Archive for the ‘Human Relationships’ Category

A Political Love Letter to My Son

This is post done on March 4th, 2016 on my Facebook page (Here) . Kind of emotional !
Dear Rimil Peter, my son..
Thanks for watching Kanhaiya speech in JNU ..with me for 45 minutes. I have explained how a colonial law ..which was used on Bhagat Singh being used to define our patriotism and allegiance to our country.
You enjoyed the style of his speech delivery (and also of Ravish).. how we need to argue out our differences of opinion ..with ABVP, the saffron brigade ..who are not ‘enemies’ but the opposition group / ideology.
My son, though you are yet to witness ..what a university is like narratives of my days in Jamia Millia Islamia ..and cultural youth activism with friends like Kapil Sharma whom you have met ..and will do more.. will surely help you to understand and visualise or dream of spaces ..which allow free discussion on democracy, diverse perspectives on autonomy, culture, sexuality etc.
What you saw as a movie in Rang De Basanti happening with a different script present JNU times. The young voices are being crushed ..forced to suicide (Rohit in Hyderabad University), or being put in jail. Kashmir and Bastar (Chhatisgarh) cannot be discussed publicly by citizens.. as these are issues of national security !
My son (and all young ones).. Do not allow your questions / enquiry to end. Keep the child in you alive ..and question your teachers the most absurd questions you have. As change comes when you are unsatisfied.. A radical change brought by a collective effort is what a Revolution or Inquilab is about. इंकलाब ज़िंदाबाद means Long live the Revolution.


You Are My Sunshine

December 7, 2014 Leave a comment

I met a nice guy Stephen a few days back in a human rights workshop. Youngish American playing guitar during all the free time he had, and helping us learn whatever Yoga he has learnt during his an year of stay stretching 2-3 years (has been visiting the Tibetan movement led by Dalai Lama).

I caught him the first day in the evening and practised singing with him. And the song was…. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine , you make me happy when skies are grey. I was listening to the song after a gap of, say 25 years, at least. So later in the night hours I googled, and downloaded info and songs versions by various artists.

During a chat with another young TISS person , I was told by her that the song has some issues with it (about the Civil War version)… then researched fully all different lyrics versions and though I could sense a ‘possessiveness in the love’ .. there was nothing so bad as to draw a critique for it. Now in 15 days of practice, this is one of the favourite song for Khushi, my 4.5 years daughter.

Yesterday I came home after a trip of 5 days, at midnight hours. Deepti (my wife) made few chapatis for me, and then a coffee, slept at 1am. As I usually sleep in the front room, and not the bedroom, where wife and children sleep, …when Khushi awakes in the morning, she comes straight to me, to lie besides me.

Today when she came in the morning to lie besides me .. I sang 3-4 songs for her. You are my Sunshine, Country Roads, Saanvli Si Raat Ho (Barfi), …. The more I sing with her, the more she learns the song, and sings along with me !

Spending Time with Children

August 12, 2012 Leave a comment

For some past months my workstation is a suburban district Pakur, which is a 10 hours train journey from Ranchi, where my family stays. Every weekend I come to Ranchi, to spend time with them, and get re-energised.

Staying almost alone in Pakur, and handling all affairs from cooking to office work, has moved me into a phase of life, where I am enjoying my ‘independence’, and re-learning how to do my personal things on my own.. otherwise frankly speaking, marriage relationship is full of inter-dependence to which I have also got addicted, to some extent.

The changeover has helped me in quite many ways, in trying to re-define my lifestyle.. in trying to bring my ‘self’ to a fuller person. Trying to spend time, energy and thought to what I was restricted to due to proximity to family. Trying to re-discover.. somewhat like Gautam Buddha who left his family for other ‘respectable’ affairs. But is ‘coming together’, and ‘leaving’ means so much in life? Why do we get tied in relationships and why can’t we have umpteen relationships / emotional bondage ?

There are some benefits, of course, of human bondage, with the kind of sharing and ‘stay’ that it brings to fast running life. Over here, I will now tell you about my experience with my family these days.

Coming on weekends to spend time with them, I get engaged in the following tasks with them – taking them out on my motorcycle at least once each day for 3-4 hours (this could be a visit to a close friend or visit to a park or bazaar), watching movies with them, dancing and singing for 2 hours each day on the mike (with Khushi in my hands and Rimil around playing with him, preparing food and together eating for 2 hours, playing Chess for an hour, internet search for Rimil’s questions (like that on Zodiac signs), visiting the library to return / bring books, reading stories to them in the best of dialogue form.

All this exercise takes place while I also complete my own tasks of completing the pending office reports, organisational work report and communications and most importantly, the work to check the Facebook updates, like and comment. Why important? Well social networking has become an important part of sharing and even this blog which I write. I feel its relevant to contribute / share / communicate in some forms, your ideas, opinions and strategies. This has been a space for me to express myself freely, though ‘freedom of expression’ in absolute or to a large extent is something I understand is a still quite far for me. It will take more time for me to ‘liberate’ my expression.

So the two days of weekend goes in a struggling effort on my side to keep balance between the different forms of communication – speaking, story telling, singing, photo shooting, playing, reading and liking in FB, blog writing, etc. This is challenging .. keeping a balance of my role as a father, husband, a social activist, and a net-worker communicator. Still it is a great joy overcoming the challenges, and trying to complete the umpteen tasks in various roles.

Will come to this issue again for deeper analysis later ! Thanks readers !!


Fun and Learn Holidays

During a long holidays trip in Pakur in Feb -Mar, Rimil and Zohra must have had a very different experience. From a urban middle class lifestyle, whose lifestyle works around when what programs are scheduled on digital TV, to one which was more rural based, with fewer electricity supply and the availability of channels.

The change was a very healthy one. Awakening at early hours to start filling water in buckets from the deep bored community handpump just outside our home in Pakur. There was construction work going on and the whole family contributed in filling water to feed to the house walls etc. Rimil, growing up .. felt energised with filling of each bucket, and used to proudly announce to the whole neighbours the number of buckets he filled.

Power cuts in Pakur are for scheduled hours every day – morning 7 to 8, then 10 to 12, then 4-5 and finally 7-8 in evening. These are accompanied with 2  minutes cut every hour. This has made the people very well cautious of the time when there will be no electricity, and life is adjusted accordingly. Coming from Ranchi, which has maximum 15 minutes cut in the whole day, Rimil got the experience of staying in a ‘small town’.

This experience of Rimil is something that I value will be productive in building his understandings of how different the lifestyles are in different townships depending on the availability of electricity power, water, television, games and market. It was based on this experience that he wrote about in his story submission for his school magazine, after he returned from his Winters trip to Amdanda village in Sahibganj.

What was in store for Zohra ? We bought a duck from the weekly Haat at Amrapara. I had to visit the Community Health Centre and Rimil had accompanied me. The Haat bazaar is a big one, and we  bought a duck for Rs 165, a bit cheaper than from town rate. We tied the legs and made it sit in the vegetable bag we had.

At home, Khushi was extremely excited to see it. We tied it in the central hall of the house and served it uncooked rice to eat. And in the evening when we slept we used to keep it in our bedroom, as we feared the cat would come and harm it.  This routine went for 7 days and we shot many photos with the duck. Khushi was always shy of it.. saying that it will bite.

On the day, when the duck was to be prepared, we kept it a little away from Khushi till we finally declared that the duck had died, and had to be cut, to be eaten. The meat was a lttle different from that of chicken. It was more hard, both flesh and bone, and I enjoyed eating every piece of it !

The last bit of news during these holidays were Rimil’s engagement in photo-shooting the Gulguliyas. Gulguliyas is another word for nomads and there is a gathering of approximately 50 families of them who come to stay for some months in Meena Bazar of Pakur. We went there on 4-5 days with our respective cameras and shot with our perspectives. I encouraged Rimil to focus on the children as they too were quite excited to see a young boy of their playing age to be shooting photos of theirs, and then showing them the results in his digital camera.

The photo-shooting experience that Rimil has been doing is also helping his life perspectives to develop ! And I need to put separate energies / time to help him in this.

Relationships and Child Birth

Today is Rimil’s Birthday. Forgotten ? Well, Rimil is my 8 year old son, who is helping me to understand my Fatherly / Motherly attitude. Every every man has it but very few show it in public.

The macho and manly cultures taught in our cultures makes men less and less soft, hiding feelings of love and weakness, and putting strength as the characteristic of man. Result is .. that men tend to have fewer and fewer communications with their children.

One discussion that took place between me and Rimil was 3-4 months back, when we were travelling in the city, in a mobike, and my wife was also with me along with my daughter, Zohra (Khushi). ‘Papa tell me, can a childbirth take place without a marriage?’ My reply .. Yes, if the boy and girl stay together alone for duration of time.. The girl can get pregnant, and that’s the reason many girls are not permitted to meet boys freely, and are forced to get married soon.. Child birth is preferred after a marriage ..

Well, that’s the point I suppose I went to. But in the  present age .. maybe some additional lines can be added after 3-4 years,.. that marriage as a concept is also changing.. and many couples are willing to live together, and bear child even without a marriage (!!).

Wanted to write more, but let’s post this first (I started it on 30th and today is 2nd)!

Christmas and Biryani

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

The Christmas festivity is the way through which most of my friends understand my following of religious lines, besides my surname. Actually the festivity across any religious festival helps us in cultural expression of coming together and interacting. Beyond that whether that religious festival helps us to connect to individual Gods is something I do not believe in.

In my childhood days in Lucknow, it was a Muslim lady ‘Badi Bibi’ who used to work at our home and prepare food etc while my parents were in their office jobs. Thus even during Christmas it was the famous Shami Kabab and Biryani that was cooked at home besides cake from the bakery (made on order). Hence Mughlai dishes (typically made by Muslims) was the ‘in thing’ during Christian festival.

Let me tell you that the Christian’s Bible comprises of two books – an old testament, which details the evolution of life on earth, and the second testament which is about the life and preachings of Jesus. And the first book is something which is also a part of the Muslim scriptures. The similarity (maybe) has strengthened bond between the two communities which I witnessed during my days at Lucknow, Jamia Millia Islamia (Delhi), Sahibganj and Ranchi. It is easier as a person carrying a Christian surname to get rented space for living in Muslim houses, though I really do not know whether it will be similar in a reverse situation. The adivasis also get the space in Muslim houses a little easier, but on the other I have a feeling with some bit of observation that this will not be similar for Hindus in Muslim houses or in reverse situation. Major reason are those related to food habits.. but there might be some other difference related to cultural sensitivity / acceptance !

In the winters of two previous years (2008 and 2009) I felt like my immunity system had really gone down.. I got nauseating cold ..something like ‘sinus’ (sinusitus) .. which one of my dear friend Lallan (Bhagalpur) suffers from. My makan malkin aunty, somewhat of my mother’s age, suggested that I take bone soup with garam masala.. she brought buffalo leg bone ( in Beef shops it is buffalo meat, and not cow meat ..that one usually gets !)  and prepared the soup in our home kitchen. The soup lasted for 2 days and then I repeated it once again after a week. Tell you, reader.. it was highly effective for the cold..  try it whenever you can.. bone marrow soup of any damn eatable animal  ! Further, I searched for the soup .. found it in Delhi INA Market area .. a glass for Rs 15 only (though you won’t find it as wonderful as the home one, with some lumps of meat and bone marrow).

This year in Ranchi, we have prepared 4 kgs of cake.. that means all materials like maida, egg, oil / butter ..of 4 kg each and this resulted in 40 bricks of cake, with ‘kaju’ and ‘kishmish’ for flavour. Went to the bakery and got the things mixed and baked in front of us .. Rimil’s second lesson (he had one lesson last year).

My Family Grows

November 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Frankly speaking, I am not a believer of that traditional concept of family where the male has to earn for the female and children, where the relationships need to be eternal and longlasting.. basically relationships is about walking together of personalities and getting tuned to each other’s likes/ dislikes.. and like any relationship marriage should also be permitted to have its ups and downs .. am I getting towards indicating something about my personal life .. should I do this publicly ?

And all types of relationships has its ups and down .. whether live in or contractual as in a marriage .. its minus and plus points. And somehow its the female who has to face the brunt .. as she has to carry the baby, doesn’t have property rights and have a house / job of her own , etc. And what happens when you get tired of trying out different relations and want to have ..peace and ‘not in-move attitude’ after an age in life?

So in the recent days when I have enjoyed family life for over some years (got married in 1998, first child in 2001 who died within 72 hrs, and then son Rimil born in 2004, and now Zohra).. we have another family member .. a parrot we have named ‘Queen Elizabeth’.

Bought her for Rs 180 and then a cage worth Rs 120.. yesterday we bought rice grains (Rs13 per kg), guava (Rs 16 per kg) for her .. we all also serving her ‘chana’. Rimil and Zohra are excited ..feeding her her water ..let’s hope that she learns to speak fast. Hoping her presence will make the family life more preetier !

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