Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joy of Giving - A start

This week I decided to actually get seriously into business about my 101 goals to do and as i said in the last post tried to find some good blogs to follow.  In the process I stumbled into ritu's blog.There was this wonderful idea of doing one small act of kindness by following the joy of giving cards.Rather than me telling about it maybe you should just know about it here. The first one I saw was "Hand out a CFL bulb to someone who cannot afford it". I was wondering who to give it to when I saw the author herself had given suggestions.So I turned and asked my maid  which bulb did she use in the house. She said it used to be a CFL but now that it was broken they had put the normal bulb.Now I dont know if it qualifies but I bought her a CFL to replace the bulb with this one.Did I feel better? I guess I did. Will I follow the cards al thoughout the year? I don't know.But I guess its a start.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How not to write a Day Zero List

It around 5 months since i started the 101 things to do in 1001 days.I learnt somethings about making the list.as far as possible dont make "for 31 consecutive days" or "50 recipies", or "every sunday".It takes too much sustained motivation to do that and what happens is maybe, one may start to lose it also.So mostly I might actually twist those things to something else.

Anyhow ,Ii was wondering which goal to concentrate and I saw "find 25 goals to follow."I have been trying to do that for a long time now but if I see a hundred blogs I see one which suits my taste.But suddenly yesterday I had a brainwave.Why not search in those blogs itself which i was already a follower.Afterall , like likes like.

Jackpot....

I am much nearer to my 25 blogs to follow now :)






Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Productive Weekend

This weekend has been productive. We repaired the switches in our bedroom,something which has been put of since we came to this house. Repaired all the switches. Put on a light bulb for Christmas star. I saw a guy selling something which resembled a christmas tree but decided to buy it next year. Painting is going on in the bedroom wall -again something which has been put off for more than 10 months. Gave the radhdhi wala the piled up newspapers thoguh found out that there was not much. It looked a lot becasue it was dumped inside the box. So overall it was a weekend of procastinated things being done.Just the monthly shopping to be done more.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Begining of the Journey

I wrote this post in response to the writing prompt from Marcy's 'Scene from a memoir I haven't written yet'.
This is my first time and I have no idea if I am doing it right. Anyhow here goes.

Sept 11-2001 is a world famous date.Everyone remembers it.Every one knows it.The life of many changed after it and I am one such person.

I remember my father come from the office that day and asking us to turn on the TV. Someone had hijacked a plane and hit the twin towers with it in America. Dismay and horror reflected in each family member's face that day.
"Terrorists"...."Fools ,Idiots...if you want to prve a point then do just that .Why kill innocent civilians"- The feeling was universal. If this can happen in America, Why!, anything can happen anywhere, was another universal feeling. Frantic calls to freinds and  relatives in US and relieved confirmation that they were ok folllowed.

I am a muslim but for me the terrorrists were always "they". So obviously, it was a shock for me when the first thing one of my best freinds (who was not a muslim) said to me the next day was-"See what kind of people YOU are.YOUR people did this".

I was hurt. "WE" ???? What did "WE" have anything to do with it?We were a  typical Indian Muslim family. My father has more non-muslim friends than muslim friends. Religion was a part of who we are like any normal Indian.I could not say a word.I was ashamed I did not know anything about my own religion though I was a staunch believer and I could not defend it .We were nice people- I thought.We never harmed anyone. Did Islam really say such things as everyone claims? There was only one way to get the answer.It was time to read the Quran.

I remember coming home that day taking the Pick-hall translation of the Quran.I had tried to read it a number of times before but had never ever gone further than a couple of pages. However this time I did read it .I read it until my heart had calmed down. Since then I have read the Quran more than half a dozen times. I have found it logical and practical and open to interpretation(which many apparently make use of). The same sentence gives me diffrent ideas every time I read it.

I never defended my religion to that particular freind but my own journey into religion had began. In a way I am even thankful to that freind  for being the reason for me to start thinking and making my own path to God.I have journeyed from being religious to being spiritual. If not for her I would have been one of the crowd. Maybe I still am part of a crowd...A different one though.







Thursday, November 17, 2011

Epiphany

She was rolling her cycle from the computer center to the canteen when she saw a grubby little child play in the roadside.She looked with pleasure and enjoyed the child playing.She was still smiling when she walked past the child and she thought how much people change.Five years ago she didnot even like children.She had wondered whats so cute about them.Five years ago she would have only seen the dirt all over the child, the torn clothes and unkept hair of the labourer's child  but playing and being a part of her neices and nephews' babyhood changed all that.Why? She thought and the answer came...When you love someone with all your heart you see them everywhere.In every child that plays she sees her neice play.Isn't that nice she thought.Suddenly her mind jumped to the gujarat riots,Those terrible riots when mindless killings raged the streets.Would he who killed ,saw his son ,daughter sister or mother in his victim,would the knife still slit the throat.If integration were such that one would see only his loved ones wouldnt peace reign?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Trip to Amritsar - JallianWala Bagh & Golden temple (2/2)


On our second day in Amritsar, we planned to visit the Golden Temple and the Jallianwala Bagh. Both the places were near to each other. We got an auto from our hotel for around Rs50/-- which dropped us near the Jallianwala Bagh.immediately we were surrounded by a mob of vendors who wanted to sell bandana’s to tie over our hair as no one is allowed to go to the Golden Temple without their head covered. A tip to future travellers, keep your hair covered already before you reach the place. My hubby had a scarf tied to his head even before he could understand what was happening. Tie a hankie, it will do. We decided to visit the Jallainwala Bagh at first and see the scene where the massacre had taken place. My hubby told me Dyer – the man who ordered the firing returned home a hero (Home being Great Britain for him). Shocking!!!,   though I understand the situation .But in a strange twisted way I felt he was one of the reasons why the Indian freedom struggle became even stronger. And for that I am thankful. The scenes of what might have happened there passed in front of my eyes and I wondered are we taking this freedom for granted….This hard earned freedom won not even two generations ago , Are we taking this for granted???

(The entrance area)


(One of the walls with bullet marks.)


(Bullets everywhere)

With these thoughts, we left the place and went to the Golden Temple. We kept our shoes outside washed our hands, passed through the shallow pool and entered the temple. The golden temple was surrounded by a great holy pool which had big colorful fish in it.I had seen pictures of the Temple, but to see something first hand is a different thing.



(The Golden Temple and the Holy pool.)


(It was calming to see them swim.)


(The complex.)




The Golden Temple was connected to the outer courtyard by one single way which had a long long line. So,we decided not to enter the inner complex of the temple situated at the center of the lake. We sat outside in the courtyard,looking at it. The place was very clean.It was cleaned meticulously .Though in the heart of the city, and there was no dust on the floor. It was a good experience though maybe not as spiritual as I thought it would be .Maybe I should have gone with a Sikh who could teach me about his/her faith. Maybe it would have been more spiritual then for me. Maybe it was just high expectation. Somehow I had imagined visiting a Gurudwara, especially the Golden temple, would have been an extremely moving experience for me.

We saw Sikhs in their whole traditional dress with the knife in the side. I loved the fact that women carried them too. As my friend’s husband remarked , here is a religious place where you need not worry about calling out your name, be Ram or Rahim. No one asks .I loved this too. It's not the same in a Mosque or a Temple. This is something one can learn from Sikhs.They are inclusive. These two things are the most special memories that I took from the Golden temple.

After coming out of the temple, my friend told there were good bangle shops in Amritsar so we went there. We found beautiful glass bangles and lathe bangles and they were extremely affordable. I regretted not having anybody’s size else I could have brought more.


After that we had lunch from brother Ki daabha.Was ok.thus with our agenda over we returned to the hotel and then to the railway sation.We returned home in Shatabdhi express. Overall it was a great trip.

Trip to Amritsar - Wagah Border (1 of 2)


The last thursday we got a leave for gurunanak day and so decided to take friday off and make a short Amritsar trip along with a friend and her family. Though the trip was marked with a series of unfortunate events for some reason the trip was not wrecked completely for which I am so totally glad that I won’t actually dwell those events. We went in the train Shane Punjab from Delhi  and came back in the train Shatabdi . Both were good trains, neat ,clean ,comfortable and both made good time. Had a wonderful tomato soup in Shane Punjab and as i was having it after such a long time,I really relished it.The soup was erally thick and hot. We reached around 2.00pm.the hotel had a pick up facility (hotel Shiraz).The rooms were ok I guess, I was not extremely impressed but they were ok. Beds were comfortable. Beds matter a lot don’t you think? From there we hired a cab and went to Wagah Border to see the flag taking down ceremony.

Being a holiday for Gurunanak day in Punjab, there was a huge crowd. Huge huge crowd.The atmosphere was charged with patriotism All the modern patriotic songs from the new movies were playing . Everyone were in great spirits .There was this army man in white who was motivating everyone to sing and hurrah and all, It was an awesome feeling. Screamed Vande Maataram, Bharat Matha ki Jai and Hindustan Zindabad though my throat was actually not in a good condition. But who cared… Chak de India followed.



There was this mini war going between the Indian side and the Pakistani side of the border as to who praised their country more.Who made more noise. Being a holiday we did have greater strength. I prefer this kind of war any day. It was weird seeing the other side, you know. We were dancing and hurrahing … Hahahaha I did feel we were a bit of  showoffs. I guess they are showoffs too  in their holidays.

The ceremony in itself was interesting but as I really did not understand what was going on exactly, I can’t say much on the subject. Maybe next time, I might like to come, sit in the podium and watch properly but this experience of being a spectator form the crowd was a great one too. My eyes were filled at one point when everyone’s voices unified to praise our land. Why can’t we be the same all the time?
Anyhow ….. There were unpatriotic freaks here too .My hubby’s phone was pickpocketed and that too from the front pocket in his jeans.So a word of caution.Incase you visit Wagah Border, Please be very careful. In fact don’t take any mobile phone or purse there. Anyhow taking anything apart from camera is useless. There the phones don’t work.  Else keep it in a secret pocket inside your dress/jacket.
After the ceremony,  we left for our hotel. Evening we had our dinner from Crystal restaurant. Food was good and rates were as usual as in malls in Gurgaon. Four people had food for about 850/-(Non Veg). Food was good.We had Naan , Chowmein and Chicken rarah.The curry was enough for three people.

The next morning we went to the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh but then that’s another story.

Day 2 in Amritsar.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dear inter religious marraige aspiring candidates,

Kindly discuss the following before proceeding to the next level.(from deciding to get married to presenting the case to the parents.

1. Please list down what all problems may arise in your actual marriage procedure.Will you guys be able to deal with going along with any one procedure?If so which one?

2. Which religion will the child follow?

3.Will anyone of you be asked to change religion?How will you deal with it.Will you support each other?If you wont be able to,please atleast be honest.

4.Please find the actual legal procedure for marraige.I know a situation in which  a guy and girl were going to register a marriage and were going to live together but they had never heard of the Special marraige act which is the only act with which they can marry in India.I cannot think of the consequences if they had been that stupid.When you are going for something like this you are not allowed to be stupid.

5.When you tell your parents they will be excessively hurt.Will you be able to deal with that?

6.Mainly, will you both support each other's individuality come what may?

7.How important is religion in both of your lives? Are you willing for both the religions to exist in the same house peacefully?You might have to change some of your principles for your partners happiness .Can you willingly do such small compromises?

8.In the worst case and you are not able to convince the parents , the marraige may be tough on both of you.How will it be difficult? How will you deal with it?

9. Your children may show an inclination to one of your religions.Will you try to influence him to your religion than your partner's?How will you bring up the child?

PLEASE, please discuss these issues before presenting to your parents.These are not easy things to deal with , they will recur again and again and again but it is necessary to know what comes ahead before putting a lot of people's emotions in a whirl.It's not necessary to reach a conclusion for everything but you guys should have an idea of what to expect.

If you don't gel together you will know after 10-15 discussions and you can part mutually without any harm done .And if you do gel together you will know you are stronger now than before to deal with what comes in the way.

If consenting for a love marraige is difficult for the parents it will be even more difficult for them to see the marraige break.Spare them that pain atleast.They would have to face a lot of opposition as well. Obivously there will come times when one has to make the ones they love, suffer. At least let the pain not be in-vain.




Friday, November 4, 2011

Husband's day

"He is the one"

I can cry and he wont think I am weak.
I can gossip abut anyone and everyone and he wont think badly of me.
I can get angry once too many times and he still forgives me.
He is always there when I say I need him.
He adjusts about food when i don't feel like cooking.
He doesn't laugh at my lofty ideals.
I can boast and he doesn't get bored.
He is my biggest fan,
And I am HIS.

I had written the above around a year ago and i came across it today.Suddenly i wanted to know if there is a day to celebrate this relationship....the husbands day. I googled it and came across a blog in which this lady had decided to celebrate her own unofficial "husbands days" in Nov 16th.I loved the date.It was just 2 weeks ahead and I thought why not assign the same.So this November 16th, I am going to celebrate this day of 2011 in honour of my husband who takes care of me, who throws out the trash, removes the icky stuff i hate to touch ,  go shopping as and when I demand,who surprises me in the wonderful way that only he can do, who make me smile even through my tears and whose presence makes me feel secure.
To the man without whom I would have been incomplete...




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Single day

Today also we went for walking , jogged parts of one round and completed one round.Felt really good after that.Everybody's coming and us going  to visit places and the number of photos we took in the end helped us.Like my hubby said, it was a wake up call.Hope we continue like this. I dont want to become unhealthy.Decided to keep 7 to 8 as dinner cooking time.It takes one hour to cook , provided hubby cuts some of the vegetables and gives :) Life's going great....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another day in gurgaon

November chill has started in Gurgaon.It looks like Winter is fast approaching. We have still not taken the heavier blankets out nor have we taken out more than one jacket. Maybe within two weeks the climate will change completely.We had a pretty long weekend this time with friends and family who came to visit in the F1 weekend. It was so difficult to even think of going to office tomorrow but by the end of the day it feels good to know that tomorrow  my day will be occupied. Having too much time in the hand can be depressing.

Hubby sketched after a long time.It felt good to see him do that.I should start my guitar practice too.Oh started Goal no 22 with humme.