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Understand the Meaning of Marriage

Jodiya to bhagwan banata hai – bas unka milna humpar chod deta hain “ said Shahrukh khan in Dil to Pagal hai. Our elders call it sanjog. If marriage is decided in heaven, why there is a debate over love marriage vs arranged marriage? Isn’t the couple that is meant to get married will get married no matter what type of marriage they undergo? What can we mere mortals do? But then the Almighty doesn’t inform us who is our janam-janamantar ka saathi and humans have to work hard to find the one and hence the the debate. How times have changed to find the right one!

Ancient Indian scriptures talk about “Swayam Var” a practice of choosing a husband, from among a list of suitors, by a girl of marriageable age. Remember Sita’s swayamwar to Rama , Draupadi’s Swayamvar  in the Mahabharata (NDTV Imagine did try to revive the ancient custom of Swyamvar  by arranging Swaymar of Rakhi Sawant, Rahul Mahajan etc and was able to get Rahul married to Dimpy but audiences  ko baat hajam nahin hui(couldn’t digest) and the show and the channel ended up closing down without finding groom for Veena Malik!). Over time the practice of parents arranging the marriage of their children became prevalent. Our grandparents got married early to the one chosen by parents, they didn’t see their other half till marriage. During our parents time the girl brought tea wearing a saree when ladke wale(would be groom’s family) came to see her, acting coy and nice trying to answer questions  Do you cook well? Sing well? And if both parties agree to the the lakhsmi (aka dowry) that the would be lakhsmi bring there is band, baaja and baarat else more cycles of  dekhna dikhana.

With more women entering professional colleges and entering workforce parents agreed to the occupational hazard of the one studying in same college or working in same office as their child which at times was of a different caste Jab miyaan biwi raazi tu kya karega kazi .(when bride and groom agree what can the priest do). Matchmakers have also evolved with changing times, changing from Panditji, neighbour aunty to newspapers and matrimony sites. How it would be for Gen Y, our children. As my friend Ishi said “ Aaj ke bache agar bata dein ki shaddi kar rahein hai to ganimat hogi, agar ladka ladki se shadi kar raha hai to relief hogi, aur agar band baaje ke saath kar rehe hain tu khsuhi hogi…It’s their life -hum budha budhi aashirwad de hi denge “(Today’s kids if they get married would be great,if a boy marries a girl it would be relief and if they get married with band-baja then it would be happiness we two old people will give our blessings anyways).  World has also move beyond intercaste issue, working-non working issue to same sex marriage, sing “Ma ka ladla bigad gaya?”(Mom’s son has spoilt) Hmmm, ahhh…we’ll cross the bridge when we come to now let’s talk about love and arranged marriage.

As Mansi and  Shivani in New Show Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage on Sony’s  have raised pros and cons of love and arranged marriage as shown below.

Love and Arranged Marriages - Pros and Cons

Love and Arranged Marriages – Pros and Cons

Nothing is perfect, Chaand mein bhi daag hai(even moon has a black spot) As a famous sher goes “kahin kisi ko mukamaal jahen nahin milta..kahin zameen to kahin aasman nahin milta” (No one gets a perfect world, some don’t get earth some sky).  If you listen to the jokes about marriage – one wonders why do people get married – Shaadi woh laddoo hai jo khahe woh pachtaye jo na khaye woh bhi pacheteya.(Marriage is that sweet those who eat regrets those who don’t also regret), “Happiness is not the only thing so get married”, Or  Its funny when people discuss over Love marriage and arranged marriage It is like asking a person if he would Like to ‘hang himself” or “shoot himself”. But there is some logic, some thoughts as to why our forefathers felt the need for institution of marriage beyond the biological obligation of reproduction, making us homo-sapiens different from other animals. Which inspite of many divorces western world has still not given up on. Let’s take example of wedding vows from Christian marriage

“I, ___, take you ___, to be my wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part: according to God’s holy ordinance, and thereto I pledge you my love and faithfulness.“ Or Saath pheras of  hindu around the Agni Devta(holy fire) (which sadly are lost in pandit’s chants in Sanskrit) promising each other.

Meaning of Saath Pheras

Meaning of Saath Pheras

But what about Love? Let’s try to understand What is love? Where do we get the notion of what love is ? We grow up on stories of love as suggested by books and movies. She dreams of tall, dark, handsome (and rich) boy, he dreams of beauty with brains who can make him and his family happy It’s okay to have a happening girl friend but biwi to sati savitri chahiye(as shown in recent hindi movie Cocktail) Where she dreams of her prince coming in white horse and sweeping her off her feet and take her( where is conveniently ignored). Our fairly tales stop at marriage and it is assumed that shall live happily ever after or love stories end in tragedy like Laila Majnu, Shrin Farhad, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Romeo Juliet etc.   Bollywood talks of love as  “Nazreen mili, dil dhaka , meri dhakan ne kaha kaha love u raja“  Boy and girl meet(mostly poor boy rich girl), sparks fly( Kuch kuch hota hai)  and they sing and dance “Kya yahin pyaar hein – dil tere bin kahin lagta nahin waqt guzrata nahin”  (is this love , my heart can’t focus anywhere time stands still). And lovers leaving everything for their love looks so romantic on screen.

But marriage is a different ball game. In real life marital alliance is followed  by years of up and downs. There will be periods when everything seems hunky dory there are bound to be phases when things seem to be heading downhill. While matches are made in heaven , it requires lot of hard work on earth. which is also being shown in various soap operas. Toostie and Tej in Saas bina sasural show how to make a love marriage work, Priya and Ram in Bade Ache Lagte hai show how arranged marriages can be successful too if both are committed to make it work. And once kids come in picture then responsibilities become manifold and it calls for hard work, balance and love to give the right Parvarish. If not, then ghurasti ki gadi dagmaga jati hai(marriage become turbulent), and one ends up saying “Kya hua tera wada”(what happened to your promise)

Rigveda says ” ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti” which means Truth is one, though the sages know it as many, God is one though different religions approach him differently. Arranged marriage or Love marriage -paths may be different but our destination is the same – marriage.

Arranged or love marriage  or love which is arranged or arranged which becomes love, to each his own but we need to realize it is marriage koi gude gudiyoon ka khel nahin(not a game of dolls). We and our family need to use both head and heart. Marriage is a promise to fulfill the duties together, ying and yang bringing the balance to each other,  no wonder they say pati aur patni gaadee ke do pahiye hai aur unme talmel hoona zarrori hai(husband and wife are like two wheels of the vehicle and they need to be in sync). Understand the meaning of marriage, get married for right reasons for then “Tere haath haath mein hain agar to safar hi asle hyaat hein, mere har kadam pein hain manzilion tera haath gar mere saath hai!“( with your hands in mine, every step of journey seems like destination).

This post is for contest indbiblogger:Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage  What do you think? You can share your thoughts, read about others opinions on Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage on facebook


Removing problem from Roots!

Are you sure you want to do it?”, asked the hairdresser.
I glared at her which she took as “don’t ask such question” but I was quaking inside “No I am not but don’t make it more difficult for me. Don’t make me think. Just do it”. I hoped, I prayed that she should not read my mind as I drifted down the memory lane.

I never had long hair. Infact I never wanted long hair. I felt girls with short hair seem more sophisticated, stylish and,smarter. We had better things to do, more time to do because we had short hair.  It felt so time saving (not to mention convenient) to get out of bed, take bath, run finger through the hair and bingo you are ready in record time. Who wanted Pony-tail! Pony the small horse ( not to be confused with foal)have shorter legs, thicker necks and shorter heads with broader foreheads.Pony attached to Horse Butt! Nah never liked animal,  it’s not even a proper horse, thought of having his tail behind me was outrageous.



Long hair had its own set of problem. They got so tangly, take years to dry after wash and then more time to find which style would match. Shyamoli , my friend with long hair , wished for having enough money to pay someone to wash it and till then complain about her hair. Gosh how many times we have walked after the movie had started, for Shyamoli maam had to wash her hair or decide whether she wants french plait, or side parting and finally leaving her hair open. Grr…  Not to mention how when you’re trying to drink/eat your hair gets in your food. It just sits there inhaling the goodness of your food. The situation could be worse, Shyamoli pointed out, better than eating biryani and finding a lon…g hair in it, wondering whose is it? Did the person had dandruff? Did they wash the hair? Not to mention you losing all the appetite and throwing all the tasty yummy biryani. Saala ek bal adami ko bhokha kar deta hain!(one hair makes man go hungry)

Hair in food!

Hair in food!

All that changed when I heard him talking about the new girl in the class. How she was so different, so beautiful, had beautiful eyes and long…beautiful hair. “woh kaali kaali aankhen, woh kaale kaale baal..”  He talked about losing himself in her ravishing, flowing hair that smelled of sweet perfume. I was not jealous, it was just that my entire thought process has been turned upside down. All that climbing trees, playing basketball, studying together just disappeared into thin hair like like ganje ke sar se baal(hair from bald man). Then I decided to be just like her, no I mean have hair like her..have LON….G HAIR. Easier said than done

How to get long hair? “Elementary Watson”, Holmes would have said when TV is here why go anywhere.  TV programmes are full of shampoo and hair-oil advertisements (attimes I wonder is it programme between the advertisements or the other way round). Models(Aishwarya, Bipasha, Deepika, Kathrina,  Kareena,  Priyanka, Shilpa and others) all had  long, lustrous, and bouncing hair.I was confused- some talked about making hair strong from roots, some from end, some talked about complete nutrition, some simply showed strength pulling a truck out with hair-hajam nahin hota boss(can’t digest)!, some said you need to put oil to have world’s best hair. Hello anyone we are talking about hair right and not about plants or stress test.  Playing inky pinky ponky to pick the actress, I meant the shampoo seemed the easy solution. Tried one and waited waited, no change, moved to another one -the herbal – still no change.

Decided to visit the salon where the hair specialist passed me an expensive bottle. Tried to weave hair into the conversation of my mother’s friends or my cousins – picking up tips like: brushing hair 100 strokes every night,tried to make changes in diet-as my cousin harsha said “Your hair comes from what you eat and drink, filling plate with green vegetables like spinach( i thought I was way past Popeye), which contain sebum-producing vitamins A and C; they act as natural hair conditioners and shine boosters. Shyamoli after knowing about my change of heart on long hair joined in my struggle giving me suggestions of what to do. I envied her, being bengali she had such beautiful eyes and hair- whether it was genetic or because she ate fish or ?

Our efforts started paying off, reluctantly but surely my hair started growing and I managed to have hair till shoulder length. I remember the moment very clearly, Shymoli was talking to me about how soon I will also have lo…ng hair and then he would find me more beautiful than that new girl.  Aryan overheard it and news spread like wild fire – me growing hair to impress him and put the new girl down.I could not find the strength to look into his and her eyes, they were there at the party. I feared the verdict I would receive. I crouched behind a pillar, resting against it, grieving, when I couldn’t control my intense feelings of guilt anymore, my eyes releasing the tears they had been holding back. I made desperate attempts to control my tears, but they kept flowing as though a dam has burst. I bit into my balled fist, overcome by remorse. I curled my legs up against my chest and rested my head on my knees. A thought hit me, I tried to shake it but I couldn’t, it seemed the best solution, infact only solution remove the root of the problem, na rahega baans na bajegi bansuri(no bamboo means no flute, no music) Before I lost courage I started walking and walking and before I realized I was sitting in chair at the parlour.

Yes I got my head shaved off. As each hair got cut strangely I felt peace, I felt calm prevail over me, i felt so me, not trying to be someone. I felt actually removed the problem from the root  and that was the end of my hair problems, issue problems and beginning of a new friendship, the new girl became my friend and after that I stuck to short hair.

Note: This is entry for indiblogger:Dove My Beautiful Hair Story contest. Become hair aware-try Dove hair-aware app.


Her new dress

When she got back home, she thought of calling him. She was crazy about this dress that she had picked up and was waiting to hear what he’s going to say. She could hardly wait for him to gasp and tell “You never looked so beautiful”. The bell rang. She knew he was back. She wanted to model her new dress but then it was a hectic day for him. She should wait, she thought. She hid the dress in the cupboard but couldn’t hide her smile.
He walked in the room. She asked him about his day and told about hers(saying nothing about the dress was killing her). Served him his favorite food. “What’s special?”,he asked. “Nothing” . Just wait for sometime and you’ll see for yourself, she thought.
Finally she couldn’t stand more, she changed into her new dress and walked into the room where he was reading. “How do I look?”, she asked. He raised his head and “It’s great dress but you ought to loose some weight – 5 kgs. And your legs are too short for that look”. She couldn’t understand, the saleswoman had given her some great compliments about how she well she could carry the dress and how the color suited her. She knew the salesgirl was trying to sell the dress but shethought she really looked good. Glitter fell from the star and she died a little.

Wish I had known these sooner..

That life is not a fairy tale and there will be no prince charming. You just have to buckle up and take control.

The greatest source of misery is clinging to the past. If it hurts, you have to learn to let go.

That love is not worth giving up your dreams for.

That if you don’t slow down you’ll crash.

That learning to say no can be a liberating experience.

That you cannot pretend to be someone else no matter how hard you try.

-Read it in a magazine and as a woman could identify with it. What about you?

Why Master Chef Australia popular?

Master Chef Australia, season 4, started on 14 June 2012. The show has returned on STAR World, promising to draw on the success of the earlier season, delivering even more stunning challengs, contestants that viewers will fall in love with, and spreading an infectious love of food.

Every week night my teen age daughter sits through the episode – she cannot identify the dishes made as ingredients are different- she a vegetarian sits through and episode in which basic ingredient in octopus!, there is not recipe shared that you can try. But still she sits religiously through it – she is not the only one, her friends, cousins are big followers too. You can realize how much they like the show that it was the theme of her birthday party – we had friends guessing name of the spices and decorating a plate of chaat and cake with different colored icing.

There have been other cookery shows -international ones like Master Chef US, Hell’s kitchen and the Indian version of Master Chef too with Akshay Kumar as a celebrity judge in Season 1 of Master Chef India. But they failed to hold her attention and it seems the attention of rest of India too!

The other reality shows like Big Boss what gets noticed and talked about is bad behavior but in MasterChef  it’s about beautiful food, great production and impeccably behaved contestants and judges.  Not one of the judges is ever mean to the contestants and the contestants themselves are supportive of each other. While in show like Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay, is only seen screaming scaring the contestants and the audience.

Master chef judges

Master chef judges

Judges of Master Chef – the cute, bald and jumpy  George Calombaris, food critic with colorful clothes Matt Preston, cool, sensible Gary Mehigan together bring the kitchen down! And they are so encouraging – they have something positive to say and don’t put down the contestant.  The various  food challenges  and cook-offs push the contestants beyond their comfort zones but, at the same time, didn’t set them up to fail. It’s not like they make it so hard that the contestants just can’t do it.

Official site of Masterchef Australia

Do you like master chef – Australia? If yes why?

Power of Music

Music is part of everyone’s  life. In life of an Hindi speaking India music often means Bollywood songs but these days I am amazed at the range of songs Bollywood is throwing up soft melodious , peppy numbers, rustic.. Music is an important part of my life. I listen to FM when I work in kitchen. When I cook I like to have music around, it makes task less mundane. Music does have the power – it uplifts my mood.. but other than that.

I had heard about stories of Emperor Akbar’s Navratna,Tansen’s, musical power. It is  said that when Tansen sang, birds and animals would gather to hear him.Or that had the power to light up fire through his song and to bring rain. A story that I liked was:

Once, during a hunting expedition, Emperor Akbar spotted a white elephant which he wanted for himself. The elephant was captured and brought to the palace. The elephant, however, was fierce and wild and would not be tamed.

When Tansen heard of this, he went to the elephant, which was chained and struggling with the trainers. He began to play the tanpura and sing. Gradually the elephant became calm, and soon the emperor was able to mount and ride it. Emperor Akbar bestowed honours and gifts on Tansen. Tansen was given a house very close to the royal palace.

But is music powerful enough to bring back the person from coma?

It seems yes, for I read today about how British singer’s Adele music brought a girl back from coma. Source

Adele’s  music brought a 7-year-old girl out of coma. In April 2011, Charlotte Neve suffered a brain haemorrhage that left her in coma. When doctors told her mother Leila to start saying her goodbyes, the 31-year-old cuddled her daughter and sang her daughter’s favourite song, Rolling in the Deep. Astoundingly, her daughter smiled in response. “It was the first time she had reacted to anything since the haemorrhage. The nurses were astounded and told me to keep singing, and she smiled again.” And after some physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, Charlotte was able to go home

I was amazed after reading the news article. What do you think of power of music?

Women Smoker

I was waiting for my friends to join me at the coffee shop. Across the table was a nice looking woman in shirt and trouser, hair  impeccably neat , a laptop open on the table and with a cigarette in her hand. The woman puffs on her cigarette as if she is trying to reveal some mystery to me. Earlier there was a negative attitude towards women smoking but now people do not raise an eyebrow.

Women smoking

Women smoking

Came across an old newspaper report in Times of India, 2009,India third on global ‘female smoking list’. and statistics though old scared me:

  • Tobacco killed some six million people each year — more than a third of whom will die from cancer — and drained $500 billion annually from global economies.
  • About 250 million women in the world are daily smokers — 22% being from high resource countries and 9% from low and middle resource countries.
  • Female smokers in India die an average eight years earlier than their non-smoking peers.

Was the woman smoking  as a symbol of women liberation and freedom. We are equal to men syndrome? Or the reasons are same as that of men – to destress or they also got addicted in college. Started puffing because of peer pressure, to impress boys! Women destress themselves by crying, my sharing with friends. If the reason for her puffing was because of lack of sharing I am sad. Crying and sharing helps!

Smoking is injurious to health is written on the cover of the packet. The educated ones know that smoking causes cancer then why do they smoke?

I tried to find when did female smoking became acceptable and in which country? It was year 1929 in United States of America. Quoting from the article: US-Website of Public Relations: Torches of Freedom

By the mid-1920s smoking had become commonplace in the United States and cigarette tobacco was the most popular form of tobacco consumption. At the same time women had just won the right to vote, widows were succeeding their husbands as governors of such states as Texas and Wyoming, and more were attending college and entering the workforce. While women seemed to be making great strides in certain areas, socially they still were not able to achieve the same equality as their male counterparts. Women were only permitted to smoke in the privacy of their own homes. Public opinion and certain legislation at the time did not permit women to smoke in public, and in 1922 a woman from New York City was arrested for lighting a cigarette on the street.

George Washington Hill, president of the American Tobacco Company and an eccentric businessman, recognized that an important part of his market was not being tapped into. Hill believed that cigarette sales would soar if he could entice more women to smoke in public. In 1928 Hill hired Bernays to expand the sales of his Lucky Strike cigarettes. Recognizing that women were still riding high on the suffrage movement, Bernays used this as the basis for his new campaign

First Campaign for women smoker

I find women smoking a little difficult to digest..okay I agree I am old and conservative and I agree it’s her life . What about you?Why do you think women smoke?