Archive for the ‘For a thought….’ Category

Once again I am writing at the dead of the night… 3 am to be exact. I don’t know why this part of the hour excites me to write such blasphemous stuff. But I always seem to want to talk what’s going in my mind at 3 am.

A deadly hour, but I often do not need to correct my work after that.

With this post I would like to talk directly to the Y generation, the millennium and post millennium children.

A few observations: My daughter-friends are all living my abandoned dream : Happily settled in their careers, doing the things they love, living-in with the persons they love, adopting girl-children and living life exactly on their own terms. I am so happy for you. No dears, don’t get those black circles underneath your eyes just because you are not finding a partner to marry to make everyone happy.

No dahlings, you are already settled in your life. Even if you have a partner, ask yourself, do you really want to get married and get into the rut of a boring-hating-grocery-laundry-kids-grocery-screaming-kids-homework-housework-kind of a relationship? ……………Or watch the sunset holding hands? So please have the courage to turn around and tell everyone who confronts you. “Thanks. I am settled.”

My son-friends too are fine, but wished they’d get out of this rut of being in multinational companies, living an imprisoned life of earning too much money they don’t need, being an engineer or a techie, exuding this false smile to their gloating parents whose dreams they are living. Instead, they have their own dreams, which they cannot seem to pursue. My daughter-friends seem to be a little ahead of them, as they have managed to silence their parent’s crushing pressure about getting married quite well. But how can you even go near your engineer father to tell him, “I want to be a musician?” I know how tough it is to gate-crash out of the golden box that you are in now. The only way you can get peace is by marrying a fair-complexioned, convent-educated, slim, homely girl. Wear that monkey-cap and garlands, and set your coffins ablaze.

And if you don’t want peace and can withstand a few temporary hysterical cries, you should pack your bag-pack and head for the nearest taxi-stand. Once the taxi is running, you can decide where you want to start your dream journey from.

Believe me, at 21, which is 28 years back, I did try to do something like that but didn’t have the courage to sit through the drama.  I got a job as Junior Reporter in Shillong Times and my mother didn’t let me go. “Get married and go wherever you want!” she wailed. So I had to wait till I got married and get this “cup of honor” badge from the society and my mom, that a man was ‘supporting me’.

Luckily, you have moms who are from my generation, who had rebelled and had given up halfway. Just like me. So it may be easier to convince them without much of an emotional drama.

I always tell my y-zen friends: Always listen to your parents. Just disobey them in 2 things: In your career and marriage.

My generation was perhaps the last one who HAD to get married to prove their existence, whether they were engineers or doctors or writers or journalists. “Toh kab settle hona hai?” “When do you plan to settle down?” “Shaadi kyun nahin kar rahi/raha hain?” “Why can’t he get a bride?” “Is she lesbian?” “Gay hain kya?” As if, if someone didn’t get married, she/he had some kind of a disease. Despite this pressure, a lot of my contemporaries are, thankfully, single, divorced, have walked out of marriages when things went all wrong, and their children are doing just fine, contrary to what the morons believe. I feel proud of you, guys.

Astoundingly, some of us from our generation are also quietly living a single life by their choice, despite being socially married to a wrong man and despite living under the same roof (primarily for logistic and financial reasons). They live their own lives and do not much interfere in each others’, after having survived through many, many years of the putrefying “Holy Matrimony”. They have come to terms with the fact that their “irrevocably damaged marriage” cannot be dissolved due to ‘technical’ and ‘logistical’ reasons. Hence, they appear in social occasions smiling and dressed — like a slap on the hackneyed societal cheek which blissfully believe that these are a quintessential happy couple. The couple then have their own set of relationships, without much ado, away from the societal fan fare and remain happy in their own intimate, separate wings under the same roof. I welcome such new kind of “adjustments” .

The fresh new generation are, however, all living my dream. Which I had to give up to please my parents.

Till the last day of my life I will discourage my son to get married until it’s absolutely a necessity for him, and he cannot live without the girl. He doesn’t even want to bring up children, so my headache is really over. I don’t have to save for his marriage, nor plan what to gift my grandchild, each year, every year till she/he too yells at me : Grandmom, STOP!”

Some of you may speak like those Aunties, “What about your family tree?”

F*** the tree! The world is populated enough already. If my son attributes to one less human ‘tree’, he’d be only saving mankind. And I have no objection to that. I just have to figure what is to be done with my son’s baby clothes which I saved for his child.

And hence, for the future of humanity, I encourage all my young friends, do not be afraid of what you are doing, because you are doing JUST the right thing. You are treading on the paths angels feared to walk on. In fact, it may seem lonely right now, with half of your friends married and with kids, but it won’t be long, since some of them may soon join you after parting ways with their spouses and you won’t have any dearth of companions at your beer party!

And kids? Believe me, they will be just fine! Kids are much responsible in a single-parent home and mature enough to know why not to live in a putrid relationship. You don’t realize they are the NEXT generation, and will come with an absolute new set of rules, which even a swanky mom like me won’t be able to fathom.

So Yo!

(April 15, 2017, 3.41 am)

Reduce your expenses. Work from home. Use online platforms. Use free ad sites. Use social media extensively and intelligently. Do not push sell. Wait for responses. Get rid of websites. Be honest. Build relationships. Give yourself time, time and time…
doing-paperwork
After reaching a certain age and entity in my life, I realized that I wasn’t finding any ONE single platform to put into effect whatever experience, skill sets and talents that I had acquired/polished over my lifetime in two countries. I wasn’t getting the appreciation or the value of my abilities.
….. So? Was I going to fade into the twilight yielding place to the new? Was I going to become complacent about my meaty lifestyle and retire?
… No! I wan’t going to give up on exploring new creative ideas and ventures, even if I have to do it all alone.
I wasn’t going to fade away into the twilight without sharing all that with the next generation, and there wasn’t any particular platform where I could bring it all on.
So I decided to use the internet in all its all strength. I decided to publish my ideas on several online platforms: Writing, editing, designing, creating newspapers, self-publishing, teaching editing, cooking and promoting Bengali cuisine, dancing and promoting Kathak internationally, promoting culture tours in India worldwide and writing my own books.
… After a while, I found websites too are passe. They only take up a lot of bandwidth and are costing me money. And no one is going into it. Free ad space is where people are. So I took advantage of free pages on social media and free ad sites to promote my ideas. They are also ‘businesses’ because unless people pay for your ideas they do not take them seriously.
So in a way, I had a chain of business which required zero investment.

I was thinking faster about my personal freedom and choice faster than the speed at which I was approaching 50. I realized I’ve had enough of reporting to my supervisors, trying to sell myself to be at their beck and call, trying to please everyone around myself, other than myself. I decided to finally crawl out of this slavery of being told what to do, and start telling others what they need to do.

It takes a long time; to be able to estimate yourself and set a price tag on yourself in actuality. To be able to emerge from the fear of Monday and get self-motivated to do things at your own time and pace. You have been too long judged by others who have been setting  a price tag to you. As I was approaching 50 I suddenly had a feeling that the end was drawing near… that I was surely not going to live as long as I have.
I have so long only lived for others: my family, my job, my boss, money, for anything and anyone, but myself. Yes, earning is important. Loving is important. But not at the cost of sacrificing your dignity and soul so much that you have no answer to give to your soul.
I decided to start building a relationship with myself.
Luckily, by 50 I had a substantial (in my parameters) financial security, enough knowledge and experience to be able to stop being a slave to any and everyone, start living life at my own pace, earn moderately to support myself, do whatever I loved doing, and set the right price tag for my talents and experience. I determined exactly when I was going to stop chasing money just for money. Because I had reached all my dreams and had to rebuild some more to sustain me for the next few years of my lifetime. For that, I needed time in my hands, some leisure to build a relationship with myself, explore my dreams and ideas and them lay out the fare for the world to buy.
Thus, began my business ideas. And I began to chalk out a path how to increase flow of money.
How to do all that without any investments?
These are some basic tips.
1. Reduce your expenses
I started meditating extensively to understand what I really want and need in life. Separating myself from peer pressures, societal pressures and trend pressures. I realized my needs are very limited. I didn’t need more than 2-3 summer wear every year. For winter, in Canada you are covered from head to toe, so whatever winter wear I had was enough for the next 2-3 years. and the new dresses I got during Durga Pujas were extraneous, but yes, I loved getting new clothes. I also realized I had very basic needs of home-cooked food and love to hang onto my old clothes. I realized there are so many things you buy only because your friend or neighbor has them or it is the fashion trend. Once you separate your own needs from these extraneous ones, you become more confident and aware of your own identity. Reducing expenses builds up savings. So whatever money I didn’t spend, I saved.
2. Online shopping
I stopped going shopping unless I needed something urgently. I started doing online shopping.  The good thing about online shopping is whenever you feel like buying something that you don’t really need, but wish for, you can just add it to your ‘Wish List’ to buy later. Later, you may not want to buy it at all. This curbs impulse purchase that we often do when we go out shopping.
3. Working from home
To set up your own business, working from home is the best and only option unless you have to REALLY go out and meet clients. You can give the address of your home as your business address and start using the benefits of the internet in the best possible way.
4. Explore free ads
Whenever I had an idea, I inserted a free ad on the free ad website about the kind of services I am offering, in Canada and India, and shared the idea with the right kind of groups on Facebook. I shared corporate business ideas on LinkedIn and softer ideas on Twitter. Believe me, most of my clients too are sitting on their computers, on their social media, looking through such ads. I have acquired the best and longest-lasting clients through these free ads.
5. Keep sharing ideas but don’t spam
This is where your creativity and understanding of human nature comes in. Keep sharing your ideas on the right public platforms, but keep a reasonable time gap between each ad. You don’t want your readers to spam you. Yet you don’t want them to forget or miss what you are doing, so you have to be regular, consistent but not come on too strong. You have to learn that pace yourself.
6. Self-discipline and self-motivation
People want to see how consistence you’ve been about your ideas. So you have to keep sharing ideas but not repeat them. Give them your ideas packaged in a new gift wrap every time.
And make a routine for yourself every work day. Set your own work days and work times and follow that rigidly. Also give yourself two days off from all this business, or else you’ll lose the energy. Self-motivation and self-discipline is the basis of doing business alone.
7. Interact with people who respond to your posts
Do not spam people if they are not responding. Your business will lose the respect. Communicate consistently with people who responds to you. Remember, people need a soft push to decide, not a hard one. Also it’s selfish just to reply to the responses you’ve got. Try interacting on their own posts too. This builds relationship. If you see a relationship is taking your business somewhere, it’s good. Or else, you may have to stop  wasting your time.
8. Give a lot of time on the internet
How am I going to package my which business today, is my first thought of the day. After doing yoga and eating a healthy breakfast during the first hour of my day, and after meeting my family needs, (since I am a mom, a wife, a housewife, a daughter, a sister and a friend first), I begin to think how am I going to sell my business today in such a way that it won’t bother people, instead they will be excited and feel compelled to click on my link. For that, you have to understand the people in your social media and how they use the internet.
9. Websites are passe
I learned one thing clearly: Business is done with people, not with brands or websites. Also business involves another big factor: TRUST.
If you have people giving you orders based on the trust factor you’ve built over a period, you don’t need an expensive website to certify how good your business is. Word of mouth travels faster than light or sound. So believe in yourself, be honest, build trust and be truthful in your services. And it’ll be just a matter of time you’ll be overwhelmed by clients.
Websites only draw unproductive people who are not really serious about doing business with you. They just want to see a fantastic website. And you may want to eliminate people who judge a book by its cover.
10. Hire people on project/on-call basis
My publishing house has an international team of editors, designers and writers. But they are all on project/on-call basis. I draw out a contract stating the same right at the beginning. Hence, since the project is mostly funded by the self-publishing authors, I do not have to pay anything from my pocket. The business mostly depends on creative talents, efficiency of editing and designing, and honesty, honesty, honesty. My pool of editors and designers are extremely experienced and talented. I am proud to say that I’ve hired the best brains who can do a much, much better job than those operating by the name of editors in the market.
Hence, with self-discipline and self-motivation you can slowly give up your full-time job and immerse in your business from home. DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. Step out of your comfort zone slowly, but steadily. Only then can you release yourself from this slavery and the fear of Monday. You cannot even begin to imagine the kind of sense of freedom that your business will give you!
I can proudly say that I am running four businesses and one consultancy service absolutely with zero investment. Of course, by ‘zero’ I mean zero dollars. I needed a lot of investment of my time, intelligence, brains, honesty and some leg work. Rest comes to me automatically.  So whatever you earn, is yours completely.
Let me know what you think of this by commenting below.
Thanks.

Breaking from the womb

Posted: January 19, 2017 in For a thought....

of-course-im-a-good-motherIt’s unnatural, right…when you say that the womb you were born from is poisonous?

When you have lived half your life and you realize that all along it was a lie?

When the vile concept of being a girl child, that was all along an ‘outside’ factor, starts seeping into your own existence till you realize you have been a victim too?

It’s unnatural to believe that a Mother can be so vile. Right?

Yet it’s true. It’s as true as daylight. As true as the sun, the sky, the stars, the beautiful universe that the womb opened and let the girl child into. Yet that womb is so vile: jealous, selfish, cruel, unloving, uncaring, almost willing to dispose off the lump of flesh into a nearby dustbin, if not for the Dad, who wanted a daughter so much.

And it’s because of the Dad the tiny lump of female species survived.

In a world where mothers are herald as angels, I herald one Father as a saint. Who made up for the lack of mother’s love in his daughter’s life, by playing with her, making her stand on his one hand, giving her the best education he could afford, taking her to a vacation when her heart was broken to a million pieces, staying up with her half the nights during her exams, making coffee and Bournvita, giving her the freedom to chose and courage to take her own decisions. While, all along, the mother despicably viewed her daughter growing up, with hostility — often giving vile names to the father-daughter bond.

Let me speak about that Dad. No one speaks about dads.

Let me speak about one Dad who gave her daughter wings to fly, take challenges in life, fund her challenges, support her whenever she got weak, let her cry on his shoulders.

After almost half a century of living in a lie, the daughter learned that her mother was mentally ill all along, since she was a product of hatred for being a girl-child. And all that envy, resentment and toxic feelings that she secreted towards her was a product of her corrupted mind. Now the daughter doesn’t know whom to sympathize with — her mother or herself.

The mother was “mentally ill” and abhorred her daughter so much that she never once felt proud of her daughter’s achievements, never once hugged the daughter who won several awards and medals during her student life. The daughter won accolades and love everywhere, just never got any joy or love from her mom when she got back home.

The mother never once felt love or sadness when she was leaving her house after marriage, never once empathized with her when she was heavily pregnant with her first grandchild, tortured her mentally, emotionally, physically, till she was forced to leave her home in that state.

Let me talk about a mom, who used her daughter’s strength whenever she couldn’t do anything on her own. And then discard her when the job was done. Who used each of her own children against one another so that her children always hated one another and stayed divided.

Let me tell you about THAT kind of a mother today. Who never shed a single tear when her daughter left the country forever alone and who got upset whenever her daughter wanted to come home. Who never let her toddler daughter take the window seat in trains, buses, cars or even airplanes. Let me speak about that selfish, girl-child-hating mother today…

Let me tell you the story of the daughter who stood against her mother’s toxicity and on her own feet, made a recognition for herself, and broke free from that womb.

Let me tell you how she cried for days trying to teach herself how to break from that womb, as there was no one to teach her how to do it, no one to share this with (and no tutorials on internet.)

Let me tell you about a successful girl-child who was hated by her mother for being a girl from her birth.

It’s time to tell you about her…

(Disclaimer: This is inspired from true, erratic events occurring around me, and bears no resemblance to any particular person, living or dead)

 

I am unfortunately once again holding the post of Editor in a newspaper. Unfortunate. Very unfortunate. Because I am a quintessential escapist. And I love my escape plans. I hatch plans. Follow some pointers, like not buying a cell phone, etc, just so that I can plan my physical escape some day.

It’s not an honorable thing to do for a responsible journalist who’s worked 20 years in hardcore news media, done sting operations, investigative journalism, sat at the helm of a desk, judging others’ copies and designed how to produce them on the next day’s edition. I mean, it’s a deadly job! You are making a promise to millions.

But that’s exactly why I was becoming more and more determined to escape.

This char. This burn. It singes me everyday. The news I am exposed to grills me slowly till I get roasted. It’s a torture to me to hold a responsible position at a newspaper. But, unfortunately I am once again doing so.

And timely too, for the Nibhaya BBC Documentary to come up.

You know how life is when you aren’t a journalist? You smell flowers, you design kitchen gardens, watch “food food” channel and make lovely dishes at home, Ekta Kapoor is a perfect friend then and her serials make me ignorant, blissful and happy.

But sometimes I become an Editor. And then, all that luxury is over and once again I am set on medium rare for slow roast. “Burn for the world, come on!” is my unwritten instruction.

I don’t know how many of you got to see that documentary. Congrats Leslee Udeen, who perhaps had a personal shot to be cleared when she interviewed the rapist: She had been herself raped.

I remembered in college days one of my very concerned male friend had told me, “If you get raped, don’t resist, Enjoy it.”

I didn’t exactly get raped, but molested on public buses, streets… many a times. Someone even asked me “How much?” when I was waiting for a bus at a bustop coming back from the University.

I beat up a few, ran away in fear and did nothing at times. Beating came a lot later, when I realized I could physically overpower at least one puny man (one lucky outcome of my good build).

But enjoy a rape?

Let’s get to the basics here. We  are all adults. A person approaches you, you balk in fear, you run under cover, you throw things at him, he becomes wilder. And then he decides to pin you down. Imagine the scene. You have a complete stranger trying to pull down your pants. With all his strength. There is no one around. His face is in grimace. He tears off you blouse, and digs one hand right into your vagina. Now one thing here. Our vagina’s are not hollow pipes. They are a closed soft organs. Much as you men forget that you were brought into the world by your loving mothers through that kind of vagina. But that opened like petals only for a few minutes, giving excruciating pain to the mother, so that “flowers” like you can bloom and get a life. Otherwise, the vagina remains usually closed. It gets lubricated when she gets aroused by a man she loves, or she has given permission to possess her body, and then someone can enter her at her consent.

So why were you thrusting your hand in there? What were you looking for?  Maybe you should have had your penis pushed in there instead. You may have had more fun.

And maybe that would have been less painful for the girl, and not taken Nibhaya’s intestine out! She may have lived.

By the way, my dear college friend, tell me, which part of me would be able to enjoy this attack.. can you explain? I’ve never been raped, so I can’t really say I tried to follow whatever you said. I’m sorry I am not YET been raped.

But yesterday, 30 years later, during a long debate with a man, a Canadian man, (Indian born) a family man with a wife at home, told me the same thing. “When you get raped, try to enjoy it”.

Goosebumps ran down my spine: Didn’t the rapist Mukesh Singh just say the same thing on BBC?

Even as I write this, Syrian refugees are being greeted at various Canadian airports with a ‘Welcome’ sign and tears from well-wishing Canadians. From Dec 1, 2015, Syrian refugees will arrive in Canada in throngs — 900 a day! Ontario is set to house 10,000 refugees, primarily and temporarily in military barracks.

Ever since the photograph of the toddler, Alan Kurdi, broke the internet and changed the face of journalism, Canada had been under immense pressure to accept refugees who are fleeing from the ISIS terror.  Alan Kurdi was apparently trying to come to Canada as a refugee and his application was apparently refused.

This photograph changed the way common people looked at the Syrian war/refugee problem. Then came the Canadian elections and Justin Trudeau swung into power with his promise to Canadians that he would accommodate 25,000 Syrian refugees by the year end, which he was determined to do.

Everything was going well, and Trudeau  got the support of millions — until the Paris attack happened on Friday the 13th of November, 2015.

This attack turned the sympathy of common Canadians 180 degrees on its head, and the empathetic Canadians now feared for their own safety, as it was highly likely that ISIS may infiltrate their suicide bombers through these refugees. More so, since one suicide bomber in the Paris attack was found to be a Syrian refugee.

There was panic among the people, among ministers and Premiers. Yet, Trudeau remained unmoved on his decision and set a December deadline to bring in the refugees.

In a way, I support his strength to stick to his decision, because every time a terrorist aims his gun at us, we should not shiver in our skins. We need to provide the humane support and values to the world that Canada is so well-known for.

In my lifetime I have seen planes crash into the Twin Towers and watched them crumble to the ground, the way men and women jumped from the top floors to their deaths. I have designed pages in a major newspaper in India to report the Mumbai attacks which killed 164 people and wounded at least 308. In November 2008, 10 Pakistani members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant organization, carried out a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai.  The attacks, similar to that of Paris, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008.

I have refused to watch as Daniel Pearl would be the first of many ISIS victims – throat slit, terror reverberating around the world, establishing a new “normal”.

Which is why the fear in the hearts of the Canadians is justified. “What if there are terrorists hiding among Syrian refugees?” has been the question on the lips of far too many people these past few days. Not so mention worthy is the spate of Islamophobia that has been gripping the country as well as the world the last few days that has resulted in some sparring hate actions in Toronto and surroundings.

As you read this copy, hundreds of Syrian refugees are screened in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan for immigration to Canada.

However, you need not fear them coming and settling here. These are the reasons why:

  1. No single men are allowed in. The Canadian Department of Immigration will be admitting women, many of them widowed by war, with their young children and other families with children. All of them will be coming from camps established in Jordan and Lebanon by the United Nations and will have lived in those camps for more than a year. Canada will not be accepting any of those refugees who are wandering in Europe with no identity papers and no security clearance.
  2. They are selected from those screened by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. The UNHCR uses sophisticated anti-fraud tools like biometrics. They also use a rigorous five-step process.
  3. They are interviewed before coming to Canada.
  4. Once in Canada, they are screened by Canada’s security services. Thanks to these precautions, security experts say the chances of an ISIS terrorist getting through are infinitesimal.
  5. As I said earlier, families are on the priority list, (particularly female-headed households), unaccompanied minors and the sick, not single individuals.
  6. Not accepting refugees is an even greater threat to national security.

Filthy and unguarded refugee camps are hotbeds for terrorist activities. Perhaps not surprisingly, terrorists find it remarkably easy to recruit fighters in squalid and hopeless camps teeming with desperate and disenfranchised people.

  1. Accepting refugees strikes a blow at ISIS since ISIS relies on extortion and the taxes they collect from the vast swaths of territory they control. The New York Times reported that extortion and taxation, as well as kidnapping ransoms, accounte

    d for $620 million in 2014. That’s more than the $600 million they made by stealing from state-owned banks in Iraq and from oil sales.

  2. ISIS is relying on the West to refuse Syrian refugees and increased Islamophobia in the West to aid their recruitment efforts. ISIS has released a video telling fleeing Syrian refugees that the “infidel” West will never accept them, and that even if we do, we’d make them give up Islam.

Strategic interest, coupled with compassion, calls on us to accept the refugees and give them a warm home. By doing so we can will defeat ISIS in their own game.

Ref: Huffington Post, Canada; Globalnews, Canada; CTV News, Canada and other news sources

I know I’ll probably lose a lot of friends with this post, since I am technically in that age group when I’m supposed to be religious.

But I am not. That’s besides the point. But I never stepped onto the zones of those who are religious (Hindus, this time) and post numerous photos of gods and goddesses on their social media, whatsapp, etc and have ignored them. I don’t respect the ardent public display of affection about their choice of religion and their way of worship. But never spoke about it. I have seen hardcore realists and journalists by the night, murmur a few inane Sanskrit word which  they do not comprehend, by the day, during worship at home.

It was all fine. I was having a gala time watching all that. Till today.

When I saw someone share a picture of Kamakhya Goddess’s ‘Yoni’ and asked everyone to share that so that they can see a miracle in their lives in a few days. (I never share, and I never have any miracles. That’s again another topic.)

But what is ‘Yoni’?

Do you know what is ‘Yoni’?

I didn’t know what is ‘Yoni’.

On research I learned it’s not just the female organ in its complete form, it’s a ‘bleeding female organ’!! Look at the picture. It’s a female organ, with blood-like things running down like a river.

Image result for Kamakhya Yoni

The Kamakhya temple is dedicated to the tantric goddesses. Apart from the deity Kamakhya Devi, compound of the temple houses 10 other avatars of Kali namely Dhumavati, Matangi, Bagola, Tara, Kamala, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Bhuvaneshwari and Tripuara Sundari. There is no statue, idol or image of Devi in the temple, but in the corner of the cave in the temple, there is sculptured image of the yoni or Vagina of the goddess, which is the object of worship and reverence. (Source: http://www.reckontalk.com) Kamakhya is supposed to be a very ‘jagrata devi’ (Living, and listens to all your problems, grants you your desire.)

secrets-of-kamakhya-devi-temple-menstruating-goddess-in-india-4

Goddess sculpture in the Kamakhya temple

The last I heard was about Shiv Ling. Hindus had forever worshipped Shiv Ling (The penis of God Shiv in an intercourse state with a female Goddess’s Yoni) for a very long time.

Image result for Shiv Ling

Why Shiva is Worshiped in His Phallic Form:

Once Brahma and Vishnu, two deities of the holy Trinity, had an argument. Brahma being the Creator of the world declared himself to be revered, while Vishnu, the Preserver, argued that he commanded more respect. A colossal Lingam which was the Jyotirlinga appeared before them. Both were awestruck by its increasing size. They both forgot the quarrel and decided to determine its size. Vishnu took the form of a boar and went to netherworld and Brahma swan flew to skies. Both the deities failed to accomplish the task. Then, Shiva appeared out of the Lingam and stated that he was the progenitor and should be worship in his phallic form and not in his anthropomorphic form. Shiva Lingas are made of stone and are carved or naturally existing. They are made of metal, gems, wood, precious stones and transitory materials such as ice.

(Source: http://www.Hindutva.info)

My fingers shake to type this… but dear Hindus. Do you really have a dearth of Gods that you now have to worship their sexual organs? You don’t consider it abnormal, bordering on perversion, to apply vermilion on the above statue’s vagina??? And how long have you been doing this? And how many of you KNOW what you were worshiping??

We blame the Muslims for their tyrannical ways. We blame Christians for being too fundamentalists. And we Hindus are just a culture, a harmless way of life, that many, many people are adopting. I had been in splits once when a Muslim friend asked me as I related the tales of Goddess Durga to him: “Aaap saap ko bhi pujte hain? Kamaaal hain!” (You worship snakes too? Terrific!)

But this shakes me up. Where are we going with our Hindu religion? Who told you you could worship a woman’s vagina, a blood-filled vagina. Who gave you the right to do so? And do you know, that a real woman who is having her periods is not allowed to visit the temple?

The temple of Kamakhya as in all Hindu ‘Mythology’ has a very interesting bed-time story of its origin. It is one of the 108 Shakti peeths. The story of the Shakti peeths goes like this; once Sati fought with her husband Shiva to attend her father’s great yagna. Despite her husband Lord Shiva’s disapproval, Sati had gone to attend the universal ‘yajna’ organised by her father Daksha. Shiva was not invited, and was also abused by Daksha. Unable to bear the insult, Sati committed suicide. When Shiva came to know that his beloved wife had committed suicide, he went insane with rage. He placed Sati’s dead body on his shoulders and did the Tandav or dance of destruction.

To calm him down, Vishnu cut the dead body with his chakra. The 108 places where Sati’s body parts fell are called Shakti peeths. Kamakhya temple is special because Sati’s uterus and vagina fell here.

Okay. That’s a mythology, and interesting story to tell to children. Even I had heard about it. But, are you serious? I mean, do you even think what you are doing in your adult days? You are BELIEVING in that child’s bed-time tale!

Who told you that a part of Goddess Kamakhya fell wherever it did and that happened to be her vagina? Who gave you the right to worship a vagina when you’ve been raping them for years? If not on the road, in your bedroom. At parties, in public vehicles, fingering her vagina without her consent.

Moreover, if Goddess Kamakhya had been really existing, do you think, as a woman she would have liked this? Her vagina on display?

Think, darlings think. Before blindly following what these maniacal tantriks tell you to do. For Islam, we blame the jihadists to corrupt their minds. For  other religions we blame on the fundamentalists. What do you think these purohits and tantriks are doing to you?

Wake up, Hindus.

And one more thing. I am speaking from first-hand experience. I had had experience with a tantrik for some time. I have done my share of planchette and talked with ghosts (whatever…). I’ve been to scores of astrologers to know they only talk to your weak mind. And I have walked away strong knowing that our destiny is what we make it, with perhaps the aid of science, technology, our skills, money and hard work, in that order. We reach exactly where we want to. God may be there… I haven’t turned an atheist yet, but he’s certainly not looking into why Sam pulled Tommy’s hair yesterday and trying to spew a new punishment on Sam. He has a Universe to run. We are just a microscopic dust in a tiny, blue, juvenile ball, that has been very luckily placed in the Goldilocks Zone. The Man/Woman’s a busy guy.

God only helps those who help themselves… why, because YOU ARE GOD! You have the power, and you just realized it after encountering an orange-vermilion-dumped tree-trunk which you thought looked like Hanuman. And you thought you experienced a miracle. You prayed because you were weak, or you wanted something more and more from life. And then when you became stronger, with time and external support, you owed it all to God, or blamed Him for everything.

I was a believer at 20. Was doubtful at 30. Clutched onto my runny beliefs at 40. And swaying more the atheism way at 50. I don’t think I’ll meet any God when I die. I’m too inconsequential. I’ll just burn, and vanish. We all will. Like plants. Like ants. Like ant-eaters. Even if I do meet the Supreme, I have a few questions to ask Him/Her, that’s besides the point.

It all fell into place. You mean to say that the thousands of refugees in Syria and the children never prayed in whichever God they believed?  You mean the victims of mass rape in Syria and sex-slaves never prayed when they were repeatedly used for sex and burnt in cages for not complying? What was God doing?

You mean Nirbhaya never prayed?

Just shut up! You morons! Just shut up! You blame everything on God and go to worship her bleeding vagina not even knowing what it is! You pour barrels of milk on Shiva’s penis not even knowing why you do it! You feed stone idols of Ganesha milk just because some moron spread the news. GAWD! That was surface tension that was pulling the liquid up and out of the spoon, before gravity caused it to run down the front of the statue! Science! Basic.

I know I’ll lose a lot of friends overnight, as I am in that age when I should be singing hymns, chanting slokas, performing Karwa Chauth, downloading the ‘Shakti’ app so that my progeny too learns the difference between songs and ‘bhajans‘. But I am slowly turning an atheist.And I can’t go into that realm. … Maybe I’ll be boiled in hot oil when I reach heaven. And tell them I wasn’t boiled here enough.

But till then, I care for you friends. Please don’t post Goddesses’ vagina photos on Facebook to show how little your faith you have in yourself. Please don’t share God’s  Phallic Form as a PDA.

Do whatever you do, even Black Magic, in your little secrecy. The world need not know. Because these things are like drugs and pornography. Public display should be banned immediately.

India booming!

Friends who never visited India, often ask me what is India like? They almost believe India is a lovely land of sadhus, snake-charmers and elephants. I quickly ran to my PC to write this article for them. This might also come in handy for those who are about to visit this quirky land for the first time.

India is a house of extremes. It displays an extravaganza of population, poverty, wealth, corruption, pollution, dishonesty, love, warmth and high-spirited people. (PLEASE read these words over and over again till each of them explodes inside your brain and you become well-armed for the intensity).

India has the most fascinating sites (historical and archeological) and intriguing sights (man-made and natural), and a bountiful range of physical anomalies thrown in — from the snow-capped Himalayas to barren Thar deserts; from the Deccan plateau to a few of the most exotic sea-beaches in the world, from the most orthodox temples, mosques and households, to the daring nude beaches in Goa.

Did you know that India has a medley of a mammoth over 500 languages, 6400 castes, seven religions, two major types of humans… heterosexuals and homosexuals… all living in a disorganized harmony…? Something I don’t think any country in the world could have housed without diligent and regular cataclysms.

Physical diversity too is tricky! One needs to study the country like a textbook for an exam before venturing out. It has places with the biggest floods, most lavish rainfall, driest droughts and bitterest winters, complete with snowfall… all within one country. I think India has the most abundance and most deprivation almost under the same roof.

Tribal women fetching drinking water in Vizag area. Notice the cheerful, gossiping mood they are in.

Let me tell you something interesting. During the ’80s, when I was in my youth, Indians greatly relied on letters, telephones, telegrams and trunk-calls for communication. Computers existed only in certain IT offices and internet was unheard of. Web was what spiders spun and net was something to catch fish in. Hardware was a tool and software never existed. Keyboard was a musical instrument, and monitor and ram were animals. 🙂 (You can read more about my technological know how in my other post: Technology and I… Not the best of Mates)

However, all hell broke loose suddenly during the ’90s. Within a decade, technology permeated into every household, every institution and industry. So much that now every villager has a cell-phone, every village school has at least one computer and every person has to know computers to get any job. Don’t worry if they can’t feed their children twice a day or send them to schools.

Even in the Himalayas, into the remotest folds of the mountains, where sages live in caves, bathe in freezing rivers, eat fruits plucked from trees and meditate, you would delightfully find at least one internet cafe (albeit with slow connection) and some sages animatedly chatting on cellphones.

There are very few places in India where the radar of technology has not reached. And I am banking on these places to run to when I decide to get lost from the world. 🙂

Russell Peters said something which struck me: “India has no poor. The people who you think are poor have been in that state for generations and will remain in that state for generations. So they never consider themselves poor. It’s like, this part of the pavement is my drawing room; this part is living room; Hey! you’re stepping into my kitchen!” Try to uplift them and they’ll say: “I can’t leave my ancestral home!”

Sage with a cellphone in Kumbhmela (Courtesy AFP)

Last time when I left India two years back, I used to call my rickshaw-puller and maid on their cell-phones. I think by now they are reporting sick via email. 😀

An average Indian is extremely educated and knowledgeable and will probably know more about your country’s history, politics and literature than you do. So come prepared only after doing your homework. Indians speak English and know more English than any common man on the streets of English-speaking countries like US, Canada, Australia or UK. An average man knows at least four Latin words, have read Shakespeare and knows about the Renaissance.

This, even when there are millions of children who cannot afford education.

About lifestyle? Even during the ’90s the kind of dress girls wore to parties would make any standard woman in the West blush. I’m yet to see a woman in Canada wear a backless that boldly brushed over the  bikini line. Girls smoked openly… on streets, clubs, restaurants and revolted quietly in orthodox households.

Gays and hermaphodites are out of the closet and making waves in the society. Especially in the fashion and glamor industry.

Don’t try to understand relationships in India. They are more complicated than you can imagine… the gray (or should I say rainbow-colored?) areas between being single to being married to being divorced, religiously gets blurry and more and more perplexing. I can write at least 10 novels based on the relationships I saw around me… but no one would believe me! (And moreover I am one lazy author!)

Live-in relations and extra-marital affairs are so common — even in villages — that the Supreme Court permitted long-time live-in partners to be equivalent to being married and children born out of them are not coined illegitimate. (Read it here)

In 2009, homosexuality was legalized in India… among the first few countries to do so. (Here)

But, don’t be so charmed! Be alarmed! Be armed!

India is treacherous to vulnerable newcomers. Those who are about to enter India with an idea that they will land in a fascinating and innocent land of yoga and peace, and may still get to see the “rope trick”, may be ‘roped’ into so many ‘tricks’ that before you bat your eyelids, you will be ripped off of all your material belongings and you would so wish you knew the “rope trick” to catch a flying flight above back home!!! Hahahaha 😀

PS: I haven’t touched anything on the booming economy and scientific and space developments, though. Let’s keep that for your next visit. 😛

AND FOOD!!!!!! That awesome exhibition of tantalizing platter from every single state and region and religion.

(Did you watch ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and wished you could retire in a warm and vibrant place like India instead of being stuck in 6 months of snow and loneliness in US/Canada?
Well, the movie is now for real….
Retiring in India is now beginning to become a well-chalked out future for you. You can live at less than half the cost ($400-850 rental p.m.). You get the warm sun, yet are living by the sea or the hills, so that you don’t feel the summer heat too much. You can chose your room-with-a-view, your choice of platter and get involved in holistic activities like yoga, spirituality and voluntary work for children and the under-priviledged.
You can take part in adventure sports like WHITE WATER RAFTING, MOUNTAIN HIKING or Camping and come back to spend a few spiritual days doing yoga and holistic activities.
You can also float your own ideas for a business venture or get local jobs to keep yourself busy and earn pocket money.
Foremost, you have people around to take care of you: Maids, sweepers, cook, errand boys, masseurs, and Man Fridays at very little cost. They know, if not fluent, broken English, who are warm and welcoming to visitors. You’ll really want to pay them extra for all the willing help that you’ll get which you never got a taste of in the West.
There’s a whole new relaxed future under the bright sunlight awaiting you, if only you want.
I accompany personally for many trips.
Take the first trip for a few months to test the taste of India.
After a overwhelming response on this blog and requests from several friends, I decided to start a spiritual-adventure trip from Toronto to Haridwar where I will personally accompany you and guide you throughout your tour. Write to careychatt@gmail.com if you want to be a part of the excitement. )