Friday, November 27, 2009

Shukarvaar Ki Rangoli

I have not made a perfect square in the rangoli below.I feel that I am running out of designs.I have to seek inspiration now.Any suggestions ?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2day's rangolis

These rangolis are drawn today.Tuesdays also,I draw fresh rangolis for Ganpati.I felt, that I have crowded today's rangolis with too much of patterns.

I use rangoli powder which is coarse & grainy.I decorate the rangolis with haldi & kumkum.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The net.

I think the net has revolutionised the way we communicate with each other in the last ten years or maybe longer.I said last ten years because I understood this phenomena quite late & have got hooked ever since.

I email to all on my list without discrimination & also chat .I have signed up for twitter as also facebook.I have also started blogging.All this networking has helped me to fight loneliness & boredom.It has opened new doors for me ( not windows !).Like,I have started taking snaps of rangolis which I draw & created various albums with rangolis as a theme.Further,I have started inserting images of Rangolis on to my blog as well.This has also helped me in updating my soft skills.

I also keep searching for recipes needed on the net.This has led to discovering some very good blogs on cooking.This in turn has encouraged me also to try at being a blogger on cooking.I am really amazed that so many people  invest enormous amounts of time &  labor on their blogs.The cookery blogs are so vibrant with wonderful photos as an accompaniment.

I have formed a loop in which all my cousins & relatives get to see photos of extended family.I also update them about promotions,births,marriages in the extended family.In this age when ,we can no longer meet each other physically,this is the best way to keep in touch.

I was able to take part in an online novel writing contest last year as I read about it in the Times of India.Though,initially,I was unsure about the story,my  efforts, my perseverance lasting till the end,I was able to complete it . I even received a certificate from the organizers of the contest for successful participation & completion.All this has endeared the net to me.

I also read about an Indian site wherein,I had to upload my novel & I did that.The site is under repair now but till it worked,I pestered all my e-mates ( all on my email list ) to post their comments on the site.I  strongly suspect that my emates have a hand in the site undergoing repairs !I am sure that more than me,they want my book to be published so that I will get busy.Then,I will be tied up & there will be no bombardments from me.

But then I am   incorrigible ! Now,I have started posting my comments on  various sites.Then,I email all to inform them that my comment has gone live on the site.My e mates are fed up,I am sure of that.They are praying for  my computer to crash or maybe that  I go on a holiday etcetc.But then ,my addiction has reached such  a situation that I went to  cyber cafe  when my system was down.So there is no reprieve.

My brother insists, that we talk on the computer only as this is cheaper.With the web cam on,we can even look at each other as we talk.It is as good as meeting each other -of course, separated by screens.

Now,there is talk of email also disappearing as youngsters find it too be too slow.They are in favour of texting,messaging etal.That is why,even I have signed up on social networking sites.So,those of you,who thought that my mail will meet a slow end,beware! I am earnestly preparing for the next onslaught !

Saturday, November 21, 2009

India : Filth capital.

Our minister for environment has said that India would easily win the Nobel prize for filthiness.So truly said.We don't really care about any cleanliness except , perhaps, our own homes.We keep surroundings dirty & untidy.Similarly,we litter trains,buses,public places,etal.We feel that it is our right sorry that we have a  license to dirty around.In addition,we believe, that it is the responsibility of our Government to clean all the dirt.

How irresponsible can we get ? Moreover,how do we forget that no facility comes without a price ? If we want to keep littering around & want cleaners to clean up after us,we have to pay a heavy price-literally .Obviously higher taxes .As it is,all crib about high taxes but India being a welfare state,there is no escape from taxes . Our dirty attitude will keep the taxes high & in all  probability  even raise the taxes.

Actually,becoming clean has so many plusses- less diseases like malaria,diahorrea,dengue,plague,etal Another is that a clean ambiance will add to the tourist inflow.The money saved by being disease free can be invested elsewhere like education,environment ,etc.

The plague in Surat cleaned up the city.Do we need another epidemic to make us go clean ?

Moreover by being dirty,we are torturing the poor.The rich can afford to be sick but the poor can't even get medical aid for the simple reason that it is too pricey.So,we all haves have a duty to keep clean so that we don't spread filthiness around harming the have nots.

Many Indians,especially those, who have lived and or travelled abroad are always praising other nations about the clean roads,cities abroad.But these same persons will litter the roads in India with cigarette packs,chocolate wrappers,plastic bags,cartons,etal.This is because,if one of them does that,how does it affect anyway ? Moreover ,since everything is so dirty,how does one more bag ,carton make it more untidy ?

Policing in our nation is quite difficult because of the huge population & also because additional resources will be needed.So,it is high time,we learnt to be clean & tidy .We,Indians are very religious.It is said that cleanliness is next to Godliness.So what is that prevents us from being clean ? 

Let us, at least ,make a sincere attempt to prove Jairam Ramesh wrong .On second thoughts,if  only our netas could come clean ...After all,everything is in the mind.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rangolis drawn today.

Today being Friday,I perform Shri Lakshmi Puja .I draw fresh rangolis on two platforms -one below the other.They are in my kitchen.Both platforms are of cudappah stones.

I try to keep basic pattern same for the two rangolis .Then ,I change the outer design.It all depends on what just comes to mind & my hands move accordingly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Work at the office.

As I went on my daily walk in the evening,I remembered the kind of jobs I had performed in Office.

I was posted in a moffusil office in the beginning.We had been warned during our training that the offices would make us do jobs like filing papers et al & that is what precisely happened.On the second day,I was told by the head clerk to start filing claim papers in the numerous files.I did as asked as I myself had asked that I be given some job.

There was a water problem-shortage of water.So,we would go & request the landlord who lived at the back of our office to turn on the tap.Now,our suggestion was considered qyuite atrocious & the landlord would coolly inform us that the Muncipality was responsible for water & not him.But we used to persist with our efforts.My ex-employers executives had this fixation of having their various offices in places where they would pay a pittance of a rent.What followed later was an ordeal soory,ordeals for the staff posted at those offices.Water shortage was the common complaint. There were others like power going off sometimes for the whole of the day but our executives just looked through all this.

So,in these circumstances,I teamed up with another colleague to fill up water for drinking.The colleague was physically challenged but still others rarely assisted.They were angry that the management was so unkind about our water woes.Later,we started ordering mineral water for all but that would lead to fistcuffs with persons holding on to their bottled water as if there was a drought.People stopped bringing water from home!

I also once sat in the office on the floor to tear up old records which were no longer needed as nobody else was ready to do it.Moreover,the staff was doing their routine work.Since,I was the only one who was not assigned any specific work or rather, I was the officer & hence all office work was my responsibility,I ended up doing it !

When,I was posted to a suburban office,I had to accompany the peon to the bank as a shock absorber.The bank was perpetually angry that we were depositing cash very late in the day.So,they would admonish the peon.So,the peon opined that as I was in charge of accounts,it was my privilage to listen to the lectures at the bank.The bank manager was a lady.She had visited US & was all praise for the offices,the people there.I wanted to blurt out that if banks can't put up with cash deposits which are within the day ( though somewhat late),how does she expect others to be Americanised ?But then she was a true desi -she was so very patriotic !I also used to be in charge of the cash box keys.This resulted in getting into arguments with the boss more than once.My kid was sick & though a duplicate was available with him,I had to travel to office just to deposit the keys.

At moffusil office as also at the suburban one ,I was also in charge of marking the muster roll.This would lead to all sorts of tiffs with the staff.Some would come so late that their presence in office was as good as half a day.Citing that ,they would sit idle till lunch hour disturbing others as well.My bosses would invariably,condone all late marks including half day & send the muster register back to me.I could never understand the logic behind all this generosity.The reason given was that we needed people to finish pending work ! But nobody wanted to analyse why work remained pending -of course,due to the officer in charge-that is me !So all this sympathy was for me & I could not just observe it ! So ungrateful of me !

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This happened whilst I was in my first year of college.I was studying at Pune & had come home to Narora,as it was Deepavali vacation.Narora is a small village in Uttar Pradesh.My dad was posted there at the Atomic Energy power plant.

All my school friends were also in college but they were not yet home for Deepavali. I was getting bored with no friends around.One day ,my dad announced, that, a vehicle was leaving for Delhi on some official work on the next day.One of school friend's dad would also be going in the vehicle,he said.I was delighted.I thought,why not travel with my friend's dad & go & meet her at Delhi.She was studying in a women's college in Delhi.So all was set.

We left the next day - it was a Matador.I was seated in the row behind the driver with Uncle,my friend's dad.There were one more person seated in the front besides the driver.He was travelling to make some purchases for the Grocery stores.We were all from the colony, set up, to house the people, who were working at the Atomic Energy unit.So,we were all known to each other.

We reached Delhi.The vehicle dropped me & Uncle at the college campus.I was thrilled to meet my ex-classmate & we gossiped non-stop.Uncle meanwhile, attended to his errands.He returned in the evening by about five.The vehicle had also come back with the driver & the other occupant.We were told that we have to pick up an executive from the airport at around ten.My uncle suggested that we all should stay back in Delhi & proceed home early next morning.We requested the College authorities to let me stay for that night but they refused.So,it was decided, that we will depart after the executive joins us at the airport.

After the arrival of the executive,we started on our home journey.It was quite late in the night & not recommended as there had been reports of looting en route.We kept praying as we travelled.Most of us had dozed off.Suddenly,the vehicle came to a halt.I woke up & tried to make sense of what had caused the driver to hit such a strong brake.I saw that we were on a road & just parked ahead was a small goods carrier -a tempo.It was standing in such a way that our vehicle could not get a way.The road was too narrow.On one side,was a valley not too deep but quite wide & another side was a tree .So our vehicle was struck.The driver got down .At that moment ,four to five persons sprang up from the shadows.We were aghast ! They had pistols & choppers.They prevented the driver from getting into the vehicle.They surrounded the vehicle & demanded that we hand over all the valuables.

We hardly had any money with us.We told them so, but, they refused to listen.We pleaded with them to let us go .We informed them that this was a sarkari gaadi( government vehicle ).This was because it was Friday midnight then. On Fridays,it is customary in that area for businessmen & traders to travel on business. But our pleas fell on deaf ears.The executive was carrying a suitcase & the robbers had seen it.They demanded that he hand it over.He refused ,"I can't give-all documents are there,"he screamed.They got angry & started firing.I was just staring & my Uncle just shoved my head down on the seat before ducking himself.I could hear some more shots.Uncle saved me from the pellets which were being fired. We now pleaded with the executive to hand over the suitcase.This was when the robbers were reloading their country made pistols. The executive had got hurt & blood was oozing from his injury.He was unable to protest as we handed over the suitcase.The robbers broke open the suitcase & finding the contents useless threw it back at us exclaiming,"When nothing was there,why so much fuss !?"Next,one of them demanded, that, I hand over my earrings-Uncle replied,"She is studying in college away from home .So she wears fake gold earrings."They seemed satisfied.The executive was crying as he was in great pain.We requested the robbers to let us proceed.They agreed but said that we turn back & go.We had no choice .The driver got into the vehicle & drove it at breaking speed.

All were talking at once as we were too excited by shock.The Grocery store assistant was thanking his stars that the money he had carried for the purchases was safe.He had not been able to buy all things & hence a balance was still there.I informed Uncle that I was wearing real gold earrings- though they were a tiny pair.We were thanking God that we escaped without any major mishap.We concluded that the robbers were small time thieves out to earn a small amount of pocket money.

Actually,we had the encounter very near to our colony & so the robbers wanted us to turn & go back.They were sure that if we were to go ahead ,then very soon,they would be behind bars as they won't get time to escape. We reached the district headquarters after an hour.We landed at the Government hospital.The executive was taken in & attended.The police arrived.They said that we should not have travelled so late in the night.All formalities were over .It was early morning now.The news about the encounter had reached the colony.But my dad was kept in the dark.A vehicle had started from there to pick us up.The executive was to stay in the Government hospital for a day because of his injuries.He had escaped almost unhurt.

The vehicle came & we all started homewards.I asked for my parents & was told that they had not been informed .Maybe,nobody wanted my parents to be alarmed.Or it was not known that I had also travelled in the said vehicle. We all reached home.My parents were anxious as they had also heard about the incident by then. We had to keep repeating the saga umpteen times to avid listeners.All were of the opinion that the executive had asked for trouble by refusing to hand over his suitcase.Anyway,we were all glad that we were all safe & sound.The executive was discharged the next day & he went around the colony telling that he had saved the day for all of us !

Friday, November 13, 2009


My dhobi has a sister. She was the one who would collect the clothes & deliver them after ironing.In fact,we hardly saw the brother that is the dhobi.She was of marriagable age but was not tying the knot.My maidservant was more worried than the girl about the wedding.She seemed to opine that the brother was utilising his sister for earning a livelihood.The sister would always disagree with my maidservant whenever they met at my home.Later,she started avoiding my inquisitive bai.

Months passed & one fine day,the girl announced that she is getting married.She was happy.Her brother had arranged for the match,she said.She invited us also but we were unable to go though, it, was quite nearby.Later,she paid us a visit.My mom gifted her a saree. It was out of guilt of having missed her wedding.

Now,the problem started- the dhobi did not turn up for days together.We were anxious.Our clothes were piling -especially my daughter's school uniform sets.I managed a temporary respite by giving it at the nearby power laundry.He charged me extra.I tried telling other dhobis to come up & pick the clothes.But they were hesitant in stepping into his shoes.They did not want to take away the livelihood of one amongst them.

At last,he landed.I asked him about his long absence.He said that he was not keeping well.I gave him the clothes for ironing.He delivered them as promised.But again,he was absent for a fortnight.When,he returned,he stated that he has again been keeping unwell.But ,he gave his phone number .He said that ,I could call him up & he will come.I realised that his sister was the one who did all the outside chores for him .With her gone now,he was finding it impossible to cater to all his customers.Moreover,he couldn't afford to keep an assistant. He had a family as I used to give my daughter's old clothes & shoes for his daughter.

I called him up after a week.He said that he will come the next day.He came but ,I was irritated that he came a day later.I felt, that his phone number was given so that he could decide, the day, the clothes would be taken up -not me.This continued.I still put up with him .

It was time for Deepavali .As,I was going out of town,I told him about it.He said that I call him up after I return.After my return,I called him up on phone.He came & immediately asked ,"Aapne ,Deepavali ka bonus nahi diya." ! I was angry .I had told him that I would be out of town so as to save him the inconvenience of coming to my house to look at the lock.And , he was accusing me of depriving him of his bonus.But,I kept mum.I thought, that maybe he needs a lesson or rather some lessons in manners.His sister was unlike him.I paid him his bonus.He thanked me.

He started coming regularly now -once in a week. I had to call him up but he would be there on the day,I would call him.Meanwhile,my daughter lost her wrist watch-it had been gifted by her mama.It was a purple & pink watch -a pretty one for a nine year girl.We searched everywhere but drew a blank.

The dhobi came to deliver the ironed clothes.I was on the phone talking to a friend.My dhobi handed me my kid's wrist watch & made a passing reference as he collected his payment that it was there in the bundle of our clothes.I was so busy on the phone that I could not even thank him.He could have just kept it as he has a daughter of the same age as mine but his honesty triumphed ! We would never have thought that it could be mixed up in a bundle of clothes.I felt, that it was I, who needed to join an etiquette class, as I had, yet to learn, to be thankful for all that I have got & more !

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hindi oath

Our representatives have done us proud- that is they are fighting it out for the matrubasha.One for rashtrabhasha & another for rajyabhasha.When we have such support for our lingua franca ,we should actually rejoice.Where would be we all if not for these netas ? I mean our books, dramatics,scriptures,etal would be so much less enriched if these leaders don't fight like this ?

Abu Azmi ,is a staunch loyalist of our national language -this is what he would like us to believe.Really ! How much has he done for Hindi other than just taking an oath,I don't have any idea.Moreover,he thinks that the support for Hindi ends after he has taken his oath in Hindi.Also,he has not enlightened the aam janta like me about anything else he has done which even remotely suggests that he has advocated Hindi.

The MNS members fare no better - they keep advoacting Marathi for official usage but if they were to fill up any government form in Marathi,they will know where they stand in all this language farcas.The same goes for forms in Hindi too.The MNS opines that MNS is finished with its duty in the Assembly by wildly protesting against Hindi oath taking.They have been suspended- they would have not done much else in the Assembly anyway after this.Good riddance,less nuisance for the ramaining of the session.Not that others are any bad at disrupting debates,proceedings etal.But ,atleast the security will have to deal with four people less.

Abu Azmi has not been elected for the first time -as a people 's reprenstative.It is his duty to learn the local language .I am sure, there are Maharastrians also who have voted for him.Talking to people, whom he claims to represent in their language is so very advantageous.So why,is there such a hostility to learn Marathi ? He will just get kudos for doing that.He knows,this for sure, but wants to play divisive politics so that he can turn one against the other.MNS is also just playing Abu Azmi's game-they are in it together.

So ironical-that they both shout from the rooftops that they are for the respective bhashas but do nothing other than rioting. They should know that language does not require support from anyone -least of all from our degraded netas .Language devlops only when it is spoken by many & starts becoming inclusive of words ,phrases etal from usage from other languages as well.These people are only bent on killing both Hindi & Marathi.Let us not let this happen.

After all,if Hindi has a mitr like Abu Azmi & Marathi has a sakha like MNS,there is no need for enemies !

Friday, November 6, 2009


A recent report in the newspapers said, that, the lady taking care of a seven month baby had rented out the baby to beggars.The mother came across this bit of information as she arrived home early one day from work to find the baby missing from home.The maid was watching the idiot box.When she was quizzed about the baby,she replied, that the baby was also on work with beggars !The mom then realised that the baby was regularly drugged & thus was drowsy in the evenings.No police case has been filed by the parents so far, as they feel that they will be blamed for all this.

It is naive & utter foolishness to expect that ayahs will behave like Paanna dai of the Rajputs who sacrificed her own child so that the prince could live.Suppose,I have a bai to take care of my kid & there is an emergency at the home of the bai.At that moment ,it is a basic human trait that the woman will rush & tend to her emergency rather than take care of my kid.I would have acted similarly had I been in her place.

Now,in such a case, can one really blame the nanny ? Well,as the parents were so busy earning,the nanny opined, that money was scarce & the baby also needed to earn !The baby was drugged to keep away the pain of fatigue which is a result of begging sorry, working ! Probably,the parents are upset, that the earnings of their child were all being usurped by the ayah.Or maybe,the baby was earning more as compared to the the parents due to recession !

Begging is a crime & so a case will be filed against the ayah soon.But then ,how can only the ayah be at fault ? The ayah comes from a class which is just trying to somehow exist-so atleast,her act is understandable.Trying to book the ayah is like the State tackling the naxal problem- first ignore their cries for assistance & then annihilate them by force !

What about the agency which does the recruitment? Well,we all are too familiar with the scenario wherein,once we get the required certificate,we care a damn about keeping up that standard.So,this is what has happened, in all probability.We all are so materialistic now, that we will go to any extent to earn a few bucks !What is more important -our child or our job ? But for us,both are equal & so we end up putting the child in day care or under a maid & off, we go, to work.Sometimes,the grandparents take care of the child.But increasingly,grandparents are no longer young to attend to the brats & hence day care becomes a necessity.Indian youth are getting married very late & by the time,they opt for kids,their parents are so old that they themselves need care.

But ,is it necessary, for both the parents to earn-in all the cases ? Many times,it is to satisfy our inflated egos,to make use of our education,to kill time, to earn pocket money, etc that we slog, leaving our loved ones under care of others.This may include our kids,our parents,inlaws,etal.Some lucky few do have their parents- able & willing, to double up as caretakers of the grandchild.Sometimes, the caretaker may abuse the child or the senior citizen or someone with special needs.We also commonly take recourse to saying that we are earning today for a better future.But if the present is lost,is anything left for the future ?

What can be done to prevent this ? In the west,there was this trend of having hidden cameras to keep a chek on the caretaker. But, this may backfire, sometimes, as not all of us, can withstand the routine of our caretakers however atrocious it may turn out to be.This is not to say that all caretakers are bad but then,we have to be cautious.Recently, more & more cases are being reported wherein kids are being abused by mothers & fathers.So can grandparents be far behind ?Similarly,senior citizens are physically & mentally tortured by their own grown up children for money,property ,etal.If this is so,the less can be said about persons with special need.Their abuse goes unnoticed for years.

All said & done,parents are still the best bet for the kids & next ,the grandparents & then day care.
In conclusion,unless,required,one parents should stay at home to be the caretaker.Of course,it is a thankless job, as any homemaker will tell you, but regretting later is an exercise in futility.

So in the finality,it is our own greed which drives us to go & earn leaving our loved ones behind.This is the same greed which has coerced the ayah to earn more by renting out the baby to beg.So,if our greed is good,how can we classify that of the maid as cruel ? We should emulate the Mahatma by accepting aparigraha-limiting our wants.After all,as he opined,"There is enough in the world for everybody's need but not enough for even one person's greed."

Screen Capture Software

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Promotions et al.

I recently heard about quite a few promotions.One of my cousin brother was promoted to a top position in the company.Another friend was promoted to a middle management position.I congragulated them all on their success.They are lucky as their skills & hard work have been recognised.In quite a few instances,people keep slogging & are superceded by others.

One of the Heads of a City unit got promoted.After promotion,he is likely to be shifted to an unenviable position in a sister concern.This is per the rule that senior executives can be posted in any of the various sister concerns.Now,that means,the  chosen sister concern will also have to tolerate the said executive like the concern wherein he was previously head.

My ex-colleague was lamenting that mean persons get awards like promotions.I quipped to remind her ",The fact that we all have to continue to work under the mean boss ( who has got a even fancier designation than before ) is the punishment for our sins .I am very doubtful if the promotion is an award for him."This is akin to a joke.A man dies & goes up.The angel takes him on a tour.At one place,he notices,Madhubala ( beautiful )  sitting with Mukri ( ugly ).The man says to the angel," I want Mukri's punishment." The angel shoots back,"That is Madhubala's punishment,not Mukri's."

In my case,I hardly got any promotions & when I was promoted years later, ,it failed to elate me.By that time,I had become so conditioned that no loss or gain nah , sorrow or joy seemed to have any effect.That was, when,I understood, the meaning of the Bhagwat Geeta which tells us to remain stead fast -come rain or shine. In fact,I learnt that in Public sector,a promotion only brings added responsibilities with no benefits whatsoever.The salary increase is hardly worth it.But tax burden does increase manifold ! Moreover,the fancier the designation,the lower the stature, in the orgainzation !

I realised a lot many things on my promotion.I was truly enlightened ! One of my colleagues had been promoted years earlier to me -well,because she was on loss of pay for months together! So,she was promoted in order to encourage her to return to office.I used to guard my leave like a fixed deposit .The office management opined, that since,I was always available,I was self motivated & promotion hardly mattered.

I rarely got to attend any training as the management   felt, I was aptly trained & fitted their idea of an obedient & sincere worker.My bosses opined  that if, I left for training,they will have to search for another donkey to slog. Once ,I recall,my immediate boss arguing with his boss about sending me on training.Finally,my boss prevailed & I attended training.Of course,apart from this,my ex- employer is quite notorious for having training sessions for people who are retiring on the first day of the training session they are supposed to attend.

I thought at one time, that, I was being left out of promotions as I was not technically qualified- but, I was wrong.I qualified on the technical front & still ,I was left high & dry.I then, came to know that I was over qualified for the next level & so drew a blank !

Promotions are also given so that people who have nuisance value can be shifted.People who argue endlessly without reason,always obstruct work,disallow others to work,unionise etc etc are always promoted & that too before others-in fact superseding many ! This is because such people have grown up- so much in their notoriety that is , they need to be dislodged- so what, if, it demotivates others !

By the time, I discovered ,all these preconditions needed for promotions,I was on my way out.My kid needed me.I almost jumped at this opportunity . I know that my job in office can be done by many but only I, can be the mother to my daughter.
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