Worries of an Indian Boy – Question No.5

Continued from here,the final question asked in the survey was

Do you think the rapes cases are creating a generalization attitude which says all men are bad?



Since I don’t interact with a lot of women, I don’t know. May be. At least when reading newspapers, I get the feeling that every other man is a potential rapist!
Now, to the question of how to bring a change, my solution would be that of an extremist, but anyways, I think rape cases could be avoided or at least brought down, if Indian people are more liberal towards sex. An average Indian man marries at the age of 28 while he reaches adolescence at say 14 or so.. In conservative Indian society, it takes 14 years for a man to have sex with a woman- of course, pre-marital sex is still considered sin/ immoral. Moreover, all these years after adolescence, he might have watched millions of movies and stuff not necessary illegal, which have either one or two sex scenes and the like. It is a good quality of mind that a man doesn’t violate a woman in any means. But at the same time, a rapist is almost a hungry wolf, not bothering whether his food is stolen or not!Well, rape committed by a married man in that sense would clearly be unjustified and a crime. If it were for men, who become pregnant, rape cases would still exist, but the, rape would be charged the other way round. Mind you, by the above statement, I am not justifying a rapist, but in turn, thinking it in a more general perspective.
So, as I said before, the best way would be for the society to take a more liberal attitude towards sex.
may be legalizing prostitution or setting up government run brothels in a healthier and safer way? And still if rape cases exist, just go for capital punishment, That’s all. – Kizhakkepurakkal Ashwin

No, definitely not. But it does make women a bit more cautious during their dealings with men, but definitely it doesn’t create a generalizing tendency among women. Besides, I don’t think most women are crude enough to look at all men with such condescending.  However, a change is required in the mindset of most men to look at women as equals and not as sex objects, through appropriate sex education right from adolescence and encouraging more socializing among men and women to understand each other. – Name Withheld

Its basically based on how the media portrays. Hence the only way to change this is making media more sensitive to facts and accountable for publishing data that does not have sounding proof behind it! – Charan Saravana

It obviously is. But there is a truth in it because, women in India are terrified and pushed to a limit that they cannot trust anyone. A friendly uncle, cousin brother even father in some cases had abused their trust and body. If they can’t even believe their family, they obviously would generalize the attitude of other men as well. It is the collective duty of all Indian men to stop harassing and start building trust. Then their son or grandson can see the result. – Bragadeesh Prasanna

Rape has existed for long; what comes to the fore is the women who are raped; there is a massive silence on the men who are raped; yes gay and bisexual men and women are there; rape happens both ways. ‘Virginity’ is not something restricted to women alone. Beginning with the ‘Delhi-rape’ case which got massive media publicity, a tendency to view all Indian men as ‘womanizer’ and rapists has set in and this is a mentality that is very tough to change. A few rotten eggs will always stay and rotten eggs have a tendency to corrupt the good eggs placed in the same basket. So there is no solution for this. I have cousins in Delhi, NCR and Kerala; I am frightened for them;it is in the power of the sacred rakhi that I receive from them that I place my trust and I know that they are trained to protect themselves, but an inevitable sense of dread always remains. – Mahesh Lakshmanan

Rapes happen in every country, every government is corrupt. I got few suggestions not sure how practical they are

1. Sex Education, we need to educate people about STD/STI

2. Escort/Prostitution License. It exists in society anyways, why not make it licensed and do it the correct way

3. Stop the tradition of arrange marriage altogether. Let kids do the hard work and let them decide when and who they want to marry

4. If a guy hangs out with bunch of girls he is a pussy, if a girl hangs out with bunch of guys she is a whore. Its because other guys/gals are jealous. Need to change this mentality

5. We need to have a equal society. A person who is a mechanic is as human as you are and in all possibility he is in a better shape. Its just his job. We need to promote a life after work or pursuing hobby  I see this thing is trending in youths today, they have a life out of work and they have a hobby but its still a small percentage – Name Withheld

Rape cases are generalized in a different way. Every other day there is rape stories in TV, and even women have grown bored of it – they simply change the channel and enjoy a song in which a hero is teasing the heroine. So the answer is NO – at least I’m not being looked at as if I’m a rapist!! – Joshi Mukard

Rape cases don’t, but few feminist project all Indian men as rapist. Rapes are occurring only because of poor legal sanctions. If we need to bring a change, we must implement the exiting laws and if needed we must bring much further stringent laws. Educate kids right from early age. Sex education is required. – Deepak Karthik

*I hope I haven’t messed up with the names and permissions granted.If yes,please let me know immediately.

Worries of an Indian Boy – Question No.3

Continued from here,the third question asked in the survey was

do you think it is easy for Indian men to marry the woman of their choice?

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Top eight responses are below

Majority of people in India still believe in caste system. Exogamous marriages are still taboo for majority of India. Usually the focus of the cyber space is only on the urban middle class, that is why this question arises in the first place. If we look at India as  a whole it’s clear that love marriages outside one’s caste are rare. The answer is NO – Aravind Vivekanandan 

This is more than a yes or no question as it depends on

a. Whether the man looks at marriage as a mandate in his life

b. Whether the man has the potential to pick a woman to spend his life with, forever

c. Whether the man has the patience and clarity in explaining his parents his stance or run out of his family construct and live his own way. – Charan Saravana 

No – first of all “that woman” has to agree then her parents have to agree or if not that woman has to be brave enough to resist parents wish and stick to marrying us without changing mind and listening to her parents choice and this is independent of the pressures and fights in convincing the man’s family and justifying the choice to everyone around who keep asking “but why? why?” – Name Withheld

It is a bit easy when it is compared to Indian women. But still, there are lot of obstacles faced by both men and women in this particular issue. The parents think that their right to chose the partner for their son/daughter is robbed and it is not easy for both men and women. The emotional blackmail, the suicide threats and things like that are same. But since most of the men do not react openly to this and drain their reaction in smoking or drinking, these threats becomes void. Men have a support system called friends, while the parents block that for the girl while forcing them for marriage – Bragadeesh Prasanna

It all depend on the individual. You are free to live your life the way you feel, if you let society oppress you they will. If you fight back and do things you like basically be a jerk to society. they will try harder to please you. The bigger problem in India is its difficult to find a woman you want to be. You can’t “know” a person for a while to decide to marry them. – Name Withheld

Imagine shopping in a supermarket with your parents and relatives. You may look at any product you want and may convince your parents and relatives to some extent about your liking for a certain product. But ultimately it is a group decision. You as a customer may get a few advantages but not much.
Sorry to compare women to products. I meant no disrespect. And most arranged marriages are a result of mutual discussions but with regard to choices men may have a greater say because they are usually the “initiators” – Name Withheld

no, it is not! Because the families have beliefs about the family in which the son should marry.
These beliefs are mostly different to the person which the son loves – Joe Di

No, it is hard for the most part is first finding a women. Yes a women
not a girl.
Next she must share your personal, social and human values.
Next she must feel the same way about you.
Next comes caste bigotry
After that religious bigotry
Later comes social status bigotry
… lets just say bigotry.
Easier way is, I read women are for sale for wifely services for as
low as 70,000 maybe putting an emi on it will be a good idea. – Name withheld

*I hope I haven’t messed up with the names and permissions granted.If yes,please let me know immediately.

Worries of an Indian Boy – Question No.2

Continued from here,the second question asked in the survey was

Do you think Indian men get pressure from the family to get married?

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Top five responses are below

Yes of course.More than from the family, the pressure is from society, from relatives and surprisingly ,at least in my case,from friends – who have married before me.They keep telling me how much better life is after marriage and advising me to do it- marry anyone/someone as early as possible  –Name withheld

Yes and No. It depends on their family and themselves. Some family wants their son to get married as early as possible. There are various reasons for it – to get quick money in the form of dowry, sometimes to get someone into their son’s life so that he becomes more responsible.Some men pressure their family to get them married soon – because they are already high earners in their job and they think they are ready to settle in life.Some others simply want to marry soon just for free sexual pleasure. – Joshi Mukard

Yes. simple answer is “because it’s India”. This is a country where we value family much more than probably any other country. Since Indian culture is adopting western culture so blindly, new generation or liberal families may accept a son’s interest. But I feel a lot of population in the country is still somewhat sticking with tradition, hence the pressure.   – Kizhakkepurakkal Ashwin

Yes, men are pressurized by their family to get married – it is the notion that our parents want to see us married and believe that they have completed their duties as per Shastras and can now live in peace going to some holy pilgrimage or the other! – Mahesh Lakshmanan

Of course we do. Love marriage is still a taboo in India and your parents are not going to find you a girl when you are 30. It’s best for them to start early so that they have time to get you “fixed”. Again stupid society pressure such as what will people think of me and frankly I don’t think Indian men feel that they can ever get a girl on their own.That’s why we rely on our parents to find someone for us – Name withheld

*I hope I haven’t messed up with the names and permissions granted.If yes,please let me know immediately.


Worries of an Indian Boy – Preface

It is true that I have tried to bring out the issues of women without holding back any hesitation.I have always written about the issues raw so that people understand them better.I understand the surprise of my readers and I know you did check twice to know whether you are at the correct blog.You read it right;the post is about Indian men–a few good Indian men whom the world never talks about.

Why this post?

After writing the post Worries of an Indian Girl,I tried searching whether somebody has written about worries of an Indian Boy. Surprisingly there wasn’t even one post or article which discussed about them.The articles which I found were all about how bad Indian men are,how to make Indian men better human beings,Indian men are chauvinist pigs,Indian men should learn to respect etc.I do agree with the aforementioned facts.Most of the Indian men are,but there is a fact that we conveniently forget,that there are a few good Indian men too. In the flood of the articles about women issues,I kept wondering where will the worries of my Father,Brother and other male friends go?This kept me thinking and counting the good men I know in my life.How can I forget my Father who let me grow independently?How can I forget my Brother who respects my space and lifestyle?How I can forget my best friends who stayed beside me during both my ups and downs?How can I forget my teacher who took an extra effort to make me succeed?How can I forget that strange man who helped in the train?How can I forget that auto driver who dropped me home in the middle of the night even though he was done for the day?How can I forget the security guard who comes along with me in the cab and leaves only after he sees light in my apartment?How can I forget the fellow-men who take an extra effort make this world a better place for both men and women?How can I forget that policeman who took care of me during an accident?How can I forget my male colleagues who make office a better place to work?How can I forget my mentors who helped me grow personally and professionally? I read your mind.There is another side too. There are Fathers who molest their daughters,there are Brothers who sell their Sisters,there are husbands who beat their wives black and blue,there are male friends who rape their female friends,there are teachers who exploit girls,there are strange men who grope women,there are auto drivers who take girls to places,there are security guards who take advantage,there are fellow-men who make the world a bad place for women,there are policemen who are wolves in sheep’s clothing,there are male colleagues who are chauvinists and treat you like shit and there are mentors who pull you down morally and emotionally. But, do these bad men overshadow the good men?Yes!! the same way like bad women are overshadowed by good women.Below are some obvious matters which struck my mind. 1)In the Delhi gang rape case,her male friend did his best to save the girl and showed the courage to come in front of the media to tell the story.After the verdict the Mother of one of the rapists urged public to spare his son saying he is a good boy.The media didn’t make the male friend a good man or the Mother a bad woman.In fact nobody discussed this about these people. 2)It is true that men are killing new-born girl babies as they want only boy babies.But,there are women who want only boy babies too.There are Mothers-in-law who make the life of Daughters-in-law(the couple more precisely) miserable for not bearing a male child. 3)Men cheat on women,refuse divorce,kill wife to marry another woman,beat up wife,drink and waste the hard-earned money of wife,leave the wife making her to bring up kids alone etc.Then what about the women who cheat on men,women who refuse divorce,women who kill their husband so that she can marry another man,women who burn the hard-earned money of husband,men who bring up kids alone etc? 4)In most of the sex racket cases,it is always a woman who must have persuaded the girl/s to trap. 5)In most of the stove-blast deaths and dowry deaths,together with the husband the Mother-in-law and sister-in-law are also guilty for the girl’s death. 6)There are men who try to flirt or hook up with women in social media websites.The other side is that there are equal number of women who try to do the same. 7)There are men who marry for dowry money,free sex and a slave.And there are equal number of women who marry for trips to US,posh life and money of course. 8)There are husbands who cage their wife after wedding.And there are wives who restrict husband a social life after the wedding. 9)There are women who end up being female escorts out of compulsion or upon their will and there is an alarming increase in the number of male escorts too to earn quick bucks or take up the job upon their will. The list might go on. I don’t want to close my eyes towards those few good men in the country just because there is a huge percentage of bad men on the other hand.Mainly because to make this world a better place to live,a safer place for women,and a peaceful place where gender equality exists,we need good men too. To know more about the worries of Indian men,I am running a survey and you can answer the questions here. Now a question exists in your mind. Am I still a feminist? Yes,I am because I believe in gender equality. *Comments are strictly moderated.

Worries of an Indian Girl

The recent articles and blog posts about sexism and frustrations of Indian girls made me write this post.

Couple of months back my Mother asked me whether I had met one of our family friends in Chennai and I replied no. The background story is one of my family friends saw me in the Railway station and the complaint was that I was wearing a loose sleeveless top. The lady got alarmed seeing me in a sleeveless top and complained to Mother saying I should be wearing Salwars as I am Malayali girl.Apparently,the lady is worried that I am spoiling the name of keralites and Kerala’s highly boasted culture(?).Now, this not new to me. Forget about sleeveless tops and party wears, wearing jeans can earn you the name slut.I find it very difficult to understand this concept. If a girl wears a salwar/saree, then she has a good character. From when on wards did we start making analysis of a person’s character according to the clothes they wear.Now,do men have such an issue? Imagine we girls making such an analysis about men — men wearing formal shirts and pants want to sleep around, men wearing veshti don’t think about /look at girls, men wearing lungi want to eve tease or rape and so on. When women don’t judge men according to the clothes, why does vice versa exist? Do not generalize because we don’t think that a guy is bad if he is wearing clothes which he likes.

I remember getting a message in my blog page after writing the post Shadows of a Girl. The message was from an old classmate who was a constant faultfinder of my posts. The message was an apology for the rubbish comments he had posted on some of my posts. The change in attitude happened after he took his newlywed wife to Delhi for honeymoon. The message said that he fumed in anger and helplessness when his wife got lost in a crowded street and she was groped badly. He wrote that his wife cried in shock that strange men squeezed her breasts and waist in those ten minutes she got lost in the crowd. And what was her dress?A pardah!! He apologized for his earlier views on women.But,what I want to tell the world is why should you wait for something to happen to your dear ones to change your attitude? What is so difficult to think that women are human beings too? And I know, in India, men get groped too.

Don’t do such things because a girl should not do such things”. I grew up hearing this dialog round the clock from my Grand Mother.But, thanks to my parents for letting me grow up doing things from playing cricket with neighborhood boys to rolling in mud. I thought such mentality was only in Kerala but as I moved out of home and started meeting people from other parts of the country, I understood that it is a national problem. Here are ten rules which I have heard often.

1)Girls should not talk loud

2) Girls should not play with boys after 10 years old or getting her period, whichever is earlier.

3) Girls should not go out alone

4) Girls should not stay outside the home after 6 PM (This still exists in Kerala. Thanks to the men in Kerala)

5) Girls should sacrifice

6) Girls should obey their parents, elders and whomsoever who has the right to rule/shout at her

7) Girls should give more importance to her wedding than her education.

8) Girls are the honor of a family and should save it at any cost

9) Girls should not tell their opinions because they don’t know what life is

10) Girls should give more importance to her husband and his family than to herself and her family

Most of these dialogues are followed by a story from the religious books praising women in those books who made sacrifices, who were epitome of patience, who obeyed her husband without any objections, who grew up according to her parents’ wishes, who saved the honor of the family and so on. Now stop right there. First of all, it is dumb to force girls to grow up under such rules and force them to be examples of the so-called “the good girl”. Women are humans too — what’s wrong in getting angry and shouting? Why should we sacrifice things which we like just because we are women? Why should we suppress anger and be patient just because we are women? Above all, why should we be good girls, why can’t we be just girls? Imagine a society telling the Indian men to be like the ones in the religious books?

One of my friends was narrating the story of a movie. Then she said, “after that they will have this” and giggled.”They will have what?“. We asked.”You know, that“, she again giggled.”You mean they had sex?”, somebody in the gang asked. And she said, “Don’t tell it openly. It is a bad thing”. Yes, I heard this from a married woman who has a kid.Sex is one of the words which will spoil a girl’s name. People often forget that sex is a simple thing. Even when they celebrate a girl becoming pregnant, they conveniently forget that she became pregnant after having sex with her husband. It is a ubiquitous fact. The mankind still exists because people are having sex; let’s tell it that way than the rosy way of telling that babies are born. So why should a girl be bad if she talks about sex?If you want a baby then a woman should have sex with a man. This has been happening since Adam and Eve and how is a woman talking about sex a sin? (That too in this century!!)

I am in love”. How often have you heard an Indian girl telling such a thing openly?90 % of the Indian women don’t let this out because having a past relationship will spoil her chances of getting married(even if the guy who rejects this girl would have had many relationships and is not a virgin).Yes, pure-girl concept is prevalent in Asian and Eastern countries. The usual dialog from the family, “Guys can do anything. Even if he rapes girl, he will get a girl to marry” discourages women even more from telling out their feelings.Recently, one of my friends informed me that she rejected a proposal. The reason which she gave me was that the guy’s parents are dumber and my jaw dropped. Looks like the guy wanted somebody who hasn’t been in a relationship, so she politely withdrew from the proposal but his parents wanted somebody who hasn’t had any crush or infatuation so far. She asked me how they can even think of such a thing when she is already 26 years old. How does it matter whether she or he has a past? Infatuations are mementos of our teenage life. Having a relationship will only help a person grow better. I read this somewhere “Relationships are never a waste of time. If it didn’t give you what you want in life, at least you know what you don’t want in life”.

I saw a comment in a forum which discussed about the above problems,”Twenty years ago, I was reading articles on the same lines. Twenty years from now, we will continue to do so. Some themes never grow up!”

Related Read : http://tamilculture.ca/an-open-letter-to-young-tamil-men/

The Utopian Indian Society

There are certain moments in life when we wonder “Oops!! How come I missed that person?”

Amit is one among those wonderful and popular bloggers in the country.There could be only two thoughts – either you know Amit or you don’t.If you know Amit,you are going to stop reading rest of this paragraph and jump on to the post.If you don’t know Amit, by the end of this post,you will repeat the dialog which I have written above.

This is a guest post from Amit Sharma and he blogs at Mashed Musings .His posts are widely shared and discussed.He stands out in the crowded blogosphere mainly because of his witty sarcastic posts and his heart to call himself a male-feminist.

Thank you Amit for writing for me.You are simply awesome.


Am I dreaming?”

Yes and No. It is difficult to explain. This is real but you are in a dream.”


Listen. I am bored. I called you here because I think you can make me laugh.”


I am giving you a power. Make a wish and snap your fingers. It will come true. Don’t do anything stupid. Just try to make me laugh. Okay?”

How many times can I make a wish?”

Till my stomach hurts.”

How will I know that you are laughing?”

A pause.

A lightening bolt will fall 20 feet away from you.”

I opened my eyes. Did I really dream of sitting on a cloud and talking to a light?

God is bored? Really? Jesus!”

The first bolt

I took a bus to my office. There was a van following us and its driver was honking uncontrollably. My ears were vibrating at an unacceptable frequency. I looked at my hand.

What’s the harm?” I murmured.

“If he honks when he should not honk, let him not hear the honk,” I said and snapped my fingers.

The driver kept honking for sometime but then stopped, visibly perplexed. I was suddenly scared.

I snapped my fingers many times that day. I applied the concept to all the drivers in Delhi in one snap. It was in the news that evening. A lot of drivers in the capital could not hear their car horns even though the rest of the world could hear it. There were discussions on television, scientists sat in panels, astrologers talked of doomsday. There was a deafening silence on the roads of Delhi. It was as if the city was put on mute. Suddenly everyone was scared of honking. That night there was a lightening bolt out of the clear sky near my house.

The Second bolt

Next night while watching television, I came across the news of a college principal fining girls in her college for wearing jeans. My eyes shone with mischief.

All those who think wearing jeans leads to molestation must be fitted with permanent jeans,” I said and snapped my fingers.

The next day when India woke up, 90% of it was wearing permanent blue jeans. People could not take it off completely in any situation. While relieving yourself, the jeans would come down till the knees but then will wrap up automatically as soon as you are done. You have to wash them while wearing them. You have to take a bath while wearing them. It was again on news. Some people were crying like babies. Some people were laughing like crazy. Jeans clad citizen thronged temples, churches, Mosques and Gurudwaras for help. There was terror on their faces.

There was a lightening bolt that night near me when I was walking back home. I looked up and smiled.

The Third bolt

News of another scam broke out next day. It shared the front page with silent honks and permanent jeans.

A tail should grow at the rate of 1 mm/10,000 Rs for all those who think public money to be their own,” I said and snapped my fingers.

In two days, a lot of influential people left the country for plastic surgeries in private jets. Some of them were not that fortunate as they had a kilometre long tail. They tried everything from axe, saw and acids, but the tails kept growing. No one had any idea why that was happening. Parliament stopped functioning. Top government officials went into hiding with their tails between their legs. Astrologers predicted that the end of the world was near.

The first set of people who understood what was happening were Police officers. Their tails grew slowly. Three lightning bolts fell near my house.

The fourth bolt

I was thinking of what to do next when I read the news of a girl being gang-raped in Haryana. How to tackle this in a way that it makes God laugh, I wondered. Then I smiled.

Make a permanent sunflower grow instead of the organ during an assault,” I said and snapped my fingers.

When the next rape attempt happened in India, which was like in the next 5 minutes, the girl came out of the ordeal laughing, wiping tears from her eyes. She went straight to the media and told them that the moment the guy opened his zipper, a huge sunflower protruded out and the guy fainted. Soon media started calling it the ‘Sunflower Curse’. Any form of sexual assault on women and children started producing Sunflower men. The situation became so comical that soon there were mischievous posters on internet showing nude, crying men with a sunflower between their legs with a tagline – ‘Someone please deflower me!’ Sexual assaults went down to zero. Sunflower men did everything from making cows chew off their flowers to running after surgeons but the flora was permanent. Suddenly everyone forgot the silent honks, the permanent jeans and the corruption tails. The sunflower men were the latest laughing-stock.

It rained a few days later with ample lightning. That night, I was again on the cloud, dreaming but not dreaming.

How the hell did you come up with that sunflower?” God asked after he had laughed enough.

From old pictures where they used to cover private parts with flowers,” I said with a smile.

What would you like to have in return?” God asked as he beamed.

Can I have this power permanently?”

I cannot do that dear boy. Ask for anything else.”

Would you revert things to how they were or will you leave it as it is?”

I have to revert. It was just for laughs.”

Ok. So here is my wish. Revert it but go and tell each of those people that if they ever try to go back to their old ways, the change will happen again and it will be permanent this time.”

Granted,” God said after pondering over it for a while.

When I woke up the next day, things were back to normal but India was a very different place. We were back to being humans. We were back to being loving and caring. Yes, it was out of fear but I was sure that after living like this for a few days, we would realize that this is the only true way to create a country worth living. I was sure that the need of God’s threat will vanish as time passes.

We had taken our first step towards creating a Utopian Indian Society.

Image : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunflowers.jpg

Related Read : Amit’s posts which blew my mind

Can you be fair filmfare?

The horny Indian

Open letter to all the molesters and rapists

We like our virgins

The hitchhikers guide to a sane life

The Liquefied Indian

If Pune were India ..

Amidst the Presidential election,there was another voting process going on in Pune couple of days back and the election was for choosing the Brand Ambassador for the city Pune.Today I take this opportunity to declare Ms.Deboshree Bhattacharjee as the Brand Ambassador of Pune.This is a guest post by Debo who keeps the city Pune very close to her heart and she blogs at Of Paneer,Pulao and Pune.She could even find the nook and corner of this city even if we let her wander in the city blindfolded.When I wanted a post about “Imagining a city as India”,it took less than a second for me to decide the author.Debo,you are such a darling.Love you for writing this post for me.It is my pride and pleasure to publish your article in my blog.Happy Reading!!


*picture from Pune Student Chronicle


…then the breakfast crowd at Good Luck Café would thicken further. They would need to stock their delicious breakfast buns nineteen by the dozen and get more people to lovingly fill them with golden butter. Come to think of it, the fragrance of fresh-bread would fill up the morning sky in even more delightful strands than usual.

Pune usually has a prank up her sleeve – the best part is that you don’t know it. She is capable of conjuring up a perfectly sunny afternoon, without a trace of cloud in the sky, and then, just when you have ventured out in your newly acquired shoes from Metro at Deccan, it starts to pour. By the time it’s night, you need to empty your cupboard to locate the sweater you had set apart for the winter which wasn’t supposed to be ‘anything like Delhi’s’. When you wake up the next morning, however, you are back under the Tuscan sun.

If Pune were India, the Bengalis would gatecrash luncheons at Oh Calcutta! and Rice n Curry. Much like the Marathis would crowd a Sharvaree, a Durvankur or the vada-pau bhaiya. When fairy lights would glow in sync with the music at Navaratras, Pune would dance to lilting tunes of celebration and festivity. There’d be faces sparkling with delight on Id, feet tapping to dhol when Ganpati is brought to Dabru Seth and Kalyani Bakery busy with orders for Christmas cake to be delivered by their in-house Santa.

The markets at FC Road would overflow with people of all ages, from all ages. The narrow, buzzing lanes of Laxmi Road would teem with gasps – “isn’t that just what we saw last month in Bangalore!” and admonishments –“how can you price such little cloth at 1200 bucks?”. The cloth, by the by, would probably refer to a pair of hot pants. The behaviour would be followed up by a “you are such a great bargain-er” or a “bargaining on the road is so middle-class!”, depending on whether the Indian we are talking about subscribed to a Monisha or a Maya Sarabhai.

The “kids” – freshly passed college and breaking into “working” – would be able to show their folks around the workplace. An SB Road, a Hinjewadi, a Magarpatta, you name it. “Look Ma, that’s the office I sit and code in!” How cool is that. The family would pass on the story to their friends who would pass it on to theirs and just after the kid has kissed his girlfriend’s hand proposing marriage, a Minu or a Pinky would call in and say –“hello Binnu, Aunty told me how you still remember the birthday parties we shared as kids…” If Pune were India, the kid could take the whole family out to a movie at the old-world Victory theatre. Or, the beach at Ganpatiphule. With the hope that the water would wash out all traces of the matchmaking gene his folks so prominently had.

A few hours from Mumbai, Pune learns its glitter and jazz from the big brother. But her calm and her maturity, her subtlety and her grace…who taught her that? Often when I venture out for a walk down Pune’s canopied lanes, I gaze at the wide roads in Camp, the hustle and bustle at MG and the long, winding queues of panipuri wallas at JM Road. The seats by the window at Crossword are always occupied – men past their so-called prime but rich in enthusiasm to learn, little kids devouring tale after tale and women stealing a few minutes from their super-Mom-super-employee routine. The restaurants teem with people too. There are young couples, hand-in-hand. Some older ones walk past, debating the merits of vegetable-shopping at Reliance Fresh.

For a city I love and where I have loved, Pune means the world to me. You should see her when she wears her dew-dropped rain costume… or even when she is all sunlit and done up in blue. She may be ‘small’ but she does not react when ‘snobby’ people from the rest of the large country keep their noses up in the air. They all come to her, for multiple reasons – education, work, marriage, the works – and somewhere down the line, they start to belong.

When Pune prepares to pack in for the night, there is an old lady who sits by ICC Trade Towers and brews steaming coffee. Fragrant, warm and strong. Much like Pune herself. The cups, on their part, keep jangling all through the night.

— By Deboshree Bhattacharjee

Favorite Hits of 2011


Theeye Theeye – Chappa Kurish

The song comes at the right time in the movie making us feel the helplessness of the characters.

Amruthamaay – Sneha Veedu

I am a great fan of Sathyan Anthikkad and I don’t miss out watching any of his movies.But Ilayaraja failed to show any innovation.But I loved this song mainly because of the beauty of the video and Hariharan did his job nicely.

Melemanath – Manikyakallu
There are chances that people must have not noticed this song.But I would say Devanand has sung it so beautifully that we will feel like we are walking through the roads of a village.

Ee Puzhayum – Indian Rupee

This song from Indian Rupee will be one of the feats of Vijay Yesudas.Though Ranjith didn’t do the choreography of this well,I am sure people must have not bothered about the video.This soulful melody will soothe your ears.

Sayyave –  Christian Brothers

Another romantic number from Sankar mahadevan after pich avecha muthal.I think Lakshmi rai did add a flavor to this song by her beauty.Not a different one but still good.
Annan  – City of God
A tamil fast track number which can make you dance.I really liked the beats in the background.

Mazhathulli  – Pranayam

This is my favorite song of the year.Vijay Yesudas with Shreya Ghosal had done a magic with their voice.But AWESOME movie;I must say.
Chembavul  – Salt ‘n’ Pepper

Ah!!I was taken to my Mom’s kitchen after hearing this song.I recommend not to listen to this song if you are hungry.A Mouth-watering song!!
Oru madhura kinavin – Theja bhai and family

I liked the remixed version more than the original version because I heard the former one first.The choreography of the song of good though Akhila was seen out-of-place in the video.And of course Prithviraj simply rocked in this song video.
Pakalin  – Traffic

Though it was just a promo song,i would say it was a beautiful song.I liked the finishing part of the song.
Ariyumo  – Khaddama

A beautiful melody from Karthik.The song contained the pain of the heroine.
Chimmi chimmi  – Urumi

Manjari did a great job by singing this song.I am sure people will remember her for a long time.The video of the song was a cute one.




Criminal – Ra.One

Akon’s master piece and Kareena’s booty steps!!
I love you – Bodyguard

Sung by Ash King, Clinton Cerejo.Beautiful song..I used to feel like I am falling in loving all over again.I simply LOVE it.

Chori kiya re – Dabbang

A romantic melody from Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal.A good one.

Aadat hai woh – Patiala House

For a difference,Akhshay Kumar was calm and quiet in most of the scenes.I like this song as its slow.A good one to listen while going to the bed.
Te amo – Dum Maro Dum

Te amo means ‘I Love You’ in Spanish and for me it has a loads of memories.
Khabon ki parindey –Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

A soulful song which makes me dream a lot.A song which can take you far away from the present world.
Kun Faya Kun – Rockstar

I love Sufi related songs.I can listen to them a million times.Insha Allah!!

Katiya Karun – Rockstar

The only creative song of the year.In rest of the songs,there will be at least one part of the song where we will feel like ‘ah we have heard this bit some where’.

Rabba Mein Toh – Mausam

A lovely song.A song which captured the feeling crush!!


THE Day!!!

I opened my eyes and looked out of the window from my ragged bed.Oh no;it’s still dark outside.I hit my face on the pillow and tried to sleep.Why is the dawn still not breaking?

What time it would be now?I again woke up and searched for Lakshmi akka on the floor.She was snoring which indicated a sound sleep.I crawled up to her and touched her nose to wake her up.She didn’t wake up.I whispered in her ears,’Akka..what time is it now?’

Get lost was the answer for my question.I jumped back to my bed.Ram who was sleeping next to me had taken away all the space in the bed.So I went to the window and stood on a stool to reach the window bars.The moonlight,the stars and cold air took me back to exactly one year.

Last year this day,a lot of people came here with gifts and chocolates.A month before this day,we were asked to write in a paper about the things which we were in need.Unfortunately I wrote  for only pen and notebooks.Ram who wrote for car and train got them as gifts.So this time I made sure to make a long list of things.I wrote for a car,train,crayons,glittering pens which Saranya got last year and a jeans.Tomorrow again some people will come with the gifts.Looks like tomorrow is somebody named Nehru‘s birthday who was India‘s first prime minister and he is no more.But I love this day.It’s been past three years that a group of people coming here every year with gifts.Last year I sang one song and got a big chocolate which I shared only with Ram.We licked it in front of Saranya who was boasting about the glittering pens which she got that day.Phew!!you should have seen her fat face going red with anger when we mocked her with our chocolate.This year I will also get one glittering pen set.Yaaahoo!!

Last year one pretty akka had come to see us.She kissed me and made me sit on her lap throughout the day.I was so happy when she told that I was looking very cute.

But Lakshmi akka was telling me that those people are showing love to us only because we don’t have parents.I didn’t like her when she told me that because the pretty akka told me that she really liked me and even kissed me while leaving from here.I hope she will come tomorrow too.

‘Karthik..Karthik..wake up..Why are you sleeping on the floor?’

‘Don’t you know that there is a function today?Get ready soon.’

While applying the talc I thought about the jeans I was going to get.I was thrilled to show it off  in front Ram and Saranya.

The function started.I searched for my pretty akka but she was missing in the crowd.

One woman came to three of us and said,’oh poor babies..they don’t have parents..don’t worry kids..we have brought you a lot of goodies’

She smelled bad and I didn’t like her.

I was waiting for my name to get called out on the stage.I ran to the podium when they called me to give the gift set for me.

The bad smelled woman gave me the gift and she patted on my head and again said ‘oh poor baby..Happy Children’s Day!!

I felt like kicking her but I had better work to do.

I went and sat next to Ram.I noticed that my gift packet is larger than his packet.We got up and sat on the stone bench to open our packets.

When I opened my box there was little things inside it.There was no train,no glittering pens and no jeans too.It had some notebooks,some pens,pencils and a pencil box.There was a letter inside the notebook cover.

‘I am sorry Karthik.As I was very busy I couldn’t shop much and didn’t get time to buy the things in your list.Anyway happy children’s day!!May God bless you.We all love you and we are praying for you.

With love,
Rita ‘

I looked at Ram.Even he didn’t get the things which he had written for.I kept my head on his shoulders and we both cried together.

On the stage that bad smelled ugly woman was shouting

‘Happy Children’s Day’!!

And we silently cried.

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