Friday, August 26, 2011

Idli









New rescue this month....meet Idli*! Aptly named so by V, due to this peeping Idli face (pic 2) from the hedges, panting after dashing and running around during morning play. She is a beautiful little kitten that we brought home from outside a shopping complex in the city. She is living with us as an outdoor cat, due to the two dogs at home, but with full meals facilities and daily playtime. Pic 3 is of the poor little dog with the welcome sign, which has never managed to stand as it is supposed to for few minutes ever since Idli arrived! It is her little toy :)


We keep the soil beds moist at all times to keep it bearably cool for her in the heat of summer. She has managed remarkably well and we are having loads of fun with her :)

* Idli is a popular south Indian dish like rice cakes mainly had for breakfast with some gravy or chutneys.




Sunday, July 31, 2011

Social initiative

An amazing article about a great organization, started by this fabulous lady here in The Hindu:
http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article2308291.ece
I can only imagine what struggles and dangerous situations this individual has had to go through in her work in rescuing and rehabilitation of sex workers! Hats off to this great initiative Prajwala and its fabulous contribution. I am truly inspired and intend to participate at least in some ways with this organization and others of this nature. Just sharing it here with other readers for your information.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Responsible reporting?

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2290625.ece

What more can be said about Indira Gandhi, who, almost three decades after her death, still continues to inspire people and instill this tremendous pride in fellow Indians/fellow women?
This article by a Bangladeshi war veteran captures very clearly, the views of a neighbor on India and her political views in history. We have always been a secular democracy, standing up against terrorism and it continues to this day. Hats off to great politicians like Indira Gandhi and her predecessors for setting these initial policies in place. While I was busy reading this article with pride on this great international recognition, the main headlines had not failed to grab my attention.
The new terrorist on the block, Norwegian Breivik, has hailed India’s Hindu Nationalist movement apparently and his manifesto has a lot of nonsense which I don’t want to mention in my blog as there is no need to publicize their terrorist movement. What is amazing is the depth of detail that media chooses to publish the same in! The details include the various countries which could participate, the organizations justifications, and acknowledgements of lives that will be lost etc., much like reporting a political leader’s opinions. One might wonder if it is a campaign for joining this group in their erroneous beliefs! The only good thing that the media have captured is the note on their racists’ beliefs that in spite of wanting to work with extremists from other countries, they hold Asians participating in the long term to be acting as laborers in their future plans. At least it puts everything in perspective for a very na├»ve person reading the article! He is just basically a Nazi in another era; just to be sentenced for life imprisonment or death rather than publish their manifesto and his smug face all over the news. I really wish journalists and media would practice responsible reporting. All the speculation, wrong reporting, and sensationalized reporting are hurting the world and it is about time to put a stop to this.

I liked this article in the Hindu very much for a fresh and very true analysis of the various political extremists groups and for once even the comments section has very interesting feedback and discussions http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article2290619.ece .
Various democracies of the world should stay united and educated in the constant fight against these kinds of extremist terrorists and they should not be given such a big voice by the media in further publicizing their ideals. The strength of India lies in secularism and one can only hope the Hindu extremists do not get too encouraged with this global audience and hints of collaboration with these terrorist groups for “getting Muslims out of India”. They are fellow Indians and have the same rights as any one else in the country. Nothing can be accomplished by killing hundreds of innocent people in the name of religion, race and colour. At least a portion of these troubles can be eliminated by responsible reporting, which is of primary importance. We really request the media not to give a global platform for terrorists and extremists as this is what they wanted, which is being achieved through the media. Due to their irresponsible and sensationalized reporting!


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Monday, June 20, 2011

Women and India

So much bad news about the treatment of women in India in recent times. Today's news screams that a third rape has occurred in UP in the last 48 hours:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/up-third-rape-in-48-hours-victim-burnt-alive/160892-3.html
Another headlines screams that women have been made guinea pigs due to poverty:
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/170095/driven-poverty-ap-women-turn.html
All such incidents, well known trafficking, female foeticide and infanticide have got this name last week for India too:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-4th-most-dangerous-place-for-women-survey/159395-3.html
This survey done by Thomas Reuters, has declared India to be the fourth most dangerous place for women in the world!
However, lets analyze the causes which have led to this kind of a survey.....there are hundreds of issues that of course have to be taken care of and controlled by the legal system of India, and the government has to come up with severe punishments for people being involved in acts such as prostitution, trafficking and killing of innocent babies or foetuses. Every individual should be made aware of such problems, whether they live in rural or urban India. Every person should also take responsibility for these actions, whether theirs or someone else's and do something from their end to help eradicate such issues. Write your opinion on these issues, try to educate people, empower women, or if nothing else at least contribute financially to some of the organizations trying to help and working for these causes.
All this said, I completely also oppose this survey and the results! Who were the participants? It could have spanned over many continents, but what do other people know about life in India? Maybe they just read news which is sensationalized, or just guess since they think these are the backward countries. As a girl who grew up in India, I know there are some issues, but on the other hand, I know the whole country is not 'dangerous' for women as this survey claims. A lot of cultural contributions, poverty and so on contribute to these issues, but the rest of the world can be rest assured that this century is already different from the previous. By the end of this century, it will be clear which countries are actually dangerous and which are not.
If anyone is thinking that life in countries such as the US is excellent for women, please get rid of such misconceptions! I had the opportunity to follow the entire preliminaries of the 2008 elections in the US, from within the US. My blood had boiled so many times while listening to National Public Radio, where men - American men- had made statements such as "I can never bring myself to vote for a woman", "I don't want a woman ruling this country", etc., These remarks were all made against Hillary Clinton, who was a much better candidate than her opponent Barack Obama, competing for the presidential candidacy of the democratic party. The people could bring themselves to vote for an African American man for the first time in their lives, but still not even a white woman!
At the same precise time, we in India had a woman president in office- Pratibha Patil! Indian women may not have the same freedom and independence as an American woman in day to day life, but we have a chance to hold the highest office in our country! I don't have to remind anyone of Indira Gandhi in the 70s and 80s, long before women in the US had so much freedom, who was acknowledged as a peer and equal by the greatest politicians of the world!

Someone also please explain to me why in the US is it so important for the wife of the presidential candidates to made their specialty dishes and have them judged? I cringed at this insult to all women. Are you indicating that this is the woman's job? There were also digs at former president Clinton, even though Hilary Clinton was not a presidential candidate then, speculating what would have happened if she had been? What would Clinton have done? Would he have made his specialty dish? This was an important topic of conversation in the US that whole week!

So yes people, we do have issues in India. But for such vast population, problems are to be expected. We are overcoming them and the rest of the world will witness just how in this century, surveys like these notwithstanding!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dexy!



Meet Dexy :) She is a lovely dog rescued by us last week from a parking lot. She is beautiful, with a very sweet temperament . Our maid room has been yet again used to house another pet for the initial days of observation for infections, or any issues. Now she is inside the house and gets along ok with Sandy :) I am advertising for a permanent home & family in Doha to adopt her. Do drop a line if anyone is interested in providing a loving home for her. QAWS as usual is full and unable to take her in. Sadly they are not available to even pick up stray animals in need anymore. We had to take Dexy to the vet and make sure she was doing ok, got her all vaccinations and fostering her at the moment, which was all fine since she is a friendly dog. This might have been imposible had she been wounded badly or was not very friendly due to any bad experiences! Doha certainly needs more animal shelters and plenty of volunteers.

I am also afraid she might be pregnant! Will keep updating the blog to inform if we do have puppies soon at home :)






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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Women and Naipaul

This is what VS Naipaul had to say about women writers: http://shine.yahoo.com/event/summertimefun/vs-naipaul-says-women-writers-arent-as-good-as-men-can-you-tell-the-difference-2492834/
This from a man who was married for 41 years in what was publicized as an unhappy marriage! He is known to have visited prostitutes regularly, had an affair in which he was abusive and was seeing his current wife prior to his late wife's death in 1996!
I don't think women really care about his opinion of women or women writers. We don't have a very good opinion of him either.


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Monday, May 2, 2011

Pics from my backyard

Finally managed to capture this beautiful scene in my backyard :D






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So, Bin Laden in Pakistan!

Finally the US caught Bin Laden in Pakistan.....India has been saying that Pakistan hosts terrorists for a long time, no surprise here!
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-s-statement-on-osama-death-102777
Its all about war. The US has already announced that this is not the end of the war against terrorism. Why would it be? They have to sell their old weapons to the developing countries and use their new weapons on the same developing countries. So yes, the war is never going to be over!
Meanwhile China is weaving a web around India....fuelled by the US indirect support, due to its direct support in cash to the US. Every single thing in the US is also "Made in China", so without China, the US may well not exist anymore!
Here is Trump pointing out various conspiracy theories....some of which do raise a question: how did Obama who did not even get good grades make it into Columbia and Harvard?
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54040.html
People have not wasted anytime in calling Trump a racist...maybe so, but even if Obama was a white guy, this would be a valid question, yes?


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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Summer suggestions in animal care

Dear fellow bloggers and friends,

Just thought of penning down a few suggestions for all of us to do our bit in caring for animals in summer:
1) Do put out a bowl of water for stray dogs, cats and birds in the hot summer. Anytime I see a stray or birds have a drink, it warms my heart
2) If you do have a pet, it is our responsibility to make sure he/she is not too hot at home, or outside. Pets can die of a heat stroke if you leave them out in the heat, especially in really hot places like India or the Gulf countries!
3) Just a handful of grains, rice or bird feed will be enough to attract a huge number of beautiful birds in your backyard and feed them for a good part of the day! It can even be some old bread in the fridge that you no longer will use; before you throw it away in the trash, next time please consider giving it to the birds or strays around
4) Ditto for extra milk or other foods at home; if milk is past the expiry date, please don't drain it into the sink! Put it out in a bowl for the strays. Same applies to left over bones in your plate if you are a non-vegetarian!
5) If you have a shaded place where strays can rest during the hot summer afternoons, pls let them rest there.

Just a few suggestions...imagine if this is done in every house! All the animals will thank you for your consideration, especially in the scorching summer heat :)
You are welcome to add your suggestions to this list if I have missed out any.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Passive revenge on a community!

She was very happy as if she had finally had her long pending revenge. She had just heard the news from her mom that her father's cousin had passed away so young in his early 40s! For her it was the death of a predator. She had not confided in her mom at the young age of seven that this man groped her right in front of everyone, in the pretense of just being nice to a small girl. He always touched her chest, which had nothing developing yet, with extra pressure. Even at that tender age she had hated it and avoided going near him! Thankfully she had only seen him in her entire life a few times and now he was gone! Her joy knew no bounds......now she would continue her prayers for the death of the hundreds of other men who had leered at her, grabbed her by surprise and especially for the guy who had gropped her chest constantly from behind, when she was a young girl of 11 years travelling by bus on a fateful night, with her entire family sleeping in seats near her!

P.S- my contribution for the Child Sexual abuse awareness month- April 2011


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Monday, March 14, 2011

"Adhering" women to the rules of society!

Here is an article I was just reading in The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article1534937.ece?homepage=true
The author is a former director of the CBI. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Many private corporations have a commendable system that protects women employees working late into the night. This is good as long as such employees do not flout company-laid arrangements. Some of them ignore basic rules of prudence, and unfortunately pay a heavy price for their callousness. In such instances, the employer is blamed for what is obviously a lapse on the part of the employee. Parental control which has otherwise become lax can prevail at least here, so that women professionals are made to adhere strictly to the facility extended to them at their workplace. Employers can hardly fill this role.

According to him, women should be made to 'adhere' to facilities and rules provided by the company and her parents! I totally understand him trying to advocate safe practices to the women, but isn't expecting women to 'adhere' to rules strange? It is an old man's language; sadly most people still think this way. I never heard him talking in the article about how parents can influence upbringing of their children and have their sons respect women from an early age. Men will be men; they need not watch their actions or adhere to any moral values! This is their stand!

IHM has posted a tag in her blog few days ago with this question:

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so is perversion. Is a woman forever stuck between her desires and the moral healthiness or progress of a society?
Society changes slower than a melting glacier in this day and age. A woman I think is forever stuck even between her rightful rights and the progress of a society; forget desires! Talks of morals by the society is just a way of telling women you have to be the mature, nurturing, sacrificing individual and the rest of the society only has the job of watching you with criticism!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Agriculture, environment and politics!

The Agriculture Minister of India has admitted to the use of banned pesticides! http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1529735.ece
He has said that they are considering the interest of the farming community! Are they the experts in the use of chemicals? Scientific community has approved the use of these chemicals too....would love to read their justifications on the same. The benefit of the doubt should be given to the harmful effects that these chemicals possess and their use banned; but here everything is the other way around. The article also goes on to say that the Kerala and Karnataka state governments have requested ban of the use of endosulfan, which has and is being approved by the Central government respectively. I wonder if they are the only people with brains. Can't say anything about the Tamil Nadu government- we all know how busy they are with money swindling, family seats negotiations and continuing overall corruption. They don't have time for all these policy issues or care for agriculture, the main line of Indian economy!

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Lost cause!

Last week I tried to save a kitten and failed- my first failure to save a life after an attempt. The poor kitten was hit by a car and had severe bone related injuries. The vet said her leg would need to be amputated and she would still have severe complications. I myself had her euthanized immediately as I did not want her to suffer anymore! I often pride myself as a very strong person, but that day broke down and wept like a baby in front of stangers.....for a stray kitten I had known for a few minutes. I was so guilty the poor little soul had suffered such great pain for God knows how long on the side of the road. Where is the person who hit her? How can they sleep at night or look themselves in the mirror?

I am on antibiotics with little use of one of my fingers in my right hand as she bit me during my attempts to save her from the road. Her last mark in this world is now on my finger; fast healing!

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Doha driving

Note to Doha drivers:
1) No, I do not think it is ok for you to climb the pavement and try to get ahead of me on the freeway
2) No, I do no like you tailing me when I am already going at 100 km, the highest speed limit by law here. If you insist on tailing I will not give you way; if you don't tail me I will move and give way for you to speed by
3) No, I do not get intimidated by your huge monsterous vehicles
4) No, I do not get intimidated by your super luxury cars and trucks either
5) No, I do not think you will be caught speeding on camera if you are doing 80 km/hr on a 100km/hr speed limit road; please do not slow down even further at the sight of a speed camera, but use your common sense
6) No, I do not find you attractive even if you show off your super cool shades, cigarettes, car accessories, personal accessories etc., I am very happily married
7) No, I do not find it heart warming to see that you have a child in the car, especially when the child is almost falling out of the window or sun-roof. I wish you would tie them down to the seat as they are supposed to be
8) No, I do not think it makes you very smart if you decide to stop a mile before another stopped car and cruise the rest of the distance. I think it is idiotic and I don't want to cruise behind you
9) No, I do not get upset because you reprimanded me by show of your hand for honking at you. I usually have a very good reason for honking and it means YOU did something wrong
10) No, I do not think you have the right of way just because you are wearing a traditional Qatari/Arab robe. Traffic rules are the same for all to follow.

Feels good! :)


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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Really?

I admit I do occasionally read columns on movies, celebrities etc., Honestly though I do not have enough time or patience to create online communities, dedicated to the fight between Salman and SRK! Apparently there are thousands of members too who really want them to become 'friends' again. Really? Big worry?

http://www.hindustantimes.com/SRK-Salman-s-love-hate-saga/Article1-653473.aspx

No wonder the world is running out of internet addresses!
http://gulf-times.com/site/topics/printArticle.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=411336&version=1&template_id=57&parent_id=56


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Greener India?

So much for our 'Green' minister!
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/jairam-notsogreen-minister-reveals-rti-reply/141260-37-64.html



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Thursday, January 20, 2011

You again!

Last week I was pondering over one of my schoolmates and the girl he seems to have married. I was not personally a good friend of his or anything, just more of an acquaintance. In my teenage opinion he was highly sophisticated, and way out of my league! Period. So far I have no justification for this assumption. When I saw his spouse through Facebook, I was quite surprised. She was a good, smart looking girl, but my teenage self would have assumed that he was out of her league too! She is a confident looking, down to earth kind of person (from what I can tell from the pic) much like I was and am! Trust me I have no regrets about how life turned out, since I think my husband is even better looking and the best thing that ever happened to me. On the other hand we are together today because he pursued me and it was not the other way around!
This brought me around to evaluating if my self-esteem was very low in high school. I searched Wikipedia on “Self-esteem” and found that there are various variations of the same. I think I was and am low in “self-worth” when it comes to certain things. I am generally happy with the way things work out. Don’t get me wrong, I am ambitious and self-motivated, but I am also content with things in a way and don’t wonder why God didn’t give me something better! It’s good because I save myself the heart ache of thinking I have been dealt with a bad hand and deserve better. At the same time I can’t help but wonder if I do evaluate myself lower than I should. DH always tells me that I should have more of an attitude or air when I speak and interact with others, because mostly I come across as a simpleton! Not been highly successful in changing that about myself, because I smile and start chatting nineteen to the dozen within seconds of meeting someone. Not much time in between to put on any airs :(

I watched the movie “You Again” few days ago by chance and it had a similar theme. It is all about people in high school (only girls in the movie!) and how they always have another girl whom they felt intimidated by, cheated by and they never forget the other person their whole life. Any chance meetings later on in life lead to comparisons and evaluations on the same mind set from years ago. Aren’t we all doing this now through social networking sites? I was never directly bullied by anyone, but I definitely had a lower self-worth in my school days, leading me to believe that some people were better than me.

On the other hand, I was popular in college, was elected twice to the student union and even had a lot of fan mails from juniors! I realised that people liked me and even looked up to me. I had to set an example at times. I have strongly come to believe that someone is always looking up to us as a role model, someone is always falling in love with our smile. So for every person you thought was superior to you or out of your league, there is another person who thinks that of you too and admires you maybe! Your smile is always making a difference to soemone else, so lets keep up all good thoughts and actions to set good examples.

Just somethings that I was pondering about….and if you were like me, I am sure you are proud of yourself today!


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Motor, the rescued kitten

Pics of a small little kitten DH and I rescued this weekend from a very busy traffic roundabout. She is now safe at Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) :-)
DH had named her 'Motor' due to her heavy happy purring sound anytime she was stroked :D





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New attempts


Just started attempting pencil drawings and planning to gradually move to hardcore charcoal drawings. Above- my very first attempt- an easy subject: a banana! Below is my drawing of dear Dipsy.





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