Meanwhile …..

As I nurse my fractured foot and spent a week at home, here’s my take on some things that happened in the days that slipped by –

  • India made it to the semis of the ICC World Cup after beating Bangladesh. There was much rejoicing but I felt a little put out. While Bangladesh get my respect for giving India a tough fight, it would have meant something else beating the English to make it to the top 4 instead.  Mehbooba Mufti said it was the saffron t-shirts that brought about India’s defeat, and I can only laugh at the length some people can go to politicize events and polarise people.
  • Wimbledon 2019 is here finally! Yipppeee!!! My fracture doesn’t seem so horrendous to bear now.
  • I tip my hat to the citizens of Hong-Kong. Civic activism bringing authoritarian law makers to their knees needs to be applauded. Salute their courage in challenging the bill of extradition to the Chinese mainland.

Just being mute bystanders or at best drawing room activists in India, we can only lament the death of hundreds of poor children in Bihar, blamed on lychees; the suicide of Pallavi Tadvi due to caste reasons; the oxygen deficiency in the Gorakhpur hospital case (though old – it comes to mind on events that could have been managed & avoided). We see a state govt wanting to grant bail to an accused of rape,  and we don’t bat an eyelid. This is what we’ve come to expect from our shameless govt. The list is endless. There is minimal civic activism in India and it’s not surprising because we cannot come together and demand action. We are all divided by religion, caste and politics.

  • The beautiful Mumbai rains poured down in earnest over the last weekend (end June) continuing into Monday. Sadly, and not surprisingly, Mumbai was flooded again, with people being killed due to water-logging, wall collapse, tree falls etc. Climate experts now say Mumbai monsoons will soon start in July. I’ve heard Odisha will again face heavy rainfall & a cyclone again due to a low pressure build up. Climate change is a reality but who cares, not us.
  • Catchment areas got some rainfall and hopefully we’ll tide over this year’s water crisis. But what about the years to come?  Who really cares that our children may not have clean drinking water in future, that they might point to a tiger and call in an extinct animal, that the mountains of waste we turn our noses upon, will continue to remain here for thousands of years after us? Live in the present, that seems to be our motto!!
  • Anyway, onto some happy things in life – We celebrated by son’s 12th birthday over the weekend with family and friends. Went through some old photographs and videos to the delight of all around. Life is also about creating memories and looking back once in a while
  • And finally, I’m happy with my progress on watercolors.

Hope you had a great week before and a more wonderful one ahead!

If you think I’ve missed out some events, please free to add not just the event/incident but your take on it as well.

 

India is my country & I’m a proud Indian!

This post took a while to complete and is a week late, but still something worth sharing.

Date 16 Aug, 2018.

Through the day yesterday, I listened to patriotic songs and found my eyes welling up every now and then.  It made me wonder why. Through the year I didn’t do much for the country, though I thought about it a few times here and there. Why didn’t I think more about my country? Why didn’t/don’t I contribute more actively to its growth? These questions kept coming back to me – How we Indians think of India and what our feelings are for her? Is our patriotism for real?

Usually on 15 Aug, there’s a movie on TV about the freedom struggle, the sacrifices made to free our country and the price paid for it. This year there were movies like – Parmanu, Dangal, Toilet etc. A refreshing change for sure.  These movies are more about fostering pride in being Indian, about wanting to bring about change. These movies indicate it’s time to change – the struggle for freedom is over, now we struggle for recognition, for being proud. We might be slow to change, we might not be as developed in our thoughts – the gender bias, the caste bias, the money bias all remain, but we can and should still be proud of our country. Only if we are, will we strive to become proud of it. We believe in working hard, studying and gaining knowledge,  we have a great sense of belonging, strong family traditions, we have a vast diverse culture, thousands of food varieties, dance, music and folk art forms. Yes, we struggle with our population, it makes resources scarce, which is the cause of most problems in our country – infrastructure inadequacy, corruption, filth, poverty but we are all to blame for it – who else? And we will need to work on it.

Coming to the more important point – how do we make ourselves proud, how can we foster and bring about a feeling of national pride? A feeling of belongingness, a want to do more for the country? In my opinion the starting point is our schools – we have to get our children more involved in the success of our nation, we have to go beyond just getting them to sing the anthem. We have to get them to do more community service. Wouldn’t community service bring about the feeling of brotherhood? Of wanting to help your fellow countrymen in need, of wanting to keep your country clean, of working together for a greater common good? When you volunteer for an NGO, and work for them – you’ll find your feeling/ and the time you spend thinking of your fellow human beings growing – you’ll find your thoughts changing to how can I do more? And this you can channelize to help our country.

Stand up and sing the anthem when you hear it in the movie theatre. It’s a controversial topic I know, but you’ll feel different singing it than just standing there. Try it.

I’d love to know and hear more ideas on how we can work on this feeling of pride. How can we make it grow? How can we influence our children? Looking forward to some ideas/comments.

Mother knows best

 

Mother & child applique (2)

‘Be independent, no matter what’ – This is what my mom once told me and it has stayed with me since then. I know there’s now no novelty in this piece of advice but the first time that someone hears and absorbs it, it registers as important.

She belongs to another generation where women did not have the freedom they have today. Not many were educated and most were confined to their homes and activities of cooking, cleaning ,sewing etc. My mom chose to work after her marriage to my dad. My dad also had humble beginnings but what characterizes him is his broad-mindedness. His determination to build a better life for himself and others. I know my mother’s income also helped things move along at home, but that wasn’t the reason she worked. She worked because she didn’t want to be dependent on others for anything. Be it on my dad for finances to run the house, or to buy that piece of jewellery she liked or go out somewhere or organise transportation or anything for that matter. She told me a story of how once she waited for my dad to send the car to her for an errand she had to make. The car didn’t come on time and she got delayed, frustrated that the work wasn’t done and that lead to her taking a pledge of being independent no matter what. She ventured out more and more – took buses and trains, travelled on her own, bought what she liked (sensibly of course) and things were so much better. Not just for her but for my dad as well.

I wish all women understand this. That somewhere love becomes tinged with contrary emotions if we do not have the capability to fend for ourselves. We feel tied down (physically & emotionally) and possibly let down if we are not independent.

Make life happy by living freely and by giving yourself that freedom – Become independent.

 

The confluence of 2 rivers

confluence

It always amazes me to see the confluence of 2 rivers. Each bringing its own distinct colour, identity and finally creating a combination of their colours, matching their speed eventually as they flow down the mountains gently to the sea. Partners aren’t they?

This picture is of ‘Nand Prayag’, the confluence or prayag (as called in Hindi) of the Alaknanda & the Nandakini rivers.

 

 

 

One Tree Hill – have you found any?

Nature amazes me and so does our Earth. Some mountain formations are so awe inspiring that one wonders if they’re man-made. But in such far flung isolated areas and with such imperfection (i.e no symmetry) that one realizes it has to be natural.

One such wonder to me (though I’m sure there will be some scientific explanation to this) are ‘One tree hills’, where for some strange reason one finds only one tree on top and none other. Is it because this one took up all the resources (like cactus they say) or that it dared to do what none of the others tried or could?

I look for these and shoot these. Would love to see more pics from the community here and the location would be an added treat. This one shot here is in the Sahayadri hills in Western India close to Nasik.  Earthy – Earth

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