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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Heart over Head

Bhatia uncle and aunty have been our neighbours before I was born.I still remember since my kinder garden days Bhatia uncle used to bring toffees for me which I used to tightly secure in my tiny hands untill my hands used to get coated with the sugar melted from toffee because of heat genreated in the enclosed fist .I shared a special bond with Bhatia uncle maybe becuase I lost my father at a tender age of two.We used to live in sarojini nagar .Ma used to run a small dress material shop called  "Pehnava fashions" in Babu Mraket .I always heard stories from my mother that our store was never so small.It was a huge shop with all latest desgins salwar kammeez.A big Ganesha idol at the entrance,a big chandelier on the cieling .The entire shop used to glitter with all lovely colors.Aunties from all over Delhi used to flock our shop saying lala ji ,there is no shop better than yours.Our shop was best known for its customer service.Bauji always followed the mantra customer is king .From shinkajavi in summers to hot badam milk in winter ,customers were served drinks irrespective of they bought anything or not.Bauji was very kind towards his employees also.He was always there for his employees be it their daughter's wedding or thier son's admission.I remember Ma
saying once that he had helped Bhatia Uncle also for aunty's treatment.This was the reason that Bhatia uncle respected my parents a lot.
No one can change the destiny.One day suddenly Bauji had a paralytic attack .He was bed ridden .So many japs and yags were done but nothing changed.My mother was pregnant with me .No one was there to take care of shop.Gradually, the shop started making losses.Money was spent like water for bauji's treatment but all in vain.God was busy helping others. He stopped hearing our prayers.Then, i was born.Life was getting tougher day by day for Ma.I turned 2 and one day Bauji lost his battle of life.I don't remember everything but I still remember from that day Ma had become pale .I have never seen any colour on her .Since that day,I have never seen her laughing.Buaji used to tell her ,Gulabi(pink) suits you the best.I asked her, Ma,why don't you wear gulabi these days.She used to never reply.Life has to move on .She had to sell our shop to repay the debt .I was standing behind her grabbing the corner of her offwhite duppatta.seeing from the corner of my eyes, all the things getting loaded in truck.Ma was standing dumbstruck with no emotions .She never cried nor she laughed she had lost sense of all emotions.At last, they loaded Ganpati. In a feeble voice,I asked,Ma why are they taking our bhagwan? Ma said,Bhagwan dosen't want to stay with us.Saying that,she stromed into the house.
Bhatia Uncle's was getting older ahead of his age .I could see his wrinkled forehead .He was stressed because of Kanchan di';s marriage and Rajbeers admission to a good engineering college.I was 10 at that time when Ma had asked me to check the overhead tank because there was no water supply in our house but rest of houses had no problem.When I had gone on terrace I saw Rajbeer sniffing some powder .I didn't understand what was it .He just growled at me .I could see red eyes of his and was scared to death and came running down and locked myself into the couldn't understand what had happened .I did not had
courage to tell this to anyone.Once I had seen Kanchan di with a boy on a bike.She was too awkwardly close to him.I didn't mention this also to anyone.I was too shy and scared to talk.
I knew that Bhatia aunty never liked me.Infact kanchan di and rajbeer also didn't like me.Aunty always used to make faces whenever Bhatia uncle took me to his house on Sunday to have round and big aaloo paratha with lots of white butter and a glass of lassi.I always awaited for sunday because of this scrumptious meal.Aunty never served me happily she used to just pass the plate sliding over the table and to put down the glass with bang and also the butter she put on Kanchan didi's palte and Rajbeer's plate was much more than what I got .My tiny eyes used to just compare the quantity but could never understand the indifference.I could never understand why aunty used to start screaming for everything as soon as I entered the house.But, I never cared untill my stomach was full.Bhatia uncle used to go out of station for some days and during thsoe sundays I used to just stand near the door of uncle's house as soon as I used to smell ghee for frying the parathas.But I never dared to enter inside.I used to stand there biting my lips with a hope that may be aunty will call me for the parathas but when she saw me standing she just banged the door on my face.I went running inside my house.Ma also had very less conversation with aunty.Only talk used to happen when aunty used to leave home snd there was no one at house she used to handover the keys to my ma so that if uncle returns back home early he can take the keys.
I am grown up now .I am 15 now.I have board exams this year.Bhatia Uncle sometimes helps me with mathematics.Though now I have stopped going for sunday parathas.Now I can understand that aunty doesn't like me and so even after lot of persuasion from Uncle I refuse to go.Whenever I am sad, I go to park near our locality .The corner where I sit is quite isolated .No one comes over there .I feel relaxed sitting there thinking about all things that has happened in the gone by years. .One day I hear a hushing sound of two people conversing with each other.They are talking about some illegal tender to be passed .I recognize one of the voice but I am  confused.After thinking for a while ,I guess,  I know this voice.
I came back home.I am standing in my balcony thinking how to confirm if I am right. Just then I see bhatia uncle coming on his Vespa.After thinking for a while,I just go to the back of his house where I can see uncle and aunty talking in a low voice.Uncle says, Preeto ,this is the first and last time I am doing something wrong but I will have to do it to give my children a better future.He hands over a huge bundle of money to aunty to keep it safe.She is very happy with the proceedings.Bhatia uncles steps out again .I can see tiny droplets of sweat on his forehead. I see aunty is busy  palnning to hide the money and I am watching all these things dumb struck.I see aunty UN-stitching one of the cotton stuffed mattress.She stuffs all money into it rolls it and keep it in the store room.I am scared to witness all these things but I am not able to tell this to anyone.I have become quiet these days.I am worried.I have an intution that Bhatia uncle will get into some kind of trouble.
One day when aunty is out for her kitty party and Rajdeep and Kanchan Di are also not there and as usual aunty hand over the keys to Ma giving her strict instructions to keep it safe .I was not sure should I do it or  not.But my instincts says,I have to do it.Somehow,I manage to slip the keys from the drawer.I opened Bhatia uncle's house,went straight into the store room, took the money out,arranged everything as before,locked the house,went straight into the my den in park,started digging a hole and placed the money ,covered the hole placed a huge stone marked with a nail polish paint which was only visible to me and came back running to my house .With god's grace I reached on time .As soon as I reached ,aunty had arrived .Ma was scolding that she had just now mopped the floor and I had spoiled it with mud marks from my shoe.Her scolding was interrupted as soon as aunty came she asked for keys .Without any pause, I said, I will bring went inside to pretend that I am bringing the keys though it was already in my hands.She snatched it from my hand and rushed to her house.
My intuition was correct.Before Bhatia uncle could arrive people from investigation agency had come to uncle's house .Aunty was trembling with fear.Bhatia uncle came running.His house was turned upside down.The people who were investigating were shouting at them.I was standing outside the door of Bhatia uncle's house witnessing all these things.Aunty just started crying as one of the person went inside the store room.Uncle was sitting with his hands on his head.He said everything is over.Aunty went running to the store room and snatched the mattress from the persons hand.He scolded her and started throwing out everything from inside of the mattress.Aunty was sitting on the floor with her face covered.She was shocked when the person shouted,Sir,there is nothing here also.I knew what they were searching for.I knew where it was.I was not sure what I am doing is right or wrong .Should I save uncle?My heart was saying "Yes" because he has been like father to me since so many years .He has been part of all my happiness and sorrows during my growing years.My head was saying "NO" because, it was wrong .it was unethical and immoral to hide such a thing.But ,looking at Bhatia uncle's innocent eyes and face I thought,Uncle is not bad only the circumstances were bad.Thinking this I followed my heart and kept quiet that day.The investigation team was surprised because they had 100% information that money was in Kabeer Bhatia's house.Aunty just as usual banged the door on my face.The long day ended at last.
One Sunday when I was studying maths from Uncle I scribbled something on my notebook .Uncle was astonished and embarrassed to read what I had scribbled,he read with an expression of  fear ,"I know where the money is ". He looked at me with an expression of question. I told him to accompany me.We
did not speak on the way.I took him directly to place .He was curiously looking at me trying to figure out what I was up to. I was digging the ground. like mad .After an effort of some time, I pulled out the bag with money and handed it over to him.His eyes were moist, he could not say anything except "Thank You". We directly went to muktaangan,a child orphanage, and did an anonymous donation.Uncle knew that this donation could not wash away his sin of doing wrong but he was happy that he will never repeat this mistake in his life.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Sunday, February 3, 2013

It's time to Change!!!

This is an attempt to write for BlogAdda's new  weekend contest Blue print for change .

This is a very sensitive and vast topic to write about .It’s not that we are the only country facing problems but I think as a country we are very weak. We never learn from our mistakes and the worst part is, we have been facing same problems since ages. The country is what its people are .We have been brought up learning to be submissive to situations and habits die hard.
A change in a society can be brought when you bring change in your own homes. The change in the nation can be brought only when you being a change in your own thought. We only talk about problem and never do a root cause analysis of any problem small or big. If you seriously look at all the problems you will find everything is interconnected .Let’s pick up any 5 problems to start with.

1&2) Female Foeticide and Dowry system 
Think of a society where even before the girl is born people think of killing her. It is an issue. But, we
need to think what has given rise to this issue .Why people don’t want a girl child. Why even before coming into this world her fate is decided. This “why?”  Has an answer. People consider Girl as a liability. Liability 
because, they have to get her married and pay a hefty penalty to the groom for bringing up a girl child. The bride’s parents will have to reimburse all the expenses that have been incurred by groom’s parents on his education and on top of that they will have to ensure that groom lives a luxurious life at their expense because he has obliged then by marrying their daughter. Will you like to have such a liability at an age where you want to retire and live peacefully? The female foeticide is an issue which is repercussion of an evil called as Dowry system. This also throws light to credibility of those medical practitioners who are part to this crime even though law forbids it .
 Human Trafficking is one more issue that has arisen because of female foeticide. Women are bought and sold as brides where the sex ratio has drastically reduced. Now women has become a commodity which is traded .What an irony … The law is in place but still this is happening because there is a gap between setting up of law and its implementation.
The solution to female foeticide and Dowry system would be
a)      Well established and prominent medical practitioners and doctors should be punished for sex determination and female feticide so that there is fear of law among the doctors .They should be punished and their license should be cancelled.
b)      Change in mindset of Gen next:  Gen next should be conscious enough to question our parents for any such practice during our marriage. Being obedient doesn’t mean that we should support wrong. I was very happy to hear a response from one of my colleague who recently got married .He said we have convinced our parents to keep our marriage very simple and we have invited our close relatives and have thrown a small lunch for closed group of family and friends because there is no pointing wasting so much of hard earned money instead we can use that for our living. I was happy to hear such a response from a youngster.
c)       The women should be strong enough to raise a voice against such practice. Because giving and taking dowry both is crime .There is no limit to greed .Once you surrender you are trapped.You should never get into a relationship which is based on greed. Say “NO TO DOWRY”
d)      We can constantly increase awareness by campaigns and rallies and posters .As Nitish government has done in Bihar Girl’s education should be made free, they should get free school uniform, Bicycles to commute and a fixed amount of  money should be deposited for  Girl child’s higher education. There should be free trainings available which could empower women to start their own small scale industries.

           3) Domestic Violence: .
I have very close relative of mine who was abused for some 15 yearsContinuously after which she had to run away with her two children. The torcher had begun from very initial days of marriage. Her husband used to lock her for some 10-12 hours and go to office. She was just 19 at that time. If some days he used to find her standing on window he used to physically abuse her. She had a long beautiful hair .We used to always envy her hair. One day that maniac had cut all her hair saying that now she could not woo any other men. This is so sad .The women leaves everything behind after marriage with so many dreams in her eyes gets to bear all these things. Since from the day the daughter is born she is conditioned to think that girls are paraya dhan. Once married they leave their house and no matter what they should adjust in their marriages .Just to keep her parents happy and because of social obligation women  silently accept all the sufferings and torcher that are bestowed upon her by her better half..Around 70% of women in India are victims to Domestic violence .One more reason the evil which has been listed above, “The dowry System”.
Solution to this would be :
a)  The family plays a strong role in building  up a healthy society. As a parent we have a responsibility to condition our kids to respect every person. Child learns what he sees .Males who see their mother being respected will always grow up as a human being who respects his wife because this is what he has seen as a child. Child should be taught to behave properly with everyone be it a maid or a security or any house help after all they are just doing their duties .if the learn to respect people now they will respect them for their entire life.
b)     As a part of this society we should be vigilant enough of our neighbor hood if we feel something is going wrong somewhere we need to raise an alarm at least inform the police.
c)  Every woman should be self dependent. They should be skilled enough to always support themselves in any crisis. Because in most of the cases women bear this because they fear the hardship that their children will have to go through when she separates from her husband
d)  Along with their should be a strict law against Domestic violence .Police should be sensitive enough to treat domestic violence as seriously as other crimes. There should be a special wing  for tackling such cases.
e)   Hospitals should establish a crisis support cell that should work along with NGO to provide medical help to such victims.

     4) Child Sexual Abuse: 
   Child sexual abuse is reality that we are unaware of.90% of the abusers is trusted people of family. It‘s just not a violence but it’s an attack to the existence of the person and it is more heinous when it is done to child who doesn’t even know what is physical intimacy.

a)      The solution to this would be that we need to hear our kids . We need to build up a rapport  
With our kids so that they are fearless to share their joys and sorrows. We need to build a trust so  that they know that if they say something they will be believed.
b)      We should be courageous enough to confront anyone no matter how close he is in relationship. Nothing can be more important than your child .You have given birth to him /her and it your sole responsibility to ensure the safety of the child.
c)       Children should be taught at a very early age to when to raise an alarm .I was shocked to see at one of my friend’s pace her 5 years daughter was playing  in her uncle’s lap  he was constantly spanking her and squeezing her bums .She was feeling uncomfortable but she didn’t know was it wrong or not. We need to educate our kids from early ages about the advances which are wrong.
d)      There should be a strict law against child abuse.The legislation should be established to protect the right of children.society,government and communities need to complement each other and work hand in hand to create a safe children friendly environment.
These were few social issues .Let’s talk about environmental issues. 

5) Carbon footprint: 
      It is nothing but total amount of Green House gas emission caused by an organization, event, product and person. Have you felt there has been a drastic climate change since last few years .Even a city Bangalore is no more a pensioner’s paradise. The  climate has gone for a toss.This is all because of greed of humanity to demand more from the Earth than it can provide.

a) The most common solution to reduce carbon footprint caused by human is to follow 3 R’s Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. In manufacturing this can be done by recycling the packing materials, by selling the obsolete inventory of one industry to the industry that is looking to buy unused items at lesser price to become competitive. Nothing should be disposed off into the soil, all the ferrous materials which are prone to degrade or oxidize with time should be sold as early as possible at reduced price.
b)      Using reusable materials like thermoses for coffee and water.
c)       Other option is to drive less and to use more Public transport and car pooling thereby burning less fuel and reducing carbon emission.
d)      Other option is to use less air conditioning and heating system in the house.By adding insulation to the wall and installing weather stripping around door and windows one can lower their heating cost by 25%.This helps because it reduces the amount of energy needed to heat or cool the house.

  This post is a part of Weekend contest at in association with Chanakya's New Manifesto

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