Archive for the ‘Gender Equity’ Category

Bhaag Milkha – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

We have watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag more than twice on home television.

Why I write about Milkha over here, is the mention it has found in my daughter Zohra’s conversations. When I was exercising one day (which I rarely am able to do regularly.. just 2-3 times in a week), she admired my exercising in shorts and vest ..and said that I was jogging like Milkha.

Then whenever I play the songs of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara …and the poetry recitations come she again says ..its Milkha speaking. Yes, that’s it .. Farhan Akhtar has played the role so well that his voice is synonymous connected with the character he has played.

Listen to his Farhan’s wonderful narration of Javed Akhtar’s poetry … यह जो गहरे सन्नाटे है, वक़्त ने सबको ही बाटें है Ye Jo gahre sannate hai, waqt ne sab ko hee baatein hai …. these mysterious silences resound in the lives of each human being, it has been equally been placed in each human’s life .. to make their own effort to understand it.

While I want this blog to remain a personal blog .. and hence have not given any external links so far.. but here is the the link on ZNMD on wikipedia.. (During the writing of this blog I understood that Farhan is also called Imraan … and Imraan’s Shayari here is that of Javed Akhtar)

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag .. is a film about great sportsman of India Milkha Singh .. who won many Olympics Gold medal in atheletics.

While coming out of Social Development Centre (SDC) in Ranchi one day I showed the publicity board of a girl in a Judo Karate dress … this was an advertisment of the classes that take place in Purulia Road for girls. I told her that’s the way Mary Kom (the Indian women’s boxing champ) looks like… and that some time later soon she can join the classes to be as sporting as Mary.

So that’s how characters play their effect on children’s minds. And they can be tremendous mover .. and today’s generation of children have smart brains.. they catch things very fast !!


‘Break Ke Baad’ – Cocktail Lifestyle

November 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Saw this movie named Cocktail. Deepika Padukone has played a wonderful role in it, along with Saif at his best. I was very impressed with the ‘free’ lifestyles depicted in the film. Young boys and girls moving towards mature, conjugal living together without even a thought or plan of getting married.. ‘working out’ together.

The conversations between the two female protagonists, between liberal to conservative sex behavior and engagement with the opposite sex.. is quite interesting to reveal the way the young people think and act in the current times.

This film and other similar ones like ‘Break Ke Baad’ and ‘Wake Up Sid’, are about relationships between young men and women… are depiction of the trend the young people’s affairs are.. and hence indicative of the fast way these might undergo further change till my kids grow up.

It is very necessary and a challenging task for parents of today to keep up with the pace of minds / perspectives / attitudinal change of their children. Personally for me,.. it is challenging, exciting and ‘life worth living’ when I engage with my kids and try to run at my mind, thought processes and actions with the level they want.

Now what does ‘my kids’ means? I have always had a dis-taste for anything which builds up ownership.. from … husband, my wife, my things, .. But seems I am developing an ownership.. too close a personal belongingness.. which will hurt when distances are developed at adult stages / future. On the other hand pain and agony are part of the lives that human beings live, and it is the taste of this mix of happy and sad moments which build our energies, and help us to move more maturely towards our lives’ goals (which keep on moving further)!

Reminds me of many Facebook comments that I have wrote to some of my friends quoting the lyrics of a Talat Mehmood song ‘Hai sabse madhur wo geet jinhe hum dard ke sur me gaate hai.. Jab had se guzar jaati hai khushi, aansu bhi chhalakte aate hai.. Kaaton mein khile hai phul hamare rang bhare afsano ke.. Naadaan hai jo in kaaton se daaman ko bachaaye jaate hai.. Hai sabse madhur wo geet jinhe hum dard ke sur me gaate hai’

I am writing this at 11pm while travelling in a General compartment of a train travelling to Ranchi on a weekend. Have been so much engaged for past days in professional development consultancy and some ‘construction work’ that this write up has been pending.. for almost a fortnight. Finally decided to take out my laptop, in the midst of the crowd and start typing…

Allah Ke Bande

October 13, 2012 Leave a comment

This is the song that I want to talk about today. Sung by Kailash Kher, the latest hit amongst the Sufi music experience.

One of the song I had wanted to sing for a long time. But was not able to practice because of the low to high tone that it demanded. A couple of weeks ago, finally I was able to practice it. This was during my favourite practice session sites of mobike driving.

Maybe I forgot to tell you that I drive the roads of Ranchi, singing Khalbali hai Khalbali and Ru-Ba-Ru Roshni Hai, because of the heights of voice that these songs require. Rimil sings along, and the crowd on the road does not gets much disturbed as it is at least better than the horns of cars and mobikes.

So it was during my mobike travels in the roads of Pakur, in drizzling rains of Aug-Sept, driving 100 to 150kms a day, that I practiced the song with the MP3 player connecting to my ears, under my helmet.

In Ranchi when I come for weekend stay with my family, Rimil checks the songs in my Mobile chip, and starts playing his favorites. And what by chance ? He has also started liking the song, and he practiced with me for 2 days last weekend.

Zohra also says Allah Ke Bande ! She has been hearing a lot of Allah with the twin kids (girls of 4 yrs age) of our House Owner, saying ‘Hai Allah!’ at every small thing while playing. She has also learnt some other things which I am trying hard to help her de-learn, like carrying a dupatta and a small purse, and always using her hands to put them in place. I tell her, ‘No dupatta and purse in front of me’. At times he cries, but that’s how the hard learning is during childhood, and she forgets the issue in a very short moment.

Girl’s body movements have been restricted by their clothes, given to them through traditions. We need to break away such gendered way of upbringing and help our children to grow up as equals… with equal opportunity to boys and girls to play (all kinds of games), dance (all kinds of dance), and spread their wings.

Readers please read Kamla Bhasin’s ‘Ladka kya hai, Ladki kya hai ?’ for more information on gendered upbringing of our children, the role our cultures play and the need to bring about a change.

Reminds me, that few days back Rimil was learning ‘Paryayvachi’ words in Hindi (words with same meaning), and he was learning Naari (woman) has another word ‘Abla’ (Incapable and Dependent) with the same meaning. But that is what the women’s movement in India has challenged by bringing out a magazine ‘Sabla’ (Capable), which focuses on women’s capacities which have been utilsed in a very limited manner by society. I did not poked him at that stage, but will have to after an year, to tell what ‘Abla’ and ‘Sabla’ means.

My Experience on Facebook so Far

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Was intending to write for a long time,but was not able to open this site. Supposedly Facebook, YouTube and Piratebay is taking a lot of my time on the computer and I am always engaged reading ‘social networking friends’ on it. Many of my ‘serious’ kinda friends keep away from Facebooking or when those into it, are able to break away for sometime, then they feel that they have done a ‘great’ job to have taken a vacation. Even, I think that at times I am too much ‘virtual than real’ .. but I find a similarity with the kind of ..ideology to practice based, humane efforts that I am engaged in.

The sharing of ideas, in the form of ‘what’s on your mind’ status and responding to someone’s posting /commenting is something that if taken seriously can help a lot in networking / sharing of personal opinions .. and matter of fact is that I have taken it seriously. It has helped me connect with a range of people from different age groups and cultures and acquaintance.

I remember that once one of my Facebook friend chatted to understand my sexual choice I my information said about interest in both boys and girls. He is a gay who had sent his invite and I had accepted it, and now he was trying to understand how and why I was interested in boys… Well ..I told him about my work on gender and sexuality.. (There might be more chatting / discussions which I have the liberty to reveal or conceal !).

On another instant I virtually was on a war.. towards breaking an existing ‘real’ friendship. A real friend gave a film analysis and I commented on it. Then he responded, then I.. then he, then I.. and finally the dangerous words started coming – You know you have such an analysis because you .. are an outsider, culturally confused, do not have the courage or the will to take positions.. somewhat like the middle class, etc etc..Well, I told him.. I do not have the patience and the energy to carry on the discussion any further.. and best would be to sit across table on a cup of tea further discuss.  And, tell you,  haven’t sat on it for 2-3 months .. cause I wanted the ‘time’ to heal the mis-understandings.  Further I believe, difference of opinions (attitudes/ behaviour) is what makes us all unique, in this world. And there need not be ‘common understanding’ on all themes, at all times !!

Recently, I have started a Group on Facebook – Men, Masculinity and Feminism.. a space with 150 members, male and female.. sharing mostly public thoughts on sexuality.. but some very personal experience sharing is also there. Wanna check the group, and its approx 15 postings ? And …Facebooking has helped me to share some romantic moods.. from songs, to how we vision the world.. with some of my friends. Are you one of them ???

Why this (Another) Blog ?

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Hi Everybody !

I celebrated my 37th birthday on 27th october. Have been residing in Ranchi now for 5 years and have done some amount of blogging on blogspot – check …been into development work for almost 15 years now.

The things that I enjoy in life is the  cultural taste of different individuals and communities, and the wide diversity that exists in life around us. My personal experiences have helped me in cherishing this diversity…

Born in Lucknow, with Urdu / Muslim culture, nor regular goer  to Church, studied in Christian college, then college in Muslim University Jamia Millia Islamia, parentage half UP -ite half Bengali (mother a Bengali Christian), both working, etc

And later during / after college venturing at my to search own self, trying new possibilities .. venturing with left and ‘pro-people, anti-development’  groups, exploring tribal life and becoming a part of it with my marriage to Deepti. Now we have two child – Rimil is my 6.5 years son (name means Clouds in Santhali / Mundari tribal langauge) while Zohra is my 7 months daughter (name after Zohra Sehgal, famous theatrist now in her 90s, the name is not in Urdu dictionary which I searched on the net, later my Professor in Jamia told emailed that it is an Arabic word meaning blooming.. and she was born on the Sarhul, the day the Chota Nagpur adivasis were celebrating nature festival and prayig with flowers). With Rimil’s B’day on 30th march and Zohra’s B’day on 18th march, we plan to celebrate it only once .. best would be in April as the March rush of activities will be over !

Thus in a way I have started what I intend to do .. share personal experiences and get to hear responses on the same. The women’s movement has taught many that ‘personal is political’ and maybe this personal expression will help me/us in carving my/our politics of engaging with life / society around me / our selves.

In the past one year my engagement with online life has increased and I would really like to understand whether this engagement will really help in bringing about some change or not .. whether social networking / blogging change the way the life has been for all of us …in India or world.  I am on Facebook

I want to write this blog at least once every week. Let me see how quick and non-filtering can be in expressing what I feel about .. would not like this to be another of those impersonal accounts of events which does not ‘moves’ the reader… Bye !

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