Being a feminist….

I read an enticing piece on “rape culture” and I am worriedly astonished as to how right these lines from the article are.

“The worst possible thing you can call a woman is a
slut, a whore, a bitch.
The worst possible thing you can call a man is a
bitch, a pussy, a girl.
The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl.
The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl.
Being a woman is the ultimate rejection,
the ultimate dismissal of strength and power, the
absolute insult.
When I have a daughter,
I will tell her that she is not
an insult.

I am actually shocked by the revelation in these lines.There are certain things I have been hearing throughout my growing years :

“Stop crying like a girl”

“We have raised our daughters like sons”

“Being brought up in household with only sisters as siblings, he was also under the same restrictions that were imposed on his sisters, and so, explains his *girl like behavior* today”

“Be careful, there is a woman driving a car just behind”

How multiple conversations in a single day can become examples of gender discrimination and that people do not realize how difficult it becomes to make the ideas of feminism clear to those who may not mean to be gender biased but there “so called” statements absolutely put the other gender *read masculine” to be of a greater importance . I have friends, family and colleagues who absolutely agree that such statements mean no harm and that my feminist attitude is way too much for them to handle. Very less number of people actually care to understand that making such statements actually shows that you believe that females are weak, timid and as the above lines from the article say, “are an insult”,Really!

I do agree that in a patriarchal society, it requires a lot of strength, maturity and confidence to think apart and take a stand for bringing in changes to the social set-up,but, these are no acts of godly magnificence.

The concept of feminism is not about the greatness of womanhood, rather it is about similarity,balance and fairness,and, to make people understand that,

It is actually alright to not give your seat to a female in a bus, but it is not, to offer them a seat and pass lewd remarks on some or the other female walking on the street

It is not a big deal that you “allow” your wife to work, working out of home is way of life for you as well as for her, there is nothing too liberal about you if you help your wife in kitchen and take care of your kids. It is just that you take equal responsibility.

To not accept dowry or ask for it is no act of benevolence and it is just about believing in the right thing to do.

Glorifying womanhood and portraying a woman as the ultimate example of endurance and love is a myth, rather she is a human being who is equally susceptible to anger and impatience.

Cooking, cleaning and house keeping is the responsibility of all the people who stay in a house, and if a woman does not know how to cook or clean, doesn’t make them a lesser human being.

And  being a feminist has been and will always be and just about equality.

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Of irritation,absent mindedness and a hearty laugh!

I travel to office by the BMTC bus. For all those who know, today I boarded a bus which just has a front door and no conductor,plus,I chose it over a volvo because it had place to sit. So, the bus took one hour to cover a distance of 5 kilometers and I was mighty irritated. I boarded a volvo for the second half of my journey but still reached office a good half an hour late.

Now, walking inside the campus, I reached the ground floor of my building and I see a newly opened “Au Bon Pain” outlet, and I mutter in my head, “There was a CCD here yesterday and now Au Bon Pain, these guys just don’t need time at all to set up the outlets. Anyways, I can come down for a soup and sandwich sometime,when I don’t carry lunch”.

With all this in mind, I got into the lift to go to the 4th floor. Happily, I landed on the floor to find a completely different office. In confusion, I climbed the stairs to the 5th floor to see if I took a lift to the other side. On 5th floor too, a completely different set-up. Mighty confused, I board the lift to go to the ground floor. In the lift, I read, “you have taken a lift of block 3 A”. Oh!Ok, muttering in my mind, in the same building, I take a round of all the lifts to see which ones go to block 3B. I also make a note to check with my manager if at all,there are different lifts to different  blocks. Wondering all this, a sudden thought clicks my mind, where have the ATM machines gone from the ground floor? And the tube light suddenly lightens up,Oh My God!This is a different building altogether. : D

I was laughing out aloud reaching my desk, until I could wait to recite the whole thing to a friend online. Have you ever been in a situation where you have fallen prey to absent mindedness of this extent ? 😛 . Please share. I am all ears, and promise I won’t laugh. 🙂

Recipe-Pav Bhaji

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I was in a hurry to dig in,so the slightly burnt pav, please ignore 😛

Since the time I can remember, this has been the most favorite dish in our household,Me, Sis, Ma,Papa all love it in equal measure. And what best time other than winters to savour the hot ,spicy mix of vegetables and spices. I tried to make a low fat version of it using a little olive oil and rice bran oil but it tasted heavenly, none the less. The recipe has been handed down by Mom and for me, I haven’t ever tasted a better version.So let me present you, the first ever recipe on my blog .

Ingredients (serves 3 people) :

2 medium sized potatoes

1 big cup cauliflower

1 cup cabbage

1 cup bottle gourd (diced)

2 big tomatoes (grate one and cut the other to be added with the other veggies to be boiled)

8-10 pods of garlic

1-inch piece of ginger

2 green chillies

3 medium sized onions (grated)

1 cup green peas

1 medium sized capsicum

1 tea spoon red chilli powder

1 tea spoon coriander powder

A pinch of turmeric

1 table spoon pav bhaji masala (I used MDH)

1/2 tea spoon cumin

2 table spoons of cooking oil ( I used a mix of olive and rice bran oil)

Salt to taste

Cut all the vegetables (potatoes,cauliflower,cabbage,bottle gourd). In a cooker, add all these with the green peas and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles. Grate the onions. Make a paste of ginger,garlic and green chillies. Add oil to pan,when it is hot, add cumin.
When the cumin starts to splutter, add the ginger-chilli-garlic paste. Cook till the paste becomes a light brown,throw in the grated onions and saute until the onions are nicely cooked and the raw smell vanishes. Add the grated tomato at this stage. Let it cook until the water burns down.Add capsicum and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Add salt,chilli powder,coriander powder and turmeric powder. Cook until you see oil leaving the sides. Then mash all the boiled vegetables nicely and add to the pan. Let all the vegetables mix with the gravy. Add the pav bhaji masala and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves, a dash of lemon and onion. Server with buttered pav and enjoy.

PS: I also added a little chat masala to the gravy.You can skip if you want it to be less tangy.

My first baby

is my little sister. I remember holding Papa’s hand to take him to see her in the hospital,the tiny little thing, I remember trying to run away from Masi’s room to sleep beside her and Mummy in the middle of the night. The perfect child she used to be,no tantrums apart from being Mummys’ chipkoo and bawling with the wide open mouth and the loudest voice you could ever imagine for a 2 year old. The cute little thing with curly hair looked cuter when her 4 year old self stood on the top of a stool to be caught slurping a whole bowl of yogurt kept on the top of the fridge while Mom slept in the afternoon. I used to wonder at her simple choices for a kid all of 4 years old ,yogurt, dal, milk and roti for food, no throwing tantrums for toys or games or even chocolates. Her kindergarten school was right opposite our house and I remember dropping her in the morning right on to her seat in her classroom. When she moved to the school I was in, I used to go her in the recess to have our dabbas together till the time she was old enough to get my dabba along with her when I started an early morning Maths tution. Come summer vacations and both of us would land into some kind of art and craft classes. We used to ride on bicycles to every place and the times when I gave her a ride and dropped her to bring her crying self seated on the carrier with me dragging the bicycle for the fear of hurting her again,if at all I cycled with her in the backseat. Every single thing that was brought for us had to neatly divided in two portions,be it chocolates or pencils or crayons, I was a devil enough to take away her share sometimes without anyone getting to know.  Dancing on those bollywood songs playing the actor and actress to getting songs recorded for her dance practices to seeing her perform beautifully at numerous cultural events. The first time she spoke in an elocution contest and came running towards me after winning the first prize, to the wonderful results in board exams. The first time she went away from home for a crash course and hurt herself on the leg. I still remember how it broke my heart when she called me and told that she was in pain.

But though a baby for me, she took all her career related decisions like a pro,gave a shot to what she believed in and finally succeeded to make it to one of the top 3 law schools of the country. I sometimes think,how nice had it been, if I had the same zeal for whatever I wanted in life. She actually worked hard, traveled to numerous places for her summer and winter internships and finally landed into the kind of firm she always desired. She makes me beam with pride. 🙂

We shop like crazy, read same books, plan stuff for Mom and Dad,but also fight like there is no tomorrow. However, we still can’t manage to stay without speaking to each other.

I once read about Taurian girls in a Linda Goodman book,she said that these are “tall” women. Tall, not by the inches, but by the soul. When me and mom worry about her stubborn attitude at times, I recall Linda Goodman’s words. She makes friends and stands by them, brings harmony and sweetness,has enough room in her heart for the people she loves and is surely one of my my most favorite people, the sister of my heart, my little baby.

 

The first blog marathon and bringing the blog back to action..

This has been a dormant space for the last 6 months or more and there was no other way to bring it back in action. When I saw the post on RM’s blog,I did not really give a thought as to how long will it last for my blog with travelling involved in the last week of January, but with the list of prompts ready at Dreamy Mommy’s blog, it did not really seem impossible. So here I am with the first post of the series.

I have never really made resolutions which would actually last for a year or so. They keep springing up and fading away, not a very great thing to do, but I can just list down some things that i intend to continue doing in the new year . So here it goes.

  • Lose 4 kgs of weight, walk, change eating patterns and habits and lose the flab any which ways. I desperately want to get into those old-not-much-used set of clothes piling up in my wardrobe
  • Keep cooking, and explore more recipes, try hands on baking,varieties of salads and soak in joy of mixing ingredients to create what brings satisfaction to the taste buds and the weight loss regime 😛
  • Giving the best shot at work,learn more and keep updating myself with the current business scenario
  • Plan investments  for the family
  • Read more, complete the half read ones and explore the writings of different writers like Chitra Bannerjee and Devdutt Pattnaik, there is no magic like that of beautifully woven words
  • Plan outings and trips with family
  • Make personalized gifts, cards,videos and stuff,nothing can beat the joy of watching the expressions on the face of loved ones on receiving some of these
  • Make peace with myself, don’t let aspirations and goals go haywire and cause trouble to me and my family

Keeping up with these is task in itself, but penning them down would surely help as a reminder. Wishing loads of happiness and good health to all of us.Hope all of us have a brighter 2014!