Of Flowers, Of Gifts, Of Women And ‘Women’s day’

I’m a rebel (brought up in a male chauvinistic society). I don’t accept without questioning. And I’m far too outspoken for my own good. This is on behalf of every woman, who’s made/making a difference to the world in her own special way 🙂

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First things first. A very happy ‘Women’s Day’ to all the wonderful women out there. It’s really splendid to have a whole day totally dedicated to our glory, ain’t it? To salute our sacrifice, to realise our importance and to marvel at our greatness – we are supposedly ‘made’ to feel special this one date, every year, ear-marked in a calendar year of 365/366 days. Enchanteè!

But I feel this can be made even better. How? Lemme help figure that out.

How about treating us as equals, in right and respect, rather than making us feel ‘special’?

How about realising our existence in the society when we are about and alive rather than fake-immortalising us by marking a day in our glory?
Or even better.
How about letting us live the way we’d like to, every day, rather than allocating one day each year to let us know how privileged you are, to even co-exist with us?

How about ‘not compartmentalising’ work at home and outside – as in, I do understand men and women have different physical builds and I’m not challenging that. But how about ‘not differentiating’ between kids – by teaching and asking the sons too, to cook, wash, sew and clean – just like the daughters are taught and asked to. It wouldn’t harm them you see, rather, it’ll help sow seeds of respect for a woman right when they are kids, and encourage them to treat women as equals when they grow up.

How about us not having to wait for someone to fight for and ‘give’ us the rights we are entitled to, but getting to casually exercise them as easily as the men do?

It’s ironical I’m writing all this today; On ‘Women’s Day’. Ironical, that people look at Priyanka Chopra on Quantico and think women have it all (I’m inducing a bit of the mentality of the men of the society I’m living in). Ironical, that the larger section of the society still has women who are ‘forced’ to quit their jobs to take care of their children and in-laws. Ironical, that in spite of women being more educated, are still thought of as servile and assumed good enough just for the menial household chores. Ironical, that we celebrate Women’s Day in a society, where the husbands still call their wives in a gesture identical to shooing off a buffalo on the road. Ironical, we have Ki and Ka releasing in less than a month, yet I’m having to write this 😉

Ironical, but all the more apt.

Well, all I’m trying to say is –
‘Ye world, don’t immortalise us. We’d like to live, and live with respect.’ That’s the kind of harmony we have been looking for; not a day in our glory filled with flowers, false praises and plastic gifts. Agree?

Of Sunrises and Sunflowers

Each day is a new beginning, a new life from God – A sign that there’s still hope, and all is not lost. Yet. So do what you can, when you can – make up for all that you might have missed.
Oh, BTW, I’m definitely not being preachy 🙂

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It’s midnight.
It’s pitch black.
The silence is deafening.
There’s none beside,
Yet a millions voices scream inside –
Of errors and of sins I am guilty of,
Of my blunders and my lies,
Of my last and my past,
Of times I had bitched, deserted,
Of times I had cried out of regret and remorse,
Of my actions that had put dear ones to shame,
Of people whom I had let down,
Of people on whom I had trodden,
Of memories I cringe thinking of;
I now listen,
It’s time I did,
Not because I have no choice,
Only because I don’t want one.
I listen, not in a rush,
With a patience I didn’t know existed,
I hear what I should,
What I know is the truth,
Albeit weak, in demeanour;
Until –
The voices begin to mellow down,
For, they know, I know what they want me to know,
And I know I have to let go,
For that, is the only way onward,
I know I cannot stay on,
I know, I have to make peace;
Peace with myself and with the world,
It’s time I start afresh –
Leaving behind the traces of the past,
To make the ‘black’, beautiful,
And the ‘silence’, my solace;
With hopes of a new life, a new beginning,
With dreams of Infinite Sunrises and Blooming Sunflowers!

Book Review : “Life Mantras”

‘Life Mantras’ is a Non-Fiction, ‘motivation’ book by ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara. It is a collection of those very basic factors, emotions, and values of life, that you have been taught right from kindergarten by your teachers, parents, well-wishers etc., at every stage of your life; which will help you climb the ladder called ‘Life’, step by step.

The book comprises of 15 chapters spread into 233 pages, with each chapter dedicated to one important factor/facet of life that each of us would have undergone, at some point in life. The Q & A section at the end, is certainly a value-add to the book.

The author takes examples from his personal life experiences, and other simple stories from near and far. It does not contain anything that we do not know already. It might already exist in some part of our sub-conscious mind, which we tend to revive when we read the author’s account of the same. Though not an impelling read, this book gives a light, encouraging pat, and gently tries to convey to the reader that he can.

Life Mantras conveys what it is meant to – in simple,straight words, with a certain amount of motivation. Read it to find out the ‘mantras’ to success, retold with examples here.

The author could have worked on the emotion factor (certain portions are extremely drab)- it will most definitely help the reader connect to the book more, specially when he talks of his personal experiences and the like. The book could have also been written with more force and encouragement alike, so as to give the readers the required push, the required energy they look for, from a motivation book.

 

 

My tryst with the “Harry Potter” world

I dedicate this blog post to all my fellow Harry Potter fans in the world, for I’m sure you share the same emotions as me, if not more ❤

Harry Potter. What would I have done if these 2 words didn’t exist in the world I live in?
All thanks to Mrs.Ramakrishnan, a family friend, on whose insistence I got my hands on my first ever Harry Potter book.(It was hers, actually 😛). It was “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, Book 3 of the series. ( I was in Class VIII then. I had no clue about the Harry Potter legacy till then – I hadn’t taken the time out or interest to read anything related to it, sparing a few articles that had appeared in The Hindu.)
I started reading the book the moment I reached home, finished it overnight and though I hadn’t known one single character until then, from that moment on, I felt I belonged in their world. Then started my hunt for the rest of the books of the series. I read them all, once, twice, thrice, as many times I wanted to. I still continue to. And every time I read it, I feel I’m there, in person, being part of everything that’s happening in that magical world. That’s exactly what one reads books for. In that world of Harry Potter – that Ms Rowling had created, I always got answers to my questions. I learned what it was like, to be loved, to be cared for, to be understood. It taught me the value of friendship, and friends. I understood what courage really was. It taught me to live. Though it was a work of fiction – to me, it was, is and will continue to be one of my prime sources of happiness. To me, The Harry Potter series is ‘like’ Bhagavad-Gita( Nothing, of course, can ever replace The Bhagavad-Gita☺), My soul-mate. My all time favourite go-to source – whether I’m happy, sad, angry or distraught; any time, every time. I keep referring to contexts from the book or try and quote my favourite lines from them, whenever I can, as often as I can. Reading Harry Potter is like therapy for me – the best I give myself. It keeps me oblivious to the misery out there in the world, providing me the solace I yearn for. Harry Potter, for me, has now grown to be a habit, a treasure, an emotion, that I will gladly cherish for LIFE.

P.S. I am ETERNALLY indebted and grateful to
Ms. J.K. Rowling – Thank you heaps, Ma’am, for bringing Harry Potter into our lives. I simply can’t imagine mine without it.

Also, I’m happily excited that the legacy is going to expand with the release of “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts I & II”. I will get to go through the same phenomenal experience I used to have every time a new book in the series got released. So, I’m more than eagerly looking forward to one more inclusion into my inseparable Harry Potter collection.

P.P.S. Even as I write this, I’m reading Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows for the umpteenth time 💙 – I’m, undoubtedly, a Harry Potter Holic for LIFE!

SRI VISHNU SAHASRANAMAM (SHLOKA 20) – PART 29

“Maheshvaaso Maheebharta Srinivasas Sataam-gatih
Aniruddhas Suraanando Govindo Govidaam Patih”
Brilliantly explained.

Divya Kataksham

In this Part we will explore the meaning of the 20th Shloka of Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam.

  Shloka 20Maheshvaaso Maheebharta Srinivasas Sataam-gatih   |
Aniruddhas Suraanando Govindo Govidaam Patih          ||20||

Purport:
Bhagavan is the wielder of the divine bow and the One who held up the Earth during Pralaya by taking the Varaaha Avataar. He has Goddess Lakshmi eternally on his chest and holds her close to his heart as Srinivasa and bestows the highest destiny attainable by those who seek Him. He manifests in various forms and cannot be obstructed by anyone from bestowing his grace on his devotees. As Govinda, He gives protection to all his devotees and since He is also the master of words, He is the protector of the Vedas.

The above Shloka contains the following Namas:

  1. Maheshvaasah
  2. MaheeBharta
  3. Srinivasah
  4. Sataam-Gatih
  5. Aniruddhah
  6. Suraanandah
  7. Govindah
  8. Govidaam Patih

Now let’s examine the meaning of the above Namas:

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It’s Noise, Nevertheless.

It’s been close to 2 days since the speakers started blaring – songs in praise of the former ruling party. Reason – The Ex-MLA’s son is getting married. All the more reason for the entire locality to celebrate, ain’t it? Atleast that’s what ‘they’ say. (Read ‘they’ as the Ex-MLA and his henchmen)
Well, it isn’t wrong to celebrate happiness, but keeping it private would do. In a locality where there are the aged, ailing patients, students preparing for exams, this is definitely not the ideal environment they’d like to be in. Even if it’s a matter of just a week. And this is certainly not the first time something like this is happening. But this time, it gave me all the more reason to crib and complain, because, not one person (from the current ruling party or the former) who claims to seek our welfare, who want us to be part of their celebration now, stepped out, to check if everyone was safe, to help the locality out during the recent floods.

Meanwhile, in other news, the ruling party proclaims that the citizens of the state love the party so much, that they want it to continue it’s rule. Oh! Such misinterpretations.

Makes me wonder when these so-called leaders of the society, will actually try to sincerely find out what the common man really wants. Just saying.

The Mountain of ‘Faith’

A few days back, I read a short story in which, a little girl goes to a temple with her father. There she spots lions engraved on the pillars around. She cries out of fear to her father, saying she was scared that the lions might come and eat her up. Her father cools her down telling her that those lions were not real and were mere figures engraved on the stone pillars. To which the little girl asks him “if those lions are just stone figures, and won’t eat me, then how can the stone sculptures of God come and bless me and grant me what I wish for?”. The father gapes. Simple question. Yet, it managed to trigger enough emotions in me, to make me write this piece.

Right from childhood, I and several others belonging to my generation and before, coming from similar households, have been brought up with stories of ‘Prahlad’ and ‘Thayumanavan’ among other memorable ones.

‘Prahlad’ – A story where Lord Vishnu emerges from a pillar to bless his devotee Prahlad and save him from the clutches of his father Hiranyakashyap – thereby restoring the faith that everything belonged to the Supreme Almighty and his divine presence can be felt in every micron of the universe.

‘Thayumanavan’ – It’s a heart warming story where Lord Shiva transforms himself into an expecting lady’s mother, to help her during her critical hour of labour and helps her deliver her child sans any pain, hurt and harm.

‘Faith’ is a very powerful weapon. And faith entrusted in the wrong people and places, results in havoc. Yet, faith, CAN move mountains. Where there is faith, there will never be reason for doubt. Or fear. Or questions and question marks. Faith will probably be the only miracle that will create a world of difference to you, wherever you go. And probably also bring alive the lions from the pillars, or the Supreme Lord from the Stone sculpture. Hahaha, no, I’m not being stupid. Or idealistic. Nor am I chiding the little girl. All I’m saying, is, if she believes praying to the “Stone Sculpture of God”, in the temple will make a difference to her thoughts, it definitely WILL. And I’m saying this, because, I “Believe”.