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indian belly good meals live forever: tarla dalal, the woman who taught us how to cook
sachin tendulkar: the boy who became ‘god’
JAN- FEB 2014 fashion fry the ‘saree’torial tale: the classic saree in its new avatars
2014. THE INDIAN ‘REEL’ WOMEN CONTINUES TO EVOLVE. WE TRACE HER JOURNEY. PAGE 14 GOOD MEALS LIVE FORVER. WE PAY TRIBUTE TO TARLA DALAL, THE WOMAN WHO TAUGHT US HOW TO COOK. PAGE 20 WOMEN ON WINGS’ SUSTAINABLE MODEL FOR THE PRODUCTION, MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION OF SANITARY NAPKINS IN RURAL INDIA. PAGE 50 THE ‘SAREE’ TORIAL TALE. THE CLASSIC SAREE HAS BEEN CHOPPED AND IS BEING TEAMED UP WITH PANTS! PAGE 52
AND THE ONLY MAN WHO GETS FEATURED IN THE WOMAN EDITION
THE ‘BOY’ WHO BECAME ‘GOD’, SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR. WE CELEBRATE HIS CAREER. PAGE 84
Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released six times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.
We’re at the starting line yet again. Beginnings are beautiful, powerful and pure. I extend warm New Year wishes to each one of you & your loved ones. I hope and pray that 2014 brings love, courage and luck in everyone’s lives. 2013. It was a year that was ‘welcomed’ in the midst of screaming headlines of gang rape. We were shattered, experienced shock. We woke up, fought back. We cried, held hands. We protested, said prayers. We stood by each other. We realised it could have been ‘us’ instead of ‘her’. We found strength from Nirbhaya. Are we still there? Have things changed? Have we become more sensitive? Is there hope? Will justice be delivered? Will our mindsets change? Will we be able to fight this plague? Yes and no. We find answers to the many questions in this woman special edition. And guiding us and walking us through this issue is an NRI & ex-editor of a weekly newspaper with a contribution of over 30 years towards active journalism, our guest editor Promod Puri. It’s an honour to have him on board for this issue. While we were spoilt for choice to pick a Bollywood male actor (some of them are doing good work!) as the guest editor, we decided to let go off instant publicity for the magazine and approached Promod Puri for his guidance. I thank him for his support, love, time and encouragement, at each step. Personally, these 100 pages are very close to my heart. On 16th December 2012 and the days to follow there were moments when I held my head tight, my hands on my ears. People were talking, panicking, protesting, screaming and wailing. Someone was chanting a hymn. Many were flooding the ‘authorities’ with their questions. I couldn’t see the commotion and pain that engulfed India because I was not ‘home’. I could sense it. The sound of fear was ear deafening. I just needed a moment of quiet, to think, to figure out what I wish to pray for... And this issue is all about the ‘wish’ we need to pray for, fight for, hope for, live for… I don’t know if our small contribution will bring a small or big change but I want to take this chance to thank each one of you who came forward and joined us on this ‘angry toot’ mission. I pray and hope that in 2014 we witness moments when the mindsets stop hurting, the unreported gets reported, the courageous find their smiles, the words get heard and acted upon, justice gets delivered… and we all experience togetherness, love, courage and strength. Till we meet next, happy tooting
Purva founder & editor email@example.com
2014, the new sun
Image: Women on Wings
Image: Chandan Gomes
Image: Kanika Kalra
guest editorâ€™s note
Image: Chandan Gomes
Image: Women on Wings
guest editor speak
Massive number of demonstrations have been staged, a lot has exuberantly been expressed, suggested, written, discussed and debated on the ever burning issues of violence and rape against women in India. Do we need more to say, more to express and more to propose, as well as reiterate, replay or rerun to build up the spectrum covering the issues? Categorically, yes! The more uproar we continue to drum up, even if it is repeated thousand times, to express our anguish and to keep the debate on, the rally of words is both a conviction and an incessant tool to weed out the imbedded immorality. The street protests rallies may be abating, the politicians may be staying away from the row, the parliament and judiciary might have done their work in formulating and introducing new laws, and the police might have more ammo to apprehend and prosecute the culprits, but the words perpetually being expressed on the issues can keep the fire on. Delinquent teens and adults, even those approaching the senior age, to fake gurus and saints promising celestial peace, powerful and privileged politicians, high-profile bureaucrats and professionals including the crimebusting scribes, those with “compulsive and impulsive” addictive behaviour, and a lot more scums of the society, all are culpable party to this multi-facet social disorder. Atop an observing post the landscape looks visibly blighted with crimes of rape and violence against women committed by beastly creatures who have practically debased every fold of the Indian society. Also from the same post the cries and sobs of traumatised women vehemently struggling to somehow slip away from the beasts, their screams and shrieks to catch some help and their desperate “don’t, don’t” pleas during those dreadful moments endlessly reverberate like the recreated sounds of executing afflictions from Andaman’s “kalapani” jails. But the agony of the ordeal do shake up the nation’s consciousness as has been lately happening in the country. And an ambience of hope is slowly emerging from the horizon. Beside other positive developments, more and more victimised women are boldly coming forward or trying to get through the clogged system to report the crime and expose the criminals. After all “silence is the enemy of justice”. Not to speak out publicly is appearing to be a receding taboo. This trend along with the public condemnation and outbursts, overall awareness of the twin issues through extensive media reporting of the crimes, the protest rallies and the continuous exchange of opinions are all thrown in with a downpour of words. And that sure can help to drain out the culture of rape and violence against women. The blitz of words must continue.
Born January 4, 1946. Spent his childhood and did his early schooling in Jammu, India. Pursued his graduation and journalism from Panjab University, Chandigarh in late 60s. Worked for over a year in Delhi with daily press as desk editor. Immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada in 1972. Did some odd jobs and hosted TV programs, mostly talk shows, on local community channels. In 1973 he started a bi-weekly newspaper, The Link, catering to the South Asian immigrant community. In 1975, he worked as an editor for a native Canadian newspaper while continuing with The Link as its publisher and editor, ad salesman and everything else relating to the newspaper. In 1978, he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, and carried on with The Link for the next almost 25 years! From bi-weekly The Link became a weekly publication. Retired in early 2000 after over 30 years in active journalism career. Lives in Vancouver and is happy with his retired life. He revels in Hindi film songs and Punjabi folk songs, old is gold. Always grateful to the talented and creative music directors for composing wonderful and memorable music. ‘Life would have been dull living overseas without them’. His favourite singer is late Manna Dey. He also enjoys ghazals by late Mehandi Hassan, it is like having “a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.” Spends time in the gym, walking, hiking and occasionally playing table tennis as it is the safest of all the games. Doesn’t play golf as it drags on, and lawn tennis, which is too strenuous for the knees. Also spends a lot of time on the internet and writing on a range of topics. Enjoys Facebook, but hates motivational messages and dislikes “dekhte-hi-like-karo” posts. Loves his Ipad. Travelling is another pastime with cruise and long-term vacation being his favourites. And yes, he relishes good simple food and occasionally indulges in cooking.
Promod Puri guest editor promodpuri.blogspot.com
Ashish Langade fell in love with photography six years back and ever since has found it to be a passion with infinite opportunities to learn. This passion has led him to explore the world around him through the lens. Photography for him is a play of light, bringing out the dramatic effects and beauty. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chandan Gomes is the youngest recipient of the prestigious India Habitat Centre Fellowship for Photography (2011-12). In 2013, he was awarded the Oslo University College Scholarship to participate & showcase his work at Chobi Mela VII. He is also one of the recipients of the Neel Dongre Awards in Photography supported by the India Photo Archive Foundation (2013-14). He is currently pursuing his Masters in Philosophy from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Debasish Nandy is a video journalist/ photojournalist at CNBC TV18. Photography and travelling
are his two biggest passions. He is based out of Kolkata and he loves observing people, society, culture and politics of India. He can be reached at debasish.nandy1@gmail. com. Kamaini Mittal has been fascinated with arts and designs forever. Bachelors in Fine Arts in Applied Arts she works with India’s leading English news channel besides undertaking assignments for various design firms. She observes her surroundings to expand her design vocabulary. She doesn’t sleep much, and that explains why she answers our e-mails at all odd and insane
hours. Kanika Kalra discovered the magic of shadows and hues, accidently. Addicted to her phone, she started clicking pictures each time something caught her interest. Soon, she got herself a camera to play with! She can be found at facebook.com/spectrumbykanika. Sahil M Beg hails from Bareilly and he believes photography chose him, and not the other way round. He loves to travel and explore, and he grabs every chance that he gets to develop his skill. He can be found at flickr.com/photosofsahil.
The use of sex as a weapon for reward and punishment is recorded at length throughout history. Changing times demand changing attitudes towards the topic. The disgusting reports of repeated sexual assault in modern workplaces remind us that we have not yet evolved as a society. Today’s workplace demand a different set of ethics and skills where all the sexes are treated equally. There is no place for discrimination based on trivial factors, which have divided the societies for years. It is very difficult for a person facing such exploitation in workplace to speak out against it as it may affect their career. Even if systems are built to prevent and punish such acts we do need a complete change in attitude of the society as a whole. My personal opinion is that these acts are a cumulative effect of the values and ethics prevalent in the society and collective effort from all of us will help in eradicating this evil. ...............................................................
Repeated news of rape and sexual exploitation has made me think if we have really evolved from Stone Age? Why do men seek sex and empowering women as a reward or trophy? I have seriously no answers. It is a given and almost universally accepted that men cannot control their desires. I believe it is a joke. Agreed that men have a strong desire in them towards sex and that is multiplied by the fact that social norms somehow evaluate a man by his ability to “score”. This is totally disgusting. I have come across many friends of mine who feel that having sex with multiple women is the ultimate achievement. These are the building blocks of exploitation and rape. Overall we need moral and ethical cleansing of the society and I know it will take a long time but we have to keep fighting.
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............................................................... I am glad that The Indian Trumpet is giving us a chance to raise our voice. I am looking forward to reading the woman special issue. And I extend my support and express my appreciation towards your ‘Angry toot’ column & mission. Prianca Bora, New Delhi, India
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The last two months have been full of learning. We decided to touch on an issue that was sensitive, controversial and close to our hearts. We broke down at times, reading through what was happening/happened to our women. We felt inspired reading about the tales of brave hearts. We took pride in the fact that one & all came forward to support us in our ‘angry toot’ mission. We know this is a small step but we know that at this stage every step counts. We thank our readers for their love and support.
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A MALE ACTOR WAS THE FIRST
FOUR-MINUTE LONG KISSING SCENE OF DEVI
NARGIS’ PORTRAY OF MOTHER INDIA. BI
MEENA KUMARI’S P HEMA MALINI’S CAREFREE SPIR
WOMEN IN INDIAN CINEMA CO
T HEROINE OF INDIAN CINEMA.
IKA RANI. SEEMA BISWAS’ NUDE PARADE.
IPASA BASU’S CORPORATE EXECUTIVE.
PASSIONATE LOVE. RIT. VIDYA BALAN’S QUESTER. OF WOMEN IN
ONTINUE TO CHANGE & EVOLVE.
Helen & Bindu danced to sizzling numbers. The anti-heroines were Lalita Pawar & Shashikala. Shabana Azmi & Smita Patil introduced us to real cinema. A century ago, male actor Anna Salunke became the first ‘heroine’ of Indian cinema at a time when women performing for the silver screen was considered taboo. Salunke took the role of Bhanumati in Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra (1913), the country’s first full length feature film. But the ice was soon broken by two courageous women, Durgabai and Kamalabai. This mother-daughter duo embarked on an arduous journey, their bold steps inspiring many beautiful, talented divas to step into celluloid form. Sulochana, Patience Cooper, Zubeida and Devika Rani followed them as reel life goddesses, creating a platform for women in the industry. With many experiments the journey continued, changing the depiction of women in Hindi cinema gradually: from Devika Rani’s four-minute kissing scene to Seema Biswas’ nude parade; from Nargis’ portrayal of Indian motherhood to Bipasa Basu’s corporate executive; from Meena Kumari’s passionate love to the cohabitation of Konkona Sen Sharma; and from Hema
Malini’s carefree spirit to Vidya Balan’s quester. In the early years women were usually presented as objects of entertainment. Actresses like Sulochana (Ruby Myers) and Zubeida were portrayed sensually. During the silent era of Hindi movies women became erotic symbols. Mohini Bhasmasur, Shiva Ratri, Kashmiri Sundari, Heer Raanjha (1928) and Karma (1933) were all movies where kissing was common place. India’s first talkie, Alam Ara (1931) was no exception. At the same time Fearless Nadia (Mary Ann Evans Wadia) brought a completely new icon: a masked beauty roaming the city with a whip in hand, protecting the helpless from thugs. However, the avatar couldn’t survive pressure from social and religious groups and disappeared from the screen. Mainstream Hindi cinema started reflecting women within social constructs, their identities always relating to men: wives, daughters, lovers, mothers and sisters. After Independence the introduction of Nehruvian socialism brought forward the so-called sati savitri women, steadfast loyal wives and sacrificing mothers. Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957) exemplified the ideal of socialist womanhood, while the role of mother as champion of her sons’ good cause gained momentum with Mere Paas Maa Hai in Deewaar (1975). Hindi cinema glorified the tragic roles played by K.L. Saigal and Dilip Kumar. Meena Kumari, however, did not enjoy the same status for her roles in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) and Pakeeza (1972). Guide (1965) took as its subject an extra-marital affair. Even very early movies like Duniya Na Mane (1937) depicted the rebel women, but mainstream Hindi cinema repeatedly overlooked them. In the 1970s when India’s parallel cinema emerged, female psychology and perspectives were discussed in movies like Ankur, Bhumika, Mirch Masala, Arth, Bazaar, Umrao Jaan, Maya Memsaab, Bandit Queen, Fire, Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, and Mrityudand. Along side, Bollywood depicted violence against women in many examples of rape scenes. Rape inflicts pain and is a weapon that Bollywood used as such. Perhaps only B.R. Chopra’s Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980) and Manik Ganguly’s Ghar (1978) analyse the aftermath of rape. From the early 1950s mainstream Hindi cinema perpetuated the fairy tale ‘happily ever after’ formula, with glittering divas ruling the screens. But changing tides over successive decades altered the status of women, bringing new roles, now integral to popular
Released in 1937, Duniya Na Mane saw a rebel refusing to marry an elderly man. In 2007, Cheeni Kum saw a woman choose a much older man as her partner.
Indian cinema. Vamps (such as those played by Helen, Bindu, Aruna Irani, Kalpana Iyer and Prema Narayan), usually blonde Anglo-Indians or Eurasians, danced to sizzling numbers (now re-mixed DJ favourites) in smoky, boozy clubs, stood by conmen to the end and met with disgraceful deaths. Antiheroines like Lalita Pawar and Shashikala filled storylines as a dominating saas or stepmother, projecting more stereotypes. The entry of Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil brought more realistic depictions of womanhood to Indian cinema from the early 1980s. Bad or good, independent or subjugated, bold or timid, they were presented just as they were. Today, women in Hindi cinema scripts are no longer suppressed, and female-centric movies like Fashion, Heroine and Zubeida are deeply involved with real lives, depicting happiness, pain, loss and gain.Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), No One Killed Jessica (2011), Badmaash Company (2010), Wake Up Sid (2009), Rock On!! (2008), Zinda (2006), Bunty Aur Babli (2005) and Lakshya (2004) show women in unusual careers, distant dreams for the characters of yesteryear. Depicting gender equality in every sphere of work irrespective of morality is a new development in Bollywood. Independent, decision-making women are now part of Hindi cinema. Aitraaz (2004) and Ladies vs Ricky Bahl (2011) project women from a range of angles. The term ‘item girl’ was introduced during the first decade of the 21st century to describe the voluptuous siren in a song sequence serving the fantasies and desires of great Indian macho males. From Czech Yana Gupta to porn star Sunny Leone these girls are still enjoying space in Bollywood. The passage of time has brought intriguing character changes. Released in 1937, Duniya Na Mane talked about a rebel who refused to be an elderly gentleman’s wife. Contrast this with Cheeni Kum (2007) in which a woman chooses a much older man as her partner. Kahaani (2012), with its pregnant leading lady, broke with the traditional rule of glamour and established the fact that glittering gowns and cosmetics aren’t required to make a woman look beautiful on screen. It’s impossible to imagine Hindi cinema without the songs and dances. But the current scenario has managed that perfectly. Producers are saving money on exotic locales. From silent movies to HD and 4-D, Hindi cinema has evolved, and within it, naturally, so have the roles of women. It is a welcome change.
Farhana Ahmed is a crazy nature lover. She is passionate about the blue sky, the wild ducks, the little finch, the silent rivers, the reeds and the orchids. Celluloid is in her blood and the black-n-white screen in her eyes. She is an eternal Dev Anand fan and loves to write about cinema. Besides having published two books on cinema, she is a fashionable interior designer who hates politics. She is presently working as a journalist in a prestigious daily from Assam.
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good meals live forever THE WOMAN WHO TAUGHT US HOW TO COOK, PADMASHREE TARLA DALAL (1936-2013). WE WISH SHE WAS STILL THERE BETWEEN US. WHY IS THIS TRIBUTE TO TARLA DALAL WRITTEN IN THE PRESENT AND NOT PAST? PRETTY SIMPLE, BECAUSE TARLA DALAL CONTINUES TO INSPIRE PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO EAT, FEED AND REJOICE FOOD. YES, GOOD MEALS LIVE FOREVER.
words PRACHI GROVER
The ever-smiling Tarla Dalal, who taught us what lovely meals are all about!
I am going to start this story with a cliché. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. We hear this often. But India’s first Master Chef Tarla Dalal not only won her husband’s heart but won the hearts of millions and millions of people across borders and across generations, all through her love for food. In each of her interviews she has been asked why and how did she began to cook? And each time she patiently and fondly recalled that when she got engaged, her then fiancée would write to her from the US about what he’d like to eat, and to please him the ever-soyoung Tarla began to experiment in her kitchen. Rest, as they say is history. To call her just a Master Chef would be belittling her achievements. From those cooking lessons in her kitchen in 1966 to her first book, Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking, in 1974 (the book went on to become a bestseller) she went on to build an entire world around food. Cookbooks, TV shows, magazines, food workshops, a YouTube channel, food apps, et al; and in the process passed on her love and enthusiasm to millions of people; both men and women, Indians and non-Indians, across the globe. I clearly remember the first time I ever cooked from a book was from my mother’s 1984 edition of Joy of Vegetarian Cooking, and looking back at it now I think perhaps it was with that book that my love for cookbooks began and that was when I began to trying out recipes as well. Now the 80’s and the 90’s were a time when you ate out only on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries; on other days and festivals you always cooked at home. Gooey chocolate cakes, street-food style noodles with
Methi Moong Dal Subzi
Ingredients 1/4 cup yellow moong dal (split yellow gram) , soaked in hot water for 5 minutes. 2 cups chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera). 1 small onion , chopped. 2 garlic (lehsun) cloves , grated. 2 green chillies , chopped. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi) 1 tsp besan (bengal gram flour). 2 tsp oil. Salt to taste. Method Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the onion, garlic, green chillies and saute for 1 minute. Add the turmeric powder, fenugreek and salt and stir. Add the soaked moong dal and 1/2 cup of hot water. Sprinkle the besan, mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer for some time. Serve hot with rice or rotis. RECIPE SOURCE : Cooking Under 10 Minutes, tarladalal.com
(Facing page, top to bottom) Tarla Dalal with one of her little fans! Tarla Dalal was honoured with the Padmashree award in 2007. Tarla Dalal with her friend, Kokilaben Ambani. (Above) Tarla Dalal sitting next to her cookbooks,, which clearly run in hundreds!
manchurian, cheesy macaroni, homemade pizzas, light dhoklas served with a piquant tamarind chutney, onion uthapams, paneer tikkas and more; we were the lucky girls for our tiffin boxes always held in a feast inside. Her books made sure that my sister and I as kids enjoyed and celebrated food each day; cooked by our mum (a terrific cook) and inspired by her books.
her and that is what makes her India’s most loved and most read cookbook author. Each time you watch her show or read her recipes the message that she sends out is, “I am your friend in the kitchen and I will hold your hold as you try out this recipe.” What helps is that she makes sure the ingredients required for any of her recipes are easily available and the steps are simple to understand and execute.
So what is it about her that makes us go back to her each time we face a culinary challenge? I asked her fans and everyone had the same thing to say. She is so easy to trust. And that she is. Her gorgeous smile and the warmth that exudes tells you to believe in
Through her large repertoire of recipes she educated the North Indians that South Indian cuisine was more than idli-dosa and that North Indian cuisine had more than the butter chicken to offer. Also, at a time when international cuisine was finding its way into India
Prachi Grover is a food maniac (read: food blogger & consultant). On days that she is not able to cook a lavish & large enough meal to feed friends and families she suffers from a migraine. Her other obsession is design. Her home turns a new leaf every few days making you want to re-visit her for inspiration. She can be found at orangekitchens.blogspot.com and purplehomes.blogspot.com.
Bloggers pay respect Facts to treasure Facts
No. of recipes
Followers across social media
No. of cookbooks
No. of copies sold
Over 6 million
No. of website views each month
2.8 million visitors per month
No.of videos on YouTube
Languages in which her books have been translated into
Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, English and even Dutch and Russian
Homes that have tried her recipes
Over 20 million households
Other cities in which she has given her cooking lessons
Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brussels, Antwerp, Lisbon, Zurich, Zairobi, London, Toronto, New York, Durban
Padmashree award 2007 & Woman of the year 2005
To get inspired, visit tarladalal.com
she modified her international recipes for the Indian palette using only vegetarian ingredients. That and the fact that her vegetarian recipes tempt even the die-hard non vegetarians.
My biggest regret; the editorial team and I were in the midst of a discussion and were just one week shy of approaching her for this special women’s’ issue. This would have been an interview and not a posthumous tribute to her. The other bigger regret, wish she was still there between us. That hurts. Why is this piece written in the present and not past? Pretty simple, because Tarla Dalal continues to inspire people who love to eat, feed and rejoice food. My editor asked me to pay a tribute to her. But how does one pay tribute to every single home cook’s friend? I know only one way. By recreating one of her recipes (see box); step by step. I know it will turn out exceptional for it comes out of her kitchen.
It’s difficult to believe that Tarla Dalal is no more. She touched Indian cooking or Indians cooking in a way unimaginable. Looking back, she was possibly the only Indian cookbook author who we used to refer to. We lived on tight armed forces budgets where everything was firmly rationed. The upside was the Officers Mess libraries. They always had a generous supply of Tarla Dalal cookbooks. I still remember leafing through the red hard bound copy of Delights of Vegetarian Cooking way back in the late 80’s. I eventually bought the book. We used to pour over cooking and baking terms, giggling over the very foreign concept of baking blind, mesmerised by terms like casseroles, slivers, flambé and meringue. It was the pre-Internet era where the culinary enlightenment was print media. Mexico was a land unheard of, but the cookbook churned out enchiladas and baked tacos. Also a Mexican Hot Chocolate to die for. Tarla Dalal lived ahead of her times! Summer vacations were spent experimenting with frozen froth and pink soda, the highpoint of our existence. I remember honing my baking skills using her basic recipes, dreaming of how fancy that Peach Romanoff might be. Frugality is a strange thing. It denies you reality but allows you to dream. In hindsight, maybe it was this exposure, with some Betty Crocker thrown in, that gave me my foundation today. Deeba Rajpal. Deeba can be found cooking & indulging in lovely meals at passionateaboutbaking.com and blogs. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-rabid-baker I don’t know of anyone who does not have some memory somewhere that connects them to Tarla Dalal. With her innovative cooking ideas, warm and approachable style, she made a place in everyone’s life including mine. Most of my schooling years, I did not need to cook. As soon as I hit grad school, I had to feed myself or eat frozen dinners. Around the same time her website was getting popular. I remembered her from my mom watching her shows. Tarladalal.com helped me and my roommates get through our graduate school, with easy fusion meals with limited time and whatever Indian groceries we could find in the small grad school town. Now, I am a vegan (no meat, dairy, eggs recipes) recipe developer with a focus on Indian food. There are days when I crave authentic Indian food or need inspiration and her website is the place where I end up. Her warm smile and all the amazing food she has shared with the world will stay on forever in all our kitchens. Thank you Tarla ji for the wonderful work. Richa Hingle. Richa can be found developing recipes & relishing each meal at veganricha.com.
Who am I? Why do I suffer? Can I overcome suffering? Ever since humans began to think and wonder, they have asked many questions: Who created this world and why? What was there before the creation of the world, and what will remain after it is destroyed? Why do we see so much misery around us? Where do all beings come from and where do they go? What is the meaning and purpose of life? Who am I? Why am I here? With the rapid growth of science and education, it was thought that people would become happy, but far from it, people have become more unhappy. Anxiety, tension, depression is rampant. All the money and comforts in the world cannot give us peace of mind. Kuldip Kumar Dhiman interprets an obscure classic that shows how we can live in the world, enjoy money, success, relationships and still be full of bliss.
Praise for ‘The Ultimate Iconoclast’ ‘I recommend that The Ultimate Iconoclast be taught in all universities, colleges, and schools.’ Gopaldas Neeraj, poet and litterateur ‘This book presents logically Osho's complex thoughts on spirituality, morality, aesthetics, metaphysics, religion, social philosophy, philosophy of mind and psychology.’ Prof Ashok Vohra, Dept of Philosophy, University of Delhi ‘I can assure those of you who equate ‘academic’ with ‘boring’ that this is not a dry book at all.’ Dhanyam, VIHA Connection, USA
Forthcoming book by the author of The Ultimate Iconoclast
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PE CAN WE FIGHT THIS PLAGUE?
guest editor speak Image: Chandan Gomes
Is there light at the end of the tunnel! Hope so, but the passage is very long. Along the way the scenario looks same, seldom changes, rather seems repeated. But rays of light are increasing, boosting our resolve and promising a level field of equality, dignity, respect and freedom.
Pg 44 The dateline is Muzaffarnagar! Image: Chandan Gomes
Pg 36 Pg 30 It does happen, every day, every hour, every minute. Horrendous moments of agony traumatising for the rest of life. Physical wounds may fade but indelible psychology scars remain for life. There is no solace. Snail-pace justice system, laws with wavering teeth, politicians’ double talks and double standards, stupid remarks from the flourishing community of holy men (omg), all this and more nonsense are more injurious than healing. Meanwhile, victims “A,B,C,D.......” continue to fall into the net of lust, power or extreme chauvinism. The “numbers” become statistics. Waiting for that morning with fresh breeze to walk without fear and with confidence.
Pg 32 A lot of issues relating to rape and violence against women are on the anvil. The hammering must start more vigorously to create a just society where women feel secure and safe,get respect and dignity; no more domestic violence, physical, sexual or acid attacks. And where women feel full efficacy of their competence and capabilities, candidly realise their dreams as well. The electrifying spark produced last December has enough glow to remove that centuries of darkness, and enough power to kick start the revolution of women emancipation. Education of our future generation for gender equality and justice, as well as campaign of realisation among women to instill self confidence are part of this compelling revolution of change. And those who have earnestly volunteered themselves to undertake these inspiring roles are to be commended.
“Jo bhi karna hai kar lo, bas bacha lo hamari bachchi ko (do whatever you have to, just save our child)”, the father had told the doctors. But they could not. She slipped into eternal sleep, leaving the family in deep mourning, and the nation awakened. A year later as her photograph hangs in the prayer room, the father says,”She was so full of life. Whenever we look at her picture, we see a different expression on her face. Sometimes she smiles, sometimes she wants to ask us something”. In that “something” she is asking why she is subjected to violent and horrendous rape attacks again and again in Bengal, Bihar, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi and all over the country including those “countless unreported” assaults and cover ups. And she is as much in agony and distress to know the rape of a just threeyear-old in a Delhi play school. She wants to know “as to why sexual violence is increasing at an alarming rate in India”. She wants to be part of the serious and meaningful debate about the causes and solutions to fix this culture of violence and rape. She wants to be the inspiration and hope; she wants the candlelight vigils, protests, outrage and slogans to continue with “full enthusiasm”. She wants the “mentality change”. Yes, “sometimes she smiles” at that “silver lining” up in the horizon “hoping for change, progress, an increased respect for humanity and a more educated and violence-free nation in the long run”. And she has that vision when no father will ever say again “bas bacha lo hamari bachchi ko”.
Pg 42 Rape, violence, insecurity, injustice, domestic assault, inequality, exploitation and discrimination against women! None of these are acceptable anymore. Also not acceptable are the dowry system, bride burning, stalking, acid and chemical attacks, female feticide and infanticide, and Manu’s gender based dictates. The contemporary Indian woman is striving to gain respect and dignity, safety and protection, justice and equal rights, and an environment where she can also realise her “dreams, career aspirations and life goals”. Is anybody out there listening! Yes, the politicians and the government do listen. But with selective hearing they decide when to hear and when not to suit their own political agenda and strategies. Still the pounding must go on. The crusade does not stop on this front only. It is the front within to feel and recognise that the time is now over to accept the “back seat” which is not a “comfort zone” anymore.
Six gang-raped, 24 accused. Not a single arrest so far. And the story continues “the women, named names in their FIRs, but still see the accused roaming free”. More Amanats, more Daminis and more Nirbhayas. Here in Muzzarfarnagar it is all under the cover of religion. A different front of race related rapes. But a willful criminality; happening again and again and again. The sparks from India Gate have not yet charred the evils within the lewd “spiritual” gurus, apathetic politicians and a high-profile journalist with “blatant hypocrisy”. A year ago the government was pushed into action and quite extensive and intensive new laws were introduced; strong in wording, but weak in activation. The result, same rundown day after day. “Stringent” laws but with protractive straphangers. They say justice delayed, justice denied. In the meantime, on an individual level “educating our sons” seems to be a small effort but an effective part of the campaign to clean up this “big mess”.
Pg 46 “ Hang them, amputate them, life imprisonment, no parole, flog them”, whatsoever it be. Justice is served. The victims, the families and the empathetic segment of the society are somewhat relieved. A closure is drawn to carry on with life. Crime and criminals are exposed in front of public; fodder for some media. One horrendous incident followed by more. Life goes on. The “core” issue is still there. Retributive sentences have “message for criminals”. Does that work. May be, may be not. The problem is rooted in the “mindset”. What can be done. Many combat zones. And the campaigns can go on at all the fronts simultaneously. However, the calling begins from home. The emergence of civilised society starts from home.
Pg 48 Optimistic attitudes along with resolved and spirited combat plan are indeed encouraging signs of not only a victory over centuries old ‘culture’ of violence against women but treating them with reverence and dignity. Image: Sahil M Beg
Pg 61 If multi-armed Hindu godesses Durga, Laxshmi, Kali and other related divine “sisters” and incarnations have to be reimagined and their portfolios redrawn then more arms have to be adjoined to each of them to represent the multi roles women play in the changing, complex and challenging contemporary society.
Image: Ashish Langade
Image: Kanika Kalra
Image: Ashish Langade
Image: Debasish Nandy
Image: Kanika Kalra
Pg 60 Yes, we have to fight back. And the fight has many fronts, many battlegrounds. It is long and some times or most times frustrating. It is not woman versus man, but humanity against beasts. The latter exist in every fold of the society. Quite identifiable, and attack is the best strategy to defend.
Different situations, different reasons, but it can happen and it does happen! Acquaintances, relatives, “uncles”, family pride, honour, customs and traditions, lust or pure addictions. Where is the trust, the shelter, the “shield”; where to plug. The walkways are frightening. The sidewalks have manholes with deceiving covers.
“............... that society is not devastated by the misdeeds of the bad man, but by the silence of the so-called good people”.This time, however, all the good people did not stay silence. Spontaneous outburst of anger spilled over the streets of Delhi and all over the country. Thousands got organised to rally in an unorganised and robust protest. Social media was the tool. Banners, slogans, battle with police and their brutality became part of this historic march. Many got seriously hurt, tear gassed, but the bravehearts were able to light the torch. And the struggle continues.....
IT DIDN’T STOP AT J. WHAT ABOUT M, ONLY 6-YEARS OLD, RAPED AND DUMPED IN THE SAME BUILDING AS HER HOME? WHAT ABOUT H WHO WAS RAPED THEN MARRIED OFF TO THE RAPIST WHO LATER ACID BURNED HER FACE, AS SHE TOLD ME ON A METRO RIDE TOGETHER? WHAT ABOUT ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP12345678??? ARE WE JUST LETTERS AND NUMBERS, LETTERS RAPED BY NUMBERS? 16 December 2012
“WHERE’S THIS MAHIPALPUR?” ASKED HER MOM. “VERY CLOSE TO WHERE I LIVE,” REPLIED THIS YOUNG GIRL WHO HAD RECENTLY MOVED TO VASANT KUNJ. A WORKING WOMAN BASED OUT OF NEW DELHI RECALLS HOW SHE CRIED SOMETIMES, PRAYED SOMETIMES ON DECEMBER 16, 2012, AND THE DAYS TO FOLLOW. SHE ASKS US, ‘ARE WE JUST LETTERS AND NUMBERS, LETTERS RAPED BY NUMBERS?’ words SONATA P
On the morning of 16th December 2012 I was in Guwahati to celebrate Christmas with my family. I had recently moved to Vasant Kunj and my parents were curious about this locality in New Delhi. I was bombarded with questions like, “Is it a safe place?”, “Do they have guards in your colony?” I had been living in the city for a while now but you see I’m from that part of the country where female foeticide, dowry, rape and disrespect of women are often met with street justice: it’s all that taboo. After answering their questions and reassuring them I headed out for a day with old friends. I wouldn’t be back before ten pm. That evening, as I sat watching a movie with my friends, I noticed that my mother, uncharacteristically, had called me several times in rapid succession on my mobile. Worried, I called her back, and she asked, “Where’s this Mahipalpur?” “Very close to Vasant Kunj,” I replied, and my mother instantly said, “Move out of that apartment you’ve just rented, you can’t stay there.” Puzzled, I queried this sudden outburst and she calmly asked me to return home after our meal and to give the driver some petty cash for his own dinner. I arrived home and my mother was in tears. She hugged me and said, “I have just one daughter and I can’t imagine how her mother feels.” I was baffled until around 10.30 pm when I realised there’d been a tectonic shift in Delhi and that the tremors were being felt all the way over in a sleepy town in Assam. That’s how big it was. Right there. I cried with my mother and father who couldn’t help but feel for J and her loved ones. It took weeks before I could sleep without the gory images stuck in my mind. But I’ll tell you this. I didn’t shift out of Vasant Kunj or attend any protest or candlelight vigil, or stop wearing a skirt of a certain length, or came back home ‘on time’, or call some lecherous creep ‘bhaiya’ or stayed away from people who ate chowmein. I didn’t do any of those things. I sat at home, cried sometimes, prayed sometimes,
sometimes hoped she’d reach heaven rather than live, so she’d find peace. I was violated, I was gangraped that night, that curved iron rod went inside my vagina and pulled out my intestines. My wounds and trauma was not physical. There was a girl in Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi that was bearing the physical wounds for me, for us. Yes, she was. It didn’t stop at J. What about M, only 6-year old, raped and dumped in the same building as her home? What about H who was raped, then married off to the rapist who later acid burned her face? What about ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP12345678??? Are we just letters and numbers, letters raped by numbers? Today, I want to say this. Don’t hand me that one lakh rupees, it won’t even get me reconstructive surgery. Don’t give my family government jobs, they won’t be preoccupied enough - the work’s as sluggish as your rule - to forget what happened to me. Don’t visit me in the hospital: it might mean publicity for you but to me you’re just one of them. Don’t tell me about the judiciary and fast track courts when you don’t mind sitting next to a rapist in parliamentary session. Spare me the police safety: last time they tried to save me, I was sodomised by the same lathi they charged the protestors with, because I went to file a complaint against the village moneylender’s son who raped me and my mother. Oh and please don’t share that video with a popular actress saying “It’s my fault” because the last person that raped me, repeatedly, said it to me while he gagged my mouth. Newsflash! He doesn’t understand sarcasm! Just let me live without fear that I’ll be raped again. And in the hope that even if I do, you, you and all of you together will not break me, that the pristine white cloth of my soul will not be scarred or tinged with blood. Amen.
Sonata is a thinker and she tries to put her thoughts in words the best way she can. She hails from the picturesque state of Assam, India. She has worked in the past as an editor for India Today and for Bharti Today, the official newsletter of the Bharti Enterprises. She is currently an Associate Creative Director for Content and Strategy at CS Direkt Events and Exhibitions, Gurgaon. She is a trained Kathak dancer and lives in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi with a family of four Persian cats.
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF ‘I WISH AND PRAY THAT EVERY GIRL & WOMAN GETS A CHANCE & FINDS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP FOR HERSELF,’ SAYS THIS MOTHER OF TWO BOYS, ‘WHILE I TEACH MY BOYS TO BE RESPONSIBLE, I ALSO HOPE THAT THE GIRLS LEARN TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES.’ SHE FEELS THAT THE JOURNEY TO TRIUMPH FOR EVERY WOMAN BEGINS WITH HER. words RITU DUA images KANIKA KALRA & VISHAL KHULLAR
A year has passed since ‘Nirbhaya’ left us. I remember that December morning when the country was shamed by the brutal act. While Nirbhaya fought for her life, another battle was raging between the citizens and the law. Massive protests erupted all over the country as thousands clashed with the police, waving slogans and shouting for justice. After Nirbhaya’s death, the nation wept as one. People refused to celebrate New Year 2012.
For the first time in Indian history people poured into the streets to protest over an issue of gender, venting the anger and grief triggered by this atrocious act. Like many others, I feel ‘satisfied’ that finally justice has been served and the culprits punished. But is this sufficient? What about the other victims? Is the fight over? Has the pain lessened? Have such incidents stopped? Will they ever stop? Why does a society like ours, which justly prides itself on strong family values, continue to tolerate domestic violence against women? Many such questions remain unanswered. Feeling very angry and hurt I could see the same rage, anguish and tears in my two boys’ eyes as we watched the news. The agitations continued for many days. Nirbhaya has acted as a catalyst of positive change. We must be aware of the pure energy of anger, to transform and channelise it in the right direction, and to watch for change. I as a mom try not just to raise my sons but also to develop them. I know I’m imperfect but I’m also real. I tell them again and again that they’re responsible for their acts and that girls are human beings too, no matter what. No one has the right to make my sons disrespect others or forget their manners and values. I wish I could make them un-see those things in life that may prove detrimental to their emotional health. I know they are going to be exposed to lots of things
over which I will have no control. So I tell them: “YOU have control over YOU. You have the right to choose, so choose wisely.” I love them fiercely, so as I educate their minds I also nurture their hearts. While I tell them to be strong in character, I also tell them to be tender and compassionate. We can’t control how others dress. We can try to help our own daughters, and girls whose trust we have earned to make good choices. But when it comes to our sons we need to teach them to manage their thoughts and respect every woman, regardless of attire. They need to support and nurture the feminine energy around them. They also need to understand that if they are full of spark, girls too have been blessed with the magic to leave a trail of glitter! Trying to protect our sons from situations they will encounter in real life will simply leave them with under-developed self-control, always blaming women for their impulses and acts. As we teach our boys to be responsible, we must also teach our girls to be brave. In our society we teach our girls to take care of their brothers, husbands, families and people around them. But do we also teach them to take care of themselves? No, we don’t! As they grow up their heads are full of fear, with no space for dreams and aspirations. We need to peel away the layers of fear, to awaken our daughters (and ourselves, and every female around us), and to tell them every day that they have the power to change the world. It’s important to create a safe and inclusive environment where women can learn to empower themselves. As a woman I can’t allow some external source to give me a false sense of self or power. These feelings won’t last and can lead to confusion and insecurity. The true essence of empowerment has to come from within. For healthy, happy futures, we have to be determined to awaken, rise and empower ourselves. Every woman has the power to create and transform in her own way. Insight is required to see where physical stamina shows its limits and emotional strength comes to the fore to balance it. Women need to treat themselves like ‘valuables’, appreciate their self-worth. There is no force equal to a determined woman: one
leap of faith can change her world. Today, women are capable of doing everything: no job in this world is impossible. Any woman can do whatever she wishes to. And the multi-tasking of everyday life should be recognised: wife, mother, chef, teacher, care-taker. Fulfilling daily needs, physical and emotional. With a core of steel and a compassionate heart, every woman’s presence and power is undeniable. Every woman should realise this, and every man should acknowledge the same. In recent years women have achieved great heights, making giant strides in the corporate world, but often face discouragement from family members if work impinges on domestic life. I am reminded of Caroline Mytinger’s words, “A woman’s destiny, they say, is not fulfilled until she holds in her arms her own little book.” I hope the New Year brings unprecedented change. I hope and pray that the girls in our society receive enough education to embrace their own individuality, stand up for themselves, realise their dreams and follow their hearts. I hope that the girls keep pushing the envelope to grow stronger, wiser and more effective until they fulfill their aspirations. I also wish they live up to the morals and values with which they were raised, propel themselves to be extraordinary and grow up to be real women of substance. They must liberate themselves from their own fears and realise that they are powerful beyond measure. They need to understand their self-abundance. They need to be their own cheerleaders!
Ritu Dua has been a banker & a teacher, now she has let herself be drawn by the strong pull of what she loves to do the most, draw and paint. A self-taught artist she paints the way a bird sings, and believes in creating her own rainbows. She intends to spread happiness through her art. She uses micron pens, water colours & oil-paints in her works, and mixed media is her forte. She also makes murals and environment friendly art by recycling things. Besides doing a few exhibitions for charity, she has worked with an NGO in India and taught under-privileged children how to create art from trash. In Dubai, she is a volunteer at Al Noor School and teaches art to special children. When not making art, she is celebrating all things delicious. She pours her heart out at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.ae.
trapped in trumpet lead
my country A YOUNG INDIAN GIRL HAS RETURNED HOME AFTER LIVING ABROAD FOR TEN YEARS. ON HER MIND IS ONE QUESTION, “IN THE U.S, I TOOK PRIDE IN BEING A STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMAN. IN MY OWN COUNTRY THOSE FEELINGS HAVE BEGUN TO DIMINISH. I WANT TO LIVE AS FREELY IN MY OWN COUNTRY AS I DID IN A FOREIGN LAND. WHEN WILL THIS HORROR END?” words ARUSHI DUTT
I still remember the commotion that followed on all news channels as I flipped through, trying to figure it out. A woman had been brutally gang raped in New Delhi, and the nation was shaking with anger. Protests, debates, online posts, and discussions raged. Leaving the world behind her, Nirbhaya, the victim, also left the traces of a neverending battle for freedom and equality. I thought this episode would see an end to the injustice. Then, a few months afterwards, the incident repeated itself in Mumbai, the victim this time a young female photojournalist. Shock reverberated again. When would the horror end? When I first moved to India after living abroad for ten years, I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited to be back home after so long. I still am, but when I hear stories like these, it makes me upset to be living here. When I step into the streets, I’m stared at like a piece of meat, scanned up and down by men sitting idly. Before I go out, I always have to think twice about what to wear. I have to cover my arms or legs to avoid the unnecessary gawping. To feel secure, I have to be accompanied by my parents, a male friend, or group of friends. These rules tend to exist in a woman’s life anywhere in India. After the extensive rape coverage I became even more conscious of them. I felt trapped in my own country. The reverse was true living abroad. Growing up in the U.S I never felt worried about what to wear, or who to roam with, or what time to come back home. I can’t say I was much of a party animal, but my freedom was uninhibited. In my eyes, women are treated as equals in the Western society. Nobody is above
or below, for the most part. In fact, the fight for equality is so strong that there are gender equality courses and feminist parades. But even at everyday levels, women are treated equally at work and school. Girls aren’t stared at like sexual objects in the street, and women aren’t restricted to being housewives. Moreover, they’re encouraged to follow their goals and dreams. It makes me angry that almost every day crimes are committed against girls in India. Girls are seen as second best or just not good enough. I used to take pride in being a strong, independent woman in the U.S. In my own country, those feelings have begun to diminish. I’m troubled and hesitant. In a conservative city like Chennai, it’s uncommon to see girls wearing Western attires. There’s a shallow mindset, even among the students in my college. Walking alone, I’ve been catcalled, whistled, and hooted at by groups of guys. Mortified, all I can do is try to ignore them and walk by with dignity. As a reminder that women should be treated with respect, our nation took a stand. People staged protests and debates, standing together as one against the gang rapes. Action was called for, including capital punishment, against the criminals. Angered parents shouted for the safety of their daughters. Men fought for the security of their own mothers, wives and sisters. The media has played an important role throughout, linking society and reality. Reporters have gone out and recorded angry reactions from the public. Talks and rallies involving celebrities and public figures have been organised. Newspapers like The Hindu have given over entire editorial pages to women’s issues, focusing on positive changes and publicising women’s achievements around the world. The Indian entertainment industry - both in television and film -
has been just as active in creating awareness around female empowerment. Television serials like Sapna Suhane Ladapan Ki and CID have re-enacted gender hate crimes, and shown women in a powerful light. At the Indian International Film Awards (IIFA) special performances have been dedicated to women, and choreographed around recent events. Directors in the film industry have dared to make women-centric films such as Heroine and Fashion, helping to change audiences’ mindsets. Certain neighbourhoods have united in the cause of female empowerment. A recent example is Durga Puja, one of the festivals celebrated in West Bengal. In Kolkata, different neighbourhoods compete against each other to build the best puja pandals, or exterior buildings for the idols. Among many creative themes, one was ‘female empowerment.’ The statue of Goddess Durga, or Ma Durga, symbolises power in Bengali culture. This pandal was especially created in light of recent acts against women, to raise awareness. As a woman, I have the right to be identified, and not discriminated against. I am still wary when I go out. But I don’t want to have to think like that anymore. Why should my country restrict women just because we’re women? I want to live as freely in my own country as I did in a foreign land. Voices are crying out and it is our job to hear them. Perhaps it is finally happening. People are waking up and taking action. Realising that we are all human is the first step to unity. Education is the second step. Changing mindsets is the final, and perhaps toughest step of all. Each person’s life begins from the mother’s womb. As women safeguard the start of our lives, so it is our duty to ensure the safety of their own beautiful life journeys.
Arushi Dutt loves travelling and meeting new people. She has lived half of her life in India, and the other half growing up in North America. Through her diverse set of experiences she has gained a lot of exposure in life. She says, ‘I can’t say that I am a wise saint but immersing myself in various cultures has taught me quite a bit’. One day she hopes to anchor her own travel show. Eating and dancing are another two of her hobbies. She can be found at arushiscorner1991.blogspot.in.
December 16th 2012 woke an apathetic nation and its people up to the harsh reality and prevalence of sexual violence in India. The gang rape and subsequent death of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh Pandey was certainly not the first incident of sexual violence to have occurred in India, but it certainly was the first time that a case of gang rape made to the cover page and breaking news headlines of every major media channel in the country for 13 days back to back. International media got hold of the story and details, true and false, began flying around as did a number of comments from various avenues as to why she “deserved it”, which clearly highlighted the reasons as to why sexual violence is increasing at an alarming rate in India. As the young survivor struggled to regain her strength at a New
Delhi hospital, an otherwise uncaring nation got to work, agitating on the streets, taking to social media sites to vent their rage and express horror at what had transpired, and participating in various protest marches, prayers and candlelight vigils. Unfortunately, the prayers went in vain as the young woman succumbed to her extensive injuries on December 29th 2012. The nation went into mourning, the media channels went crazy trying to get news bytes from all and sundry, and a few politicians and celebrities got their few seconds of fame as they expressed solidarity with Jyoti, her family, and the nation that had christened her “India’s Daughter”. Close to a year has passed since the incident took place, since a fortnight’s worth of prayer and rage
If one were to be brutally honest about sexual violence in India, it would be difficult to say that things will change fast, as they will not. The country has a long way to go before it acknowledges the role of its own archaic values in promoting violence against women. So while our children may never benefit from age appropriate sex education at school, they will most certainly get a sex education of sorts from the Internet. Politicians and celebrities will continue to run their mouths, and the media will forever neglect to conceal the identity of courageous rape survivors who share their stories. The majority of the population will continue to live in their dark zone until one of them commits an abusive act and is sent to the gallows as a result. words PRANAADHIKA SINHA DEVBURMAN
united a nation against sexual violence on women. Since then, there have been a number of reported incidents of gang rape, and also a controversy involving the misbehaviour of the editor of one of the nation’s most respected media houses. The Mumbai gang rape incited some reactions, while the Kamduni gang rape case received minimal attention from the mainstream media and highlighted the dismal state of law and order in West Bengal. The more recent case involving Mr.Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka, is currently enjoying “breaking news” status amid the media as he finds himself accused of molesting a young intern in an elevator during a festival that was held in Goa. Ironically, the festival’s schedule included interactive discussions with two survivors of sexual assault. What is interesting to note about all the aforementioned cases, is the fact that while the media is highlighting the issue of sexual violence with greater regularity, much needs to be done in context with encouraging sensitive reportage of these matters. What is also interesting is the fact that very little has actually been done in regard to discussing and implementing strategies, which will empower people to combat abuse. Sex education is still banned in some Indian states, but freely available sexualised content is not. So while a curious child will probably not have the concept of sex and sexuality explained to him or her in an age appropriate manner, he or she has free access to the internet, where a plethora of mixed messages await, ready to get their claws into impressionable minds. The root cause of sexual violence, was, is, and unfortunately, will continue to be ignored. Terms like patriarchy, misogyny, gender inequality, and survivor confidentiality continue to elude the
I CHILDHOOD HAVESEXUAL SURVIVED ABUSE. I HAVE
EXPERIENCED RAPE. IF I WERE EVER TO COME FACE TO FACE WITH MY RAPIST AND MOLESTERS, I WOULD FORGIVE THEM FIRST, AND THEN ENSURE THAT THEY ARE LOCKED UP AND PROVIDED WITH PROFESSIONAL PSYCHO-SOCIAL AND REHABILITATIVE COUNSELLING.
media and public as they did pre-Delhi gang rape. While the activist in me was inspired and hopeful that the outrage post-Delhi gang rape would facilitate a proactive approach towards the issue of violence, it’s cause, and action that could be taken to prevent it, that was not to be. The protests have since, died down, with the slogan-shouters and vigil attendees restricting their angst to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. On occasion, as with the Mumbai gang rape, the odd protest has been carried out with full enthusiasm, complete with demands for safer working conditions for women, but the protests have ended at just that. A few hours spent outdoors with banners does not appear to have reached the ears of this country’s lawmakers. The death mongering however, has. One of the things I noticed during the Delhi gang rape trial, was the convenient manner in which the general public and lawmakers bayed for the blood of the four convicted rapists [the fifth died under mysterious circumstances at the Tihar Jail, while the sixth was let off with a mere 2 year 8 month sentence at a reformatory]. As someone who was an invited panelist on a number of televised discussions during the gang rape trial, I found myself recoiling in horror at the attitude of some fellow panelists, a number of whom were well-educated lawyers and political spokespersons. “Bobbitize them,” said a BJP spokesperson who clearly had no clue about the fact that rape does not require penile insertion, and can involve insertion of any foreign object or body part. “The respected judge is hearing the cries of the country and will definitely recommend death,” said the female lawyer who wasted no time in waxing eloquent about how “wonderful” and adept the Indian legal system was at dealing with rape cases. She clearly ignored Aristotle’s quote about the law being restricted to “reason that is free from passion”. “This is a landmark judgment, so death penalty should be
Nobody listened, of course. Baying for blood and pandering to public sentiment took over what could have been a landmark judgment worthy of being somewhat proud of. The fact that the Mumbai gang rape case and the recent Kamduni gang rape and murder case, not to mention countless unreported cases, all took place after this supposedly rapepreventing judgment happened does not seem to have flicked the switch on in public conscience as yet. In any case it would be noteworthy to point out the long list of pardons that are regularly handed out to those who are given the death penalty, a good 10-15 years after the case has lost the public’s interest and attention. Using death and blood baying in a shocking display of “eye for an eye” has truly succeeded in making a majority of the population blind to reality. The reality is that the country should have swung into action by empowering its citizens; instead it chose to distract them and lead them away from the real problem. I have survived childhood sexual abuse. I have experienced rape. If I were ever to come face to face with my rapist and molesters, I would forgive them first, and then ensure that they are locked up and provided with consistent and professional psycho-social and rehabilitative counselling. Killing the abuser will not magically erase what I went through. It will not take away the pain, rage, and self-loathing that I felt. It will not discourage other rapists and perpetrators of violence from abusing vulnerable people. It will not make the scars in my mind, on my body, and within my soul, vanish. Indeed, the scars are still there for life. They remind me of what I endured and overcame, and keep me motivated in my
THE ROOT CAUSE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE, WAS, IS, AND UNFORTUNATELY, WILL CONTINUE TO BE IGNORED.
given,” stated a smug social activist. My response was as follows – “The death penalty will not help prevent rape or indeed, provide justice to those who have endured sexual violence. It will merely kill a few people, that too because it is convenient to kill them, since they are not celebrities or the sons of rich, influential people. What will prevent rape and violence is a mentality change. This mentality change is a long-term process that requires time, effort, and cooperation on the part of the law, education, government, and non-governmental agencies whose job it is to develop and implement age appropriate personal safety/rights based education. On another note, it is important to empower women, men, and children with self-defense tools. What about implementing methods which make it safe for a woman to file a complaint at her local police station? Why is death the magic pill that will solve everything? War = more war. Grow up.”
life as I make my humble individual effort to reach out to survivors of CSA, incest, and rape. From a survivor’s perspective, I would like to bring forth the fact that supporting someone who has been through a traumatic experience is way more important than satiating ones own ego by trying to get at the abuser. The Delhi gang rape highlighted some gaping holes in context with how rape, abuse, and survivors are dealt with. Dealing with disclosure of abuse, understanding why people abuse other people and other related issues, need to be brought to the forefront. This has not been done by the government, and the few NGOs and initiatives that have sprung up, cannot possibly cover such a vast population, of which close to 70% are illiterate and literally, living in the Dark Ages with no basic amenities and staunch beliefs in archaic value systems.
So much angst and empty promises filled the airwaves during the Delhi gang rape, and it died down so fast. One would imagine that a suddenly hyper vigilant country would stand up for every rape survivor who came forth post-Delhi, but that was not to happen. All this while, activists such as Adivasi school teacher Soni Sori languished in jail after being continuously raped and violated by a number of people, this too, before the Delhi gang rape. Nobody cared enough to light a candle for her. Was she a less worthy human being? Did her story and right to justice not have value? The Kamduni case involved the woman being treated so brutally, her bones were broken. She was raped, murdered, and cruelly tossed near a water body to be forgotten. Did her story not deserve to be told? Sexual violence is not as complicated an issue as one would like to imagine it to be. To put aside the fancy theories and intellectual musings on it, sexual violence is an act through which a person is made to feel subjugated or inferior, sexual abuse being the primary tool of torture. Everyone is vulnerable to sexual abuse and nobody is incapable of perpetrating a sexually abusive act on another person. Sexual violence is not restricted to “violence against women”, as children, men, and members of the third gender are also subjected to it. Unfortunately this logic is yet to reach many. Sexual violence can be prevented; a repetition of the Delhi gang rape can be prevented. The question is, how many people in this country are really in favour of empowering the population, especially women, against sexual violence? India as a country, boasts rich socio-cultural diversity, a large population, and a slight obsession with archaic value systems, which seems hard to shake off, and comes across as contradictory at times. It seems almost laughable to hope for change and development in a country that
to its otherwise boring and obvious scripts. Women are no longer only relegated to the role of a sexy item girl in minimal clothing; they are much more than that. On the international circuit too, it is heartening to note that conventional ideas of women, sexuality, and beauty are being challenged, with strong women like singer Adele and actress Hilary Swank proving that one need not take one’s clothes off in order to be noticed and respected. The Indian sports circuit has noted an increase in reportage of female athletes such as Mary Kom, Krishna Poonia, Jwala Gutta, and Saina Nehwal. The very fact that slow and steady efforts are in effect which will serve to overhaul preconceived notions about women being subservient objects will ultimately empower women to speak up and fight back against sexual violence. Men too, are making slow but noteworthy progress in context with understanding women and doing their bit to contribute towards change. Raptivists [an activist who uses rap music to spread messages about socio-political change] such as Ashwini Mishra, better known as A-list, are consistently at the forefront of the movement in favour of progress and justice for all citizens. Mishra is outspoken about a range of issues, and has been rapping about the injustice and sexual violation of Soni Sori, thus doing his bit to raise awareness. Respected artists such as Remo Fernandes regularly do their bit to raise awareness and express solidarity with those who have endured violence. It is necessary to mention the names of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez who were murdered in 2011 while protecting their friends from molesters. Keenan’s father, Mr. Valerian Santos, serves as an inspiration to many including myself, for his calm and rational approach to those who murdered his son, and for his tireless efforts at mobilising people to speak up against sexual violence. If one were to be brutally honest about sexual violence in India, it would be difficult to say that things will change fast, as they will not. The country has a long way to go before it acknowledges the role of its own archaic values in promoting violence against women. So while our children may never benefit from age appropriate sex education at school, they will most certainly get a sex education of sorts from the internet. Politicians and celebrities will continue to run
SO MUCH ANGST AND EMPTY PROMISES FILLED THE AIRWAVES DURING THE DELHI GANG RAPE, AND IT DIED DOWN SO FAST. ONE WOULD IMAGINE THAT A SUDDENLY HYPER VIGILANT COUNTRY WOULD STAND UP FOR EVERY RAPE SURVIVOR WHO CAME FORTH POSTDELHI, BUT THAT WAS NOT TO HAPPEN. their mouths, and the media will forever neglect to conceal the identity of courageous rape survivors who share their stories. The majority of the population will continue to live in their dark zone until one of them commits an abusive act and is sent to the gallows as a result. The silver lining is as thin as a single hair on one’s head. It is minute, and barely noticeable; but it is there. Here’s to hoping for change, progress, an increased respect for humanity and a more educated and violence-free nation in the long run. Don’t just read this and move on, however, get involved by educating the people around you. Tell your children you love them, and that they can talk to you about anything, even sex. Take self-defense lessons. Vote. Be vocal about injustice and participate in active, ground level advocacy movements. I am not a fan of Mahatma Gandhi, but I will end with a quote by him; “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
Pranaadhika Sinha Devburman is an Indian woman who became an activist at age 11. She founded an NGO against Child Sexual Abuse in 2007, called “Elaan” and is currently running a self-funded, individualrun campaign called “1 Million against Child/Adult Sexual Abuse”, which will educate 1 million Indians on the issue of abuse by 2018, and will equip them with knowledge and MMA based self defense skills. Apart from her social activism, she enjoys reading and watching anything crime related. She is currently writing a book on her experience as a survivor activist. She also enjoy cooking, art, and traveling. And, possesses a curious love for bats. She can be found at facebook.com/onemillionagainstcsa.
A five-year-old girl was raped in my country. Each word is drenched in pain, shame, anger and misery. I usually steer clear of politics and the like – it’s never been my thing. But this, along with the ongoing violence against women… I now choose to raise my voice. Because I feel I must and because I know I can. And because if we don’t do it now, each and every time this happens… things may never change. We speak of equality and women’s rights. Yet, Sati is still practiced in parts of India. We are proud of our working, educated daughters, able to stand tall next to any man. Yet we entertain the concept of dowry. We honour India’s many goddesses But we are unable to protect our women from the evil that meets them at every turn.
India is fantastic. We have the brains that the world pays millions for, and the beauty that the world covets. Art, culture, food, travel, entertainment, literature – you’ll see a little bit of India everywhere. Given the tremendous exposure that our country, its people and our government enjoys – is it wrong to
expect more for the Indian woman?
gender of an unborn child. Bravo.
Like our men, our women too have dreams, career aspirations and life goals. Why then, is it all right to expect her to forego all of that, just because she becomes a wife and a mother? Sadly, more often than not, it’s not only an expectation; it’s a demand. A requirement, the supposed appropriate behaviour for the bahu of the house. To keep her tone low and serve herself last at any meal; once everyone else is done with their hot chapattis. To bring income into the home, educate her children, manage a house and care for her family. She may work, but she is, after all, a mother. The daughter of the house. Otherwise who will believe she came from a good family, has good values, knows her place in the house and in society?
But in my country, women are raped every day. The parents of a five-yearold girl, were offered money to keep quiet about the horror their child had been put through. By the police, no less.
Really, now. There is a lot to be said for the illogical approach taken to the women in our country. However, in recent times, it isn’t about logic anymore. There is no logic in violence. Or murder. Or rape. I raise my voice as a woman. In my country, the government campaigns to save the girl child. It is against the law to determine the
It plays like a dreadful horror story, a documentary that you watch and never believed could happen so close to home. The same government that fights to protect the unborn girl child cannot keep her safe when she comes into the world – after the initial hullabaloo, the government seems to feign a practiced ignorance. More ‘important’ things happen and atrocities are swept under the rug. Women - raped. Girls - raped. A child - raped. Women deserve more. They deserve justice and rights, without news channels playing painful footage and angry debates all day long. Without protests, marches, candlelight vigils. Women deserve more, without having to shout from the rooftops about it. To be treated with respect and dignity, from the day they are born and throughout their lives. This cannot be immediate, but it
don’t let this be my india
VIOLATED AT FIVE. RAPED, BEATEN, DEFILED. FIVE IS INNOCENT AND PURE. FIVE IS CRUEL, WRONG, AND SICK. AN INDIAN RAISES HER VOICES AS SHE PONDERS, “THIS IS NOT THE COUNTRY I HAVE DEFENDED COUNTLESS TIMES. THIS CANNOT POSSIBLY BE THE GOVERNMENT I ELECTED, HOPING FOR A BETTER TOMORROW. THESE CANNOT BE THE LAW ENFORCEMENT REPRESENTATIVES WHOM WE TRUST TO MAKE A SHINING INDIA FOR OUR CHILDREN. THIS IS NOT THE COUNTRY I CALL MY OWN. IT CAN’T BE.” words ROSEMARY FERNANDES
is definitely not impossible. Accord them the protection they deserve. I raise my voice as a mother. Any female who goes through this nightmare, is someone’s daughter. A mother somewhere, feels the indescribable pain of her heart breaking inside her. Anguish at being able to do nothing to protect her child. Anger that the government seems to be playing too stupid to understand. Violated at five. Raped, beaten, defiled. Five. FIVE. Good lord, five is a baby. Five is innocent and pure. Five is a little angel who still marvels at rain on a school morning and secretly wants a chocolate before going to bed. Five is cruel, wrong, sick. It is complete and unadulterated evil. I read somewhere that we must condition our children from a young age, with regard to living with equal rights. Sure. I’m more than ready to start at home. To teach our boys that women are not to be ogled at and teach our girls their worth, not to mention martial arts. Teach them that right from the playground, girls are not to be bullied. Yes, I can try and handle the tomorrows. But is my government ready to take a stand on the violence against women today? Impose a deserving punishment, given the hideous crime? As my government, this is what I expect you to do. You are the law, are you not? Do these cases not deserve precedence over a film star slated to spend a few years in jail? Do not make a joke out of these horrific events. When we cannot save and protect our children, DO NOT waste my time showing me a plea from members of the film fraternity and the public, to lessen or do away with a court verdict. Do not insult my intelligence and mock my sentiments. I raise my voice as an Indian.
This is not the country I have defended countless times. This cannot possibly be the government I elected, hoping for a better tomorrow. These cannot be the law enforcement representatives whom we trust to make a shining India for our children. This is not the country I call my own. It can’t be. The constitution speaks of my rights as a citizen. A right to equality, freedom, my right against exploitation. Do the ruling powers constantly need to be reminded of this? … Truth alone triumphs. The truth is staring you in the face. Now what? If the government does not feel the urge to go out and fight for the rights of these women – know that as a government, you have failed. We as a country have failed. Repeatedly, miserably, shamelessly. Your nuclear power and your armies are worth tosh, if you can’t protect your people from the evil that lies within. Get back to the basics. Honour your people, protect them. To our women… you are worth so much more than you know. More than you believe. Know it. Trust it, hold on to it, nurture it. Do what makes you happy and don’t constantly choose the back seat as your comfort zone. With self appreciation comes strength. Do not wait for society to applaud you. You are strong enough not to need it. Look around. Reach out to other women and allow yourself to learn and harness your own greatness. Fight for yourself, the girl standing next to you and your unborn daughters.
don’t expect someone else to do it for you. To everyone in the Indian government who can make a difference in this mess we seem to be drowning in, but is perhaps waiting for some sort of divine intervention – here is food for thought. This woman has been to hell and back. Iron rods, candles, hair oil bottles – you’ve heard these words again and again. In a country as big as ours, there is probably much more happening. Our monsters are slowing crawling out from under our beds. The woman will believe she is cursed, unloved and of no consequence to anyone. She will understand that this is the life she and her daughters will be condemned to live, with no one to champion their cause. She will never be able to love and she will never be accepted, thanks to society. She will rot on the inside and she will die. Now imagine that this woman is your blood. Your mother, who gave you life. Your sister, who laughed with you, tied a rakhi around your wrist. Your daughter, whom you held and vowed to take care of forever when you first held her in your arms. Harsh? Perhaps. True? Undoubtedly. Do not live in denial. To our government… take a stand and act. We expect it of you, it is your duty. Because if you wait for too long, it will happen again, make no mistake. And it will keep getting worse.
Dream. Don’t give up. Laugh. Live, really LIVE.
Let your people know that they are in safe hands. Put actual justice on the table, not compromises. Impose a punishment strong enough to deter these animals out there. Work on a better tomorrow. But for god’s sake, protect your people today.
Do not settle. You deserve more. And if you don’t go after what is yours,
Don’t mess this up. There is simply too much at stake.
Rosemary Fernandes is a banker by profession. Her first love is and has always been writing. She’s happiest surrounded by books, her family and a hot cuppa. Ever the optimist, this lover of musicals and doodler of cuboids can be found at countingsheepinmysleep.blogspot.com. Drop by, she promises bean bags and cookies.
India would never be the same. On the eve of last New Year the youth of our country was not clinking glasses and dancing, instead they were holding candle light vigils and fighting for a better society. India Gate witnessed the anger, frustration and courage of the youth. We were all fighting for a Nirbhaya, a Amanat, a Damini… The country announced in chorus, ‘Enough’. Rape, molestation, harassment, violence… there was not a single corner of the country
Who was Nirbhaya? What did she mean to me? How did she become a part of my existence? Why did I feel the need to fight for her?
that was spared. It was time to act and not be the powerless bystanders. Who was Nirbhaya? What did she mean to me? She entered my life as a stranger, as an Indian who had suffered, as a woman whose trust had been violated, as a human being whose body and soul was dishonoured… she became a part of my existence. I prayed silently, with many other Indians, hoping for a miracle, hoping she would survive the assault. I prayed for her parents, who watched their daughter, their biggest dream and gift, suffer at the hands of ‘society’. I still remember the fateful day (December 29) when I woke up to the headlines that she was no more. I sat down, I cried. How could life be so unfair? I was angry, my blood was boiling. For a few minutes I forgot rationale and logical thinking, and wished I could myself punish the rapists. I could hear the loud wails of a helpless mother and a distraught
father. We wanted change. I wanted change. But I was losing hope. I tried to hold on to the belief that we could change the laws, convince the law makers. We blogged, circulated petitions, spread the word, took part in mass protests… yet, I felt helpless. Why were the authorities not acting quickly? Why were a bunch of men labelling a woman a slut because she was dressed in a short skirt? Why was the ‘self-claimed’ spiritual guru Asaram Bapu’s atrocious remarks of blaming Nirbhaya for the fatal attack being tolerated? Why was Abhijit Mukherjee not taken to task when he labelled the woman protestors as ‘dented and painted’? Why were the authorities not waking up when the whole country was shouting in anger and pain? I, being a man, was furious. Men have for long exploited the women, treated them as inferiors, and prevented the progress and advancement of the society. I felt ashamed to be a part of this
enough is enough
‘ENOUGH’, THE COUNTRY SAID IT IN CHORUS. SOON, STREETS WERE FILLED WITH MEN & WOMEN FIGHTING FOR A NIRBHAYA, A AMANAT, A DAMINI… A STRANGER WHO WAS FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE IN THE HOSPITAL, AN INDIAN WHO HAD SUFFERED AT THE COST OF ‘MINDSETS’, A WOMAN WHOSE TRUST HAD BEEN VIOLATED, A HUMAN BEING WHOSE BODY AND SOUL WAS DISHONOURED… INDIA WAS FIGHTING FOR HER. words VISHAL BHEEROO selfish patriarchal society. Yes, the lawmakers delivered justice but there has been no closure in the case. A ‘juvenile’, the most violent amongst the rapists, was sent to a juvenile home. So what’s the message we are trying to send the rapists? ‘You are under age. Go ahead outrage the modesty of a woman and we’ll set you free.’ I am not a pessimist but we all heard the gruesome tales of many Nirbhayas. The latest being the gang rape in Assam, and the shocker is the Tehelka saga. Yes, such incidents don’t just happen on roads in small towns but in the finest of offices in metros. And rapists are not just the illiterate but the educated. Tarun Tejpal’s magazine was known as one that
raised its voice against not just against corruption but also crime against woman. The case reeks of double standard and blatant hypocrisy. Like any other crime, rape is not just the domain of the poor. Can 2014 bring a change? I hope that strong and effective legislations are formed to tackle rape, which is rampant in big cities as well as obscure villages. I hope for a complete overhaul of laws that will act as a deterrent to crime and not piece-meal popular laws. I also feel that we should begin to blow up the pictures of the criminals in newspapers and news channels. And if none of this happens in 2014 I, at least hope that in our homes we would start
I, being a man, was furious. I felt ashamed to be a part of this selfish patriarchal society. I wanted change.
educating our sons and standing up for our daughters. As a NRI, it hurts me when I hear people refer to India as a country of rapists. I’d like to tell all of them that yes, we are in a big mess but we are fighting, everyday. And we will win.
Vishal Bheeroo worked as a journalist for three years in an English newspaper based out of Mauritius. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of Mauritius but has plans of returning home, someday soon.
one step, one thought WE CAN’T CHANGE THE MINDSET OF THE SOCIETY BUT WE CAN BRING A CHANGE IN THE WAY WE THINK. THIS WORKING WOMAN, WIFE & MOTHER FEELS THAT THE JOURNEY TOWARDS CREATING A SOCIETY THAT RESPECTS WOMEN STARTS FROM HOME. SHE SHARES HOW WITH EACH PASSING DAY SHE EDUCATES HER SONS AND ALSO IDENTIFIES HER OWN STRENGTHS. words LIANE BARRETTO
You don’t have to feel like a wasted space, You’re original cannot be replaced, If you only knew what the future holds, After a hurricane comes a rainbow, Maybe a reason why all the doors were closed, So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road, Like a lightning bolt your heart will glow, And when it’s time you’ll know, You just gonna ignite the light and let it shine… As I look back and think of the spine chilling, horrific, brutal gang rape of December 2012 of a 23-year-old in New Delhi I am reminded of these lyrics of a song by Katy Perry. I am not sad, I am determined. The incident had led to an outcry that the country had not witnessed in a very long time and the first thought that had crossed my mind that day was ‘This could have been me. This could have been my daughter.’ It got me angry and thinking ‘Was I going to sit back and be a bystander or in my own way vent my emotions and do something about what I feel?’ I wanted to shout out loud and let our patriarchal society know that ‘We don’t want you to cry us a river… the tears have been shed enough. We are women, we enamour dignity and strength. You push us to the limit and we will fight back with all our might. We are tough, beautiful and ambitious, we know exactly what we want and nothing and no mindset will ever stop us.’ So when in September 2013 the courts convicted the four men to death for this horrific act and once again this pronouncement sparked public support, I asked myself the same question again ‘Will this conviction in anyway stop the perpetuating violence in so many forms against women?’ Sadly, the answer was that the penalty meted out would only bury rather than solve the ‘core’ issue. I got wondering what this ‘core’ issue was and what could I as an individual do about it. In plain and simple words the core issue is the mindset. I recall how in the ‘90s, when I was a teenager, I had dressed up in a polka-dotted skirt falling over my knees and a pretty pink sleeveless blouse. I was just getting ready to leave the house for a party when one of my father’s friend remarked, ‘You should ask your daughter to dress appropriately. She is amidst young boys.’ My father’s reply to him was, ‘Maybe you should teach these young boys to view another person’s daughter appropriately.’ One would think that over the last 15
years the mindsets would have changed. The truth is yes we have witnessed change just that it is has occurred at a snail’s pace. I am a working woman, a wife and a mother to two little boys, and I feel that we need to bring a change in our day-to-day thought process. Digging further I ask myself how I would make sure my sons grow up with the right values to respect women. As a parent I’ve always maintained that it is our paramount role to inculcate the thought process of respecting women amongst our children. Popular television shows, video games, movies, etc. in many ways causes this notion to be faced with an uphill battle. I happened to ask my son if one of his superheroes were to grant him a wish what would he ask for and he replied, “Mom, I’ll ask him to make me a gentleman because you keep saying that it’s important to be a good man first and then the rest follows on its own.” As a mother, I try to talk to them on this topic every now and then. I don’t know if at this tender age they really understand all that I talk about but I am convinced that if I shed light on the aspect of respect everyday, it will soon be deep seated in their minds. Also, as a woman while I feel that it is important for us to teach our children the right values, it is equally important that we give ourselves the time and respect we deserve. Many of us are full-time working mothers, ensuring the scales always tip in our favour in matters related both to our kids upbringing and a zooming career, known to be apt at multitasking we do make ends, dreams, hopes, goals and expectations meet but quite often ignore ourselves in the process. Today, the woman is a showstopper on the runway, a powerhouse in the boardroom, a firebrand in the kitchen and more but in the year 2014 I would want to know the woman as an ‘individual’ sans any roles. I’d like to see the woman stand for herself. I’d like her to be aware of her beauty and strength. There is nothing wrong in being attractive, and we shouldn’t have to pay a price for that. The onus lies on each and every one of us to bring out this fundamental change of altering the ‘mindset’. The nation is soul-searching and I’d say we should not let these embers to extinguish. We should search our souls and change the mindset, with one thought, one day. And we should begin from our homes.
Liane Barretto, is known as leebee to her friends and Ms.Sunshine with her coworkers. While being a flight attendant for seven years of her career, the best compliment she has received is “You can make a stranger melt with your smile” and it’s true this sassy mother to two boys always carries her smile on her sleeves. She is currently employed with the Oil and Gas Industry in the Middle East and is a perfectionist when it comes to executing her work. A die hard romantic and a complete people’s person she firmly advocates that ‘Love is not only an emotion, Love is a verb, so get out there and spread the love, it’s the best infection to catch for a lifetime.”
A LETTER NIRBHAYA words PAROMITA BARDOLOI
g n i h c n e r w s t i e t i p s e d , y r o t s i H â€œ b t o n d e e n , e g a r u o c th i w d e c fa
TO Dear Nirbhaya,
It’s a year, since you left. I’m writing to you on a still November night. My mind‘s racing back to the events after your passing. We were enraged, bitter and hurt. We all joined in the protests on the cold streets of New Delhi. A nation rose for you. We had mixed responses. But one thing I can assure you: this nation is changing. Maybe at a slow pace, but little steps have been taken. It’s not that crimes against women have stopped. More heinous incidents
from a dented, painted woman we’re digging them out ounce by ounce. Awareness has increased, as have debates, ventures and suggestions. Violence against women is an ancient culture; the body has always been the battleground for domination. So it has been since Draupadi in Hastinapur. And we are rising against it. I am; she is; they are. From streets, from huts, from kitchens to boardrooms: do you see us rising?
f i t u b , d e v i l n u e b t o n n a c , n i a gp u o l e g n A a y a M ” . n i a g a d e v i l be are reported each day. But people are freely raising the issue of crime against women. Rape is called rape. We don’t push it under the carpet. When your father decided to release your name, it was such a wind of change. It told the world, “Rape is NEVER a woman’s fault,” and we stood by him.
The other big change came after another ‘incident’ in Mumbai. Leaving the hospital, she walked out in front of everyone without hiding behind the night or a scarf. Like you would have, she rightly said she would go back to her job. The naysayers shout far and loud that nothing changes or will change, but we must forgive them: they’re scared. No change has been ever brought by pessimists sitting on benches criticising others’ work. Change always starts as a thought then turns into action. And there are glimmers. It’s impossible to resolve everything in a day. We’re a nation where patriarchy has thrived for almost 5,000 years. The roots are deep. It takes time, but
Men, women, children, gods and dusts: we are all rising, even those with hunched backs and dirty clothes. I’m sure you can hear us speak from far above, and see old traditions rearing their ugly heads even stronger, but we are responding like never before. We are all rising; rising with the eternal spirit you left us with. Now there is chaos between old and new. But the new will prevail. Until it does we shall fight and struggle. As I close this letter I remember the Buddhist monk Nichirien Daishonin’s quote: “Winter always turns into spring. Never, from ancient times, has anyone seen winter turning back to autumn.” With this profound belief we are marching towards a hopeful future. Winter will turn into spring Nirbhaya. It will.
Till that day, we shall strive. I remain, A dented, painted woman
Paromita Bardoloi wrote her first poem at 8. Two decades later she is a writer by profession who writes for herself but the editors’ end up publishing her, to her utter surprise. She reviews books for top notch publishing houses in India and these days, she is trying to scribble poetry. To raise a voice she has co-founded a theatre group ‘Aatish’. She can be found at paromitabardoloi.blogspot.ae.
Would you believe it if we were to tell you that in a large number of Indian homes women are not allowed to leave the house during their menstrual cycle? Would you not laugh on hearing this? Especially in the times when your television airs sanitary napkin advertisements that suggest not only are you ‘capable’ to climb a mountain, attend a board meeting or walk a runway during the menstrual cycle but also that there is no reason for you to miss out on life because of something as natural. But then television, education and hygiene are for the ‘privileged’. Why would it even cross the mind of the ‘privileged’ that there is a section of society that thinks/behaves otherwise? So, when we heard of the Women on Wing’s (WoW) work on creating a sustainable model for the production, marketing and distribution of sanitary napkins, not only were we filled with pride but also we decided to be a part of it. To begin with, we spoke to our help at home, both to educate her and provide for her. We have made a small beginning and we’re hoping you’d join us too. Excerpts from our interaction with
break the taboo WOMEN ON WINGS, AN ORGANISATION WITH A MISSION TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN RURAL INDIA, IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON A SUSTAINABLE MODEL FOR THE PRODUCTION, MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION OF SANITARY NAPKINS IN RURAL INDIA. THIS PROJECT (JUST ONE OF THEIR MANY) IS WHAT THEY CALL THE ‘TRIPLE PROFIT’ PROJECT FOR IT IS HELPING THEM IN BREAKING THE TABOO, ENSURING THE GIRLS ATTEND SCHOOL AND CREATING JOBS FOR WOMEN. words VANYA KAPOOR
(Top to bottom) School girls sing a song & share their experience. Women study the components of the sanitary pad. Inauguration of the machine used to produce sanitary napkins. A woman working on the machine & making napkins.
the Women on Wing’s team on this noble, basic and essential project. Why did WoW decide to get associated with a project like this? In India, millions of girls stay home during their menstrual period. This means they miss school one week, per month and get behind and then drop out from school permanently. Through this project millions of girls will be able to go to school for the whole month. Plus, many jobs would be created in small scale units in villages. It’s actually a triple profit situation: we break the taboo, girls go to school and jobs are created for women. Who are the people/organisations involved in this project? Aakar provides the necessary machinery and raw materials, and trains women to operate the machines. SSP/Sakhi Retail is responsible for the production, awareness, marketing and sales; it draws on its network of 1,000 female entrepreneurs in rural India. We are in the pilot phase in two districts in Maharashtra, which provides us with all the do’s and don’ts to scale up the project over more districts. Our dream is to locally set up production and distribution units all over India. Locally being the key. Jobs will only be sustainable in the long run as long as ownership is felt and taken by the local entrepreneurs and women. We’ll soon make further plans in cooperation with Aakar and Sakhi Retail. It really is all about cocreation. We combine the local knowledge of Sakhi Retail, the technical knowledge of Aakar and our knowledge on business development to create the best local solutions. What is the current situation in villages/ small towns of India when it comes to the awareness and stigma attached to menstruation? It’s devastating. It is so sad to be banned from public life because something so feminine and natural is happening to you. Menstruation is what makes the gift of life possible. We feel privileged to help and give women and girls a better position. We believe that providing an economical independence (through a job) also helps in reaching this goal. A job means an income for women, a chance for economic independence. If we create suitable jobs for women in rural India, we help break through the cycle of poverty in these areas. Experience shows that women spend their money on their families so children attend school, and have the chance of a better future as a result. How are you educating the girls/women about it? We have developed a brand concept with storytelling, which means that we educate women to tell the story about menstrual hygiene and then we also distribute samples of the product.
Impressed by the strength and the energy of rural Indian women, Ellen Tacoma and Maria van der Heijden developed job-creating business models to encourage women’s economic activities. That is how Women on Wings came about in 2007. Women on Wings works with Indian companies that have the same objective. They aspire to create one million jobs for women in rural India by 2015 and have already created 95,200 jobs in six years. The project talked about in this piece is just one of the many projects that WoW is involved in. To know more, womenonwings. com
Yes, this project is not just about menstrual hygiene. In fact, it is one about sustainable, economical independence for women that will ultimately break the cycle of poverty.
About Women on Wings (WoW)
(L-R) Nida Mahmood, Nida Mahmood, Anupama Dayal, Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor, Anupama Dayal
SOMETIMES EDGY, SOMETIMES FUSS-FREE, SOMETIMES BREEZY. THE ‘CLASSIC’ SAREE IN ITS NEW AVATARS LOOKS AS STUNNING AS IT DID BEFORE. IT’S BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO GOWNS, CHOPPED TO HALF, TEAMED UP WITH CIGARETTE PANTS & A LOT MORE. A PEEK-A-BOO. words SHOLEEN DAMARWALA
At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Indian actor Vidya Balan sported the classic seven-yard saree by designer Sabyasachi. Yet, her look was criticised. Some said she’d repeated the same formula with too few changes. Others protested it was the traditional look that jarred after a few days. Why this sudden objection from a society that sees the saree as a national attire? Does the modern Indian audience associate it with newer avatars? Slinky georgettes with halter blouses, scarf sarees, half sarees, saree jumpsuits, saree gowns and even bikini sarees? We trace the evolution of this rich, defining garment.
If there are two things Sholeen Damarwala is known for – it’s good food and great accessories. That’s right, it’s the neon necklaces and the bold earrings she stylishly slips in, that always get the attention. This foodie makes sure the right dessert is paired with the best anti-pasti and well, the right blush with the right skin tone…yes, in that order. She has worked as a beauty & fashion writer/editor for few of the biggest names in the industry & is currently working as a freelancer.
(L-R) Play Clan, Deepika Govind, Kiran Uttam Ghosh, Play Clan, Kiran Uttam Ghosh
THE SCARF SAREE
THE COCKTAIL SAREE As India became independent, its middle and upper classes looked to adopt all things modern. So out went everyday cotton sarees and in came fuss-free salwar kameez that matured into kurta and leggings, culminating in rack fare from Zara and Forever21. As the market became saturated, designers like Manish Malhotra, Suneet Verma and Ritu Kumar put a clever spin on the saree. Using delicious fabrics like georgettes, nets and crepes they invented the sexy cocktail style. Normally paired with a halter blouse, it effectively accentuates the Indian figure. Popularised in Yash Chopra movies like Chandni and Dil Toh Pagal Hai, it’s the premier choice for Indian weddings. go-to-designers: Manish Malhotra, Suneet Verma, Varun Bahl, Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor
What the scarf is to French women the saree is to Indian women. Marry the two and you get a beautiful combination: the scarf saree. Mostly silk, it’s in demand for being slinky and figure hugging. Started by design houses like Satya Paul that used vibrant silks to create sultry styles, the trend was taken to another level by power brand Hermes. They created 18-feet long designs in 27 limited editions that sold out almost instantly. Masaba Gupta has given the scarf saree an edge with lipstick and camera print designs for fashion house Satya Paul. go-to-designers: Satya Paul, Pernia Qureshi, Hermes
THE HALF SAREE Traditionally worn by tribal women and (in parts of the country) girls to mark the transition to adulthood, the half saree hit mainstream fashion when Sabyasachi re-worked it to create the Chotu Saree in his fall/ winter 2009 collection. Inspired by the shorter tribal style from Madhya Pradesh, Sabya’s exquisite version stopped just below the knee. Using fabrics like khadi, Sabyasachi’s version was a contemporary take on the usual silhouette. Its latest incarnation is the lehenga saree: a half-saree draped over a full lehenga skirt. go-to-designers: Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Anand Kabra, Kiran Uttam Ghosh
THE SAREE JUMPSUIT For those who love the idea of wearing a saree but detest keeping it in order, here’s the jumpsuit to your rescue. Most often seen with churidars rather than a petticoat, but an innovative few have opted to pair it with
cigarette pants, dhotis and draped pants. Our favourite versions are by designers like Masaba Gupta, Nida Mahmood and Anamika Khanna who team their version with leggings, and also the fun brand, Play Clan.
go-to-designers: Gaurav Gupta, Shantanu & Nikhil, Abraham & Thakore
BIKINI SAREE They may be masters at designing swimwear but Shivan and Narresh harked back to their Indian roots with their bikini saree that debuted on runways in 2012. While the conventional saree drape may be familiar, the designers have introduced a thigh high slit and a bikini top. Rather than wrapping it on, all you need do is slip into this rather fuss-free outfit. We love its multi-dimensional usage: all cellulite is hidden at the beach and it stands out from the crowd at cocktail parties. Either way it’s a musthave in every woman’s wardrobe. go-to-designers: Shivan and Narresh, Anupama Dayal
go-to-designers: Masaba Gupta, Anamika Khanna, Nida Mahmood, Tarun Tahiliani, Play Clan
Sought after by the Bollywood brigade the gown saree has also made an impact on high-fashion runways. Design houses like Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Marchesa have made it a regular fixture on the Indian red carpet and Hollywood beauties alike.
diary of an indian
Break free! Why should boys have all the fun?
WITH CONFIDENCE, EXCITEMENT & PASSION SHE VENTURES INTO NEW LANDS. THIS VAGABOND FIRST TRAVELLED ‘ALONE’ WITH A GROUP OF 40 PEOPLE AND HAS NOT LOOKED BACK SINCE THEN. SHE SHARES HER EXPERIENCE OF BEING A SINGLE INDIAN WOMAN TRAVELLER. words DELNA PRAKASHAN
I was the worst traveller one could ever imagine. The thought of an airport got me nauseated. Airsickness and I went hand in hand, when I was growing up. When I was 12-year-old we made our first international trip to Thailand. But alas, my folks spent much of our initial trip searching the streets of Bangkok to find me a quaint little restaurant run by a few Tamilian immigrants that served sambar and rice. Yes, I was the worst traveller one could ever imagine. My dad literally put a ban on holidays till I got my act together, “I’m not going to pay an arm and a leg for family holidays to end up having sambar and rice in Thailand!” And to think of it now, Thai food is my all-time favourite cuisine.
From then till now, as they say – life happened. Today, as a single Indian woman the thought of travelling to a new destination, exploring countries and cultures brings to me a sense of excitement. I was 21 when I took the plunge. I was tired of travelling back and forth
to homeland and the curiosity about other cultures mounted so big, I just had to travel. My first destination, Jerusalem. Well, not everyone’s cup of tea and surely not my parents. After much hooha and prayers, they decided to let me go ‘alone’ with a group of 40 people. From my first trip to now, there is no looking back and I continue to be a vagabond and venture to new lands.
(Facing page) Women of all age groups travel alone & make the group a fun one. On many such trips one ends up meeting like-minded girls & developing friendships - Delna (R), the writer of the piece).
diary of an indian
(Below) Delna (the writer of the piece) on her first such trip to Jerusalem. Delna on one of her treks.
Now, as with any good book or restaurant, what is the first thing we do? Brag about it…right? Well, that is exactly what I did. After every trip I just went on and on and on about how great the place is, how serene I feel, a new culture I explored and the foods I ate. As I would try and coax my fellow single Indian gal pals to come along for the next trip I always faced resistance and sometimes even hostility – well at least mentally. Why do single Indian woman fear travelling? I’d like to think part of it comes down to the Indian culture. Even in an urban setting we are all ultimately groomed to be the perfect Indian wife. Now, don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely no harm in doing so and probably when that day comes I might pass the same teachings down. However, what I beg to differ is the ‘sitting and waiting around period for prince charming.’ One of my fondest travel memories was my first trek with Connect with Himalaya (connectwithhimalaya.com). The mountains had always fascinated me but with a good chunk of Dubai weight on me, I always
doubted I could survive a trek. “I’m not that fit Gaurav, do you think I would be suitable for the trip?”and with a smile Gaurav (owner and founder, Connect with Himalaya) candidly said, “If you can walk, then you can trek.” Since then I’ve been on several Himalayan trips with CWH and I noticed most of the travellers were women. “When I started CWH, I didn’t imagine that my main set of clients would be women, mostly coming on their own or without their partners. I suppose that primarily happens because women by nature are more open for adventure, they take risks and discomfort in their stride better than men do. This might appear as a generalised statement but in my six years of conducting trips, this has invariably been proved right.” “Travelling is an exercise in spirituality, you discover yourself,” says Sonia Chhoda, single, in her mid-40’s, and a robust traveller. One of Sonia’s most memorable trips was to the Mount Everest base camp trek. She says, “I almost gave up when I reached the second base on my way up but it was only because of the cheers of my group and the singing of the sherpas that I reached the goal I’d set out for.” Sonia feels that single women should face their fears and explore the world. It only makes you a more confident, independent and passionate woman. As Sonia puts it “Travel is learning about life without any books.” I couldn’t have said it any better. Celebrate singlehood, shape your mindset, yes travelling can just about do that for you.
Indian by origin, Delna Prakashan was born and raised in Dubai. It’s the simple things in life that make her happy. Childhood friends, home-cooked food, a cup of coffee... it’s that simple. She loves food and loves to travel. Cooking de-stresses her and visiting new places gives her a chance to experience a new life altogether. She is a Certified Culinary Travel Professional (CCTP) from the World Food Travel Association, US. On her bucket list is to visit Antarctica and publish her own book. Her life’s mantra, ‘My life isn’t perfect – but I’m grateful!’
(The views expressed by the writer are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. We regret factual errors, if any.)
TAKE THE LEAP My learnings from the travel escapades: Brings your senses alive You see more, taste more, feel more and talk less (hence, the selfreflection mode). Once you’re back you’ll immediately feel a sense of gratitude and become sensitive to your home environment. In general, your outlook towards life changes as your experience felt inward during your travels begin to reflect in your outward actions. You begin to look for joy in non-material things and are more humbled in life.
uilds your network B Travelling with a group you’ve never met before can be challenging but only if you think of it to be. A day into your schedule and you’ll quickly notice how easy it is to strike conversations and build of people’s life experiences. A special bond is formed with your travel mates as you endure travel conditions, jokes and eat meals together.
Leads you to a stress-less (if not free) life Stressful at it may seem but venturing into new territories with unknown people gets you back home feeling rejuvenated and motivated for the next trip. I suppose it comes from the sense of achievement and the fact you were better than yourself and had the strength you always knew was within you.
Creates a fitter you Being physically able gives you the opportunity to try out many types of travel such as trekking, cycling trips, scuba diving holidays and other adventure holidays. I’ve realised the importance of being fit and today, fitness and eating right are part of my daily routine. The worst thing to do is begin a ‘lose 10 kilos in 10 days’ kind-of-plan 9 days before you begin travelling.
WE’RE ANGRY AND WE DON’T WANT THIS ANGER TO DIE. WRITE TO US AT THEINDIANTRUMPET@GMAIL.COM. WE PLEDGE THAT WE WILL KEEP THE ANGER ALIVE IN EACH AND EVERY ISSUE OF THE INDIAN TRUMPET MAGAZINE. There are seasons. If you are a natureholic then you would know of summer, autumn, spring and winter. If you are a fashionholic then you would know of Winter, Spring/ Summer and Fall/Pre-Fall. And if you are an Indian then you would know of the scam season, rape season, incest season, dowry season, bomb season, murder season… This ‘season’ too shall pass? Once upon a time we got obsessed with kids falling in pits. The whole nation prayed for a child who was in a pit and troops of men tried to save his life. Did no one fall in a pit postthat? Were all the manholes covered after that? We don’t remember. We moved on. Once upon a time we got obsessed with incest victims? Our newspaper splashed gruesome tales. Did no hand reach a place where it should have not, after that? We don’t remember. We moved on. Once upon a time we got obsessed with a 23-year-old who was gang raped? Then a six-year-old, then a 45-yearold, now again a 22-year-old… We will soon not remember. We will move on. This is the rape season. This phase shall too pass? LET’S NOT MOVE ON. DON’T LET THIS PHASE PASS.
Kirti Arora New Delhi, India The fact that Delhi is not safe is no news. The fact that it is not safe for anyone from a toddler to a teen and middle-aged to an elderly woman is no news either. The men in the city spare no one when it comes to committing crime against women. The brutal gang rape of Nirbhaya on December 16th last year highlighted the very fact that woman are stared at, molested and raped in an animal-like manner. The rapists have been convicted but would this decision by the judiciary bring a change in the attitude of the Indian men? Will they start respecting women? Will they behave like humans? An ordinary activity of catching an auto-rickshaw to work is also not possible without a stare by the driver. It’s disgusting the way the driver ‘scans’ the woman from head to toe. Buses on the other hand might not be entirely safe either, but at least you are not alone there. The buses have seats reserved for women and elderly but one mostly finds men occupying them. Instances of ‘unknowingly’ touching women or pinching them are quite common. If not touched you will be constantly stared at, not necessarily due to your clothes or attitude, but because you are a woman. Thankfully, the ‘all women’ compartment still exists in the Delhi Metro.
Megha Sabharwal Amritsar, India I was a girl full of aspirations, dreams and love. I was my parents’ princess. I was a sister, and would have grown up to be a wife and a mother. I was told people worshipped me, as a ‘goddess’. Then, why was I blamed and killed? If they worshipped me then why couldn’t they respect me? I was killed by wolves. My body trembles as I remember the day my soul was murdered. My life was good. I had friends, family, career and love. I was going to become a doctor soon. But that night Raj (name changed) and I boarded the wrong bus. Our life took an unexpected turn and things became foggy. Those five men were not human, they were animals. Raj tried to save me. I requested, revolted and protested but I had to die. Time stopped. I felt shattered and helpless. I died but the nation stood up for me. Did I die as a martyr? Some say yes but the truth is no matter what they call me - a ‘braveheart’ or ‘Nirbhaya’ - they couldn’t save my soul, my life.
Women are not a piece of meat. We deserve equal respect and place in the society as the men. And for this, we have to fight. Giving up is not what our DNA is made up of, right? It’s a long road ahead but we have to fight. Gear up, women!
(Please note: The views expressed by readers in this section are solely theirs and don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. These are original pieces/words sent by the readers, and are being ‘printed’ as ‘submitted’.)
YOU DON’T GET TIME TO TWEAK YOUR BROWS, YET LOOK GORGEOUS. YOU DON’T GET TIME TO READ THE BOOKS, YET HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. YOU DON’T STAY GLUED TO YOUR PHONE ALL THE TIME, YET STAY CONNECTED. YOU DON’T GET TIME FOR YOURSELF, YET SAY LIFE IS A PARTY. YOU DON’T GET TIME TO SOCIALISE WITH THE SENIORS, YET SHINE AT WORK. YOU HAVE HUNDRED REASONS TO FRET, YET YOU ALWAYS SMILE. YOU MULTI-TASK YOUR WAY TO PRESENTATIONS, YET ATTEND EVERY PARENTS’ MEET. YOU CRAVE LOVE & RESPECT, YET ALWAYS HAVE MORE TO GIVE IN RETURN. FORGIVE THE CLICHÉ, BUT WOMAN HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?
tax free entertainment
Woman, you surprise us!
words & artwork SANKET B JACK
Sanket B Jack is an engineer by degree, MBA by profession and a cartoonist by passion. He portrays the society’s nuisance, behaviour and ignorance through his cartoons. He believes as much in the power of a smile as that of a satire. He believes in the saying, It takes 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile but only 1 to criticise. He can be found at facebook.com/Jackartoons.
THIS NEW YEAR LET’S DRESS UP EVERY LITTLE CORNER OF OUR HOMES
Snuggle in this wool cellular blanket. The traditional open weave of the blanket retains the body’s warmth, adding a soft and smooth touch to your sleeping experience. Available at House of Bath, houseofbath. co.uk
Add a retro touch to your room with this colourful cushion. Neat stripes and the good ol’ car visual will transform any mundane corner of the room to a fun one. Available at Furniture Village, furniturevillage.co.uk
Lovely meals deserve a lovely space. Note down your favourite recipes in this Whisk Stir Cook recipe book. Youâ€™d love filling up the pages of this pretty book. Available at Paperchase, paperchase. co.uk
As a part of their 200 year anniversary celebrations Debenhams has come out with a limited edition and an exclusive collection of plates and mugs. We love this Rocha. John Rocha floral plate. Available at Debenhams, debenhams.com
my words YAZHINI ILANAHAI images VILONDO.COM Eat…check Pray…check Love…??!…hmm
the globe & the gully
Italy was going to be a costly affair; I’d already lived in India and seen enough temples and ashrams, so I booked a round trip to Bali for an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ experience. Bali offers lots of options for good food, many venues (Hindu temples, mostly) for spiritual peace and plenty of beach sunset spots where cupid waits to strike. Except that he’d missed his chance with me… Ms. Gilbert’s book (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Glibert) had swept me off my feet: now I wanted a mini adventure of my own. It should have occurred to me that there’d be thousands of others with the same
plan. Just before the trip I had an ‘Oh My God!’ moment: I realised I was pregnant, which meant I had to put up with nausea throughout. I also had to avoid water sports and anything involving long taxi rides or hours of walking. But, overcrowding and morning sickness aside, I still had a memorable holiday. Here are my top seven ‘must-see’ places in Bali Uluwatu - beware of the monkeys Pura Luhur Uluwatu is an 11th century directional sea temple, it is one of the nine directional temples meant to protect Bali from evil spirits, with a spectacular inner sanctum on a steep cliff. It’s also home to many mischievous monkeys, mythologically related to Lord Hanuman. Tanah Lot - the sunset heaven Tanah Lot is a Balinese Hindu temple at the sea’s edge with the most beautiful sunsets. There are several points to observe the temple from, all with amazing views. Locals believe that the shoreline’s resident sea snakes are holy. Batur Volcano - what a view Mount Batur is an active volcano in Kintamani (north eastern Bali). A two-hour trek will take you to the summit but many people prefer to look at it from a range of strategically located restaurants. Ubud Market - where wallets are lightened For shopping therapy, wander through Ubud Market. Handcrafted jewellery, antique masks, sarongs, summer dresses, Chinese ceramics, vintage Japanese fans, Buddhas and baskets: you name it, you’re sure to find it here.
(Below) Ubud and Penglipuran village (Facing page, below) Ubud statue
Jimbaran Bay - fresh seafood and soul stirring music If you want to sit by the beach and enjoy mouthwatering Balinese seafood delicacies, head out to Jimbaran Bay. Most restaurants let you choose your seafood and the cooking method, and have traditional dancers to entertain you.
five ‘did you know?’ facts about Bali •
Tegalalang - step by step Tegalalang is a village that the farmers have turned into a rice ‘destination’. The panoramic views of the terraces from the road between Kintamani and Ubud are stunning. Sit in the coffee and souvenir shops and gaze at your leisure.
Kuta Beach - catch some surf One of southern Bali’s major tourist destinations, Kuta Beach has luxury resorts, clubs and restaurants all along its coastline. Tap your feet to a Shakira number at the Hard Rock Café or ride the waves at this popular surf spot.
Known as the ‘land of a 1,000 temples’ it actually has more like 28,000 Its unique monumental architecture is influenced by Hinduism Perfect for growing rice, the land can produce two crops a year Traditional Balinese dance is taught to both girls and boys from the age of four The Balinese name is a naming system used by the Balinese people and they only use four names. ‘Wayan’ the first born, ‘Kadek’ the second, ‘Nyoman’ the third and ‘Ketut’ the fourth.
Yazhini Ilanahai is a management graduate, foodie & writer from Chennai, now based out of Dubai. She was an entrepreneur in the past and is currently a stay at home mom to a one-yearold. When not running behind her son she tries to catch her breath!
let the anger live THIS HAPPENED TO WOMEN YOU AND I KNOW. I AM BREAKING THEIR TRUST AND NARRATING THEIR SECRETS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT THIS ANGER TO DIE. I WANT EACH ONE OF US TO STAY ANGRY.
words PURVA GROVER
SOME VOICES “Some stories NEED have to be TO BE told.” HEARD. I never feared the breeze. It was always a friend. I loved it even when it blew the flower in my hair in the wrong direction. I smiled at it even on the day when it took away my umbrella with it. I always tried to feel its rhythm and sing along. We were friends. We got along well on all days, in all seasons and at all turns. So why did it betray me? Why can’t it meet my eyes today? Why can’t I breathe in it any more? Why did we stop being friends?
It was a cosy winter night. My father had tucked us into bed. My mother was in the kitchen, warming up hot chocolate for me and my brother. We were laughing uncontrollably. My brother was six years elder to me. With pride he was showing us his young moustache. My father hugged him and called him a grown man. That night I dreamt of my handsome brother. I’m sure I smiled. Next morning, my father taught him how to shave. I watched.
I loved that polka dot skirt. It was a cheerful lime green with happy white dots. My mother gave it to me for my birthday. I slipped into it the moment she took it from the brown paper bag. I still remember the sound the bag made when I took it from her hands. It made me smile. I fell asleep wearing the skirt. I loved how it made me feel and look. I used to love the mirror. A year later, I grew an inch taller. The skirt could still cover my knees. I wore it to a friend’s birthday party. We were neighbours. When I walked back home, the breeze made my skirt flutter so it couldn’t cover my knees anymore. It was tainted with a secret I guard. Even now I look into the mirror. I hope one day I’ll find myself there. Till then, I stare back at the stillness.
At dinner that night mom laid out a special meal. We were even allowed to eat two ice-creams. My father’s friend shared dinner with us. He made me laugh. He tickled me when my brother teased me, and I laughed again. The pots and pans made a clanking sound when mother cleared the table. My father walked up to his room to play the radio. My brother ran to our room to get his shaving kit. There was a lot of noise in the room. My voice got muffled. My father’s friend had a moustache too.
Some love stories need to end. We were a bunch of six. We had bunked our offices for two days to spend a chilly weekend in the hills. It was a lovely drive. I felt tiny raindrops on my hand when I rolled down the window. We stopped at a dhabha and ate ghee-drenched parathas with daal. My friend burped when we got back into the car. We laughed out loud. I was in love with him, even when he burped. We arrived at three am. We were exhausted.
It was a pale blue sheet. The walls were painted stark white. My mother held my hands in hers. I could see my father standing outside. He looked forlorn and tired. I wanted to tell my mother to be with him, but she wouldn’t leave my side. She was my shield. I felt weak, I couldn’t stay awake. I think I slept for a few hours. When I woke up, I saw my mother was shaking. She was trying to rest her head on the arm of the bed. My father was still outside. He needed some rest. The next morning they took me home. On our way back they asked if I was participating in that year’s college fest. I was a runner. My room was full of medals and trophies. I don’t remember replying. I stared outside the window. I saw people jogging, some were running. It was very early in the day. Every day I watch people run in the park. My mother still doesn’t sleep well. My father looks older. I smile at times. I have given up running.
We rented two rooms, one for the girls, one for the boys. My boyfriend had carried my bag. I went to their room to get it. He was alone. He smiled at me and pulled me towards him. It was a cold night. The sun would rise soon. Half an hour later, our friends returned. I went back to our room, without my bag. Next morning, we ordered more parathas for breakfast. He loved parathas. I heard him burp. I couldn’t laugh. My head was filled with loud cries.
Some shields should not guard.
Purva Grover is the mind & soul behind The Indian Trumpet magazine. A journalist by profession, her life revolves around datelines, headlines and deadlines. And she ‘still’ loves it very much. She has over seven years’ experience in the publishing industry and was working as an associate editor for luxury magazines in India. When she moved to Dubai a year ago, she decided to start a magazine of her own. She dreams in words. Her friends call her MS Word with a spell check, rhyme and feelings. When she is not meeting professional deadlines, she is dreaming of penning down not a book but a dictionary! She works decent hours, sometimes; insane hours, mostly. She feels words have a soul. She is in search of her favourite word. She is backed with a post-graduate degree in mass communication and literature.
some spicy ‘chaat’ting The papris were fried just right without any extra trace of oil and the balance of the trio (green chutney, tamarind chutney and yogurt) was just right so we got the heat from one, the sweetness from the other and the coolness from the third. We love a bhel puri that burns your innards, when your mind begs you to stop and drink water but your heart wants more. And that is exactly what we got. Spicy and delectable. Verdict: Thumbs up for satisfying the chaat craving. When you are in and around Business Bay, drop by at the station.
Chaat Station, F-25, Food Court, Mezzanine Floor, Executive Towers, Bay Avenue Mall, Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. +97144227717
Chaat. The name instantly transports us to street vendors, fun times with friends and family, and licking one’s plate clean.The Indian Trumpet tasted the chaats at the Chaat Station. We tried the dahi sev poori, papri chaat and the bhel puri. Sweet, tangy and spicy all at the same, they made our taste buds dance. The dahi sev pooris served with diced potatoes, onions and of course the sev were light and crispy, and together with the tamarind chutney it caused a mini explosion in our mouth.
Keep ‘chaat’ ting: (L-R) Papri chaat, sev poori & bhel puri
JUST A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITE THINGS FOR THE ADORABLE ANGELS & BRATS
Dressing up little girls is always fun. Baby K by Myleene Klass’ gorgeous outfits deserve space in your girl’s wardrobe. Available at Mothercare stores, mothercare.ae
All little girls love princesses! So if you have a little princess at home then you’d want to get her this Disney Princess Purse gift set. Available at Heatons, heatonsstores.com
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the mommy project
diary of an indian
WHEN A NEW MOM LANDED IN DUBAI WITH AN 11-MONTH-OLD (NOW A LITTLE MORE THAN ONE) IN TOW SHE FOUND HERSELF CONSTANTLY JUGGLING BETWEEN ACTIVITIES LIKE FEEDING, CLEANING, PLAYING AND PUTTING HER SON TO SLEEP… AS MUCH AS SHE MISSED HOME FOR THE HELP FROM HER MAID & SUPPORT FROM HER MOM IN RAISING THE MUNCHKIN SHE REALISED SHE COULD WORK HER WAY THROUGH AND ENJOY BOTH THE BURDENS & JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD. SHE SHARES HER EXPERIENCE. READ ON. AND IF YOU ARE A NEW MOMMY, THEN THIS ONE IS A MUSTREAD AND KEEP. words YAZHINI ILANAHAI I wake up to squealing laughter. It’s Sunday morning. Translation: Working day. Darn it, I am already running behind schedule. My bedroom is a complete mess: half-chewed soft toys strewn all over the marbonite flooring, tell-tale signs of poop on the grey bathroom rug and to top it all, my much-loved bedspread is reeking with ungodly smells. Just when I mull over my master plan to deal with all the red flags, my son crawls across the saggy mattress - the undone diaper trailing along - and drools all over my half-sleepy face. He is a year old, so it doesn’t matter. Excited with his
Wake up and pretend to sleep for a while or else the little one will wake up crying. Get up once I am sure he is fast asleep.
6.10 am Prepare breakfast-mind you no cornflakes or juice, it’s the traditional idli, dosa, sambar and chutney ritual or my son won't eat. Pack lunch for husband and he is understanding enough to take curd rice most of the times! Don’t forget to chalk out the dinner plan when kid is asleep.
7.00 am Take the quickest and most stressful shower ever (btw, why is the shower area in this part of the world so small?)
7.30 am Rush to kid, who is cross with me for not sleeping next to him. He lets me know by nibbling my face when I try to console him.
9 am to 6pm
Try to feed kid while he throws tantrums and plays with the food. Husband is at work, am stuck with the feeding, cleaning, playing and putting him to sleep grind.
achievement, he jumps up and down with joy. And wraps up ‘the show’ by breaking into a honeyed babble. I swear, at that moment, everything - the sleepless nights, crying spells, unscheduled pooping, and all the unpacked baggages that come with motherhood - oddly made sense. Well, two months ago, Sunday mornings were different. Okay, correction, every morning, almost. Let me explain: back home in Chennai, India I was in a world of my own, basking in baby breaths, rosy cheeks, and not to forget the no-holds barred pampering by mommy dearest. Those were the ‘good old days’…Cut to the present: ever since I
shifted with hubby to Dubai, I’ve braced myself to let go of all the comforts I took for granted at home. The endless list includes the steaming idlis with lentil
sambar, a full-time maid and cook, and gusto-filled fights with mom over ‘time-tested’ parenting advice; to come to terms with my new project being a fulltime mommy. My life is now a constant juggling act, some days everything falls in place, but then there are days when you are not prepared for what real life throws at you. That brings me back to the first lesson I learnt in B-School: Planning. If I were to wrack my brains, and put pen to paper, my routine in Dubai vs. India will probably look like this (see box):
(Below) The little one, who is the showstopper of this piece!
Wake up and pretend to be asleep.
Kid wakes up and we start playing in the bed.
Agreed, the days (and nights) are stressful but there is some joy in knowing that I am now independent and more responsible. After all, one of the main reasons I wanted to move to a foreign country was to live life on my own terms.
My mom feeds kid, the breakfast is made by experienced Chettinad cook or should I say… chef?
At work, and mom is stuck with the feeding, cleaning, etc. with little help from our maid.
So what are the options for newbie moms like me in Dubai?
diary of an indian
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Taking care of your child all by yourself can be difficult but a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do. Several scientific studies have time and again shown that socio-emotional learning in children is closely linked to the amount of time their parents spend with them. A baby’s brain doubles in the first three years of life, so every smile, giggle and squeal is a huge milestone. Moreover, DIY means playing with your child, and capturing his/her imagination with bedtime stories. This not only helps you stay mentally fit, but also to reconnect with your inner child. Last time I was on a video chat with my mom she said I looked as if I had lost weight, all credit to the running around I have been doing while taking care of my son. Losing your post pregnancy weight can be a herculean task but what better way to do it than doing some household chores and taking care of your little one? Above all, watching your kids laugh, play and run can equal to a thousand pay cheques. Some tips and tricks on how you can spend time with your li’l ones and have fun:
Bath: Most kids love water and what better way to beat the heat than to fill the bath tub or sink with water & bath toys and watch your kids enjoy themselves. And when you’re done playing, you have a happy and clean baby. For the bath, I use Johnson’s Baby Top to Toe wash - the press and release bottle and liquid soap is easy to use and convenient. I use the nuby fun squirters toys in his bath, it releases bubbles under water and makes bathing times fun for the both of us. Snack: Apart from the regular meals, try to give your baby some finger food and encourage them to eat on their own. I know, it can be a messy affair but try to give food that creates less mess - carrots, strawberries, cucumber and apple are usually the best. Try to give them homemade food as much as possible, the only store bought food I give my son is yoghurt! Yoghurt is great in this part of the world and I recommend Rachael’s organic whole milk yoghurt, it has no artificial ingredients and no added refined sugar. This should be available in all Carrefour outlets.
Outdoor: Kids love to spend time outdoors and it’s a crime to keep them locked inside the house. Take your kids for a small walk in your area, even letting them play in the balcony is a good idea! Dubai has many parks and a visit to the park during the weekends would be great for you and your kid. For walks, we use a stroller from Mothercare, it’s slightly expensive but they have a wide variety of brands in different prices to choose from. Whatever you do, don’t compromise on the quality of the stroller. I picked the stroller from a Mothercare store in Dubai Mall. Play: Play time is when you should get really creative. Babies love the Peekaboo game but that doesn’t mean you play the same game every time, invent new games. For help, you can log on to Babycentre- let’s play! - they have a wide range of games for all age groups. I play the Roti making game with my son where we pretend he is the dough and gets rolled out into a roti, he laughs the whole while….you get what I mean...don’t you? Also do let your kid play on their own for some time,
How about outsourcing a nanny or finding a day care? If at all Plan A is a bit Unlike many other foreign old-school for you, countries, hiring house help I present is not so difficult in Dubai. You can either sponsor a maid from India or log on to a website like nanniesdubai. com or maidcv.com. These websites have an elaborate database of maids from different nationalitiesIndian, Sri Lankan and Filipino who are looking for work. Shortlisting suitable candidates through these websites involves filling out an online form, filtering choices according to your preferences, and arranging for a formal interview.
Sponsoring a maid is a long and cumbersome process but worth it if you have an ideal candidate.
this way you also get a break or time to do your chores. A playpen filled with toys can keep your kid occupied for a while, we have a Playpen from Mothercare, which doubles up as a carry cot and it’s such a useful thing…trust me! Nap: Make sure your baby gets at least two hours of sleep during the daytime. Soft music, stories or rocking are the some of the ways you can put your baby to sleep. Once they go to sleep, you get a solid two hours to do whatever you want. I use that time for taking a hot shower/warm bath, Facebook and eating chocolates- all great stress busters! I know many people back at home rely excessively on their parents to take care of their kids and no matter how much they love their grandchildren, they can get stressed out too! It’s fine to let them baby sit while we enjoy the occasional eating out and movie but I think we need to let them enjoy their retired life in peace. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing especially when the motivation comes from taking care of your loved ones.
To sponsor a maid, you need to apply for a resident visa for the maid and get a fitness test done. There is a lot of documentation required for the long-drawn process, details of which you can check out in the following website/link dubai.ae/en/Lists/HowToGuide/ DispForm. Additionally, there are a plethora of options for anxious parents who are on the lookout for nurseries which double up as a daycare centres or crèches in the following link, dubaifaqs.com/ nurseries-dubai.php. Personally, I recommend nursery or daycare for older kids (> 1 year). While I am considering going back to work after my son turns one, I’ve resolved to enjoy the mess for now. It’s crazy I know, but I promise you there is never a dull moment. The joys and burden of motherhood are the same no matter what place you live in , be it India or Dubai or anywhere else for that matter.
(The views expressed by the writer are his/her and don’t represent that of the editor or publication. The publication does not take responsibility of the quality of the products & services mentioned by the writer. The images used in the article don’t represent the actual buys of the writer. We regret factual errors, if any.)
Yazhini Ilanahai is a management graduate, foodie & writer from Chennai, now based out of Dubai. She was an entrepreneur in the past and is currently a stay at home mom to a one-yearold. When not running behind her son she tries to catch her breath!
Ordinary citizens, faceless citizens, unknown citizens came out onto the streets â€“ they were not called upon by a political or a religious outfit â€“ they came out on their own to occupy a space that rightfully belonged to them, to confront their passiveness and of those around them.
THE UNKNOWN CITIZEN Let us not forget, let us not rest in
PEACE words & images CHANDAN GOMES
HOPE 78 theindiantrumpet.com
(Facing page, top left) 9:15 pm, 16th December, 2012: I made a photograph of my dear friend S in a nearly empty bus. We were on our way to a colleagueâ€™s flat for a get together. Around the same time, not far from where we were, a 23-year-old paramedic student was being brutally assaulted in a nearly empty bus, just like ours. Her friend was also not spared. The next day I woke up to the news of her ordeal and the presence of that photograph. This essay is an account of what followed. I too took to the streets, like the many young women and men of this city, in a bid to get rid of our collective helplessness. We wanted to reclaim a city that we had lost to our apathy and indifference. Thousands of us occupied Rajpath, the most powerful corridor in our country. Tear gas shells were fired and water cannons were employed to disperse us, to scare us. Many were heartlessly beaten by the police forces. Our only fault was that we stood in solidarity with that unknown citizen who was brutally gang raped and left to die. As we bore the brunt of police action, we did not forget to help each other. We shouldered those who were injured. We tried to protect each other by forming human chains. We shared water and Parle G biscuits; we shared stories & memories. We held our ground for we knew we were bound to each other by compassion. Slowly but steadily that movement found its way in every neighbourhood, every alleyway of Delhi. Similar protests were triggered across the country.
TRENGTH This essay is an account from the perspective of an unknown citizen, a common man who on the morning of 17th December, 2012 realised that it could have been him instead of her. As a matter of fact it could have been anyone else from the faceless mass. These photographs give one an insider’s perspective – I am not documenting this movement as a photo journalist/documentary photographer but as a protestor who spent his Christmas & his New Year out on the streets raising his voice for justice, equality and freedom. Through this essay I wish to tell stories of friendship and courage that have gone undocumented. Through it I strive to bring forth the little details that make all the difference; it is in them that the promise of hope rests. To Jyoti, to Nilofar, to Aasiya, to Manorama To you, to him, to her, to us To empathy, to compassion, to liberty To a brave new country! Let us not forget, let us not rest in peace
Chandan Gomes is the youngest recipient of the prestigious India Habitat Centre Fellowship for Photography (2011-12). In 2013, he was awarded the Oslo University College Scholarship to participate & showcase his work at Chobi Mela VII. He is also one of the recipients of the Neel Dongre Awards in Photography supported by the India Photo Archive Foundation (2013-14). He is currently pursuing his Masters in Philosophy from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
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t n e r e f f i D trokes ath S by Manoj N
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sachin tendu NEED WE SAY MORE? RATHER NOT! WE LET ‘HIS’ PEOPLE DO THE TALKING THROUGH WORDS & COLOURS. AS FOR US, WE ARE GOING TO STAY QUIET. WE DARE NOT COME BETWEEN SACHIN’S FANS AND THEIR LOVE FOR HIM. words SAMARTH BAHL & VISHAL NAITHANI artwork MANOJ NATH & MANISH MADHAV
artwork MANOJ NATH
n ulkar theindiantrumpet.com
words SAMARTH BAHL
Thwak! The swing plane comes down in a perfect vertical arch to meet the orb, dismissing it from his five ft something presence. A billion smiles light up the Indian diaspora across the world. Rasp! A horizontal spectacle that sends the orb into spatial travel. Another billion flashes lighting up the night sky, enhancing the mood of a nation, perhaps even boosting the economy.
Ah, the simple pleasures of watching Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. I have often wondered, what enamours us to him. It is very difficult to see his facial expressions and understand his body language once he is in the zone. It is difficult to decipher if he enjoyed a particular shot. Did it give him happiness? Satisfaction, perhaps? Because ultimately, we all work or do something in our lives for ourselves so that we meet our own expectations and derive pleasure for ourselves. But here is a man, who from the very first day he stepped on a cricket field has had a huge burden of carrying the nationâ€™s expectations along with his own. Maybe in time, there might be a Tendulkar Mood Barometer. He fails, India and Indians are sad across the world, as if they lost a personal battle that day. He fires; fireworks light up the night sky, as was the case after his 98 runs against Pakistan in the World Cup 2003. What started with a few million, reached to almost 1.4 billion human beings, with the expectations increasing with every Indian added to the population. I daresay, a lesser man would have crumbled to ground! But not Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. No sir, not he who waves his magic wand, a 3 lbs bat made of the best Kashmir willow on the planet. Some may say he was born to play cricket, with a gift of skills given to him by none other than god. Some may say it comes down to passion. Others claim it is his dedication and hard work. Me: I say it was his youthful ignorance and childlike obsession with his toys that made him survive/indulge all the pressures, expectations, failures and triumphs. Considering the unparalleled success, fame and money he has achieved in his career of 24 years, it would have been easy for him to lose sight of his becoming. To become arrogant and a prima donna. However, he remained humble, modest, down-toearth. Only because he was having fun. We normal folks, always talk about doing something we enjoy. Money will follow automatically. The rationale behind it being that if you do something that you truly enjoy, you will succeed at it, if not immediately, then in due time.
and was having a blast and did not give a damn about the world. We luckily had an outside view into his little world. We craved what he had as we were starved of this natural joy in our attempt to chase riches. We lost our youth to materialistic dreams. We lost our innocence to manipulative mechanisms. Not he! Off the field he drowned those noises, which could have taken him off celebrated path, by covering his ears with headphones, by playing table tennis with his friends.
We lived our lives vicariously through Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. We all secretly desired what he had, the ability to chase our true dreams, our childhood aspirations, our youthful existence without alluding to responsibilities and monetary gains. From the day he started playing cricket to the day he retired, India, if not the world stopped everything that they were doing in their lives to live, breathe, dream, aspire and achieve through Sachin.
Inquiring from colleagues, â€˜Sachin hai na?â€™, leaving work early feigning illness because you knew that maestro was on the crease, to waking up at unearthly hours to watch the Little Master blast the opposition out of oblivion, to forgetting breakfast, lunch and dinner when he was approaching a well One thing I always observed on the cricket field, thanks to live made hundred, to having a massive gathering at home to coverage, cameras, cameramen and televisions sets, is that Sachin watch the final of the 2011 World Cup, to dancing on the had a cherubic innocence, joie-de-vivre of youth about his cricket streets with thousands of people with dhols and the Tricolour, and that of India. He celebrated in others success, as much as he while watching Tendulkar being hoisted on the shoulders downplayed his. He dived, high-fived, bowled, fielded and of course of his countrymen, giving him a lap of honour, dedicating batted, with such joy that it never felt to me at least, that he was the 2011 World Cup to him...we have shared a deep, deep working hard or that he was struggling or that he was frustrated or relationship with this one man. that he was tired or that he was just miserable being on the field. Hell, I cannot remember him calling for a runner (except maybe once He came and he conquered. We saw and we conquered. or twice in 24 YEARS). I cannot remember him perspiring profusely. He lived, breathed and achieved. We lived, breathed It all seemed a breeze. We of course know, that he spent unlimited and achieved through him. Thanks for the memories Mr. hours on training, preparing, tinkering and recovering from injuries. Tendulkar. Thank you the 24 years of youthful pleasure and But, out on the field, it came across as if he was amongst his toys cherubic innocence. It is time for us to grow up!
words VISHAL NAITHANI Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is more than just a name. A revolution, a renaissance, a hope. A man who has provided immense hope and cheer to our nation. A nation that often struggles to find individuals who inspire and motivate them. And to do this successfully for 24 years is an achievement on its own. From as much as I remember, Tendulkar WAS cricket for me. Never in my life I missed a chance to watch him bat. Sitting in a kirana store (local all-needs neighbourhood shop) in my college days in Indore to a luxurious hotel lounge in Gurgaon, I have obsessively witnessed the man (god?) wield his magic wand and mesmerise the world. I don’t know about the world but my world certainly used to come to a standstill when Sachin held the bat and played those masterstrokes that only he could. And when he got out, my world was shattered, I didn’t speak straight for a few hours still recovering from the deadly jolt that god gave me. How can he get out, he is invincible, I thought. And then consoled myself attributing his error in judgment to his ‘human’ instincts that most of us tend to forget at times. On other occasions it was my barrage of expletives for the non-Indian umpire that I believe wrongly singalled him out, denying me a chance of watching god perform on a cricket pitch. I always wondered what his mantra for success was. God-gifted talent? Yes, for sure. But that doesn’t alone guarantee the phenomenal success that he achieved. What was it that made him surge ahead of millions and become an epitome of success and a benchmark for cricketing records? And then I remembered something that I read during my MBA days (which, was pretty weird since I don’t remembered much of it!). It was this definition of a Level 5 leader – a leader, an individual that was the epitome of ultimate inspiration and resolve. The success of such individuals is very uncomplicatedly attributed to two factors – personal humility and professional will. Yes! That was it. Besides being incredibly talented and extremely focused on his game, Sachin Tendulkar till date has the same humbleness and humility that he had as a 16-year-old walking on the field in his first international match. That IS what sets him apart. After almost all the records under his belt, he doesn’t let it get it into his head. And THAT is why he is so special. He could have easily played for a couple of years more. I blame the media and a handful of critics for his retirement decision. Cynics wanted to drag him down to their level of mediocrity that us lesser mortals are so used to. But it wasn’t fair. Age is just a number and gods never age! Before his last innings in Mumbai I wished he scored his last century, stamping a befitting end to an unparalleled cricketing career. But then I stopped and said to myself that for once, for ONCE I should stop expecting from the man. For 24 years millions of us have done that and HE has always lived up to it. The way he played his last innings of 74 runs, studded with his trademark shots and finesse that only he can execute was absolutely magical. I watched him and questioned myself, “Why, just why does he want to retire?” He played better than half the jokers playing international cricket today and could have gone on playing for at least a couple of years more.
Thank you Sachin, I will miss you dearly.
I don’t have the answer to this question but I found the answer to his success yet again when he broke away from the crowd, ran to the pitch and touched it for one last time. You could see tears in his eyes and for the first time ever I found him vulnerable and weak. For all the smiles and cheer he gave me for the past 24 years, I couldn’t let him cry alone. I cried with him. We cried with him, as we celebrated his career.
artwork MANISH MADHAV
Manoj Nath is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Bengaluru. Currently, he is working with Hewlett Packard as a Marcomm Designer. He is an avid reader and a big fan of R.D. Burman, and can play his best tunes with his harmonica. A pinch hitter in cricket, this Bong loves punning with words as much as he loves his sweets and fish curry! Although he confesses that he is a die-hard fan of North Indian cuisine too! He can be found at manojnath.com.
Manish Madhav hails from Tamil Nadu and is currently doing his graduation in commerce. A football fanatic who supports Chelsea Football Club and also plays a little of the game bit too, he spends most of his time either playing FIFA or designing posters so much so that the latter has become a full-time hobby for him. Some of his posters can be found at postergully. com. He is truly fascinated by the concept of ‘less is more’ and you can write to him for a glance at his minimal posters at email@example.com.
Vishal Naithani is an avid cricket fan and an ardent ‘Tendulkararian’ (needless to say). Besides cricket, Vishal is also a Hollywood movie buff and a karaoke enthusiast. Originally from the Doon valley or Dehradun, he completed his MBA from MDI, Gurgaon. After a six-year corporate stint in companies like Essar, Xerox & Sapient, he has recently taken onto entrepreneurship. Having started operations in Gurgaon, India, his startup, Realyser (www. realyser.com) helps facilitate intelligent and informed home buying decisions.
Samarth Bahl is a hotelier by accident! Although he likes the hospitality world he’d rather experience the service, instead of servicing his clients & customers. He has been into sports since childhood & continues to do so. An avid golfer, he was, is & promises for eternity to be an avid sports junkie. He dreams of being involved with sports, at any level, as he believes that’s where his true calling lies. He plans, to one day take a long sabbatical to travel & explore the world on foot, capturing the essence of Man & Earth, much like the explorers of yore.
(The views expressed by the writers are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. We regret factual errors, if any.)
At 14, Sachin wanted to become a fast bowler. At 14, Sachin was selected to represent Mumbai in the Ranji trophy. At 14, Sachin and Vinod Kambli shared a partnernship of 664 runs in an interschool game. At 14, Sachin was a ball boy in the 1987 World Cup (India vs. England). At 14, Sachin began writing history...
artwork MANOJ NATH
TAROT SPEAK FOR JANUARY & FEBRUARY 2014
words VIMMI PURI CANCER You will find a whole bunch of changes in your life starting from the year. Things might not go as smoothly as you thought it would, remain flexible. Have a back-up plan, in fact, have two backup plans! Social groups, clubs and organisations will be a source of information. You will be confused about your personal financial security. Take advise from people you trust. Be careful about making commitments that could be misunderstood. Lack of boundaries can get the best of you as logic is set aside, replaced by feelings.
GEMINI You will find yourself entering a stable phase in your life. Things will certainly take a turn for the better where your relationships are concerned. Be bold and creative this year and see yourself grow by leaps and bounds. There will be some reunions with friends with whom you have been estranged for a while. Be careful while investing money into shares. You will find delays and diversions for short period. Be careful about your health especially brain activities.
LEO You realise you are full of determination and nothing can pry you away from your mission. This mystically charged period will remind you that efficiency is built upon stability, so think of it as a maintenance period, ideal for revisiting old problems that call for action. You are going to surprise yourself when you manage to lead your team to success but if this takes you away from your family or a partner, it is not a good thing. Beginning a new relationship, buying luxury items and investing in objects of art or items of beauty is generally discouraged.
You are ready to break free from any clingy patterns that may have proved unhealthy for you. Your finances get a major boost. Be in the positive influence and you will more than make up for all those minor financial setbacks you have suffered in the past few months. Students will get some opportunities to venture into higher education and research work in February. You will see yourself relaxed and happy in the company of your loved ones. Their unconditional love and support will help you overcome any adversities and come out winning this month.
TAURUS You will be getting opportunities in almost every single sphere of life. Old friends/ lovers may re-enter your life. Your values and self-worth becomes a topic of discussion; misinformation about which is a problem requiring special scrutiny. Don't get into speculation business. You will get good news in February. Lessons that have become routine will be seen in a new light.
You’ll be granted many rights that you’ll earn by performing important duties in the year ahead. Karmic forces will bring home new insights. It is time for rewards in proportion to what and how you may have been or acted. Your career would be promising and your decisions will prove to be right. Hidden information becomes revealed, usually accompanied by a crisis. Conversations can be misleading and you might inadvertently betray a confidence. You are like a wakeup call for those who haven`t been paying attention.
Great opportunities will come your way starting from the year. You will leave all worries aside and focus on only the good things. Take charge of your life after discussing things with someone trustworthy. Life will only take a better turn and will seem to fly away without you even noticing it. Exciting career opportunities will lift your spirits. Pay attention to your loved ones and try to sort things out with someone you have always cared about but never had an opportunity to express how you truly felt. Things that seemed a bit amiss will all fall back right on track. Don’t sit back. Go ahead with all your all positive plans.
VIRGO January will bring some unexpected developments, which will steer you in a completely new direction. The focal points of your activities this year will be planning and clarity in communications. Matters of the heart will improve and harmony will be restored on this front due to efforts on your part. A friend of yours will play the role of a matchmaker and bring you close to a special someone. Your finances will see a huge increase and some of your past investments will pay off. Be careful about your health.
AQUARIUS You’ll see your inbuilt communication skills coming to your rescue in many tricky situations. January itself will bring many revelations your way which will add a new ray of hope into your life. This year is about growth in your personal as well as professional sphere. Your affable nature will help you win people over, which in turn will make things easy for you. Do not be wary of change. You’ll be raring to go after your goals, thanks to the strength of the moon. Avoid misunderstandings/ disagreements. Deal with the situation as you know best, and everything will be fine. Do not be surprised if you see some of your innermost dreams coming true this time. PISCES January bears testimony to excellent opportunities in career, finance, love and relationships. Personally, you will mend relationships and also see increased harmony at home. On the professional front, things will be on an upswing, especially mid of January. Positive influence will bring an end to any ongoing professional problems. Students will enjoy a brilliant period. Finances will be satisfactory as long as you are clear about the limitations of your budget. Your main focus will revolve around family. Keep your goals in sight, don’t allow your inner fears to hold you back.
Start of the year will see some personal surprises. Relationships change for the better. Beware of saying things that could be misinterpreted. Go over all documents signed by others with a fine-toothed comb. A good time to study alone and review all plans in formation too. If you are involved in a creative project, this is your kind of time. If you are involved in sales or marketing, anticipate a nice bonus. Stay focussed, you will have to work smart and be diligent .
You are willing to express how you really feel. Remedial studies, neighbourhood activities, travels about town and brief communications, especially with siblings or peers, are going to be emphasised. You will revisit and rebuild certain foundations of professional and personal life. Most opportune moments will present themselves for quite a few. Penetrate to the essence of the situation, trust your instincts, and be honest with yourself. It is the time to expect the unexpected. Things are subject to sudden fluctuation and you may feel like you are so ready to take a risk.
Vimmi Puri is a New Delhi based tarot reader. A Tarot expert & Reiki master, she has been practicing Reiki healing for the last five years. She can be contacted at vimmi.puri@yahoo. com.
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the globe & the gully
Blossoms of the Shalimar, Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar
MUSINGS ON A SHIKARA: AN ENCHANTING KASHMIRI LAKE VOYAGE ON THE ICONIC WOODEN BOAT: JUST ONE OF THE MANY HIGHLIGHTS ON A HOLIDAY TO THE PARADISE, KASHMIR. words & images RITU DUA
As the plane touched the ground, my smile grew wider for my dream had come true. I could already smell the exotic mountain breeze: finally, we were in Kashmir. The Mughal emperor Jahangir was so overwhelmed by its beauty that he said, “Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.” (If paradise is anywhere on the earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.) The view from our room was unbelievable. Once a stately home, The Dar Es Salaam, situated right on the banks of Nagin Lake, is Kashmir’s only boutique hotel. The lake was filled with sacred, wondrous soul flowers: lotuses. Surrounded by an aura of mystery and awe, they stood majestically, pulsating with love and beauty. I was excited, waiting for more mysteries to unfold. Next morning, we had to head to Pahalgam, the base for the long trek to Amarnath, a Hindu shrine. Liddar, a river of untamed splendour, runs through Pahalgam. It looked wild, brimming with life, dancing, making sounds like tingling bells then whispering, taking twists and turns through the rocks and pebbles… trying to break free… moving forward, onward, diving then soaring… basking in orange sunrays. We went down the road to feel the pristine, sparkling water. Oh! So exhilarating.
the globe & the gully
It was very cold as I rode Raja, my graceful, confident horse through dense pine forests on the mountains that form a wall around the Bisaran Valley. This grassy glen offers a panoramic view of Pahalgam and the Liddar Valley and is called, aptly, ‘Mini Switzerland’. We were offered brilliant views of the mighty layered rocks, the green meadows, the sky-high trees, the orchards and the crystalline springs. The descent was very steep: scary but fun. A gondola ride in Gulmarg, the highest and longest cable car project in Asia, was our next thrilling experience. The glorious morning view from the gondola was stunning. As we looked down, we could see hundreds of sheep grazing in the valley. In the evening, we waited anxiously for our shikara man to take us to Dal Lake and back. Yes, we were embarking from our hotel lawn! We plied our way through tender pink lotus flowers and soft yellow water lilies. There were floating fields everywhere, with gourds, pumpkins and cucumbers peeking cheerfully through the leaves. The serenity lifted me to a higher consciousness… and the shikara man began to sing a Kashmiri folk song. The words were new but the tune was familiar and when he reverted to the original Hindi version, I couldn’t help beaming. The melody, the fun, the laughter: each moment in those amazing surroundings was special. The houseboats neared: we had reached Dal Lake. There was a floating market:
shikaras filled with all kinds of stuff, from basic items like combs and shiny jewellery to pashmina shawls, Kashmiri dress material, piping hot Maggi and tangy fruit chaat. I never thought I’d find a smoky hot corn on the cob, right in the middle of a lake. Everything
Rainbow on a shikara! A shikarawala selling flowers on the Dal Lake, Dal Lake, Srinagar
was totally enchanting. On our way back, the shikara carved a silent path into the lake and we watched the dusk arriving on a golden sunset chariot. The whole atmosphere had an everlasting, aweinspiring yet calming effect. At Shalimar and Nishat gardens, the murmuring fountains, roses and blossom-laden creepers tend to weave a spell on visitors. Even today, they stand as a true embodiment of love and beauty. We were awed once again.
(Facing page) Shikaras selling everything from basic items like a comb to eatables like wafers & Maggi! (Above, clockwise) Fuschias of paradise, Nagin Lake, Srinagar; Fountains of legacy, Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar; Water lilies in the bloom, Dal Lake, Srinagar.
The Lidder/ Liddar river, a 73 kilometre long river in Kashmir, gushing forward
GETTING THERE By air Indian Airlines operate regular daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi, Mumbai and Jammu. Jet Airways also operate daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi as well as Jammu.
the globe & the gully
By rail The nearest railhead for Srinagar is Jammu Tawi (305 km) where trains arrive from Delhi, Calcutta, Pune, Mumbai, Kanyakumari, Ahmedabad and other major cities.
Kashmiri food is spicy and flavourful. Throughout our stay we gorged on delicacies and delighted our senses every time we had a sip of Kahwa, the famous local tea infused with saffron: it’s unmissable. Kashmir is also renowned for its delicious fruits, herbs, minerals, precious stones, woollen carpets, shawls and embroidered clothes. I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for local handicrafts. Being an art lover I was thrilled at the quality of the papier mâché: such intricate patterns and unmatchable finesse.
Best time to visit If you want to enjoy the snow, plan a visit between November and February. But even visiting in June will allow you to appreciate the fascinating beauty of Kashmir.
The magical beauty of Kashmir is reflected in the eyes of the people there… true, humble, soft and pure at heart. I returned home with my dreams fulfilled and a splendid array of beautiful memories.
Adventurous winter sports include skiing and snowboarding at Gulmarg.
Activities Enjoy a shikara ride in Dal Lake, stay in a houseboat, go trekking. There’s trout fishing in summer as well as big and small game hunting.
Try white water rafting at Phalgam and Gulmarg.
Ritu Dua has been a banker & a teacher, now she has let herself be drawn by the strong pull of what she loves to do the most, draw and paint. She uses micron pens, water colours & oil-paints in her works, and mixed media is her forte. She also makes murals and environment friendly art by recycling things. In Dubai, she is a volunteer at Al Noor School and teaches art to special children. When not making art, she is celebrating all things delicious. She can be found at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.ae. (The views expressed by the writer are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. We regret factual errors, if any.)
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A KANNADA ROMANTIC CLASSIC THAT IS TILL DATE REMEMBERED FOR ITS ‘LOVE-TRIANGLE’ STORY PLOT. AN ARTIST PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE FILM WITH A MINIMAL GRAPHICS POSTER THAT CAPTURES THE BEATS OF A HIT NUMBER FROM THE FILM.
words & artwork PUNEETH B.A
in her, mourning in the lost love
Eradu Kanasu (Two dreams) is a 1974 Kannada romantic-drama film. The film stars Dr.Rajkumar, Manjula and Kalpana in the lead roles. Eradu Kanasu in Kannada means ‘two dreams’ and it refers to the love of two women in the life of the protagonist. Ramu (Rajkumar) is an English literature professor madly in love with his cousin Lalitha (Manjula). Their plans are thwarted due to a family squabble and Ramu marries Gowri (Kalpana), fearing his mother’s failing health. Gowri is a freewheeling romantic creature whose rosy dreams of marriage are crushed when Ramu shows no interest
of Lalitha. The conundrum is resolved in the climax with Ramu realising the love of Gowri. The movie is based on a novel by Vani. ...the poster
Eradu Kanasu had a hit number, Endendhu Ninnannu Marethu. A track that is till date extremely popular and continues to be a trademark song with the orchestras in Karnataka. The song was shot on Dr.Rajkumar singing and riding the ‘then-popular’ Vespa scooter. The scooter was a rage among youngsters of yesteryears. (Information about the film has been sourced from the Internet.)
Puneeth B.A. is a 20-year old student doing his engineering in computer science in Bengaluru. He is passionate about writing, designing and scripting/directing plays and short films. He has acted in more than 30 plays of which he has written and directed about 20 plays, staged at school and other places. He has also acted in a couple of Kannada films as a child artiste. He is part of a children’s theatre troupe, Hanumanthanagara Bimba. This self-taught designer has got a huge response for his Minimal Posters for Kannada films, both from the industry insiders and the Kannada film followers. He has designed over 510 minimal posters for Kannada films! His work can be viewed at facebook.com/minimalposterskannada.
the nose ring
THE NATH/NATHANI GOES SASSY! KARWARI NATH, BRAHMANI NATH, SHIKARPURI NATH, BULAK, MUKKUTHTHI, BHAURIYA, NATHURI… THE HUMBLE NATH IS KNOWN BY MANY DIFFERENT NAMES AND WORN IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. ARE YOU GAME TO TEAM IT UP WITH BOTH DENIMS AND SAREES?
words CHHAVI BHATIA Once upon a time the young generation of fashionistas scoffed their nose at (no pun intended) this ornament and even called it ‘grandma’ like. We’re talking of the nose ring or the nath/nathani. Talk today and the fashion enthusiasts would want you to adorn the nath not just on your wedding day but also in your everyday lives, teaming it up with Indian and Western outfits. Yes, the nath is back in vogue and being applauded. Remember the stir it created when actor Sonam Kapoor sported it at Cannes?
Ever since the nath has come to represent beauty, chastity and prosperity of an Indian woman. Like the sindoor and the manglasutra the nath is an integral part of a bride’s trousseau and wearing it is considered auspicious for a married woman. Research says that the word ‘nath’ originated from Hindi word ‘naath’, which means swami or husband, explaining why it defines the marital status of a woman. Most communities follow the tradition of piercing the nose of the girl once she attains puberty.
Nath/bulak/mukkuththi has been an integral part of the Indian culture ever since it was assimilated in tradition six centuries ago. While the origin of nath being a complete Hindu ornament remains debatable, research says that it was brought to India by the Mughals and has primarily been a jewellery piece of women in the Middle East. Literature and paintings during the Gupta and Chola dynasty mention about ornaments like kara, karnaphool and kamarbundd but the nath is oddly missing, further corroborating that it wasn’t till the 14th century that the Indian woman was introduced to the ornament. Historical evidence shows Rajput queens wearing big naths with the ornament held secure with a gold chain hanging at the back of the ear.
The ornament adds to the sensuality and beauty of a woman, hence an integral part of the ‘solah shringar’: 16 beautification stages of a bride in Indian culture. Brides wear nose rings made of gold and pearls, with each state in India having its particular tradition and way of wearing it. The nath is worn on the left wing, while some also wear it on the right side, or centre of the nose through the cartilage. The various names denoting nath come from the specific designs that women from different communities prefer. Known as karwari nath and brahmani nath in Maharashtra, it is in the shape of number 9 and is made mostly of pearls. In Himachal Pradesh, it is called bulak while in southern parts including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka it is called mukkuththi (lotus flower or swans). Rajasthani
women wear a bhauriya (a particular flower shape) or the nathuri (a small gold or silver nose ring with semiprecious gemstones). Punjabi brides wear shikarpuri nath- a gold ring with around 20-25 charms or motifs like small wild birds, mangoes, leaves, etc. In Uttar Pradesh, the nath is embellished with two pearls along with a dangling bead to indicate multitude and wealth. However, another school of thought suggests that the nath does get written about in ancient Vedic scriptures too, that talks about Ayurveda, laying specific emphasis on its utility in the fertility and health of a woman. The location of the piercing is important and is generally done by experienced goldsmiths as it is directly related to reproductive organs. Wearing a nose ring at the appropriate nerve centre is known not only to aid in fertility but also ease menstrual cramps, etc.
it with her Sabyasachi ensemble. Young girls no longer see it as merely a wedding ornament and wear it to their colleges, parties, workplaces, etc. teaming it with their LBDs as well as denims and skirts. For the young and hip, silver metal or diamond studs are the preferred choice, in the shape of a ‘baali’ or simple stud.
As an ode to all things traditional, the current crop of young actors are wearing the nath and how. Sonam Kapoor oozed confidence when she sported a nath from her mother Sunita Kapoor’s jewellery collection at Cannes 2013. She was closely followed by our very own epitome of Indian beauty Vidya Balan who wore
The nath or specifically the laung has also been celebrated in songs, hinting at the playfulness of the ornament. The popular Punjabi number ‘Mera laung gawacha’ talks about a nubile female teasing her beau to search for her nose ring, which she misplaced when she came to meet him.
Chhavi Bhatia has devoted six years to journalism, a profession she decided to venture into much early in life. After as many years of working with leading English dailies, she’s realised that journalism is not about being creative and all about the proverbial nose for news. In her free time and to keep her creative juices flowing, she indulges in poetry and some serious blogging. Keeps away from social networking sites, and buying books gives her more high that the yellow metal or a girl’s best friend, diamonds. Music and cooking are other passions she cultivates keenly.
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2014. We’re at the starting line yet again. Beginnings are beautiful, powerful and pure. We extend warm wishes to each one of you & your lov...
Published on Jan 1, 2014
2014. We’re at the starting line yet again. Beginnings are beautiful, powerful and pure. We extend warm wishes to each one of you & your lov...