Saturday, 31 October 2009

Second Chance

Each one of us deserves a second chance; a chance to make amends, to travel the road not taken or just to be what we can be. When life repeatedly knocks at our doorstep with that chance and gives it to us not once, not twice but over and over again and we do not take it; what should we call ourselves? If we see this happening, how do we awaken the other person; or do we at all? If we want to give that chance, then should we? Are second chances as exciting, as enticing as the first timers?

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Relationships or Relations Slip?

Eight weeks ago

Apyrrhicvictor asked me to name that one thing that I missed most about my life in London. I had to say – the morning coffee and good television. The extra hot lattes helped we wake up to an energetic working day. CSI, Law and Order, NICS and the many more entertaining and enthralling crime dramas helped me unwind late at nights and filled the lazy weekends.

In Mumbai, the usual coffee does not suit my palate and television is pumped with regressive soap operas which horrify my grey cells. The lack of coffee is made up by the abundantly available refreshing masala chai but there is no antidote for the torturous television routine in India. All soap operas revolve around a scheming witch like mother-in-law, a martyr like duty bound girl child or a conniving uncle trying to squander the family wealth.

Apyrrhicvictor’s one line verdict was – Hindi television serials to a large extent depict real life. I conceded. May be the scripts exaggerate the truth but tele-fiction is not far away from reality

The Day before Yesterday

I went to see a play, Sex, Morality and Censorship with my cousins. It was a good play albeit too slow. The one hard hitting and deserving long scene was one that highlighted the torture of the financially dependent housewife. The senseless physical and mental abuse borne by these women who cannot stand up to their husbands is the distressing truth of the world’s largest democracy. No law or police intervention can help these women till the time that they stand up on their two feet. With this thought in mind we walked out of the theatre.

We went on to a café before heading home to dinner. We were almost through with our drinks, when I saw a man approach a table not far away form us and throw the mobile phone of the woman at the table in anger and disgust. The lady in question was having a quiet coffee with a friend when suddenly this agitated man came in and started hurling profanities at her. He was upset that she was not answering his calls; he slapped her, pulled her from the chair and dragged her out of the coffee shop. All the while he was abusing her. It was as if we had just seen a rerun of the play we had walked out of!

There was pin drop silence around the little café when suddenly our villain in question re-appeared on the scene, demanding if the bill had been settled. An elderly gentleman walked up to the man to tell him how vile his behaviour was. The youngster raged in contempt and asserted that if his wife did not respond to his calls another time, he would leave an important meeting as he just had and deal with her once again in a similar manner. He was the husband and so this behaviour was his birthright. This time he walked out without a commotion; but he left behind a chaos behind in those who had witnessed the regressive and harsh reality still thriving in urban India. We were stunned with the realisation that amongst the educated and the upwardly mobile, there still exist men who treat women worse than pets.


Despite the rise in the education and disposable income in urban India, the lifestyle has not progressed. With money defining every social interaction from friendship, to professional equations to family bonding in majority; as a society we have forsaken the healthy growth of relationships to the benefit of puffing up of our bank balances. We do not want to utilise our education to deduce what aspects of our tradition and culture we must follow and what about the same should we leave behind. Those who need financial independence the most are the ones who have no access to it in the name of tradition. Women are still home bound and without options. Despite increasing education and financial stability, relationships that could have sailed have failed. We are a society, slipping from being a warm and hospitable one into a cold and selfish one. Zoltan was probably right; materialism has overtaken the spiritual India.