What do I have to offer thee, Bean?

We bought a car last month. The Chevrolet Spark. (Cue for congratulations!) It was a crazy busy day with the kids coming back from G’Pa-Nana house and then rushing to office, then coming back, picking up the car and rushing off to drop Nana back on the train.

In all this, the car wasn’t celebrated as it was meant to be. No drive to temple or church, nothing. A friend asked me if we broke a coconut. No. Take it to church? No. But we got into the car and before starting, the OA and I closed our eyes almost on cue and said a little prayer… and then we were off. He dropped me home and rushed to a meeting in it. And that is how the new car was inaugurated. With love and hard work. Maybe this means the OA will do good business in this car. Fingers crossed. Do add your prayers to ours.

Don’t you want to teach your kids any customs and rituals and traditions, friends asked?

No. No, thank you. I don’t want to teach my kids anything that will become a cause for trouble later. I don’t want them to go through life believing that these are the important things. The things that must be done. That they must be done in a particular way. That a new car must have a coconut broken under a tire and driven to Church before any other place.  Because what starts off as a mere happy tradition is soon set in stone and the cause of war. Do good, be good and the rest is all just frills, IMHO.

The Bean turned 23 months on the 15th and I was just too tired to do a post. In a couple of weeks my daughter will be two years old. My gorgeous, feisty, intelligent, fun loving daughter with laughter that is music to my ears. And what is my gift to her? Life in a country where its okay to pull women out of pubs by their hair because they’re mixing with men of another religion. She is a product of that sort of a mixture. Her mother and father belong to two different faiths. They have moved so much beyond it to find commonalities. Hell, they don’t even get time to argue over such trivialities because they are so busy arguing over whether the Chevrolet Spark should be bought or the Hyundai i10. Whether it’s better to use a locker at ICICI or SBI. Whether the Bean should start school in March or April.

I have never been part of any community and blogging was the first time I understood what it meant to be part of a gang of people. One of the other times I have understood what it means to be a community is when I meet other couples like ourselves. Who think like us, who have discarded man made barriers of caste and creed to follow their hearts. To marry people they really like – not just because they happen to be of the same community.

The other day the OA and I were waiting in a queue in the bank and in front of us a couple were opening a joint account. They stood ahead of us and like us were discussing their day. The itinerary. Like the OA and me they argued over who locked the door. Whether the TV was left on or not and much more that I really can’t remember. And then as is normal at a PSU bank – the guy at the counter went off for a tea break. The queue broke and we all scrambled around his desk. And as I stood there sticking pictures and signing forms in triplicate, I noticed their form. He was a Mohd something and she was something Sharma. They were filling up forms for a joint account. I nudged the OA and grinned. It might seem rather pathetic, but we’re in such a minority. People like us. And then to hear that it’s couples like us being targetted – just breaks my heart.

When the OA and I were getting married, another inter-religious couple, friends of ours, were getting married too. Within days of their marriage notice going up in the lower court, they got calls from the VHP threatening to throw acid on their faces if they didn’t call it off. The OA and I promptly took our notice down and got married in my hometown.

I wish I could explain how low the whole incident brought us. As it is marriage is a huge decision and you have a 101 doubts as to whether it will work out alright. And when  you are marrying out of your community etc, you have so many more fears. When one or both sets of parents are against the union, it’s worse. And to then have someone totally unconnected – a political party  – jump into the fray and tell you that you’re doing wrong – just takes the cake. It hits too close home, it adds to your fears and it totally ruins what should be the most beautiful moment of your life. You step out of your home fearful of acid being flung in your face and instead of shouting from the rooftops about your love, you skulk around corners, looking out for attackers. How is it any party’s business whether I date a man from my community or not? Even my parents cannot stop me, as an adult, so who else really counts?

People watcher that I am – a few days ago I was waiting on the roadside when I saw a young college -going couple walk up to each other.  They came from two ends of the road and were walking towards each other. I saw them both and I just knew they were coming to meet each other. They smiled from across the road and as they neared each other you could see the sparks fly, stars come sparkling down and little flowers and hearts raining down on them. Well maybe not – but they may as well have been for all the love and chemistry you could see around them. To the exclusion of the rest of the road. They were in their own little bubble. And then as they met their bubbles merged and they went off together, without a word. And I could see why the Sri Ram Sene and the Shiv Sena want to break up happy couples. It’s good old plain jealousy. If you don’t have what these others do, you can’t let them enjoy it. With none of the charm or the finesse or youthful willingness to put your heart out there, with nothing to recommend them, these jobless, unloved, harsh young men and cranky old men, go around taking away from others, a pleasure they will never know. I see it, I understand where they are coming from, but I am damned if I will accept it.

So it is that, and the little matter of being a woman. For all that we love to hate each other, women across the world need to stand together. Stay together. Which is why despite being a teetotaller and a non-smoker, I stand by the rights of women across the world to smoke, drink, date men of other faiths and women too, for all I  care.

Friends who objected to the Pink Chaddi campaign wanted to know why women weren’t doing something bigger. Why not thrash those men. Because this is about more than violence. Its easy for these men to get violent. Heck – they are incapable of doing anything more than showing an animal like violent response. But how do I teach my child day after day, that violence is not the answer, if I myself take up arms and start beating people up everytime I disagree with the way they are going about something.

I was shocked to see women on other forums saying that while they disagree with the Sri Rama Sene’s violence – they believe that this is against Indian culture. Is culture not dynamic? Isn’t it made up of us? Are women not to decide what path they wish for their culture to take? Isn’t this just another form of violence against women that we so proudly say our country doesn’t experience? Someone left a comment a few days ago on my blog saying that they don’t want people to think that there are loads of young unmarried pregnant women in our villages. Well why not? It’s the truth. It may be a small percentage. But they do exist. As do sati, child marriage, female foeticide and infanticide. Violence has got to stop. Against people who choose to do thing differently to the way you do. Against people who are choosing to break away from something they don’t believe in.

Over the last couple of months the Taliban has been attacking school girls with acid. They’re lifting up their veils to disfigure their faces. Do their beliefs tell them its okay to unveil a young girl and attack her simply because she is getting an education?

A friend who sent me the link immediately after it happened, said – Thank God this doesn’t happen in India. No. It doesn’t. Maybe not the exact same thing – but the bottomline is the same. Five women have been attacked recently in Bangalore. Men attacking women for choices they are making. Men attacking women for walking out in jeans. Men attacking women for holding down jobs. Men attacking women for getting an education. Men attacking women simply because they’re women.

I want to catch all those sanctimonious auntyjis who believe they’re being very fair in saying – ‘Well, we don’t agree with the methods of the Sri Ram Sene/Taliban/VHP/ Shiv Sena, but do we really want our young women to sit around getting drunk at pubs?’ .. and shake them up.

Well, you know what auntyji? It’s none of your business what those young girls sit around doing on their own time and with their own money. And the day you tell some man that he has a right to dictate your choices (even non-violently), you’re walking down a slippery path. At your own peril. And he will attack you, even as you tuck your saree around your ample waist, get onto your scooty and head to your respectable administrative job after having made three meals for your family. Really. That day is not far.

Until that day…. I apologise my darling Beanie. You deserve so much more than this shitty state of affairs you’ve had the misfortune of being born into…

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Edited to add: I watched Dilli 6 last night. And loved it. It is an ode to Delhi and it’s always nice to see an ode to the city that has become your home. Coincidentally I was in the Delhi 6 area yesterday and it’s still awe-inspiring to wander through those lanes. Such a contrast to South Delhi with it’s flyovers, metros, high end malls and such.

I liked the movie. I don’t care what others have to say. I loved the song Rehna Tu. I loved it anyway, thinking it was a love song. And when I saw that it was a love song to Delhi – I loved it even more! The words so apt – thoda sa resham, thoda sa khurdara. There are so many movies that show Bombay at it’s best and each time I watch a movie that has even a teeny bit of Delhi in it, I am totally thrilled and jumping around in my seat! Yeah – star struck villager 😀

I don’t know where the movie went wrong, but it held my interest till the end and what brought it home is the times we live in. The frustrations of traffic stopping because of a cow crossing the road (if not giving birth)! The religious disharmony the country is seeing so much of… and most of all – the mixed Abhishek Bachchan. At some point, someone in the movie yells out ‘Aye 50-50. And I was like – that’s it. My children. 50-50. Someday some bigot with his head up his arse is going to say that to my children.

Some asshole is going to tell my kids that they can’t walk into this church or that temple because they don’t belong to either. Which is why we rarely visit either. No significant event in the house is given any religious connotation and their identity and celebrations are mostly just all about fun. Sigh. Lets see how it goes.

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52 thoughts on “What do I have to offer thee, Bean?

  1. I always have been a big cheerleader for India and for my hometown. But seeing the state of affairs now, I feel we are only regressing, and for the first time I am actually rethinking moving back to India. Yes, finally I have said it out loud.

    As far as those people who talk about “culture” are concerned, can someone please forward them the definition of culture?

    Culture: the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.

    Which means, we the people define the culture. Culture does not define us. So the Indian culture is what we Indians believe in today. It includes me and that Ram Sena guy. And today I can definitely say that the Indian culture is a culture of cowards who refuse to look forward and accept change. A culture where people try to hide their inadequacies in meaningless traditions and continually use religion to smear God and Her creations.

  2. hey – I liked dilli 6 too precisely for the reason you mention. I love Delhi and am thrilled at the movie showcasing the city so well. I am glad I found at least 1 more person who likes the movie. yay!

    About the main subject of the post – really weird you mention it ‘coz I have been thinking the exact same thing recently. I have always thought I want to raise my kids in India. I want my children to grow up amid the sights and sounds I grew up with. I want them to recognize the smell of jasmine flowers, the thrill of lighting up the house on diwali, the fun of community festivals like durga puja. And this Mangalore incident really made me think if I want to raise my daughter in a country where she might be beaten up for sitting in a pub?! For the record, I don’t have children yet but just thinking…

  3. If its not religion it’s colour. When will people learn to tolerate?
    I have been waiting to see a word on Delhi-6. I had a feeling you’d like it (hello, I’m your new best friend :-P) And I loved it too!!
    Just yesterday on the way home Rehna tu was playing in the car and R thought the song was about love (the emotion) while I kept telling him it’s about love for Delhi…
    same difference! Good to know you liked it 🙂

    Me: hello new BFF. yes. i liked the movie and i LOVE the song. i love this city too… it’s home now.

  4. You guys bought a Chevy!! Congratulations!!

    No wonder I heard yesterday that the GM guys were celeberating and even contemplating to refuse the request for US govt. bailout 🙂

    P.S.: Bahut rulaau post thee.. padh kar aisa laga jaise bachpan mein DD par koi Bharat Bhushan ki film dekh li ho

  5. I think religion is just a way to divide up people more. I was brought up in a no religion household, there was love, no ritual and I think I am just fine- despite my non-beliefs. The good thing is there is a lot more of us non-believers in a particular faith around- who keep their personal worship private as it should be. The goons who make up the uber fanatic section of society, though loud are far fewer than they pretend to be. And they are assholes.

    Me: you really think so? i hope you’re right.

  6. be hopeful MM. who knows, by the time your babies grow up…..the world may just become less dangerous, people less judgemental. Wishful thinking ha??? as you can see, i am an idealist!

    but it all boils down to you and OA…what you imbibe in them, the values, the principles and so far, what i see is commendable. keep it up!

    I heard the songs of Delhi 6 are very good. Are they? I am so behind hindi movies….i need to catch up.

  7. MM,
    I’ve missed your long heart-felt posts. You hit the nail on the head with this line:

    “With none of the charm or the finesse or youthful willingness to put your heart out there, with nothing to recommend them, these jobless, unloved, harsh young men and cranky old men, go around taking away from others, a pleasure they will never know.”

    –NW

  8. I admire you for writing this post. Happy b-day to thee bean. 🙂

    I have been playing Delii6 soundtrack for weeks now. Rehna tu is one of my favorite song from that movie. 🙂

  9. you do know in my case you are “preaching to the converted” so was reading and nodding along.
    but I have to digress on the 50/50 bit yara, after the family tree you sent me arent they 20-30-40-5-5?!!

    Me: ROFL. you’re right. they’re way beyond 50-50!!!

  10. Your children are lovely and you guys are doing a spectacular job with them. I am sure they can deal very maturely and immaculately if anyone who hassles them…

  11. I so agree with you on the women thing. When are we going to wake up and realise that unless we stand firm and support each other and be proactive about stopping it, the violence is going to come to our doorstep? And when are we going to stop being our own worst enemy?

    I think the pink chaddi campaign was interesting and irreverant but I’m not sure it was effective. The hitherto unheard of Sri Ram Sene was looking to get famous and iit did, and the pink chaddi thing helped their agenda in terms of publicity. What’s spurring them on is not “jealousy” of lovers, it’s politics. Their decision to go down the conservative path is political, and they are tapping into what those auntyjis and so many more actually believe. They wouldn’t have a soapbox if they didn’t have an audience. The Sri Ram Sene doesn’t even need to believe all the stuff they are saying themselves, as long as other people do and the media gives them their turn in the spotlight.

    Who we should be really pissed with it is the police. They are the ones to be held responsible for allowing something like this to happen.

  12. Wish you all Happy & Safe driving in your new Chevvy……..

    On the issue of VHP and others, I personally feel it is unfair to give them so much of public space….Organisations like them thrive on this popularity…their main aim is to gain popularity by indulging in acts of barbarism….they know that their is audience for their acts…..But then how to voice our dissent is the larger question….and I am still trying to find the best answer…..

    For sure, I am not gonna let these stray incidents of barbarism affect the future of my daughter…..I certainly won’t apologise to her for being born into the current state of affairs…..as we are part of her ecosystem, support system and we certainly have power to create/alter/destroy the ills in that system…..

    Alok
    http://myheartfeltmusings.blogspot.com/

  13. Argh. I wanna scream in anger when I put my mind to what’s happening around us. And apart from a post that says WTF to *culture*, I don’t do more that involves the larger community. Sigh. Do I even want to have kids in a messed up world like this!

  14. phew.. that was a long but interesting one. i wish darling Bean and all the other darlings get more out of her life and somehow these vices of society magically disappear. and i do believe in magic you see.

    something about mixed marriages, scientifically the children out of this unision are more intelligent and healthier than the ones who are from parents married in the same community. yes, many educated people are blind to this fact and oppose such things to happen but luckily we are in a city where it hardly matters which religion you belong to. all matters is who are you. isn’t that good?

    now about Delhi 6… i loved the songs and the first part of the movie, but somehow in the second part i lost interest. i felt it was shooted in sudden haste, throwing some dialouges here and there, something that could have been better was wrapped up in a haste. but i loved all the songs especially “sasural gainda phool”

  15. Hey good job! Nice little car. The i10 is in a slightly different segment, isn’t it?

    Me: Both were within our budget… but as usual i let the OA win !

    Good point, that jealousy. As I once read– a slut is someone who’s having more sex than you.

  16. yeah sad state of affairs, but I still see hope, bleak but still there :). And as for the bean, I don’t think I can say it better than this song,
    “Dikhla de thenga in sabko, jo udna na Jaane
    Udiyo, na Dariyo kar man mani manmani manmani
    Badiyo, na mudiyo kar nadaani…”

  17. I just loved your post from beginning to end…the acid threat your friends on the eve of their marriage was well..pathetic..sorry I dont have much words..Just a wish if people would just live their life and let others live theirs.

    Almost forgot..congratulations for the car..Btw swift vs i10 vs spark?

    Me: definitely i10. I dont have much to say about Chevy. the OA and I argued and i stand by the i10 if its within budget. i find the swift has very tacky interiors – plasticky looking. hyundai is great. we havent had any trouble with our other car, service is cheap. mileage is good. interiors are classier and not plastic looking…

  18. MM i loved rehna tu. and having not seen the movie took it entirely as a love song…and loved it for what i felt it said.
    🙂
    50/50 is funny 🙂
    used to be a show in pakistan in the 80’s. very saturday night live-ish.

    this one funny link. but they covered social issues then that haven’t really changed much. do check the other links to 50/50.

  19. Hi MM,

    Thought provoking… What is important is to pass on the being tolerant and secular to other religions. And standing by your values(esp non religious) in the face of ridicule or being commented upon by others in ones own fraternity.

    What is important is your giving a choice to brat and bean , not only to make their own decisions unhindered by other people’s views and also to stick to them.

    But at the same time be malleable enough to make a change in case one realizes that ur opinion/ viewpoint is different.

    Good luck

  20. I read this and just wanted to continue forever. I was just having a conversation a couple of weeks ago about this whole pink chaddi campaign, here in the U.S. where we take the right to go to clubs, wear whatever we want for granted and was surprised at how people were focusing more on the ‘vulgarity’ of the said campaign slash how they kind of understood the reasoning behind the shiv sena attacks because they didn’t want india to be westernized. There were so many facets of the problem with that thinking that I wanted to express, and just couldn’t because i was simply shocked. IMHO this beautifully expresses what I was thinking and I have to say I fervently hope for the day when people will be encouraged to live fearlessly without tradition and prejudice holding them back.

  21. Fun is divine MM, it is auspicious. God does want us to be happy and cheerful. And not fight stupid wars! And God is not just in temples or churches. It is in people’s laughter and shining eyes and everything else too. This is a lovely post. It tells about the person you are. It is pensive only because you don’t want borders on celebration. Please be more cheerful.

    Much love to you and your kids.

  22. You reaffirm my beliefs, MM. Thank you. How i wish i could get my parents to see this point of view, some day! Till then, i will hope..and wait for them to come around..
    Congrats on the car.. 🙂

    Me: someday i’ll get my dad to do a guest post on how he feels about both his children marrying hindus. you can mail them the link. 🙂 until then, all i have to offer is a hug and a symphathetic ear…

  23. Nice post! You know, I’ve always felt envious of friends who had a mixed parentage. I’ve observed that they’re more aware,open & generally fun to be around with (that’s just a personal opinion, so don’t take digs at me!) I guess the grass is always greener on the other side, because my family, even traced back to 5 generations on both sides is from the same community, how boring is that!!
    Your kids are getting the best of both worlds already, wait and watch…. they’ll turn out to be cooler than you can imagine !

    And you liked D-6, REALLY??? 😛

    Me: yes, really 🙂 biased you see, dilliwali that i am 😉

  24. Hey I’m so excited.. you bought Spark. Congrats. We own a Spark too. what color? Ours is icy blue 🙂

    I totally get your point on rituals causing war. We love our kids, they’ll grow up into intelligent, kind human beings who wouldn’t believe violence is the answer. We are doing our bit by raising them with some values and thoughts. They won’t go wrong. So don’t lose hope. Hugs.

  25. 🙂

    i LOVED Delhi 6 too and it really had nothing to diwth delhi in my case! i was bawling my eyes out and smsing M that i am even more sure i NEVER wanna leave India. oh and the music! was humming dilli hai mere yaar foreva! 😀

    and i so agree with you over religion and rituals bit. they really arent important enough unless they bring you together and let you have fun with friends and family.

    i have always held my beliefs that rituals have scrwed up religion by making us equate thema nd giving them undude importance.

    the ONLY thing I now wish can hand down as tradition is the food! but i am far too average a cook for that.

    so yes, be and good, do good and rest will follow is pretty much the philo we follow! just the way my parents did! we didnt even know kaunse bhagwaan ki photo hai ghar mein!

    as for the SRS kinda people. with us bringing up the new generation, things will only get better. i am tired of people putting the onus of crime on victims rather than perpetrators…

    i find one of M’s comments on my post very relevant here. will just copy paste it.

    “You know the funniest thing is that these morons actually make us debate, justify and protect something that doesn’t need any justification in the first place. That’s where they win!

    Like, MNS made people say that yes the violence was wrong but then some bhaiyyas are quite rude and dirty. Bush made people say that US had no business to destroy Iraq and Afghanistan but then Saddam was a bad guy too. Now, SRS has made us justify how and why we are friends with the opposite sex. In other words, if it were more than platonic, if there was a hint of harmless flirtation, the lynching and beheading would be justified.

    Just like Saddam’s murder was justified.

    The point is not whether ‘ek ladka ladki kabhi dost nahin ho sakte’ or not; the point is that governments today– be it Congress in MH, BJP in KA or RJD in BR— have laid the onus of crime on the victim rather than the hooligan.”

    hope and education should make things better! 🙂

    Happy 23rd Bean! You rock! 🙂

    cheers!

  26. Congrats on the Spark! I think I love the Spark headlights way better than i10!

    After the Mangalore incident, then the Bangalore attack for wearing jeans and modestly covering a sleeveless top with a shrug, and worse still for wearing a Burkha to college. I wonder where is this leading to! Now its not about modesty, its about being too covered. Its just about touching and harassing a weak victim! Everyday i read the news or a blog entry on something similar I wonder what can be done, and I come up with just one answer – No one is going to do anything, be it politically inclined, or for fear of anything else, we need to start learning self defense.

    I am also re-thinking whether I want to have my daughter( whenever I do, and yes I want a daughter) in such a country and a place which is in a way changing to be so different from what I know it to be.

  27. 🙂 Awww… thanks… you think he can do it in the next month or two? Kidding, but yes, would love to hear what your dad has to say, given the whole Tamil, Christian background and things that my dad would be able to relate to… thanks, MM…

    Me: For you Rox, anything!!

  28. COngratulations on the car!:)

    grew up in an atheist/Hindu environment so its kinda like I ham neither here nor there..dont believe in god…only when I am in trouble and that too only any nameless enntity will do…its just a silent prayer…

    the anti PCC hoola was beyond me too

    have to watch dilli6*sigh*
    time.time..

    ((hugs))to Beanie and the brat too:)

    PS_thanks for the tip on paiting artificial stuff with transparent nailpaint..has worked wonders:D

  29. you’re offering her so much already, MM, these ‘situations’ and ‘circumstances’ that she’s been born into/will grow up in, make her all that more colourful, and eventually, so much more a woman, so much more stronger and with a mind of her own.

    Congrats on the car – loved the bit about the two of you praying on cue. Here’s wishing you many more lovely memories and milestones.

  30. Congratulations on your new car. About the stuff about lack of freedom and the goons running wild, all of us have to avoid voting for any party with a saffron tinge. Even a tiny hue is giving the green signal to the goons because ultimately all these parties stick together.

  31. Congrats MM on the new car 🙂 We want pics! Loved the way you inaugurated the car….how much more special can the rituals make it ? The incident with the VHP was scary.

  32. MM, that is so wonderful. Your children will grow sans the bondage of rituals. My father believes only in good deeds and doesn’t believe in rituals or good days kind of a thing! He never visits any religious places. And he gave all of us a lot of freedom to choose our religion, our rituals and our ‘own’ belief(s) about God. He always says when you do good, it happens to you too. In the universe its all give and take. Like him we all very happily participate and enjoy everyone’s rituals and beliefs, we don’t condemn it or go gaga over it. I think he made me tolerant of other people’s faith and free from fears of breaking any ritual! While he always respects our varying faiths to different religions and religious places and always allowed us to fast for whichever God we wished to! Celebrations are exactly for fun and for family bonding 🙂

  33. when shall we women stand together and stand up for our rights. we bring up men as our sons..we control men as our husbands..we light their lives as daughters..still how did they turn so.? where are we wrong?

  34. Congrats on the second car!
    I saw spark too but ditched it coz i find the steering and the height of the driver’s seat a bit odd as compared to other cars.
    I still haven’t figured why you sent off brat and bean to g’pa’s home! have i missed a post you did on it?!

    Me: oh damn. i was supposed to post about it. well i sent them because we were supposed to be moving house. we changed our minds eventually so they just had a holiday and got back 🙂

  35. Nice post, MM. I loved Delhi 6 but it sent shivers down my spine, because my kids are 50-50 and exactly the two religions that the movie features. I got so spooked I deleted all their pictures from my blog and any pictures of our house that could give away its location. We don’t have a nameplate up.We had to have our wedding in secret…what a mixed-up world.

    hey kaala kaala kaala bandar, baahar hai ya andar!

    Me: hey babe. you and us both. and then i look at your gorgeous, intelligent kids and i have only positives to say about mixed matches. Eff the world. your brats and mine shall rule some day… trust me on this one 😀
    and yes – a lot of people told us not to put up a nameplate but i am just so sick and tired of the way we have to live that i did it anyway.

  36. The only thing that I find good about religious festivals is that they are, atleast in my part of the world, a major social occassion. Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja in Calcutta have brought me and all my friends together year after year. The whole worship aspect of it is something that I overlook, because I just cannot get myself to believe in it. It’s like this…as long as I am convinced I am doing the right thing, and living a “good” life, I can’t really be bothered about rituals.
    As for the other thingy, well, I find it really hard to swallow, that coming from the land of Kama Sutra and Khajuraho, we have so many hang-ups with everything, from jeans, to Valentine’s Day, to women drinking. And yes, nothing we do will ever make a difference as long as such self-righteous twits exist, and keep speaking their mind. What’s even more scary is that these twits may actually be in the majority.

    @MM – didn’t you like totally rock out to the title track of Dilli 6?

    Me: isnt it just the grooviest?!!!

  37. Had been rehearsing for some university community radio programme celebrating Women’s Day (which is, incidentally, on the 8th of March), and then I come back and read this. Somehow, because of thinking, listening to and speaking about these issues the entire day, this post hit that much close to home. I have a friend who is Muslim and who is in her last year of college, which she got to attend only because she agreed that if her parents let her have her education, she would agree to get married to anyone they chose. But then, as fate would have it, she has fallen in love with a Brahmin Hindu guy who is also in the last year of college. So now both of them are desperately looking for jobs. And she is keeping her fingers crossed so that her parents don’t find a suitable guy soon. It breaks my heart to see someone my age battle so much for something which I have taken for granted all my life.

    Been listening to this song through a loop. Its such a haunting tune. Do listen.

    Me: hearing it after a long time and the song depresses me as usual. its so true…

    p.s. I loved the songs in Delhi 6 too. And the lyrics say almost EXACTLY how I feel about Calcutta. 🙂
    We are poor cousins too, you know. Except for Parineeta, I can’t think of another recent movie which has shown my city to be the beautiful entity she is. 🙂

    Me: yes – Calcutta is beautiful. Parineeta was beautiful…. you just got sucked into the movie.. i did. and Yuva too. nothing much to do with Cal but i was so excited to see a movie that referred to cal…
    and i totally get why you posted anon. no probs. you’re right. better safe than sorry in such matters.

    p.p.s. I am posting this comment as anon because I do not want anyone chancing upon it and figuring out the identity of my friend. It’s a long shot, but better safe than sorry, na?

  38. The cinematography at the beginning of the movie was good and the music was great too.
    Other than that the movie was so so boring!! I was squirming in my seat, waiting for it to end. So many loose ends, a non romance… and what was amitabh doing there?? MM??

    Me: trying to help his son’s filmi career ? 😉

    Great post above the edit! 20 years down the line, mixed marriages would probably be not all that uncommon. The next gen would probably have it easier than our own. So, not to worry. Yeah, there would be insecure people then too, but in the minority. Or so I’d like to think!

    Me: *crosses fingers*

  39. Hey Congrats on the new car!! Was that the car I travelled in?

    Me: no – I think you went in the red verna – na? yikes. i dont remember 🙂

    I loved the Pink Chaddi campaign. It was tongue in cheek and over the top. But I thought that was appropriate considering what Ram Sene wants is over the top as well.

    Re: Dilli-6, I love the songs! Haven’t seen the movie yet. I spend many a summers in Old Delhi so songs were very nostalgic.

  40. Congrats on the Car. And Beanie is going to kick those Ram sene types’ ass!! Don’t you worry.

  41. MM .. You think the issue is only between inter religion marriages ? I am married to a fellow hindu .. BUT .. there was a huge huge showdown at his place because I am from a different community. We had to elope and get married and then they gradually started accepting the fact that I am a part of their family now. BUT .. it does not stop/end over there. There has been efforts to make me follow their trasitions and my traditions and language has been subtly rediculed. DH had to protest every time and at everything. My food, my language, my people were made fun of and I fumed .. I dont have anything to do with his folks but still I had to go through this just to be civil since I cant be rude to elders. Anyways .. this is not about personal anger .. but how we differntiate even within religion. WHen did we become so racist ? And what are we giving our children or teaching our children ?

  42. Congrats on the new car! Is the OA at the stage where he doesnt let the kids come in with bags of cheerios and juice boxes? My God – that was so frustrating with R.
    The world I think always has been having its issues – I think the world is big enough now for your kids to settle somewhere happily with their chosen partners.
    I loved Delhi -6 too. Reminded me of those plays we did in college. Rehna Tu is my fav song too and the only reason I decided to watch the song (dont watch ’em otherwise) and then I had to go back and watch the movie from the start!

  43. Spark’s a cute car.. congrats! but isnt it only a lemon that has to be run over, n not a coconut??

    Me: I have no idea babe!! I could be totally wrong and there’s no one to enlighten me anyway. so you’re probably right!

  44. Congrats on the new car sweetie!!! i LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED Dilli 6 too…

    And the beanies budday is coming up. Cant wait for that day.. (you do remember its my budday too, na?) LOL

  45. CONGRATS for the new car!
    MM do you really think only jobless riff raff and frustrated old men are responsible for the attacks on women? Do you know that just yesterday a woman wearing jeans and sleeveless t-shirt was refused entry into Christ College (a premier institute in Bangalore) because she was not following the ‘dress code’? The lady was not even a student in the college she had gone their for her brother’s work. Finally another brother of hers was allowed in (he was wearing jeans t-shirt and sneakers). In another college near Mangalore burkhas and veils were removed forcibly by the college authorities from girls as a ban on the burkha was enforced in the college premises.

    Me: See on this one I am a little on the side of the institution. Any institution – ANY institution, be it educational or religious or social, has a right to a dress code. If you dont like it, dont go. I think thats fair enough. Recently a lady was not let into a pub because she was in a saree. more power to them i say. i wear sarees too – but its up to a pub to decide its code. and i think a school is well within its rights to refuse you entry in a veil. thats the entire point of a dresscode.

    In France and even in Britain women who had been forced to remove veils filed cases against the institution and won such right. What is important is that women should have the choice to wear what they want. For this the legal document that should be put forward is the Constitution of India which has granted certain freedoms to our women. the constitution is being blatantly discarded by these people…and it the duty of the women to point that out. Are we giving the right to educational and political organizations to uproot the basic principle of our Constitution? That is the question that should come to the fore.

  46. Half of the solution lies in beating the crap out of Sri Ram Sena types with pink chaddis (I would prefer pink jootas) every time they raise their ugly heads. The other half is to sing this song and to carry on with one’s “50-50” life:

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