Darsh’s Mundan

March 15, 2012 2 comments

24th Feb 2012 was Darsh’s tonsuring (Mundan ceremony). We travelled to Vindhyachal, a very famous Hindu deity temple in the region situated 70 kilometers away from Varanasi. Vindhyachal, one of the ancient Shaktipeeths, is situated on the banks of river Ganga and surrounded by magnificence of nature.  Vindhyachal is a renowned religious city dedicated to goddess Vindhyavasini. The temple is a center of pilgrimage in the vicinity of Varanasi and MIrzapur. Almost everybody in our family for generations has been visiting the temple to mark important and auspicious events.

As per Hindu tradition, a child receives his/her first Mundan either the first year or third year of age. Being Darsh’s third year, his hairs had grown to a substantial length, making him look healthier than he actually was then. It was really a painful sight of his long hairs going away.

I will be honest to say that I have fairly no idea about this ritual that why is it considered so important. I probably may have to google to understand the rationale behind this custom. To me, more than a Mundan ceremony, it was like a family gathering. My parents and sister with her 2 years old kid came down to Varanasi at my uncle’s place. We were visiting Varanasi after 5 long years and happened to meet lot of relatives. Also this trip marked my first visit to my ancestor’s village after my wedding and this time with entire family. It was a real fun to spend great time with cousins after a long time.

After few weeks have passed since Darsh’s Mundan, we are now used to see him without hair, but hoping to see him with long hairs soon.

Categories: Journey to Fatherhood

Sam and Stuttering

February 14, 2012 3 comments

Early morning after prayers and national anthem, students entered their classroom with class teacher escorting them. Sam occupied his favorite corner place on the bench in second last row. Teacher opened attendance register amidst students fluttering pages of their books. The sound of students muttering and whispering went around the class room then gradually slowed down and finally came to silence. It took around 5 minutes for the students to settle in and organize for the day. Sam had started feeling edgy by now. He had been going through this every day with a promise to himself that next day he would overcome this sense of anxiety but consistently failed to keep on his promise. Teacher started reading out the roll call. As she was approaching to his name alphabetically, his heart beat started being heavy and this was visible in the form of small droplets of sweat on his forehead. Sam was moving his lips, without speaking anything as if practicing to answer roll call. His palms were sweating with fingers busy in spinning the only blue ballpoint pen that he had. Probably his best friend Sandeep sitting next to him was noticing all these and like any other day he looked in Sam’s eyes trying to boost his confidence without speaking anything.

And then Sam’s name was called and he tried to answer the roll call with the tumult of his mind. He stuck and couldn’t speak, then closed his eyes and forced hard to move his facial muscles but seemed as if his lips froze and couldn’t move to utter a word. Few students burst out in laughter while a few laughed quietly to self.  After a lot of struggle with himself he somehow managed to say “S” (instead of Yes or Present). The sequence of events starting from teacher reading his roll call to Sam answering would not have lasted for more than 2-3 seconds but these couple of seconds passed as hours for him.

Every day in the school during attendance, he would be anxious about how to answer the roll call. He had to ensure that he should not stutter and avoid his classmates laughing at him. But the story remained more or less same, resulting his confidence level going down to a new low everyday.

Years have passed now; Sam is now working for a multinational company and his work puts his oratory (rather speaking) ability to test everyday, every hour and every second. He has traveled extensively and worked for some of the biggest names in the corporate world. He has managed to look past those disdainful days but is still learning to control his voice and not letting his stuttering bring him down any more. Facing the challenge of stuttering has helped prepare him to meet other challenges in life for sure.

After Two

January 21, 2012 2 comments

It is always a moment of going through emotions whenever I write about my kid. He has now completed two years and I just realized so much has changed since my last entry. He has now started building his dictionary and trying to express himself with whatever words he can use. We can now exchange verbal communication and he uses Telugu (words like “aiiyo” and rest we don’t understand), at times Hindi and many a times English as well to drag our attention or to perverse or to caress us. Another observation is his dominant sense to look good and spending minutes in front of mirror after being dressed up and watching himself from all the possible angles. Without any second thought I can say this element has passed down from my wife to him. He has lost all the traces of whatever little baby fat he had and has become lot slimmer (we are still hoping him to gain some weight). My two year old loves to imitate the dance moves he sees on TV (specially for songs featuring Salman Khan) and tries to sing or at least manages to make some rhythmic sounds. His favorite leisure activity is crooning Kolaveri di and favorite actor is Salman Khan (for the above mentioned reason).

Need not to mention that my little one is learning to fool us innocently by making excuses early morning to avoid going to pre-school. It’s such a fun to see his face turning sour when we take him to bathe. His bent towards chocolates has made Pooja and I to stop even murmuring the word chocolate. We immediately pounce at the TV remote to change the channel whenever it shows a chocolate commercial. He is becoming more and more astute with each passing day. Seems it was yesterday when I first lifted him in my arms.

Time is running so fast ! Wish I could slow down this process….

Anna Hazare and Lokpal Bill

Taking even a shallow dive into Indian bureaucracy and politics would make you feel that this country is being run by god. From top to bottom it is a thoroughly corrupt system in India. Every now and then people and media have kept on raising their voices against corruption but nothing much could be achieved. Despite of prevention of corruption act and many other acts, hardly there had been instances when we were able to check corruption.

Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption has revived the 42 year old ongoing Lokpal Bill discussion and brought common people together to think of a better and efficient way to fight against corruption. I do not possess great knowledge on judiciary and politics, but I feel the current skeleton of Lok Pal bill cannot go much ahead on the curve as other anti corruption acts in India. Lokpal bill revolves around the public grievances and hence there should be greater role of public in this anti-corruption bill. After being presented in Lok-Sabha for more than 10 times in last 42 years, this is the high time to get go signal for Lokpal Bill when we are witnessing a pinnacle of corruption.

Considering the procedural complexities involve in Indian judiciary system, this bill is being seen as a quicker and easier mean of delivering justice by addressing public grievances. One of the most controversial times in independence India, emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, necessitated the inclusion of Prime Minister within the purview of the Lokpal. Keeping out government officers from the bill, will dilute its core purpose. Remember, politics drills down to bureaucracy and politicians and bureaucrats are always (or often) partners in crime. But this comes with an inherent flaw as well. You can never assume the judgment as impartial especially if the complaint is against a government officer because that officer may enjoy departmental advantage and alliance.

When all is said and done, we cannot deny the fact how corruption is threatening the growth momentum of India. We do need a strong mechanism in place to deal with corruption. If not more, we all can at least support Anna Hazare’s struggle by whatever means.

६२वा गणतंत्र

January 26, 2011 2 comments

६२वा गणतंत्र दिवस लो आ गया,
इकसठ से बासठ की यात्रा का रोमांच,
आखों के पर्दे पर फ्लैश बैक सा चल गया |

जो यात्रा, प्याज के २० रुपये प्रति किलो से शुरू हुई,
वो ६५ रुपये के नए आयाम को छू गई,
तरक्की और स्पीड तो देखो,
जापान की बुलेट ट्रेन को भी पीछे छोड़ गई |

कुछ और विश्लेषण करें,
इकसठ से बासठ तक के सफ़र का अगर,
लास वेगास और मियामी से भी ज़्यादा,
हॅपनिंग अपना देश रहा |

अमरीका में मार्क ज़ुक्केरबेर्ग बिलियनेर बना,
तो हमारे यहाँ,
टू जी की स्पीड से ए राजा,
उसका भी बाप बना |

कॉमन वेल्थ गेम्स करा,
कलमाडी ने क्या खूब झंडा गाड़ा,
बार्गैनिन्ग का अर्थ बदला,
चार-चार आने के उपकर्नो को,
लाखों-लाख में खरीदा |

गणतंत्र हमारा,
अभी कम बुलंद हुआ था,
कि अशोक चावान ने स्वर्णिम अध्याय जोड़ा
जब आपका-हमारा हिस्सा कम पड़ा,
शहीदों का “आदर्श” भी खाया और पचाया |

नही है मंशा “अनुपम” की,
सिर्फ़, कमियाँ आज गिनाने की,
निवेदन कहो, या पुकार है
बिखरते गणतंत्र को संगठित करने की |

An Year As It Was

January 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Nothing to mention more as most of my earlier posts kept narrating all about how I spent year 2010. It started with a bang, then some ups and downs; wife joined me after maternity leave, I spent some very good time with my family, occasionally my mother-in-law, my sister and my mother joined me and then again my wife left me to stay with my parents. The year ended with my dearest sister’s wedding and myself leaving HSBC to explore other avenues.

All in all a good year ended on positive note and now looking for another gratifying year. A bit painful to stay away from family but I am hopeful to reap rich reward of this sacrifice. Concurrently I had been struggling with my allergic rhinitis problem which aggravated in last few month’s even after undergoing a surgery 3 years ago. When a renowned ENT specialist in Hyderabad declared the one more surgery as the only option and that’s too within 15 days (later came to know he suggests surgery to 95% of his patients), I decided to go the other way which elders had been suggesting for years. I gave my new year’s resolution a yogic twist and today being 9th consecutive day since the start of year 2011 that I have been practicing Yoga. I sincerely hope this would help me to get over this chronic problem (with one surgery experience already in my kitty, I just cannot think of another).

Although I am not a new year’s resolution kinda person as it sets me up for failure, but my evil sinister plan of pounding down alcohol is yet not gone (with some dispensations) and entire credit to be given to the problem I just mentioned above. Now the time to say bye for now as Rajeev is busy in making Litti-Chokha for dinner and I need to pretend to be with him ;). Also today is the time for dispensation I was referring to a while ago 😉

Categories: Insight me Tags: ,

Letter to Darsh on his First Birthday

November 23, 2010 1 comment

Dear Darshu,

Many congratulations on your first birthday!

I don’t know when would you be reading this letter and I am not sure whether I would be able to preserve this for you till the time you are grown enough to read and understand. But I wanted to feel glad that I savored the moments and recorded them in my own way for you to relish sometime in future.

I won’t use your first birthday to lecture you with heavy fatherly words. We can wait for probably few more years to strike such talks. I would better love to recall how the past one year has passed by. It seems it was yesterday when you came knocking the door early morning, a few minutes before Six O’ Clock.

A year ago your mom was lying in hospital. The indecision whether to go for surgery or wait for a normal delivery was debilitating us. Just a few days before your birth, we were given a hint that it was a baby boy, though we were least bothered about that. After a lot of hustle-bustle, your mom was operated upon and you came into this world. Since then you have been a miracle for us.

I remember your first 12 days in this world which I spent with you and your mom before moving back to my work place, leaving both of you with your grandparents. It was a mesmerizing feeling while holding you as if you were a 20 inches long real lifelike toy. Those 12 days passed by in no time and I kept palpitating till I met you after 2 months and this time I managed to stay with and your mom for close to 10 days. I could notice that you grew at tremendous pace and now you were able to balance your neck to some extent. You had started responding to sound, it was indeed a fun to play with you. And soon I had to leave again for my workplace and started waiting for your mother’s maternity leave to end. In the last month of six months long maternity off, your mother moved to stay with your maternal grandparents. Incidentally Holi fell during the same period and fortunately I could manage to come to meet you both to celebrate your first Holi. I was desperately waiting for you and your mom to join me in Hyderabad and I was the happiest person on 18th March 2010 when both of you touched the soil of Nizams.

A great phase of my life thus started. My life was complete with a beautiful and caring wife and a loving son. Every evening I would wait to finish the day as soon as possible to rush for home and play with you. I and your mom ensured that we would come to home during lunch every day to see you and it really didn’t matter if we missed several official outings and parties 🙂 . You were growing infront of me, learning different new activities with each passing day. You started making different and strange cooing sounds by popping your lips. It was a great fun to see you doing all these stuffs. Soon you learnt to demand whatever you liked in your way of creating grating sound.

Time passed by and because of various reasons (of course to provide you best upbringing), you and your mom left me again to stay with my parents, your paternal grandparents in Lucknow. And because of professional reasons, I missed your first birthday son. Now I am here and seeing you after a gap of more than two and a half months. I was surprised to see the way you were trying to recognize me. You first denied coming to me when I entered the house, and then you crawled towards kitchen door and continued staring at me for a few minutes as if you were trying to flashback to your memories to recognize me. After sometime, you were comfortable to be friends with me. I was now more mesmerized with your newly learnt activities. I saw you first time taking few steps but missed watching you when you would have walked first.

Now that you left with your mom to attend a function at you maternal grandparents place, I am eagerly waiting for both of you to return so that I could spend some quality time with you before going back to Hyderabad. Keep on writing new pages in your life’s notebook and allow me to read new lessons every day.

Thank you for being so beautiful  and loving.