One day you will be weak and the other side strong..

As I grow older, I look around me and see equations changing, tables turning. Its just a matter of may be 2 or 3 decades but one thing that I notice is people who were young, powerful and with authority once have become older now and ones whom they dominated have grown young and powerful. Now that child is a young person and the young person is more or less powerless and repentant (might not admit though!)

The authoritarian can be a parent, a teacher, a relative, a boss, a neighbor, someone with more power, money, beauty and good health. They forget nothing remains permanent, that change is the only constant. The damage that they do is forgotten by them, but not by the one who bears the brunt of that damage. Someone prettier and richer than you might have mocked you and now he/she might have lost that youth, beauty and power. A parent who might have been emotionally or physically detached or abusive wants the grown-up child to shower him/her with love and emotions.

Don’t push away people and relations when you are at your prime. Don’t let your ego ruin everything. Some day you will lose your prime and the one who was weaker will be in his/her prime. Those lost years, damaged relations, hurt and bruised hearts won’t just mend magically. Be good, be nice when you have all the energy, money, youth, beauty and time because by the time you realize your follies it might be too late to mend the broken hearts and relations.

Moral police..!

The entire country has become a moral police. They are behaving as if they don’t know about drugs. Look around you; youngsters and general public are taking drugs and that’s a reality. Look within you..are you treating women/men/children in your life and around well, are you free of gender bias, are you sure you don’t indulge in manipulation and deceit, are you sure you are not fake, are you sure you don’t yell and abuse, are you sure you don’t smoke, drink, or have other vices, are you sure you don’t body shame, victim shame, child shame, back bite and so on?

Movie stars should never be considered as role models. Its the people within the family and around us who are better role models. Before judging anyone else, pehle apne girebaan mein jhaanko. A strong character is much more than drug abuse.

Maa to Maa hoti hai..!


A mother is shown wearing a crisp cotton saree, hair tied in a bun or plait, her eyes always wet with tears, running around the house like a robot, never shown resting or indulging in her own hobbies, who never eats with her family, being accused and mistreated by everyone including her children, sacrificing till she dies, cooking and cleaning for her grown-up son (daughters are groomed to be like their mothers and hence don’t need to be pampered) and then the tagline:
Maa to Maa hoti hai.

Reality: A mother like me with colored cut hair, seldom wearing saree,who likes to rest and pursue her own interests, who will not take any rude behavior from her children and cry in the bathroom, who will teach both her son (yes!) and daughter cooking, cleaning and being self-reliant, who will not sacrifice unnecessarily, who alone doesn’t take the onus of keeping relations alive, who likes to share pizza and chocolates with her children, who wants everyone to know the fact that no one should take a woman/mother for granted and yes I too deserve and justify the tagline of
Maa to Maa hoti hai

This is for all the makers and loyal viewers of regressive Hindi and regional serials which are immensely popular.

Change is the only constant

People posting from their Smartphones “Our childhood was so good” or “The olden days kitchen and women were so good”..what’s stopping you from doing the same?

Discard your mobile, laptop, and do the same for your children.Discard all the electronic gadgets in the kitchen and shun the gas pipeline and go back to good old chulha. Allow your children to run around freely without asking them where they are! Buy only 2 sets of clothes for yourself and your children and give them gifts only on birthdays. Shun social media.

Its doable, isn’t it? So, if you can do all this, only then lament about how good the bygone era was and how our kids have a not-so-great childhood. Accept the fact that times change, we evolve.

Experience is the best teacher

I remember when I was newly married my brand new husband had called his friend for dinner and he wanted me to make rajma-chawal. We had an arranged marriage and I was hesitant to tell him that I didn’t know how to make rajma! My mother mostly used to cook Bengali cuisine and rarely made rajma, so I had no idea how rajma was made.I put rajma beans in the cooker and even after 10 whistles I saw that the rajma wouldn’t soften. I had no idea that rajma needed to be soaked for 6-7 hours before being cooked. As expected, dinner was a total disaster. My husband and his friend didn’t utter a word and ate silently.

Eventually, my husband taught me how to make rajma, chole, matar paneer and 18 years into our marriage now he says I make these dishes better than him.New relationships are quite similar. They need time, experience, and patience. Had my husband showed his annoyance that day, I might have totally lost the zeal to learn a new dish.

As they say, experience is the best teacher. We learn to strike the right balance in all the relationships like we add salt and other masalas without measuring as years go by. Life is like that, the more we experience, the more we it cooking, relationships, or anything!.

Few feisty women

I was quite young and I vaguely remember the hot topic of discussion in the late 80s, Neena Gupta’s pregnancy. There were a lot of speculations about the father as Neena wasn’t married. It was a blasphemous act to do, still it is, and it was a big deal in those times. Those weren’t the days of social media, so only film magazines and newspapers provided the gossip and masala. When she gave birth to Masaba, it was not difficult to guess who the father was because of Masaba’s physical traits.

Neena Gupta was judged even though the fact remains that she raised her daughter as a strong single mother and the so-called society didn’t help her out! Of course, criticism was ample. Masaba herself went through a lot of ordeal because she looked “different”, because her parents weren’t married. Well..present day she is a successful designer and a brand name.
Masaba Masaba on Netflix revealed her acting genes that she has inherited from her very talented mother, apart from inheriting her strength. I loved her confidence, the way she carried herself, and of course what she wore. This is applicable for both mother and daughter.
When a woman is single, divorced, widow, or someone who is like Neena Gupta who want to live life on their own terms the society is quick to judge and criticize. No one pays a single penny for their survival or shares their anxieties or sorrows. When you can’t help them, better not criticize them or their choices.

Loved Neena and Masaba Gupta in the series. Loved the feisty ladies.

“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.”

Few marks here and there won’t matter that much, integrity will. Parents who are helping their children during online exams are really setting a bad example. They won’t be around their kids always and serve shortcuts for problems of life in a platter. It’s really unfair to the kids who work hard and are true to themselves.

As it is said, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” Let the kids not question this quote’s truth!

Ageing is a privilege

Scrolling through TV channels yesterday, stopped at Life Of Pi and watched Irrfan doing a tremendous job. It made me sad once again as I realized how soon we had lost a great actor, how a life was cut short. He could have given so many more great performances, seen his sons grow, had a good old age with his wife.

During my post-graduation, I had a great friend and lab partner who wanted to get married early and was full of life. A car crash just before our final exams cut her life short. Had she been alive today, she would have been one of my friends who would have grown older with me.
When I have the flare-up of my autoimmune condition, I simply pray that I shouldn’t be having a painful old age and shouldn’t survive that long. But again, the desire and greed to see my children young and doing well in their life, the desire to grow old with my husband, the desire to go for an all girls trip with my friends, the desire to fulfill some of the wishes from my bucket list wants me to live more.

As it is said, “Growing old is a privilege denied to many.” There have many who couldn’t grow old with their spouse, couldn’t see their children grow up, left with many unfulfilled wishes. We should simply take each day as a blessing, no matter how tough some days are. At least, we are present in our loved ones life, at least we are thriving..

Shhh..Sex is a dirty word..

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I remember when I was a child, Doordarshan was the only channel.  It was a complete family channel, but whenever there were ads of Nirodh (condom) or Mala-D (birth control pills), channel would be switched, suddenly everyone would become busy, or kids would be asked to fetch water.  Those ads were simple, un-raunchy ads.  Of course, every child would ask the most asked question, “What is Nirodh?  What is Mala-D?”  As usual, no explanation.  Either the kids would be asked to keep shut or the topic would be changed.  Years later, same thing would happen whenever there was an ad of sanitary napkins.  I also remember how uncomfortable parents and other elders would get if there was a kissing scene. Many of the girls of my generation believed for a long time that kissing or simply touching a boy causes pregnancy!

We are Indians and sex is still a dirty word.  Also sex is something which is strongly associated with “character”, especially of the girls.  Funnily, we are the world’s second largest population and we pretend as if sex doesn’t exist. 

I remember long back I had heard an incident where the bride on the first night of her wedding had created a ruckus because she felt her husband was a “bad man” who was trying to touch her.  Others were embarrassed, but imagine the plight of a young naïve bride who till then was told to stay away from boys as their touch was “bad” and one fine night was expected to consummate with again a stranger (arranged marriage in the 60s).

When a 10 or 11-year-old would ask, “How are babies born or where did I come from?” the standard answer would be “God gifted you to me” or again the child would be given some strange answer.  Unlike West, even in these times all schools don’t impart knowledge about body, hormones, sex, contraceptives, menstruation, safe and unsafe touch. 

When puberty hits the Indian children, they have so many questions.  Their bodies change, their minds change, and they start getting attracted to the opposite sex.  They have questions about menstruation.  But where do this confused children get the right knowledge from?  Parents shy away or rebuke them.  Most Indian parents still believe that their growing-up kids are “asexual” beings!  They ask them to study or play instead of thinking about the “dirty” stuff.  Studying or playing won’t suppress the feelings and questions, will they?  Often kids start getting half-baked and sometimes dangerous information from their peers and porn websites.  I still get to read how parents are upset and horrified when they catch their children watching porn.  Instead of talking with them, they punish the kids by hitting, scolding, taking away their mobile, or locking them in the room.

When a word is ingrained as dirty and bad in the minds of young children, it’s very difficult for many of them to relate sex as something pleasurable, natural or basic desire of human body as adults.  Many men and women believe it as a means of procreation and not pleasure.  They still don’t know or are uncomfortable opening up about their desires even with their spouse of many years.  For many women, it’s just a “wifely” duty.

As girls hit puberty, they are made to believe that their developing bodies need to be hidden, they are shamed about it.  They are made to believe that the fault lies in their bodies and not the pervert male gaze.  They are asked to stay away from boys/men and one fine day asked to surrender themselves completely to a stranger in an arranged marriage setup.

Now let’s come to another aspect, virginity.  For most Indian girls, the parents and the society makes them believe that the biggest virtue or character certificate of a girl is her virginity.  That’s her test of “purity”.  No matter how educated, qualified, compassionate, smart the girl is, nothing matters more than her virginity.  Of course, boys are exempted from this as they are “boys with raging hormones”!  Girls can’t and don’t have “raging hormones” they?  If a girl decides to have sex before marriage, she is labelled as loose, slut, whore, girl with no morals or values. 

Times are changing and parents are opening up with their kids, but still a large population is bound by the age-old shackles and taboos related to sex.  What stops our country; the world’s second most populated country with so many rape and molestation cases, child sexual abuse, marital rapes, etc.; to shun the taboo related to sex?  Why is the word dirty associated with this word?  What stops parents from talking to their kids about sex, body, hormones without any hesitation or embarrassment?  Our society believes that talking to the children about sex will corrupt their minds.  On the contrary, not talking to them or imparting them with the right knowledge pushes them to have unrealistic and wrong information.

I have a teen son and a preteen daughter and both I and my husband talk to them about body, sex, consent and this has helped, both them and us.  A lot of crimes will stop if female body is not made to believe just as an object by our patriarchal society, where sex still is only a man’s privilege and a girl’s shame.  Proper communication can break a lot of taboos.

Let’s break this cycle of associating sex as dirty, taboo, or a stamp of morality.  Let the children grow up loving and respecting their and others’ bodies.  Let everyone talk about sex as a normal topic rather than in hushed and giggled conversations.

The more we brush sex under the carpet as taboo, the more dangerous it becomes. Let’s break the silence..

What an advice!

Women getting abused emotionally and physically, getting molested, getting mansplained, having depression, postpartum depression, difficult spouse, issues with children, people maligning her reputation, in-laws making life hell, parents, husband or in-laws curbing her independence and dreams, etc., etc…She asks for advice from others people or women’s groups and you know what wonderful advice most of the times she gets…


Really? These things won’t bring back her happiness, zeal to live, or give her strength to confront people who make her life hell. We ask women to ignore and that’s what generations of women keep doing and teaching and the cycle continues..