Thursday, March 31, 2011


Some time ago Suruchi ( mytumblingthoughts) wrote a post here about suicide. I did not even think for a while that I may be writing on the same. It is so unfortunate but I need to share it with you all as I very strongly feel it could have been avoided if the involved persons had little human approach. During my evening walks with our dog after her feed I used to see a nice looking young girl of maybe around 18 or so taking rounds of periphery road. She used to be on her mobile all the time and from little what drifted to my ears when she was close enough it was certain that she was talking to her boyfriend. She was smartly dressed, mostly in jeans and matching tops. A few times I saw her with a boy of her age or little older sitting on motorcycle at isolated spot on the road away from our locality and chatting. Couple of times I saw them in the market engrossed in their own world oblivious to the surrounding. I never spoke to her as it is not my habit to intrude into someone’s space unless other person shows some inclination to talk. I was shocked when someone told that she committed suicide couple of days ago. What I learnt is that she stayed in nearby locality and had a 4 years younger brother. Her father is very strict and does not allow children any liberty at all. Her mother is more like a spectator. She had joined a girls college last year. As life became a little less rigid than school, she became friendly with few other girls. She on seeing them have friendship with boys got little curious and on insistence of some girls she became friends with the boy with whom I had seen her. It was all hush hush with no inkling to her anyone in her family, specially her father. In due course of time she developed trust in that boy. He took advantage of that to make her accept physicality in gradual way. As the luck would have it his younger brother had a fight with her younger brother as they are both in the same class. He was at the losing end and in fit of rage told her brother that his brother f***s his sister. The youngster was crying when he returned home and on threats of his father blurted out the whole thing. You can well imagine what must have followed. This girl was thrashed badly and locked up in her room with threat that no more college and she will be married off to the first boy they select. That lead to her committing suicide. Now what comes to my mind is what was the cause? I strongly feel that as children grow up we need to be more like a friend to encourage them to share what goes on in their mind. We should educate them on facts of life as per their age. Instead of using rod we should develop habit in them to sieve between right and wrong following their conscience. If one continues to deal with children harshly without caring for their feelings or age, they would tend to do what is forbidden when not under surveillance.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


My memories of Delhi go back to mid 1950s. I used to visit this city a few times every year on holidays which continued even after I started working. I used to stay in South Delhi except for first couple of years which was at Anand Prabat. The area those days had lots of open spaces around with green fields dotting sides of roads even till 1970s. I did visit Karol Bagh, Darya Ganj, Chandani Chowk etc but found roads to have enough space. I had traveled in Trams as well as those motorcycle engine autos called Phatphats. Haphazard expansions started only after that altering the face of city making it look so congested. Even traffic those days was comfortable and one could cross even busiest of roads without much difficulty but now to do the same is like Russian Roulette. I have been in Delhi since 1986 and have seen traffic go from bad to worse. I know that there is increase not only in population but in number of vehicles, all kinds, too. More than the number of vehicles it is traffic sense which has deteriorated more. We can still manage if we keep some basic road courtesies in mind. Based on my own experience of driving, I am giving a few DOs and DON’Ts which can help in smooth and orderly traffic flow.

First and foremost one needs to remember that others too have equal right to use the roads. If someone has to apply brakes of his or her vehicle harshly because of some driving action on your part, it is you who is wrong.

Maintain steady pace as per situation. If you are driving in extreme right lane which is meant for overtaking do not block traffic following you with slow driving keeping long gap with vehicle in front of you.

Stick to one lane and do not change lanes when traffic is heavy unless it is clear to do so. There are many who either drive half in each of two lanes or weave in and out of lanes as per their wish to move forward. Two and three wheelers are the main culprits for the second part with quite a few car drivers too doing the same.

Anticipate traffic signal change when still at a distance. Never speed up excessively on seeing green traffic light at a distance as it may turn red once you reach there leaving you with no time to stop while vehicles from other direction may move fast on getting green signal.

Do keep in mind that pedestrians too have right to use road at traffic lights to cross on designated zebra markings. So do not encroach on that space making those on foot to cross road zigzagging through vehicles.

Concentrate on driving and not chit chatting or indulging in discussions with co-passenger or enjoying sights around.

While asking for directions or talking on mobile ensure that you are not blocking those following you.

God forbid, if some mishap takes place be courteous to stop and help one who is injured. Even if someone has hit or brushed your vehicle, talk it out with cool mind instead of indulging in slanging match.

While parking one should ensure that passage is not blocked for other vehicles. There are a number of persons who park in market as close to the shop they wish to visit without a care that they disrupt smooth flow of traffic.

A number of persons do not switch lights ON at DAWN ie just after the daybreak and at DUSK ie little before twilight as they feel they can see well but they do not realize that in the limited light their vehicles may not properly visible to others. Keeping lights on does not increase fuel consumption.

And I have not talked about commercial vehicles like buses, trucks or tempos and cabs. These are devil’s own employees.

I request you all to suggest more.

Saturday, March 19, 2011




Saturday, March 12, 2011


Nanny has become a necessity with more and more nuclear families coming up with both partners working. It is really a big task to find correct person for the job. Parents have to have faith in the one employed. There are numerous agencies offering candidates for this job. Some are taken on by recommendations of other known persons. But should we be satisfied once we have taken a nanny that child will be well taken care of, specially in case of small child who can not communicate properly? This is one aspect which many parents prefer blind eye or deaf ear to. I am bringing this up as there was a case reported from Banglore that a nanny used to hire out small child to organized begging racket. As soon as parents went off for work she handed over the child to a beggar woman who used to give sedative to child and dress him up in rags to go for begging on roads. The child was returned before parents came back. Parents did notice the child to be drowsy and malnourished but did not feel alarmed. However one day mother returned early as she was unwell and that is how the whole racket was exposed. You all may say that this is one of the rare cases. I agree but what I have personally seen is also not desirable.

When I go for evening walk I see a lot of nannies in the park as they bring their wards to play there. But what shocks me is that almost all of them sit in groups chatting while children are running around freely and unsupervised. There are rocky patches, pits dug for planting saplings or even slippery slopes which are potential danger spots for small child if he or she stumbles. And concerned nanny will be unable to react as she is sitting at a distance. When I used to or even now take our small grandchildren I make it a point to stay just a couple of paces behind to ensure nothing untoward happens. If they go with maid, I randomly go and see as to what is she doing. Also I have seen small children being scolded in the park or at home for minor issues because it is inconvenient for nanny or maid to tackle them.

So what is the remedy? Well, should grandparents of child or some elder relative not be accepted as part of family if they can join? I know a lot of today’s young girls wish to have independence but is it not just satisfying own ego instead of looking for better upbringing of child? If such situation is not possible, then a random check on activities of maid or nanny is definitely advisable.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Lately there has been a lot of talk about black money stashed away in foreign accounts. A lot of noise is made by many righteous sounding persons but I have my serious doubts if anything tangible will come out of this uproar. Why talk about funds abroad, how about within the country? Two news items make me say this. One is about unaccounted cash including foreign having been found in a religious place and second about Rs 100 crore wedding.

The first instance should make all of us wonder about accountability of religious institutes. I know we do not wish to hurt religious feelings as we all feel that being religious absolves us from all sins but should we not also take a practical view without any bias? Lot of offerings are made at even small places but is there any proper track of that being kept? Is there any audit like that of corporate accounts? Do they take cash or kind offerings on charge at close of everyday and account for the same? Is someone responsible to authenticate it? Is there a foolproof method of spending it for right causes? Are we sure that part of it does not find way into wrong hands for unwanted activities?

In second instance it has been reported that Rs 100 crore is being spent for a wedding. It is all very fine as it would definitely give profit to many involved parties related to work for it. But what comes to my mind is that to have that much of amount one needs to have made profit of at least 1 ½ times of this amount to have saved this much after paying Income Tax etc. Is there a check on this? And is it not just a vain show off? For half of that amount I could have for all the years to come in future ensured imparting vocational training in different skills every year to more than 4000 youngsters from underprivileged class to make them self reliant. And then we talk of unjust society.