A bouquet of flowers picked along the way ….

Mother Hen! December 4, 2007

Filed under: Ethics and Values,family,life,women — gurdas @ :

Right now, there are women squabbling in the street outside my house.

And I simply cannot distinguish the sounds they are making from what I witnessed once at a hen coup.

So much for evolution.


Desperate Housewives October 13, 2007

“54% women back wife-beating” screamed the headline in today’s Times of India.

I read it again to make sure I read it right. Women supporting wife-beating? 54% of them?

Some other findings from the survey conducted in 28 states in India during 2005-2006:

– 51% men say it is OK for husband to beat his wife

– Over 40% of married women experience abuse at home

– 35% women were OK with being brutally assaulted by their husbands if they neglected household chores or their children

– Only 2% of abused women have ever sought police help

– Buddhist women (41%) report highest level of violence, followed by Muslim and Hindu women. Jain women face least violence (13%).

The last finding was another stunner. Buddhist women getting a rough deal from their Buddhist husbands? Not what I expected. How do survey people ensure their respondents are telling the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Maybe Buddhist women are more honest and so more got revealed. But then that still is 41% of them getting abused.

Compare this with a survey some days back that said “Indians are amongst the most satisfied with their lives”. Yeah, with such low expectations we are no doubt easily satisfied. Yogis, all of us.


Giving and Receiving October 2, 2007

“Why do you have to be so formal?”, she said in the manner of a comment.

For a second my thoughts were frozen as I had not imagined my gesture as “formal”. I somehow found that comment-question to be out of place, a little dry and bordering on the impolite. My mind whirled and quickly consulted whatever little I knew of her disposition and sensitivities and it was only then that I made some meaning out of the comment. So, I answered explaining the informality of the gesture. And all it took was an ordinary birthday gift, given out of sheer love and respect for her interests and associations!

Later, in the comforting solitude of aloneness, I pondered over the incident and its origins. Here I was expressing my joy through a socially accepted gesture. I would prefer a bearhug anyday but then not many people can take a public hug. Especially so if you are a young beautiful lady! Alternate responses could have been: “Thanks, that’s very nice of you”, or “Thanks, that’s very thoughtful of you” or the all time classic delivered with a smile that goes upto your eyes – “Thanks!”.

For strange reasons, giving and receiving have become burdensome. People keep score, see ulterior motives where none exist and have built a whole universe of complexity around one of the most fundamental acts to Life. While one would expect a natural act to be easy, the truth is far from that. Few people can receive with grace, fewer still can give gracefully.

Giving and Receiving is as fundamental as breathing. You receive breath and you give breath. The giver exists because there is a receiver. Neither is above the other. Neither can survive as a singular entity.

Giving is Receiving.


Parking my Ego September 5, 2007

Filed under: Automobiles,ego,women — gurdas @ :

As someone who has recently started driving around town, there is a certain joy in parking well. Like those instances when you park so bloody perfect that you wish someone would pull out a camera and take a picture of you for the next day’s front page story.

And the sense of achievement is heightened if the spot you parked into was one of those tight, zero tolerance spots which women do not even consider as ‘parkable’. Male ego never had it so good. Tyres straight, ample room to open the door and least possible chances of anyone hitting your vehicle because it protruded 3mm into the drive-by zone.


I saw an angel June 2, 2007

Filed under: Inspiration,women — gurdas @ :

Today, for the first time in the brief history of my blog, I am so very thankful for having a blog. Because I got to write this.

 As I prepared to walk out for my breakfast, CNBC-TV18 played their interview of Sudha Murty as part of the “Up, Close and Personal” series.

I stopped dead in my tracks. For I was looking at an angel.

Sudha Murty is unlike any person I have ever seen on TV. The first thing that struck me was that she is as pure as a child. The words are not cooked and the smile goes right upto her eyes. Notice how her hands move and eyes twinkle when she talks of stuff close to her heart and you know hers is a spotless mind. And the sunshine is eternal.

Blunt, girl next door, motherly and so very Indian. She is also a techie who let go of her dreams so that Infosys could get going. For the uninitiated, it was her Rs. 10000/- contribution that helped start the company.

 What also amazed me was her comfort level with ideas and thoughts which are nothing but intimate.  She talks of her husband, kids, relatives, friends, shopping, ambition, money, and movies with glee. She rolls off statements like “Murty does not enjoy things like he used to” as if she was having a dinner table conversation with her mother. Top that off with something like “In the early days I was the mother but now the foundation is the mother and I am the child” (while refering to the Infosys Foundation) and you cannot help but say thank you. I does not matter who you are thanking.

 Sudha Murty just made my weekend.

—- Further reading —-

A web search for “Sudha Murthy” or “Sudha Murty” will lead you to many interesting pages. Here are two to get you going.

Followup: Ali, the store manager at Crossword called to inform that the Urdu Poetry book I had ordered was available for pickup. While at the store, I caught sight of “Wise & Otherwise”, a collection of short essays by Sudha Murty. I picked a copy and having read a few pieces I can comment that she is also very readable. The essays are like a page from anyone’s life. Like the essay when Sudha visits her friend on Diwali or the essay where she cannot but help overhear conversation between two women on the nexus between software engineering and marriage woes. The book is published by Penguin India and reasonably priced at Rs. 150/-. Highly recommended.