Wednesday 25 November 2009

Economics of Speed

I was driving down the flyover near the Appolo Hospital seeing the seconds ticking away on the green traffic light wondering if I will make it through. Well, its only a matter of waiting for another 30 seconds for the next round of green lights if I did not make it. Just as I was nearing the lights, in a flash, a motorcyclist criss crossed from the left side under the flyover in a bid to cross the light, crashed into the road divider, throwing off himself and his pillion rider. Apparently, the driver's helmet flew, his head hit the divider and the pillion rider slid on the road till she came to a halt. As luck would have it no four wheeled vehicle was a bull on the run...so she was saved from being run over.... But the driver had not lifted his head!!!!!! He was lying his foetal position, head on the ground..... As I slowly manouevered my vehicle contemplating to park my vehicle to help the victims, the crowds came running to lift the driver from the pavement / road. So I decided to be another passer by..... albeit with a lot of hesitation and thoughts...

How many times, I have had the privelege of giving way to persistent drivers, who want to jostle into any available space, make it at the nick of time at any traffic light (even when the light is yellow!!) and still meet them at the next or the next traffic light. Many a times I have been urged to get off the vehicle, tap on the window of the other vehicle and say, " Hey Buddy...you almost banged me in the previous light...have you got gold or won the olympic medal....?? See we are at the same place where we began????" Pity how many drivers on the road understand/do not understand the economics of speed in city roads.

The Economics of speed on city roads... are : "Loss of time is directly proportional to the increase in speed on the roads".. "The more constant the speed, the faster you reach your destination"... and so on.. One never gains by pressing the accelerator and pushing the speedometer to higher levels; there is a speed breaker at every 500 meters or every next driver is on a criss cross fun ride on the road!!! All that you lose are fuel, peace of mind and the tranquility. Unfortunately, the last two items are not quantifiable in terms of money hence never valued at all...

As I drove down, I kept thinking of the driver who tried to save 15 seconds of the time... Was he valuing the life of at least the pillion rider if not his?? Did he have any concern for the people who are dependent on him or who perhaps value his life??? Did he ever think that his acrobatic tactics to save 15 seconds could be so lethal??? Perhaps not.....

I also wondered if the very same person would wake up 5 minutes early in the morning, hurry up with his breakfast by 3 minutes or even stop arguing or fighting with his family for 5 minutes????? Would he ever help his mother or wife finish the morning chores so that all could save 5-10 minutes and be at ease, or even leave home 10 minutes early to make good all such trafiic light delays.....??? Why is it that we do not change ourselves for our own safety and value our life??? why is it that we do not save time or use time judiciously where it is possible and leave the uncertainties where it has to be??? Why is it that we do not value others lives and others sentiments also???

In fact, it is paradoxical how the same person will not demonstrate the same rush in meeting work deadlines... the same rush is not exhibited in places and incidences where it has to be... Has civilisation, technological advances made us more illogical??? Has the perceptive capacity of the human brain been reduced to mechanical action..???? Are we moving from civilisation full circle to the non civilised animalistic society???

Many questions...no answers but all this rush at the wrong places...the only reward it gives are"Risks ...and only risks..."..If only people understood, valued and looked ahead in peace!!!!

Tuesday 4 August 2009

PRIORITIES......

Its been quite long since I wrote.... All my writing seems to be on the mind ....The last that I wrote was when i was a fresh mother.... Now I am the mother of a naughty impish almost 3 year old.

"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." - Sophia Loren

I endorse this view of the famous Actress Sophia Loren who in her heydays acted in less movies after becoming a mother.. Perhaps true to her word.. Still she never faltered in being known as the best actress the world has ever known..

Life has changed a lot since I have become a mother... I had shuddered at the thought of giving up several things that I loved and wondered how I would maintain my identity; but motherhood itself being a separate identity in itself, changes not just the body but the mind too... Life seems to revolve only around the fulcrum of your little darling... every moment, every day, every schedule from menu to holiday to shopping list EVERYTHING involuntarily revolves around the bundle of joy...

MOTHERHOOD - its a unique gift given to a woman. One has to experience it to feel the baggage that comes with it. The intial days of the creation, the fear if it will be or not be, the 9 months of carrying a ticking life carefully like a porcelain ball full of suspense, the pain and the ecstasy in hearing the first wail.... AND THEN....you are never YOU.... perhaps when you become a mother a new chamber gets added in your heart, a new division is created in your brain, the eyes have an background imprinted and all your senses have an extra nerve....

There are several stories written about MOTHERS one of which is truly symbolises her.... IT goes:

A touching story:

My mother had only one eye. She was such an embarrassment.
She cooked for students & teachers to support the family.
There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to Say hello to me.
I was so embarrassed.
How could she do this to me?
I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out.
The next day at school one of my classmates said, 'EEEE, your mom only Has one eye!'
I wanted to bury myself..
I also wanted my mom to just disappear..
I confronted her that day and said, ' If you're only gonna make me a Laughing stock, why don't you just die?'
My mom did not respond....
I didn't even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger.
I was oblivious to her feelings.
I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her.
So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.
Then, I got married.
I bought a house of my own.
I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts, Then one day, my Mother came to visit me.
She hadn't seen me in years and she didn't even meet her
Grandchildren.
When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at Her for coming over uninvited...
I screamed at her, 'How dare you come to my house and scare my Children!'
GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!'
And to this, my mother quietly answered, 'Oh, I'm so sorry. I may have Gotten the wrong address,'
And she disappeared out of sight.
One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house.
So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip.
After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.
My neighbors said that she died.
I did not shed a single tear.
They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

'My dearest son,
I think of you all the time. I'm sorry that I came to your house and
Scared your children.
I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion.
But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you.
I'm sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were
Growing up.
You see........when you were very little, you got into an accident, and
Lost your eye.
As a mother, I couldn't stand watching you
Having to grow up with one eye.
So I gave you mine.
I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my
Place, with that eye.

With all my love to you,

Your mother.

No more words are needed to express MOTHERHOOD and A MOTHER..
I would reword what Sophia Loren said as

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always thinks in the line of her child, with the child and always for the child

Tuesday 24 July 2007

Cast your Caste

I read the disdain in my cousin's voice when she wrote of the angst of castism and the palpitating moments she went through in trying to build bridges between the so called castes. (read the article in the link http://divyadurgadas.blogspot.com/2007/07/holding-back.html). I was also quite astounded to see the conviction in her words not to confirm to the old world norms and be as she is.

"Bang " had gone down the phone when we called up a close friend to invite them for my wedding. "Who is the groom?" "Manoj Mathew". .... and the line went dead. I had been considered as the ambassador of brahminism as I knew (a) to recite lot of slokas, (b) learnt to put kolams and the likes of it. Perhaps it felt like a wrong number when they heard a Christian name as my would-be husband. As I expected more such vicious reactions, I made an instant decision not to invite anyone distantly linked to our family to avoid any such unwanted and unwarranted comments and spoilers to a happy occassion. After all no deviations from conventions are accepted with a smile???? !!!

The one who knows Brahmam is a Brahman", is what I read in a book some time back (name I am unable to recall) and also saw it being repeated vehemently in a Malayalam film "His Highness Abdulla". I have always mused on why we have contorted the intelligent division of labour to such demonic proportions. Who was responsible for the perpetration of belittling manual work??? This very idea was resounded in the Tamil serial "Enge Brahmanan" - "Wither Brahmin" wherein the producer tried to question the very base of who is truly a Brahmin. In today's world the "division of labour" no more exists and there is no TRUE BRAHMIN at all. The serial has been abruptly discontinued... I presume truth always hurts and takes time to sink in the true sense into the brain.

I truly believe in the division of labour due to which the classes of people were made - Kshatriyas - people who chose to be warriors and security personnel; Brahmans - who chose to be learners, teachers and academicians; Vysyas - who chose to be traders; and Shudras - who chose not to do heavy work but simple routine manual work. We were also taught the same division of labour in our school times too. Man is an animal and it showed in the transformation of the thought proces of this division of labour. The whole division was compartmentalised with no permission for crossing over, ideas of "HIGH" and "LOW" emerged, which started the churnings of the "CASTE" storm which even today has not subsided. Perhaps, brain development gets restricted to one sphere when concentration is paid only to one aspect over years ; for Brahmins considered themselves more learned than Kshatriyas, Kshatriyas considered themselves more valiant and brave than Brahmins, Vysyas thought all the rest were foolish in dealing with finances and money ...and the Shudras were shunned by everyone as menial and cursed by GOD ... What an irony !!!! ...

Sadly, even today the storm of castism has not subsided... It is camouflaged in different forms and shapes. While all the forces in the country talk of ending castism, involuntarily all of them are contributing to widening the gap - Reservations, concessions, special financial aid - all add to the already brewing fire. As a bubbling college girl I had furiously questioned Mr. Seshan the erstwhile Election Commissioner "Why reservations and concessions if we really have to end Casteism?" Pat came the reply .."You have to pay for what your forefathers deprived others" ...TRUE... I was reminded of the wording, "Whatever you do in life, you will surely get the rewards and returns for it. If not today, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a hundred years. But you will surely be rewarded. Nature must pay off the debt. It is a mathematical law and all life is mathematical " Seshan was right...the mathematics of life was equalizing.....

So, is there never an end to this quagmire???? Will half the population go through "crest" when the rest go through the "trough" and the cycle keep repeating times immemorial???? Can there be a change..??? Yes perhaps... quietly and slowly ... by being YOU and let others be (as my cousin said)... Till the mathematical law equalizes, treat all human beings as individuals, look at differences in individuals as differences in living, upbringing, beliefs and respect the differences not just the similarities. If you feel you can create a bridge between the two rivers of faith, thought, practices, habits, ideologies...be it... and silently change the thought process.. No new venture, no innovation, no breaking of conventions has ever been received with a smile... But success always has no barriers... and success in this quiet process only, can be the slow and singular step towards a boundary less society...

Thus began OUR first step in this direction on 15 November 2004... Manoj and me... We had our cultural, upbringing, social and societal differences... but without disdain to any, WE have been fortunately, silently been able to tide through them fairly successfully. Another silent step was taken on 16 September 2006 when our son was born and we were asked to write the caste. We wrote "Indian"... Perhaps if the trend continues our son will write "HUMAN"....May be this is what my cousin meant "Let them be and us be" ......

Monday 18 June 2007

Pitter Patter Rain Drops...

The clouds rolled and coagulated to blackness getting itself in ready mode for the downpour. The gentle swishes of the wind started strengthening and gained momentum moving the tress and plants adding a little ferocity. The gentle rays of the morning sun dimmed its intensity to complement the dark clouds. I was reminded of the tamil song with libretto meaning "The clouds are getting darker...and the rain is peeping to fall down"... Yes...the atmosphere was all set for the music of Pitter - patter.....

My heart thumped amidst all the perspiration and the glass-like covering it had created on my face giving it a glazed look.... The gentle wind caressed my face and carried my loose hair in a backward swish.... As I closed my eyes and tilted my head towards the sky to feel the cool showers...the beginning drops of the soother after the scorching summer, my face tingled with an electric shock of the force of the first droplet of water .... 1...2...3... there started the much awaited cascade ....
Every rain after the summer transports me to the unforgettable teenage days when all three sisters were together - each of us either studying and/or working and holding strongly to our dreams of great tomorrows. Little pleasures were never forgotten to be enjoyed. Inevitably, I would be having my cost accountancy examinations when the first spell of rain used to arrive and my two sisters would much jump out to the verandah to drench themselves amidst the wails of amma "Don't wet the floor of the house when you get back in. Clean your legs well when you come in!!!" Amma always had the unconventional knack of seeing the cleaner side of things in any matter.... I would always be be ambivalent with my heart tugging to go out but my mind pulling me back to study for the exams. Every time I would do the balancing act of setting a mark to study before I miss the fun and dash out to also get the thrill of the water soaking you...
It used to be a celebration when the rain waned...the cavalcade of the three musketeers inspected by amma.... and the race to occupy the wash rooms to change to crispier clothes and devour the hot pakodas, bondas and hot steaming tea... there was no dearth of brewing tea those days... you want a break it was tea... you want to vent your anger...there was tea... you want to relax ..there was tea.... God knows how many cups of tea my little sister would have brewed for all of us ....
"Brr...Brr......... gurgled my little darling and waved his hand in abject mirth seeing the water cascading down to the earth.... and as though reading my thoughts of my cherished moments waved his hand at me wanting to come out with me..... Yes...its now going to be his turn ...and I guess we three sisters will relive those yesteryear moments once again with our mini models.

Thursday 14 June 2007

Whew..... What a Boggling Blog.....

I suddenly felt outdated reading some blogs and how well they had been creatively designed. It was a precursor to feeling "OLD" in the proverbial sense of the word. It felt like being out of sync or out of gear with the current trends. With my innate passion for writing, I decided that I shall create my blog and get down to business- truly the business of writing.
With the latest innovations in Internet and WEB tools its so easy in steps 1-2-3 to create a blog...I have little clue who would read it... (Psst... if you are, I am blessed....) but I wanted to create a page that would look different. the search for the kind of template that would reflect my persona was not easy... it took me time and also understand and learn how to install a new type of file. Although mind boggling, it was nevertheless a refreshing learning experience.
I am still at grips to learn and assimilate what more I can do to decorate my blog.. how I can gimmick it so as to make it more attractive. However, it is but the best way to push myself to keep writing... Writing what comes to my mind....
I am reminded of those days in college when I was extremely passionate about ink pens and nice quaint looking diaries... be it waiting for the bus, or waiting in between the next lecture classes, the diary and my pen gave me immese relief in killing time .. ... I wonder if anyone except me would have read those quixotic thoughts processed in-between the recess and lectures, the bus stop muddles etc and penned down in my diary... ... Times have changed... Boggling it may be to create a blog that satisfies you.... but somewhere , some one is likely to bump into your blog and read it too.... One never knows, do editors, scribes also read all this.... perhaps its easy spotting talent these days... Or is it not??? Too much in the glass bowl ???? !!!
Ironically, although I am a hard core loyalist of the pen and paper as I feel that nothing stays longer than paper, I have convinced my mind to write something whenever I can... Is it the environmentalist streak in me to preserve more tress???? Or it is the techno geek in me who wants to experiment and feels that Yes..I am with the world ..and I know to BLOG...
What ever it is...the credit goes to the blogging site that has instigated me write ...on a "REGULAR" basis... SO till i get bogged down by blogging.... ITS HAPPY BLOGGING...