Saddened by Balloons

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Yes, feeling saddened by balloons… Surprising, but every day I cross the Pakwan Signal to and fro from my office, the sight of the polka dotted balloons makes me a wee bit sad.

It so happened that these are new balloons with polka dots, not tied but wrapped around a plastic straw; a real delight for the eyes are a beauty to hold. I had my eyes on them for quite a few days, wanting to buy a few. But normally ignored my wish and drove my two-wheeler away each and every day. But, finally I knew I had to give in to my urge and buy a few of the balloons.

Now my daughter is in college, so I felt that let me buy some for a friend’s niece and nephews. One day I stopped after crossing the signal, called a small about 8-9 year old girl and asked her the price of the balloon. Within a second I was surrounded by almost 6-7 balloon sellers from 6 year old to the eldest who was a young teenage mother,  let me call her “Lakshmi”. The price was Rs. 20/- per balloon. The one who I had approached, let me call her “Anamika”, said that she would give me 2 for Rs. 30/- even when I didn’t negotiate. I assume that the whole gang is together in selling the balloons. So this Lakshmi dominates all and finalizes to give me 3 balloons for Rs. 50/-. Now as I had stopped Anamika for my purchase, so I select 2 balloons from her and one from Lakshmi. I give the Rs. 50/- note in the hand of Lakshmi.

And the drama unfolds. Anamika asks for Rs 30/- for her two balloons. So, I ask Lakshmi to give Anamika her Rs 30/-; as I don’t have change. She tells me that she will give, I insist that she do so right in front of me, Anamika is begging for her money, I am confused, perplexed as to what is happening; the whole traffic and commotion around,  I start driving away. But this young child Anamika is confident that her money is gone and cries in a very loud voice, which is very much audible with traffic honking all around. I stop after driving almost 25 feet and turn back to look. Oh God! Anamika is lying on the road and crying loudly for her money. I look at Lakshmi, and she is totally ignoring Anamika and going her way.

What am I supposed to do? I have paid for the balloons I bought, but one corner of my heart feels that I have betrayed Anamika by not giving her the money. The road side vendor advises me to move on, as it is regular drama for him, and I do so, but with a heavy heart. I decide to give Rs 40/- to Anamika the next time I see her at the signal, and forget the episode for that day. Next day, next day, next day ….. almost a fortnight has gone, and everyday my eyes are searching for Anamika, who is not seen till day.  Now, the sight of the balloons make me sad, I long to find Anamika and give her due, maybe someday I will find her. Till then I pray and send her love and peace, hope that someone better than me has found her, and I wish from the bottom of my heart that she gets educated and has a bright future.

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“Celibacy”

timothy-radcliffe-clergyman-quote-celibacy-is-not-just-a-matter-of

The word “Celibacy” defined by the dictionary as “a state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations” has remained a mystery for me. As a young adult, during my days we could never talk about it as its antonym “Promiscuity” wouldn’t be far behind in the discussion, as oh my that “world of mine” would not hear the “P” of it. Wikipedia defines “Promiscuity – is the practice of having casual sex frequently with different partners or being indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners”. Glad, that today I have progressed enough to write on one of them, obviously mentioning the other.

Thinking of these two conditions is it purely on the physical level or it’s all in the mind?

Maybe, I consider that woman a celibate, who night after night gives in to her husband’s desire, with none left in her to look forward to; for her it is a mere physical act which she undergoes, to avoid xyz things of the life she shares with her husband and her family. Fear of her man becoming promiscuous, facing the brunt of the society that the wife was not able to satisfy him enough, that he started looking elsewhere – are one of the many reasons a woman endures such a relationship. Act after act, she remains celibate.

That again brings me to another fact that a man largely chooses to be celibate or promiscuous. For a woman? Yes the new generation girls are geared up and will choose their way. I am loving it. But, here I am talking of women of my generation, in their late forties, an average Indian woman. It is believed that if you are married, you are in a happy sexual relationship. If the society hears of your affairs (even a single one) you are promiscuous and labeled a slut; and the third respected soul – a happily celibate spinster. Yes, the aunt – your mother’s sister, your father’s sister…. any cousin sister if unmarried she is celibate. Period.  Sometimes even in my forties, during discussions, if this celibate woman is present, I have seen ladies pointing out and stop talking about anything that an unmarried teenage girl shouldn’t be listening to. There is an overload of information in this area, and we Indians are still so immature. Understand that, even if she is a single and a virgin, she understands everything.

So who is to be labeled Celibate and Promiscuous? It’s all in the mind. Draupadi can be celibate with five husbands, and someone without any physical relations can be promiscuous, night after night having desirous dreams of the super hero, cricketer, an actor, a colleague or any handsome guy sighted in the near past.

And why sex alone – you can be celibate or promiscuous for all moral values, ethics and much much more. Yes, it’s all in the mind, there are no pros or cons of being celibate; it’s a personal choice, needed to be respected by one and all. Don’t analyze anyone’s choice and behavior, as it is the woman who only knows whether she’s celibate or promiscuous.

Sexual Harassment

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How happily people assume and visualize, much more than what has been said, discussed and analyzed. But how did it all start?

A lady complains about sexual harassment, and the complaint says that she is being harassed from last 5-6 years; it makes me wonder what took her so long to complain. My mind goes into its analytical mode and the mind machine starts thinking. Majority of the cases the boss and the lady were having cordial relations in the past – I don’t mean that they are in any kind of relationship, but as an employee and a boss they are cordial to each other.

Think for yourself. When a lady joins an organization she is eager to give her best in her job, prove her mettle and climb the hierarchy. Just like any other employee. Even male counterparts would be sailing in the same boat. And who is the first person to approve her work, motivate her and rate her performance? The Boss.

Now we have seen so many times in films and TV serials – the touching of hands over the mouse, a simple pat on the back, just brushing past etc. etc. The first reaction of a lady to all these antics is most important.  You know there are some women, who are given names like मिर्ची, तीखी छुरी, तेज तलवार, even गुरु घंटाल meaning they are compared with chilies, knives, swords etc. etc. One glance from these ladies will make the man freeze and he will forever stay away from her. Just miss this first reaction, and you give that man more courage.  Over a period of time, if the lady does not reacts and remains coy; it gives a silent confirmation of moving forward or acceptance. Then one fine day, when the man becomes comfortable to take any kind of freedom, the lady suddenly realizes that she is a victim of sexual harassment.

Somewhere, I read about working spouse. So, is the complaint a 7 year itch?

ભાઈ બહેન – પીન અટકી

Sumant & Damyanti
મારા ફૂઈબા અને પપ્પા

આજે સવારે એક મિત્રએ Facebook પર પોતાના પિતાની યાદ તાજી કરી અને મને મારા પિતાની કરાવી. થોડું મન ભરાઈ આવ્યું, પછી વિચાર્યું કે ખુશી ની પળો નેજ યાદ ન કરું? મારા પિતા અમારી જોડે તો હિટલર જેવું અનુશાશન રખાવે, પણ વખત આવ્યે થોડી મજાક મસ્તી પણ કરાવે. જો કોઈ જગા એ પીન એટકે તો નવો વિષય ન મળે ત્યાં સુધી એ વાત પર અડી રહે.

મારા મોટા ફુઈ ને અમે પ્રેમથી બા કહેતા. આજે એ બે ભાઈ બહેન ની યાદ તાજા કરીએ.

વાત એમ છે કે મારા ફુઈ ૩ છોકરાઓ સાથે પીયરમાં જ રહેતા. તે તેમના દીકરા વહુ વગેરે બોહ્ળું કુટુંબ હોવાથી મારા પિતા જુદા રેહતા. હવે જે ઘરમાં રેહતા હોઈ તે વાપરે અને તેજ વારસદાર એટલે મારા દાદીના સ્વર્ગવાસ પછી કોઈ ભાગ પાડવાની વાત નોહતી. ઘર તો ભાડાનું હતું અને બીજું ઘર વખરી, પણ ફુઈબા નાં મનમાં મારા પપ્પા એટલે તેના ભાઈ માટે ખુબ પ્રેમ અને લાગણી; અને એવું પણ લાગે કે સાચ્ચો વારસદાર તો એજ થાય. તો ઘરમાં એક ચાંદી નું પવાલું હતું. કેવું – જુના જમાનામાં લોટા પર મુકતા તેવું કિનારી વાળું અને નીચું. બા તો એક નું એક કીમતી પવાલું હરખભેર અમારે ઘરે આપવા આવ્યા. પપ્પા પણ ખુશ થયા. પપ્પા એ તો મને હરખભેર બોલાવીને બતાવ્યું કે જો બા ચાંદીનું પવાલું લાવ્યા અને કહ્યું કે આ તારી દાદી નો વારસો છે અને બા એ આખે આખો આપણને આપી દીધો છે. તે વખતે હું માંડ ૧૦-૧૧ વર્ષની, અને રોજ રાત્રે અમારે ઉપર સુવા માટે સ્ટીલ નાં લોટા માં પાણી ભરી લઈ જવાનો રીવાજ. હવે રોજનું સ્ટીલનું પવાલું પેલા ચાંદીના પવાલા જેવુજ.  હું તો હાજર જવાબી તરતજ કહ્યું “પણ આ તો પવાલું છે લોટો તો બા એ રાખી લીધો આપણને આપ્યોજ નહી” મને શું ખબર કે ચાંદીનો લોટો તો ક્યારેય ઘરમાં હતોજ નહી. પછી તો મારી આ વાત પર બા આખી જિંદગી અકળાતા અને મારા પપ્પા પણ વારે ઘડીએ તેમને ચીડવતા, “લોટો તો તમે રાખી લીધો”

એક વાર જમતા જમતા મારા પપ્પા એ બા ને ન ગમતી વાત પર મસ મોટું ભાષણ આપવાનું ચાલુ કર્યું. મારા પપ્પા વકીલ, એટલે બોલવામાં પહોચી ન વળાય અને બોલતા બંધ પણ જલ્દી ન કરાય. બા અકળાય પણ કરે શું? હતો ઉનાળો અને જમવામાં કેરીનો રસ અને રોટલી. બા થી બીજું કઇંક તો બોલાય નહી માટે “રસ મુકું?”, “સુમન તને રસ મુકું?”, “રસ મુકું?” એવું ઘડી ઘડી પૂછે. દરેક વખત મારા પપ્પા ઇશારાથી હા/ના પાડે અને પોતાની વાત તો બોલ્યેજ રાખે. ચાર પાંચ વાર પૂછ્યું એટલે મારા પપ્પા અકળાયને ને કહે મને શું બીજાને પણ રસ મુકોને – તો બાએ કહ્યું કે “ક્યારની તને “રસ મુકું?”, “રસ મુકું?” કહું છુ કે ખાવામાં ધ્યાન આપ અને ન ગમતો વિષય પરની વાત બંધ કર”. પછી તો શું આ વાત નું એટલું વતેસર થયું કે આખા કુટુંબમાં કોઈ પણ ન ગમતા વિષય પર વાત શરુ થાય એટલે તરતજ તેને બંધ કરવાનો ખાસ સંવાદ મળી ગયો “રસ મુકું”

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