Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mallu Mallu Everywhere!


Before you sue me or start searching for all kinds of swear words, let me clarify that the above written words are with nothing but GENUINELY GOOD intentions and are referring to the Malayalis in my life and my LOVE for the Kovalam Beach and yes its IFFK.

My very first roommate, a Malayali, is getting married in less than two months from now which reminded me of the state and my connection to it. So now you know why you are reading this particular post.

One of my best (Malayali) friends, an adorable muddle of worries and mind blowing humor, is also getting married and shifting her base outside India this year.  Another sweet acquaintance, an ex-colleague of mine, just had a super cute baby.  And yes one more reason - I am shifting to Bangalore where I am looking forward to meeting one of my best friends, a beautiful mysterious lady. And there are some more as well, including the uncle at the grocery shop near my house.

My love for Pink Floyd, my enhanced dream of travelling, my IFFK trip, worth remembering moments at Kovalam beach, stimulating discussions, a few unforgettable hostel days, endless blabbering on random topics and unlimited visit to Kairili restaurant (although which did irritated me after a point) are all because of these people in my life.

Now coming to the state, I have not been to any other place but Trivandrum. Both my trips were to Trivandrum. Even in Trivandrum, although there are places like Padmanabhapuram Palace, Koyikkal Palace, Varkala and the Napier Museum to visit, all my days were spent only at the Kovalam Beach because it is AWESOME. Golden stretch of shimmering sand combined with beautifully placed rocks, blue waters and the breath taking view from the Light House. You just can’t have enough of this beach. Beach-side restaurants with open terrace and cafes with the complete view of the beach make it even better. Not just me, this beach made my camera also quite happy. I clicked way too many pictures at Kovalam when my friend was busy shopping. Here is one of my clicks.



Another aspect of Trivandrum which I love is the IFFK (International Film Festival of Kerala). A wide range of critically acclaimed movies from around the world and an opportunity to interact with their directors and to be a part of their analysis is an experience worth experiencing. It is undoubtedly the best international film festival in India. Unfortunately I have been to IFFK just once. Hopefully I will attend many more in the years to come. J


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Arunachal in News. Oh its a positive one!


Image Courtesy: Google Images

Yes, for a change Arunachal has managed to get a little attention from the media for something positive. This doesn’t mean the state has only controversies to offer. Unfortunately its mesmerizing nature, unexplored interiors and indigenous tribes is not enough for our Delhi-centric media which seems to focus more on negative rather than on any positive development news.  

Arunachal Pradesh has mostly been in news because of China’s insensible claims. Not because that is the “only” happening in the state but because of the media’s indifference not just towards Arunachal but entire North East. How? We will get on to this topic later.

So now what is the positive thing? Our very own Arunachal has been voted as the 'Favorite Upcoming Destination' by the magazine Outlook Traveller. Now I know this is not BIG news but it is definitely a positive one. Isn’t it? The state, in spite of incomparable natural beauty and exotic culture, does need exposure so that everyone from all over the world can also experience the same. This recognition comes as a first step towards the same.

Having lived 17 years of my life in that land of rising sun, I do call myself as partially Arunachali too (along with having slight shades of being an Upiet, Bangalorean and yes Hyderabadi).  So this explains why I am so happy. I have always admired the untouched beauty of this state. Its calm atmosphere and simplicity of life has always enticed me. Its been almost 8 years since I left the state but not even a single day goes without me wanting to go back to that pleasing calmness.

And now I miss Arunachal again!! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Delhi Gang Rape: Suggestions poured In



Image Courtesy: Google Images
Delhi Gang rape brought out many facets of our society. The statistics according to which there is rape incidence in every 22 minutes, are more disappointing than shocking for a working women like me who travels ‘alone’ from one city to another and yes ‘late in night’ too. What can we do to ensure our safety, what should be done to improve the safety quotient of our society, why in a country where were women were and still are worshipped, have been tortured in the worst way possible, are a few questions which have been hovering in my mind.
 Recent Delhi Gang rape has brought out some of the similar as well as new issues which have been affecting us since decades now.  Everyone came with solutions, some atrocious, some acceptable but what exasperates is that every solution is for the “women in distress”. Why not find a solution where women need not be in “distress”? Debates and discussions on the status of women in India, male mindset and the societal stereotypes poured in. So here lets have a look at the reactions it attracted from people all across and how it showcase their own mentality which in return is a result of societal moulding, upbringing and education.
 No matter how many charges and accusations came across, the women of our country accompanied by a few men did show their outrage. There have been some positive steps taken to ensure the safety of women, the usability of which is however still doubtful. The appointment of female police officers as well as availability of pink autos in Delhi came as a refreshing break from the general indifference from the authorities, if not accusations (remember the opinions from public figures of our society as well as kith and kin of those biggies on the issue of safety of women). Unfortunately some of these steps are attracting my cynical side more than assuring me of safety. The recent app on android is one of the examples of how the issue has been exploited for economic gains. I may be wrong here but the timing of nirbhaya and its usability definitely makes me wonder of its intentions.
 Lets have a look at how has the issue been received by other strata of the society. Unfortunately many of the so called guardians of our society are taking shelter under the pretence of concern and making that a justification for their all heinous decisions. Suggestions  like begging rapist for mercy as well as blaming one community for the rape incidences, are not just disappointing but appalling. Music videos to spiritual leaders all came under the keen observation of many.
 However, there has been enough condemnation of statements like these. Thankfully, media seems to have acted as an efficient communicator of the views and observer if not entirely as a catalyst. Protestors got enough exposure and opportunity to share their opinions. The marches by hurt yet courageous women and men who still carry the hope of having a safe society and the determination to make it one were covered extensively. Irrespective of whether the TRP or the sense of social responsibility motivated the coverage, it did help in keeping the cause alive.  There is also news about a filmmaker planning to make a movie out of the Delhi Gang Rape. Whatever is the motive behind, a level-headed portrayal of a sensitive topic, bringing up the relevant questions if not a solution is a good way to make society aware as well as ponder over issues which have been taken for granted.
 Online world also triggered endless numbers of discussions from everywhere. Extensive blogging by many bloggers, creation of events and discussion forums of social media sites like Facebook and Google + showed how the young generation does have a say and knows how to make their voice heard when the things go beyond control. Now it’s a different matter whether their voice was heard by the authorities in charge. The issue did provoke reactions from everywhere, ranging from elite class to working class, from the academicians to the politicians. Keeping the disappointment apart, it did bring a positive change. The discussions revolving around not just the gang rape but on the general set of our patriarchal society did give a much needed start.
 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Silence


Image Courtesy: Google Images














With emotions taking a toll on you,
And suggestions pouring in
Voices disturbing,
And the noises hammering
I seek the silence.

Waiting for the voice to calm down
And for the mist to tear apart
I seek the silence.
That silence, 
After the storm has passed.