Sometimes Being A Fake Blogger Also Pays!

August 30, 2010
This is some news making the rounds in last 2-3 days.  All this time, we had been talking about being genuine in our blogs, writing things we have knowledge and interest in, and overall speaking from our heart and mind and soul and blah blah !

Anupam Mukherji
Here is an example where being fake also pays!  Anupam Mukherji, a Delhi boy and working as a freelance advertiser in Bangalore used to write a blog with the name of FAKE IPL PLAYER when IPL 2 started and wrote on till now.  He became a hot favourite among the cricket fans (which are huge in numbers anywhere in the world) and has a follower list of 8,434 bloggers/users!  He used to give the inside stories about the cricket world and players, and fans started believing him.

When asked how did he manage all this, he replied that he was inspired by the movie "Hoax" and only with the help of Internet and TV did he mange to be a sensation in the cricket world and became a talked about blogger!  On gaining popularity, he even wrote a book "The gamechangers" (well, quite a game player!)

This is an amazing success for a blogger, no doubt.  Now, he is out of the anonymity, I mean he decided to and he is on the front page of The Times of India (29 Aug 2010) for the world to know that the fake IPL player was actually Fake.

This is quite an achievement, whatever way, but he is popular because of his tact and his mind.

As a blogger, I feel elated!  whenever I read about a blogger achieving in some way, it definitely brings a smile on my face!

Cheers to Blogging and all the bloggers!


Why Are You In Your Marriage?

August 27, 2010
image coutesy
It is only a myth that Indian Marriages are like the perfect case studies, which are taught and sold throughout the world.  People project marriages as something like a scratch-proof, metallic flower vase.  Beautiful, complete, unshakable, unbreakable and always so alive as the flowers in it.  Its such a myth. Its a myth for a majority of couples.  The people successful in marriages are the one's who are really smart, street smart.  They know its like a game, play it.  The one's who put their heart and mind and especially their mind in the unfolding of this intricate relationship, realise that it is based on inequalities, bias, exploitation.

Why do I say so, you will wonder? Or do you really wonder? Or you know it. But keep quiet just like others.

The biggest problems with Indian marriages is that we want to save the marriage at any cost.  Mind you at any cost.  First it would be you or your spouse trying to save it. 

Reasons vary, if its love, then its worth it, give it a million tries.  But mostly, its not true; the reasons are social reputation, "what will the people say?"  "His wife ran away?" "Her Husband dumped her? huh! may be she deserved it". 

Financial issues. Professionally unemployed women (women work their ass off as homemakers also) are insecure about their future and moreover, parents mostly try to shun their responsibility of caring for a daughter who has come back to her maternal house.  If you have a married brother, then know it girl, you are not wanted at all. 

Emotional issues. I have seen a woman, who knew her husband is cheating her and did not want her anymore, she clinged to him because she said she loved him! You know I was really aghast, how can you love someone who says "I hate you, don't come close to me".  I cannot understand this.

Now finally if a couple makes up their mind to separate out, there comes the great Indian Rishtedars, with band-baja, and rona-dhona and darana- dhamkana. Sorry for this, this is my natural flow of words, I mean then the relatives jump in using everything from emotions to threat to save the marriage somehow.  It is such a thing, which I fail to understand.  If the couple has to live with each other, making each other's life a living hell, then why, just why do these people have to come there to save the home, save the family, save the tradition, save the honour of the Khandan (is there an English word for this?!!!!).  At the end of the day, the couple has to deal with it.

But, there is only one soft point here, an individual whose words, emotions, feelings should be cared for, the children produced by the marriage.  Yes, children have the right to happiness and undivided love of their parents.  A couple should work hard towards making their kids life emotionally secure and balanced, I truly believe in it.
image courtesy
But tell me, can children be the only factor to be in a marriage?  Should a couple stay together because they don't want their children to go through  the trauma of choosing between one of the parents?  Should a woman stay in a marriage, a dead marriage, an emotionless marriage, and unequal marriage, because she does not want her children to cry?  What do you say? 

Should an individual be first a parent, then a man or a woman?  Does any right on our life, on our happiness, our desire, our wish left with us, when we are parents, the responsible parents of young children, who need our love and support to grow up right.  Then, does that mean that you should forget that you are experiencing a living hell, a humiliating life, a f&*%$d up life and just live on for your children? What do you say? What does an Indian say, I want to hear? Just what do you feel about it - is saving the marriage at any cost and thereby being the great example for generations to follow, is what one should do? Please do let me know.  I really want to hear this.......

RESTLESS (really I am!)

(This is the series of posts I am writing on women issues in India, see the label "Women Issues That Baffle Me" on this blog, to read more)

The Crumbled Flower

With the bloom of the flower, I move on
With the break of the dawn, I move on
With each heart ache, I learn to let go
With each barrier built, I learn to forgo.

I am just a weak mortal

looking for meanings, as I ponder

I shall crumble, as a dry

I know my fate,

I know the set dye.


Live In Relationships - A Woman's Perspective

August 25, 2010
In last few years, the education for the girl child was widely promoted by social and religious groups and also government, in terms of financial assistance, and the result is there in front of our eyes.  A whole generation of confident, English speaking, trousers clad women are India's active workforce - in traditional and not so traditional roles like DJ, RJ, film direction, event management, call centre executives, stewardesses, even petrol pump assistants etc.  Although, this amounts to a very meagre percentage.

Apart from education, there is one more thing, which I feel, is liberating for Indian women, it has the potential to empower our young and intelligent girls, it is Live-In Relationships.  I call it liberating because Indian marriages are not truely marriage of two souls, they are more of an arrangement, relationship between two families (who really do not care for you), sometimes financial and business goals are there, but its hardly the union of two souls.

Live Ins are the answer for that fake pompousness and the great facade a traditional Indian marriage put in front of the society.  And it's considered better to be in "a being together without commitment" relationship than a dead marriage, which many youngsters witness in their families.

Reasons for being in Live in can be many.  It can be that you love a person and want to find out how compatible you would be in marriage setup, may be legally you cannot be in wedlock and then the Live-in provides you the companionship you so desire. More or less, its the desire to know the person completely before getting into marriage, that seems to be the reason, here in India.
If we really see, just how sinful it was assumed just a few years back for a man and a woman to cohabit without the social sanctity, and just in a few years, the society is beginning to acknowledge its existence and is giving a subtle nod too.  If the couple is staying away from the either parents, and parents do not have to answer the questions of the other parents, everyone is fine.

Moreover, when this social change is there because prominent people of  media spoke about it, causing outrage in society and then our judiciary stood up for the rights of unmarried adults who want to live together without the bondage of marriage.  A few of the major developments have been :

1.   The Indian Supreme Court has said that premarital sex not an offence. (in terms of live in relationships in unmarried adults)
2.    Moreover see the article Mumbai govt legalises live in
3.   Justice Malimath Committee as well as the Law Commission of India states that if a woman has been in a ‘live in’ relationship for a reasonable period, she should enjoy the legal rights of the wife. Although 'reasonable period' has not been defined, which can be misused.
4.    The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act 2005 benefits women in Live-in relationships as in marriage.

But still one major question needs urgent answer, ie., the status of children born out of wedlocks, which is a serious issue.  In my opinion, only YOU have the right to be in a relationship which suits you, but bringing another life in it should mean serious and clear decisions in terms of commitment with the guy.

Moreover, property and maintenance issues can hamper the very free spirit of a live in relationship, which is supposed to be a "no strings attached" thing.  A live-in should be a matter of choice, a matter of desire and not a compromise with situation and the need to be protected. 

Women should be given a chance to know what they are heading into or else they may suffer and give in to the thick and inescapable net of marriage.  But for this women really need to be smart and just know that they do not give in to any exploitation, especially financial, and learn to assert themselves.

I am hopeful about this big social change. What do you say? How do you see it ten years from now? Are you in a Live-in? or a friend of yours? what are the practical issues involved? Do share you views about this post.


(This is the series of posts I am writing on women issues in India, see the label "Women Issues That Baffle Me" on this blog, to read more)

Feminity : The Complexity Of Human Sexuality

August 23, 2010
I wanted to start writing a series of posts on feminity, being feminine and the various aspects of being a woman in Indian society.  What better way to start with than discussion first about the factors which determines the sexual identity of a woman (and for that matter a man too).

Most of us are born with  a clear gender identity - either male or female. But, a Brown University study concluded that 1.7% of population develop in a way that varies from standard definition of male-female.  Inter-sexuality is much more common than Down's Syndrome or Albinism.

As per Dr Kavita Arora, a psychiatrist, gender is an outcome of four coordinates -

A)  GENETIC- Any variation from XX (Female chromosomes) or XY (Male Chromosomes) can cause the variation.

B)  BIOLOGICAL/PHYSIOLOGICAL - Estrogen (female hormone), Testosterone (male hormone) determines the sexual characteristic in an individual.

C)  SOCIAL CONSTRUCT - It defines gender in terms of feminine and masculine behaviour as expected by the society. (Remember the gender stereotypes we broke in our posts?!!!)

D) INDIVIDUAL AWARENESS OR PSYCHE - The rest three factors can be in sync, but a boy can believe that he really is a girl or vice versa.  This is the psyche playing the role.

When all the four coordinates are in sync, you are clearly male or female.  But there are cross-connections in development so that even a twitch in any of the four coordinates can lead to some gender diversity. Moreover, sexual development may be interrupted at any point along the way from conception to adulthood, leading to range of sexualities. (A useful article, if you want to read more about this).
Phew! that was complicated! We do not even realise how easily we choose, or rather got our sexual identity, but for the ones, who due to any of the four factors mentioned above have a confused identity, life is difficult for them.

All this suddenly came out to the fore when India's Santhi Soundarajan and South Africa's Caster Semenya, both top athletes, failed the gender test in 2006 and 2009 respectively in International sporting events. During tests, their testosterone level were found higher than an average women, and so they both were banned from world sports, questioning their gender.  Later the SA athlete has been allowed to participate as a woman, but the fate of Santhi is still undecided. 

Santhi supposedly suffers from Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), having high testosterone, but her gender has been questioned.  Although, she asserted her gender identity with dignity, but this questioning and the ban caused her serious embarrassment, which even drove her to attempt suicide.

This and many more issues affect the lives of women all around the world.  I shall be writing about all the good, bad and ugly issues, the talked about and the not-so talked about issues in my forthcoming posts.  Coming up next in the series is "Live-In Relationships".


Suspended Emotions

August 19, 2010
image courtesy:

A girl, who just left her dolls 
but yet to feel the blush of youth,
stands on the terrace of her home...
her cheek gets tickled
by the first rain drop of the season...
Overjoyed she looks to the sky....
wants to get drenched completely.....
may be that's the time,
she knows what SHE is.
The clouds were dark,
(or was it her first lover
dark and handsome ?)
the breeze brought
the fragrance of wild flowers;
she closed her eyes to feel it.

Those first few drops on the dry soil,
worked up the aroma...
(that beautiful fragrance of the wet soil,
which nothing can match in this world)
"Ah"! she said, "today it's gonna rain,
my first rain, and my first dream to be loved"....

She swirls in ecstasy......
round goes her long, flowery skirt,
with the little anklets tinkling with rhythm;
Off goes her ribbon,
which just kept her hair so tight.....
her arms stretched wide open,
she closes her eyes,
and faces her lover in the sky...
the dark dark cloud
with a smile,
anticipating the cold rain drops on her face,
she swirls once, swirls again,
and again and again........

But not a drop of rain......
not a single drop.
Her emotions are suspended - somewhere in between,
just like those rain drops,
which so wanted to reach her,
but are suspended in the air now.
She can see, she knows its for her,
but can't reach them, can't touch them.

She stays there
with her skirt, which just went round in a circle
clinging to her with force
before settling down.
She looks up at the sky
with hair still flowing.

It's a suspended emotion
for both of them
no one knows the reason why...
two lovers have to stay away
is it a choice or is it destiny?
all she knows is that
her lover has suspended emotions.


East India Company Sells Jams And Biscuits!

August 17, 2010
You know what, the ritualistic approach towards celebrating DAYS does not please me one bit, so I was not excited about the Independence Day and that lack of passion was visible in my post about this day also.
The East India Company's High Street headquarters, East India House tion
But there is one thing, just one thing which made me jump that day.... a news article, titled "The East India Company is back with an Indian Owner".  Wow! what better day to announce this.  A company which came to India for business, and ultimately ended up ruling the country for about two hundred years, then thrown back, comes back today, bought by an Indian, selling Jams and coffee and biscuits !! Now this seems to be some kind of Independence to me! What say you?!

OK, to elaborate let me just tell what the Wikipedia saying about East India Company and its "Raj" in the country :-

"The East India Company traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, saltpetre, tea, and opium. However, it also came to rule large swathes of India, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions, to the exclusion, gradually, of its commercial pursuits. Company rule in India, which effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, lasted until 1858, when, following the events of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and under the Government of India Act 1858, the British Crown assumed direct administration of India in the new British Raj. The Company itself was finally dissolved on 1 January 1874, as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act."

As we all know that this trading company was granted special rights and privileges, including trade monopolies and exemptions, causing resentment amongst other players at that time, but managed to remain like a powerful force for over 200 years in India.

Does it not feel great today that an Indian, Mumbai born Sanjiv Mehta, 48, is the new owner of the Company which almost ruled our country once upon a time?  This man just did not takeover the company like that, when he saw the potential in it in 2004, as the news reports says, he after buying the shares of the company, spent six years understanding the heritage of the company, visiting Museum Curators who looked after the artifacts of the company!  Such dedication! 

I see two things here, first that an Indian bought it, second, his vision is smart as well as humane. "Smart" because its a brand name, you don't need any advertisement for, and 'Humane" because his vision is that whatever he wants to do with the company is for a greater good.  All the best Mr Mehta for that!

But, as an Indian I would have loved to see our homegrown products, Khadi Gramodyog products etc being sold under this brand name. I don't know what business sense it makes...... but buying the stuff of East India Company surely will bring back some bitter memories in the mind of each Indian who has grown up reading this name in his/her History books and hated it and wondered about the greed of those kings, Rajas, zamindars who sold their motherland to the Britishers for very small, petty and very personal gains.

Anyways, all the very best Mr Sanjiv Mehta, I am glad you have a vision beyond selling the products, but what "greater good" one can do in business..... we got to wait and watch.


image courtesy:

Independence Day Of An Ordinary Indian

August 16, 2010
A poll conducted by a national daily has brought out the various meaning and parameters of Freedom by various people, from different walks of life, different states and regions.  The TV went on and on interviewing the man on the street, the man in the field about what does it mean to him, when he says Freedom?

Now let me ask you, does it really touch you? I mean Independence Day... does that really does something to you?  Surely, we have read a lot about our freedom struggle, right, but somewhere, today I see it only a ceremonial thing, a ritual to be followed, an opportunity to sell and market.  Sorry for this but this is what I feel. (But no way I am saying that we should forget about the way we got Independence, we are absolutely a proud nation, am just talking about the day.)From last 10 days, the newspapers are full of Ads and everything is coloured in orange, white and green, be it a paint, be it a cake, be it a dress, anything and everything.  Almost the same time, cheap Chinese make Indian tricolour flags are being sold by small children on red lights,(that's how I got reminded about the day!). Isn't begging and child labour ban? and a "Made in China" Indian flag??

But, I make it a point to watch the programme telecast from the historical Red Fort, our honourable PM giving speech, it was inspiring. (And also, it was truly a remarkable experience when our President spoke, on the Eve of Independence Day, with such vision, and I found her approach very humane.  But, all the time I was feeling bad for those small children (who are of govt schools) who were sitting in that warm and highly humid morning with full uniforms and caps of those three colours.  I was sitting in my AC bedroom, and was thinking - is this freedom for these kids? Did anyone ask them whether they want to be there? May be these kids enjoyed it, but I doubt it.

In the life of an ordinary, not to important (politically), middle class Indian man or a woman, Independence Day is just another day, whether we like to say it or not, that's what it is.


PS: If you wish to see the article it is (here)
PPS:To promote the post on Indivine click here

RIP Tejaswee Rao ( IHM's daughter)

This was really tragic. I read about IHM's daughter in her blog on 13 Aug 2010. Got shocked, just didnot know what to say. Her 19 year old daughter, Tejaswee, was suffering from dengue, but could not recover and died due to multiple organ failure.  I read about this in the newspaper also the next day, about death due to dengue in south of Delhi.  Was disturbed, but due to certain preoccupations could not write anything at that time.  Its truely very very sad.

Indian Home Maker is a highly loved, adored and respected co-blogger, and an example for me to follow.  I remember once on  one of my blog posts (lonely), an extract of which is :
I just curl up like a baby unborn
and just wish
I was in my mother's womb
for that's the only place
when we are loved
and are not judged.
protected and
  IHM had very affectionately commented :

  "indianhomemaker said...

It's true that the love of parents - after being born also is one of it's kind. The other kind of love that's above all loves is what we feel for our own children.

Love the way you write!!!

June 30, 2010 6:44 AM "
        I am deeply upset about the angel's untimely leaving this world, and on the other hand want to say that, "We all are there with you,  IHM.  and so proud that you handled this huge loss with a brave face".
Take care

An Ode To The Blogosphere

August 12, 2010

Its going to be two months since I started blogging.  When I began I was alone, all alone, quiet, very quiet. But inside of me there was a turmoil, a storm, a stream of questions troubling me all the time. I was disoriented, middle age crisis?! ( now I wonder).  I was obviously unhappy, with myself, with my situation, basically myself.  Looking for an anchor in life to hold on to. I was slipping deep, I was slipping deep into depression.  The nothingness, this loneliness was killing me silently.  No, don't get those ideas, I have a lovely family, a good job, a comfortable lifestyle.  God has been kind, He made me suffer, work and wait, before He gave me the material comforts that I wanted for a normal (middle class) life.

So, in my unhappiness, I applied for a distance learning course, (I have to appear for the Entrance Exam also). Then began to read some books.  I read Caulo Paulo's Veronika Decides to Die (title was really appealing to me!) and the Alchemist,  I loved the books.  Then the third book was and is Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Girlbert.  You must be knowing there is a movie coming up featuring Julia Roberts.  This book brought out a change in me!

The author, known as Liz by her friends, and now by me too, was depressed, very very depressed.  Ah, she was much more depressed than me! A divorce, no children, and then a breakup.... ah serious heart ache..... Liz was crying, she was crying in the middle of the night, sitting in the bathroom like mad.  Suddenly, I could relate to her, I too was depressed!

But then she decides to go on a tour, all alone to Italy, then India and then to Indonesia.  She travelled, she ate, she prayed, and now she is in love in Bali! (presently I have finished the book till here)

Anyways, I started feeling better after reading her, seeing her so depressed. (So next time You are depressed, find another person who is more depressed than you, and you will feel better!) I made friends with her actually! When she stayed in Ashram in India, she became very spiritual, she learned to meditate (I already know it wow!), she introspected about her failed marriage and her failed relationship.  She learnt to forgive her ex-husband.  She transformed as a human being, I mean she felt a change of heart.

I would read the book, in the morning before going to work, and at night before I slept, sometimes early morning.  One night I even dreamt about my life, on the lines of the story. I knew I was living the book.  Her simple style of writing and understandable words ( I never used a dictionary for a single word) inspired something in me.  I wanted to express like her, I wanted to write about the small and the big things around me, about the things I learn, about the things I love and hate, just like her.  Something in me kept on churning,  my mind was on fire.  I already knew about blogging, it was not new for me.  One day I decided I want to write my blog.

And that was 25 June 2010, when I wrote my first post.  I was all alone, no friends here, no one knew RESTLESS existed, in fact she was just born, there were no joyful words welcoming her arrival (that was just a joke OK!). Then I wrote a post saying that I am a self talker, as there were no readers at that time. I had decided none of my friends or known people to be here, so that I can speak my heart and mind out without the consciousness of they being around or their watchful and curious eyes weighing my words and reading between my lines (our own people can be so judgemental  sometimes, what do you say?).

But today, Now , I am a happy, mentally and physically occupied person.  Feel elated because I have a medium to reach out to other people and share my thoughts with them. I am so grateful, I have a blog, Internet, a PC (or may be in the reverse order!), I am so thankful, I have made friends with so many blogger pals Purba, Divz, Addy, Varsha, Restless Souldier, Desi Girl, Vee, Sharbouri and many more with whom I interact through commenting and on forums. There are many many more bloggers with whose blog I like, and I interact frequently, they are becoming my friends slowly. 

It changed my life completely.  Its unbelievable for me. I am a happier person, though the challenges of life don't leave you, but somewhere I know I have a little world of my own, where I can write about My World My Perception.

Thanks to all my readers and my followers and the ones I follow for their support, their patience to read my rather long posts and giving their time to me to write those valuable and sometimes very lovable comments. 

A Restless Heart With
A Sensitive Mind !!!

When Indian Muslim Women Questioned Fatwa.... winds of change are blowing

August 11, 2010
Imagine the alleys of an old city in a place like Lucknow, and in a locality which is very conservative and a few women, (as I saw in the picture, there was no Burqa), march together with placards saying things like "Dharmacharyon se yeh keh do hum unki zageer nahin" " sehen sheelta ka ghunghat uthaiye aur  anyay ke khilaf  awaaz uthaiye". (We are not the property of the religious leaders and leave the veil of tolerance and fight for your rights)

Whoa!!! I was happy when I read this article this morning in newspaper.
Imagine these women march shouting slogans, waving placards and the march ends at the marital home of two of those three women who had ROUGHED UP SOME MAULVIS OF THE SHARIAT COURT IN JUNE FOR ISSUING EX-PARTE TALAQNAMA. After some commotion, the women get their way into their homes, and in laws could not say anything.

The many fatwas issued for muslim women recently like forbidding them to ride bicycles (something to do with virginity?!), joining public office without hijab ( I don't understand hijab), talk loudly, join judiciary (eh scared!) or even talk to their fiance before marriage (oh so that the girl does not know what  a @#$@#$ he is !).

Very rightly, a muslim lady has asked "when women work as labourers on the streets, no one says a woman is not allowed to do that, then why a fatwa for wearing a black coat or a stethoscope?" Very valid question.

Only insecure men use such controlling behaviour towards their women. I am so glad to see, women came out in open to oppose it.  By the way, just a day before, there was a news(see here) that how a widowed women was executed publicly (by shooting in her head) after hours of torture (flogging) on the charges of adultery (she was pregnant) by Taliban in Afghanistan. The man responsible was obviously was not touched ! What an irony !

It disturbs me and scares me equally, what if such a practice starts here in India ? What if the Fatwas issued are not followed and from some far flung small locality, we get the news of such executions.  Such socio-religious issues cannot be tackled by law alone.  Constitution has prohibited us from doing many things, but in the name of customs, religion or prevailing caste systems, we, our own people break them, and then the law watches everything helplessly or  sometimes react on it, and their reaction is too little too late. 

I have all the reason to be disturbed when the honour killings (God! this word has suddenly surfaced.... when we thought it was thing of the past.... Kings sacrificing some one for their honour kind of stuff ).  But we are witnessing it, then who can stop these Maulvis, who are so so narrow minded ?

So, when these ordinary women like you and me but who were gritty enough to lash back, march united, I feel proud of the fact that I am an Indian, I have freedom to voice my opinions, and thank God for the fact that I belong to India and not to Afghanistan.

Jai Hind


Like it promote it at Indivine click here

Grapevine - Filter it before you have it!

August 10, 2010

image :
I have observed that news mongering, spreading rumours, talking about people behind their back, gossiping about everyone around is a favourite time pass for many people.  Sometimes, unknowingly we get into this web.  This is an unproductive activity, which we should avoid at all costs.  Rather, we should develop straight forwardness in our character, and try to say things as we feel about it or think about it.  That does not mean one should be rude, or blunt, but still you can try to convey your honest thoughts. 

I heard this saying a few years back, and after that tried not to be a small minded person by avoiding talking about people generally, especially in one's absence. I cannot say one can really follow it all the time, but one can try. Here goes the saying:

Great Minds Discuss Ideas;
Average Minds Discuss Events;
Small Mind Discuss People

I want to share this short story published in, The Times of India, with my readers to reflect upon it. People enjoy talking about others, like to churn more and more stories without knowing the facts about a person. 
Think before you believe in something


In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.  One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said,
"Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. 
"Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. 
Its called the Triple filter Test."

"Triple filter?"
"that's right," Socrates continued.
"Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea
to take a moment and filter what you're going to say.
That's why I call it the triple filter test

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that 
what you are about to tell  me is true?"
"No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it and..."
"Alright," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if its true or not.

Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness.
Is what you are going to tell me about my friend, something good?"
"No, on the contrary....."
"So", Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something bad
about him, but you're not certain if its true. 

You may still pass the test though,
because there's one filter left: the filter of usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really...."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

(This little article was published in The Speaking Tree, a spiritual magazine of Times of India, on 08 Aug 2010. I really wanted it on my blog. I could not find it on e-paper, but I am reproducing it.)

A Restless Mind With
A Sensitive Heart

PS: added an image and changed the title later.

Do We Really Need Common Wealth Games?

August 9, 2010
Personally speaking, I never liked games.  Never watched any match, the only exception being India-Pakistan cricket match years back! But we know why we like to watch it, totally a non-game reason!

I never understood why so much hype about people playing with a bat and a ball, or a hockey or a foot ball or ....  But, I have due respect for the players, as they work hard for a cause, they feel right about.  But, what about the viewers, the cheerers, the supporters and the fans?? Apart from supporting their favourite players/teams, if they had themselves taken care to take up a sport as a hobby or worked towards making themselves healthier and fitter, I think we would be a physically healthy nation. 

I see only one good thing about the big sporting events - people enjoy themselves (entertainment), and there is bonding amongst supporters of a team.  Recently, during FIFA World Cup, I read how football has become a religion of the game lovers all over the world. People felt that bond, that common thread across the Continents. That was a heartening news! I liked that.

image courtesy :
But, don't you think that joy, that enthusiasm is marred many a times, as sports are not being taken as sports any more.  They have become a battle somewhere, they have become a big money spinner somewhere, and somewhere sports and the victory has become a prestige issue for the teams and for the countries.

A Game is a game is a game.  Some one will lose it. What's so shameful about it? In principle, there is nothing wrong about losing a game.  The spirit of sportsmanship is the most important thing.  Why this basic value about sport is forgotten when a team loses?  I read in newspaper sometime back that the coach of a team is having a threat to his life because his team lost a match?  Isn't it ridiculous? Are we not stretching games too far?  Were the games not meant to entertain us?  From where this issue of prestige came in?

Now about the fan's anger over "decided non-performance" (match fixing); "ill performance" (read fun n frolic at night parties) and "no-motivation to perform" performances (when a few seconds in Ads get me money, then why slog).  This anger is understandable.  I don't know, hence I won't comment on how far all that is true about the sports persons.  If anybody knows better, please add it as a comment.

Coming back to, should sports be given so much importance? Now, if you are a die hard cricket fan, or any sport for that matter, you will say, why do we watch movies then? Are we not mere spectators there and what do we learn from movies.(I have heard this argument from people earlier, so thought of adding it here). I would say that movies are a form of art, it portrays lives of people, it has a reflection of the society - sometimes imagined.  It is art, and we watch a form of art - enjoy it , criticize it and reflect about it.  Movies touch us in some way (I am only talking about meaningful movies here, rest I don't watch).

I would once again say, that I have all the due regards for the great sports persons who have worked all their lives and wondered the whole world with their talent and magic.  Its commendable.  Their efforts should be, must be recognized and rewarded.

Having said that, I would say that, ultimately, its a sport, and ultimately, movies are another form of art.  We live in a country where people slog to get just two meagre meals.  They allow themselves to live a life of a housefly - living on and eating dirt and die like dirt.  They are caught in a cycle of poverty.  Poverty means no education, which means no or unskilled job which again means poverty.  Its quite hard for them to break this cycle on their own, of course there are exceptions, but we know mostly the State has to support them, uplift them.

This picture is much more gloomy with caste system still in place at many places and gets worsened because of corruption, which seeps down to the roots of the smallest unit of governance of the country, the village level.  We should be working towards that direction, but we idolise sports - sports persons, (and movie actors also).  We are ready to fight for them, we are ready to spend crores and  crores of money for hoisting sporting events.  It disgusts me! 

image courtesy :
We, a developing country, with dreamy eyes, have to set our priorities right.  We cannot spend our hard earned money on decorating the terrace, the exterior of our house, when we don't have money or will to feed the people in the house.  The decision to hold the Common Wealth Games was correct at this juncture? I have doubts.   The thought behind it, as I have understood, was to showcase the country to the world, and generating employment and revenue for the country.  Noble thoughts, really good.

But, why do we need the scrutinizing eyes of our neighbours (read other countries) to set our house in order (read better public transport system, infrastructure, better aesthetics, better heritage management ). Just why do we need an even to better our country? I fail to understand, why do I need an International Event to be hoisted in my city to see it in a better position, to have a better place to live in?

I have failed... completely!

A Restless Mind With
A Sensitive Heart


August 7, 2010
"This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 13; the thirteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton."

"Papa, can I come back to you?" She murmured hesitantly in her cellphone, standing in a corner of her verandah, just outside her marital home. Sudha spoke as softly, as she could, lest her husband would hear her conversations. Sudha's father, Mr Kumar just knew what her daughter was saying, but he pretended ignorant and said "sure beta, do come, is Shailesh also coming with you?". Sudha understands it clearly how she, her feelings and her thoughts have been crushed all her life by this very tone of ignorance by her parents. Still, she gathers herself and says "No, I am coming alone". there was a pause, but Mr Kumar again echoed "ok, come".

Next morning, Sudha was there, in the simply furnished flat, where she had spent her entire childhood. It looked empty with only her old parents there, as her brother had studied, married and settled abroad. She could sense that the welcome was superficial, she was unwelcome without her husband and with her two big bags (which said I have come to stay, even if you don't ask me to). The smiles of greetings had faded in a few minutes of her arrival.

"But, what is the problem?" Mother, Mrs Kumar asked. Sudha's blood boiled, but she had decided not to lose her cool, so she answered with weighed words, " Ma, you still need to ask me? Does a woman needs to be beaten black and blue to prove, she is exploited? I have no way to prove to you that I am taunted and teased on one pretext or the other. In last 10 years, the issues have changed from how bad was the marriage arrangements, how little and cheap gifts I got for them, how bad I look, how inefficient I am in the kitchen, how useless I am as a mother and now.... I really don't understand why I had to study and be financially independent, to be taunted and ridiculed by a man, just because I am married to him, a man who himself could not anything in his life? Why should I pay the price of his failures and his fragile huge ego? No, Ma, I cannot take it anymore. I hid all this from you and Papa for a long time so that you don't get hurt and worried. I wanted to be a good daughter, but not anymore. If you as parents cannot read the unspoken words of your child, then I will have to shout and scream to tell you. So, please let me live here. And yes, Shailesh did not let me bring our child along. I guess, you'll have to talk to him about it or else, court would be the answer."

Kumars were not stunned, they knew it, but kept denying it for all those ten years, believing that one day their daughter will also learn to deny her marital problems. But Sudha could not, despite all her efforts, all she wanted was to stay away from that man or else someday, her hatred, her silent anger would make her violent enough to kill him. She broke into tears. Why she was being made to say all that everyone knew, all these years?

Her parents consulted each other, they shared great understanding, and pat came the reply from Sudha's mother, in her most practical tone- "We live in a society, and we have to answer them, how can we keep a married daughter? what will the society say? How will we face them? And how will you live alone all your life? And if you want to live here, you have to contribute some money from your salary and also do household work. And about your child, let me tell you clearly, he is the lineage of that family, he is not our blood, why should we take his responsibility? If you want to separate out from your husband Sahilesh, forget about your child, let Shailesh and his parents take the responsibility. "

The words first boiled her blood, and then chilled it, completely. She wanted to shout back "WHO IS MORE IMPORTANT YOUR CHILD OR THE SOCIETY? AND IS MY SON NOBODY TO YOU? HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT MA?"

Sudha, with frozen eyes and clenched fists, asked her parents for her right as a daughter in that house, where she was born. That was the final straw on the camel's hump, the hump of superficial support given to daughters when they are married off. As a practical woman that she was, before being a mother, said "listen, we have already spent a few lakhs on your marriage, that's it, you do not have any right on this house, talk about all this when we are dead."

The whole day had passed, talking about these issues, Sudha slept at night with tears slipping out of her eyes all the time. All these years, she bore the brunt only to protect these parents, and yes because she was so weak, she was taught to be week, and today, when she wants to break the shell of this fake marriage, her very parents have refused any help to her. Her mind was flooded with memories of her past, which had all the shades, white, black and grey.....

Next morning, Sudha picked up her bags, with a heart that had a broken picture of her parents, her eyes refusing to meet theirs, tears welled up, but with head held high, she said "Goodbye" to her parents and walked towards the auto stand. But this goodbye was not the sobbing goodbye she had said to her parents and family at the time of Vidai (the ceremonial farewell to daughter in Hindu marriages) on her marriage day. That goodbye said by her parents was a token farewell to say, girl, you are becoming a part of another man's family;  but we are always there for you.

This was the real goodbye, the final goodbye, akhiri (final) Vidai. She murmured to herself, as she walked on the road "aaj sachmuch vida kar diya Ma" (Mother, today you really bid farewell to me).

This walk was the march towards releasing herself from the imagined support system of her parents, it was a journey towards snatching back her self respect from the man, who just because was wedded to her believed he had the right to humiliate and torture her. This was the final goodbye. Sudha never turned back, she never looked back, she was not bothered now, she knew her way. She could walk strong because she had actually said Goodbye.

A Restless Mind With
A Sensitive Heart (RESTLESS)
 Image coutesy :
"The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton."
PS: Like it promote it at Indivine click here
Related Posts with Thumbnails