Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Straight but natural!

I had a craze for long hair, although for much of my growing up years, my hair was never beyond shoulder length. My mother always made me get a hair cut and said NO to long hair before I was old enough to manage it on my own. She also had a valid reason to not let it grow long. My hair wasn't particularly thick and lustrous and the belief is a regular trimming of the hair follicles makes it much healthier.

But, I had a normal straight hair which I absolutely loved. Both my mother and sister had very curly hair and I have never envied them for their curls. I loved straight hair.
Of course my hair wasn't the drop dead straight ironed kind of look, but who doesn't like a perfectly straight hair? These days, people go for chemical bonding which kind of permanently straightens the hair till the next growth. This wasn't done in my times, but it doesn't mean that I did not get my hair straightened.
What I did was, take care of my hair in a more natural way, feed my hair with a lot of oiling, shampooing also. I remember everyday I used to apply a small quantity of henna paste and amla and shikakai on my hair after I came back from school. Keep it on my hair for a couple of hours and then wash it before I had to step out of the house again for other activities. Every odd week, apply curd or egg and treat my hair as it was the most precious part of my body. 

The result was that by the time I was in high school, I had fairly good quality and naturally straight hair. I always had it open and disliked to tie or braid it lest it left a mark on my straight hair. Sometimes people mistook me to be a Sikh just because of the long hair that I flaunted!

Around 10 years ago, when the process of bonding or the tongs which straightened the hair wasn't available in the hair care segment, I had gone to a beauty parlour and asked them to straighten my hair like the Chinese had. The pin drop kind of straight hair which one can't get through blow drying only. So what they did was take a clothes iron and pressed my hair with it. It came out pretty well, and I started to iron (with an iron) it whenever I had to make an appearance at a function. It was all going good, but I think so much of heating and pressing made the hair quality rough and dry. 

I realised subsequently that good hair is not straight or curly, but good hair is that which is healthy inside out. What I was doing is only ironing the creases which were visible and not caring for the root of why the hair was not looking good naturally?! I have stopped this ironing or blow drying long time back. I have come to realise that the best hair can only be if it is naturally good thick and lustrous. 
Straight hair is so much in vogue nowadays, with every woman saving every money to splurge on rebonding after rebonding. Sure, it looks so organised and not a hair out of place, but somehow, I like the odd strand to peep out of nowhere and fall in light curls on my face. It looks so nice.

Recently I saw Talaash, I dont know if Rani was wearing a wig or not. But her natural look along with the natural fall of her hair was what made me gasp in wonder (and I am a woman not a man).
Here is a picture of Rani and the naturalness of her straight hair.

Sure, my experiment with straight hair is not the wackiest or craziest one but am I not grateful to stop it in time!! I rest my case!

Picture from here

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why did Betty lose?

Why did Betty lose out to Veronica?

Betty was nice sweet girl next door, the girl every son would want to take home to his mother.
Dependable and caring and most importantly always available!

She has eyes ears and nose only for Archie, she had empathy for every one but she loved only one.
And this putting all her eggs in one basket was her fatal flaw.

She was tooo boring for Archie, he didn't get the kick of a challenge when it came to Betty, she should have scorned him a bit, just showed him the door or said NO to him once in a while, which would have gotten him the hots for her.

But, alas the sweet girl she was, she didnt have the nerve or the heart to behave that way with her beloved Archie.

I had decided long time back that I was never going to be a Betty. A Betty will always be a doormat, and too boring, always available is too boring.

Now, let me see this from Betty's perspective. Why did she go after Archie?
The same thing no? He didn't give a damn about her? He was nice and sweet to her, but he didn't make her feel special.
He did care for her too, but face the fact, he didn't have the hots for her, and Betty could have had any other, there were some who had the hots for her, but she wanted the same thing. Some thrill and zing with a person with whom she had to add an extra effort to catch his attention.

The effort I am talking about is not about being dependable and available for that person!
On the contrary it means to be aloof a bit, arrogant and proud a bit.
Someone who is like Veronica!!
Yes, be yourself, live for yourself, and seek your own pleasure above anyone else.
No matter how much you love that person, never let him or her know you are available for him.
No matter how much one can crave for that perfect relationship, where two souls are like one, where one breathes and the other lives, where one eats and the other is full.
This doesn't happen and if it happens, you want to clutch it with both hands and the further then it goes away from you.
Face it, its next to impossible, so if it happens you are one in a million, but most of us aren't that lucky.

I have a bit of advice for the Betty's out there, if you are one, get rid of that attitude, because the world is not fit for Bettys. You will be used and discarded and termed too boring or too plain Jane!!

As my mom told me, this happens only in movies and stories and in real life, it is like bubbles of water, so fragile that it breaks with as much as just a touch!!

Am I glad I made the right choice!!

Picture from here

Monday, August 6, 2012

Arrange it by love only!

Outwardly I am the one modern girl, but when it comes to traditions and customs, I don't dare to challenge them and rebel against them. So when my time came and was going to tie the knot, I very much knew what I had to do. Yes, Arranged marriage was the one for me. I did all the research and all data pointed out that arranged marriages last and not the love marriages which have a high divorce rate.

I don't think the affairs I had were hardly "love", they were mostly infatuation affairs where there was not a single one I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Apart from all this society attaches a stigmatic approach towards love marriages which made me shun love marriages even more.

I was quite a fan of fairy tales and romantic movies where the hero is every girl's dream man. Between friends we would spend the whole day thinking who would that one be? Which alphabet would his name start with? We each would make a list of what we would like in our man. The best alpha male should be tall dark handsome and a typical MB hero.

Alas, The ideal man perhaps didn't exist or I wasn't capable of finding him. And why should I be so bothered when my parents were so eager to shoulder the responsibility of finding him for me. In any case we are still a conservative community where love marriages are far and few in between. I was even more convinced that my parents would know what is best for me and hence I had no qualms for going for the arranged marriage.

Now I got married into a joint family and which was a boon in disguise. I have come to realise that arranged marriage is an integral part of the arranged marriage system. A joint family is also a kind of support like arrange marriage is, where there is not two people who get married to each other, but the families also get married to each other. So, the presence of joint family is a must for arrange marriage to survive.

What happens is, in arranged marriage, the couple are not so interactive with each other. There are so many members in the house and spending time with each one of them does not leave much time or energy to interact with each other. When I would complain to my mom about the lack of time and love I got from my partner, she would explain that, "you are lucky you are in a joint family, because as long as you will stay with his parents and others, he will be more empathetic towards you and love you more, because you take care of his family, rather when you will live alone, then in the absence of a third person, you two will start to fight amongst yourself." She seemed logically correct and so I was quite satisfied with her explanation.

There is another major advantage why I strongly believed in arrange marriages. The guarantee and support of parents for a lifetime. To tell you the truth, this was the major reason I finally succumbed to arranged marriage. So I was sure, if anything would go wrong, my parents were there. If I had opted for love marriage, this option was null and void.

These days however, due to the dwindling practice of joint family system which is the root of the plant called arranged marriages, love marriages may be the one choice to make. The right person may not come early in life because one does not have the maturity to know what or who is right for oneself. So early marriage is out. One may well be in his late twenties or thirties before one does tie the knot, if at all, there is someone who is worth it.

In modern nuclear families, where only the husband and wife live under the same roof, there is bound to be more friction if their mentalities don't match. So nowadays, both should have the same kind of wiring and share the same wave length. This is possible only when both meet and court each other for a longer time and get to know each other completely before deciding to settle together and start a family. So, even if the marriage is arranged by the parents, it is important that YOU should also know what you want and like in your partner. Parents look for the stability and security a man offers, But YOU have to decide if he is the right companion for you, a friend for you or a guide for your entire life.

The responsibility now lies entirely on the couple and not the parents or any other relatives, so now with more freedom to choose for own self, the love should be more mature and responsible. More than love, it should be about practical living. Excess romanticism in the beginning will increase the expectations of each other, which is bad for the long term stability of the relationship. In real life, no one will bring you stars or sing songs in the rain. and those who will, will not do it forever. Don't ask for such things either, as they are not long term requisites in a partner.

Looking at the current and future scenarios, the world has become a smaller place and with so much communication and opportunities, one should be able to find a partner by themselves and opt for love marriages. Love marriages are not a bad option and quite a positive one if YOU know what YOU want!!

As I said, the arrange marriage is just the stem of the plant of which joint family is the root. So, look where you are going before you finally decide on which one is suitable for you!!

check out more at http://www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Honesty prays

My seven year old nephew is very God fearing and is ready before noon to offer his friday prayers.

Today being a friday, he had a special wish to ask from God!

He was seen earnestly praying and offering his salaat.

When I asked what was it he was asking Allah.

He replied, " Allah and Satan fought and Allah won. So Allah has locked Satan in the bathroom."
So he said he was asking Allah to please take out Satan from the bathroom and lock him elsewhere because it has become very difficult for him to go to the bathroom even during the daytime And he is so scared that Satan may hurt him inside the bathroom.

Amazing wishes of the kids!

Picture from here

This entry is a part of the contest at <a title="The Largest and the most active community of Indian Bloggers" href="http://www.blogadda.com" target="_blank">BlogAdda.com</a> in association with <a title="Your Khatti Meethi Family" href="http://www.imlee.com" target="_blank">imlee.com</a>

cup or prize?

My kids are having their final exams. My son came back from school today and I asked him the usual," How was the paper?" he replied that it was fairly easy.

Now last quarter my son had been rather good and was awarded with full marks in his General Knowledge test. This got my aspirations and hopes higher for him. Now I want him to get full marks in all his subjects.
I always ask him after the end of each test, "full marks?"
He tried to explain to me that the GK marks he got was because that particular test was quite easy, and he added that almost all the boys scored well in that GK one, though only he got full, and just because he got it once doesn't mean he will get it all the time.
:( So much for my hopes.

 He further explained to me that it is one thing to get a prize in sports and another to get it in academics. He said that in sports, one got the prize at the end of the day and the prize is so sought after like the world cup and everyone wants to touch it. While in academics, one gets it after the end of a year of slogging and that too, it is a small prize comparatively and most probably a book!

I was dumbfounded! these kids come out with the most logical explanations at times..

Picture from here

This entry is a part of the contest at <a title="The Largest and the most active community of Indian Bloggers" href="http://www.blogadda.com" target="_blank">BlogAdda.com</a> in association with <a title="Your Khatti Meethi Family" href="http://www.imlee.com" target="_blank">imlee.com</a>

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ride ride and away..

In olden days, a middle class well to do joint family owned one car while many bikes or scooters, unlike nowadays where there are per car per member of the family. I was a part of one such family.
I grew up seeing my father ride a bullet. He had this big bike he had bought in the year 1967. It had a sputtering sound which I always identified with him. The bike was already a decade old by the time I was born and he rode it till around I was more than 2 decades old, after that he had less use of it as his travelling decreased due to his office at home kind of work. That bike is still there, a little rusty though because of lack of usage.
That's the bike, almost an antique no?
Now, he would always ride his bullet with complete gear, meaning, he would always wear hand gloves, a well covered helmet and a riding leather jacket even in those times. I mean I saw my uncles (4 of them) always with upgraded new models of bikes, and they just rode without any gear. Papa on the other hand was meticulous and very particular about safe riding. This is also the reason perhaps why my father never met with any accident, while all of my uncles had an accident due to their careless attitude towards riding their bikes. As a result, one day one came home with a bleeding nose and another day another uncle with a fractured leg.

There was one more thing, he rode at one speed, neither very fast nor slow.
I observed riding on his pillion that when we went anywhere he would always be left behind other bikers who would zoom past us and I felt like oh why cant he ride a bit faster?! But by the time, we reached the traffic signal, I found the riders who had earlier zoomed past us waiting impatiently there. So, I realised that since we weren't actually in a race, the one who zoomed past us didn't actually win by speeding!
My father explained that driving at a constant speed increases the fuel efficiency and also enhances the life of both the bike and bike rider! I couldn't disagree with him even for the sake of the love for thrill!

Riding a bike is obviously not at all feminine in the conformed sense of the word. But what was the harm in learning to drive one? So, when the kinetic honda came along which had a small button as a starter and you did not have to kick start it, I tried my hands on it and managed to drive it. I am quite a good cyclist, so maintaining balance wasn't difficult. The only difference is that the bike certainly feels heavy to handle! I decided I was not going to be much of a rider and so gave up much practising on it.

Apart from my father, two of my school teachers rode bullets. I really looked up at them for being able to drive such a fierce machine. Even though I wasn't a rider, I really liked rides on bikes. Its thrilling to have the wind blow at your face at full speed and you feel as if you are almost flying. I missed this while driving a car, because even with the windows down, you cant romance the wind like you do when you are on a bike!

These days youngsters drive very recklessly and for this reason, my father never allowed my brother a bike. Instead he bought him a car for safety purposes. Its not just the bikers I think, its the lack of time that people have and the need to always hurry. Every other day we hear a smashed skull due to a bike accident. Last year, a class 12 student of my daughter's school died because he rode without a helmet. Its so heartbreaking to see young lives waste away because of reckless driving. I don't say accidents happen only in bikes, but a car accident is less catastrophic than a bike accident.

Bike riding is nice and fun, but please remember you have to reach somewhere and that is why you use a bike and you are not in a race where you have to come first. My father was a bike lover and a great rider, who treated his bike and himself with utmost care. When we talk of bike riding, we think of thrill, adventure and speed, but its more than just all that. It is first of all a vehicle which makes transportation quick and makes the narrowest alley accessible. It is a great innovation and a beautiful machine. A passionate rider would not be one who zip zap and zooms, rather I think he would be someone like my father who would love the machine as a man loves his better half!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Multitasking man

Women are more often called multitaskers
Today I saw a man multitasking. I was pleasantly surprised.
I usually thought that I had no patience to become a shopkeeper or even a teacher. Especially shopkeepers seemed to be doing nothing, except endlessly waiting for the customer to come and buy. Their work made me want to go to sleep. I would rather become a labour in a factory where I continuously worked each cell in my body. Being still is so lethargic!!

Now, this man, is the owner of a shop which sells nick nacks, like chips chocolates small items basically.
It was right in the middle of a hot afternoon and I looked at either side of his shop, there were shops like his which had no customers and the keepers were either just staring out into the street in anticipation of spotting a customer, or idlying and almost dozing off.

Why am I so impressed with him? What was he doing? He was basically utilising his free time. A man who had ability to value time and perhaps a sense of time management. He may not hold a degree to get good jobs in a higher office. He may be slow in getting rich because perhaps his expenditure was at par or more to his income for whatever reason (likely a big family). But, I think WOW what efficiency! If I owned a company, I would look out for people who value time and people like him just fit the bill!

He was a bit surprised when my daughter went right up to his shop and took this picture. You can see he is staring right back into the camera!! :P

Please note he is not ironing his own clothes, he takes clothes like a dhobi does to iron them and return to the owners in order to get paid for his services. He is running a two in shop and offering his services and goods via the same outlet.
Ironman plus shopman! isnt it wonderful time management? I don't mind shopkeeping any more. He has shown me that it can be made much more enjoyable!

I found this cartoon picture and I couldn't help relating to enjoying work even if you hate it.

nine pins game, only the ball is the head which is chopped off!! :P

(sorry for those who get offended, but the choppers also need to enjoy their work!!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rewarding is worth it!

I was having tea and like the Tata tea ad (jaago re) suddenly it seemed as if it was the tea which enlightened me.
I usually have a habit of going back in time..
I am quite surprised at my own chain of thoughts..
This is how it all started..
While sipping my evening tea, my eyes fell on the neatly lined up shoes of my toddler.
I was thinking, barely she is 2 and she has such a collection.. So cute it looks small shoes of different colours.
And then, I was reminded of the fairy tale I read in junior school, "the elves and the shoemaker."
The shoemaker is very poor and day by day his fortunes seemed to be dwindling. One night, all he has left is enough scrap of leather to make just one pair of shoes. He tells his wife, he has no ways to survive after he sells off that pair. He cuts the leather to be sewn the next morning. Lo and Behold, when he wakes up the next morning and goes to his workshop, he finds them neatly stitched already. He is amazed at the neatness of the work, but cannot understand who had done it.

A wealthy customer happens to come to buy a shoe and the shoemaker shows him the only pair he had. The customer is so taken by the shoe that he pays the shopkeeper double the rate quoted for the shoe. ( you can read the rest of the story here ) Here I start thinking, how many of us would actually do that? Get a good thing for a less price is something we all like. But, can it happen that a simple honest man sells at a very low rate and the buyer which means mostly people like us, recognises the effort and pays him back double.

Ok forget about being so generous, how many of us if by mistake got something more from a shop than what we paid for would be not ecstatic that we got it free and return it to the shop the next day? Or perhaps sometimes, paid a bill and got more change because the keeper couldn't calculate?
It has happened with me, I bought 4 dresses and they charged me for only 3. Perhaps they faulted in the counting since all were of the same amount. Anyways, I went back after a couple of days, to buy more. They did not seem to remember any mistake, but when they were billing, I told them to add the price of one more dress which i had bought the previous day and charge it to the current bill.

No, I don't do it because I am very good at heart. I am very careless too. Many times, I have left the counter after paying and before collecting the change. Many and I say many because it has happened more than a few times, they have run after me to give me back my change. I wouldn't be knowing if there were any who did not return, because I just seem to be so lost and in such hurry most of the times. I would do the same for anyone because I know how people can be preoccupied with things and make mistakes. I can keep myself in their positions and I can understand them. What I mean is, probably I have the warmth to do it because people have been kind to me. Even if I was duped at any time, I hope to not have a change of heart and start to take out vengeance from other people. Terrorists do this, they take revenge simply because they suffered in the hands of others.

What if we all started to actually go back and paid for things which was by mistake left unpaid?
What if we were to return back honestly a payment excessively made or returned the change because the other forgot to?
What if we actually rewarded with more than the price because we know it is worth more?

I have been able to do the first two, and most would have probably. Thinking of the third one, rewarding when ever I get a chance.. To reward or give more because I feel I haven't given enough payment and that the product or services that I am buying is worth more than what I paid for.

This can be done when we make our employees work for us. Services specially is something which is not measurable in kilograms or litres or anything like that for that matter. Most times, services is measured by the amount of time given by someone. He or She comes for this and this much hours so we pay this and this amount of money. But, many times, The quality of time spent is different, meaning the work done in that time, more work in less time or better quality, more efficiency. Should not people who are in a position to reward, should reward if they get more than their fair amount in return?

I met my cousin recently. He was telling me of his beginning days in the service industry. He said he had joined office full of enthusiasm and in the most optimistic of I will change the world attitude. He told me, whenever there was any problem, he would be ready to deal with it and would want to go to the core of it. But, his seniors neither gave him the time nor the advice to go to the core. So all he would do was just rectify  the mistake so that the process would go on. Today, he says he believes that all that matters is that the job should be done not how it is done. Sadly he has given up and changed with the world. He sees the many recruits who join work as enthusiastic as he once was, but he thinks to himself, its just a matter of time when they will too join him. An incentive or reward perhaps matters a lot.

A friend of mine once told me that he used to go to the hospital for treatment for his mom. when after a month or so his mom's health improved lots and he was so happy with her improvement, he asked for the nurse who used to look after her and asked the doctor if he could reward her separately besides paying the hospital bills. The doctor let him and he gave the nurse a handsome tip. She must be so must encouraged by this gesture and so much more richer in soul because of such deeds.

Would n't the world be a better place and much organised were there people like the gentleman who came to the shoemaker and gave him double the price of one shoe because he saw it fit to be worth more?
Of course, all of us are not corporate bigwigs who have the authority to reward. Surely we can do our little tit bits by raising our voice, by rewarding whenever we feel that we got more than we paid for and not take advantage of honest people?

PS. Make sure you read the story too! The elves got their rewards too!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Heal the world!

The telephone bell rings..
Ring? Ring? Ring? Ring?
There is no one to answer the call

Question 1 : Do you know who the caller is?
Answer 1 : The caller is mother Earth.

Question 2 : Do you know who the receiver is or should be?
Answer 2 : You, me and everybody.

Question 3 : Why is no one answering the call then?
Answer 3 : No one can hear...or perhaps not bothered.

Question 4 : Are you saying people are deaf?
Answer 4 : No, they are just thick skinned. They just don't get it if its not loud enough.

Question 5 : They seem to be picking every other call but?
Answer 5 : Sure, sometimes they are annoyed by the number of calls they get from the telemarketing or banks etc offering them some schemes, hearing of which they first turn pink (blush) because they hear the word free gift or something like that, then suddenly it changes to crimson(anger) when they find that the free is just to lure them so that they can be talked to for some idea they want to sell first.  Apart from this, there is the problem of too much noise pollution and it has also deafened our ears. Too many factories churning out products which we can well live without. We make far too many things and purchase far too many than really required. Everyone is greedy for more. The more they have the more they want.
I tell you people have no time to talk unless it is free, or discounted heavily for that matter. Its another thing that what they think is free is firstly something they don't really "need" and secondly the free is marked with a * which has a fine print in the bottom which is "conditions apply," meaning they are not really free by itself, its just free after you buy something.

Question 6 : Isn't mother Earth offering everything FREE.
Answer 6 : You have a point there. I guess its about economics and dosage. She has been on sale since eternity. So the law of diminishing marginal utility has actually negated the thrill of getting so many things for free. For the layman, this law simply means that if you eat a rosogolla, the first one gives you immense satisfaction. The second gives lesser and so by the time you are having your 10th rosogolla you want to puke, even if you have paid for all 10.
Now imagine how the effect is for free free free.. endless dosage.. the more you have the less you get joy from it.

Question 7 : Hmm, this call seems doomed!! Mother Earth will have to try some other way to call or signal?

Answer 7 : Well, I have been thinking its the skin at fault and not the ear.

Question 8 : Skin? Not the ear? What do you mean?
Answer 8 : Yes, Thick skin. You see people have become more and more thick skinned. The more people talk, the less they do and this has created a noise (as well as fat under their skin because of less doing and more talking) which no one cares to listen to. There is a hindi proverb, "laaton ke bhooth baaton se nahi maante." It means you got to kick people to get them to work. Probably she has to do something big or loud enough to attract attention. 

Our mother is suffering and she is in immense pain, so she keeps ringing.

Question 9 : She has given signals in the form of natural disasters..but she insists on calling more..I wonder why?
Answer 9 : We all know why.. Don't we? She needs to be cared. She is someone who is given us much and unflinchingly still gives. But we take far too much advantage. She is crying for help. We are her doctors. She wont give up, she believes, she will get an answer one day...

" There's a place in your heart, and she knows that it is love."

That is why she is called Mother. Mothers are givers. But, it doesn't mean we only take and not return. She will not use the kick unless we compel her too. We don't want any more earthquakes and Tsunami's do we? Don't you think that the time has come when we should start healing and caring for Mother earth? We should "ACT NOW" or it will become a case of never ever...
Disclaimer: The title and a line is used from a Michael Jackson song.

Thank you voice of india for inspiring me to write this.

Pictures from hereherehere and here

Sunday, March 18, 2012


A cousin dropped in today.
This guy is very funny. I mean he was actually funny in a very funny way.
Let me tell you the first time I thought he was really funny.
He was perhaps in class 5 or so. Pretty much a kid.
He came back from school one day in march many years ago. Since we all lived together then, I still remember very clearly that funny day. He had come home from school and his mom checked his question paper asked him the usual, "beta, you knew all the answers na, did you write them all na?"

He said, he answered to all of them, except one. 
"Why, you forgot the answer? his mom asked.
Now just be ready to hear the most funny answer a kid could ever give. 
He said, "they asked the same question in the half yearly paper, I had given right answer then, so they can go and check from half yearly papers, why should I waste time to write again?" 

Today, he is a young lad, I happened to ask him about his graduation results, he said he passed second class. He had an elder sister who was good in studies, and I asked him how much did she get?
Again the funny reply, " oh these sisters are so padhaakoo (studious) types, what they get in one year, I get it in 2 years.
I was looking at him confused.. what do you get in two and they get in one?
He replied in his usual care a damn attitude, " marks.. I get around 80 or 90 max in 2 years and they get it in one year!!

Funny no? 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Paradigm shift

A change for the better or worse?
Everything changes, sometimes for or against us. Sometimes we think the change is for good but there is always a good and bad side to every change. It is good to take into stock how much of the good overrides the how much of the bad the change will bring unto us.

We keep harping only on the benefits of change, but sometimes we need to take a closer look at the change. Isn't the world a much changed place now? In the last century there is tremendous change, in the last decade there is a whole lot of change. Are we changing too fast? Do we need to take stock of the pace of change? I think yes.

Paradigm shifts are major changes. Society has undergone a paradigm shift. According to the mayan calendar, 2012 is the year the world will end. I don't see much changes to alarm us in that aspect but I do see one change, which is alarming to me. I see women taking more and more charge everywhere. I see women cut off their lovely locks so that they can go for work unfettered about their looks. I see men, who had shoulders to lay a head to cry or sleep in peace, have now shoulder length hair!! I see the world which was headed by men come to end.

Which woman doesn't want this to happen? Doesn't dream about her man carrying her on his strong arms?!
I am quite capable of looking after myself. This doesn't mean, I am like a man, although I really like a real man. The most primitive instinct in any animal between the male and female is that the male protects and the female serves. The masters of the universe cannot be renamed the mistresses of the universe. As a female, I don't want to dominate, I want to be submissive and demure and all the feminine qualities and let the man be a man. If I take over the roles of men, then men will start to lose authority and many already have. Where do you see a strong spirited man now? All I see are strong spirited women. I am one of them too. But, I can't be dishonest to myself, I can't be truly happy with this change. This change is going against the very law of nature. However strong a woman is, she should try not to overrule a man just because she is strong. Make your man stronger if you are strong. Don't make him meek or you will be sorry.

For example, if you are a woman, and you are attracted to any man, as a woman you would want him to give you a tight hug. As a man he would want to crush you in his arms, right? You would want to yield to his physical strength, that would give you pleasure, the yielding and not otherwise. How can a mouse of a man be able to do that to a lion of a woman? tut tut!

get up MAN. 
A last message (appeal) to all men reading out there, what happened? Where are you hiding? The strong men who gave us our freedom? The men who respected women? You still have the balance of nature in your favour. You can't give up so easily. I wanted to be a man when I grew up, because I love men. Men who are the guardians and saviours of the world. Come on show the women the care you gave them and command respect not demand it. 
Be smart woman, hunting is tougher than cooking!
I am quite strong, I won't take nonsense or male chauvinism. I want to respect men, but men have to earn it too! Don't try to use authority on me, deal with me fairly. I don't ask for discounts, or a separate line for queue, if you can stand long enough so can I.  

Sure, both are at fault. Some bad men who misused their strength and power, abused women. Women in turn left the house and crossed the threshold of their homes, to take on those evil men and become independant. But surely, one must not get too carried away. All men are not evil, and all women need not look at men with contempt. Give a little, take a little. Men and women both need each other, but not try to dominate each other. Man gives woman takes. Keep it as simple as that. 
Keep it simple woman. You ask for dishes and then complain who will wash them?
Many women demand things, which only complicates their lives and instead of blaming the men entirely, think twice, who asked for a big house and more money and demanded so much from men that they had to distance themselves from you and work harder to get you things that he thought would make you happy. Did you not then complain that he was spending less time with you? You decide now, you want to spend time or his money?

I am not implying women are below men. She should be strong and sensible, yet she should not try to put down the man because she is strong, try to boss over him and take his place. She should try to encourage him, boost his confidence and build his psyche. This is for her own good. Nature has meant it to be that way. I am sure any woman, even the strongest will never be a truly happy one, with any man less stronger than her!

Please note; Stayfree is the reason I am writing this. And women could best stay free when she is at home, enjoying the leisurely afternoon naps or cuddling with their kids whenever they want to.
Also, I am not old fashioned at all. And I am not against liberalisation of women. But all I am saying is, a change is good if it has MORE benefits than harm!! Think about it.

Let the men do all the hard work, because they are meant to. No?

( I am sure, I will be sued by feminists!! Help!!)

This post is written for my entry to the contest on indiblogger "Time to change" sponsered by stayfree.

Please visit to like the facebook page. Thank you.

Picture from herehere,hereherehere (in order)

Friday, March 2, 2012

I almost lost her!

The Kanpur central station announced the arrival of Kalka mail from Howrah on platform no 6.
My husband was coming to receive me. I had my kiddos with me. My daughter was barely 7 and son was 5 then.

"Munni, hold this packet and hold your brother's hand and don't leave it," I instructed to my daughter. There was more than 2 big luggages and we had to hire a coolie. We still had to carry the small bags and packets which seem to keep on increasing in number till we actually get on the journey. I was carrying a small bag and a purse in one hand, with the other I held my son's hand fiercely.

The coolies (porter) have a habit of racing to the exit once the load is on them. One can't really blame them for they would want to offload the burden as quickly as possible so they run literally and  give us a chase after them lest they abscond with our luggages and precious valuables!!
My husband kept in pace with the porter and I was left far behind because I had to match the pace of my little children. It was so crowded and I kept looking ahead and managed to keep my husband in view. Those were not my (meaning I did not own one but my husband did) mobile days yet so getting lost was a probability.
a view of the railway station
After climbing the over bridge and hurriedly walking, I once or twice glanced at my kids and told them to walk faster. They were nice obedient kids (back then). They naturally understood me and tried to sprint to match my steps. I kept my speed nonetheless giving no discount to the kids. I am quite a terror mom :(

My heart skipped a beat as I neared the station exit. I was holding my son's hand and my daughter was nowhere to be seen. I thought perhaps she had raced ahead to her papa. I looked back and forth, it was so crowded and everyone seemed in a rush. A thousand bad things came to my mind. What if she was kidnapped? What if she was never found? OH! what will happen to my little baby? I had tears in my eyes. I shouted at my husband to ask him if munni was with him. He said NO and that almost stopped my heart. He started to scold me for not taking proper care of her and together we rushed back inside the station. I started to shout her name and hoped she was nearby to hear me.

A porter asked me if it was a little girl I was looking for. My heart skipped another beat. There was hope, someone had seen her! He directed me to the station master's room. I ran to the room he pointed and I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw my little baby sitting on a stool  sobbing inconsolably.

I was glad it did not turn out any other way. So much can happen with small carelessness. My girl is a big girl now, and I dread to think what would have happened if I had not found her that day? This is one day I cannot forget ever. Now I always pay more attention to my kids rather than the porter and the luggage or anything for that matter!!

Picture from http://mysterious-kaddu.blogspot.in and this is a nice blogger.

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Hi Miss."

"Hi miss," said the stranger sitting opposite my berth. I don't know when he boarded the train. Maybe it was during the night. He was was right there when I awoke. He seemed to me to be quite a forbearing kind, with no smile or any nod of acknowledgement to a fellow passenger. 
I thought, khadoos (means arrogant) who wants to befriend you anyway?

I looked up to be sure it was me he was addressing. I replied and he asked me if I minded chatting with him? To be honest, I am game for any chat, because talking is so ME. Its like if someone will ask me the time, I will tell him everything from the time I was born to the present time. I know I know, its wrong and I am trying to control it. really, believe me!

"What do you do miss?" he asked.
"I am a housewife, have 2 kids a 11 year old girl and a 9 year old boy, my husband is an exporter, I am coming from Calcutta and going to Delhi, and I am also a stock trader and I love my work because it is self employed and most importantly it keeps me busy, and you?" I answered. (saw the example now?)

"I work in a private company." he replied flatly. Thats it, I looked at him if he was going to offer me more about him.

"So tell something more about yourself?" I pestered.
"I am an old man memsaab. Nothing much to say." he replied.
Me,"well something? Are you married?"
Me,"Ok kids?"
Me,"Ok how many?"
Me,"Boy or girl?"
"Boy. Enough about me memsaab, Lets hear what you do.
Its interesting to see a woman trader in stocks specially, its largely a male dominated thing." he stated. I was a bit sad to see people still think of that about women. I disagreed with him and said, women can do anything as long as it doesn't require heavy physical effort. He nodded, and we went on to discuss the current market situation which was facing a huge financial crisis world wise. Sensex was at 12000, I told him, and I didn't see Sensex falling any further as it had already fallen 50% from its peak. He said," why not sensex at 7000?

I was taken aback. How can it go down so much? I considered myself learned enough and I completely disagreed with him. He didn't challenge me. He just smiled. His attitude of smiling in the face of adversary seemed both intriguing and irritating to me.
I probably had given him more info than required and I suddenly got wary of him. I told him, I generally don't talk to strangers and although I burst if I have no one to talk to, I gave him a subtle hint that if he was only extracting information from me and not giving any then I wont be game for his chat. 

The train had pulled over at Allahabad, some vendors selling tea, samosas, sweets and other beverages boarded and the compartment was full of their chai chai, garam samosa, jhaal muri in an accent which is special to them.
I stopped the chai wala (tea seller) and asked for tea, and he said one for him too. I don't know why I didn't do it myself first but he immediately paid for both of us. I could see he was a gentleman of the bygone era. I insisted to pay him back but he declined in a way that told me that he could not be forced. I quietly sipped my tea.

He gave an amused smile, and asked me my date and time of birth. At first I thought what a question to ask? Then he said it was his hobby to look at horoscopes and he was pretty good at it. There I was being offered a free horoscope and would I behave like any other woman and hide my age? No ways, I gave him the required data.

"Anything I say is likely to be incorrect (this is true of all astrologers). So don't take anything seriously,ok?" he started with this statutory warning. At first I thought there was some bad news about me and I braced myself to what was to follow.

"Extremely wealthy? And you will have lots after the June 2011." he told me..
"Whaaat? er, well yes, I am not poor definitely! My father says I am his lucky child. what else?" It was September 2008, 3 more years to roll in more money and why shan't I not believe this? 
"Fairly good understanding with husband, much above average quality of marriage. Strong martian and a gregarious personality. Overall a very very nice horoscope, the kind I don't see often. I am envious of your horoscope" he said.
"Gee." I was blushing now.
"Where is my commission memsaab?" he said matter of factly.
I hurriedly asked how much? He laughed and said, "2 rupees miss."
"Only?" I was shocked even beggars don't want less than a five rupee coin!
I made a mental note, 5 plus 2, I got to give him 7 back. hmm..

He was quite funny, not at all khadoos as I thought of him earlier. I asked him his phone number (which he didnt give) and told him that I will give him tips on stocks as an exchange to what he had told me about me. This was the least I could do to return the debt (Rs7 to be precise) back. 

After a while he got up took out his slipper and started to walk, I called after him, "hey, you are wearing only one slipper?" He smiled, "I lost it miss, it fell while I was trying to climb the coach."
It seemed he didn't have another or why else would he go barefoot to the toilet. When he returned, I told him he should carry an extra pair while travelling. He smiled again, "I am a fakir miss, had only one, now will have to buy another." I was suddenly guilty of the many shoes I have back home and the 3 pairs which I have to carry, a white, a black and multicolour for matching with my clothes. That 5 rupees must mean a lot for a fakir, but he didn't seem to mind parting with it. Wierd.
Whoa! Are there people like him really?

We were at Etawah and  it was lunch time, I opened my tiffin, I had brought with me fried aloo stuffed parantha. You get that uncanny sense when someone is looking at you intensely. I looked up and saw him stare hungrily at my paranthas. I invited him to eat a parantha, he looked guiltily away and stammered something about being not hungry. I am quite sure that he must have really had his eyes on my paranthas, for the next morning I had severe stomach ache and it is believed that if someone eyes your food hungrily like he was, it is bound to get you sick! 

He was marking something in the newspaper intently, I peeked and saw it was a sudoku puzzle. He told me that though they are classified from easy medium hard to evil, they are godly to him. He explained that its better to be doing something rather than sit idle. I agreed, after all empty mind is a devil's workshop. After that he settled down to read a book, it was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a classic romantic story of all times. The guy had some heart after all.

When Aligarh came, he got up to go. Before leaving he said, "It was nice chatting with you, but you must be a little more cautious of revealing too much about yourself while travelling alone. Bye miss."

After about exactly a fortnight, the sensex plunged to around 7000 levels, if only for a day!! I know, he was just casually mentioning it, but somehow I am intrigued by this mystery man and his simplicity of looking at things. And though I lost some money in the stock market, my husband did go on to prosper in his business and well we are definitely more richer now than we were almost 3 and a half years ago.
He was a strange stranger. I cannot say much about his looks, he was just like any of us, perhaps looked a little older than his 42 years. I know his age because I saw it on the chart outside. But, if any of you know of a simple man, who is good at predicting, plays sudoku, and calls himself a fakir, perhaps loves aloo paranthas, then please contact me here!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A real getaway Dhosa!

farmhouse sighted!
entrance to the farm house over the foot bridge
Last year, while I was already vacationing in Kolkata, I had gone to the Sundarbans with my parents and my own family of husband and kids. My father has some friends who have a kind of a farmhouse just near to Sundarbans. This is a small village called Dhosa. We went there in our own car and it took us approximately 3 hours to reach that place from Kolkata. The distance is not much, but the roads are narrow and the villages congested so we have to drive slow.Now, the farmhouse I am mentioning although built recently had yet to get electricity and it was actually built on reclaimed silt. This area is a delta area and islands have formed over the years.

 For years these islands were too salty, because of the continuous backwash of the sea into the land, to be irrigated to grow anything. But, the villagers have made a kind of a natural dam and diverted the backwaters so that they could use the silt formed islands for irrigation. This new farmhouse was built on one such large silt island.

We reached there just before the sun was going down. When we came to know that there was no electricity we kinda panicked, we are so much dependant on it that without it we just cant survive. My kids took it very sportingly. They had a mini torch with them and it was good time to play torch torch now. My father's friend was the host and he was sorry that he couldn't arrange for electricity or any generator for us. Although he more than made up for it by arranging a most sumptuous feast for us, with fresh fried fish and prawns from his own ponds. I didn't know my daughter was such a cat, for she pounced on the fish like one and I had to show her my eyes to control her eating. Can't blame her though, it was truly the best fried fish I ever had.

fried prawn.
After dinner, we were shown the sky, and wow, my kids were ecstatic. I remembered my childhood days where I spent my vacations at my maternal grandparent's village. The moon and the stars have so much light, that if there is a full moon, we don't really need street lights or even perhaps a night lamp. Granted you can't see a whole lot, but it was not entirely dark. I think we just want too much of everything, we don't even consider less of anything. The concept of bare minimum is unheard of orthodox and maybe sound stupid to people today.

I was woken up early in the morning. Our host had brought something in a pitcher. It was the juice collected from the bark of a date tree over the night. My father urged me to drink. I was unwilling to even taste it. I was sleepy and asked them to keep my share and I will drink later after I have brushed my teeth. Papa said no, drink it NOW, this is not any juice which can be stored even for minutes. I raised myself up to a sitting position and took a sip. You wont believe it but it was a mind blowing nectar. I was told that they make gur (jaggery) out of it for personal home consumption. I later researched on juices of barks and found that they have such healing properties, which is actually used to make medicines. One can't think medicines as being anything but bitter, but this one was a pleasure to drink.
the eggs came from these hens.
desi eggs!
Soon the sun was up and we had to leave for Sundarbans tiger reserve. We got ready and washed ourselves  using as little water because even fresh clean water had to be pumped from the ground using a very small generator which could only do little for now. We had real desi (not poultry) eggs which were small and had a brownish cover. We had brought with us bread butter and jam. The host had even called his family over who had reached there in the morning to join us and brought with them fresh rosogollas for us.
man who shook the tree
berries I picked.
There was a small island behind the farmhouse and it was encircled with wild berry trees. This man in the photo shook the trees so that the ripe ones fell down and we picked them to eat, mmm delicious, my mouth waters as I write.

That's our motor launcher.

We went in a Jeep to a place called Sonakhali where the motor launcher was waiting for us. The whole launcher was booked for our use. We had taken cooks and enough ration for 2 days. The journey began with all of us excited to see the tiger. even in the launcher there was no plug point where we could recharge our mobiles because of which we had to switch on our mobiles and use it only when we had to make any calls. I couldn't wait to get back home to proper electricity and (ab?)normal lives!!

sunrise the next day

We did not see any tigers in the trip. We spent a couple of days away from the maddening materialistic and electricity dependant world and enjoyed nature as it is. Saw the moon and stars and the next morning got up early to take the breath taking view of the sun rising.

 How much we are chained to self created necessities! Can we go back to the era where there was no bond? Less dependency on things like electricity and mobile phones? What choices have we made? To choose unreal things for 100 % real things. In life when one is stuck in a situation where one has to make a decision to choose between the lesser and greater evil, have we instead chosen the greater evil?

written as part of Kissan 100% real blogger contest

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tumultuous Traveller

busy airport
Enter a railway station or an airport, I am throbbing with a joy quite indescribable. Being born and brought up in Calcutta, a basically plain and not so much happening city, the mountains, the deserts and the beaches were all the kind of geographies I wanted to see.

My love for foreign travel was much more because there was more to see, the people especially, the whites, yellows and blacks!! Thanks to some big banner Indian movies, I got to get a glimpse of the beautiful alps and the golden and blue beaches of exotic locations. But all this didnt quench me, for I wanted to feel and be a part of them in flesh and blood, than just see pictures.

eeks! is this me?
When I was very small, papa often travelled abroad for work and I always begged him to take me but I always had school when he was going and even if there was vacations he would not take me because he wasn't going for a vacation himself, but his NO didn't deter me from taking out all my clothes from my wardrobe and crying my lungs out. My longing for foreign travel reached such levels that when my father took my grandpa for treatment to London because he had been diagnosed with cancer. I prayed that I should get some dreadful disease for which my father would have to take me there!!

 Even if this didnt work, I thought it would be best if some "foreigner" fell for me so that I could be his bride and in his foreign land for real!! For the love of travel too, I wanted to marry far away from home so that even if there was nowhere to go, I'd still be travelling once a year to my parents.

Enough about my rantings of my obsession for travel. I have met some people whom I might have influenced more than they influencing me so here I am writing about them.

After I had turned 18 (desperate to be 18), I planned a trip with only friends to Darjeeling. We had just finished our boards and ready to taste our new found freedom of adulthood! There was a group of boys who reached there same day as us and we kept banging into each other during our outings and sightseeing. We were already quite raucous and bolder than the boys. We thought one of them would pick up enough courage to come and ask to accompany us together for the rest of the trip, but I think they were either too afraid or just too genteel!! But as luck would have it, we had our train berths adjacent with each other on our return journey. Since the trip was over and they had done nothing at all (meaning to get friendly with us) we took it upon us to get at them, we kept lunging at them with our boisterous behaviour. One of them wore shorts on the train, obviously for comfort reasons, and whenever he passed us we sang aloud, "jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai, chaddi pehan ke phool khila hai phool khila hai.
(the word is in all jungles that a flower wearing an underwear has blossomed) LOL!!
So he finally came up to us and asked us why were we doing all this? We couldn't answer at all, because we couldn't stop laughing at him! I have never forgotten them and the fun we had because of them and hope they haven't forgotten what fun we gave them!
inviting attention? :P
I particularly cant forget the south India trip which was the last I took before I got married. The hit film DDLJ was released and the story was similar to mine, heroines engaged to an unknown guy and she takes a last trip with her friends to enjoy her last days of being single. I had secretly hoped to find a Shahrukh Khan equivalent who would fall hook line and sinker for me and come to rescue me from being bonded to an unknown person for life. Unlike Kajol who was not in the lookout for any SRK, I was. I particularly laughed  aloud and made a lot of gesture to attract people around me, lest anybody missed seeing me. you see, there is no director in real life who can orchestrate the entire romance. I flirted shamelessly with a cute salesguy at a big store in Bangalore. I told him my entire itinerary in the hope of him following me all over the trip and propose to me by the end or perhaps even come to stop my wedding!! hehe.
He had promised to come to the hotel later in the evening when he was off from his job, but he never came :(
No dilwale for me.

desert safari
When I went to Dubai, I had gone to the desert safari and when we were at the highest dune, the driver stopped for us to have a view and I just felt like rolling down the slopes in filmy style so I just dropped down and let myself goooo..down down the slopes I rolled and the speed picked up so fast that I thought I would not be able to stop myself. It was risky but what adrenaline pumping!! Then at the camp, the belly dancer asked me for a dance with her and I kept turning around in such speed that I was caught in a tizzy and fell flat on my back. Seeing such high excitement in me the driver, who was also our guide commented if I had been possessed by any ghost or spirit inside me! I remember his face, he was plainly in shock!

Now, did I meet interesting people or did they meet ME?

Picture from here (airport), here (crying kid) and here (woman)

I am writing this post as part of the around the world with Expedia at indibloggers contest.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Reliving Realities

Perhaps I was born at the right time or I was lucky enough to have stayed in 100% real places for most of my childhood holidays. Yes, my maternal grandparents stayed at the smallest of villages in North India, and I would look forward to spending my vacations there.

I was from Calcutta, a big city, with not much open spaces and though there are a lot many parks, they don't have trees with mangoes or litchis hanging on them!!

My grandparents lived in a sprawling if not very grand, house with a shed for cows and goats for milk. Some of my cousins and my sister sat around the milk giving cow and opened their mouths for the milkman who pulled at the udder and directed the flow towards them who relished the warm milk, much to my chagrin!! A coop full of cocks and hens for eggs and a back orchard for all kinds of trees from jackfruit, litchis, falsa, guava and not to forget the mango trees. Usually we were joined by other cousins for the vacations and we had a field time climbing on the trees of whichever fruit we wanted to eat and racing to the top to see who climbed the highest!
playing with the goat kid in the orchard.
During summer vacations the day started at the crack of dawn and the crowing of the cocks which seemed to go on crowing like an alarm bell refusing to stop. Grandpa wouldn't let us sleep and nudge all of us out of bed. We would straight away go into the orchard and start to play and climb and swing on branches which were low enough for us to sit. Sometimes we went beyond the orchard into the fields and trample on the sown soft earth (for which we would be admonished later on). I even ploughed the ground once and did the mud feel like velvety carpet? There is so much activity in the ploughing to sowing that each muscle is exercised and toned!

mango laden tree
I have to say that there are special ways to get to the highest ripe mango. Either risk your life and climb to the top without falling off or take this, a curved blade tied at the end of a long stick with which the mango is cut from its branch and it falls down. The third makes you quite a marksman, you aim at the mango and throw a stone to shake it off!! The mangoes ooze a fluid when it falls fresh from the tree, so we kept a bucketful of water and dropped those mangoes in it. When there was enough for everybody and the bucket was full, we would sit down to peel it and not with a knife but with a special peeler which was also 100% natural and made from a seashell. (wish I had one of them to show). The taste and smell of the mangoes is something I can never get even from the best alphonso mangoes!

There was a special guava tree. There was two things which made it special, first, it was our neighbours and secondly it had no seed!! Have you eaten a seedless guava? I have yet to buy one from the market. It was tasty as hell and we had to sneak and steal and run for our dear lives for the neighbour was a typical thief hater even if they were little children!!!

earthern stove
We only went back inside the house to eat our meals and get ready and be back in the orchard as soon as we finished. The house itself had small rooms and there was open space called aangan in the middle and a big kitchen beyond where women helpers came to assist in the cooking. Two or three of them would sit with a mill (hand grinder) to ground the wheat into flour. Curious that I was and wanting to try them all, I also tried my hands in grounding the wheat. Watching them change from grain to powder somehow seemed like magic to my young eyes. There was always two women grinding the spices together. And if you all think that the cooking was as easy as clicking a lighter on a gas stove then you have to get your imaginations to work again. There was an earthen kiln with 3 holes on top of different sizes. There was an opening in the front from where we stuffed the dried branches of fallen trees (this was yet again stored in a hut behind the house) which had to be fired with so much huffing and puffing till your lungs had all the exercises it needed in a day!! But it was fun and somehow the food cooked on it was the best and most delicious I have ever had in my entire life!!

There was no tap, only a hand pump. So, when I really had to rush to the toilet (and considering the amount of mangoes I ate, there was always a rush), pumping the water made the rush into a power rush and god helped if the only toilet was occupied. I had no option but to go to the fields and hide behind a tree and relieve myself!! Last year I had gone on a road trip with my kids there was a tyre puncture and we were not close to civilisation. I got the urge and I promptly went behind a tree with a bottle of mineral water and relieved myself. My kids were aghast!! Oh! they don't know what they have missed while growing up!
train just yonder the fields :)
Did I forget to mention the train tracks? Well, they were just beyond the fields and we laid 5 paise and 10 paise coins on the tracks and wait for the train to come. The train flattened the little aluminium coins and once I repeatedly put my 5 paise till it was absolutely flat as a blade and bigger than the old 20 paise. Interestingly we were quite small, with all of us not even teenagers, yet we were never stopped much and we could go and roam about the entire village. Playing hide and seek was never so much fun and I have even hidden inside the haystacks which is so perfect for this game. We had real mud to knead and make stuff out of it unlike the toxic clays of today! We made round balls and dried them in the sun and later used them as missiles to strike our cousins, which was so much fun!

 I forgot to say there was lots of insects and flies which came out in the dark and I especially couldn't no matter what sleep with them buzzing around me. So it came upon me to burn the dried cow dung which gave out thick smoke to ward the flies away.
rope bed

Could I have had a better relation with nature had I been to exotic locales each vacation? I think not, I cant say how much I miss those vacations. Although when I returned I was burnt black and my paternal uncles teased me for days on end that I lose my complexion whenever I come back from the village and that it was no fun to go. There is nobody who lives there and all maternal uncles have moved to cities and the house is almost beyond use. We cousins have plans to go back and relive some of our moments again with our kids to show them where we spent our vacations, but it hasn't materialised yet. Maybe some day I will.... I miss my village too much.

Pictures from here (mango tree), here (earthern stove), here (hand pump) and here (ropebed).

This post was written for The Kissan 100% real blogger contest at Indiblogger.