Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Lately I have seen some reality shows of competitive nature, be it dance or singing or other talents. In many of these there are children who compete with adult artists. Their performance is very impressive most of the times but somehow they get eliminated by or at semi final stages. Though there is voting system for viewers but transparency in that is not clear. There was a news item some time ago that in one of such competitions one of the participants had bought bulk SIM cards which were used by his close one to vote for him more than one time. My intention is not to cast aspirations on fairness of TV channels but to bring out that such participant children are in tears on being eliminated even after their sterling performances. I thus suggest that children upto certain age, say 10 years, even when eliminated should be given some prize in the form of a trophy as well as cash apart from encouraging words like their performance has been very good and with little more practice they can surely win FIRST prize. This will go a long way for psychology of the child. I think TV channels or sponsors are surely in a position to bear this small expenditure to ensure that such children are not disheartened and leave practicing whatever be that talent.

Another point which has been coming in my mind is that how would we feel if we see our ex- Presidents promoting something or the other in ads, TV or print? I am sure that we will feel that they are degrading sanctity of their position, isn’t it? So don’t you think that  recipient of our HIGHEST NATIONAL AWARD, BHARAT  RATNA,  should also not be shown in any such acts?

These are my personal views. I do not know if any of you support me on this.      

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Some of the news items in the recent past have made me wonder if we are really in 21st century where equality of gender is a norm and not at the mercy of those in position of some power, where those in such position of power rather inculcate sense of gender equality without any bias than to take shelter behind issuing medieval dictates.

A week or so ago it was reported that a State Government has transferred 800 male teachers from girls schools. Does it not show the mindset of those in power? Have they not accepted their incapability of ensuring that no untoward incidents of gender harassment take place by inculcating right sense of values as well as meting out exemplary punishments on those found guilty? Next there may be creation of only women villages or localities.

I am all for meting out justice at root level, like Panchayats but it must be without any gender bias. A so called Community Panchayat in Bengal first ensured as prelude to what happened later by imposing fine of Rs 50, 000 on a poor family for their girl talking to a man outside their community knowing very well that the family is not in a position to pay such sum thus leading to that poor girl being gang raped on “legal” order. What are our so called elected representatives doing for this shameful act? Or they are just silent due to vote bank considerations? Or they deny it as not having taken place under their governance?

Today’s news – A girl was paraded in the village with shoes loaded on her head for not obeying dictate of Panchayat. She is married but living away from husband. She was being harassed by some local youths who wanted her to have physical relations with them. On not being able to bear such sexual unwanted harassment, she approached the said Panchayat which ordered her to compromise with those errant persons rather than taking action against them showing clear gender bias. When she did not get desired and justified support from them she approached police and this is what she was punished for. Does it not show that the said Panchayat members wanted her to be a whore with those young men? What are our elected representatives going to do about it? NOTHING, if I am not mistaken as they will be in denial mode.

There are numerous instances of Khap Panchayats issuing dictates for girls -what to wear and what not to , what hours to go out of house  unaccompanied by male escorts if allowed to go out at all, not to have mobile phones, upto what class a girl should be allowed to have education if at all and the list is inexhaustive. Does this not show their mindset of gender bias as instead of ensuring that males give due respect to females by teaching them right sense of values and penalizing ones who default in exemplary ways? And the best is that a Chief Minister of state backs all such Panchayats.  Is it not vote begging gesture?

I also am all for such fast justice mechanisms at root level but WITHOUT ANY GENDER DISCRIMINATION. How will such Panchayat members react if an all women Panchayat issues dictate to chop off P*****s of all young males as they are potential rapists?   

And the worst is that majority of women who can do a lot are passive spectators if not supporters of such dictates.  

May I invite your views, please?

Sunday, February 9, 2014


It was in October 2008 that I wrote post - Loneliness At Old Age. In that I had brought out about life of old couples when their grown up children fly off the nest to another city or country to pursue their own careers thus letting old couples live alone, may be with own choice or otherwise. Least I could foresee at that time that we may be one such couple five years later.

Our son left for Canada in mid Dec 2013 as his organization offered him placement there. His wife and daughter also joined him there in the last week of January, though his wife being here was not much of company for us. That is another sad part which I shall briefly share later. Our daughter stays in Delhi but in another locality. She and her children visit us as per their convenience and we do not interfere in their life. I had told her when she left us after marriage that though we are there for her but that is her new family where she has to make her place with love and affection. So basically it is we two oldies who are in each other’s company now.  

Coming to what I said about our daughter in law, we let our son and her settle down with each other. Though we lived together, which was told to her by me as well as our son before marriage so she could say no if she so wanted to, but never interfered in their relations except just a couple of times in eight years of their marriage and that too to ensure that there was no violence. On the contrary her father seemed to take active interest in their affairs. She had a habit of going to her father’s place often whenever she had any difference with our son. Of these, her longest stays there had been twice, a year in the fourth year of their marriage and a year & half before leaving for Canada.

In the first instant she joined us back the day we shifted from the locality we were staying in to the one where her parents stay.  Later we learnt that she had told our son that she would not come back to the locality we stayed in as our daughter too stayed there and her children ( 7 years old daughter and 3 years old son at that time ) alongwith their maid used to be with us after school for few hours till they left for park to play from where they went home.

On the second instant she left for her father’s place after some differences with husband. She told us that she needs a break and would be back in a week or ten days but did not return. We had advised our son to sort it out but he was initially reluctant saying that he had told her if she went to her father’s place again he would not ask her to return. However after a couple of days he spoke to her asking her to return but she did not. It was only after 3 months or so that she told our son that she would join him only if he separates out from us. She insisted that he take a house close to her parents so the little one could go to their place after school. We advised him to do so for the sake of little girl. We left it to our son to sort it out. It was only about  4 months ago when our son got this offer of going to Canada that she started visiting on weekends as she was keen to go with him. She continued staying with her father even after our son had left and visited us off & on till she left.

We missed our granddaughter on both these occasions. I had met her father a few times during first couple of months in the first instant but he did not show any keenness for her to return. On second instant, without our son’s knowledge, I met him a month after she had gone to see if we could sort it out but he made very derogatory remarks about our son that I made me not to speak to him thereafter.

It appears that our son had not been keen to separate from us while being here as he feared interference of her father. So he waited for this offer.

Our son wanted us also to go with him but we declined as we are keen to let them settle down. Though we do feel lonely but are happy that they are together and little one has love of both parents. We have spoken on Skype and little one seemed so happy to be there. We wish them to have a happy married life. We do not intend being there with them inspite of our son asking us repeatedly. We pray to God that all goes well now onwards.  

So we are in the band of old couples staying alone at their own due to own choice.