Sidharth turns nine this 15th. Even today I can clearly feel his skin as I did when the doctors placed him in my hands at the time of his birth. The Sidharth greyish blue with shades of pink. He looked like a monkey and my first words were, "This can't be my baby."
These words came true a few years later. True Sidharth could never be my baby. He was never meant to be a child. He is the Father, the Guider and the Path Leader. I became his baby soon and Sidharth taught me how to live. This is probably true for all parents who however soon forget to learn and become master's of their own children. In case of Sihdarth this could never happen for he was a person who had his own way to live life, call him Aspergeous, Autistic, ADHD or what ever, the labels simply do not matter, here was a child determined to live his own life, in his own style and my his rules. We all around him became his students.
It is recession and it is hitting us all bad. Friends, family and so many people I know around me are loosing jobs.The only ones who I think are not loosing jobs are the ones who are making the lists....
Funny but true and so are many other things.
A female friend who worked for a media concern was asked by her HR manager as to how desperately did she need the job which he was going to take away anyways. My friend was at loss for a reply. The HR manager told her that he knew that she came from a wealthy family and that this job was not her bread and butter but her jam, so she could well give up her job for a male who was the bread winner of the family.
The HR manager who was a male also told her that the company had decided to first strike out the female employees for they were not the bread winners of the family (sic) and that the jobs were meant for men who along with the fact that they had to sustain families also had to sustain their self respect and egos through their jobs.
What did my friend do, she walked out of this meeting.
The recession is hitting us women anyways whether we or our husbands or our fathers or our brothers are losing the jobs. Yet my reply to that HR manager would have been that first please do not compare me to any man. We all have our circumstances to handle and deal in. Recession or bad times having nothing to one being male or female.
Secondly working for women is just not about money, it is about empowerment and self respect.By taking away my job you are taking away my independence, my empowerment which has not come to me easily. I had to fight for this and continue to do so till date. Harsh time do mean some corrective steps but do not in ways mean taking away my independence and my self respect.
I hope this HR manager and others like him do stumble upon this article before they throw out a a female employee from their company on the plea that she is not the bread winner of the family. Yes I am not the bread winner of the family but I am the pride of the family.
They are screaming, ranting, shouting, hurling abuses. They are pained, disgusted and much much more than that. At least this is what, we here, sitting in Punjab thousands of miles from Mumbai get to see and hear. Mumbai is angry... every paper and new channel says. Is Mumbai really angry? This is what I want to know for if this city and the Mumbaikars are really angry then there is some hope but if it is only for the papers and the television then it is better forgotten.
But then why is Mumbai angry? Because of the terror attack! This is not the first attack then why is Mumbai screaming now? Why did Mumbai or any of us scream, shout, hurl abuses when Punjab was burning or when rather even now as I write this, some family would be getting killed at the hands of terrorists in Kashmir or human rights would be trampled beneath the feet of armed forces in the North East... hell why is Mumbai screaming now.
They are screaming, they say our democracyos joke, they want president's rule, they want all politicians hung and people like Simi Garewal (sic) wants India to start a war on Pakistan. But then our democracy is not a joke and not even out polity. Simi Garewal can ask for a war for she knows she will never have to go on the border to fight. Leave that no one will even invite that haggard lady to come and entertain the forces.
And if she is ever called, then some channel will call her and there in TV dressed in white, this lady can again call for yet another war and also say, " lets keep a silence of two minutes for our dead soldier" (sic).
Scream, please do scream, respond please do not react, let Mumbaikars, Chennaikars, Ludhianakars every possible damn `kar' scream, but please scream each time someone is shot dead by the terrorist and let that be anywhere in the world. Open up your arms, broaden your boundaries, let us scream and scream for PEACE.
Foots steps from the past came in silently knocked on my door a little loudly my door, my home shut tight for all these years at first I didn' t let them in but finally did they gushed in like a strong wind from the past I stood watching it striking my face ruffling my hair forcing me take a step back once again into my past teasing me with memories long forgotten challenging me and I did step back one step and let the foot steps brush away the cobwebs cluttering the walls.
And by this I mean all but only those belonging to the high fi political family of Punjab. But then I would leave the little children out for I would never like to see them go through a life that the patriarch of this family Parkash Singh Badal has put the thousands and lakhs of children of Punjab through. No power for almost entire day and the man who wants to be remembered as the architect of modern Punjab is actually sending us all back to the days of no power. No power in a state that prides itself for this Bhakra Dam and what not. Wow!!! I invite the Badals to spend just one day sweating it out with the people. No I do not mean sweating out during the elections. This they do for power and not sewa like the senior Badal loves to say each time. It smacks of hypocrisy. And above all the state which is reeling under power crisis which the experts say will only worsen, Badal junior, Sukhbir, asks his party MPs to vote against the N Deal. Take a walk some where far from Punjab, Sukhbir.
A strange kind of feeling has surrounded me these days... I use the word surround very carefully for I feel this feeling all around me. It travels with me as I leave my home for office or vice a verse... it comes back to me in middle of the night when I am dead asleep.... this feeling is beyond time and space.
Wait I can explain. All this began when one evening browsing through books at the Book Cafe I picked up Swati Chopra's Dharamsala Dairies. This is one book I wanted to read after I read about it in the Indian Express one Sunday. But then this is not just all, I have this special link with Dharamsala for I have studied in Sacred Heart Convent School, Sidhbari. I have spent the three best years of my life here... at least this is the way I think so.
At first I thought this book will just help me connect with Dharamsala and its environment once again which I had kind of lost in this humdrum of life. This was my simple idea. I began reading the book and thought, that I will be able to finish within a day or at the most two if I have to go to office. But then that was not to be. I would read, at the most five pages and put the book down so that the book never ends. No the style of writing is usual, just as the way most writers write in English these days. It is the journey of the author that I want to be a part of.
When the author talks about she sitting in the balcony of her guest house, I see myself, shuddered in a heavy woolen shawl with the clouds around me. Yes I remember the nights that I have spent as a child in a guest house in Barot where clouds would float in through the window in the dead of the night and I would try and catch them in my small hands...
When the author walks down the crowded bazaars of Mcleodganj I can see my looking at the shops from outside wanting to buy each and every thing that I can see... the dainty porcelain tea cup, the shiny jacket, the antique jewellery. And I end up buying steaming momos, eight for Rs 10...
The authors quest for Buddhism is slightly heavy for me. But I want sit in the monastery silently, lost in the thought, amongst the huge tall trees with a cold bare floor beneath me and look into the eyes of Buddha...
This is the book that I want to be for now..................