Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Dilemma

A couple of days back, Roshan shared my post on Facebook. I subsequently had a panic attack and indirectly asked him to take it down. In between, I had my moments of self doubt and contemplation.

I started this blog six years back. I had no clue where it will go. I think I did put a link on Orkut for a few weeks before really understanding what I was doing. I reviewed books and movies, spoke about my friends and just gave general opinion on everything and anything that my heart felt deeply about. It was not an intellectual blog where I would talk about politics and economy. I am an Economics/Finance student and can easily chat about the GDP, PE ratio and the stuff that drives the world bonkers. But my blog reflected feelings more than the anything else. Why? – It just happened like that.

A few months back, my blog entered the big bad world of contests. To my surprise, I won a couple of competitions and so, felt obligated to explore my creativity. Frankly, I enjoy it. Blogging would have been a useless exercise if we didn’t achieve anything out of it. But in the process, I realised I was letting go of my privacy. This blog was no more sacred; more people were reading it and judging me.

I took down quite a few posts – the ones I felt were too close to my heart. Before, only my close friends and family members read this blog. And probably a few more people. I actually wanted them to read.  Now, I had no control over my readership and why should I? In the era of Indivine and 50+ comments on most blog posts, should I leave Teeth that Sparkle unnoticed?

I know it is a personal choice. Whether I want to follow the Billboard rule that says not to write anything on the internet that you don’t want to share or I want to pour my heart out on this space. This bring me to another question – why do I need a place like this to talk about my ‘feelings’ when I have an amazing real-life support system?

Some people have such silly problems, I tell you! Maybe I’ll start a blog called Batteessee and anonymously talk about what I realllyyyy want to say. But then, what will I discuss here – things about Manmohan Singh, Sanjay Dutt and Rajat Gupta? Nah, that would be so boring!

This post doesn’t solve the issue, does it? I guess I’ll wait for myself to become more famous before I reveal this space to more people! Till then, I’ll bore you with heart-to-heart conversations. And in the process, if someone who is not allowed to read comes here, I have a feeling I’ll be relived more than scared. 

I can see a crack in the shell; I must be growing up :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Black Friday

Ajmera was outside BSE when he narrowly escaped the blasts. Since then, he has undergone 40 surgeries. Even now, his right hand pains and some pieces of glass still remain in his body. After 20 years, he’s still fighting for the meagre compensation of Rs. 25000 that the government had promised. He has spent over Rs. 20 lakh for his treatment borrowing money from family and friends.

Gilajit Singh, a sandwich seller with a paltry income has got 120 stitches on his left leg. There were 12 blasts in the city on that fateful Friday; 257 people were killed or missing and 713 were injured.

Vinayak lost his 11-year old brother and 19-year old sister. He was 14. They were waiting for their school bus when the blast happened at Century Bazaar. The body of the brother was recognised from the shorts that he was wearing. The sister had a previous wound on her foot that helped the family recognise her body.

These are only 3 stories. There are a thousand more. These blasts happened because humanity doesn’t exist in some hearts. Some accused carried on these blasts. Others were their allies. Sanjay Dutt was one of the aids who agreed to keep arms in his house for the ‘safety’ of the masterminds and people of their community.

Why should he be pardoned? If he was indeed a good soul, he would go to jail and finish his sentence. If he really was repenting, he would set an example for the entire nation. Five-year imprisonment is nothing when you compare it with the agony of those who suffered because of the blasts. 

By supporting a person who agreed to help the terrorists, you are being a criminal yourself. By questioning our judicial system, you are making a mockery of our law-makers. If he is being pardoned, then maybe, the others have held puppies as well; why give death sentence to them? Maybe Dawood Ibrahim has adopted a charity, lets go and hug him as well.

I don’t understand the kind of fan following our nation has. Shameful, really shameful.

Links: One, Two, Three

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

From Blunt to Bob to Braid - The tale of my Mane!

Parents: To avoid indefinite visits to the Salon, parental guidance is advised for your kids when reading the following post.
Kids: Go ahead, keep Fevicol and Gum ready and be naughty :)

Unless you belong to a Punjabi clan, it’s hard to have long lustrous hair as a kid. You know, mums get the pretty tresses trimmed because of various reasons:

  • Less hair, less lice, less trauma
  • Short hair, quick fixes, late riser
  • Shorter hair, lesser hair pulling between siblings

Image 1 - Ah, the ordeal mothers have to go through. No gain, without pain?

For these reasons and more, my adorable mother took me to the Salon every 3 months and kept my hair swinging only till my shoulders -  Blunt cut – as they proudly called it! The Salon girls giggled and gossiped. They spoke about the neighborhood damsels and their boyfriends at length. There was something funny about the whole beauty parlour experience and the camaraderie. My tiny brains couldn’t understand anything and so I just concentrated on the wigs that lay around.

I had read Rapunzel; I had seen how Cinderella was prettier because of her hair; I was sure Little Red Riding Hood had oodles of noodles beneath her little red cap. Then there was ‘I dream of Genie’ -  I hadn’t seen anyone more adorable than the lady with a braid around her ponytail! 
Image 2 - Rapunzel was so fascinating!

Image 3 - My all-time favorite braid :)

At school, Manpreet and Jassi spoke endlessly about their long locks. I felt jealous to hear them tell about the pampering they got from their grand mothers. Jassi's granny gave her a head massage followed by an egg pack. She then shampooed her hair with imported shampoo. Now I didn't had the patience to sit through all that, but I still felt envious! My 2-minute self-shampoo routine seemed like a sad affair.

The fascination with long hair didn’t end there. Mum use to knit sweaters during the winter season. The ladies would sit on the terrace and knit. I loved the chatter and the excess of Vitamin D never bothered us. Tanning was never an issue and we had no clue about the Ultra Violet rays. Ah, simpler times! Anyway, I use to gather left over wool and craft my own braid. I had seen enough shows on DoorDarshan to know how to use the chipkana waala padarth effectively!

One day I was busy making a very thick braid with wool. Suddenly I concocted an incredible idea. I stuck the braid to my own mane with glue. It was hard, but I knew Fevicol will not give up easily. Finally, I thought, I looked prettier than the Manpreets and Jassis of the world! I twisted and turned and looked at myself in the mirror a million times. I planned to get my Barbie and Ken married the next week so that I can  flaunt my invention in the grand Baraat.
Image 5: How can you resist braiding these?

Image 6: And that's how it's done...

What followed next would have landed me in the ICU if I had a Hitler for a mom. In my attempt to pull out the wool, I tangled my hair further. When I could not release my hair or bury myself in the earth, I went crying to mom. She took me to the Salon and then, and then, I met Bob cut. The ends were awesome, but it was bob, BOB cut!

I hated Blunt and Bob, I desperately wanted a long Braid. After a few months when the whole world forgot about my tryst with the glue, I asked an aunty who lived next-door to lend me a braid with a Parandi. She was a darling who loved kids. She thought I would play with it and return it like it was. 

Some aunties are so naive, I tell you.

I had a brilliant idea of replacing fevicol with chewing gum. If I can stick gum behind the sofa and pluck it out when no one's watching, it could leave my hair scott free as well. I chewed five Chiclets, the ones that came in a yellow pack, and stuck them diligently on my hair. The braid with the parandi fitted like a charm and I was on seventh heaven.

Image 7: Have short hair and miss using these? 

This time, my ordeal introduced me to Mushroom cut! My mom wasn't in the favour of me having long hair, but she sure was experimental with shorter versions of it. But this time she told me that if I didn’t stick anything to my perfect ends, she will let me grow my hair. 

This was the last time I had short hair. After this, there was no looking back :)

And voila, after a year, my hair started growing beyond my shoulders. It was not insanely long like Manpreet, but it was long enough to braid it the way I liked.It was a slow and steady victory, but I had learnt my lesson well: if you want something badly, the whole universe conspires you to have it.

This is Manpreet's braid probably, mine was a tad shorter but had equally sharp ends :)

Since I was so passionate about my hair, I took special care and it went on to become lustrous. It also got the pampering it deserved from both my mother and grandmother. My braids were strong and had beautiful ends.

When I was in college and needed no one’s approval to change my hairstyle, I was introduced to Layers. Long tresses gave me the advantage of giving it any shape without any difficulty. 

Bob and blunt were fine, but braiding gave my hair the strength they needed. And with products like the new Dove rescue system, the ends are always perfect. I’m glad I fought for the future of my hair. Now, I keep changing their length; without the glue, mind you! And guess what - my Mother loves my hair more than me :)

They will pull them, tangle them, cut them,
Your girls will stick their locks together without a clue.
But dear Mother, don’t bother,
It’s part of growing up. Someday, you’ll love the memories too.

Use bobby pins, floral bands and satin ribbons,
Hats, scarfs, and your chiffon dupatta too.
Adorn their Braids, be their aid,
These girls want to grow up just like you!

Beautiful ends is a blessing, so let them nurture their hair,
Put egg packs, give them oil massage, pamper their mane with shampoo too.
The pretty lasses adore their tresses,
When they grow up, don’t worry, they will have Dove to their Rescue!

The Dove Split End Rescue System has ¼ moisturising milk that nourishes your hair and its breakthrough split-end technology corrects hair damage to give you up to 4x less split-ends.For useful tips on hair care, Dove has compiled the following pages:

Image credits: 1,2, 5, 6, 7