You Only Grow What You Sow!

Be the change you want to see. It’s never too late to start.
Also,
Disclaimer : Quite a lengthy post, this. Yet read it when you please, please?

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A building is only as strong as it’s foundation. It’s bound to fall, if the foundation isn’t strong enough. No matter how many storeys it’s got. No matter how extremely well maintained it is.
Wondering where I’m coming at?
It was Jyoti Singh Pandey in 2012
And Jisha now, in 2016.
Among the numerous others, made victims to rape, in India.
And everytime something like this happens to happen, all we do is write about it, create and sign numerous petitions, raise a hue and cry, and erase it from our memory…until something similar or more horrendous happens again.

God knows how many protests were held and how many prayers were said, yet, it didn’t protect Jisha from being raped. It didn’t prevent the juvenile rapist from roaming scot-free in the country. It didn’t bring Jyoti Singh Pandey back. It didn’t reduce the grief her family is going through.

Nothing has changed. Nothing ever has. Nothing will, actually, unless you hit the clay when it’s being moulded.

Confused?

Let’s get this straight.

For starters,

How many of us speak to our fathers like we do to our mothers? The tone is always mellowed immensely when it comes to our fathers, isn’t it? The soft “Yes”, ” No”, manners seem to come back to us from nowhere, right? We don’t take our fathers for granted, do we? It’s only our mothers, on whom we seem take out our irritation, don’t we?

In how many families, are the mothers the primary decision makers? Any decision about the family, for the family, it’s always the father whose opinion is final. More so, the mother is sometimes not even asked for her opinion.

How many husbands treat their wives as their equals? The wife, who leaves her home and her family for him and his family, changes her surname, brings along wealth to save the husband and his family from misery – her identity is  not even acknowledged, she loses it in the process of making her husband and her in-laws happy. The “better-half” phrase doesn’t apply for both the partners, is it?

In how many families are the daughters treated as equals to the sons? Either they are treated servile, or are over pampered, and in both the cases, the girl ends up becoming extremely fragile – she loses the ability to stand up for herself.

How many families have we not met, where the women in the house do the menial, servile jobs of the house, and the men don’t, just because they are “men”, probably the earning members of the household, and they think it’s beneath their dignity to do those?

How many families have we not seen, where only the daughters are taught from childhood to cook, wash, mend and sew, and are asked to remain silent and not argue, and only do what is said?

How many families have we not heard/seen/met where the daughters are married off in their teens or early twenties as their parents presume the sole purpose of a woman’s life is to get married and start her family?

How many parents have we met who are ready to spend more for their daughter’s education than for her marriage?

Why is it that every time, a woman has to look up to her husband/father/brother for protection from the other “men” in the world? Maybe because, the “men” respect the feelings of other men – the woman’s husband/father/brother, more than the feelings of the woman? And why is there a need for protection for a woman in the first place?

A child who grows up in this kind of atmosphere, which exists in every household in India, barring very few, can scarcely be expected to respect women, and treat them as his equal.
When a boy is brought up in such an environment, he begins to believe as he grows, that he can take any woman for granted, just as his mother/sister were. He doesn’t care to respect a woman as an individual – who is as free as him, as any other man, who has self-respect, who has her own likes and dislikes, who has her own emotions, ambitions and desires; and who isn’t born to only to satisfy the needs of the men.

And we live in a country, that we call our mother land, that proudly sings
“Maa Tujhe Salaam”, and worships the cow, a country has laws that are easy enough to encourage a criminal to have the guts to commit the crime again, and again, and again; giving a subtle hint to the rest of the population to fearlessly take the plunge too, if they shamelessly desire to.

We now know where the problem is, don’t we?

There’s no use weeping over spilt milk. We can’t change what’s beyond our reach. We can’t erase what has happened already, either. But we do have a hold on what’s yet to happen and what’s pretty much in our capacity to change, don’t we? Justice delayed rather than justice denied forever.

A cure, however small, isn’t easy. Let’s defy gravity and do all it takes, to prevent what makes this place uninhabitable to live in.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. It’s high time we get the adrenaline rush – to spring into action and change our attitudes.

P.S. We can’t get apples from a mango tree. We only reap what we sow, don’t we?

The “Stories That Touched Me” Series.

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Random stories that have made an impact in my life. Stories I like listening to, over and over again. Stories I cherish in that favorite corner of my heart.
Will post them here as I recollect them. Hope you enjoy reading them.

“There was this little boy who hated going to school. And doing anything related to it. Right from getting up early in the morning, brushing, bathing, having his breakfast, he sulked for everything. But the worst tantrums were reserved for, when he was made to wear his shoes. It was his daily habit to cry every time his mom made him wear the shoes.
That morning was no different. He sulked all through. And the moment his mom made him wear his shoes, he began screaming. And yelling. And crying. His mom thought it was the usual, and went ahead with tying his laces tight.

The boy died a few hours later.

He was a bit by a scorpion, which was resting in one of his shoes. The moment he had put his foot inside the shoe, the scorpion began to sting him. And the pain had made him scream, and cry and yell. His mom had presumed it was the usual. Only, the reason was different that day.”

P.S. My father used to narrate this to me when I was a kid. And asked me to always, always check and dust my shoes before I wore them. Might sound a common sense thing now, but back then, I always wanted reasons for everything I was asked to do. So.

 

Jangshersingh.com – Book Review

What the book is all about – A summary
(Summary Source : http://www.jangshersingh.com)

“Jangsher Singh, a top junior tennis player, meets with the sweetheart of his youth on one foggy afternoon outside his ancestral village in India. When he is caught in the midst of an intimate moment by her “very old-minded” brothers, the situation turns bloody; he will never again be the same. Several years later, a scarred Jangsher emerges in Melbourne at a Grand Slam, a rookie wildcard at the top of his game. 

His tournament record will determine the fate of two bumbling pseudo-geeks from Sydney—Yug and his tobacco-chewing cousin, Aman—who can’t seem to catch a break. The car they borrowed for their weekend getaway, an Audi R8 called Flame, has fallen into the hands of a brutish thief, and now they must do whatever they can to get it back.

Come Monday morning, will Yug be able to return Flame to its owner in Sydney? Will Jangsher be able to withstand the fierce gamesmanship of Hierro, the greatest southpaw ever to have played tennis? Might Aman be able to establish an official website for the Indian rookie in time to save himself from financial ruin?

Can Jangsher be victorious against Hierro? Will he end up facing the great and widely beloved Temujic—what chance might he possibly have of keeping up with the reigning champion? It will take guts of steel. No quarter shall be asked, and none given.”

Review :
A very confusing plot. Begins normally, but as the story progresses, the plot slows down, brings together a mix of characters and emotions, all scrambled up that confuses the reader, who loses track of the plot. Very poorly expressed. The author could have emoted each situation better. He ends up dragging the emotion each time, for want of better words.
Few chapters of the book are intriguing. Gripping. Makes one want to continue reading, find out more. But most of the chapters aren’t. The characterisation of each of the characters in the book is  soppy and weak, and doesn’t help elevating the interest of the reader towards the story. Specially the main characters around whom the story revolves. There isn’t anything magnetic about them that makes you want to know more about what’s happening to them, in their lives.
I went for the book after reading the summary – believing I would get to read a story of inspiration, an enjoyable account of emotions. I was disappointed. It didn’t make a pleasant/intriguing/enjoyable read for me. So, read it at your own risk.

This book review is a part of “The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program”. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com. 

Follow Your Heart!

I’m an obsessive pessimist for myself, and a persuasive optimist for the world. My funda? – Expect the worst out of everything possible, while putting in your best. Why? ‘Cause if something goes wrong, you’d not have a heart ache, and if something works well beyond expectations, you’d experience double the delight. Simple, ain’t it? 😉

Pointers I have charted out for myself, to help me move on when I have mucked things up, to help me rise when I fall, to help me keep going when I break down. I’d be more than glad if any of these help you too  – That’s another reason why I am sharing them here 🙂

1. You are unique specimen. One of a kind. Carve a niche for yourself than wanting to be another A, B or C. Have an identity and be proud to own it.

2. Be unapologetic about the way you look. Begin to love yourself. Begin to feel confident.

3. You are NOT perfect. You are a camouflage of errors. So before you lose your temper at anybody, think back, and watch your words.

4. Seize every moment. And live it like the way you would have, if no one was watching. Be eccentric.Be weird. Be silly. But, be you. The mask you put on will come off when you’re unguarded.

5. It’s never too late to correct yourself. So do it, the minute you realise you’ve erred. And rectify your errors before it’s too late.

6. Be ashamed. But have enough courage to own up.

7. Stop blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong in the world. You aren’t that important.

8. Understand what you want from life. Understand what’ll make you really happy in the long run. And do something only if it makes YOU happy, not because the entire country is doing it.

9. You aren’t answerable to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Don’t care about what each fly around you buzzes. Put together, it becomes noise, a.k.a. Useless.

10. Talk less. Let your work speak. Don’t talk of the accomplishments you’re going to create, even if you’ve got a plan in place. Let the rewards speak.

11. You become better by the day, you improve every second. So never stop trying. Never go into hiding. The world might lose a masterpiece.

12. You never know what you might end up doing. Or how you might end up being. So NEVER look down upon anybody, anything.

13. Be competitive. Be part of the race. And learn to win it.

14. Voice what you think. Your opinion matters, or, will begin to matter. Learn to make a difference – to you, to the ones around you.

15. You don’t always have to impress someone. Or have a reason for everything you do. Sometimes it’s good to do something just because it makes you happy.

16. Stand on your own two feet. Stop the self pity. Stop expecting sympathy for every mosquito bite you get. Have some self respect, or learn to earn it.

17. Earn your living. Be independent. Be a shoulder for someone to lean on.

18. Dream for the moon. Desire for what’s possible. Desire for what YOU can afford. It’s disgraceful to live in debt, however small.

19. Know where you stand, and work to better yourself to reach where you want. It’s good to get a reality check once in a while. Brings you back to earth, keeps you grounded.

20. Earn what you want. The “Beg, Borrow, steal” trick doesn’t work in life. Gifts, treaties, and trades don’t stay yours for long. Earn it, own it, cherish it. For LIFE.

21. Live every moment like crazy. Live the madness you’ve wanted to be in. Crush the fence you’ve built for yourself and break free. Spare yourself the regret. Smile, Laugh, Guffaw. Enjoy the moment when you are living it. Before it becomes a long lost dream.

The Haiku Jam

So, in my previous blog entry here, My Few Quatrains I had written about my love for Quatrains.
Now I’m writing about my love for Haiku. I was introduced to this awesome masterpiece on twitter – And man, I’m now totally, madly and completely in love with the app. What started off for me as a hobby, as a cure for my restlessness, has now become one of my major go-to sources for recreation, creativity enhancement, and a never disappointing source of joy.

Writing a Haiku is now like therapy for me. I enjoy the jamming, the process of writing and the output. Keeps all my tension at bay, and lets all my happiness stay.

How the HaikuJam app works :
1. Get the app here :
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.herokuapp.haikujam&hl=en_GB

2. Create a profile for yourself.

3. You have 2 options : Jam with the world, Jam with your circles.

4. Begin with Jam with the world until you form circles.

5. Go to the Jam area where an array of topics are displayed. Choose one and start your Haiku. Or you could come up with a topic yourself, and start writing.

6. Once done, hit on publish. Your Haiku will be circulated around for completion.

7. Likewise, you can contribute to others’ Haiku by clicking on Shuffle and choosing between the different Haikus available to add your bit to it.

That’s about it. Sounds cool, right?

I’m not exaggerating, people. This experience on HaikuJam is really worth a try. It’s exhilarating. It’s liberating. It’s AMAZING.

Well, people who love to play with words, and even those who don’t, it’s totally worth a shot. Go NOW and get the app. You can’t miss this. So, start jamming. Go Haiku 😉

P.S. While you are at it, spare a glance at  the Haiku I’ve written too. And join the circle. Let’s jam together 😉

My HaikuJam can be traced at 
http://haikujam.com/annapurani

Happy Tamil New Year

Let’s find new reasons to smile,

Spread happiness across every mile,

Create new memories and cherish what we had in the past,

For these are the treasures that will, forever last!

Have a fantastic new year!
   
                                          – Annapurani V

My Few Quatrains

Two days ago, I was introduced to this absolutely wonderful concept called Quatrains, on Medium.
Quatrains are, to cut the long story short, four-line verses, much like a complete poem, similar to a Haiku.

I thought I’d share the links to them here 🙂

“Ding dong bell,” @annapurani93 https://medium.com/@annapurani93/ding-dong-bell-23fdc94264ea

“Hop, step, jump” @annapurani93 https://medium.com/@annapurani93/hop-step-jump-7adefcd8dd4f

“Believe” @annapurani93 https://medium.com/@annapurani93/believe-2b7197a4b1bc

“Passion” @annapurani93 https://medium.com/@annapurani93/passion-affe5da4a0c2

“Silences” @annapurani93 https://medium.com/@annapurani93/silences-9064aa97a5ff

P.S. I’m also doing the Haiku Challenge on the HaikuJam app – I will be writing at least one Haiku everyday as long as I live 🙂
The experience is liberating, supremely calming.