I can’t sleep…

2 10 2007

It is 2 am. And I am up infront of my machine. I tried going to sleep but I simply can’t. I am a weakling. I get upset easily, lose sleep easily (probably because I am too empathetic). The other day one of my teachers passed away. She was very young. I was thinking abt her. The trauma she might have gone through, her young kids etc. I just could not shake her off my mind. Just when I thought I was over that, I got another one.

Here is the reason for my loss of sleep:

 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5700431505846055184&q=randy+pausch&total=19&start=10&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=6

I think this is a must watch. I watched it without any audio (My machine’s speakers don’t work). I read the transcript. I am sure this will be a great inspiration for a lot of people and a reason for some weak souls like me to lose sleep.

The prof. seems to have found peace and come to terms with reality. There are others who think that one should always fight for one’s life. And that once u give up, death is imminent.

I do not know which one of these is better—-To fight the disease (and hope that you would win against any odds) or accept the standard expectations abt life expectancy and surrender???





Dow(or)ry

28 08 2007

This post is written in a kerala syrian christian context.

This is the age of information. There are umpteen number of television channels which includes a lot of news channels too.

We sure are living through exciting times (I guess each generation believes that way).  And we see the media bringing out a lot of bad stuff out in the open.

I have always wondered why they can’t think about a “dowry undercover” operation. I believe that giving or receiving dowry is illegal in India. If the media can  expose not-so-rampant illegal activites, why are they not venturing into exposing the dowry issue that is happening all around.

I think the reasons are:

1. The media consists of people and atleast some of them are “for” dowry.

2. The people in the media (like others) believe that it is a necessary evil

3. The media people do not get  people to facilitate the undercover operation.

 

I have always loathed the idea of dowry. Thanks to my husband for standing by me on this issue (he would not be my husband had he not stood by me). Whenever I talk passionately against dowry I find myself in the minority. To my surprise, even the women seem to be “ok” with the idea. Is this because

 

1. We the modern women are too eager to get married that we are passive about being party to an illegal activity.

2. Did our education teach us to be too mute that we are unable to voice our opinions against this?

 

3. Are we too materialistic that any money that comes to our pocket is ok?

 

4. Even after years of empowerment do we consider lesser to our male sibling?

 

The arguments I hear “for” dowry and my counter arguments are given below:

1. Property will be divided into smaller portions.

 

Counter:

If a person has a boy and a girl, the girl gets the dowry and the boy gets the inheritance. If the same person had 2 boys, the property would have been divided into 2 smaller portions. So this boils down to a question of gender.

2. This is easily accessible wealth and many a time can be more beneficial than receiving inheritance

Counter:

The recipient is party to an activity as serious as any other illegal activity (like theft) which gives you immediate wealth.

3. The groom (future son-in-law) does not want to be involved in his wife’s family’s property division.

Counter:

Women have equal rights as men. So it is up to her to fight for her rights. If the groom believes in fighting for his rights, he has no business in asking his wife not to fight for her rights.

4. The son inherits from the father.

Counter:

This is discrimination based on gender and is a human rights issue.

Eventually, it is up to the modern girls to say “NO” to a relationship based on money transaction. It is up to them to realize they are equal to their brothers and fight for their rights. It is up to us the modern women to listen to our conscience and act for the bigger good. Let us not be passive about the evils that are prevalent around us and be party to it.





The journey of the spirit

24 08 2007

This is something I hesitate to talk about and I do not think I have talked about it to a lot of people. So let me get this out in the open.

Born a christian catholic, I have always  felt the compulsion to be pious. And I have to admit that my piety was only “that” deep. I admire those girls who go to every other novena with much devotion.

I have had my share of ups and downs in my life. Whenever things did not go well, my parents would remind me about the lack of prayers in my life (or the devotion “good girls” are supposed to have)  and how God is teaching me a lesson. This would provoke me even more because I always thought God had better things to do than taking revenge on me. My counter argument would always be the case of Job. Job was a very God-fearing person and how come he had a particularly difficult life.

God being angry with me for not going to church would amount to:

1. God  being possessive because he wants a lot of attention from all of us.

2. God being nepotic. If God’s blessings are proportional to the length of one’s prayers then God merits people by overlooking their deeds.

In my personal life, I go to church only once in a while (just to please my mom). I have stopped covering my head because I think it is utter nonsense to ask just the women to cover their heads if at all there is anything to it.

At this point of time, ritualistic piety is not for me. The sunday masses, the novenas, the lents etc just do not work for me. Plus I love sleeping in. I would rather sleep in my bed early in the morn than do something that does not uplift my spirit.

Eve as a young child, I used to think a lot (till I got a headache) about God, man, creation etc. Nothing made sense to me. I could never understand the concept of infinity. The beginning, end, life, death etc often were causes of headaches  for me. I still do not understand any of it.

I have to admit that whenever I am down in the doldrums I question myself. Is it because I am not the so called church- going- ever- praying- good girl?

I pacify myself thinking that God will atleast give me credit for being honest with myself. I am yet to explore other beliefs. I think it is high time for me to start the journey – the journey of the spirit.





The name game

4 08 2007

Often I hear people ask “What is in a name?”.

Over the past few years I have realised that almost everything is in the “name”.

Why are baby boys preferred over girls? Why is it that female infanticide is still prevalent atleast in some parts of the globe.

I do not think that financial burdens (like dowry) attached to a girl child is the prime reason.  I believe that the basic reason is abt the “name”.  The real issue lies in succession. A boy(in majority of cultures) carries the lineage forward. Parents of a girl child brings up the child with much love, affection and efforts.  She throws away her identity and disconnects(in some sense) from them as soon as she gets married. Again the dowry, the brunt of the daughter’s pregnancy etc falls on the girls’ parents. I am ashamed and alarmed to admit this…I can only empathise with the girl child killers. I know why they do it. I understand them completely.

So I ask of you my enlightened girlfriends:

Do not throw away your surname as soon as you get married (husbands can change, fathers don’t 🙂 ). I think one can show solidarity with one’s husband without changing your surname. Marriage is not about giving up any one party’s identity.

Also your children’s names should be a reflection of your lineage too.

Teach your daughters to dream big. To get what they want. Make them aware that they have equal rights as any other male.

Say “NO” to dowry. Ask for equal share in ancestral property. Do the same for your daughters also.

I really feel terrible when an individual is referred to as the son/daughter of  just the father(the mom will not be anywhere in the picture). I am a mom of 3, investing all I have-my time, energy, love and everything else-in my children. I will be devastated if I am not attached with my children’s names.

Here I ask of you all my male friends, to consider the above mentioned facts – for your mothers, sisters and daughters because they are also individuals just like you, with a heart and mind of their own.

  





Death

1 08 2007

What do I say, I am already lazy abt blogging. I am here just so that I do not end up looking like I fizzled out so early.

What do I write about?

Death may be…

Yesterday I was watching this malayalam movie with my son.  (I rarely get to watch a movie from start to finish these days). In the movie there was a scene where the mother dies and the son does all the rituals. I do not know why I told this to my son …But here is how I went..”Kutta you are the one who should do all this when amma dies…” Before finishing the sentence I hated myself for saying that. He had a confused-sad look on his face and hugged me and said “you should not die”. For having nothing better to say I said “Amma will die very very old”..Again he repeated with profound sadness in his eyeness “you should not die”. My eyes welled up and I promised him that I will not die. This was one of the most emotional moments I had with my son.

PS: I hope he feels the same way when I grow old and shabby 🙂





What an eventful start…

30 07 2007

What an eventful start…

An hour back i was trying to get a handle on blogging…

I heard a weird noise by the window..Usually I am up during the wee hours.  Usually I attribute any weird sound to the cats and dogs in the neighbourhood. But this one was unlike the others. It was a rattling sound at the window. As brave as I am, I switched on the lights in that room and peeked thru the window to be startled by a black, waif like figure on the other side of the window. I always thought I would be very intelligent in situations of this kind. But even to my surprise I called out for my mom in some weird throaty sound (I have never heard it before.). The moment that sound came out of my throat, I could hear running feet. He was a lucky robber unlucky in his attempt. But I should say he was a damn brave one too…With me (if at all i am to be feared to any extent) wide awake in the adjacent room.

I learned a thing or two from the experience:

Listen to mom (which I learn almost every other moment and unlearn the next moment) abt tucking away tempting stuff.

My cell phone, digital camera, handycam and handbag were all lying on the table next to the window in question.





30 07 2007

As the title rightly puts it…this is an experiment…

My Finitiative to Initiative ratio is very low…

So let the drums roll for a new start..let us see how far i can roll this.

I will be primarily blogging my experiments in the kitchen and my random thoughts.