Saturday, May 12, 2007

I want to...

(Well, I've been jobless and been doing a lot of thinking lately (especially after a conversation with Nidhi, on the lack of imagination...BTW, Nidhi...I'm STILL yet to get that mail!), so I've kind of reached the brink of all rational thought! Lol. So this was my attempt at putting down some of my ACTUAL fantasies and not give some jazz of the boring, mundane stuff that I use in response to standard questions... And when you're done reading...please don't tell me I've lost it...I already know that. *cheeky grin*)

I want one of those characters in Enid Blyton's "Faraway tree" series. I want to be able to slide down Moonface's tree and climb up the faraway tree and see all those lands that sit atop! *dreamy sigh*

I want to...write a book one day! Full of blasphemy & an imagination run wild. ( And no, not like Harry Potter!!!)

I want in the rain on a starry, moonlit night with no one watching [Hehe...I do have a thing for starry nights (no, not the Shobhaa De book, you dufus!)]

I want to...walk barefoot across the waterfront of (a clean) beach, feel the water lapping at my feet and the sand crumbling under and not bother about the ickiness later (And this is where the cleanliness freak in me kicks in!)

I want to...have a strawberry field (Yum!!!)

I want in a world that's fully telepathic... one where people needn't bother getting down to using the verbal/written word (now, that probably would not be best for everyone, but still it would make things less complicated.)

I want to be...magical! ( I'm going back to talking in a cryptic tongue!)

I want in space and marvel at the speckled darkness (without all the odious trappings of a spacesuit and an oxygen cylinder etc.)

And the last thing I can think of...I want to...sit on a cliff facing a sea on a moonlit, starry night (yes, here we go again) and be lulled by the sound of the waves crashing and be made to feel humble by the sheer inconsequential-ism(okay, that's probably not a word, but still...) of myself.

The Journey

Times are changing
Dust storms are swirling by
The grains of sand
Covering our footprints left behind,
The impressions of our time spent together
Etched on the sands of time

But the memories of the journey remain-
The trials and tribulations
The quadrupled joy and the halved sorrow
Through the ups and downs of this roller coaster ride-
Watching life pass by
Like a shooting star...ephemeral yet, bright

The footprints are fading
They're getting covered with others
But the impression of the journey lives on
Life is change, but change is constant
And hence, the journey continues

Note: This was what I wrote on the album we made for Nitya as a going-away present. It has been tweaked a little and I got myself to put it up for all those people I knew (no, I still KNOW you all) here at home... I'm hoping this fulfils my senti quota :P... If you're expecting more tear laden melodrama, sorry, not happening! Took a herculean effort on my part to put this itself up in the first place!

The Lost Voice

Lost behind walls of sound
And raised objections
Belittled by reality's norms
And hidden behind social conformations
Another voice bites the dust...

Buried under the shrouds
Of expectation and unfulfilled dreams
The voice that once was...
...Now lay still...

But...feeble as it was
The voice persisted
It had a story to tell
A myth to fell
It had to rise from beneath the shrouds
And reach the pinnacle of success
It had to be...heard!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Some sensible rambling...

Okay, this one's based on a report I presented on 'Patriarchy' for a class on Eco-feminism. This one will probably stick out like a sore thumb in the midst of all the other inane rambling, but this is one project for which I did do a considerable deal of research. Moreover, while working on it, I remember getting very frustrated at some of the things I observed/found out about. Hence, I decided to write about it now (a year after working on it)...hope the prolonged gap would have added weight to my perspective. On a lighter note, for all my friends who felt at sea when they read my more economic-oriented ramblings, hope this is right up your alley and suits your intellectual sensibilities better (Divs, Mittu are you listening?).

Now the original report I presented covered a more broad based theme of what is patriarchy, it's types, origins etc., but here, I'm going to be including only those parts of it that dealt with the actual, visible (yet, many a time unnoticed) manifestations of patriarchy in society today.

Before I begin, a note of introduction is to be expected. So will fulfil that obligation by a brief mention of what exactly patriarchy means. Now, the stereotypical view is that patriarchy refers to the male domination over women, but in a more realistic sense, the word has come to refer to domination of ANY manner or kind (hence, the gender issue doesn't play so much of a role here). And now, I'm guessing it's time to begin, which I shall do. A note to whoever attempts to read thus far, since these are excerpts, I'm giving up on trying to link the paras and maintain continuum.


Religious institutions significantly contribute towards promoting the notion that patriarchy is God ordained. To illustrate this, I'm quoting examples (disclaimer: this is not intended to be sacrilegious or affront any particular religion...what applies to one religion can easily be traced in ALL others WITHOUT exception, albeit in slightly modified forms)

Take for example this quote from the Koran:

"Men stand superior to women in that God hath preferred the one over the other...those whose perverseness ye fear, admonish them and remove them into bed-chambers and beat them; but if they submit to you then do not seek a way against them."

So, the point I'm trying to make here is that religious institutions promote the idea of God-ordained differences between the sexes and the superiority of the masculine species. And this isn't restricted only to Islam. The Bible has something to the same effect where it talks about division of roles between men and women. The same holds true for Hinduism as well...ever noticed how all the three important deities who create, maintain and destroy the universe (Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva respectively) are all male. Or how Hindu mythology typifies the so-called negative qualities of temptation etc., as being feminine (Maya). Also, many a time female deities are left to playing the role of consorts and are worshipped only in their capacity as a consort! My take is that this duality mainly stems from the fact that religion is interpreted by men for men!


Ever noticed the bias towards the male members in cases falling under the purview of Family Law, Marital law & Inheritance Law. BUT in cases pertaining to allotment of Child rights, it's the mother who usually gets the rights. Now, there's nothing wrong with that per se, my only grouse is that there seems to be this stereotypical image of women being nurturers but cannot be trusted enough to represent themselves in property disputes. Basically, what I'm trying to ham on is the whole issue of stereotypes.


Heard of the concept of invisible labour? Basically, what it refers to is the non-inclusion of work like that of a house-wife into the calculation of economic indicators like national income. Why? Simply because they don't earn anything out of it. This is preposterous! In fact there have been attempts to include this 'shadow work' either by calculating the increase to the national product, if these people were allowed to work OR by calculating the amount that would have to be paid if someone were to be hired to do the same work (as opposed to getting it done, free of cost, by the woman), and these reports have shown that the increase (or decrease in the 2nd method) in national income is quite sizable! And given how in most cases, financial power translates into decision making ability, this problem gets further accentuated.


Ever wondered why Emraan Hashmi gets famous after certain scenes while his partner in crime, Mallika Sherawat gets branded a bimbette? Or why most movies portray the woman as the quintessential 'damsel in distress' or as the mother left to be defended by her sons? Or why Asha Bhonsle, despite being a singer in her own right, still is famous more as R D Burman's wife, and hence, covers of her albums have the latter's pics.

Phew! This getting TOO long winded... So I'll wind up with a couple of quotes that continue to infuriate me (Okay, don't kill me..Yet!)...

"Women have the right to work wherever they want, as long as they have the dinner ready when you get home."
- John Wayne, Actor

"Women make terrible leaders. They are better off as housewives."
-George Bush, (Does he really need an introduction???)

**** The End ***

Saturday, May 5, 2007

More of the same...

Quite frankly, I can't actually categorise my memories into a year- by-year account, so I'm going to just randomly put in stuff, in no chronological order.

The famous Lime Club! One of the biggest topics of speculation- Does it exist or not? Those in the know swear they've witnessed it's umm.... 'nefarious' (if I may use that term) activities and hence, stay away from the (in)famous infirmary unless, dying. Those who haven't been such lucky spectators listen engrossed and hang onto every word of those who have!

Members of the by-then (in)famous Eco batch of 2004 jumping the boundary walls in an ingenious attempt to escape the "tyranny and torture" of yet another OAT! It's a different story that these members didn't foresee the possibility that their descent might end up dumping them right in front of the cops and bodyguards of a certain ex-CM, who were standing on the other side of the wall...and who on witnessing such rare events, promptly held the lost kittens by the scruffs of their necks (I can be forgiven for my exaggerations here) and handed them back to the Princi's office!!! (So much for athletic spirit and freedom of choice!)

Our class being pulled up for breaking furniture, chairs to be more precise(who would've imagined that such a gentle, peace loving, rational, 'economic' class like ours would pull off such stunts?) even though the said chairs were ALREADY broken to begin with!

Sitting in Applied Stats/Econometrics/Computer Applications for Economics classes! (And now, I need not elaborate more on this!)

Battling the famous & eternal 'Dress Code' issue, Spending endless hours of futile debate in English classes on "Is a dress code necessary?", wondering if we were being initiated into a nunnery (!!!), getting sadistic kicks watching a uninformed 1st year kid (when we were 3rd years) being pulled up for wearing a SLEEVELESS (horror of horrors!) top to college, etc etc.!

Post Valedictory: Five people changing out of LONG saris into 'normal' clothes (in a single car) in a parking lot that was by no means vacant, or dimly lit! AND to top it off, it was bang opposite some very much occupied hostel rooms!!!

Long discussions in front of the canteen on the vagaries of life (read education, career, attendance, lectures, subjects, etc.)

Endless 'coffee' breaks in between classes. And of course, 'Melody'! The toffee with a cult following!

The 8ish story: Walking in late(anytime between 8.15-9.00 for a class that begins at 8.00 and ends at 9.00) to college, hanging around for a late slip and then sneaking our way up to the doors of our classroom to have 'secret consultations' with those inside to see which prof was currently in class and then decide whether that tiny bit of paper in our hands (aka THE 'late slip') would work it's way into the prof's good books and ensure that we get that 'Holy Grail' that we all seek...attendance!

Inventing all manners of short forms to keep up with the super fast lecture speeds and then TRYING to decode the said short forms while studying!

Jamming all mobile networks during CAs and End sems with the continuous exhange of panic calls, msgs, 3 a.m "How much done? I think I'm going to flunk tomorrow" msgs...

(Some people's) drunken antics and the ensuing videos that the owner (of the video) always threatened would land up on Orkut!

Back to back movie sessions at good ol' Satyam (after bunking classes of course), 10 buck tickets (& spending 10 times that amount on popcorn, food etc), chaats at Gangotree, Nibbles, being a loud and obnoxious group at Mocha, Ame, Woodlands, Ispahani, Barista.... pretty much everywhere!

And many more mad things...

Three years...And we survived!

First off, YES, this is another of those mundane 'My days in college' posts, so if you find yourself groaning already, you may leave! If you're an SMCian...well....then maybe, you might stay. And if you're one of those possessed characters, who's not SMCian (usually, due to being of the wrong gender and hence, not qualifying), but who craves to know all that happens inside those (literally) confines...well, you may just do whatever pleases you!

Now this ain't no compelling account of the buffoonery of the 3,300 odd people, it just is a "just for jolly" (Crritteecss, if you ever read this, let it be known that I let you keep the copyright to it!) account of the escapades of the 57 odd people who sat in room 2-1, then in 2-2 and FINALLY 1-8 (And maybe, a few extras from other parts of that 23 acre campus)!

Now since I find myself so muddled, I shall just randomly type out things I remember...anyone with better memory, please do pitch in.

First day of college...
Now, this is something I distinctly remember. Walking into college at 8ish (this 8ish thing seemed to have persisted for the remaining three years, and will be explained later, if I don't forget about it before that), I see half a dozen familiar faces (from previous schools/interviews) and I think to myself, well...that's not such a bad start. And then.............I enter the NCC grounds & I'm shell shocked!!!! For someone who's been in a co-ed all her life (well, almost if you discount these 3 years that I'm rambling about), being surrounded by 3,300 people, ALL of whom are
women, can be QUITE an unnerving (to put it VERY mildly) experience!

This was soon to be followed by a somewhat 'inspirational' speech by Sr. P on our good fortune of being "one of the 4% in India who have access to higher education"...And, of course who can forget the famous "bouquets of flowers welcoming you" (In case, anyone did by some strange accident forget this, she was promptly reminded of it twice in the next two years, when the succeeding batches came in...and here we thought it was an original speech, ONLY for us, the batch of 2004-07!). For those who're still lost, the 'bouquets" referred to the 100 odd trees on campus that were in bloom (though, I do remember foolishly looking around for the cellophane wrapped variety when I heard of it... *sheepish grin*)
Fast forwarding... The rest of the day included following our 'friendly senior' around the campus (like the rats following Pied Piper) and trying real hard to hear what was being said and trying to remember the names of buildings and the room naming system [very important as some of us realised when we spent the next few weeks trying to make sense of our timetable: Eg: Monday (no, the day order system hadn't come in then) 4th hour MC (MC=Major Core...might have helped if they used things like Micro/Indian Eco./Stats instead of the MC/MO/AO/AC/GE...) room H-0-1]
To cut a long story short, we were kicked out of college by 11 (for once!) and the remainder of the week was spent sitting in class distractedly while waiting for the (ear-piercing) bell to ring thereby, allowing us to scoot for one of our numerous orientations (Lib, NCC, NSS... and of course, Student Union orientation! *cheeky grin*). And of course, the Welcome Social thrown by the dept.'s seniors (Theme: Beauty Queens...How apt!)
The rest of the first year may be surmised into an endless cycle of long mathematical calculations to figure out the EXACT number of hours that could be bunked without drastically falling short of that 75% mark that hung above our heads, endless conversations in the canteen, attendant jibes by the faculty (Most famous one being: "Girls! If you sit here so long, you'll have to pay a rent to the (canteen) trees!). A word here to those who've never been in a girls' college: No, these 'conversations' did not SOLELY revolve around things like make-up, trends in fashion, relationships, etc (hope that puts to rest some doubts, people I've spoken to, have on the subject)
(For the sake of avoiding long-winded posts, the 2nd year & 3rd year bit shall follow in another post.)