Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Happened This Morning...

Ah, that was a ploy to arrest the reader, since my return no one seems to be paying me any attention. There I had the Goddess in all her finery adorning the top of the page and not so much as a 'welcome back' or a 'good show' in the comments section. I know it is mean of me to always call upon 2b's momma but my mind naturally flows to her and she has not updated her blog for long so must be busy. Well nothing much happened this morning other than the mite declaring "aamar school peyechhe" (difficult to translate but loosely, I am feeling like schhool, in the same manner as we say I am feeling hungry or I am feeling like going to the toilet!). That reinforces my diagnosis that school is in for him.

Have been following in horror the escapades of Raj Thackeray and his marauding hordes- and was amused to see the BJP spokesperson madam Swaraj condemn 'jatiatavaad' or some such big Hindi word that holds no meaning for the poor teeming millions. Madam your party is based upon the hatred of the 'other', she means to say that it is ok to hate the Muslims but it is inimical to the well being of her vote bank if a war breakes out between the Hindus of one state and the other. After all Raj's hordes were propped up to counter the hordes of the Shiv Sainiks who essentially serve the same purpose but have to limit their attack on alleged Bangladeshi refugees who are Muslims- Raj has a broader base his gang can bash up any non Marathi! Both groups are mentally ill as Lalu so rightly says. Mumbai is not the ancestral property of the Marathi manoos the city is what it is due to the combined effort of all those that call it home. Due to this unrest the city's peace and prospertity will be the only casualty (other than that of the hapless youth who died in the attack). Slowly but surely the prosperity of the city is bound to be affected and Raj might find himself in the position of poor Mamata Bannerji who has brought doom to industry in Bengal for the sake of her own political motives.

Another thing that troubles me and is a result of our colonial past is the use of public transportation to express personal angst! Why do the propestors have to vent their anger on trains and buses and in the process harm the interests of the common man whom they themselves represent? In colonial times the railways signified the domination of the alien government. Fecilitating the movement of troops and arms and British goods it was a symbol of domination so if the freedom fighters attacked it, it can still be justified. I am sorry to say that in the 60 years of independence we have failed to find an alternative means of protest! I remember that we had to travel for days in the biting cold on the University specials whose windows had been broken by those who claimed to oppose the Mandal commission. I bet political goons did that and did not spare a thought for the common student who will have to use those buses later! I supported the anti-Mandal commission battle but I would not go around breaking DTC buses, would I? Look at the havok the Gujjar's wreaked? Who suffered the most? The common man, whose trains were late or delayed or scrapped! Now the Biharis are setting fire to the country's trains and piling more injustice on an already unjust situation. Will burning trains keep Raj T in jail? Why can't they burn candles? burn agarbattis in a public place. Hold dharnas, and silent marches, stage street plays things that the people can suport and at the same time feel empathy with. This is crazy, they beat us so we will burn trains! Lalu, what do you have to say to that, huh?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Mite and Brat in School

I thought the mite would give some trouble while going to school after a long break but the little chap seems to be quite adjusted. He actually asks me "aami akhon school e jabo" (will I go to school now), the first time he asked I answered cautiously, " haan kintu ektu pore jabo aamra" (yes but we will go after sometime) . To which he said "naa, aamra akhoni jabo" (no, we will go now). He has taken to school so much that he actually reminds me about his home work! He has learnt to recognize the letters A-F . He is clearly having fun. The brats pre-school teacher Bindu madam did not give any homework, it seemed to me that the brat learnt miraculously. This time I have to sit with the mite so I am more aware of the amount off effort that goes in to make these toddlers learn and at the same time enjoy their experience at school.
The brat also does most of her homework herself, I just have to go on telling her to be quick , and at times switch off the TV, for she is in the habit of forgetting her homework when she is watching cartoon network or pogo! Her main problem is that she does not like to read on her own. At her age we were gobbling up Enid Blytons by the dozen! We have bought her many story books but none of them seem to have interested her. She likes to listen to stories when I read them out but she does not make the effort herself. I don't know how to get her into the habit. All my mother had to do was to get a noddy book from the library one day, that had me hooked but inspite of owning several noddy books my daughter never gave them a second glance!
I guess it is best to let the kids do their own thing, in her spare time the brat likes cutting paper and make a mess, she also likes drawing, so be it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hail to the Goddess Durga-Destroyer of Evil!

Am back folks! Missed blogging a lot. It was a hectic trip to Delhi with the agenda of looking for some documents which we had misplaced during the shifting and meeting friends and family. The brat enjoyed herself the most as she had her fill of going on the swings in the puja pandals and meeting her ex-classmates. I met a cousin after a long long time and also visited a few family friends and ofcourse Jamia! But most of all I was glad to set eyes on the most beautiful, the most awe inspiring and goose bump inducing Goddess Durga. If you are a Bengali then it is a given that the goddess will give rise to a feeling of joy, thumping heart, moist eyes and all. Inexplicably this flamboyant lady makes my Bengali heart skip a beat the moment I see her. From the time that my grandmother gave me her pictures from Pujo shonkhas (Magazines that come out during the pujas which are replete with her image and which are another part of the Bengali pujo ritual, must possess a pujo shonkha even if I do not read it!) and asked me to make her drawing on the first page of my drawing book. She is so beautiful and at the same time powerful and magical. Her slaying of the demon Mahishashur is much more dramatic and grand than the killing of Ravana by Rama. At the same time she is the mother of four who has come to visit her parent's place- so typical and commonplace yet juxtaposed with the supernatural the divine. She is so many things! I love and adore her and I wish I had ten hands like her to carry out the chores around the house. Surely, she is the invention of one such harassed mother who wanted to do everything- kill demons, raise children and visit her parents at regular intervals! Oh Goddess, please help us moms to be like you and tweak the evolution process so that women can be born with more hands to perform the various tasks that she has to perform. Amen!