Thursday, December 15, 2011

The giving tree

We live in a modern world. Our days and nights are filled with advanced technologies and the latest of gadgets. In this fast, techno world, we barely have time- for ourselves or for others. A guest is either taken out for a meal, or the food is ordered. At times, we do not even care to take that kind of efforts and put a handful of snacks, in front of them - at a meal time! Of course, we expect them to understand that we have a very busy schedule and that they should be thankful enough that we are sparing some time and a little bit of our pantry for them.

In this sky-rocketing priced world, we do not have enough money to help a needy charity/organization. Of course, we cannot even think of giving away goods like toys/books/stationary to some needy kids though we do not think twice before stocking them up for our children who, most probably, already have plenty of them! We can waste away thousands in lavish parties, but cannot spare even a twenty to feed one hungry stomach who cannot buy food. Needless, to say, we would rather throw the expired cans from our refrigerator but could not have given them away to a food bank. And, who has time to stop and think that, because we let that food rot away, we did not need it in the first place!

To sum up, we are letting our SPIRIT of GIVING die! And what a brutal way of killing it!!

Aamir and his wife recently had a baby, thanks to the marvels of the modern science. That they didn't go for an adoption ,albeit disappointing, is quite understandable as they would have wanted to continue their own genes and bloodline forward. Surrogacy, in itself, is quite a turbulent and immensely difficult decision in itself. And a couple, who has already gone through innumerable medical treatments and uncountable emotional turbulence, knows the next-best option that they want to choose. Hence, I respect their decision. Our erstwhile Bollywood has tackled the delicate concept of surrogacy, beautifully, in movies like 'filhaal and Life Express and many more. The lovable 'Phoebe' carries her half-brother's and his wife's multiples in Friend's season four. Another interesting factor is though new to the 21st century, the notion is not very new itself. In Mahabharat, Balram, son of Devaki and Vasudev, is born to Rohini who had miraculously taken him from Devaki's womb to her own womb. Since we are talking about Mahabharat, let's also talk about foster parenting and/or adoption, as Balram's younger brother, Krishna, though born to Devaki and Vasudev, was raised by the Yadavas(Nanda and Yashoda) and hence, came to be known as nandlal/yashodanandan.

Coincidentally, a few weeks ago, when the Aamir-Kiran baby hadn't created waves in the mediaI was talking to my dad (over the phone, of course) and in general, updating him about our lives and those of some of my friends whom he know. And, in the process, told him about this very sweet couple, who have been trying for a child and unfortunately, even after years of marriage and numerous treatments/IVF's etc. haven't been blessed. On this, my dad narrated an incident back in 70's when a neighbour(not relative and not neighbours from ages) had given their second-born to a couple, who did not have any child of their own. Just like that. No hesitations, just a simple, pure, thoughtful act. Being in transferrable job, They had parted ways after a couple of years. Whether or not they always remained in touch, dad is not aware of that. But, he told that such gestures were very genuine and done without hesitation those days. Wasn't this the most precious gift to that couple? I believe, they would have gone on to raise the baby as their own, fussed over her milestones, worried over her sicknesses, educated her, married her off and then again made a huge noise over the grandchild(ren). (And Yes, you can trust me picturising a whole movie out of a small line! That's me!!) This led me to some thinking and lots of soul-searching within myself.

I asked myself, if I can muster enough courage to offer my offspring to a couple, who would bless me their entire lives? Will I ever be able to be that 'giving tree' who, with her entire heart, be that 'source of joy' to them? Would I be willing to offer my seed, my uterus, the fruit of my womb to somebody? Surprisingly, the answer came as a 'no'. With the second difficult pregnancy, where I had developed, vericose veins condition, looking after one very easy-to-handle toddler had become a strenuous task for me. And, the aftermath, of the PND, phew! not to go into details, let's just say, I had seen the darkness. I just fear to go through all that again. The first question that comes to my mind is, who will look after my two kids, if, in case, any complications arise. I don't think I will be able to do it even for my own family. I felt very very selfish with that thought and felt, in today's world, we miss that feeling of living as a community as a family and have become very very individualistic. It has to be an act of selflessness to the highest degree. And following it, also came the question, even if I did, would it be acceptable to the would-be parents? I pictured myself, saying, " We, Me and my husband, are done having kids for ourselves, but would would go ahead and try once again for you. Our next child is going to be yours. He will know your lap as the mom's lap, your hand as the dad's hand." Would they doubt my spirit? Would my bonding with the child ever be gone? will my heart still ache for the child? Nine months is a long time, after all! Promising somebody such a blessing is one thing, and actually carrying it, dutifully, through the end is another. I will have to forego all attachments. If I go ahead and give the child in their arms, later on, Will they find me as an interference, a nuisance? Or the child will enjoy the love and warmth of two sets of parents and all will be peaceful? I put myself in their shoes, and tried to find an answer. Most Shockingly, even to this question the answer came as a 'no'. It won't be accepted, by the receiver as well. Probably, I might be wrong in this answer as I have not been there. I cannot understand, fully, their thought process.

What do you think? Can you see yourself as that giving tree?Or Will you be able to take the fruit from such a giving tree?

In case, you are wondering
The picture above is of the tree in our frontyard(old home) and was taken in spring.
A tree bears all the fruits, nurtures it, and when ripe, gives it away. Hence, the title for this post.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Chitthi aii hai

Who doesn't like to receive letters in their mailbox once in a while? I do! It is such a welcome change from the usual junk mails and bills. Be it a postcard or an invitation or a holiday greeting - all convey a warm note from a friend/ well-wisher.

On monday, USPS declared the delays in the delivery of the first-class mail, reduction of work force and closing a few post offices. The news saddened me deeply. Not only was I used to rely on the USPS for some last minute mailings, (which,by the way, had an amazing delivery time. Sometimes, they would be recieved the next day itself!) but also to send ' rakhis' to India, which again had a speed record of 4 days at the max, unlike the internet placed orders. I always had the convenience of posting, At my ease, as there's an USPS office every 3-4 miles or so. Not that I am not a proponent of internet and would no way, go back to stay without it. But nothing can beat the warmth of opening those envelopes and feeling the creases of the hand-written paper with your fingers!

I wrote my first ever letter, when I was 4, to my brother who was staying with our amma(grandma) then. Though, the letter was dictated, in hindi, by my dad, I very well remember that watching him write one, I had brought one of those blue coloured, pre-stamped envelopes(does anybody recall them?) and insisted that even I want to write one. On being asked, what, I had no clue! Still I was adamant. All I knew that they have to start with 'priy'/dear as that's what all the amma's letters to my dad used to start with, while tauji's (papa's elder brother) were in English, mostly where amma's ended. Sometimes, there would be those yellow postcards, when they wrote separately, i guess.

The love affair with the letters grew when my dad got transferred, and having formed a strong bond with my friends in those tween/teen years, we promised to stay in touch with each other through letters. How we used to decorate them with stickers, drawings and different colour pens! NG,TR,SK,J, MS, RS - do you remember that time. I still remember, how excited
I used to be to recieve them! As the pressure of studies grew, they became few and far between and graduaally were reduced to none. I had saved almost all of them despite so many moves we did!

The highlight in our household, something, which each and every member cherished and looked forward to were the epic letters from my eldest brother. He was in hostel, then, pursuing the engineering course and made it a point to address each one of us in his letters. To mom and dad, they were a sign of his well being and good health. I, still remember, how anxious they used to get, if the letters were delayed by a week or if, in his letters, he would hint of a slightest temperature or a brief bout of diarrhea that he would ave just gone through! To us, his letters were inspirations, they acted as a guide to us, full of his experiences, his advices. We were the little ones at home; he was the revered one, out in the world. We saw the world with his eyes, in those well-crafted dextly written Missives.

To be continued..

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let yourself go

So I have been driving DH's SUV for past two weeks. IT was such a welcome change from driving the my kids-hauling van and to top it all, the sound system in his is so much mind blowing. Adding to the factor, is of course, that the music player is not loaded with kids' songs. This morning I put on old recorded cd which had both dhoom and dhoom2 songs on it. The beats of songs are so catching and after a while, I just found myself, not humming but singing out loud to the lyrics of 'touch me' 'dhoom again' 'dhoom macha le' 'crazy kia re'. I felt so great! Driving alongside the winding roads, with a blasting music on. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, when a sound came from the back, "you really know all the words!" That's when I came back to senses and saw in the backview mirror two mesmerized eyes looking at me. Sure enough, my kids had never seen me like this. For past four years, all I have been listening to are the rhymes and kids songs! Any attempt to change those met much protest, which always I gave up to. Adding to the fact, as a rule, I always always sing out of tune. And that's the reason I avoid an audience. This morning, I completely forgot all about that and just let myself go! Felt so amazing!

My daughter had such bewildered expressions on her face, I wonder how she would react if she would see me screaming my lungs out with the hard rock/thrash metal lyrics. How much have I changed in past 5 years! Those who knew me from before couldn't believe how comfortable I look at-home. Likewise, there are others who aren't aware of this headbanging side of me. Well, all I can say is that I never thought of myself who is cut-out to be a sit-at-home person. But since, it was my conscious decision, I have been living it to the fullest. It's quite an irony how I come across many, now-a-days, who when talking on some technical topic realize that they might not be of any interest to me and try elaborating the jargons or switch the topic. And then, there are these next generation kids who probably figure out that I might be completely ignorant about the engleees gym style such as hamstring curls, crunches and likes and go in lengths to explain why and how I should go about it. I just smile and play along. At times, I gently add 'been there, done that'.

By the way, what do you do when you come across a Bruce Willis look alike and your heart still went wow as it did a decade and a half back with his on screen presence? Do you stop and stare at him or give a sigh and leave? Or if you are like me, come back home and remind your husband that he once flaunted at least 4-pack, if not 6, and taunt him to better pep his muscles?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A bottle of motivation

The weather is getting colder. Makes me want to snuggle into the covers as stepping out of it means my feet will go numb. Any amount of layering, or socks fail to warm my feet up and this in turn makes my entire legs feel lifeless. Even my fingers are icy cold as I type. Outside, it's quite windy as I can see the last few leaves on the trees being blown away. They seem to be in some kind of a race as they fly across, rather in a hurried fashion, by my window. The ones on the ground seems like doing multiple somersaults. It's amazing how our lush green street has suddenly taken a bare and lifeless look. These very woods which once guaranteed privacy has now exposed the houses on the other side of the street. You can see through these woods now, which is still not too bad, as the green grass near their feet can still be seen, mixed with the various leaves strewn across. Soon, they will be all white, covered with snow. I shouldn't be complaining as the month of November has unusually been very bright and we did enjoy fair amount of sunny afternoons. But cold weather makes each and every muscle of my body immobile. I lose my energy, my enthusiasm... And this means more this year as it just flickers my already weak plans of taking a better care of myself.. Of exercising.

Not only I am too much out of shape, I have put on a lots of weight and a few minutes of any hard work makes me puff and pant. Last Year, this time around, I was rigorously following a routine and had managed to lose two dress sizes. Hadn't dropped a single pound but with a few months of an active lifestyle had not gainied a single pound either. My set goal, then, was to lose 'just 10 pounds' till next season. This year, same time, instead of losing, I have added 10 more pounds to my already soccer ball-shaped figure and yes, have gained those 2 dress sizes back! Obviously, I struggle each morning to fit my entire torso in those little waisted jeans now. The t-shirts hugs my baggy paunch and the winter jacket completes the look by making me look like a full-term pregnant woman! To add to it, I had given away all my fatsy wardrobe as I had read somewhere that the biggest motivation to lose more is to get rid of ur fatty attires!! Now, me -blinded with my short term achievement - followed that advise to the heart!! Yeah! Go on.. Laugh at me!

OK, so the entire problem is ME Me mEe- I wish somebody could sell me motivation in a bottle like they sell so many other things. The basement of our house is a well-equipped mini-gym in itself. But, I realise that I am not an equipment person. To me, a walk on a treadmill feels lousy as compared to a jog on the street. More of an aerobics, yoga, steps, pilate kind of a person. And not to mention, we have all kinds of such dvd's in our stock. All one need to do is insert it in the player and switch it on andflow with it. DH even downloaded all kinds of apps on my android and ipad! Still, my routine lasts for three days at the max!

Something or other comes up.. Kids' sickness, a late night, an early appointment, a quarrel.. so many of the excuses ready not to leave the coziness of the bed each morn. "I am not a morning person" I declare and try to fit in the routine later during the day. When the kids seeing me doing the crunches think mommy is playing see-saw and come and sit on my knees/ back/tummy. Afterall, I was the one who made them, so they have all the right in this world to claim each and part of my ever-so-aching body! Determined, I command DH to come home early as I plan to join some group classes. JKG, that he is, says ok. It turns out that the classes that google up are either not within my defined radius from our home or do not fall in my specified budget. Some which qualify, do not offer any evening hours. Damn! Seems like the entire universe is conspiring in not letting me shed that baby weight yet!!

So, you see where the problem lies?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blessings - Of Krishnas and Lakshmis

A short story.

It had been two days that she had been home now. Her stitches were still sore from the episiotomy. Daily routines like passing urine caused so much pain and discomfort. But holding her newborn in her arms made her forget all that. She was trying her best to ignore remarks like,"how can she sit and eat when the baby is hungry and crying for food." She knew she had to eat well to be able to nurse the baby and to get enough strength to look after her two kids. She tried her best to remain calm, when they joked in jest," Now both of you would have to save enough for two dowries." She knew it was in everyone's best interest that she just kept quiet. And she did. She was offered to get her hair oiled and she accepted. That's when she was told why they didn't send the news to every single relatives and friends yet. "Pota hua to khabar bhejungi, bola tha maine sabko." ("if a grandson, i will send you the news", that's what i had told everyone). By the evening, she had heard it from each member,"humein to laga tha is baar ladka hi hoga" (we were sure it would be a boy this time.). And at some point, later in the day, these few were added too,"ab pehli baar to kuch bhi ho jaye." (doesn't matter if he irst born is a boy or a girl). It made her wonder the hypocrisy of it all as she remembered how in front a room full of an audience, she was told that one child is a blessing from God and is more than enough. Doesn't matter if it's a Krishna or Laxmi.. But she stayed mum. Hypocrisy or not, she was not supposed to voice her Question.

The real shocker came that evening, post-dinner. She had just put both her girls in bed. At the dining table, they were told to try for a boy next time. She, aghast, just looked at him. He reminded them that there was no surety it would be a boy, to which they had some nerve to say, "doosre mahine mein hi pata chal jaata hai.. And it's safe". They, then, went on with examples of such cases. Devastated, cursing herself not leaving earlier, she just left the room.. And cried .. The whole night.. For many a nights and days after that. She still couldn't believe all that conversation had actually happened. That they actually asked her to go for a female infanicide?!?
Would they have said this to their own daughter?

A woman with a daughter and whose daughter is a mom to a daughter... How can she even suggest such a thing to somebody else's daughter?

After many days of such rants, (yes, they hadn't stopped, even after his intervention. They would continue, sometimes behind his back) she, reluctantly, seeked to turn to their daughter. She being, her age, and being a mom to a girl in the same age group, would understand her dilemna. If nothing else, she would have somebody to confide, to be able to get listening ears to her emotions that she has been going through. So she shared her predicament, being a fool that she was. She forgot that with them, what one said becomes gospel for the rest. Be it a sheer lie, but together they would prove the other one, in front, a liar, a specimen of mental health. "A boy child would complete the family," she was told. And then and there itself, had wanted to shoot herself. This coming from an educated woman her age, who herself is a daughter and a mom! And with that and many such thoughts overflowing her little brain cells, she fought the PND. She refused to fall into the trap, when seeing her passing by, they would hold her newborn in arms and say,"we do not worry that you are not a boy. After all you are the laxmi of our house." Why? Why hypocrisy? Why try to appease her? The damage was done, slowly and daily, beyond repair. The thoughts never left her, long after the childbirth.

Fast forward to the present.. She recently heard the news.. Their daughter just had another baby.. Another girl.. Another lakshmi.. Everybody is rejoicing. She just has one question
Will they suggest to their daughter what they did to her then?

What do you suggest-a krishna or a lakshmi?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Shame on Onlookers!

After finishing my quota of reading, i casually logged on the facebook- one last look and then i will be off to sleep, I promised myself. A friend's wall post made me look further and I chanced on the case of Keenan-Reuben, which shook me. Hence, this rant.

Sad, very sad, especially in a city like Mumbai, where we know that there's nothing like deserted roads at 11:00 p.m. It is the peak time, in a considerably the safest city compared to the rest of India. And this episode happened in front of a restaurant, while People were watching!?!

What has happened to the famous Mumbai spirit? Why did nobody come forward? Shame on them. Shame on our society.

Shocked -is such a lesser word to express what I am feeling right now. I, so very well, remember a die-hard Mumbaiite friend of mine once (on hearing tales from/around the town where I did my grad from) describing the city as,"Things like these are so well-handled in Mumbai. You just need to shout help once and the whole junta will be there. Which most likely is very rare to happen in Delhi", he had added on. And that was the Mumbai I believed in, that was the Mumbai I made my home for some time. Tht was the Mumbai I knew..

Were the guys wrong in protecting their friends?
Did the other group had to take such an action on its ego? Is ego bigger than life, spirit of living?
What about those who were around? Why did they turn sissies? How far is the policy of'anybody's matter s nobody's matter' justified? Even at the stake of somebody bleeding so profusely?
Nobody even offered to take them to the hospital, until one of the waiters offered.

Where is humanity? If hey were worried about legalities, aren't they aware that now the doctors are supposed to provide medical attention first instead of waiting for the cops? Please correct me, if I am wrong. Any lawyer reader, please?

This could have been anybody. This could have been you, your friend, your brother, your sister, your son or may be your dad. Junta, please jaago!!

Please take a moment and sign the petition before reading further.

This whole story reminds me of a not-so-similar incident that had occured almost a decade back. I studied in one of the mst prestigious institutions of India. Like most of the national cadre engineering colleges, ours too was located in a sleepy town, a few hundred kilometers from the national capital. And we, the girls were required to be inside our hostels by 7:00 p.m. for the safety reasons. Exceptions, were always there, and one such was officially gathering sponsorships for the technical Symposium. Once, I had to undrtake such a trip to Delhi with another collegemate/friend(A male) On that particular evening, we had reached the ISBT(inter stae bus station) by 5:00 and had hoped to reach back hostel in reasonable time. But the bus had taken a plenty of time just to cross the outskirts of Delhi, and it being late winters night had already fallen. At some point of time, the person (in early thirties or late tenties, may be) sitting right behind our seat, somehow, had managed to creep his hands in the little gap between the walls of the bus and the seat, trying to touch me.. No points in guessing where. I was tring to avoid this when my partner had noticed my discomfort and didn't need much explanations. The next time the guy tried such a thing, my friend just got up and slapped him. There was a huge scene, some people trying to pacify him, some well- meaning(?) asking me, even advising that I should not have been in the bus at all. Anyways, the conductor had intervened, the bus was stopped and that guy after beaten thoroughly had been thrown off. Apparently, he was drunk. Did this give him a good enough reason to molest a girl?? The rest of the bus journey was uneventful, needless to say, the mentioned friend was more than on his alert throughout.

Now, there is no dearth of miscreapents in this world. The bus stop was in the outer areas of the Town and from there we had to hire an auto-rickshaw to our campus. Usually, they used to run on a hired basis and worked well for us ,students on tight budgets. We happened to encounter another such person(a late teen, this time) whom the auto wala (driver) asked to sit in th front with him on raising a noise. And as soon as he got off, the driver just sped off with the auto, in case, he gets a mob with him. The friend heaved a sigh of relief only when he saw me entering safely in the hostel. And this was at 9:00 p.m. Wasn't too late to return for most of our counterparts in he rest of the country. But, for me, that night, it was a narrow escape.

We were just two people. They, Keenan-Reuben n friends, were 7. We got help when we called. They did not. I and my friend were lucky. They were not. We live on. Two of them do not.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Procreation - Take II

I had an unplanned pregnancy. Did he do it deliberately?

My spouse had wanted kids very early in the marriage and talked me so much into it that eventually I agreed. Did he intend to suppress me?

And many such questions have been raised by few of my readers who are, let's say, a little confused in their marriage.... and probably, their life (yes, that's rather strong statement, isn't it?). Let's just face the fact -
   Most babies are coincidences.
Remember the opening monologue from 'My Sister's Keeper"? 
11-yr old Anna Fitzerald, even went on to say 
   Most babies are born because of lack of birth control. They are accidents.

Let's try and come out of a state of denial.. Four in ten pregnancies are unplanned and the percentage is even higher, here in the United States. (No, I am not throwing any statistics for you. Look it up yourselves.) But, does that mean, that essential factor of love and care, are missing from ALL of them? Definitely, not!! My idea behind the last post was to bring to the notice that there are incidents like these. This, definitely, doesn't mean that it is the ultimate goal of survival of the entire male species. Please, think rationally, and do not walk out of your marriages/partnerships, yet. True, like many other disagreements between both of you, you might have not necessarily have had the same views on the issue of  'issues', like when, how many, and for that matter, where, too. But, come on, both of you are two different individuals with two set of views, ideologies and may be dreams as well. And is but natural, that on almost all topics, either of you has to relent or take a step back or bang your head out to convince the partner. Are any of us different? Do not we all do that? Do not we all have those occasional strifes? So, what if a few of these conflicts were on starting a family?

I know many such couples where the either the first child or the second or both were not really planned. Does that mean, he was deliberately trying to get the partner pregnant? No, sometimes, it just happens in the flow, a sheer carelessness, a weak moment. And then there's a friend, where the wife didn't want a second child as her first pregnancy was very difficult. But, the husband was adamant that they should have two. The wife agreed, even though she had a few miscarriages. And, mind you, the girl here is not the silent, obeying your commands types. As long as the decisions are mutual, and/or are not a result of series of abuses, how can you term them as the forced ones? Isn't it very inherent that sometimes, you start seeing the things the way your partner does? Or even if you do not, occasionally, find a valid point convincing enough, you go ahead with the decision.

There are many husband-wives duo, I know, where the girl wants a child cuz of various reasons - settling down, biological clock ticking and many such others, but the spouse still not ready, whatever be the reason. In some, the husband agreed later, though he still might have been of the opinion that they could have waited another couple of years. You see the point I am trying to make? This is what is partnership is. Not always will the two of you share the same set of opinions and often, one of you will have to give up your post. But, that doesn't mean that you stop loving each other. What about those times when your better half did those little things to comfort you, to soothe you, to show their love and care? Try to recollect those lovely memories and do not brood over when you couldn't have your way. To put it straightforward, stop being selfish because every time you did not get what your heart desired. Or because you had to live with something that you did not set your heart on initially.

Again, I am not trying to belittle the issue I raised in the last post. Under no circumstances, you should take any form of abuse. Violence is never justified as a way to resolve disputes. Say no firmly, if anything of that sort happens. Seek help, counselling if it repeats even after your ernest attempts. Walk out, if you have to. Until then, give love a chance..

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reproductive coercion - another form of violence against women

"I have to get a baby in there", he kept saying and I thought, "Is that all I am to him.. a baby carrier?"

And the words immediately groped my attention. I was in the waiting room of the hospital, idling away my time, casually flipping through the pages of a magazine. I looked around, mentally counting those in the room and concluding that I had ample time to skim through those few pages, before the nurse calls me. And what I read gave me goosebumps, showing me yet another face of the world that we live in. I had to know more and tried to dig up the article on the internet as soon as i could. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the magazine or else I would have given a link to it. My attempt here is not to reproduce that piece but to make ourselves aware of such happenings around us.

The article had started with the story of a couple who met in a med school, fell in love, and eventually got married. The guy started talking about babies soon after their honeymoon. He got obsessed with the idea so much that he didn't give her emotional and physical readiness a single thought, after a major back surgery he had to go through. She thought it as her duty then, as he had been with her throughout the surgery and the therapies. When after a while he suggested that they should consider IVF, she thought it rather sweet of him talking about the medical procedures and agreed. But her back was still weak and she miscarried. And that's when it all grew worse, with him pressurizing her to go for another IVF round as soon as the wait time was over. The second time, she miscarried, he went hysterical. She could put him off for a while only by saying tht the doctor thinks she need to put on weight, when the truth was that she was not ready for it yet. Infact, she was not sure that she wanted a baby at all now, more importantly his baby. He, on the other hand, stocked up he refrigerator with all the fattening stuff and kept saying, " I have to get a baby in there". He even threatened her tht she would be replaced by a maid and when all this turned into a physical abuse, tht she ran away to a women's shelter, where she learnt that she was not alone. And that what she was going through is termed as 'Reproductive Coercion'.

Please note that I might have missed a few facts and/or twists in the story here and her, but I do hope you get the picture. I had to know more and the more I learned, I realized that this is Not a new phenomenon and has been taken up by media, in print and on TV as well.

So, what is Reproductive Coercion?

Reproductive coercion is the sexual violence and in most cases, leads to physical violence. It also includes verbal/emotional pressure not to use birth control or to become pregnant. Many a times, leads to use of force not to take birth control or have unprotected sex.

The magazine had incidents on boyfriends/partners yanking the nuvarings off!

What leads to Reproductive coercion?

It is a way in which men want to control the female body to show their power. The article had quoted some more stories in which the men made their spouse pregnant every couple of years or when the youngest child started kindergarten, so that she would be bound to home and never attain financial independence. In some cases, it's a behavioral sabotage, where men just want to assert their dominance. Please go through the links in this post. They are very insightful into the topic.

Who does it happen to?

Relative coercion happens to teens and adults, rich and poor, married women, women in long or short term or in-between relationships, hookers or hook-ups.

What can we do to prevent it?

Empower. Educate. Be careful. Be on ALERT.
Know the warning signs and take action.

No woman should get STI, some of them rendering her infertile, some like HIV fatal to her life!
Whether, it is getting pregnant or to end pregnancy -No woman should be forcibly made to go through it, if she is not ready!

Friday, October 07, 2011

The chase

The more I am trying to go after the equilibrium, the more it is alluding me.. The mind is in the instant state of war.. Gets agitated quickly.. And this perturbs me all the more! The things/events which have been a constant source of joy and Contentment and had always helped me in the past don't seem to be working anymore.. Probably, time to look for the newer techniques.. Navratris have just been over. I love the festival for the discipline it brings.. The fasting disciplines the body and the mind.. And I choose to do the non-grain fasting, which being gluten-free it cleanses the body and combined with the strict routine cleanses the mind too. I have been observing these fasts for past two years which means this was the fifth time(the navratris fall twice a year).. Until this time, I had always found a repose, an exuberance in these nine days.. For me, the fasting is not about the control of diet as much as the control of the attitude, of the temperament. The comfort i usually get in the divine shelter was missing this time. My faith, a little, or was it more than little?, shaken... Was it because i couldnt follow the norms like every time? Or was it just. Y state of mind? Whatever it was, i was in a state of turmoil rather than in the elation, the euphoria, I usually feel. Until, I figure out a way to Compose myself, to fond the poise, the cool-headedness I always had.. My quest will go on...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Power of soulful Music

It's amazing how music works wonders. For almost a week, heavy thoughts had burdened my heart. The feeling of loneliness kept creeping back to me.. never eluding me... the melancholy not abandoning me. Had tried meditating vain.. couldn't get past those glum feelings. Was wondering all the while if I will ever be able to find my inner strength back or will I lose myself in this quest of 'me'.  And then heard this really wonderful song 'Kandisa' by Indian Ocean and as the music worked it's way way through me.. I felt serene, at peace with myself.. made me realize why they recommend music therapy for the soul!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Testament and Jagjit Singh - what a combo!

Thrash and gazhals - an unusual combo.. but in my current mood hv been listening to/screaming my lungs out to them and trying hard to bring me back to normalcy! I have always believed that ghazals and heavy metals have a therapeutic effect... only if u merge with the words and try to get the depth.. Am not an expert in either of the genre but personally, i have always found some wisdom fitting my then frame of mind; thus helping me think rationally..

Currently, these two numbers were the Rx to me..

Apni marzi se by Jagjit Singh

Apni marzi se kahan apne safar ke hum hain,
Rukh hawaaon ka jidhar ka hai, udhar ke hum hain,

Pehle har cheez thi Apni magar abb lagta hai
Apne He ghar mein kisi doosre ghar ke hum hain

Waqt ke saath mitti ka safar sadiyon se
Kisko maaloom kahan ke hain, kidhar ke hum hain

Chalte rehte hain keh chalnaa hai musaafir ka naseeb
Sochte rehte hain, kis raah guzar ke hum hain

Rukh hawaaon ka jidhar ka hai, udhar ke hum hain

D.N.R. by Testament

Lies... broken dreams
Dismal past
is there more in life...
should I... know
Ending wars... ending pain
Ending of mankind is insane
and there's all the possibilities
some will fail and some will achieve
Even through in my youth
I didn't know but what can I do
and I may not ever see
In my pain, my suffering
Can not live for the rest of my life
DNR Do not resuscitate me...

Life... lost unseen
behind the mask
and with the open arms will I grasp
Open doors... open minds...
Ending all the madness I hate

And I may not ever see
In my pain, my misery
Can not live for the rest of my life
DNR Do not resuscitate me... DNR...

Wing of sadness... will
hold my prayers
all this madness... will
end my fears
contempt in life
Conceptualize, wrong or right
The ending of life...
God save me now...

Time... end it now
No going back
Can you see the light ass you pass
Ending wars, ending pain...
Waited all my life to be saves

And I will not ever see
All the hate and suffering
Can not live for the rest of my life
DNR Do not resuscitate me... DNR

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


It's been like this since morning.. Huge flashes of lightning followed by loud thunders and then the downpours of rain.. This was 4 nights back. when i had started my post. and my mood throughout had been happy.. inspite of the fact that such heavy showers meant that i was stuck in the house with the kids and we had to miss our regular evening walk that evening. Actually, rains that day had reminded me the monsoon days back in India and somehow had given me the feeling of freshness and the warmth. I could even smell the fragrance of the wet earth.. And that had filled me with joy.. uplifting my spirits.. inspiring me to try new things in life.. to go on and take challenges.. and giving me the confidence that i can do anything.. by just believing in myself again! and i had started to..

and the feeling lasted until last night.. no substantial reason .. but afterwards it just eluded me and then kept dissipating throughout the day today.. leaving me where i was before.. all along.. all alone..

But what stayed constant between these two days.. and beyond is my idea of having a perfume/ a fragrance/ a room freshener/ a misty spray with that ambrosial earthy monsoon aroma.. with the whiff of freshness in it.. with the essence of life in it.. the perfect ambiance for meditation.. The invigorating balm every time you breathe it in! The revitalizing odor!! The fragrance for the soul!!!

Is it possible to savor the fragrance in a can just as beautifully, as refreshingly?!!?

p.s. The title of the post was chosen when I had started the post.. I guess I might have changed the look of my blog to match what i had originally planned to write which I obviously don't remember now.. .. what has followed now might not look relevant.

random pics from my camera frm our 11th floor apartment.. dated 2007

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