Tuesday, August 19, 2014

To the silent readers

Dear silent readers of this blog,

I just want to say thank you.

Thank you for being there.

Do drop in a line some day, if you ever feel like talking to me, ok? I'd love to know you guys. What you do, where you're from.. as long as you love me.. sorry, I digress. I mean, do write to me.  I'd really, really like to know you guys and if ever I meet you, I'd treat you to a coffee (sorry, Ahmedabad mein no alcoholic beverages, legally available, that is)

Yea? So write to me? nirwamehta at gmail dot com?

I'm in a generally great mood today. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shikhandi And Other Tales They Don't Tell You

As someone who loves Hindu mythology, Shikhandi And Other Tales They Don't Tell You by Devdutt Patnaik is a lovely read.

And having known someone who is a homosexual and his everyday struggles.. and everyone who tells him how Hinduism is against it and how the law makes his existence illegal, reading about how queerness was just a way of life, even for Gods, just makes you realise how much is lost in interpretation.

And how our ancient scriptures, the folk tales and the epics were actually way too modern (not necessarily for the Pushpak Viman came before Wright Brothers theory) than their modern day interpretations are.

The collection of 30 stories, with commentary on the same, questioning the translation, interpretations we grew up reading, is a delightful read.

Nature does not differentiate, nature includes all.  Democracy is more like people in power trying to decide what is right and what is wrong and pass off their own thoughts as laws.

Patnaik's latest book is a quick read, giving you lovely insights without really being preachy because queerness is a delicate subject.

Handled very, very well, I'll give this book a four stars out of five.

Name: Shikhandi And Other Tales They Don't Tell You
Author: Devdutt Patnaik
Price: Rs. 299
Courtesy: Flipkart

Sunday, July 20, 2014

#ProTip

It was darker than usual that evening.  The sky was covered with clouds which threatened to open up to rains any moment.  All eyes looked up to the sky with hopeful eyes.  The monsoon had been delayed by more than a month.  Soon it started drizzling.  The parched earth soaked up every drop of water that came its way.

Just as I stepped out of office, the drizzle turned into a very heavy rainfall, as if compensating for the lack of rainfall in last few weeks.  Or maybe the rain gods just wanted to see the happiness on everyone's faces.

For someone who isn't really fond of rains (the mud and mosquitoes and other unknown bugs that accompany the rains is not really my idea of fun), I was glad to walked over to my car with the heavy downpour drenching me.  

There were narrow streams of rainwater everywhere which took me back to my childhood where I would make paper boats out of newspapers (heh) and let them sail on the streams.

Of course, now, stepping on those streams is like walking into unchartered territory as you may never know which dead creature you may be stepping on.

As I walked towards my car, I suddenly felt I stepped on an unfamiliar surface.  It took me a while to register that my right foot was on the road and I was not wearing my flipflops (black converse, in case you were curious).  My first reaction was to call ACP Pradyuman to solve the mystery of my missing chappal, but then quickly dismissed it when I realised Dr. Salunkhe may be called to take my x-ray or some such exotic test.

As if adding to the mystery, the streetlights went off.  Only that there were no streetlights there to begin with.  I realised later that there are no streetlights in the street.  But unless you are trying to find something in the dark you don't realise there is no source of light normally in that place.

I was desperate and stood still for the fear of stepping on to an unknown animal poop with no protective gear on my feet. (#funfact: I once stepped onto a cow poo and till date no one in office knows my feet were the source of the intoxicating smell that filled the dingy little room)

And then, like a saviour, a car with high beams on approached from the opposite side.  And like a deer caught in headlights, I froze.  Because 20 feet away, my flipflops were floating away to glory, like Titanic on her maiden (and only) journey. (wait, is it okay to make light of tragedies that happened over a century ago?)

But it was still good 20 feet away.  How I wish I were Deepika Padukone and could reach my flipflops with just one lunge.  But it was not meant to be.

There was not a second to waste.  Because every second I stood there, my flipflop was catching speed downstream moving away from me.

That is when I took the leap of faith and prayed to myself (bhagwan hum sab mein baste hai) and walked over and before the crush (no, real life crush, whose name I don't know) could see what happened.  Not that he was around anyway.  But why take a chance?

So kids, always be careful when you get nostalgic when you become adults, okay?  #ProTip

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Marriage - Divorce - Remarriage

I have a problem.  With the society at large.

The society which encourages people to stay in an abusive relationship because even now, even in the urban educated youth, 'divorce is the "kaala dhabba" in the family's name'.

The society which worries, that two people, who have no love, no respect for each other, and where one is abusive towards the other, should remain married because, "who will remarry them if they get divorced?"

The society which thinks that a woman who gets divorced will only be able to get married to a guy who is a divorced man himself.  Because 'it is difficult otherwise.'

The society where divorce still is someone's 'fault' and not lack of compatibility. (no, not talking about the abusive partner here) because really, if the person is educated, has good job, earns well, how does compatibility matter?

This society which I talk of is made up of well qualified individuals.

I have seen family and friends from close counters who have gone through the divorce ordeal.  It is not easy. And really, sometimes, it is just two people who fell irrevocably out of love.  Why should you deny someone another chance to find love only because "society" thinks so?

The other day my sister was insisting I create a matrimonial profile.  Because while I want to believe in a You've Got Mail love story, she is more realistic about life.  So she has taken upon herself to find me a groom. (yes, all those interested, kindly get in touch with her). Before she could ask, I told her I am open to marrying someone who has been through divorce.  Not trying to be a moral police here, but why should being a 'divorced' person be someone's identity? Could lack of compatibility not a possibility?

Having said that, it is an individual's will whether he/she wants to marry someone who's divorced.  My problem is with the society, who thinks a divorced person only 'deserves' another divorced person to marry. Thereby discriminating against them.

I have come across men (and women) who have been through divorce and they are the loveliest people, and men (and women) who have never been married before and are such jerks that I don't think I could spend the rest of my life with them.

I am not sure if it is rest of India problem or only the Gujarati chauvinist community which produces such gems who think too highly of themselves and consider themselves the purest forms of beings but I feel we have a long way to go.

A very long way.