Writing is precious and priceless therapy. All posts dealing with the act of writing or the forms and styles of writing will be published under this category.

They were all human

The more intelligent life ran a series on inspiring women. Women reputed in their chosen line of work were asked to write a few lines about other women who have inspired them. 12 women , 12 very different personalities, ranging from a nun, a chef, a women’s right advocate  to a paraplegic.

Each story spoke of courage, of strength, of passion and resolve. Some of the 12 women went through traumatic , tumultuous events in their earlier lives. However they did not let themselves be victimized by it. Instead like the  iconic phoenix they rose from the ashes and reinvented their lives.  A few of them where blessed with ‘normal’ lives. Yet they choose to still change their lives so that it could be of service to others.

The ones that really struck a chord with me were the ones who neither reinvented their lives nor pushed out of their comfort zone, but the ones who had a passion and followed it through. Earlier I thought it a  banal exercise to write or read about such common place achievement. Sure every one has a dream. I had one too. To write. What’s noteworthy about a passion?I never did ponder beyond that.

Through the major part of 2012 (all, save for  the trialing months) I worked hard to write regularly. Unlike my preconceived notion writing was not as easy as sitting in front of the computer and tapping away at the keys. I had painful days when the muse fairy refused to show up.

That was when I started rethinking my definition of a banal exercise. Unlike most of the courageous women in that list I have had a very normal early life and  I do not see a radical shift in that trend in the future. And like a few of the women on the list I am a very ordinary person with a passion but unlike them I have not made an attempt to swim against the current to get where I want to go. I have let the currents take over more times and one.

But the one saving grace that I have ( and so do every one reading this)  is that like ALL of the women in that list I am also human. Which means like them I have the same 24 hours of the day. The rest of the ingredients comes from within a person. External events  are merely like meanders of a river, they only shape the flow while the river still heads towards the sea.

So why this long soliloquy? It’s just to tell you ( convince myself rather) that in 2013 I am going to treat nothing as banal.  I will be looking at everything with a fresh pair of eyes. I just wanted to drop a ( more than one ) line to tell you that in 2013  I am going to find my inspiration from common place things and common people!

T0 2013 Ahoy!


Categories: Everything Else, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

[WAH] The whirling Dervishes

“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. 
It doesn’t matter. 
Ours is not a caravan of despair. come,
even if you have broken your vows a thousand times.
Come, yet again , come , come.

– Rumi


Watching a whirling dervish ceremony is an experience. I would not necessarily classify it as a spiritual one. But it sure does make you wonder about God.

You can read my article on the Dervishes here.


Categories: Asia, Europe, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

[WAH] Up in the Air

The first ever edition of Lonely planet India magazine had for its cover hot air balloons over Cappadoccia. That was the first time I had heard of the place. There was an article on Cappadocia too.  I never read that article. That was way back in February 2010.

Fate has it that I have my very own pictures of hot air balloons over Cappadocia and what do you know, I have an article to go with it.

Our ride was not a smooth one. It came with a bundle of hiccups!

You can read it here.

Adventure is out there!

Categories: Asia, Travel, Writing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Giving voice

There are always two sides to a story. Not necessary that one of them has to be the wrong side and at the same time not necessary that either of them have to be right.

Sometimes all you have to do, all you can do is give voice to the characters. I have been working on a piece for a long time.  It was not an easy one. It took me months to actually put it in down in words and maybe because it may take me more months to figure out who is in the wrong and who is in the right here!

You can read it here.

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India: Her women Vs her tigers

[It is said that once you have something to say, you cannot ever hide it within yourself. I think it might be true.This write up has been sitting among other unsaid stories for a long time.
To clarify, I am not a feminist and please do not get me wrong, I am all for the conservation of tigers. Having said that I would like to point out that to me a human life comes before all else.]
On July 9th 2012, a young girl was publicly abused on the streets of Guwahati in North East India by a group of about 20 men. A media personal happened to be there with his camera. He did not attempt to save her or call for help. On the contrary he filmed the scene while the men molested the girl. “She was drunk” was his way of defending his action or rather lack thereof.
The police did get there, eventually. They took the girl away for questioning, leaving the perpetrators behind to relive their  act through the footage which was aired time and again by the  local news channel the cameraman represented.A few days later the footage was picked by a national television network. The outrage it provoked forced the Guwahati policemen to break out of their inertia and round up possible suspects.Around the same time as the assault on the girl’s life the Supreme court of India passed a law banning tourism to the core tiger reserve area in India over growing concern in the decline in the number of tigers. The latest census by WWF estimated that there are 1411 tigers left in India. “Whatever statistics may say, fact remains that the tiger  population in the country has practically diminished” stated the Supreme Court bench.
This was met with praise.  Environmentalist applauded the supreme court’s decision.A great victory for the tigers of India.The state ministries were quick to communicate and execute the order.
Thanks to this  the tigers of India will be free to roam their natural habitat, prey upon weaker animals, live a carefree life while the forest personnel keep a close watch on them. Indeed a great victory for the Indian tigers.The standard of living for a tiger in India looks promising. But what about India’s women?A  group of gender experts rated India as  the worst (G20)country to be a woman. Saudi Arabia was ranked higher.
The  survey by the National Census board (2011) it was estimated that there were only 842 women for every 1000 men in India. A sharp decline from the 932 estimated in the 2001 Census. Yet no law makers are clamouring to pass laws to arrest this decline.  They are not even talking about amending the current laws which largely favours the abuser.

Women in India are plagued by a multitude of social issues. It starts right from conception. The preference for sons has fueled the exponential growth of illegal abortion clinics that have mushroomed around the country.  Those poor souls lucky enough to survive the foeticide then have an array of depravities to choose from; abuse, rape, harassment, murder.

Most of the cases of crimes against women go unreported due to the social stigma that is associated with the crime. Only a fraction of it are reported. Of that fraction a portion of it run as  headlines of rape, murder,torture and other insensitive acts almost on a weekly basis.

Why is that the tigers in India get preferential treatment when the women  cannot travel by public transportation without fear of being groped, or preyed upon by indecent men? Why is that when forest personnel can keep vigil for the tigers, the policemen of the NCR( National Capital region) issues a statement blatantly stating that they will protect the women up to 8 pm and after that they step out at their own risk?

A general offence against the tigers under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, attracts a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment or a fine of up to  to Rs. 25,000 or both.  While in the largest democracy in the world, a lone girl had to wait for a couple of days for the wheels of  justice to be set in motion ,when it had taken less than an hour to irrevocably damage her life.If charged her perpetrators will serve up to a year in prison or pay a fine, maybe both.In the eyes of the Indian law the crime of the perpetrators is merely ‘insulting or outraging the modesty of a woman”.
The sad part is, the fine they may pay will be less than the Rs. 50,000 ( Approx $890) that has been promised her in compensation for the ‘misfortune’.

Is the comfort of a tiger worth more in the eyes of the law than that of the life of woman?

Categories: Everything Else, Writing | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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