Thursday, March 31, 2011

Broccoli, etc.

Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, slices of raw mango, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, green chillies... Sauted in some butter, pepper powder, a pinch of oregano, thyme, pinch of sugar to bind it all and 2-3 tablespoons of cornflour. Before serving, grate some cheese.

Aaji was irked and did not spare a boiled baby potato for me when I refused to eat the alu paratha she was making. :) Otherwise some potato would have done instead of the starch.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


A film about identity, and how freaky easy it is to manipulate, fantasize and deny that what we are born with in today's virtual age.

I love Vince's words towards the end of the film. Yes, there are some people in our lives who are like catfish, constantly nibbling us and keeping us on our toes. We need catfish. Then the film makes you think about the confusion that comes between acceptance and wants, between desires and reality, between love and lust. But most of all, as you see the drama unfold, it makes you feel here you are seeing real people, good people. The bottomline, I guess, is that you have a chance to be yourself and be happy with your true self if you choose to be. Catfish (2010) leaves you with a sad, inexplicible doubt about the Facebook generation of which all of us are becoming integral, unwitting participants.

I am not giving the Wiki link as it is a spoiler.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blogosphere month to write about Child Sexual Abuse

Posting an email that IHM forwarded. Please take up the cause if you have the time and commitment.
Dear Friends,

As we all know and can vouch for, sexual abuse of children is not an isolated instance, in fact I can ( thanks to informal discussions with friends and family) aver that 90 per cent of all of us have in some degree or the other experienced some form of sexual abuse as children.
In most families, the abuser is always someone known to the family or even an immediate family member who has unrestricted access to the family and the child. Very often the child does not say anything to his or her parents, and if the child does muster up the courage to do so, often everything is brushed under the carpet.
I'd like us all, as social commentators, bloggers and parents, to take the initiative to communicate to the world that child abuse is more common than you think and that parents need to be alert and watchful before some warped soul robs their child of their innocence.

I propose a month (April) of posts on the topic of Child Sexual Abuse (Prevention/Signs/Help) across the blogosphere.If you remember, I see this as a similar exercise to the one on Food Allergies and Learning Disabilities we had done a while ago.

All you need to do is post one post (or more if you feel like it) on anything relevant on the topic. It could be a personal experience, or what you do to protect your child, or tips from experts or teaching a child good touch/bad touch, anything you can share. We will have a badge relevant to this topic and all posts participating in this awareness month should carry this badge. We will do a round up of all the posts at the end of each week on a common blog so that the blog is there in perpetuity for anyone to refer to.

I have discussed this informally with most of you, and am delighted to see such an outpouring of support. Those I havent discussed it with yet, but have included in this mail, do let me know if you would be keen to participate. Once I have a final list of participants, we can go about deciding posts, publishing order, etc. Please do feel free to forward this mail to anyone you might feel would be interested in contributing/participating.

Thank you so much for your time and effort in advance. We owe it to our children.


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Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Today was a day full of learning. Learning to deal with emotions of people close to you, learning to empathise with emotions of those you have just met. Learning in many different ways.

My calling is such that puts me in touch with people from varied backgrounds. Today, I met three special women. All of them strong in their own special, God-sent ways.

It will take time to digest what I heard at the first meeting. Evening gloom has set in and I wonder what might she be doing now in her dingy room? She would most definitely be in the same pain she walked in when I first saw her...

This is a pessimistic song by the 13th-century poet Amir Khusro. Sad that hundreds of years later, at some point in time, most of us may have had this thought.

Attempting to translate part of the song:

You have done this once, don’t do so the next time;
Don’t make me a daughter again.
What is this fate that each girl gets?
The ones she believes her own turn out strangers instead…
She leaves her father’s abode, her mother’s bosom
To become an innocent bird caught in snares;
Only to be counseled at the top of it all:
“Don’t complain.”
Discarded like a child throws away a new toy after his fancy flies,
Where do we go?
You have done this once, don’t do so the next time,
Don’t make me a daughter again.

If I have the same parents and the same friends, I would like to be born a woman again. May be even if that's not the case. But does she, in her dingy room, think the same?

Translation (C) Gauri Gharpure