It is National Voters Day and I got my I-card!!


25th January in India is celebrated as National Voters Day, this is a fact I have just come to know of. And what better way to celebrate this day than getting my own voter’s identity card?

Yes, I am finally old enough(well, I was old enough a year ago too) to make decisions for myself and for my country. Now I have a legitimate right to choose my own leader (however corrupt they are).

So, even though the function today in honour of this awesome day was pretty useless and forced, I still plan to think of the wonderful advantages of becoming a legitimate voter.

I can finally use my own brains and decide which fool I want to see governing my country. Even though I will be given all kinds of bribes by the high class of politicians who turn into beggars at the time of elections, no amount of money, alcohol, blankets and saris must blur my vision of  a brighter India with sensible leaders.

I can happily cast my vote along with scores of other learned men, for which now I must attempt to learn more of the political scenario of the country so I can make a good and unbiased decision about who might be the best possible candidate.

Now that I have a voter’s id card, I MUST go and put my vote and make full use of my right to Adult Franchise. Otherwise there is no point in turning 18 and getting a piece of plastic paper with my picture on it. I already have 5 other cards with my lovely picture on them. So this one better be put to some good use!

I guess now I have to wait for the next phase of elections in my city, but till then I can happily show my card off! Not to forget use it as a mark of my existence on this lovely planet!

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I Don’t Want to Become a Passive Smoker


Dear Mr. Smoker,

I know you have no interest in your health and have no regard for others’ opinion either. But please, do try to understand that I do not want to become a smoker. Not even a passive smoker.

I do not want to have black lungs. More than that, I do not want to cough like an asthmatic patient, which is also is to say, I do not want to get asthma. Nor do I want to experience any sort of breathlessness.

Do you realize that every time I stand next to you, you smell like old socks and smoke? The smell makes me want to gag… you as well as myself.

I know you are least concerned about the health of other people in your life. But please, just slow down for a moment and think about your family….or any person you are spatially closest to. What pleasure do you get in exposing them to that cancer causing agent in your hand called a cigarette?

If you think that smoke will do nothing, then read this:

The first global study into the effects of passive smoking has found that second hand smoke causes 600,000 deaths every year – this is more than 1% of all deaths. One-third of those killed are children, often exposed to smoke at home.

The report estimates that 165,000 children die of smoke-related respiratory infections, mostly in South East Asia and in Africa. It said that this group was more exposed to passive smoking than any other group, principally in their own homes. The mix of infectious diseases and second-hand smoke is a deadly combination. As well as being at higher risk of a series of respiratory conditions, the lungs of children who breathe in passive smoke may also develop more slowly than children who grow up in smoke-free homes. The report further said that worldwide, 40% of children, 33% of non-smoking men and 35% non-smoking women were exposed to second-hand smoke in 2004. This exposure was estimated to have caused 379,000 deaths from heart disease, 165,000 from lower respiratory infections, 36,900 from asthma and 21,400 from lung cancer.

According to the study, the highest numbers of people exposed to second-hand smoke are in Europe and Asia and the lowest rates of exposure were in the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa. The research also revealed that passive smoking had a large impact on women, killing about 281,000 worldwide. This is due to the fact that in many parts of the world, the study suggests, women are at least 50% more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke than men.[Courtesy: doctorndtv.com]

So please, if you have a heart, and if it is not black and insensitive already with all that soot….stop smoking. If you possibly cannot stop that, spare us and please stop smoking in a public place.
Thank you. 

A Ray of Hope


I took this picture in the Kamla Nagar Market near the North Campus of Delhi University.

This little girl, was so engrossed in her school books that she didnt even notice us clicking a picture of her. While she studied, her mother and brother continued to sell  trinkets in the street market. Now this is what gives me a little hope and indication, that the future of women’s education is a little brighter than a decade ago.

On my vacation to Lakshadweep, I saw more girls going to school than boys. What’s more? They were happy to go to school and learn about the world outside their little island.

At the servant quarters near the  apartment complex where I live, one can find that most families send their children, even their little girls to school right from the beginning till they complete  10th class.  Some hard working girls have even gone on to study further. Now they have respectable jobs in banks, or housing firms, etc. where they enjoy a good salary, and most importantly, a sense of self-pride and self-respect.

For the rest of the families which won’t send their girls to schools….I have to show to them this picture. I hope they take some inspiration from it.

Frustration: The Big Culprit


I am no criminal psychologist. But some times, when I think about why someone gets killed for having done no big crime, why a girl gets eve-teased or raped, why there are cases of unnecessary road rage and why a poor old lady gets robbed and molested in her own house, the only reason I can think of  is ‘FRUSTRATION’.  That, in my opinion, is the biggest crime-doer and the biggest catalyst for momentary actions that sometimes take away lives, or destroy them forever: rape, murder, acid attacks, and what not?

A young lad, who has no aim in life, no one to love, or no one to learn from might not be aware of the boiling guilt and the feeling of dissatisfaction in his life, but it shows. It shows when he bangs his car into someone else’s ‘just for the fun of it’, it shows when he yells at his peers and seniors. It shows in his every act of violence.

Sadly,a person might not understand that all he needs to do is get a life is the most frustrated. Not a life he spends partying, sleeping or biking. A life where he does something productive and something that has a bright future for him and his ego. The worst part comes when he is unable to bottle all that irritation up and vents his resentment on the girl he rapes.

The need to rape is not of uncontrollable desire for sex, but uncontrollable feelings of anxiety.

When a case of road rage happens, it is not just because the person on the other end just damaged one’s car. It also happens because one feels the need to vent that anger and fizzle in one’s life.

So why are people so angry? Perhaps there are numerous reasons. Unsatisfactory jobs, loveless marriages, insufficient pay for hard work and so many more.

But the key is to move on. The key is to rise above all this and sit down, and think of a good answer to what to do with your life. What to do when you are not getting what you want? The key is erase the sense of unaccomplishment in life and look for the positive aspects and good reasons for one’s life and existence. The key is to deal with what you have using the resources available at hand and not cribbing about what you don’t have.

Another good way is to try an anger management session. There is nothing abnormal or bad about being angry when it is just anger. To be angry is human. What is important is how to deal with that anger in a positive way.

When angry at someone, instead of yelling and complaining, do something that takes energy.

1. Wash clothes

2. Polish shoes

3. Clean the kitchen

4. Arrange wardrobes and files.

Or instead, try the opposite and get some fresh air to calm the nerves and relax. Do yoga, have a healthy diet and the correct amount of sleep.

Do everything you can to get rid of that big bad monster in your mind called Anger and Frustration. Only then can we think about eliminating crime!

Coloured


A Mexican man walks into a cafe one early morning and he noticed that he was the only Mexican man there. As he sat down, he noticed a white man behind him. The white man said, “Colored people are not allowed here, ” The Mexican man turned around and stood up. He then said: “Listen Pendejo……

when i was born, i was BROWN, ”

“when i grew up, i was BROWN, ”

“when i’m sick, i’m BROWN, ”

“when i go in the sun i’m BROWN, ”

“when i’m cold, i’m BROWN, ”

“when i die, i’ll be BROWN, ”

“But you Pendejo………..

“when you’re born, you’re pink, ”

“when you grow up, you’re white, ”

“when you’re sick, you’re green, ”

“when you go in the sun, you turn red, ”

“when you’re cold, you turn blue, ”

“And whenyou die, you turn purple, ”

“And you have the nerve to call me colored?”

Racial discrimination is, in my opinion, a sick and undignified practice. Just being coloured or white does not make one superior or inferior. It is just the way one is. Perhaps God, or whoever, made us like this made us different so we could appreciate what we dont have. Or maybe even because we live in different parts of the world, we adapt to different living conditions, were we made to look different. I would like to ask any white person who thinks he is better than a black, what will you do if you had to go to a place like Africa? Would you really still think your white skin is superior when it gets burnt to the bone in the hot sun?

Or do you really think you are superior when you go to beaches to get that tan and show off your new skin tone to your pals?

Think about it.

Resolution Time!


December has started and it is time for us to start making our resolutions. The past year has brought many changes in the life and quality of life of the people of Delhi. While most of them were good: like the adherence to the rules of lane driving, and more appreciation for the historical heritage of the city…some new advancements in technology also exposed once again the flaws in us.

So here is a list of things I would want Delhi and its people (including me) to do. These are my New Year resolutions and my wishes for the city.

1. NO spitting on the streets and roads.

2. NO urinating on the walls. Use of public urinals and an effort to keep them clean.

3. NO littering the streets with cigarette butts, gutka and chips wrappers and bottles. Judicious use of the dustbins. (Come on people, move your arses! there is a dustbin placed every few metres all over the city)

4. Conscious use of dustbins: categorization of recyclable stuff

5. NO foul language.

6. Courtesy to the people around you. (Please, shed that attitude. Help others…you will feel good!)

7. In the words of the metro announcers: NO defacing of public property (Respect your city, people!…how do you expect others to respect it if you yourselves dont)

8. NO writing on heritage buildings and monuments. Help Delhi become a beautiful place. The Taj Mahal was built for Mumtaz. Not for Seema and Amit’s love. Respect her memory at least.

9. NO physical violence, especially on strangers and on the streets. If you are so frustrated/angry, take an anger-management class or take your frustration out on productive work…like maintaining deadlines at work!

10. NO eve-teasing. Think about your own mother/sister/girlfriend/wife being treated the same way before you do it. Have SOME respect. And for the love-lorn roadside romeos out there: GET a girlfriend and stop bothering us!

11. NO drunk driving. It is NOT cool! It is not safe! And women hate it!

12. Same rule for the bikers: SLOW DOWN. We dont like Fast and The Furious in real life.

13. NO jumping red lights. Have some consideration for other poeple’s lives.

14. Lane driving. Don’t be in such a hurry. Wake up early if you have to rush.

15. NO public smoking. One word: EWW!!

16. Help someone in need. Be a good citizen. Stop robbing people.

17. Give up seats for senior citizens and pregnant women/women with children in the metro/bus. Have some manners. Would you like to be treated in the same way?

18. NO jumping queues or pushing/groping in a queue. Have patience. Trust me, things will work faster and smoother that way.

19. Switch off your cell-phones/put them on silent mode while in a theatre/auditorium etc. If you have to take/make a call, kindly leave the room.

20. NO talking loudly while in a public place. We dont want to hear what so-and-so’s auntie/uncle did and why your boyfriend is dumping you. Perhaps we have already guessed the reason for the latter.

21. Put some money aside every month for a good cause. 10 bucks a month will do. Don’t be greedy.

22. Control your children while at a restaurant. We go there to eat…not have some kid picking at our food and tie with dirty hands.

23. Relax. Dont be in a temper all the time. Life is beautiful….enjoy it.

24. Be forgiving. If someone bangs into your car by mistake, it doesnt mean he/she is out there to kill you.

25. Smile. Please.

SAY CHEEESE!!! 🙂

The Opinionlessly Opinionated


I’m sick of all those people who pretend to have such good intellectual knowledge of things when actually, they very well know they dont.

After the introduction of the women-only coach in the metro, while some expressed irritability at the fact that the women got their own coach, some expressed happiness for the women. But weirdly enough, there was another breed of men who started to voice their so-called opinion when they actually had none! Just because most of their friends were unhappy with the new coach, they joined the flock proclaiming their hatred and male chauvinism to the women of the world.

-“This new coach is just a bad idea!”

“Why sir? May I ask ?”

-“Bacause, well….the…the women dont need them. We do.”

“And what makes you say that? Aren’t you worried that your girlfriend might get groped in her next metro ride?”

-“……..No, she’s fine.” Period

And then there is another breed of people who want to get into every debate and every discussion just to look cool and knowledgeable. Pity these people, when we (obviously) find out that they dont really ‘know’ stuff and basically, have no opinion.

“So, what do you think about the new foreign policy of the State?”

-“Yes”

“Umm…yes what?”

_”What he said…”

“What who said?”

-“The person who spoke before I did”

“Oh! so you agree with that?”

-“Yes, He is very sweet, he is always right”

Believe me, I am not making these conversations up. I bet you too have met at least one person who fits in the category of the ‘Opinionlessly Opinionated’.

I would also like to ask all those people who comment unneccesarily, Why the hell do you talk about something you dont understand? If doubts, listen to other people, then make your own ideas. If still in doubt, research.

There is nothing shameful in admitting that you do not know about a certain topic. Believe me, it will bring you respect. All you need to do is say “I am sorry, but I do not know much about this…but I will get back to you on that.”

I fact, the other person might just tell you something about what he knows. There is nothing wrong or shameful about having less knowledge, but the stupidity is in pretending to know something you don’t. Have the guts to admit the truth…or shut up!

End of story.

Bye-Bye CWG, Hello Delhi


“Madam, badhe saaxy lag rahe ho”, the guy on the cycle shouts out to me as he passes by. Unfortunately for him, I do not respond. He continues to make intimidating remarks till he is sure that I will not look his way and then goes away dejected. I breathe a sigh of relief. This is not the first eve-teasing incident I have seen, but it still makes my heart beat at the rate of that cyclist’s wheel.

This got me thinking. The Commonwealth Games are over. The battalion of police and army personnel are no longer to be seen on every street. Delhi is no longer a ghost town that it had become during the Games. The normal (and slightly chaotic) traffic is back on the roads and so are the roadside romeos.

Shedding the image of the crime-capital of the country, Delhi had become the Games’ and cultural capital for a short (and blissful) while, but now that the CWG is over, it looks  recognizable once again.

The garbage that had disappeared is back, so are the paan-spitting people, not to forget the peeing ones at the corner of every street. Dengue and malaria are once again in full swing.

The CWG is over, and ‘saadi Dilli’ is back, and back along with it is ‘gandi Dilli’. The lack of etiquette among people, and the variety of non-sensical abusive words have found their way back home. The cons are back in business after their brief sabbatical.

The traffic snarls and chaos on roads is back after the much-liked order and conformity to rules during the Games. Tourist spots are no longer lit up and even the Government sponsored advertisements promoting etiquette and tourism are off the air. After a short  phase of progressive movement, we seem rolling back to the old times.

The few saving graces are still there though. Thanks to the dedication of Mr. Sreedharan, the Delhi Metro has covered a considerable area of the city. The new and swanky red and green (AC and non-AC) buses are a pleasure to ride on. Thankfully, the ever-convenient roadside kiosks, paan-wala, shoemakers and stalls are back. And of course, the much loved and much missed  Bhelpuri-walas and Golgappewalas are back! A pleasure to the eye, nose and tongue!  Now doesn’t that make you want to say “Hello Delhi, Welcome back!”?

Who’s the judge?



Sasha and me have suddenly stopped talking. I am not sure why. But I have a feeling that we might have reached a saturation point in our relationship. Yes, I will miss Sasha…I will miss all the hanging out, sharing books, talking for hours about nothing-in-particular and the occasional dramatic fake arguments we had. But I am not sad. Somewhere at the back of my mind I knew it would all come to an end someday. I am just curious.

Did we stop talking because we dont have anything to talk about anymore? Or is because perhaps Sasha is sick of me. Yes, it could be so. Sasha could be sick of my drama, my unusually excited character and sudden bouts of irritation. But I dont dislike Sasha for that, nor do I dislike myself. Do I wish Sasha had more patience with me? Yes, of course I do. But I know better than to expect that of anyone I know.

Yes, I will miss what we had, but if I hold on..I will miss myself. I will miss my craziness, my carefree nature, my ability to look at things the way I do now. I will miss  my pride. And so, I will just let go of Sasha, just as I have let go of  many other people in my life.

If they cannot love me and respect me for who I am, they are not obliged to do so either. Their friends are their choice and my friends are mine. Love me, or leave me is what I would like to believe in for as long as I can. If you cannot handle me, you are welcome to leave my side. But please, do not be fake with me. Do not pretend to be my greatest friend while you actually mock me behind my back. I am happy to let you go with all the respect and regard that you deserve, provided you do the same for me.

Yes, I will miss you, but that is not to say I cannot live without you. Sometime in my life I will think of you, but I will never regret letting you go, nor will I hate you.

Noone in this world deserves to be judged by another if one cannot understand their position. Every person is different, having faced different situations in life, having dealt with their lives in a different way. And everyone has a right to be different. The human nature is such. Not everything has to be correct or incorrect. What might be the right way for me, might not be right for you. But that’s okay, because I know we will both be fine in our own lives.

So, sometimes, it is best to let things be. And I will let it be.

Love me, or leave me, but please don’t judge me.

Why so afraid?


I was watching an episode of Ugly Betty last night. Every time i watch the show something strikes me and sort of disturbs me. I have always liked Betty, no, not because she is the stereotypical plain jane-but sweet and kind working woman on TV, but because I admire her sense of style. (yes, you heard me right). Betty is not afraid to show her style to the so-called fashionistas at her workplace. While for some, her style may be loud and crazy, but for me and Betty, it is just, well, another  style.

So why are we so afraid to show who we are? In one episode of Ugly Betty, Wilhemina says to Betty ‘Taste is having the courage of your own convictions.” But why, does she have to say this in Betty’s ear? Why does it have to be a secret? Why did Wilhemina never stand up for her colleague and say this aloud in her boardroom. Some will say an evil, career-oriented hag will never do such a favour for her employee….but that is another matter.

My point is, why are we so judgmental? what is right for one might not be right for someone else. What you consider beautiful may not be so to me and vice-versa.

I like Betty because I love color….also, sometimes I like to dress outrageous. It is fun when you think about it. And so, here i come to another question…why are we so afraid of  Colour?? but that will probably be discussed in another post…maybe the next one…..

till then…think about it.