Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Amblingindian Nuggets on Life- on Luxury

Trip to the astrologer
A little quaint house,all of 400 sq ft.  A small front courtyard. Beautiful, lush green trees and shrubs. Crowded in the little space. A central ” swastika tree”. The aroma of freshly made sambar and freshly brewed coffee emanating from the tiny kitchen. I sit in the little ante room, and look out of the window.  Against the backdrop of an azure blue sky, clouds lazily drift past. A cool, tranquil day. 

My mind, earlier in turmoil, with frayed nerves, the reason for the trip to the astrologer, now slowly regains its calm, its stillness of purpose. Watching the leaves sway, the swastika flowers dance, ever so gently, to the melody of the breeze.
In the kitchen, the lady of the house roasts the peanuts. In a slow, unhurried manner. All the luxury of the world, is right here. Time stops for a moment, with the wait to know about the future, and I drift back , wafting on  the breeze, to my childhood. 

The house where I was born, the garden where we played for hours, every day. The trees we climbed  and the earthy smell of the clay vessels we made, with those grubby hands. Just my sister and me .   The lives we led then, slowly fading over time, with other memories rushing in to take their place. 

 How I long for those days – “ Dil dhundta hai, phir wahi, fursat ke raat din “; “My heart  searches, once again, for those days and nights of unhurried luxury”.

Aina Rao 
The amblingindian.

Copyright @ainarao 2013.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Thanks to Chetan Bhagat - Part 2 of ' let's talk about S***'

Ever since i wrote about S**, my blog readership has moved into a new orbit, shot through the roof even. i now get several hundreds of hits, if not thousands, evryday.
Please refer to part 1 first to understand the LIR  ..

I was at a government office ( un- namable for obvious reasons though) , the kind where you make innumerable trips to get that one precious document that confirms you are who you say you are , or that you live where you live , or  whatever, with the govt chappa attached.

I was at my 4th trip to the place. With the new process in place, everything has become even better as you have to submit all the information online, just to repeat it all again in person when  you go there. And each time you visit, like in a typical traditional wedding ceremony, a new requirement comes up from the sarkari pandits.

So , having fulfilled many of such requirements, being almost at the end of my   tether ( You can never be at the end really otherwise you cannot get the blasted documents at all) , I was faced with a rather stern looking official (sarkari pandit) , manning the counter, who asked for a new affidavit, properly notarised ,again. Having completed 3 of those affidavits, none of those being part of the long checklist, i was , to put it mildly, exasperated . With some gumption and lots of irritation  , i  asked , with my most irritated demeanor  ' Why this now?" . and the guy, with a very patronising look, and a definitive tone, answered " THIS is our process".

And to my retort ."Mr Panditji, if this is the process, did it spring overnight?" " No , its always been this way". Perhaps it has , but , it has only been brought to light now, as  if this were a journey through a tunnel, taking unexpected twists and turns each time until light finally dawns.

So , even while I was protesting at the unfairness of it all, I saw the couple next to me  , pleading with the guy, as they had brought all the certificates for their daughter's documents barring the precious marriage certificate. Again that was not part of the online or offline checklist. apparently the checklist cannot include all checks, as claimed by the official . ( You have to visit these offices to appreciate how well these officials can volley multiple queries at the same time , hopefully, without getting confused as to who needs what).

For a moment I was distracted ,as their pain seemed to be more than mine. Their original marriage certificate was in in Hyderabad ( wouldn't be surprised if it was in  a safe deposit locker as it was that precious  )and they had traveled to Bangalore with only a photocopy, which was not acceptable as all documents had to be submitted , claimed the official, in triplicate and with originals.

They begged and pleaded to allow them to  furnish the originals before they collected the valuable document,  which was anyway going to take 2 months to process. Every plea was falling on deaf ears like water on a duck's back, and again for a moment, as a good samaritan , I was strongly tempted to rush to their defense ans ask this Sarkari pandit " Why do the child's papers need to include the parents marriage certificate ? Is marriage necessary to have the child ?Can the child not exist if the parents were not married ?" and So on, asking what i thought were very deep and pertinent questions ..

 But then . Had  i asked, this would certainly have jeopardized my own situation as well as got me no thanks from the hapless  parents themselves.  Better sense having prevailed, I  kept mum then , only to carry the puzzle around in my head for a while...

 I rushed off to get my own affidavit ,from the dear notary public. But that got me thinking all right .. and finally, got around to writing about it now.

So, dear Sarkari pandits and other pandits, please read part 1 of the " lets talk about S*** " and let me know what you think now.. Is that blasted marriage certificate the be all and end all of all existence?


Aina Rao
The amblingindian.

Pandit - a priest. also an official in this context
Sarkari- government
Chappa - an official stamp.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Thanks to Chetan Bhagat : Lets talk about Sex

 A small request : If you like the amblingindian blog, please click on the  facebook page 'amblingindian' and LIKE, or even SHARE with friends.

From today’s Times of India ..

Mr Chetan Bhagat, my illustrious IITD  fellow alumnus , asks some very pertinent questions “ Why don’t Indians talk about sex?”. 

An important point raised. Admitted , Mr Bhagat, I don’t know the answer, but,  just to hazard a guess , maybe it’s because barking dogs don’t bite and vice versa. And therefore, my conclusion, : Indians don’t talk about it, they just.. em.. "do it”. The sizeable population, as you rightly pointed out, is testimony to the fact. And so, with your prodding, Mr Bhagat, I will take a step , albeit gingerly , in that direction, em.. to talk about these “things”, calling it the natural instinct, or lust, since  I still cannot get round to talking about S** blatantly, in a very Indian iShtyle.

Therefore , today’s first attempt at blogging on this issue. The Amblingindian Part 1 of" Lets talk about S**"
      Newton on the “Live- in Relationship( LIR)”

Is a “Live in Relationship” , a  “ LIR” , a wrong thing? Morally, socially or just generally? It can get downright amusing at times to see the number of people debating, breaking their heads or passing judgments on this hot topic, out of sheer ignorance, or confusion even. I thought , therefore, that it would be worth dissecting this controversial issue, to bring the fish on the table, and arrive at some simple solutions, now that it feels almost as complex as the law of gravity did, many thousands of years back, when the proverbial” apple” fell, before it all became crystal clear with  Newton's profound insights.  Hence the idea arose, to solve this problem , using  a Newtonian mindset , and solve it once and for all, in an Amblingindian way.

What is a LIR and why does it get so much press? If you look at it very simply and strip it down to the bare essentials, it is a man and a woman, or a man and a man, sometimes even a man and a dog, essentially two people, living together , with the intention of sharing their lives for a finite period of time. All time is finite anyway, as death will ultimately do them apart. And so, how different is it from marriage? With marriage, the only difference appears to be by way of rubber stamping the ceremonies by lots of dignitaries with lots of unwanted fanfare attached.Maybe it is just churlishness on the part of the dignitaries, unwarranted and unwanted though, who decide to brand the LIR as immoral, loose and the like. Since they couldn't partake of their usual , on demand feasts , part of the ceremonial hullabaloo associated with marriage.

Zooming back in on the LIR . I often wonder,why so much confusion, so much guilt attached? Two people decide to live together, for ever, for a few years, a few months or weeks even. What’s different then? Surely , its all the same.Just as an object with  finite sides, when getting smaller and smaller, as you reduce the length of the side, becomes a circle, with each point on the circle , being discrete, but smaller version of the side, so does the LIR, with the same characteristics the same as marriage, just that the duration of the relationship may be smaller and smaller each time . ( as is happening with marriages also, with marriage today and divorces tomorrow  looking more and more common). So , when you get back to the law of differential calculus, discovered by Newton, the circle ( akin to the LIR) can be thought of as made of set of discrete straight lines ( i.e the marriage), the lines becoming smaller and approaching zero.

The scientifically inclined can read more about it here

What’s way different though, is the viewing of the relationship by the parties outside of it, people who really have no business, but to peep into other people’s houses and pass judgments  And to all these 'Nosy Parkers', why  can’t  they understand that its all the same, the LIR and the marriage? They are anyway for the same purpose, for the satisfaction of lust, procreation of the species, and emotional anchoring occasionally,..
I often hear abjectly silly statements like “ a LIR is like a walk-in and walk-out arrangement”, the statements in question being made by none less than a hon. Judge of the Supreme court .

Pity the confusion that the LIR has created for many people, who, when faced with a new paradigm, don’t know where to fit it in. Silly really! I maintain, if a LIR  is a walk- in and walk- out arrangement, then , so is marriage. You marry today and divorce tomorrow, who stops you, except that it takes a lot longer and is costlier too. Marriage or the LIR are not closets or restaurants- they are built on the same principle, of 2 people committing to share life for a period, their joys and sorrows, etc etc. Dear society, the same people who do not bat an eyelid at a promiscuous man straying out of his marriage with a keep, suddenly get all charged up,gossipy and hush hush when it comes to a LIR. It could  be all about the women's honour needing to be purer and therefore more sacrosanct than the man’s.

Therefore, whats a simple solution? Just like Newton did, by showing how a circle is made up of straight lines, so do I . A LIR is a type of marriage. It may not have the same rubber stamp, but what stops society from giving it the other rubber stamp, that of a ‘ partner ‘ relation? Thus acknowledging that 2 people are partners in their journey of life at the present moment and hence will have all the rights  and the duties that a partnership entails.  Such as bearing their share of the parental responsibility if there is a child born of such a union, or sharing their financial and emotional ups and downs, of living together.

Simple isn’t it? Both parties register their partnership, and agree to share. And the societal/legal approval can be given and only may be needed , so that  no one party can dump the other without taking up, or carrying out their due share of duties. Such as child maintenance,  splitting assets and so on.. Which some parties sadly try to do, by living in with one person and then marrying a second, ostensibly to meet their parents expectations, but actually just to rake in the dowry.

Its really that simple. Rubber stamp the whole process, since we so love rubber stamps. Make the "LIR partners" official.  Acknowledge them on official documents.Bear the responsibilities. Get on with life. No need to get all befuddled on this one, it is really basic when whittled down to the brass tacks.

Thanks, Mr Chetan Bhagat ,for letting us talk about S** !

Aina Rao
The Amblingindian

P. S : I am not an advocate of any LIR. I just beleive the LIR and the marriage are essentially deserving the same status, by society and the law alike, to make  some sense, rather than just being branded as loose and immoral. Understand the LIR, talk about it and find the right solution. More about this in future..

Copyright @Aina Rao.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A Big Thank You

Dear Friends,

 Amblingindian is now touching 2000 views , worldwide , and she is touched by your attention. A big Thank You for reading along. More will be posted, over time.. Do keep reading..

A quick look at the amblingindian, also available on Facebook page : amblingindian
Sweet and Salty India - From the Amblingindian

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All views on this blog are purely personal and do not represent any affiliation with any body, public, political or otherwise.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Amblingindian nuggets on Life - On Rejuvenation

On the days that I am really down, when nothing seems to work in the office, when people act difficult and the superiors refuse to give even a minute of their so very precious time, or when things just generally don’t work at all, there is nothing better than being able to come home and retreat into my own reading zone. A world so different, it is amazing it even exists on the same planet. A world of James Herriott, PG Wodehouse, Tintin and others, filled with antics , fun and joys, of characters and tails, of vets and butlers, all beings of different kinds.

 I read on, and lose myself in the dream, for what is this world if not a dream, after all ? And then I am rejuvenated , almost reborn , having passed through a different state of existence, refreshed to re - enter the dreamworld the next day, which everyone calls the real one. Love this dream state of being, once again!

Aina Rao- The amblingindian

Sunday, 10 March 2013

IITians and the B.PAC group

        A good day. Met many fellow IITians , all of who had congregated at the B.PAC event in Bangalore, many of whom are from my vintage , and even better to know, are thinking like me. Baffled  by the great governance (or lack of "it" , not of the IT-information technology kind )in Bangalore, a group of prominent Bangaloreans led by Mohandas Pai, Ashwin Mahesh, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw have launched the B. PAC. The Bangalore Political Action Committee. Not to be confused with any political party, this is,simply speaking, a forum to put forward and drive the agenda for Bangalore, much neglected by the  rural or vote bank driven politicians , who claim Delhi ( and therefore Bangalore ) are not the real India. That makes me wonder- where do I live if not in the real India? Bangalore does not feel like the West or the Middle east by any benchmark, does  it?

Back to the B.PAC gathering of today, supported by IITians  , the epitome of the confused urban voter who does not know what or who to support when it comes to politics. A stellar initiative, maybe the first of its kind and a commendable one at that. A way to give back to a broad enough section of society, even while we focus on the one specific area , that is of Bangalore. A couple of good think tanks came up as a result of today’s exercise. Lots more thinks and things coming up soon, looks like . Again, should the thinktankers overflow with ideas, we could use them to supplement household water ,  to cope with the water shortage looming over our heads like a desert storm.

Do read up the previous post on “Thinktankers facilitated by amblingindian”, where many pertinent questions and issues were posted. Hopefully we will find  answers soon, courtesy IIT and B.PAC brainpowers, working jointly.

The amblingindian ( Aina Rao)

All views are purely personal. The amblingindian has no affiliations to any body, political or otherwise. She believes in causes that, simply put, work for the benefit of all .

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Amblingindian Nuggets on Life- On Karma

Karma may be a force, invisible though, more powerful than any other in this world. Karma , I think, is the lord and destiny  it's slave.

The wondrous part is, we only see the slave -our destiny, and woo it, hoping it will favour us someday, when the reins reside elsewhere.

The Amblingindian - Aina Rao

Amblingindian Nuggets on Life - On Aeging

Ageing is like being at a  point in time when a lot of water has flown under the bridge, and you feel that you have just woken up from a deep state of slumber to realise that your feet are soaking wet.

There is not much you can do, but to dry them in the sun, and hope that no harm has been done.


The Amblingindian - Aina Rao

Friday, 1 March 2013

Amblingindian Nuggets on Life - On Dreams

Too much time in life is spent in chasing dreams and aiming high. We have been led to believe that aiming high is a virtue.Even so, smarter are the people who sometimes aim low, pick the low hanging fruits early, and enjoy these for longer.Aiming for the stars is a noble cause, worth its while only after a very long run.

The Amblingindian- Aina Rao

Amblingindian nuggets on Life - On Relationships

Relationships are like rivers. They run a course destined for them, guided by forces around. When rivers stumble, or get blocked, they switch course. They don't fight back, merely change their paths.

Relationships are like that. When you find a stumbling block, maybe its time to move aside, but move on. You cannot expect the flow to keep hitting an obstacle and getting nowhere. It must get somewhere. That's its nature. That, is it's future.


The Amblingindian -Aina Rao