Friday, 22 November 2013

Sex, sleaze and men at work...


I needed a very strong drug to wake me from the reverie. Almost two months without a post, a poor middle aged woman lost in her books and kids. And suddenly there is a bolt of lightning that strikes and here i bounce back from the dream of books and exams. Hearty thanks for bringing me back to the blogging platform Tarun Tejpal and Mr Justice.

It happens everyday in the life of a working woman. Whatever be the age, you are not exempted, ladies-as they infer, "women are like wine, they age beautifully". The sneers, the 'casual' groping, the lewd remarks, that " I am ready for sex anytime, are you ready, sweet heart?" synonymous body language and the 'plastered to the upper body all the time" looks- we do take everything in the stride and pass it with a smile. It is rather brushing off these advances that take much of the energy provided by the half cooked chappathis and fruit diet we take. Ah the bane of Indian working women!

Working in the largest public sector enterprise of our country makes people like me vulnerable to the sexually thirsty and greedy men ( again it is not a generalisation, there are quite a few "taking care of crybabies" type men too!) who arrive in train loads every other day in the offices. To most of the men ( again, please read most as few here, if you are a misogynist) women who sport a handbag and walk in to the offices for a decent living are ready to jump into the couch with any Tom, Dick ( yes, literally I mean the same) and Harry at their whims and  fancies. 

There was this supervisor of a goods terminal who always liked to piss ( obviously he loves to show off what little material he has got!) keeping the unisex washroom door wide open. And mind you, he always forgot to pull up the zipper till he got to your table. Flashing his 'property' to seemingly unassuming an innocuous ladies in the office definitely brought him the thrills. And how did i put up with it? Very simple, report to the higher ups- i still remember every word of my written complaint, got myself transferred and blocked his promotion for almost three years.

And there is this gentleman reservation clerk who always likes to grope and touch women around. Passing a pen to this gentleman would scrap off a few ounces off your fingers. Every time he crosses your chair, he makes it a point to grope somewhere on your back and mumble a 'sorry'. Another booking supervisor made it a point to pat our shoulders and say...you guessed it right-"My daughter...you resemble my daughter". The seemingly plain comment never enters the thick skulls of few fellow lady staff who keep bringing sambar and chutney to the tormentor...So you can pat, hug and squeeze your fellow staff and get sambar and chutney in return! One loud " Don't touch me" yelled at my highest pitch was what made him get yards away from me. And i am happy he remembers to maintain the ten yard away principle even after few years. Fellow got good memory ;)

There was this officer on a night inspection at a station who insisted in opening a closed ticket counter in the middle of the night to just 'peep' in who was working, knowing fully well who has signed the attendance and who was on duty. It took the booking clerk a full ten minutes to explain from behind the door that she is not opening the door at any cost at midnight, whoever be the officer. And there is this gentleman officer who loves to be in 'personal contact' with every 'willing' lady staff. My foot! Power and position...a powerful aphrodisiac that make men feel they can jump into bed with every women with a handbag, provided the 'right amount of pressure' is applied at the right time.

If this is the case with educated and loud mouth women like me, imagine the Class 4 workers, women who come as compassionate appointments. Widows targeted by hawks starting from Union people, welfare section staff, bosses above...the list is endless. Makes me sick. One lady was made to carry 50 concrete slabs to the farthest end of the platform just because she did not succumb to the P.Way Inspector. And she continues to suffer even today. And i am helpless...a bystander.

I wish the law grad brings Mr Justice to the books and Tarun Tejpal is made to understand "no one is above the law". More and more women are opening up and I find this change welcoming...only I wish, i had the resource to nail the offenders around me now... Thanks to the young journo and law graduate- ladies, you rock!!!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Bluebell Fairy

This post has been selected by blogadda as a WOW post
 
 
 
And before I knew it, I had hit send...
 
And as the mail sent message popped up, I bit my tongue. I shouldn't have done this. But I was left with no option. Twenty years of patience and waiting and now I have spoilt all this because of a moment of indecision. Chewing my nails, I glanced at the screen refreshing the inbox. Nothing. No mails. Slowly I got up, walked to the balcony and held the ice cold railing. The huge empty land across the road stared at me back. Cold. Distant. Unloved.
 
A warm tear rolled down my cheek. Life...I remembered him at my relative's wedding. As someone who mingles happily with friends and relatives, I was almost the star of the wedding, laughing and playing, tugging at the available plaits of hairs and kanjeevarams. In my final school year, chirpy and glad, I always made heads turn. That was when she saw me, an elderly lady and by the time I knew what was happening, my fate was sealed. All my siblings got married in their teens and I was escaping the noose somehow. This time over, I was caught in the web. The myriad web of wedding and its related chains caught me. By the time I could decipher what was happening, I was the wife of a stranger who seldom smiled.
 
A stoic face sans any expression- all I could remember of him was his stony silence. My mother was interested more in probably the riyals he would shower from the Gulf rather than the love her daughter would get. He left back to the Gulf, the very next week I was declared pregnant by the doctor. I shudder even now thinking of the time when my daughter was born. The cute little bundle of joy came to this world and showed me what life was. What love was. Her first smile, her toddler steps, her first words, I was there watching her bloom into the beautiful flower she is today. Thoughts of my daughter brought a smile to my face and I watched at the rattling bells, swinging slowly in the balcony swing.
 
I tried to remember the last vacation when my husband had flown down from Gulf. When was that? Four years back? He was taken aback at the beautiful teen who came bounding from the stairs. My daughter, the little angel. I could still remember his mask slip away for one second, looking at his daughter and then he was back to his usual self- watching the non existent traffic on the road from the balcony...the same balcony. And that time when he left, I knew he left for good. With one longing look at his daughter he had turned away and walked through the gates.
 
The big rented house echoes with laughter of children and soulful music. Dance and music reverberated the empty halls and staircases. The evenings were divine and the nights...filled with agony and want. My daughter had just now called from Bangalore, wishing me her customary good night and here I sit swinging under the stars and stormy skies. Twenty years of loneliness, longing and bitterness...of nights caring for my sick daughter, of days fearing the people who lent me loans, of darkness that threatened the very bit of my soul. And here I am, at the end of the tunnel, with no light in sight.
 
I had to take that decision long back. I had the time, but never the courage. And today of all days, I found courage. The strength to say No to him. The determination to send him out of my life. The swing rolled front and back as I snuggled into it, watching the Pole star. And memories of the morning's incident came rushing back to me. I had watched the old couple who walked holding hands every early morning from the same balcony. All wrinkled and in their late 70's, they walked silent, every morning. The lady loved the blue bells that hung down from my balcony and every morning the old man plucked one of them and handed it to her. She would turn it around, look at it and place it in her basket. This was almost a ritual for both of them and for the past few days they were missing. With a pang of regret I was watching the blue bells today morning, holding my coffee mug and the old man came walking slowly.
 
 
The lady was missing and just as I thought of calling out to him, he looked up, his eyes brimming with unshed tears. Agonised, as I rushed downstairs, he had plucked the lone flower and held it tight in his shaking hands. As I kept on asking where his wife was, he ignored me totally, looked upwards, pointed at the bright blue sky and walked silently, shrugging my hands off. That was when I decided to give up on my husband. He did not need me. But I needed someone. To hold my hand. To walk along. To pluck me a bluebell. To age together. To die together.
 
Putting all my unshed tears bottled anger of decades, I drafted the shortest mail of my life. " I quit. You will be receiving the divorce notice shortly". And before I knew it, I had hit send. And had ended the loneliness of twenty four years. Twilight permeated the darkness. And I stepped down from the swing. As the first rays of the sun kissed the blue bells, I welcomed a free and radiant morning.
 
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Glass Slippers

At the stroke of midnight, her train arrived. Her senses prevailed and clutching the wailing infant, she waited with bated breath . Her memories whistled past, as the train thundered plundering her senses. She could feel the heat, the hot wheels scratching the cold iron.

Like him and her. Hot and cold. Fire and ice. Two people who should have never met. Who should have never exchanged vows. She wouldn't be here, if she knew he was not destined for her. If only she knew...If only she had known...If only she understood fairy tales never happen in life. Never did she wildly imagine this would happen. A ghost of a smile escaped her lips as she remembered the first day she set eyes on him- her own Prince Charming. 

An innocent salesgirl was no match for him. The first time she saw him, he was wandering through the supermarket, his look pensive, his brows knit together in an uneasy frown. He looked almost lost. As dutiful as ever, she had walked to him and asked- " Sir, what would you like to buy?". He turned to her with a calculated cool, his eyes sizing up her slender frame. Plain appreciation filled his eyes and he let out a low whistle. She could feel blood drumming in her ears and could hear her heart beat fast. This was no ordinary man. One look at him, she knew he was rich...filthy rich. Her brain sent her warning signals which she chose to ignore. And pay she did for her mistake, with her life.

He left the shop happy, whistling and bright. His idea of waiting for his new girlfriend to finish her dance classes, at the nearby supermarket was indeed the best one he had for years.  He loved the salesgirl, she had that air of innocence around her. Huge eyes set wide apart, slender figure, petite and luscious lips, she looked angelic, even in her uniform. He started visiting the shop almost every day, hunting for trivia. Ignoring all warnings from friends, she awaited eagerly for him. 

He started wooing her, showering her with gifts. Dresses, perfumes, bags and slippers...she remembered one particular slipper that almost resembled a glass slipper. Reminded her of Cinderella. She had always imagined herself as Cinderella, since she read the fable in her school days, wishing some Prince would come for her some day. She had ignored her parents' advice, stuck to him like a nail to a magnet and ended up pregnant- one fine morning. When she announced she was pregnant, he was quite taken aback. God, he hadn't thought of that. A baby? That sounded confusing at first.

He thought a lot, spent time weighing the advantages of being 'taken' and decided to go for it. His parents had been pestering him for a daughter in law and an offspring would be an added advantage, he mused. The wedding was a fairy tale, with thousands of guests, flashy cars, glittery jewels, expensive clothes and gourmet food.All that it lacked was 'love' from him. May be he is quite busy with the wedding, she thought. May be he will be normal soon, she hoped. Everything went on a nosedive the moment they were alone. Sensing her nervousness, he held her hands and said-" I married you just to rid of the 'villain' tag. Expect nothing from me. You will be fed well, clothed and accessorized in finery, go by flashy cars. But you are never my equal. I love women. Loads and loads of them. I just want to be free. So long as you remain within your limits, we both shall be happy".

She blinked away silent tears, tried to shake her head and clear away everything like a dream. She was Cinderella. She had everything- cars, jewels, servants, money and even the glass slippers. The clock chimed twelve as he turned away from her and she stood shaking like a leaf. Pooh! Everything had vanished in a cloud of dust. She had everything, but not 'love'. She remained distant, dreaming in her own world. She hated seeing people, stayed indoors, singing softly and whispering words of love to the yet to be born little one. And when the little daughter was born, he was away partying. He was now a total stranger, who had few words for her and the little one. 

It had been one year, since she had met him. August 14...she thought, as a forlorn smile lit her face. Tomorrow...she will be free. As everyone in the country. She had gained strength. The little one's first smile had done wonders to boost her strength. 

The train rattled away as she sat near the window clutching the child. Stars lit up the night sky, clearing the darkness. A silvery moon shone from the dark clouds. She looked at the blissfully sleeping little girl in her arms- her little Cinderella. May be her little girl will own a glass slipper someday...May be the little one will find 'love' someday.
This post is part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by Blog Adda.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Love is a butterfly


One rainy day...

Rain lashed the huge banyan tree where I stood huddled. Wind howled in my ears and drowned out his words. I could not hear them, though I could see them coming...A single tear that had threatened to trickle down the long eyelashes had now turned into a free and steady stream. Hiding my face from him, I ran. So fast as my legs could carry, to the confines of my room. He took a few steps towards me, then chose wisely not to. 

The last two days had been so confusing. He had been elusive, the first I had seen him so, all these years. He kept smiling at me in the training classes, passed on curd at the hotel during lunch hour and everything else had been normal about him, or so it seemed. I noticed he was much withdrawn and aloof. I smiled at the little Jesus motif on his pen. He was never religious, I knew that. May be that was one of the reasons why I tried to remain distant from him. He talked less to everyone and maintained a careful silence whenever I was around. And i was dying to talk to him. To listen to his 'da' and watch his smile light up his eyes. To ruffle his hair and laugh at his crazy jokes. To watch the nimble fingers hold the cigarette stub. To tell him finally that i made up my mind. To tell him that our Love-Hate relationship was over. To bare my heart out in the open...

Few years back...

First day, first college, first classroom. Everything was new and fresh..the college, the class rooms. For a small town girl entering a college, i was pretty nervous, but maintained steady. The whole class turned around to watch me, the girl with a boy cut, the short stature, reed-thin frame. Feeling probing eyes, i turned my head to look straight into the most expressive eyes i had ever seen. A big friendly smile ensued and i was surrounded with warmth. By the break time, i gathered he was friendly with everyone. He came to me in long strides, his six foot frame towering over a midget like me. "Any help, you can ask me", he smiled. His smile- not just a smile, it is a flower that blooms...slowly. His small lips that open wide, revealing white teeth in contrast to the deep brown cigarette kissed lips and the smile tinkling along the little eyes with long eyelashes drooping. 

As days passed, i moved out of my shell. It was tough, fighting out for the marks, recognition from professors and participating in everything under the sun- debates, essay writing, poetry, football, athletics, quizzes. Fighting for recognition does strange things to you- you never try to perceive others around you. I was almost insane, mad for 'more'. How much ever I achieved, i was thirsty for more. It was this craze that hid something precious from me. Him! 

He waited patiently every evening for the classes to end, to walk with me till the terminus, buying me ice creams and happily chatting away about the day. He bought me roses, cared for me, followed me everywhere i went. Annoyed and irritated...that is how i felt initially. My name was not to be sullied. I was a great student, someone who was going to be the 'best'. He was a hindrance. Noting my indifference, he proposed...not once, a million times and hundreds of ways- subtly, openly, strongly. I understood, but feigned indifference. I had to complete the course, settle down in a job. Love could always wait. 

So i started pretending. Pretending to hate him. To yell at him. To make him look a fool. To alienate him from his friends. How much ever i hated him, his love simply kept growing. A single day's absence from college brought him to my home. With feverish lips and burning eyes, i could feel his love as he barged in demanding why i was not at college. His eyes changed a vivid pool of concern looking at my tired face and care spilled in his words. As he left, all i could feel was hate- i hated me for not loving him. 

Years flew fast and he remained the same, we openly showed hatred, I was fighting him at the flimsiest excuses and hiding all the love within. Nothing could move me. Not his day- long wait on a Valentine's Day, not his cards and roses. I was fighting a different battle of proving myself. Not loving someone...The last i ever saw him was on the journey back home, the last day in college. Clutching a bunch of  postal envelopes that he gave me with a long sermon on writing to him, I stood smiling. Nothing registered. I had completed graduation. All i was waiting was for a job. That stood between me and him...I shall tell him my love someday and till then, let him hate me...as much as he can.

Now...

Two years is a long time. People change. Cities change. Everything changes. Love too...I never wrote back to him. I never called him. I believed he could never hate me and his love would never change. I was naive, back then...Love can change. Hate can change. People evolve. He too had evolved. That rainy day, he had evolved...into something beautiful. A butterfly...He had found love. Someone caring for him was waiting for him back home. He had chased love amid all the hate and discovered it. I was so happy for him, elated...yet sad for me. Years have flown by, he had married his sweet heart, i had married someone real nice, landed in a job, have kids and everything in life. As i note my first grey hair, i cannot help but smile, thinking of him...All that is left of him are a bunch of postal envelopes concealed in my box a few fond memories... and this-

This post is a part of Wrote Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Queen Of Spades- Part 11

Story so far...
Commemorative stamp issued by Government of India on Queen Velu Nachiyar
 
This is the story of valiant Velu Nachiyar, the Queen of Sivagangai who fought the British much earlier than Jhansi Ki Rani. This work is pure fiction, though it draws heavily from the history and the times of  the Queen- late 17th Century. The Queen who is driven out of Sivagangai finds refuge at Dindigul fort, forging an alliance with Nawab of Mysore, Hyder Ali. After a wait of eight long years, combining forces with Gopala Naicker of Virupakshi and Hyder Ali's trained forces, the strong army of 6000 men and women soldiers, descend into Sivagangai Fort in the night. Kuyili, confidante of the Queen douses herself in oil and walks straight into the gunpowder storage of the British and lights it up, dying instantly...as the Queen who has no idea of what is happening stands watching in horror.
 
Silence...The ashes were strewn everywhere. Gentle breeze was picking up the dust and littering the area. Periya Marudhu stood paralysed in shock. Kuyili...their Kuyili...his Kuyili was dead- shattered beyond recognition. His stallion refused to budge as his heart that had stopped still. He failed to notice the soldier lunging at him. Chinna Maruthu was vigilant. Though in shock, he was sharp to note the soldier lunging at Periya Marudhu and in one swift moment, his sword tackled the soldier. All Periya Marudhu could do was acknowledge his sibling in a curt nod and move forward. A thousand voices were clouding his mind, yet Chinna Maruthu was strong. Strong enough to push everything aside and he risked a glance at the Queen in horseback who was shielded. Her eyes were wide in pain and shock.
 
The neighs of horses from the makeshift stables floated through the air. The full moon shone in a distance, its rays bathing the gopuram of Kalaiyar Kovil temple. Velu Nachi stood watching the temple, her mind in a whirlpool of emotions. Capturing Kalaiyar Kovil was her dream for the past eight years. Every living moment she had spent imagining this victory. The threshold of the temple where she lay crying, holding to a dead Muthu...the blood, the sweat, the suffering, the pain that refused to erase from the distant past. The sight of Kalaiyar Kovil in the soothing moon light did nothing to ease away her pain.
 
Kuyili...why did she have to do that? Why did she never talk to her about her plan? Her best friend and confidante was now gone...vanished. All that remained of her were the little escapades of their younger years. How carefree and happy they were...Two little girls who grew up amidst laughter and fun in the Ramnad Palace, the love of a valiant Muthuvaduganathan had changed everything about her. Her life had now altered totally. She had a fierce battle ahead...the ensuing battle might bring her death or victory. Velu nachi was ready to face both with aplomb. All she could not comprehend was the sacrifice of Kuyili. The poor woman was caught in the whirlwind of her life. She was never able to show her love to Periya Marudhu, though she pined for his affection.
 
Periya Marudhu...Velu nachi had totally remained engrossed in her thoughts and shook out of her reverie. She had to see Periya Marudhu. She wanted to meet him and knew where exactly she could find him. The huge black stallion rose like a tower against the dark night silhouetted against the rising moon, its silky coat rippling as it munched on the grass. Periya Marudhu lay on the grass, listening to the owls hooting somewhere far away. The full moon...reminded him of the last meeting with Kuyili. She had come to him as he was waiting for the Queen to complete her prayers in the Abiramiamman temple atop the Dindigul Fort.
 
The famed kalmandapam stood proud atop the hill and Periya Marudhu perched on its steps, enjoying the night breeze, his striking long hair ruffled by the wind. Kuyili who had finished her prayers soon, tiptoed to the kalmandapam and was rewarded with the sight of Periya Marudhu...all of windswept hair, toned muscles and in deep thought, his eyes savouring the full moon above. The sound of tinkling anklets woke him with a start and he opened his eyes, staring straight into the most beautiful face of Kuyili. If eyes had soul, he would have understood her unrequited love through them. Periya Marudhu chose to ignore the eyes as always. He wouldn't risk falling into their depths and lose Chinna Marudhu- his dearest brother.
The Kalmandapam atop Dindigul Fort, a testimony to the lives of Velunachiyar, Kuyili and Marudhu brothers
"Isn't the moon beautiful?", Kuyili tried to strike a conversation. Small talk always helped to bring him out of his non existent shell where he would coil himself into, every time he saw her. With a silent nod, he turned his attention to the full moon, thought his senses shrieked at him to look at her. The mild fragrance of jasmine flowers from her hair, the smell of shikakai and turmeric...a heady mix lethal, emanated from her and wafted through his nostrils. " I would like to tell you sss..something", she stammered. Her lips quivering and eyes fluttering. Dear God! This is not the time and place, he swore under his breath. " We are moving soon to Kalaiyar Kovil", she said. He nodded and she continued now, gaining little hope.." and I would like the battle to end soon. I..I..would like to marry you...", she blurted out.
 
Periya Marudhu risked a glance at her and regretted immediately. Her eyes bespoke volumes of love, her best years spent in yearning for his love and attention. He pulled up his guard again, the mask slipping back. Kuyili stared at  him, she could see the softening of his eyes, his shoulders relaxing a little and his hardened lips showing a ghost of a smile, before the mask slipped on. Now his expression was hooded. Lowering his eyes, he looked at the void beyond the hill and stood silent. Kuyili waited with bated breath for him, his word. All that ensued was silence, with the breeze touching the two wounded souls very much in love. Periya Marudhu tried to bring back the image of a desolate Chinna Marudhu, shattered by the news of his wedding to Kuyili..No..he wouldn't let this happen.
 
He shook his head and looked away. Kuyili could understand his hooded emotional turmoil. She had been watching him for years now. Now that she had laid her heart bare to him, she now knew exactly how he felt. And it dawned on her...how long she waited, Periya Marudhu would never be out with his love. She felt happy, glad that she knew he loved her. That one moment when he stood transfixed, letting himself be just a lovelorn man, she understood his love. With a tear threatening to evade her little left pride, Kuyili turned from the brooding man and left...
 
The tinkling bells, the cool breeze, the full moon...and a life without Kuyili...Periya Marudhu lay on the grass, lost in the web of his thoughts. He knew exactly why she had chosen to take the extreme step of blowing herself up. She saw no future for both of them and her kohl- laden eyes will always haunt him. Approaching footsteps woke him with a start and he sat up abruptly looking at the Queen herself who came towards him in a swift stride.
 
To be continued...
 
p.s.: Please bear with  the long gap between Queen Of Spades- Part 10 and this part. I have been trying to write this series without break...I swear ;) I will promptly complete the series.
p.p.s.: Back to work after a small break. I wonder why Indian Railways doesn't change its outdated and antique duty hours roster. At times I wonder what time of the day it is- morning or night...Whatever time I am awake is day and when I sleep is night;)
p.p.p.s.: My son got a special mention in today's Hindu, gave his first press interview on the biodiversity express train...Happy :)
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Of glow worms and butterflies....

Thank you blogadda!
Friendship Day!
 
Friendship- always evokes strong memories of my childhood, the sweat, the games, the falls, the tears and the unlimited happiness. The childhood spent in one of the most picturesque villages on the foothills of Western Ghats...complete with a waterfalls, a flowing river, lush green paddy fields, plenty of friends and mischiefs. Those were the best days of my life!
Who wouldn't love a serene moment here?
We were awesome together- she a terrific introvert, ever smiling and soft. Myself- the proverbial chatterbox. My memories of Sharmila are ever green- the idlis and chilli powder her mother makes for us, the happy moments spent in the dance classes, the dance program we both performed in the temple of her hometown, her brother and his dance moves...The sweetest memory is that of how we bred a caterpillar in captivity, hiding it in a coconut shell, feeding it with leaves, watching it pupate and slowly limp out as a wet butterfly! Probably the best moment of my life was watching the brown butterfly dry its wings and fly unsteadily..as we both watched mesmerised!
That is me!
And how do I not mention Vallabi? Still remember how she used to draw two love birds in her notebook's last pages, a secret! And her passion for songs, how she taught me there was indeed a turquoise blue ink and her mother's special rava laddus! My math tution partner Siva...the long walks from and to the tution together, the magic of stealing guavas while master was busy teaching Sin and Cos...My cycling partner Velmurugan- our 6 kms cycling everyday watching the gloriosa flowers in full bloom in the mornings and adoring the glow worms in the dark. The long discussions with him on politics, tamizh language history, poetry...The numerous competitions, dance floors, debates, quizzes...
 
How can I forget the two years in Chennai? Senior schooling in Chennai's SBOA- the pranks, movies, fights, football matches, cycle tests, competitions and happiness. This is where I learnt friendship crosses all borders- gender, language and everything else. The VCRC Batch #3 is one of the 'worst' and 'notorious' batches would vouch all our poor teachers. The cycle tests...yuck! The early morning homework copy sessions...Cut+ Copy+ Paste..."Hum aapke Hain Koun" with almost all thirty seated in a single row at Woodlands, that football boys Vs girls match...
The gang then...
I discovered what life was- how the thirty odd people overcame every obstacle and finally how we all have settled down. A bunch of hardworking, intelligent and tough nutsThough now in every nook and corner of the world- my best pal Prasanna in Washington, Bhuvana in Dubai, Gnaneswari, Vijayan and Sushmitha in Chennai, the loveable pair Triju and Jinie, Karthik in Bangalore, Geetha in Hongkong, we are a truly scattered group who regroup with vigour and warmth that remains just the same after all these fifteen years! Special thanks to Facebook and our group mail for keeping us together.
The gang now- complete with spouses and kids, after 15 years!
Those years made us what we are now. The get together we arranged a couple of years back brought every memory rushing back. That our children could hold hands and play, taking forth the bond of friendship further is just magic. The magic of friendship!
 
This post is part of Write Over the Weekend an initiative for Indian bloggers by Blog Adda!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Break free!

The social stigma of openly airing one's views on the issues of women is still attached to every one of us. How many of us are willing to openly sit and discuss the menstrual cycle, its physical and emotional effects on a woman in the confines of our home? Are we ready to ask our adolescent girls how they view the peripheral issues covering the menstrual cycle? Or rather how many of us ourselves can openly pronounce 'we are fit' to light the lamps, 'fit' to roam about the house freely and the least of all- dip our hands in that rice bag?
Abnormal Myths- all associated with the very normal cycle in every woman's life. The so- called conservative households still segregate their women during those days, however educated and sophisticated they may be. The entire household knows when you are supposed to get your cycle, in fact there are women who sleep on balconies in apartments! This is when every adolescent girl would like to rest one's head on the lap of her mother...Aren't we denying that simple gesture to our young? One is required to sleep alone, required to self wash the mats, pillow cases, bedspreads, dresses and everything under the sun every morning. It promotes personal hygiene, for sure, I agree. But imagine the plight of women who already have the physical discomfiture of cramps, pain and menorrhagia- over bleeding.
picture courtesy- menstrupedia
And a visit to a place of worship when you are 'impure' is unimaginable. A woman is the best creation of God. How come she is not allowed to pray and visit His Abode during her 'bad' days? The so-called elders had taught us too many 'don'ts' during those days. The rice bags remain a 'no touch' area. How is it supposed to rot when someone in her periods touches it is still baffling to me. The plants and flowers...the garden of our homes are supposed to be the biggest stress busters. When a woman is emotionally drained and physically down, all she looks for is something, anything to make her smile. Flowers- always bring a smile to us. Are we not supposed to go near them? Water the plants? Not wear a new salwar during those days though I had ogled for it? Ridiculous!
If women in the cities by themselves face such inconveniences, imagine the plight of rural women. There is absolutely no education to the little girls on their menstrual cycles that they are caught by surprise the first time. Discussing the normal physical changes in a girl's body never happens at home, mothers seldom educate their little ones. They are totally unprepared for what ensues. The commercials that 'educate' such women on personal hygiene are just 'hooded'.
Sanitary napkins- the issue I wanted to discuss is finally here. The sanitary pads market in India is a multi billion rupee business, with the demand topping a whopping 10 billion pieces per annum. The growth is estimated at 20% in urban areas, quite acceptable. The rural areas still lag behind, with just 7% growth, the main reason being the lack of awareness and open discussions and personal hygiene education. The girls of the rural areas need more awareness of the menstrual cycle and their personal hygiene. I sincerely wish the Women's Self Help Groups of the rural areas are being roped in for this service. As women, we can spread awareness among us, to reach out to those millions of girl children out there who don't have an inkling of what their periods are. The Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG) is one such initiative that has borne fruit in Puducherry. More such initiatives are required to bring positive changes in the otherwise 'closed' communities.
Disposable pads are definitely an environmental hazard, though they boast of being made of cotton, they contain polyacrylate and are rolled from polypropylene, the linings made of polyethylene! All these ingredients can ignite series of health troubles ranging from skin irritation to respiratory infections. Polyacrylate is the main ingredient of latex house 'paints'. Probably we are using a killer that contains the most petroleum by products. And polyethylene the worst of all- the most common plastic that takes centuries to decompose. Can you imagine the single napkin we use takes 800 years to decompose? What are we leaving our children? Mountains of used sanitary napkins untreated. I definitely wouldn't like that be a legacy I leave behind.
Is there any other alternative? Yes!
Welcome to the world of cloth napkins. Simple to use, washable, definitely re-usable and can decompose easily. Our mothers, grandmothers have been using it and let us give them a hearty welcome. Presenting eco femme- an initiative by women, for women and of women. The washable cloth pads are made by the rural women through AVAG, which in turn conducts menstrual education seminars and discussions. Switching over to cloth napkins is something that I am seriously contemplating with right now. The product comes with a wash proof bag to carry them easily, they can be washed easily too. It is not that bad to wash away one's own blood, is it? Soaking them for half an hour can do the magic- simple hand or machine wash later would suffice. Imagine the cost cutting- the reusable pads can be used for anything between three to five years! It keeps us safe from all that petroleum that we are sitting on top of!
Cloth pads by Eco Femme- they look lovely, don't they?
Are you still 'whispering', 'staying free' or 'care free'? What would you use if you are left with options of choosing cloth and disposable napkins? I would like to know. Looking for a healthy discussion on the issue at hand. As women who are empowered, educated and liberated, we have a responsibility to our society- our lesser fortunate women. Spread the message as much as you can and please feel free to discuss. Talking of menstrual cycle and sanitary napkin is not a taboo anymore.
BREAK FREE!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A drive to remember!

This was ridiculous! We had been roaming the roads of Gangtok looking for a guide and a vehicle to take us to the famous Nathula Pass and Changu lake. We had checked in with a hotel that promised us a package including the trip to the Pass and Lake, but like usual hotels, citing unavoidable circumstances, backed out. Just plain...backed out. After a loud argument and few unshed tears, we left the hotel in search of a travel agent in Gangtok who would take us to the coveted places. Unknown city and a chill night coupled with the irritation of locating an agent...I was almost sobbing. We finally located it- Sunshine Tours and Travels. The owner was a kind understanding guy. Few minutes later, I was glad I ended up in his office. Our travel applications were ready. Now we awaited the permits which would be issued only the next day.
 
Sunrise in Gangtok is pure Heaven.
Sunrise from the roof top of our hotel
 
Clouds floating beneath, the pink peaks of Kanchendzonga shining in the early morning sun...birds chirping all around, roses and daisies in full bloom and me sipping a cup of warm chaai cuccooned with the mister, watching the sunrise. We started early and our permits were ready by ten o clock only. Nima- the gift of our Sikkim Tour was driving the Innova. He knew the mountains like the back of his hand. A simple and down to earth person, he loved us Madrasis to the core. Our Hindi astounded him. " Memsahib...tum to bahut achche hindi bholte ho", he used to say once in a while. The drive of 54 kms from Gangtok to Nathula is one journey you have to undertake, if you want to know what a spectacular scenic and thriller ride is!
Clouds drifting apart and the winding road in between!


The entire drive reminded me of cliff-hanger!

The road built and maintained by the Border Roads Organisation is indeed a marvel. Criss crossing valleys and negotiating bends, climbing cliffs and rolling down the slopes, the journey was made memorable by spectacular sights of mist floating by, innumerable waterfalls and occasional sighting of yaks! As we climbed altitude, my breakfast threatened to make its way up which I pushed down with all my might. As whit sheets of snow slowly came visible, I felt incredibly hungry. And we slowed down at a small town for a snack of piping hot momos. A visit to the North East is incomplete without a plate of momos dipped in chilli sauce. Lip smacking momos came to the table, but my eyes were riveted elsewhere...The sight from the window of the tiny motel was magical and dreamy.
The best view from a window!

As we continued our climb, sheets of melting snow gurgling as little waterfalls all along and lazy yaks grazing the little grass left, the mighty mountains unfolded in myriad maze of white and brown. We crossed semi-frozen lakes and quaint villages. As we crossed Sherathang, we were surprised to see the highest ATM of Punjab National Bank at 14000 feet! The Army post located nearby must have been blessed with this ATM! The ascent through Changu lake is a sight that one can never forget, with snow playing hide and seek.
Highest ATM of PNB, Sherathang
 
One of the many serene lakes
Our drive and us

Without stopping by, we continued to the Nathula Pass, where we had to walk almost a kilometre up the snow, thanks to a traffic jam. A traffic snarl at 14000 feet is unimaginable and the walk to the pass' entry and climb up the flight of stairs leading to the Indo- China Border is no mean feat. My father aged 60 and my baby girl aged 6 then were the happier ones enjoying the climb, while I was huffing and puffing like a rail engine on the rocky mountains...Few pictures at the summit and we were happily playing with the snow, throwing balls at each other and pushing each other on the soft bed of snow.
Finally! At Nathula Pass

On the way back, Nima took us to another small eatery, rather a home where we were served chow-mein and I wandered out as always to play with a huge yak on the road. He seemed unperturbed and cool. As I inched close for a picture, the camera-shy guy was so nervous that he almost touched the edge of the cliff.
Poor yak!

The yak ride in Changu was another adventure. The little yak that was supposed to carry me looked at me with utter disbelief. A good 80 kilos, I was too worried that his back would break. But the little one seemed well mannered and handed me back safe to my family. The drive back was swift, Nima keeping the conversation live and active as I dozed on and off, now used to the tumble and rumble in my stomach. It has been almost a year since our drive to Nathula, but the memories of the snow sheathed mountains remain fresh, tucked away in a safe corner of my heart. To reminisce and ponder on what a drive it was!
Enjoying the traffic snarl at 14000 feet, playing with the snow!

Written for the Michelin Pilot Experience Contest by blog adda

A chance to win a trip to Michelin Pilot Experience at BlogAdda.com

As I Fall...

This post has been picked by blog adda as a WOW post!


Tring Tring...the phone rang...
 
The shrill tone echoed along the long dank corridor. Footsteps rushed to pick up the phone. Then ensued a free-for-all and finally the receiver ended up with the little guy in his white pyjamas. His mouth still wet and smudged with red cream, he yelled a loud "Hellooooooo". The lady in a black satin night gown stood beside him, her long hair tumbling down her curvy back. She looked pale and exhausted but a smile dazzlingly lit up her beautiful face. " Pappa!", exclaimed the little guy with all his might. And as a chill hand touched my shoulder, I turned and looked straight into her face...the face contrite with unshed tears and something else simmering deep inside- agony. My throat goes dry...
 
The phone rings...tring tring...The shrill tone echoes along the corridor. the smell of fresh cake being baked touched his nostrils and the little guy in white pyjamas runs towards it. So does his mother- the beautiful lady with long tresses that almost kissed her waist with her every footstep. The playful tiff  ends with the little one winning the fight and yelling a mighty "Pappa!" over the phone. This happens almost every night, as I watch them in the adjacent flat, from my fourteenth floor balcony, holding my cigar, reminiscing my non existent family. The call from the young man who is employed abroad and the two loving souls who run to talk to the man of their lives...hmmmm...
 
With a wife divorced years back and no kids to hold on to, my life is just the routine and mundane "run of the mill. All I want is a loving hand to hug me tight and call me "Pappa!". And she- the most adorable woman I've seen all my life. What kind of a man would live life apart from such love and beauty? Her husky voice when she sings to her son, her elegance in black sarees, her lovely locks of soft and wavy hair...Oh God...I am mad with want, hungry with need. It was one such dark starry night that I went knocking their door. I had heard her bedtime story being read out with warmth and the ensuing silence must have emboldened me.
 
I knocked on the door and waited with bated breath as she opened the door wide, her smile lighting up her whole face and my whole being. The smell of freshly baked cake floats around the hall as I walk behind her, adoring her long tresses and curvy back. She insists on having a coffee as I watch her moves with lust and longing. Unable to resist my feelings anymore, I pull her waist from behind. Unexpected of the sudden movement, she turns, flips and falls back with her head hitting the granite counter top. Blood gushes out as a stream...flowing freely on the kitchen floor as I watch stupefied with horror. She lies still and it takes me just two full minutes to register that she is dead...plain dead. Sweating and panting, I turn to run, as the little one in his white pyjamas stands near the kitchen door clutching his Tom teddy, his eyes wide with fear. His mouth still is wet and smudged with the red cream from his favourite cake. Shit! I try to think fast. What did he see? He shouldn't be alive...is what my head orders me.
 
" I didn't do anything", I yell, as he tries to kick himself free from my vice like grip. I grab the big Tom teddy and push the little one on the ground, smothering him. His limbs flail and try to grab something, anything...And I could reach the phone cord. Pulling it around his neck and smothering his groans with the teddy, I exert all my energy in wringing his tiny neck. His limbs loosen and finally he lies still...I run fast from the house, so fast as my legs could carry me and rest only when I reach the confines of my home.
 
I try to wet my parched lips and shriek at the top of my voice. But I can muster just a weak ahhhhh....I wrest myself free from her grip and the hollowed eyes of her little son. I finally break free, the cigar in my hand still intact. As I tumble to my death fourteen floors from my balcony, all I can see is her long tresses of hair rolling along my death and her soft husky voice reading the usual bed time story.
 
Tring Tring...the phone rang and rang and rang....
 
 
This post is a part of  Write Over the Weekend an initiative for Indian Bloggers by Blogadda.
 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Mama's Mia Princess!

My Princess!
"I am a princess"...she sings in her husky, tiny voice to the little Barbie perched on her lap. I watch my little girl, transfixed, as she keeps on crooning and changing hairstyles and hairclips. My cheeky little one is someone who I look upon at adverse times, trying times and whenever I feel low. She has an 'attitude' and carries herself with style and beauty. Everything she does, is a poem. Her every word of wisdom is a joke. Imagine this- the other day we were driving to the doctor on my two-wheeler when I asked the little one to tell her math tables. It all came wrong. Coming back home, she recited them exactly right! When asked why it all came wrong on the ride, here goes my little one- " Mom...the numbers got all jumbled when your bike hit the speed breaker". I was left speechless!

 
She knows the right moment to keep us ticking, to make us reel in laughter. And oh, at school, she is always surrounded by friends. It was fun watching bigger kids calling out her name when I go to school for meetings. The school van arrives with the chant "Leina, Leina". She chooses her wardrobe, her jewellery and her makeup...and I feel she is every bit a DIVA! And all I can wish is many more laurels in her life. If I had the luck of choosing her jewellery, it would definitely be Mia! I wish I could accessorize my angel's 'aura' with these pieces of simple, yet exquisite jewellery. Just check out the trendy jewellery designed for the divas of tomorrow by Tanishq. Check out the video below-
 

 
Written for Mia Blogger Contest by Mia, tanishq.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Picture Card Perfect- Pelling, Sikkim

This post has been selected as Spicy Saturday Pick by Blogadda. A huge Thank You, Blogadda!

Pelling- The place is distinct, quaint and ruggedly loveable. By the time we reached the hotel we had booked online, in a cool April day, the town was in its afternoon slumber. The 'town' is barely a few streets, dotted with plenty of hotels, tiny eateries serving steaming momos and spicy chaai, souvenir shops selling chinaware and bric-a-brac. After a late lunch and a nap, we left the hotel for a walk, a walk to remember it was...Holding hands with your loved one, walking along the peaceful walkways, counting the stars and being kissed by the pristine weather...Pelling always remains etched in my memory as something sweet and romantic.

The aroma of pink lilies bursting into bloom woke me in the early morning and I was so eager to have a glimpse of the mighty Kanchendzonga that I rushed to the balcony, tugging my woollens. Mesmerised is all I can say. Pulling the chair and glued to the balcony I geared myself for one of the spectacular sunrises of my life. The light came in slowly, showering the icy top of the ranges a crimson orange that transformed to a lovely mauve, pink and finally settled down for a peachy white. The chirping birds around, sounds of  a small town waking up and the bountiful nature around you is almost dreamy and magical.
Sunrays kissing the icy Kanchendzonga

A simple beautiful cottage, Pelling
We had a full day to roam around the place and i was very particular in making the most of the day. After a breakfast of chow-mein, we set off with our favourite driver cum guide, Nima. The travel to Kanchendzonga falls is by itself Heaven, with winding roads that criss cross valleys and mountains. Little villages perched atop the hills, beautiful women going about their routine chores...I jumped at the chance of meeting two Lepcha women who posed cute for pictures with me and i had a hard time understanding their language and adoring their jewellery. The Kanchendzonga waterfall is about 30 kms from Pelling and the drive to Kecheopalri lake is through this awesome water marvel.
Local Lepcha Tribe woman- loved her jewellery!

Majestic Kanchendzonga Falls

The Acrobats near the falls- found it hard to control them!
 
The steps leading to the falls is a bit tricky, but once you cross the canopy, you are rewarded with a graceful shower of waterspray. I loved crossing over the stream and walking amidst the rolling stones. The path to the falls is dotted with shops selling channa, chaai and noodles.

Our next stop is equally breath taking- the Kecheopalri lake called lovingly the wishing lake. The path leading to the lake is mystical, aged trees dotting the path that begins from a temple with a huge bell. The ramp way to the lake lined by wishing bells. Bells, bells and more bells. The sight is simply astounding. And any mention of Kechoepalri without mentioning the fishes of the lake is incomplete. The huge shoals of  fish come to see you on the shores, they just circle calmly seeing you, feeling you. A truly rewarding spiritual experience is the gift  that Kecheopalri lake offers you. A very sacred lake of both Hindu and Buddhist faiths, devotees throng the place.
The Wishing lake, shaped like the footstep of Goddess Tara

The fishes in the lake

Singshore suspension bridge was next in the itinerary. Mighty high at 198m, this bridge connects two hills. Touted as Sikkim's highest bridge and Asia's second highest gorge suspension bridge, a bird's eye view from the bridge can just send your adrenaline pumping. I wish they could start bungee jumping from this vantage bridge, would definitely love to plunge down from it one day! Pulling the kids, we walked the stretch of the bridge across and was rewarded with the sight of lovely 'sunakhari' orchids blooming on a rock! And red roses along the road. Built for about 16 years by Sikkim PWD, this bridge is definitely worth a visit.
The Singshore Bridge- second highest gorge suspension bridge of Asia!
 
Sunakhari in full bloom!
Our last visit for the day is the Pemayangtse Monastery. Situated at the entry point of Pelling, the monastery dates back to 17th Century. The main statue of Padmasambhava with his consorts and the paintings around the temple are unique. The first floor houses several ancient Buddhist dolls, idols and paintings. The second floor is magical- the seven-tiered wooden structure, a model of the Heavenly Palace.
Pemayangtse Monastery
 

Intricate Lord Ganesha painting- Pemayangtse Monastery
 

Heavenly Palace- Monastery
The little monks around the place, the fluttering flags, the icy peaks jotting the landscape and cool breeze- the picture unfolds in my eyes as i write this. A visit to Pelling can rejuvenate and re-ignite the passion to live, as I discovered...

p.s.: God...I am dying for a trip again. Dear God, let my darling husband read this post and sponsor my next trip ;)
p.p.s.: Hearty welcome to the Royal Son. When are we going to see our own India's Royal Son? Speed up, Ra(h)ul!
p.p.p.s.: How are fried ice-creams sinfully tasty? :P

Friday, 21 June 2013

Voyage of a file...

This story is about that teeny-weeny file. Yes, you heard it right- A FILE. That Khakhi folder that folds your fortune for weeks, months or at times even years...The journey of a file is by itself a (mis)adventure! If the file sits in a Government Office, the journey can beat the Adventures of Sindbad. Twists, turns and unexpected drama that drives you to the edge of the seat...


 Now you mustn't forget gentlemen and equally gentle women, the synonym for railways is redtape. Any file in Railways moves at rail(snail) pace, strictly! Unless the file is a complaint on a poor clerk or a penalty/punishment file. The latter one moves like lightning...or rather faster than sound, putting supersonic jets to shame! This happened few years ago when I had to go abroad to live with my husband, on a special Ex India Leave from Railways. Now this leave requires a No Objection Certificate from various sections, including the Chennai Zonal Office.

Like the hutch pug puppy, I was glad to watch the file being tagged, labelled, shunted in and out of various offices for almost three months in the confines of divisional office. It was like watching a volley in a tennis match between Federer and Nadal, right, left, right, left. Every single day, I walked the corridors, smiling at people, cajoling some, begging some and threatening some to get a glimpse of my darling file. After all this surveillance, my darling file moved from my place to Chennai Office. Hooray! Finally. She went by Rockfort Express and here was I praying for the entire 800 odd passengers and mail plus my file to reach Chennai safe and sound.

The ordeal was not yet over for my file. I waited patiently for two more months. My better half was getting bitter as I was wasting precious time in getting permission to leave the country. And my darling was not yet back. That is when I decided to pull up my sleeves and get to work, trace my file. Tracing a file? If I had the resource, I would have written volumes on 'how to trace a file' now. Poor me, with the hopes of discovering my file, I boarded Rockfort again. Little did I know that discovering America was far more easier to Columbus than me discovering my file in the sunk titanic that we call our Zonal Office.

Tonnes of records, kilos of dust and two days of unrelenting search finally led me to an office assistant who knew where the file exactly was! " My "Eureka" was probably louder than Archimedes'. Thankfully I was not in the tub, but the corridor of railway office. Sensing my relief, the assistant 'sir' now scratched his head. Taking the cue, I offered a Gandhi. He shrugged his shoulder in disgust. Oh...this was one gentleman, I thought. A penny for my thought, he winked his eyes at me, motioning me to the far end of the corridor. He showed mudras which I, even a trained bharatanatyam dancer couldn't understand. One full minute went by before I understood- the guy wanted a Napolean badly.

The Warlord Napolean must have turned in his grave when I looked at this man incredulously- " Who is Napolean?" Two hours, one full Napolean and half a biryani later, I was reunited with my darling file! Tears stung my eyes as I retrieved her from the hands of our Napolean 'drunk' Bornaparte. Two more days of volleying and finally I was returning back to my place hugging her. The journey from there was smooth- my file finished her " Around Railway Offices in 180 days" and rested on my lap one fine evening. As my flight took off from Chennai International Airport, I was dreaming of my darling file who bade me farewell. Without her, I wouldn't be on board the flight.

The art of tracing and retracing a file is by itself an art- you need loads of patience, tonnes of perseverance and truck loads of luck. The file of a property transaction deal required four months and two sets of bata slippers @ 999.99. If there was not one honest Officer, my file would be sitting like a lame duck in some Tahsildar's table. Husband dear is a Ghazni Mohammed by birth. Despite my experiences in file chasing, he has now applied for 'patta' for our house. Hail Mary! Week after week it will be now chasing the file, which I do without much ado;)

Worse still, my leave letter file is now making me moan and groan. Her Highness was submitted to the due boss on 5th June for leave from 15th June. She has now done her Houdini Act- gone missing. After constant snickering and pestering friends and foes, I managed to trace her today morning. She is sitting under the table of my boss, gathering dust, waiting for my boss's pen to kiss her goodbye. I wish I could hold her...touch her...just inhale her essence- the FILE- my LIFE!!

p.s. : I really am bitchy writing this post, forgive me...a woman has the rights to bitch, right?
p.p.s.: Had a tough time in RPF outpost today trying to 'prove' I was a Railway staff to a knuckle head who thought he was probably Sherlock Holmes who found out that I had left my bike in a "No parking' Zone. Man...we are women! We are supposed to park in 'no parking' zones only :P
p.p.p.s.: How I hate men who look at 'assets' alone when they speak to us...Dear God...let all those men who look at us lurid, be born in their next birth as men with copious 'assets' that can put a cricket bat to shame!!!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

To bang or not to bang???

The next time you plan to bang someone cute, careful dudes and dudettes, the Court is watching. Funny, to imagine, the lady with the balance waits by your bedside trying to decide if the chick you just banged is over 18. And, dude, you sure are above 21, aren’t you? If no, then you can drink and make merry, kid. You can have as many casual flings as you can and the Justice isn’t bothered. And just in case you are over 21, you are royally screwed, my man!

The new ruling of Chennai High Court is a truly landmark judgement. “If any unmarried couple of the right legal age indulge in sexual gratification, this will be considered a valid marriage and they could be termed husband and wife.” What an amazing judgement! Hail, Milord! What if I wake up in the morning with no idea of being married to the bartender or the item girl :P

I can hear them conservatives jump up with joy at the ruling. “ That will put them youngsters at the right place. Chi. Chi. So many live in relationships, casual flings…now they will know of our culture”. Oh yes…now the number of one- night stands and casual coitus will dwindle…how scary! I am not that na├»ve to say one got to wait for the Mr. Right to learn what is sex. But why do we Indians have the passion to always relate sex and marriages? For God's sake, sex is just sex and marriage is something that has to last longer. Not to be decided or proved in a Courtroom! And how the Hell does one prove they had sex in the confines of one’s privacy? Film it?( Isn’t that pornography?) Or rather take sleazy pictures of the act and put it on the Court’s noticeboards?

And what is the relevance of family and the ‘mangal sutra’? The saath pherahs, the agni kund, the chain that ties the two goats (ahem, read mutually consenting adults for sex)together? Does the Court say they have no relevance or they are shitty waste of time and money? You want to get married, simple, get the chick drunk, bang her, take few pictures and voila! We pronounce you man and wife! Or the other way…you find a well settled man, a little indecisive and you are over 18, want a secure life, just start living together;) The Court will guarantee you a happily ever after…provided sense prevails and your man sticks to you.
What happens in case ‘such lawfully wedded couple’ need to break up after a one night stand? Simple- apply for a divorce, live a year in separation and two more years clearing the legal hassles. All this wait for one night of sex? By the time you get your divorce, boy would you have wished you never had a sexual apparatus in your body!

I am totally baffled…the teenie-weenie youth would now be banging their heads on bedposts, thinking- “to have or not to have”…rather “to wed or not to wed”…It would be better if the judges concentrate on clearing the cases on their benches faster than creating such ‘landmark’ judgements. And let us leave the institution of marriage outside the purview of sex. Please!

p.s.: So what is the rule for extra marital sex? Any clarifications? Just interested :P
p.p.s.: You are going to be seeing me more from now on...beware ;)
p.p.p.s.: "More" above means i am weighing a whoppy 80 kilos :P
p.p.p.p.s.: Sincere condolences to celebrity cook Nigella Lawson who was manhandled by her husband in a restaurant. Lady...better watch what you cook :P