Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

My Bucket List

This is the first time someone has tagged me, and thank you Dhanya for doing that.

It’s more than a week since she tagged me to do ‘The Bucket List’, and my lazy self kept it aside. Inspired by the movie ‘The Bucket List,’ this tag is to list out things one want to do before one ‘kicks the bucket’. Well, I don’t want to kick the bucket, maybe in the next 200 years. So I should’ve a long list. But then, some of the most interesting things are never planned. Anyways, here comes my list …

1. I want to travel across the world. It may look like a copy-paste from Dhanya’s list, but isn't everybody getting bitten by the ubiquitous travel bug. And my must-go places include all over India and, for some strange reason, Egypt.

2. Build a low-cost house in Kerala, which should have a garden with all neglected/almost-extinct plants and an orchard as well.

3. Grow my own food, at least vegetables (of course, organic only).

4. Start a bookshop or at least a library.

5. Learn swimming. I get swimming lessons from Unny whenever we get a chance to jump into a waterbody. But I guess I need to go to a real swimming pool and get help from an instructor.

6. Drive in Mumbai city during rush hour. Every time I see the way vehicles are maneuvered during peak hours, my heart skips a beat.

7. Learn Marathi and at least one foreign language. I’ve started watching Marathi channels, but the programmes can’t sustain my interest. Not my fault. :-)

All these came at my finger tips without thinking. And I feel sleepy and I can’t think now. So that’s it.

The last three things in the list are there because I am too lazy to make an effort. You might be thinking, how this lazy bum is going to do the other things in the list. Even I don’t know. :-)

I know very few people in the English blog world and almost all of them are already tagged for this. So I leave it open to whoever reads this post and is interested in making their own bucket list.

Wednesday, 23 July, 2008

For them, tragedy is forever

I feel guilty about forgetting the massive Bhopal tragedy when I wrote the post “Destructive DDT.” That means I am one of those ‘selfish’ souls. As long as it does not hurt me or my loved ones or my state, I don’t care.

I am sorry; I feel frustrated and helpless after reading Annie Zaidie’s post
Known Turf: Perfect faces, national poisons.

See a full report

What can I do?

Friday, 18 July, 2008

Nirmala’s helplessness

Like so many others, Nirmala came to Mumbai for a better life. She’s from a village in Nepal. When I was looking for a maid, my neighbour introduced her to me. She’s our building watchman’s wife. Though a little skeptical because of her pallid look, I agreed to take her for sweeping and swabbing. Nirmala was a little nosy too. She wanted to know how much rent I was paying and stuff like that.

I asked about her life back in Nepal, and she started talking non-stop as if she was waiting for a chance to speak. It was difficult to understand her Hindi with Nepalese touch. My Malayalam-influenced Hindi didn’t help much. Still, she shared some sad facts of her life.

While as farmers there is no shortage of food in her home, Nirmala says, “we don’t make any money over there, and that’s why we came to Mumbai.” Apparently, they grow all the food required – cereals, pulses, oil seed, and vegetables. They use katha as soap. But no savings. Ironically, they earn money in Mumbai, but need to buy everything. No more self-grown food. Her husband earns Rs 2500/ per month as watchman and a little more by washing cars. Even with Nirmala’s contribution, this is not enough for a family of three. They have a 3-year old daughter staying with them. Elder daughter is with her grand parents.

So Nirmala requested me give her more work and more money. If she does all the house work, what will I do? Then I will have to spent money and join a gym to get some exercise.

Now comes the even more sad part. Nirmala used to work as an agent to promote family planning among the villagers. Oh good, I thought. She continued, “Because of my training, I know my back pain is due to the miscarriage I had a year back.” Now it was my turn to become nosy. I asked her why she went for a third child when she advised her villagers to limit the number of children to two. She replied, in Nepal if a woman can’t bear a son, she doesn’t have any value. She may be thrown out of her house and her husband may even remarry. Sounds familiar! After all, Nepal is our neighbouring country. The plight of woman is the same.

So here’s Nirmala, who tells others about the importance of family planning, but willing to subject her frail body to more pregnancies for a son. And she concluded, “Bhabi, you are lucky. Your husband didn’t remarry even though you don’t have children.” I didn’t know what to say.

Wednesday, 2 July, 2008

Siamese coconut tree!

Siamese babies are rare. Siamese coconut trees are rarer.

Check out this nature's wonder (or blunder) here.


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