but, the past couple of years have released inhibition, and I am glad I sin 😀 :D!
  • I drive. And well. And I am darned proud of it :D! It’s been, what almost 30 years on, and I still love driving. That’s the car.
  • I cycle. I have gone a bit further. It was a Luna, in college. A Kinetic Honda later. Then a Honda Activa. Then a few of my discs kinda prolapsed and extruded. Got grounded. 😦 Then, the resurrection 😛 😛 ! First Born allowed me to ride his Thunderbird. And that, let me tell you, folks, was the bestestestest!! The Nirvana of an auto aficionado! Can’t wait for Second Born to give me real time lessons, on it. A moped? Ha!!! I do BIKES!!!!
  • I know where I am going, and what I am doing, especially on drives! Can navigate and lead, and find routes better than locals. I discovered that, here in my hometown. I have been, since, giving tips to localites on how to get to places easier and quicker 🙂 And I’m actually a transplant 😀
  • Need to have a curtain rod fixed? Or perhaps your plug is broken? No, don’t call me … 😆 .. but these are things I have found to be very interesting, and so got dad to teach me, a long time ago. What he did not, I figured out for myself soon enough! Most of this kind of work at home I do myself.
  • I stand with and supervise workers, especially those who come to do electrical or painting or construction work, and constantly give them suggestions :P! And men here, as Shail has said in her fantastic piece on SAGS, are rather dumbstruck by it. They always ask for SAAR. I tell them I’m the SAAR!! I even do a bit of painting, window grills, frames, and patches, after they have left so that they dont waste time the next day 😛 :P! Am planning to paint the upstairs of my house, the interior, myself. Long term plan for the vacation!
  • I read. And read. And read. Is that supposed to be something women don’t do, or like or have the time for, perhaps? I do!
  • I don’t like to cook much. When I feel like it, I do cook up a storm, but usually, am not a kitchen person :D! There’s food, and there’s FOOD. Not the be all and end all of life, for me!
  • I am net savvy.Something very very very few women around here are anyway. And it confounds the service persons who come home, when they have to deal with me, and not anyone else. I tell them about the problem, what I think has gone kaput, and what can be done. On occasion I open up the CPU, pull out the RAM, clean it and put it back, when I hear the long piiiiinnnnnnnnnngggg noise, and the monitor does not switch itself on 😀

Is that a ten? *Hi5* to all the other sinners. Actually, it’s not the non conformist in me that I am proud of. In fact it is not about not conforming. It is more about being who you are, man or woman, doing what you like, you love, really, and not thinking about, Oh! Should I?

There was a time, when I did, and conformed to the “T”… but I am glad I found my old self again, and now more than ever for I have found company of so many and that is such a comfort. Contrarily, even if there weren’t, I’d still be comfortable, because I am me, finally 🙂 🙂

And with all this; I still love wearing sarees; mundu vesthi (that is set mundu)–  (no, that is not me in the picture, just one I googled 😀 )a very very traditional Keralite two piece mundu, worn like a sort of half saree  :); I love embroidery  and mirror work; I do mehendi designs on hands and feet for those who like to wear it 🙂 🙂 I love to pamper myself at the beauty salon… 🙂 🙂 I love the feminine, coochy coo me too 🙂 🙂 I’m a die hard Romantic, who weeps when she sees romantic comedies even 😀 :D!

I have sinned. And all the better for it 🙂 🙂 Now can I place this on my mantlepiece?

Oh, I need to tag others! Almost everyone I know here has, with great enthusiasm and obvious pleasure done it! So I am doomed to wear blue pants! (I love the idea though!!!)

Still, let me see….

Soumya, PoonamAareet, Venkat (who has just started blogging 🙂 ) , Praveen SR , Indygurl (even though she is busy 🙂 )… Not quite the twelve, but what does that matter :D! I’m still a SAGS 😀

7 July, 2010



19 Comments

A Conviction that Garnered Courage!

From this morning, I have been watching and wondering, and praying that all the protests everywhere on the expression of exercising our Constitutional Rights, would go peacefully, and successfully.

And successful this was, the Delhi meet, which was the result of the courage, and conviction born out the indefatigable heart of Namrata, supported admirably by others, as you will find at these blogs:

Indyeah’s

Aneesha Mathur’s

Poonam’s

Also, here is the video, from CNN IBN, with Namrata being the Citizen Journalist of the day!

Had to share it here :

http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/85356/cj-raises-voice-against-moral-policing.html

Congratulations and Kudos to all, for a job well done 🙂

****

Also, in the Indian Express, on the edit page, the link of which is given below is a very uplifting article, though its overtones sometimes make it rather flippant :), about a Gandhian ideal being sustained, in the loin cloth, being metamorphosized into a pink panty 🙂 It made for good reading as I waited for the day to unfold, this morning 🙂

Can’t seem to get the exact page clearly, so here is the link at which you will find it; the title will make it easy for you to get it 🙂

It’s on Page 11, of the Saturday’s edition, on the Edit page 🙂

http://epaper.expressbuzz.com/NE/NE/2009/02/14/index.shtml

The voices were heard.

Thanks to the PCC, the Protest Marches, and all the peaceful displays of affection for All 🙂

And, as Indyeah has mentioned, there have been instances of sheer violence by some SS workers, and in Ujjain, a couple beaten up, forcible marriages. But just think, a lot more that could have happened, especially in Mangalore today, was actually prevented. I think that counts for a lot.. a lot.

And this is just the beginning. That is what is most uplifting.

Kudos and Congratulations to all who wished so hard for this upliftment, the thoughts count as much as the actions 🙂


17 Comments

All for Love!

Just read this morning’s paper, where Mr Muthalik , of the Ravan Sena, of the Mangalore Incident fame, has decided to play Cupid himself!

Apparently, their agenda is as follows. Five teams have already been made, and they will roam the city on 14 February, with a hidden camera, a priest and of course, their goondas [ooops, party workers!].

Anyone seen dating, cosying up, cuddling, will be, immediately, ON THE SPOT, married off, with the help of a priest, a piece of turmeric tied to a string [to act as mangalsutra, “thali”]I suppose].

On being asked about minors who are found, he said they would be counselled and sent home [after beating them up no doubt!]

I wonder if anyone asked him about the lovers being of different faith? Would he have priests of different faith accompanying him? I wonder about that!

All those who wish to be married, therefore, here is your chance! Mr M will foot the bill, and no hassles, he will even register the marriage there!

Talk of culture; talk of freedom; talk of…..

Heck! What more does one want???

6 February, 2009

Edited to add:

Do read this, and lend your voices and hearts, if you can 🙂