New Geography


Well I have always been amused by the statements of somebody-nobody called Raj Thackeray. Not because of the fact that I support his views and not even because I am against. I read his statements to laugh out on a clown’s imagination and self belief that he has finally become the ‘Hero’. I laugh at his mind’s radius which is so small that we can’t even see it now! I laugh over how can someone become so illiterate and backward in 2008 – coming from an influential family? I laugh at this guy’s CV expereince of vandalism in name of Indian culture by burning card galleries! I laugh at this guys amateurish and backward effort to get Orkut banned totally unaware of how his own family’s children are having profiles on the networking site!!!!
Quite frankly who is this guy anyway- RAJ THACKERAY. Is he the chief minister or the governor of Maharashtra or his local den- Mumbai? Family lineage trace him to be nephew of Bal Thackeray who was another man who imposed his dogmatism on Indians and gave us the legendary – Shiv Sainiks who are expert in vandalizing, creating new laws a la Taliban. He has got his freedom of speech and enjoys his moments of fame while speaking blatantly on the microphone amongst even sillier reporters who create a big byte out of his mindless crap.
He has been in open war against the Bachchans when the Bachchans have been polite and resilient enough to come out and apologise for god knows what!!!!! Looking at Raj T’s past records -why shouldn’t he ask the Republic of India to create Mumbai as a stand alone state and make him the self proclaimed King oops the CM.
He says that North Indians are crowding Mumbai and are still doing favors to the other North Indian states from where they hail from. But how do we stop someone from their philanthropic acts in the name of regions. Should we start asking NGOs and other social organisations to first confirm the states of the donors and then work out the fundings accordingly? And why not even ask the blood banks to ensure the blood of a North Indian is provided only to the North Indian and not South Indian?
Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and is cosmopolitan just like Delhi. People are working towards the upliftment of the corporate and financial sectors. They are contributing their efforts towards boosting the Indian economy rather than the local hub’s economy. What will Mumbai be in reality if the other region people weren’t there? Majority of them would be still doing fishing or working in Sugar mills! What does Raj T got to say to the depleting Parsi community? What does he got to say to the Gujarati community? Should Ambanins pack their bag and move to Gujarat? Does Raj T has the determination, intellect and charisma to create another ‘Reliance’ and provide jobs to the thousands of Mumbaikars who will lose the job? Will he ask the Mangeshkars to sing and compose a ‘Mumbai Anthem’, the same Mangeshkars who have created a charitable hospital with funds from all communities of India? Will Raj T allow the Indian Navy to have its dockyard and its crew members on the Mumbai port only if they are Mumbaikars?
If the answer to all the above is true then might as well give him what he needs.
And not forgetting – tomorrow, another somebody-nobody will get up from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkatta, Ludhinana. Amritsar demanding his own little state.
We will then forget the Kashmir and Eastern conflict and will solely dedicate ourselves in making a new provincial India.
So dear friends- prepare yourself for a new provincial India; the geography is about to change courtesy one man -THE LEGENDARY RAJ THACKERAY. Future beckons to him. Lets all bow in front of his extra ordinary thoughts and write odes praising his excellent policies.
‘Jai Mumbai’ ‘Jai Delhi’ ‘Jai Banagalore’ ‘Jai Kolkatta’ and please don’t put me in jail if I haven’t mentioned all the new states. You see I am still learning my Geography.

Wake up- Break-up


The venue was set and so was the time and date. She was excited and was glad to be finally take out some time from studies and her study table and go out with her friends and laugh. She told her boy friend about her plan who immediately gave a disapproving nod asking her not to go. She knew his possessiveness level -so she tried to calm him down by assuring him she is going to have all her friends there and she will not talk to boys and won’t sit with any guy. She even told him she won’t talk to any boys of her group. But he was persistent and stuck to his disapproving nod.

 

She decided to go ahead and be herself after all those years of painful courtship. She wanted to go out and have just a single day enjoying the laughter, the leg pulling and silliness of jokes she shared with her pals.

 

 

It was her birthday and she met him in the morning. She was beaming and expected some sort of surprises for her- but here were none. He asked her for treat and she gave him one still waiting for a surprise. The surprise came- there was no present, no card, no candies not even a hand written note. He dropped her at her college and before leaving she said standing by the car door- I am going out for lunch and quickly left to ignore all yellings and swearing that followed.

He was standing outside the college gate when she was coming out crowded by her jolly friends. She was laughing at her childhood friend’s silly jokes when she saw him. He came to her and said – he is going to drop her to the restaurant where she was having her birthday lunch. She was quite suspicious and told him her friend would also come with her. He hesitantly said yes and they drove a little far from the college precincts when he parked the car next to a building and told her friend to go from there to the venue adding carelessly that she will not be able to make it for her own birthday lunch. Her friend was dumb founded and looked at her to gather a single streak of response. She gathered some courage and told him- she is not going to listen to him and will surely make it for the lunch. He sweared a lot and kept cursing her. She asked her friend to get out of the car. Before she could open the car’s door she felt a strong punch hitting her hard across the face immediately followed by a sharp slap on the same cheek. Her friend yelled out and went out of the car and took her injured friend out and called for a rickshaw. They took it and the friend told the rickshaw puller to go as fast as he can. She couldn’t hear at all from her left ear and cried heavily. Her friend also helped her ease off her already sprained left arm and held her closely confirming if she could still hear. She thought about taking her to hospital as her friend was not reacting. Before the friend could took any decision she saw the white car merging from behind and brought to screechy halt right in front of the rickshaw. He came out of the car and pulled the girl and kept swearing and telling her not to create a scene. The friend called her other friends on mobile and they talked to the guy on phone trying to retaliate. The public kept looking at the scene. The boy calmed in fear of police.

The girls reached the venue and went directly to washroom where she washed her face and tried to look good for her own birthday treat. She just broke out and confided that the guy only had twisted her left arm a day before knowing very clearly she is left handed and rarely uses her right hand. She looked swollen and had trouble speaking and hearing. She went out and saw her friends laughing and giggling. She sat in middle of her two best friends and ignored the stares she got from her friends knowing very well the talks in the air- where everyone knew the nature and reason of her injury. She couldn’t eat the food, she couldn’t enjoy the jokes, she couldn’t appreciate the presents, she couldn’t thank her friends.

Her friends had been telling her to have a break-up for long time but it seemed as if she was hypnotized by the retarded guy who had convinced her she was nothing without him. He had convinced her she had no good looks and he was pitying her and favouring her by having him in his life. She tried coming out of the relationship after that incident. Six months later she was coxed by the retard who begged for forgiveness. She was trying to forget him and move on ahead with her friends and a new guy who loved her deeply. But the fool she was she forgave him and gave him another chance.

They spent next two years fighting bitterly over who should pay for date expenses or movie tickets. he asked her to give him some amount of money from her new job’s salary every month.

One day after a hard day’s work she got out of office at 8:45 pm dying to go home and have dinner and get back to her MBA preparation when she saw him waiting outside the office gate in the same white car. She gave a sigh of relief thinking hugging him would make her forget her headache and the day’s fatigue. He drove the car fast and parked it in a secluded area and slapped her hard across the face- asking what was she doing so late at work? Who is her lover in the office? Before she could speak he slapped her again and tried to rip her shirt apart. She screamed loudly and he feared the public. She kept crying loudly and he dropped her lamelessly outside her apartment gate. The girl cried her way to home in agony. Her parents were worried why was she crying. She lied and said – ‘ she fell down’.

She broke up him after wards and faced physical violence while having the break-up also. She slapped him hard across his face in their last meeting ever.

 

 

Physical violence is entirely the victim’s fault and sign of weakness. Well educated girls, intelligent girls are continuing to live in a torturous relationships everywhere- even in metropolitan cities.

Wake up- break-up sucks but life is beautiful after it. You only love some one who deserves you entirely- don’t feed yourself emotionally and physically to retards who can’t treasure your presence in their life.

 

Happy Independence Day


From the day when I stood on stage and couldn’t even pronounce Swatantrata….I’d yell out Jai Hind loud enough for the rest of school to yell with me…

From the day when I got up late in the morning on 15th August….I’d rush to the terrace to see the Planes and salute…..

From the day when I was born in my motherland…………I’d never thought I’d miss the kite flying, the get togethers with my cousins, the mom made snacks brought my dad to the terrace……….

I miss everything back home….and felt so good seeing all the wishes pouring in since morning-Feels great to know I am equivocal sharing my excitement..

 

Thanks pals…..

Happy Independence Day!!!

 

 

Happy Independence Day
Happy Independence Day

 

Regards,

AnupaMahak

Cricket -national sports of INDIA


Ok We won Glod medal….fine! Ok Bindra’s back home and enjoying accolades…..fine!!

I am tired of hearing BINDRA BINDRA BINDRA..before you label me spoil sport or hyperbole me as not Indian let me emphasize I am happy and proud as much as I can be, but not being ignorant of the sad fate India has in Olympics. First things first the parade was a mess- major fashion faux pas by team members, then the drug controversory surrounding Monica and ill fated tryst of Raghvendra Rathore.
Now Bindra is enjoying all the walk galore and smiling to the shutterbugs-but ain’t it a while back same place was adorned by Karnam Malleshwari or Raghvendra Rathore and many others? Where are they now? What has happened to them? Is silver sheen fading in front of newly acquired Gold bling? India recently won the 8 nations AFC football tournament securing them qualification for the 2011 Asian Cup finals in Qatar but what to write home about it?

I had a very interesting conversation with my chinese friends and here are the excerpts from yesterday’s morning:

GMM: India won its first gold..wow congrats.
Me: Yeah we did- our first individual gold ever. Technically we got our first in 1900 but as we were British colony the medal went to British tally.
DX: Oh is it? I never knew that.
GMM: Well your cricket Cricket is pacing up in young Chinese and we are working towards it.
Me: Oh! So you mean you are coming in competition in that too.
GMM: Naaah! We can’t compete with you- its your National Sport eh!
Me: Nooooo! Cricket is not our National Sport- hockey is.
DX: Are you sure? I think its cricket.
Me: C’mon it is hockey. Though as per mass appeal Cricket is the heartbeat of nation.
GMM: India has dismal performance in Hockey. I have never heard of its competency.
Me: But that’s how it is dear.
DX: They should change it to Cricket- its high time.

Well I couldn’t say anything apart from telling them according to my belief- Cricket is no longer a sport now, so it can’t become National Sport anyways. Cricket is business – with everyones mega stake in it- Media, sponsors, advertisers, television,newspaper, film industry,big corporates et al. Recent 20/20 were good- glamorous- but how acute were they in promoting the spirit of game wherein we knew clearly mega bucks were involved?

Another interesting excerpt from yesterday evening:

RH and IW: Hey congrats dear! India got its first ever Gold.
Me: Yeah. Thanks. It is really our first and most cherished. He is gonna get so good welcome back home. Cash rewards and other windfall gains is the thing for him now.
IW: Imagine 1 billion people and just one guy with Gold.Phewww….he is gonna get so lucky.
RH: Yeah it is true. One billion……

Really ONE BILLION and one gold medal. Well if we get away from our administrative ways, favoritism, nepotism then only we can think about having more medals. It is sad team members don’t get sponsors or good gear! Who is listneing to them?Only  Sahara- who sponsored the hockey team….?

Well I don’t wanna really really go further into it. May be you can probe in deeper?

I am already jerked off today- I slipped this morning as it was hailstorming and my left side hurts- OUCH!! :( :(

Heres to you girls- be alarmed


She was wondering if he was still following her. She tried to hide herrself behind the bushes and took her head a little out to see if she could see his green shirt. She gave a sigh of relief and rushed from there to find any public in place. She found a couple of mothers and kids waiting for probably a school bus. She stood next to them and kept breathing heavily. She was sweating a bit and felt a sharp tinge on her right arm. She saw a deep gash down her elbow to wrist and a line of blood seeping out of it. She asked one of the ladies about the nearest public bus stand. The lady directed her and she left hurriedly from there. She could only relieve herself when she found a seat in a over crowded bus which was least expected. She closed her eyes only to be disturbed by the conductor.
She had left her house to reach office at her usual time and noticed him at the bus stand staring at her. He was always there every day at the same time. She kept looking somewhere else only to be reminded again and again he was trying to come closer to her. Her bus came but as the crowd was a lot she missed it and then noticed there were just four people left. She stood next to the two older men while they chatted candidly about Rahul Gandhi’s campaign. One of the older man suggesting taking the auto which was standing nearby. She kept wishing inside for them to stay and wait little longer,and saw them negotiating with the autorickshaw driver and vrooming away from there. How much faster her heartbeat was running-she was not aware. He came near to her and touched her waist and she tried moving back and she noticed the bus coming again. He was much closer now and touching her bossom and she could see the saliva about to drop from him mouth and the lust ful eyes he had perched on her body. She slapped him hard and ran away from there. The area was secluded and the narrow roads seem like crystal maze to her, he gained velocity and she felt him touching her all over again. He gave her a sharp push and she fell down. Her vision was getting blurred with the tears in the eyes-he tried twisting her arm as if taking revenge for that slap. His heavy hand and the thick bracelet on the wrist pierced deeply inside her arm. She got a slash too but couldn’t feel the pain at that time. She punched him across his face and then kicked him hard and saw him whimper with pain touching his groin area. She moved at the speed of light from there.
She got the change from the conductor and thanked god when she felt some sweat dropping on her injured arm from a man standing next to her seat. She felt icked and quickly cleared it using her dupatta which already had blood marks. The bus was getting crowded at every stand and the driver and conductor thought it was some sort of a magic bus which could accomodate innumerable people. The people were toppling over each other and no girl knew which man was enjoying himself by taking pelasure in touching them. Finally her stop came and she got off and puked.

This post is reflection of what an average Indian girl experiences in public places in any metro.My post here is just painting the picture of Delhi’s famous DTC and Private line buses. It is not Over the top at all- as I myself am a victim of such incidences. I have been the girl who has puked after getting off the bus, I have been the girl who took all her angst out on this guy who follwed her daily by slapping him hard across the cheek and never following the bus route ever again. I have been the girl who has gone to wrong buildings first to mislead the boys about her address. I know there are several others like me. I am happy being away from all the eve teasing sessions in Delhi- the nasty starings and disgusting touchings. I was lucky I travelled very less in buses in Delhi (for only two months) as I went to college by car, but I have heard horrific tales of my friends. I remember storing women’s cell no. in my mobile fully aware that what is the use when the incidence is already taking place. I have been clueless about what to do. I remember getting blank calls and crazy calls from jilted boys totally unaware how they tracked my landline. My mom and bro have scolded a few of them for my sake and I became little bold too. But seriously how safe are we – outside or even inside our own homes?????Heres to you girls- be alarmed Be strong-but please don’t hope these incidences will ever stop! Be cautious at every step.

Heres to you girls- be alarmed

Heres to you girls- be alarmed

Modern Draupadi


Aaliya twitched her nose and yelled -‘Ammi I don’t like this color, use pink color‘. Her ammi gave her half hearted smile and got back to the pillow cover she was embroidering for the last four hours. The order was too tiring for her and she feared Usman will never give her another order in future. Usman was great help in Rabina’s tough times as she struggled with Zohar’s job loss when his pottery business declined.

Aaliya was seeing her mother struggle daily and her father getting frustrated with life and yet not doing any thing. Zohar’s friend from Palwal suggested him to come there and try his luck in nearby factories. Rabina prayed for her husband’s success this time. Aaliya requested her abba to get her a pink salwar suit from Delhi if he managed to go there too. Zohar left the house only to return in five days with bright beam on his face. Rabina saw him at the door and knew her hardships were coming to an end. Zohar told Rabina he has good news for the family. Rabina cut snapped him asking how much he is going to get from the new job. Zohar said he is about to get thirty five thousand rupees in lumpsum and he will start a small shop with the money. Rabina was shocked and asked him how he managed to dig gold in just single visit. He told Rabina to have patience and trust him and tidy the house as he was expecting some people from Palwal in few days.

Rabina tidied the house and even changed the bedsheets with her own embroidered ones. She was excited as her husband’s new shop will cure all her sadness and they will prosper again. Aaliya was asked by Zohar to get new clothes. Zohar got a confirmation that the guests will come in two days and he knew it was time for him to tell Rabina about his gold hunt. He went to Rabina when she was busy thinking what shop should they start. He told her that he had fixed Aaliya’s marriage to a family in Palwal who is willing to pay thirty five thousand rupees. Rabina was horrified at the thought. She asked him how he could do this. He calmed her down and said the money is good and they should accept it. She asked him about the groom. He snapped and said they should better sleep now as it was very late. She repeatedly asked him knowing something was wrong.

In the morning five men came to their house while Aaliya set their hookahs. The oldest man about fifty years asked her name. She smiled and replied Aaliya. The other men gave an affirmative nod in synchronization as if they were pleased the girl could speak. Rabina was still confused as to who was the prospective groom while she convinced her mind to get her girl married off and fearing what if they knew she is just 13. She concluded the family was well off and probably its for Aaliya’s best to escape from the poverty and lead a happy life with a loving husband as Rabina’s grandmother always said -‘older husbands always pamper their young wives’.

Aaliya heard a voice from the road and went out to see who it was. She told her ammi it was Usman chacha who had come to give final payment for the last order. Rabina’s mom introduced Usman to the family when Zohar was quick enough to show off that his guests own five major pieces of land in Palwal and ten cattle.  Usman asked him to introduce him to them formally. Rabina mom couldn’t hide her happiness and said- Our Aaliya is getting married in the family to……….; she stopped as she herself wasn’t aware of the groom. Aaliya went to another room and wondered whatever she heard was right or not?

Before Zohar could satiate any of Rabina’s questions the old man was leader enough to declare he is buying Aaliya for him and his four sons as their shared wife and paying good price for her. Rabina was shocked and yelled – ‘Haaye Allah‘. The old man fully aware of upcoming reactions was quick enough to say – he has calculated the market price in Palwal and nearby areas of Punjab and the price was fair enough for Aaliya when shared with five men.

Rabina was crying and didn’t know what led Zohar to take such barbaric decision for his daughter. Zohar took Rabina tightly from her arm and took her to Aaliya whose face was already swollen crying. Aaliya kept crying louder and louder which irritated him a lot and he slapped her hard across the face and poor little girl fell on the floor. He held Rabina closer and said in her ears they both are young and there is no harm now in trying having another child and luckily a boy. He told its not that he doesn’t loves Aaliya, he told her to feel proud that Aaliya was getting married to such a well to do family and it doesn’t matters if she has four or five or six husbands as long as they are getting good money for her. Rabina was lost in Zohar’s kohl rimmed eyes and felt hypnotized at the prospect of ending her sufferings she had endured all her life. Here she saw a chance of being free and lead a life she always wanted to. She saw Aaliya as a medium for her independence and remembered her own share of sacrifices for her parent’s sake. The vision of thirty five thousand was intoxicating her and so were Zohar’s eyes. She looked at her daughter’s tiny frame lying on the frame and for first time she saw her as useful.

They went out and she ate the sweets from Zohar’s hand still being intoxicated. Usman had by far heard all the commotion and knew what was happening. He looked sheepishly at Zohar and smirked if any such thing was known to him earlier he would have offered forty thousand for Aaliya. Zohar was about to smile at his sudden pot of luck when the old man and his sons got up and one of the boys took Usman’s collar and asked him to leave. Usman kept yelling forty-five forty-five forty-five. Zohar was trying to listen to the new deal being offered. Usman and Zohar kept fighting with the five men and Rabina stood their intoxicated by the sound of thirty five forty five and how they sounded as they were new hymns being sung in her ignorant ears.

Epilogue – This post is written courtesy the disturbing vibes I had after looking at my marriage certificate. It glamorously shows a column for guardian’s name if the bride is lower than age of 18 at the time of marriage.

Shocked?????  I was too. My immediate question to my hubby was- doesn’t Indian constitution says legal age for a girls wedding is 18??? He was as blank as I was. Then somewhere inside I realized its not a big thing remembering the politicians in Rajasthan who openly endorse mass child marriages and proudly donate funds for the feast. I remembered the numerous tiny pieces of reports lost amidst the big news about how a girl was married to the father and the sons courtesy the low skewed ratio of females in the states. Why are we offering young girls for sake of money? Are we going back to early man age or are we such big fans of Mahabharatha that we feel our daughters qualify to be modern Draupadis? I am shocked and feeling disgusted.

A Nation Without Women

Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women

Global hub but not hubby


This topic has been flirting with my mind’s nerves since two months and complaining against my ignorance to it like a little puppy..Finally here I am penning oops ;) typing my thoughts over this subject…..

Cross cultural wedding

Cross cultural wedding

India is embracing globalization just like how a newly purchased dress is adorned by a girl with panache and pride. Families are sending their kids to study abroad in wake of increasing competition, reservation systems and less number of colleges. The families bear a proud grin on the face whilst telling the neighbours or the overtly closed extended family members that their son/daughter is studying in US/UK/Australia. They get excited at the prospect of receiving ISD calls and being net savvy courtesy regular video chat sessions on Skype/Yahoo/MSN.  Its not only education thats taking youths abroad…now its the MNCs, the jobs, the software hubs, the research and development tasks that are taking people to beautiful locales of Swiss alps, Gondola ridden Dutch land, adventorous Oz or the fashion capitals of Milan, Rome, London or New York. Right now all my friends are currently abroad-either sudying or working.

One common thing which mothers especially keep telling their sons before boarding the airplane and asking for liquor from the sexy European airhostess is – ”’Gori se shaadi karne ka mat sochna‘. My mother also told me very strictly when I told her I wanted to pursue my masters from abroad – ‘Studies are fine and so is job, but don’t ever be friendly with a foreigner.’ Her fears were relaxed by my unexpected wedding to a Kiwi based Indian….. and how happy she was (is).

I really don’t understand the idea behind this. They say the cultural difference is gonna be huge and there is no security in the wedding as foreigners are known for their records…… :D I say the case is increasing in Indian society as well. Divorce rates are increasing and so are separation rates. Couples are not happy and continuing to live a farce for the sake of family honour. Love is no longer there but family pride prevails at full vigour….then why bugle the cross cultural and global funda????? My take is if we Indians are global enough to adorn the foreign brands and ready to send oour kids abroad for finer education then why not also accept their love interests and give them blessings? When parents get prepared enough  to send them at tender age of 17 or 18 why also they are not prepared enough to understand they are youths and will definitely fall in love……why do they forget the concept of ‘Vashudev Kutumbakam‘ (whole world is one common family).

Well anyways I know my perspective has no relevance in wake of people who are even against inter caste/religion weddings. A few of my close friends are battling out with their parents because either the guy is from some other castes (but a hindu) or simply because he/she is of upper or lower caste. They have decided to forget their love and move ahead in life forgetting all the chemistry they ever had and ready to tie the knot with some girl/boy met randomly through an online matrimonial site. Is that fair- taking life’s primal decision based on some horoscopes and 36 guns(traits)??? Is is fair to make two strangers fall deliberately in love and act in front of thousands of people when their heart still aches for the ones they loved? I was damn scared about telling my dad about my husband as he too is from different religion….I never knew how would dad react to this? And he did -he didn’t sleep for nights….but he was always open at the option of meeting him and then taking any decision..he met him,liked him and gave his blessings….

Still there are families who won’t even consider the option………they don’t even wanna hear the name……I know girls who are getting married late in exchange of good dowry just because their parents couldn’t find good match in the community….I know girls who ultimately get married to different communities simply because their parents couldn’t find a good match in the same community (the same parents who brag of not marrying their daughters outside caste and twitched their noses to my parents because they did!!!!!!)

I don’t know how things will change or simply enough do we Indians actually want it to change or are e happy being ignorant enough of this fact….the parents keep searching a girl for their son while the son stays in a live -in relationship with a foreigner and pretends to care to look at the regular photographs of Indian girls he receives in his email……he sometimes even selects a desi girl and gives a fake date toooo never to return to India..while the girl’ family bugles the deal they have got in getting an NRI damaad(son-in law)..

________________________________________________________________________________________

All the incidents or instances mentioned above are true cases..no names or fake names have been incorporated in order to maintain the privacy of the concerned people.You’re welcome to add your thoughts in the comments and also share incidents that  you’re aware of.

Meet the neighours


Jayanti was wearing her watch when she heard the long horn beep. Her mother came out of the kitchen with the ladle in her hand and gave her a sharp look. Jayanti snapped and said -‘not today maa!’. As soon as she left Mrs. Kanekar rang the door bell and gave her obnoxious smile to Jayanti’s mom and showed the empty bowl in her hand. Jayanti’s mom went inside and came with the bowl full of milk. Mrs. Kanekar was quick enough to ask about Jayanti, she seem so genuinely concerned about the guy who came everyday to pick her up every morning on black bike. She was very carefully helpful in mentioning its been two years since Jayanti had passed her graduation. Jayanti’s mom was doing her best to avoid the regular confrontation and repeated that Jayanti will not marry till she finishes her Distant learning MBA. But Mrs Kanekar was a helpful neighbour and it was her primal reason of existence to see Jayanti get married.

Jayanti’s mom was honing her negotiation skill with the Sabziwallah (vegetable seller) when she heard the murmurs coming from the next vendor. She turned a bit to see Mrs Kanekar and Mrs Saluja taking Jayanti’s name. Mrs Kanekar was complaining to Mrs Saluja how she was getting irritated every morning with the horn beeps and how Jayanti was setting a bad example on the other girls of the colony. Jayanti’s mom couldn’t stand there anymore and left the market and took a fast pace to restore herself in the commodious niche of her home. Jayanti came late that evening and asked for a quick dinner as she had to write her MBA assignment. Her mom came out and prepared her dinner plate and didn’t even looked at her or asked her why she was late? Jayanti took few bites but couldn’t enjoy her first meal of the day…..she finally asked her mom what did Mrs Kanekar said in the morning. Her mom said  people think bad things about Jayanti and the the boy on the bike. Jayanti couldn’t said a word more than – he is just a friend who helps me in picking and dropping, otherwise the normal bus would take hours for her to commute.

Jayanti didn’t knew what to say- was she upset with Mrs Kanekar or her own mother. She felt bad at how neighbours were making her mom her biggest enemy. She was a simple girl who never went out or partied or wore fancy clothes like her neighbours’ daughters. She worked hard and studied too. She wanted to run away from that colony but she knew it was useless as there will never be an escape from some Mrs Kanekar or Mrs Saluja there.

Gossiping Neighbour

Gossiping Neighbour

Service value and consumer awareness


Laws

It was in class IXth Social Studies text book where I first read the existence of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It made me feel powerful and vigilant about rights I held against every chocolate or pack of Lays I bought. I was so moved in those days that I even felt like complaining about the way the normal pack of Lays chips is filled with bare minimum chips.

I had so many experiences regarding Consumer rights that it provoked me to write a dedicated post for it.

My dad had several credit cards- American Express (Amex) being one of them. Amex people once sent us a mail that if we shop for more than Rs.50,000 within a specified period we will get a Gilli Pendant. We had already crossed that limit as we were busy shopping for my brother’s wedding. Three months passed on and I told Dad we have full rights to have information why hasn’t it been given to us yet. Dad called up Amex people and the helpdesk girl told us that the Gilli pendants are now out of stock and she can’t provide us with one. I mean shouldn’t they have calculated who all deserve to get it and proactively got pendants in store!!! Anyways, that call ended with me having a long face. Well now the real trauma began when one fine day our telephone went in graveyard and I was cut off from juicy gossips from my friends. The boring voice on the handset said the line was disconnected due to non payment of bill. We were quite stumped as all our utilities bills were automatically debited from Amex card. Again a call was made to Amex which started with various options being clicked through the mobile phone as per the automated voice’s orders. The Amex people told us sorry and promised to make the payments ASAP. Well ASAP meant two weeks and my dad lost all control and cancelled his Amex card and returned his torn card back to them. After a month we got a new statement quoting the pending annual charges- for what I don’t know. I wrote them a furious letter and warned to sue them for malpractices. Thank god afterwards they stopped harassing us.

March 2007 was pretty bad timing for us. I was entering into the new world out of dad’s nest and had to understand all the financial details and at the same time take care of my mum’s and my sanity when one sad afternoon a guy from ANZ Bank came to our doorstop and spoke to my mom quite brashly to return the bank’s pending amount and asked several times for Mr. Srivastava. My mom talked to him nicely and told him to have a seat and called me. I asked him about his identification card or credential which he had none. He told me we hadn’t paid last month’s payment and therefore he is there to collect and here I can tell he was speaking not in a good way! (if you know what I mean). I showed him copy of a letter I had sent to them two weeks back which clearly indicated that we will be closing the bank account as soon as we get the details of what all is outstanding as all bank papers were freezed in Dad’s lockers and we never knew the exact figure. My mom had tears in her eyes and she pitied her helplessness. I took half a look at her and half a look at my Dad’s photo on the chest and told that weird guy to call his manager and let me speak to him. God knows what all went through me at that call- I am a soft spoken person but that time I just scolded the manager and gave him a good one. I asked him how he dare send some stranger to my house knowing what emotional crisis we were going through. I told the manager to apologise to my mom who was harassed by the behaviour. He apologized to us and promised us he will support me in closing the bank account. I closed it within 3 days and paid the full and final amount.

Anyways that depressing time moved on and I came in Auckland. Being a veggie its quite tough to find choices dining out. It was a dull Friday evening and I wasn’t feeling like cooking so we decided to have a Domino’s pizza. We called the 0800 helpline and placed our order and went to the busy city street outlet to pick up. I stayed in the car as we couldn’t find a valid parking. Anyways to cut the long story short- we got two wrong pizzas from crazy Indian people who ran the outlet. They were very rude to us and didn’t replace our pizzas and told us we are now barred from ordering pizzas and gave us our dollars back!!! We were so angry-I could have almost slapped him hard across the face considering the fact I understood what he spoke in foul hindi to his colleagues in kitchen. I wrote to Domino’s and got an apology letter from them and also coupons for free pizzas.Click below to see their apology.

Domino\’s Apology letter

Incidentally few weeks back girl/boy/don’t know who- created a fake profile on Orkut and had my picture as main display pic and even in the albums. I don’t know who it was but a good friend of mine informed me about the profile id and I lodged a complaint with Google and had to even send them a copy of my passport to support my credentials- Two weeks afterwards the profile was deleted!

It is very important to voice out if services are not served in righteous manner. Trust me an accountable and ethical company will always love to listen negative points for enhancing their scope of improvement. If you go to café and don’t find coffee to your taste buds-tell them. If you don’t like the chips/cookies/ice cream you tasted- write to them…..but take action……we are paying for the service/goods and have full right on every dime spent on it. Especially when it involves Banks-voice your opinion-cry out loud for your rights……..the bank is always rich..and it makes us poorer…we have to speak and tell them we are the ones who are running their business.

You can click here to read about Complain filing procedure in a forum.

Guide

No Room for Broom


Spring cleaning reminds me of my favorite festival- Diwali. My mom pestered me to clean my stuff and room otherwise I knew there would be no festival money from my parents. Innocent baby me did all the cleaning every year. Summer nights in Delhi meant taking a walk after dinner and licking Fruity Lick Lollies (No PUN intended seriously). My dad was always careful to see where I threw the wrapper in the end. It always went inside Bhola Uncle’s cane basket next to his Ice cream cart. It therefore became my habit to always ensure to dispose the wrappers in dustbin. There were many instances when I couldn’t find a bin so I always kept the wrapper in my bag or Blazer’s pocket and threw it when ever I saw a bin.

Indians have traditionally been cleanliness and hygiene freaks-probably that can justify the concept behind Diwali’s Spring Cleaning fervour or the glary warnings from Grandmas not to wear shoes in kitchens. It was a tradition in many households to broom the house twice- once in morning and then yet again in evenings. Heights to it is the concept of mopping the floor with a wet cloth with bare hands. It was the duty of the maid to do it every day without fail. Before you settle in your mind that this post relates to mopping/brooming(not your fault the title and so far my writing suggests this only) I need to clarify (cleaning bug stings me here again with my lingo) that this is about India’s status as not so clean country in world scenario. The first thing one gets to see after getting off the airplane or train is FILTH. Why are our roads covered with wrappers, bottles, cow dung or even human dung????? Why our homes are sparkly clean but not our roads that lead to our homes? Why do little children do not care before throwing their Mc Donalds wrappers and Coke cans out of their moving cars on main roads -which is dangerous also considering it might hurt the traffic at the back.

I remember one summer break when two of my very irritating cousins came to stay with us. Dad and mom tagged the morons with me for the night walk and not much to my delight got ice creams for them. They opened it, slurped it like hungry cats and vainly threw the wrappers on the road and not in cane basket which was right next to them. I was so so so annoyed that I asked both of them to pick the wrappers from the road and then throw it in basket. They declined yet again proving their feline nature. I lectured them for next 15 minutes while my parents talked to some other couple nearby. They were just not understanding the concept behind throwing it in the bin. The elder of the two who was in grade 9th then simply told me the MCD sweeper will clean it in the morning. I was shocked to hear it and knew there was no point in filtering some wisdom through the holes in their minds as they were as small as salt and pepper shaker’s holes. I picked them up and threw in the bin. What the wrappers not the cousins!!! :D

Dirty toiletI have always loved going to India gate and sitting next to the lake and enjoy yet again Ice cream. Families come to India gate to have a nice picnic brunch and share a jolly good time. Wow what a time for family bonding! But hey what about the mess they leave on the grass. Forget the grass-they dump the plastic bottles in the lake there. And how can I forget mentioning the chewing gums in public transport or toilets. Ewwwww the toilets are the worst- the much avoided trip to the public toilet is like a battle the little twitchy nose has to bear and defend itself against the poisonous potions served by the apocalyptic Nebraskians. It is indeed not the nebraskians fault because there was no concept of toilets or flushing in their era! Sorry dear……

Has any one seen the sad state of Dal Lake in Kashmir- its an open garbage. Has anyone seen the Taj Mahal’s dirty city locales in Agra? Has anyone seen any any historical monument or temples of Varanasi or Haridwar or Rishikesh clean? Taking a dip near the Ganges is a dirty business- you can see people washing their clothes, rinsing their mouths, women potty training their kids and washing their bums- all in the holy water of Ganges. Here I would like to add that the mosques and gurudwaras and churches are still way cleaner. People enjoy mangoes and bananas and leave the skins for the holy cow maata to chew. The cow maata then blesses us with cakes of her dung right in the middle of the road.

Technically and practically it is quite difficult to clean a country as big as India. But even if a tiny step is taken wouldn’t it be a tiny step less for someone to do cleaing of our own waste? Even if we see someone throwing a wrapper on the road a friendly reminder to tell them to throw in the dust bin may help in the long run. I know few people have thick hide (a la my moronic cousins) but still the thought will get in their mind next time whenever they will throw something on the road. We can actually give a really frowning disapproving look to people who spit on the road or enjoyingly paint the sanguine of their lovely Paans drawing a graffiti on the walls? I feel the smallest of the efforts can only help in India and not some big campaigns like- ‘Clean Delhi Healthy Delhi’ or some others. Such campaigns are like little pictures which flash for few seconds across our brains. But a small lecture or a disapproving frown will effect the iotic brains of the whole filthy nebraskians to behave and realize their presence in the current century. Its important to remind everybody that its not only our house that needs brooming-its our roads, our surroundings and not to forget EVEN OUR BRAINS!

Hey but we need Dr Dolittle to explain the sense to this mighty vain cow! Eh :D