8/15/2006

ignorant

Just realised i know so bloody little about blogging. For example;
1- still don't manage to put the pic into the text (don't laugh at me)
2- don't know how to put my FAV blogs as links...blast!
3- don't know to put the link to another site into my text...(am i a moron??)

As you can see...i am seeking educated help. Specially for the Masters. Isn't there a 'Blogging for Dummy's' sort of website or book?

The only redeeming factor in all this is that i am a decent learner, and a good student. Try me.

8/14/2006

why do we want a parliament?

Its crazy the way the parliamnet is discussing Natwar and oil and his sinister offspring. What happened to all the discussion that is needed on health, education, hunger, rape, human rights violations in prisons, farmer suicides?

Or maybe the parliamnet can just discuss the senility of the ludicrous and leave the real buisness of running the country in the hands of people who really want to.

The CNN-IBN poll, for whatever it is worth, did highlight that nearly one third of the country still faces hunger. This after the hill were shreeded of vagetation to grow food during the 'green revolution'? This when we spend enormous sums of money storing surplus food grains? So why isn't Parliamnet discussing hunger in the land of plenty?

The mediocrity of the parliamnet does not represent the excellence that india stands for. What good is having a parliament?

8/06/2006

For Anjali. For Ajay. Many love!

I've been good.
Have made the best i could of very busy days organising my ever-growing staff into doing fruitful work. They have responded with crazy vigor.

I've managed to find a flat for my parents. Cheap, large, marbled and ready to move in. Bought it. Parents refuse to move in. Let's say they refuse to move out of where they are, of where they have lived their past 50 years and have planted coconut trees and are used to eating the mangoes that grow in their backyard and pluck a juicy lemon right before a lazy lunch. Change is traumatic.

Have been grappling with the loss of my music teacher.

Have also met some of the most committed and aginst-the-orthodoxy (of the regular NGO world) people - who have revived my faith in the devpt sector. Some people are really answering their calling.I've been travelling, training, writing position papers, getting large groups of people who hate each other to start to see the other end of the rainbow as their own...struggling but not failing. These are people who live in remote districts, having meetings with local village heads in lantern light and mosquito bites, many of them men whose families have started complaining of abject neglect, and many of them women who carry their tiny childern to meetings with the District Collector.

Just came back from the hills. The clouds brushed past the car many times on my way down to Delhi. I've been good, guys! Well, not thrilled but okay.

7/24/2006

another bit of bad news

A very dear friend's wife just discovered she has breast cancer. She 40. 2 kids. Breast removal operation has happened. many months of chemo to follow apparently. have been shocked to hear the news.

maybe i shld stop smoking. ha ha

have not visited her. the though of a hospital is scary. that smell is scary. have hid behind quiet sms messages.

wierd that within hours of hearing of this - i was watching Sex and the City - and one o the girls announces she has breast cancer. Bah!

7/23/2006

lost music

Just got news from mum, that my music teacher passed over. Kidney failure. Diabetes. Barely 60 yrs old.

She taught me music through almost 10 years. Distinctly remember my first ever lesson with her - in Raag Yaman. Taught in a room crowded with old trunks, piled one over another...a corner full of every picture of gods and goddesses that ever arrived at the house...a shiny, looked after set of 2 tanpuras in another corner,one small one and another full size. We sat on the floor on a finely woven cool chatai, the edges sowed in with strips of colourful cloth to make the work of art last longer. An old german harmonium betwen me and Mashimoni, my name for her. Mom sat on the only chair in the room, a bit in the dark corner. The room was lit with one kerosene lantern and one candle...a regular response to 'load-shedding'.

Mashimoni asked if i had brought my music notebook, which in subsequent years i used to often 'forget' on purpose to display my displeasure at being hauled in to 'waste' my time doing this 'boring music thing'. Yes, i had, that cool september evening. She then found a pen lying in that groove on the harmonium. In impeccable hindi she wrote the bandish and the 'swaralipi' (music notation). I have been looking at those notes from 20 years back today. Precious.

Mum and i used to take a rickshaw to come to Mashimoni's house. It was at her house that i first saw a real 'kuan'...a water well. It was Mashimoni who taught me how to do Alpana on the floor for that elaborate celebration of Saraswati (goddess of music/learning) Puja.

Today, i also fel indebted to a blog - i needed to share these thoughts and found this safe space to do so.

7/22/2006

air hostess smile

Someone recently said, that most people he meets at meetings and workshops these days giv no more than the 'air hostess smile'. The genuine is no longer fashionable. Found that revealing.

The genuine is also scary - almost always. The naked is to be clothed.

4/15/2006

Working towards dignity and a full stomach

Dance bars in mumbai have been granted a lease of life. Those girls can now earn.
Some people argue that dance bars are the reason that wives cry at home ‘waiting for their husbands’, that young boys get polluted, that the morals of our ‘tradition’ are getting eroded. I think that’s just such a load of crap!

As long as people, men and women, can earn without causing harm to another person, their trade, whatever it might be, should be deemed legal and acceptable.

Don’t know how many of you have been to Sonagahchi, the Sex Work district of Calcutta. There are about 500,000 sex workers there…give or take some. They are battling to get dignity for their ‘labor’. Till sex work is legalized, they say, they cannot be deemed ‘workers’ – they cannot even get basic services like opening a bank account, getting a ration card, getting a voter id, getting chier children admission to schools, etc…stuff that any regular moron on the street, who supposedly does not trade sex for money, can. They want to knwo whether they share this country with us, as equal citizens.

The current debate about making clients of sex workers deemed as ‘criminals’ adds chaos to the already hungry terrain that a sex worker walks. The Indian govt says its doing this coz that way it can stop trafficking of women and children! Blah! Is the moral sanity of people overtaken by large doses of a profane and exploitative mindset…that is the question of this fuming debate.

Meanwhile, poor women who have not recourse will continue to sell sex or whatever they have to keep alive. Question is, will we ever be able to allow them the basic dignity of a ‘worker’….