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RIP Skipper

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It was one of those dreaded early morning phone calls. Only this time it was my mother, calling from the ground floor of our 2-unit house. Her calm, tender and concerned voice said, “Skipper is gone”.  We had been awaiting this moment, even praying for it in the last few days and yet when it came, it seemed too soon.

Around thirteen years ago, Skipper was brought to this house as a teeny –weeny scared puppy, to be a watchdog. But with time, she became our companion and friend, my mother’s sole- mate during the days when she was alone at home.  As she grew into a beautiful, affectionate dog, who welcomed strangers and friends alike into the house; she also ruled over the house, breaking rules slyly when we were not watching.  Sleeping on the bed or sofa, which she knew was out of bounds for her. Grabbing a biscuit on a plate kept for a guest who had dropped in for tea, licking the kid’s faces when they bent down to tie their shoe laces; running out of the gate and looking at us expectantly to chase her back in.

But the past few months, as she battled one health problem after another, suffering in mute silence, only her eyes belying the pain, I wondered if it was the right thing, bringing a pet home, pampering and protecting her, turning her into this soft delicate creature?  On her last day, as she walked around restlessly, rejecting food, refusing to sit or be fed and at one point, when she finally rested for a few minutes at my feet giving me the look –tired, but undefeated, knowing her end was near, I knew that  it was the right thing. She had lived a good life, bringing joy into ours as well as sharing our joys and woes. Now it was our turn to share her woes.

We prayed that she didn’t suffer for long and now that she’s gone, we can already feel the void which will only grow in the days to come. We won’t have to safeguard our food from her anymore or worry about her fur shedding on the sofas. But we will miss her greeting at the gate – a wag if we‘re on time or a loud bark if we’re late. We will miss the pitter-patter of her paws on our wooden floor every morning at breakfast time waiting for her share of egg. We will miss the times when she would stand in front of us, butt -facing, asking for a butt-massage!

We will miss you Skipper, you will always have a special place in our heart.

RIP!

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Aptly put! A succint, spot-on article about how women are percieved.

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

Guest post byVEENA VENUGOPAL

To me, the most memorable scene in Dev D is the one where Paro takes a mattress from home and ties it to her cycle. When she reaches the edge of the field, she abandons the cycle, lifts the mattress on her shoulder and marches to the clearing where she lays it down and waits for her lover. There are no words spoken and the camera holds her face close. Her expression is one of intense seriousness. You can see her desire is a field force of intensity that fuels every step. She is determined to see it through, to let that desire take over herself completely; not surrender to it but to let it explode out of her. You know that when she meets Dev, the sex would be passionate and powerful.  And yet, in the south Delhi multiplex where I was watching the…

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Belated Happy New Year!

A Belated Happy New year to my blogger friends. A month of the new year has already passed. Time flies quickly. This is my first post in the new year. I had taken a hiatus from blogging, as I was busy with stuff. Good stuff.

I was attending a writing workshop –  to see if I can do something with my love for writing. Between attending classes, reading , writing and critiquing assignments and the usual routine of home and kids, blogging took a back seat.

But I’m back now.  Do bear with me as I catch with your posts and slowly crawl back to my blogging schedule too.

 

 

A thought provoking tribute to the anonymous women victims.

nilanjana s roy

That girl, the one without the name. The one just like us. The one whose battered body stood for all the anonymous women in this country whose rapes and deaths are a footnote in the left-hand column of the newspaper.

Sometimes, when we talk about the history of women in India, we speak in shorthand. The Mathura rape case. The Vishaka guidelines. The Bhanwari Devi case, the Suryanelli affair, the Soni Sori allegations, the business at Kunan Pushpora. Each of these, the names of women and places, mapping a geography of pain; unspeakable damage inflicted on women’s bodies, on the map of India, where you can, if you want, create a constantly updating map of violence against women.

For some, amnesia becomes a way of self-defence: there is only so much darkness you can swallow. They turn away from all the places that have become shorthand for violence beyond measure…

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Let us channelise the anger

The 23 year old Delhi rape victim has succumbed after putting up a brave fight. The citizens had expressed their outrage in the last week, but we need to channelise it. Justice Verma has asked citizens for suggestions on how to deal with sexual harrasement and rape. Reblogged here from Indian homemaker’s website.Some of the suggestions by readers:
1.Make rape a non-bailable offence, 2. Create registry of sex offenders. 3. Sensitise Police force 4. Set up rape crisis centre
Laws and course of action need to change.

The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Most of us think it is common sense, but it is not. Take a look at these posts, the police, these rapists, this cab drive, this rapists’ lawyers, many commenters all over the internet, many Indian men in talk shows on television, many political leaders – all seem unaware that sexually assaulting a woman is a crime no matter how much they hear about how some victims actually ‘ask for it’.  It’s like they know, it’s not such a nice thing to do, but then “you know, some women seem to ask for it and being men they can’t help it.” [Linking soon]

There is zero effort to teach Indian men that sexually assaulting a woman is a crime. Movies that show sexual harassment of women by men who claim to ‘love them’ and want their safety (by sexually harassing them) have no disclaimer (unlike smoking scenes) that what they are showing…

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Weekly Photo Challenge:Green

Green  is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness  arises.Pedro  Calderon de la Barca

Carnival procession in Germany (1998)

Never  stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green  valleys of silliness.Ludwig Wittgenstein

Green face at a Halloween party

When  the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, And the dimpling stream runs  laughing by; When the air does laugh with our merry wit, And the green hill  laughs with the noise of it. – Lord Byron

All  theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever  green. –
Johann  Wolfgang von Goethe

Balinese figure

If  there is a future, it will be Green.Petra Kelly

Symbol for Recycling (Image from Wikipedia)

For other interpretations of green , visit here

Kids in Adult oriented places

The Daily Post’s writing challenge this week has posed a question: How do you feel about kids in adult oriented places?

The prompt for this challenge probably stems from the recent call for ban /bar of children in fancy upscale restaurants.  While we all agree that crying or ill-mannered children can be a disturbance to the bon vivants , the decision to take children to a public place should be the personal call of parents(assuming that they know what’s right for their children and themselves!).

I, myself, have dined at fancy restaurants without my children and have also given them the oppotunity of dining at the same fancy restaurant depending entirely on the occassion and/or situation.But even if certain restaurants do bar children below a certain age, it will perhaps affect about 2%of the world’s population – those who can actually afford going to such restaurants.

While this topic  may be fodder for an interesting debate, I believe there are more contentious  issues concerning children that affect a larger population globally.

1. Yesterday, I came across this article in the newspaper:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/300-possible-victims-in-jimmy-savile-child-sex-abuse-scandal/1021989/

While it is shocking to say the least, child sex abuse(CSA) is an atrocity that pervades all strata of society and culture. It is not just  few isolated incidents like the one above ,but is happening all around us. According to a 2009 study, the global prevalence of CSA is 19.7% for females and 9.7% for males and about 60% of the offendors are acquaintances.(Wikipedia)

2. While some fancy restaurants do not want children as their costumers, there are others, especially in third world countries where children are hired as cleaners and waiters and are denied the basic right to education.

Image from jubayerchowdhury.wordpress.com

3. Similarly,it is common to find children in construction sites breathing dust filled air since their parents, the construction workers, migrate from one city to another in search of work  and cannot afford to put them in schools.

Image from guardian.co.uk

Even though there are laws for the rights of children and  to prevent child labor, they are still violated, most often by people in power and position. While many NGOs have worked towards creating awareness and providing help to victims, meaningful action is necessary to ensure that violators do not get away with such acts and  thereby serve as a warning to future  detractors.

My other Mother

She came into my life when I was a year and a half old. With green tattoos on her forehead and forearm, nauwari (Maharashtrian nine yard sari), and cherubic moon face, she wafted in to our home, becoming an integral part of our lives for the next 20 years.

She had had a dismal life, and like most women of her times, never questioned but accepted her fate. She was married off at a very young age, as was common those days. She lost both her husband and son very early , and so considering her to be ill-fated, the in-laws threw her out.

Already bereft of a mother, now widowed and childless, she had no place to go.

Her married older sister took her in and found her a job as a nanny with a Gujrathi family. And when the family didn’t need her services anymore, she came to live with us .  She soon endeared herself to all, friends and family, with her garrulous and affectionate nature.

She was my sole companion for five years until my sister came along. She  shared a special bond with with my sister, having taken care of her from the day she was born. She attended to us just like a mother would. Feeding us, helping us get ready and praying and crying for us whenever one of us fell ill. One day, when my sister came home with a split forehead and blood pouring down her face (after being accidentally hit by a swinging cricket bat), it was hard to tell who cried more.

She soon mastered our South Indian cuisine, alien to her until then. I can still picture her sitting on the floor , turning the grinding stone with one hand and shoving rice and lentils with the other  until the two coagulated together to form a smooth batter of dosa, the quintessential South Indian delicacy. She made the best chappattis I’ve ever had and invented healthy versions of fried dishes such as dahi bread (in place of dahi vada) for us.

Picfrom http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/cortalim/Timeline

 

She is now around 85 years old, suffering the brutalities of old-age, but still remembers every member of our extended family and enquires about each one of them by name. When we visit her in Bombay, where she now lives with her grand-nephew, she proudly calls the neighbours to come see her daughters.

Related:

Story Challenge: Letter ‘M’