Saturday, July 31, 2010

At the Rail Crossing

I have to cross a railway signal each day I commute to work. Its a busy junction, train passes every half hour and so traffic comes to a standstill quite often.

The roads are quite narrow at this junction, thanks to the apathy of our civic developers. This junction is surrounded by a slum and the other side has Indian Army facility. So there is no question of widening the road. The trains are quite frequent, as soon as the alarm starts notifying that the train is due to arrive; motorists, cars and rickshaws zoom in to cross the railway signal before the boom barriers are down. The area gets chaotic, vehicle from 6 sides trying to cross the signal. Large vehicles move inch by inch. Your ears are treated with incessant honking, whistles of the gate-man and the traffic controller and swear words by drivers. Occasionally a fight between two drivers; one whose vehicle was nudged and the other who nudged. Everyone is in a hurry to reach their destination, no one cares.

Pedestrians running amok as if a bomb just went off, trying hard to sneak it between vehicles to cross the road before the gates are down. The poor gate-man finally succeeds to bring the barriers down. The vehicles idle; while few pedestrians and 2 wheelers try to cross the signal by going under the barrier; stealing in few more minutes to reach their work on time.

Amidst all these chaos, just the other side; one can witness the complete opposite. The life of slum-dwellers; laid back, leisurely; as if the world has come to a standstill. The kids are dirty, ruffled and unkempt, playing with marbles and sticks in the mud. Occasionally wiping off their running nose, using cuss words unaware of its meaning; moms and grand moms scolding them. Sitting outside their hatched tiny hut, dirty and unkempt, lazing away under the harsh wind and the morning sun. For them; this chaos; people with lunch bags running behind a crowded bus to board it, vehicles honking incessantly never mean a thing. They don't understand why these folks are behaving in a mad way and what are they chasing. But for this crowd; they are too busy to even take a look at that leisurely life; wake up to no deliverable, no deadlines and no schedules. The only worry for those kids is how many marbles to pocket; for the women folks - what to gossip about. They are oblivious to everything else around.

Last week it was a bit different. Instead of the regular 10 minutes wait at the junction, the traffic was halted for almost an hour. Reason - a passenger train halted right at the junction. Never knew what for. I guess either it developed a technical snag or the train did not get go-ahead signal. Whatever, the traffic piled up. Ant it gave me an interesting outlook.

The usually idling vehicles stopped, initial restlessness gave way to sluggishness and yawns. Autos halted; 2 wheelers stopped, the riders relaxed and took off their helmets. Someone started fiddling with his mobile phone, occasionally looking around. Someone thought of finishing some job and called up his junior and gave instructions. A hunk ruffled his hair on and off to grab some attention. Commuters from the bus looked around for some entertainment; most of them with their headphones on; listening to gibberish of these radio jockeys.

An auto rickshaw driver walked towards the train to get some news; my driver followed as well and they chatted; maybe each one shared tips as to how to launder money from helpless passengers. A neatly dressed man in suit in a chauffeur driven luxury car was oblivious to the outside environment; reading newspaper. Few commuters alighted from the bus and thought walking was better; they crossed the signal by walking through the doors of the halted train. College goers with funky outfits and accessories, working people hastily dressed; people of all kinds. Someone thought it was time to groom; so cleaned his nails and blew his nose. A cab driver kept tuning the FM radio hoping to hear some nice music. A girl in an auto rickshaw coochie-cooing with her boy friend; giggling and all that. Train passengers looking out of the window witnessing the hapless crowd gathered.

Someone saw a business opportunity; he quickly put in some goodies of cigarettes, candies and bananas in a tray; collected from his shop and did a quick round selling his goods for people who were waiting for the train to move and the traffic to clear.

Continued for a while; the the train started and left the signal, barrier up; vehicles started. The lazy and slow world that was evident few minutes ago was long forgotten. It was chaos all over again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I had this question few days back.

Why does Love exist? 

Not that I got all lovey-dovey; a la teenage sorts. I am long past being that dreamy-eyed love smitten teenager. It just occurred to me; this question!

Its not WHAT IS LOVE? But WHY IT EXISTS? I was seriously ruminating over it. Maybe this was one of many such occasion when I look within to seek and explore.; sort of self enlightenment. Having experienced how love manifests with respect to various people and how it evolves over time and how it transforms.

Think of the love between two kids; siblings. Pulling each others hair and snatching away each others food is love. As they grow up, love manifests in other ways. Its more of care, affection and support.

Or the love between a young boy and a girl. Its roses and mushy talks. As they grow together, love matures and is more realistic; going together for a walk is more lovelier than the mushy talks.

I am digressing, am I not? So, why does love exist?

Still pondering; I thought let me ask few of my friends what were their opinion. One of my friend said  

"it exist to ummmmmm screw us"

I am sorry about the language. I wanted to paste the exact statement given by my friend hence did not paraphrase. :-P

Well, my friend might have had valid reasons for feeling so and I respect it. Thinking about it, love brings pain. Or is it love or something else? Love is selfless, so what brings pain? Expectations. Yeah, expectations brings pain. But we are humans, and its our nature to expect. 

Another one had an interesting take on it. Is Love a feeling? Or a choice? We feel sad, happy, angry, bored....feelings are never the same always and they dont stay the same forever. So is love a feeling?

If so, does it mean when the feeling goes away, you should move on with someone else who will give that "love" feeling?

"True love is a choice, not a feeling"

Well, I did not get what I was looking for. Why does it exist?

There are few who feel it exists for sharing.

"for people to give and take some"

Yeah, what better way than to share love? Its all that we have to share and spread joy. 

Love facilitates convergence of the body and the soul. To identify us and our purpose. This is what another said.

Love - so sought after. When you hear the word, you know its magical and scintillating. Its universally celebrated and revered. Wars fought over it. Few say its complex, for few its so simple. Its everywhere, manifesting itself in so many ways. Its the most overused, misunderstood and misused term.

Love is not expectation, its not "I will die for you". Its not "give me this and I will give you that".  I do not understand how one could love someone and later harbor hatred to that person? Is it possible? How can such beautiful state be replaced with a vicious hatred?

For me, Love exists to give Hope. It exists to keep our world going. It exists to share, to spread joy. It exists to remove the inequality in this world.

How about you?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

To You All

  • A leap year of the Julian calendar beginning on Tuesday.
  • Beginning of Mayan Civilization around this year
  • If you are a computer geek, you know this is the HTTP Status code on success :-)
  • This is the common ISO-standard film speed for photographic films
  • Around this time, the Paracas culture in the Andes ended.
  • The number of globular cluster in our galaxy The Milky Way
  • The number of calories 496 ml of Coco Cola holds.
  • Around when Brahminism evolved into Hinduism.
  • Is the smallest base 10 unprimeable number
  • Level of cholesterol desirable or acceptable
  • Pangaea started to break into Laurasia and Gondwanaland about these many million years ago.
  • Beginning of Jurassic period these many million years ago.
  • Number of runs scored by Sachin; the first ever highest score in an ODI.
  • Is also an Harshad number.
 Well, what is common in all these points is the cardinal number

Now why am I obsessed with 200? Because this is my 200th post. So thought what better way than sharing with you folks some important facts associated with the number 200.

There is no feeling of elation or achievement in me. I am quite surprised if the count is really 200. When I started blogging, I never ever thought I could write such lot! What started as a way to beat the stress out of me has now become a part of me.

In the process, I have come across excellent blogs and wonderful bloggers. Retrospecting about my blog and me as a blogger, there are rooms for improvement; especially in my PR skills and networking ability. I know very very few people in real world itself; so less that I can count on my fingers. For a person as me, having these many readers and blogger friends in virtual world amazes me and makes me wonder if it is really me!

No wonder I am still nowhere in terms of reaching out to people even after being in the blog world for a pretty decent time :-D But that is me, hidden in my cocoon and yet all you wonderful people have found me. Now it seems that having a pen name INSIGNIA does not make sense anymore, now that most of you know my real name :-)

I remember a couple of folks asking me why have I named myself after a cigarette - Insignia? :-P

The fewer friends who read me are the best ones I bet! You readers have been so wonderful and encouraging, I cherish you all. Its a great thing to take one's precious time off and read my post, and even more considerate of you all to leave your views and suggestions and appreciations. It encourages me a lot. I have been told that I tend to take my readers seriously; after all they are virtual. Yes, I do take my readers or rather their views seriously, as they devout their time and energy to read and comment aftermath.

What better opportunity than now to thank all of you for your support and encouragement. I want to thank Gautam, Neha, Gayathri, SG, Bikram, Makk, Holy Lama, Hary, Guria, lostworld, soin, Ketan, Abhinav, Nu, Karthik, Antarman, Chowla sir, Naidu sir, chitra, Shaunak, Kish, SM, Kavi, et, Chandana, A, RGB, Madhu, Shilpa, Nipun, Pratik, Ajay, Merlin, Rajlakshmi, anilkurup, Wise Donkey Ma'am, Harini, Shesha, Ramesh, A.K, sushobhan, Jaunty Amina, Gymnast, Megha, Novice writer, Destiny's child, Rohit, Scattered Thoughts, AS, Vishnu, scarlet pimpernel and others who have read me. Please pardon me for not linking back. Its tad tedious and I am going lazier day by day!

As a way of demonstrating my thanks to you all, here is an THANK YOU AWARD on my behalf. This is a painting which I made sometime back and I hold it very dear to me. I now want you folks to have it and I dedicate this post to all my readers and blogger friends. Thank you very much :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What is REAL?

How far can we go to seek entertainment? Scoops, sensations, undercover operations, gossips, controversies, reality shows.....

All these and more to satisfy disloyal audience who could change their loyalty more quicker than our politicians changing their parties,  and to increase the TRPs of television channels.

There is absolutely no reality in the reality television, except for the name. The dialogues, the moves, the actions every bit is planned, designed and orchestrated as if they were impulsive and natural. Tapping the fact that human nature being curious to something illegal or unsocial or sinful like extra-marital issues, sex, love, treachery; these shows go on to create nationwide sensation.

They preach wrong ideals, are fiercely competitive, those who can survive the competition by hook or by crook are the winners; and what they claim is the act of survival; self help and sheer boldness. Does calling names, using cuss words, bitching, seemingly voyeuristic advances etc qualify for boldness? It is to such an extent that the participant tends to forget the real self.

These participants are mere commodities who just want 15 minutes of fame and little money. Its tragic that they lose their identity forever and later are in pangs trying to identify their original self. The extreme pressure to perform outstandingly good, competition with the best, the consciousness of being seen live by millions of people and the constant appraisals and criticisms by the judges in the name of advice and suggestions - all these take a toll.

But the most pathetic tragedy in these reality shows are employing kids. The kids have no idea of what is being asked from them. They are not aware what a pelvic thrust they do in the name of dance would suggest. Little girls as paired with adults and are expected to dance in a sensuous and provocative manner. The clothes and gestures are inappropriate, total mismatch to these kids age. They are made to use filthy languages and behave offensively. Boys as young as 3 years are made to mouth lengthy dialogues and made to mimicry film artistes. Parents want to show that their kids are smart. What would these kids know? Why are they subjected to such torture? Is anyone bothered about the impact in the long run? Does anyone realize that this trauma can leave a scar and make these kids doubt their ability forever and lower their self confidence?

They are trained to perform and they become just performing creatures with manufactured antics, they are trained to look provocatively at the camera, they are trained to talk sensuous, they are trained to walk, to laugh, to see......they go about their trained rituals as if it were natural. They have so much pressure to succeed, else they have to carry the guilt of letting down their parents, friends and mentor and losing their respect and prestige.

Its a disaster, the participants suffer from harsh realities of grueling routines, constant verdicts from judges, expectations and fear of losing. This is REAL and is tragic.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What next for Paul?

Its been announced that Paul has decided to hang his boots. Yeah, 8 boots, all at at time.


He wont be predicting anymore, that is what his handlers have announced on "behalf" of him. Maybe "We want Paul for the pan" got his thinking hat on and he decided to quit!!

But the celebrity has been getting lot of offers, predicting sporting events, to be part of promotions by a Japanese fortune telling company. Media coverage was given to him more than the soccer matches. Spain wants to rechristen him as Pablo. He has a 24 hour security guard.

Now people, who does not want the octopus life, 8 legs are always better than 2 :-P  He is so famous, so many love him, many others love to hate him.

Alright, so Paul has decided to retire. But what if he just changes his mind? There are lot of job opportunities in India for Paul, THE place which seems to have plenty of jobs today!

After hyping him so much and projecting him as a celebrity, our Indian media would not think twice to hire him as a TV News presenter. Move away the Arnabs, the Banerjees and the Dutts. Here is Paul, the Oracle. Your job of spculating a news is not needed henceforth. No more speculations, no more shouting on top of your voice, no more confortonations. Leave it to Paul. He will predict correctly if Aiswarya Rai Bachan can see the moon or not this Karwa Chauth.

Where else can he best fit into other than out stock markets? Give the baton to him and he will rule! You and I can invest depending on his sooth sayings. Will it be the Bear or the Bull? Our MBAs have been mooted with the question and their predicament goes wrong. They would definitely need Paul's helping 'legs' to predict the correct result. Company's quarter results, our annual bonus all depend on it, is it not?

Talking about hiring Paul to be on TV, is it not more glamorous if he is part of our Bollywood? Run around trees. Eh? Not anymore, now couple run around swanky yacht, talk only in billions and vacation in the Bahamas in our Bollywood movies. Yet, they don't rake in any moolah. The Kites just fly away and the Raavan's 10 head chopped off. Our eight-legged Oracle could again come to rescue. We all know these producer's and director's penchant of casting foreigner and always a sure winner that he is!! he would be case in the lead role. Anyone could be his female co-star. Last heard Ms. Rakhi Sawant wants to feel his 8 limbs wrapped around her! Is she not the best option?

Oh yes!! the seat of power. The Great Indian Politics. Parties will hire his service to predict who would win the next election. Accordingly, come up with their strategy. Aww, don we know they are ready to go at any lengths? So they might even nominate Paul for the post of Prime Minister. Now, its easy! India does not have any rule which states a foreign born cannot be our country's PM. So Mr.Paul for PM. Yaaeeyy!! He does not have to talk much, just be the way our PM is. All he has to do pick one mussel from a tank and the preamble set and bills passed according to what he chose :-P

The cricketing league would not want want to be left behind in the race to grab him. They would try their level best to hire Paul to predict IPL matches. Who much cares playing for country anymore? IPL winners, man of the match et all. He would be called to present the cup to the winning team as well, such is his fame, spread far and wide.

A bit difficult job for him would be to predict when India and Pakistan would reach a truce on Kashmir. But never ever underestimate him. Just have him as your Minister of External Affairs, send him to Pakistan and yeah, not to worry, he will return safe folks!! Paella and sushi are not Pakistani delicacies, so have faith.

All said and done, in addition to living with the accolades, he has to put up with lot of issues here as well. Few left wings might not want soothsaying from an 'outsider'. They would vouch for the desi parakeets. Few religion fanatics will question his religion. Is he a minority? Then his predication are not considered!! Few regional fanatics would want to know which is his native tongue? How could he gorge on mussels from the neighboring state with whom we are fighting for water!!! Not done!!

If he decides to take up a job in India, Paul needs lot of good luck :-P

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bold and The Beautiful

Quite a title eh?

Now here is the picture. The bold ones are just oblivious to the beauty which is also beastly :-P

This was at the bird sanctuary at Ranganthittu on the banks of river Cauvery. Its very near to Bangalore, about 100 kms. This sanctuary is home to wide species of birds and mugger crocodiles. They co-exist and live in harmony.Birds like spoonbill, storks, ducks, ibis, heron and many others can be found.

Birds migrate to here from as far as Siberia, North America, Australia. They breed, lay eggs and move out with their little ones during August only to come back next year :-)

Here are few pictures that I could capture.

The Beautiful :-P

The Bold Couple. They are saying "Yeah? So what?"

"Aww cute couple. When would I find my mate?"

Lotta birds, wherever you set your sight on

I wanna fly!

Who is at the highest throne than me?

My babies, my nest.

The most romantic couple. Guess they were curious to know why were they being disturbed constatnly

For better or for worse,
In sickness and in health,
In good times and in bad,
In joy as well as in sorrow,
To love and to cherish :-)

I promise to love you unconditionally.
From this day forward until death do us apart...............

Or until I fly away :-P

Living in harmony

Yaaawwwwwwnnnn...enough! Go away! :-P

OK!! I am leaving.....going...and I am gone!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saving Insignia from Blue and Pink

On popular demand, I am taking up this tag. This tag is being devoured like yummy cakes all around my blog network. I did not want to take up tags for some time, but its contagious you see!!

Neha, Nu and lostworld have tagged me. Pardon me if I have missed anyone else who has tagged me on the same. I am losing my memory, see, signs of growing old :-|

This tag is about listing at least 10 things you have done that your gender is not supposed to do or generally does not do. Hmm, being me, I do have few interesting things and few things that I want to do that my gender is not supposed to do. Now who set these rules!! I do not know. Anyway, its fun tag, let me not get into probing further.

I have gone against the principles of 'Girls do not do these things' and a 'Girl has to do do all these things' all the time. Been a rebel, continue to be a rebel and I am smirked upon. Well, nothing has changed me!!

So, apart from listing those things I have done that my gender is not supposed to do, I would also list about the things that I have not done which a girl is supposed to do.

1. Never been able to get myself to adorn my house's courtyard with a Rangoli or the Kolam. My mom always made it a point to have an elaborate Kolam before the sun came out. She had a magic in her fingers which I could never ever get. It was a girl thing but I could never learn the art!! I remember an incident. One day she was having a bad headache(when was headache ever good!! :-S) and she was coaxing me to draw a Kolam before the sun came out. I was sleepy, yet I grudgingly went out not able to withstand her nag anymore, swept the area and drew a Kolam, came back and slept. When she saw what I had done, she was shocked! She mentions it even to this day to anyone and everyone she meets. Well, what I did was draw something of this sort, in the name of Kolam.
She would never forgive me for this. I was such a tomboy that I could never get this girlie habit.

2. At work, more than writing lines of code, what i love is climbing ladders and pulling optical fibers and cables to connect my servers and switches. The servers, switches and cables are my babies! I love to plug in modules and assemble servers and chassis. This is only a guy thing which a support engineer(mostly a guy) does. But I like to get my hands bleeding. Yeah you folks read it right. One such day, I noticed blood flowing on the edge of the rack in my data center when trying to connect some cables and wires to my server. It was spooky, like a scene from a horror movie. I did not know where it was from. I just wiped it off and came back to my desk. It was then I noticed a cut on my wrist. Talk about working hard by giving off your blood and sweat!!

3. I can talk about lengths regarding the technical details, performance, price and value of cars and bikes. Now this is often considered a male domain. But these things have always fascinated me. My friends check with me if they want any information on latest models of car/bikes and their specifications. It so happened that in my 11th grade, I was discussing about the newly introduced bike Pulsar with a friend. This lady happened to share the same with her dad. Her dad had warned her not to continue her friendship with me, as he thought I had a boy friend; because it was not possible for a girl to know all the technical details of a bike!! And hence I would have a wrong influence on her :-S

4. I am a beauty illiterate. You may already know about that. I have a post dedicated on the same - Beauty Illiterate.
I do not know what an eye liner is, what a mascara is. I do not know what is the difference between a foundation or a concealer! Never tried them, never been to a salon except to trim my hair. I like it this way!!

5. I do not have girls as my friends. I can hardly count on my fingers the number of girl friends I have. I am very comfortable with guys and I get along with them very well. Can talk anything under the sun with ease with them, but not with girls! I do not like gossips, the mushy-mushy cho-chweet candy talks of girls, that's the reason.

6. I do not like dressing up. It takes me less than 2 minutes to dress. A pair of jeans or capris and a casual shirt or a Tee is all I need. No make-up, no jewelry. Actually these things irritate me. But as a typical women, I am very particular about my foot wear. :-P

7. I am constatnly told to slow-down at home and at work. I come across as an aggressive, dominant, no-nonsense person who speaks my mind out. Are these traits of men?? I do not know.

8. I love riding motor cycles. Used to regularly ride my husband's Yamaha RX135 before marriage. 2 stroke bikes are always thrilling. Now that I am married to him and stuck up for the rest of my life, he does not give his bike anymore :-P

9. I have had short layered bob cut until recently and I found it very very comfortable. Others around me thought I was too boyish and on an outcry, I had to let my hair grow :-(

10. I do not like laces, satin ribbons, braids and bows. I cannot flutter my eye lashes, neither can I be elegant, even when I am draped in a Saree.. Sorry!!

11. I am very adventurous. I like traveling to the places not explored, and end up venturing to areas that are closed or which are not open for visiting. Guys!! I tell you are not that bold at all. I have tough time coaxing them to join.

12. I was about to forget this one. I do not get scared of roaches, worms, lizards....

Phew!! Its really tough you see! I am done!! Yaaeyyy!

Almost everyone around have been tagged, so now to make it interesting, I am going to tag guys!! :-P wicked me

I tag Bikram, Nipun, et. What are the girlie things you have done or want to do guys? I wanna know!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lets Jabulani

Vuvuzela, Jabulani, Waka Waka, Wavin' flag, the Octopus......

FIFA World Cup finals remain. The soccer fever has caught everyone and it should start receding as well, now that the WC is coming to an end. It has been a month of drama, frenzy, craze and fever. Emotions abound!

In this part of the world, where we keep guessing if India will ever qualify and hoping it qualifies once in our lifetime and talks about how India should host a World Cup event. But alas!! the bid is done with until 2030.

Irrespective of all these, the soccer mania in India is at an all time high. From West Bengal to Kerala, its Messi, Kaka, Rooney all the way. Got some funny email forwards of flex boards and posters in Kerala - Messi is dressed in Dhoti playing soccer, Rooney dressed as a Malabar king, a village named as "Argentina Nagar".

People supporting their favorite teams, graffiti of Brazil and Argentinian flags, T shirts sold like hot cakes with number 10 on them. Youngsters sporting Messi and Kaka jerseys. Trying to get the pronunciation right of names such as Steinsteiger. Waking up at an unearthly hour to see their favorites go down the drain - England, Brazil, Argentina, Germany.....only to sleep during work hours. Words heard in the cafeteria and break rooms are forward, offside, headbutt, howlers....

People curious to know what a Vuvuzela is. In the beginning, I wondered if it was another name given to the country 'Venezuela' :-D Later, wondered why did the WC organizers in SA not take care of the mosquito menace in the stadiums, hearing to the non stop buzz. And then realized it was due to the VUVUZELA and not mosquitoes!!

Ahh, the Jabulani. The Sindhis would be proud. The official soccer ball for the WC is the Jabulani, surrounded with controversies. People here want to own it, I myself want one and checked the price of it. 150$ is what it is, quite reasonable!! I shall get one soon!

And the Waka Waka. People who did not know who Shakira was, now know her better. And they are spell-bound of her Waka Waka moves and gyrations. Oh yes!! Those are the ones who have not seen her "Hips Don't Lie" moves :-) Oh!! Lets not forget our Malayalam version of the same - Laka Laka. It has its own fan following :-)

We know who K'naan is and we can sing

"When I get older, I will be stronger,
They'll call me freedom, just like a wavin' flag,
And then it goes back........"

Last but not the least, the oracle Paul. The one guy who is basking in the glory and obscuring the FIFA WC itself is the OCTOPUS. Man!! he has a Wiki page dedicated to him, has a fan page on Facebook. His predictions are believed more than the team, bookies taking his words and deciding on whom to place their bet. A celebrity who is being discussed world over, who is giving tough competition to the Messis and the Kakas and the Rooneys :-)

Lets Waka Waka!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Not Fair!

Does success come only to beautiful people?

Does success come only to fair people?

Does beauty mean only fair skin?

It seems so, even to this day. If you have been keeping a tab on few of the latest advertisements, there is one very latest one which has brought out a new men's fairness cream to the market.

The advertisement goes something like this - A person is shown questioning another guy in an interview. The questions are what an interviewer asks an interviewee. But it turns out the other way, it is the interviewee who puts up an over-confident aggressive behavior and asks "When do you want me to join?" Then the panel of interviewers are revealed on the screen and the interviewer who was questioned all the while says "Tomorrow".

What follows is the blah-blah of confidence and other positive qualities that seems to come by using fairness cream! All these days, they were selling this preposterous idea depicting women as victims of having a dark skin; lack of job opportunities, delay in marriage and all that nonsense. Now men too!!

What I admire is the chutzpah of these marketing team to go ahead with such concepts to sell. Or is it that they are merely taking advantage of our weakness to fair skin? When the British left, they left behind the concept of fair skin dominance and success! How sad. Why is the infatuation with fair skin among us?

Why do we have to blame the advertising agencies? They are doing their homework well. How many parents are happy with a dusky girl baby? Lets be honest here, even though it would be unbelievable. My mom has tried all her mighty best to pursue me in applying creams and consuming food that could 'improve' my color. I do not blame her. Poor thing!! she wanted her child to find better prospectus. Is this not a deep rooted racism? Are we not insulting ourselves? Look around, bus stops, TV, magazines, in stores - you see hoardings everywhere. Any marriage advertisements read thus - Fair skinned. Have you see any marriage advertisements or proposals asking for "DARK/DUSKY" only apply?

We do talk at length about how America had arrived when Mr. Obama was made the President. There is no craze for fairness creams in America. Dark skinned models are used as frequently as the white ones. There are no qualms, of course there are exceptions as everywhere else. Yet our media went gung-ho about the global progress American achieved.

And we see - skin lightening cream, white glow? What is that white glow? Why don't we understand our skin is not of that type. Indian movies influence us a lot, how many dusky beauties do we see in movies? Or why are they branded DUSKY and others not branded "WHITE' or 'FAIR'? The WHITEST is the most successful and highest paid. Teleserials and movies also tend to have a story line around how the duskier girl finds it tough to find a guy for marriage. A girl is dejected as she never gets an opportunity, she uses fairness cream and becomes an actress and gets the Best Actor Award!!

Does anyone of us recall any advertisement which uses dark-skinned Indian to sell the product? If you saw one or two, they would be a playing a peon, sweeper...Heights of absurdness.

Fairness cream market share is alone over whopping 700 crore in India, and the annual growth rate is not less than 20%. Our skin texture is different. Achieving fairness, at what cost? The main ingredient is bleaching agent, so we know what it would do to the skin. Do the fairness cream deliver what it promises? NO!! Everyone knows that it would do more harm than good.

Yet, why is the market so thriving and influential that our superstars endorse it? These superstars whom millions revere are not ashamed. Do you recall the tag line of Fair N Lovely? THE POWER OF BEAUTY. Our preconceived notion that fair is beautiful and that being fair means success comes without any effort. What does it mean by the Power of Beauty? So dusky ones don't stand a chance at all? Or worse, don't they deserve a chance at all?

And LOREAL's WHITE PERFECT? Notice it? Aishwarya Rai promotes it. Time and over, influential people like these keep taunting their fellow citizens that skin color matters, even when its only a minor percentage that are fair skinned here.

We talk at length about talent and at the same time run behind acquiring fair skin guaranteeing success? Are we Indians schizophrenic? If so, its high time we get sane!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Smiling Tear

People pass by with a smile
Seem to mock at me
I smile back and I am crying

Amidst the crowd, cracking jokes
Seem to laugh at me
I laugh with them and I am crying

There is song and frolic
Seem to make fun of me
I sing and I am crying

"Come, join the musical chair"
Seem to challenge me
I hop in and I am crying

Roses all pink with blushes
Seem to taunt me
I blush and I am crying

"Hoopla around" cries the child
Seem to provoke me
I hoopla and I am crying

"All fine dear?" they ask
Seem to scare me
I am fine and I am crying

I smile, I laugh, I sing, I hop, I blush,
Seems I am fine but why am I crying?

I smile, I laugh, I sing, I hop, I blush,
No one can see that I am crying.

PS : This is a work of fiction.