Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mandatory Voting…

Democracy, like everyone is aware of, is a government which ensures equality and freedom (at least in theory). As much as we are never fully happy about any politician (many a time for rightful reasons), there is hardly anything we do to make sure that things change, for good. Many a time we forget that democracy is not just about rights…it is also about duties of every citizen.

I am thrilled about this new law in Gujarat which The Gujarat Assembly has (on Saturday, Dec 19, 2009) passed the Gujarat Local Authorities Law (Amendment) Bill 2009 which enforces: Registered voters who do not participate in local elections will have a month to explain their absence; they may face action.

I think this is a wonderful move. It will teach every one the discipline of what it means to be a responsible citizen. Surely we can all allocate some time from our super busy schedules to make sure that we vote too.
I am fairly sure that the government would allow certain allowance for those workers who are dependent on daily wages.

Like Narendra Modi say’s, black money is a huge problem in India; perhaps it goes parallel with the actual economy itself. This mandatory vote will be a step towards curbing black money (in terms of reducing the election campaign expenditure).

For once lets keep our sarcasm with statements like, should food, clothing and shelter be made mandatory too aside and appreciate the effort being taken by the politicians in Gujarat.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Love marriage or Arranged marriage?

I was talking to my good friend’s mom. She was kind of worried about whom her son, (whom she loves dearly), would get married to. Like any other mom under the planet, she wants everything best for her son…but there is a catch in Indian weddings...

The catch is (Like Chetan Bhagat so nicely said)…

Love marriages are so simple around the world. Girl loves the boy, boy loves the girl and they get married.

In Indian communities there are more steps involved. Girl likes the boy, boy likes the girl. Girl’s parents like the boy and boy’s parents like the girl. Girl’s parents like boys parents and boys parents like girls parents. If boy and girl still love each other, then they can get married.

Ten years ago if I were given this theory, I would have laughed it off. But now, I am fairly sure that the weddings, in Indian way, are done for a reason….a reason, as a teenager, I could/would have never comprehended.

I see so much bitterness in teenagers these days towards their parents and their beliefs. Well if you are reading online news, following a few blogs, forums, you will know that I am telling you the truth. The younger generation (I am not old…err not yet) seem to think that whatever their parents tell is old fashioned.

While to an extent it is good to be globalized, it would be a shame to be totally confused about what is right and what is…no too right.

Perhaps parents also should understand their children…should I say, make and effort to relate to them? The world is not what it was 10 years ago. Video games, MTV, blackberry, money…and sex have crept in to our society. While it might be difficult to ignore what is considered “in” by the teenagers, it would help to think from their perspective too.

And coming back to love marriages; nothing wrong with it either. Parents are more concerned about how kids would lead their married life in harmony if starting from culture to food; from language to religion are different. What ever said and done, courtship is totally different from living with each other in the same home. Living in the same home is not the same as meeting after work/college and hanging out in coffee shops or watching a movie, holding hands and kissing the moment you get a chance.

This is what I keep telling my friend’s sisters (and sometimes my cousins) that marriage is just the beginning of a long journey…a beautiful one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Tale of Two States...

I am half Telugu and half Tamilian and to all my North Indian friends I am a “Madrasi”. A while ago, when some one referred me as “Madrasi” I used to take offence; couldn’t they say Tamilian or a Telugu girl? My identity has become Madrasi and it would have remained the same even if I was from Kerala just for the reason that I am from South India. But after reading through my history books again, perhaps it’s OK if they call me a Madrasi.

I was born in Andhra Pradesh. When ever I send a mail to my parents I always used the states name as Andhra Pradesh. Now suddenly I realized that going forward I might have to use the name as Telangana. My first full time job was in Hyderabad.
Since I was a little girl my parents used to take me Tirupati (now another state), a place which is so close to my heart that every time I think about that place I get nostalgic. So basically Andhra and Telangana have been great to me. Am I supposed to feel sad that the state is now going to be split?

When some asks me what is famous in Andhra, I always used to say Hyderabadi Biryani and Tirupati Laddu. Now, how am I to choose just one of those?

The issue of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh dates back to as early as 1956, the Gentlemen’s Agreement of Andhra Pradesh, devised to protect and safeguard the discrimination against Telangana by the government of Andhra Pradesh, before the formation of state Andhra Pradesh. The alleged violations of this agreement are cited as one of the reasons for demands for separate statehood for Telangana.

The violations? Are we talking about Hi-tech city (pretty much a silicon valley of the south) or the world famous Business Schools?
Apparently University reservations are an issue. Why, Oh why! Why do we need reservations at all? Shouldn’t academics solely rely on academics and not on the place of birth?

Are we heading into another never-ending-Kaveri river water issue? Can’t we re-visit the gentlemen’s agreement and see that united we stay? Really, is the situation so bad that the state requires a partition?

Gandhi’ism has become a fashion statement. Fast-un-to-death!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


When I relocated to North America I knew that I would find it difficult to get used to driving on the right side of the road. What I didn’t know was that it would take forever to get used to driving here!

Considering I had driven in India for 5 years I should find the regulated driving here a cake walk! But alas! If only every word we say comes true.

I passed my written test with flying colors! But that’s when the real challenge began.

My first attempt to drive here was in my husband’s car. Poor thing…it suffered under my gas/break/gas/break like on/off switch for 2 weeks. Then the icing of the cake….I went right into the oncoming traffic while turning left! Thank God it was a country road and there was no oncoming traffic! I decided I cannot go on like that….firstly the insurance is going to sky-rocket and secondly I need an auto-transmission.

After a few months gap, we bought a car! Yes! Yes! Yes! I love my car but I don’t love driving anymore L

But it’s about time I get around to driving I guess, at least after all the money we spent and more importantly my husbands offer to help me learn better driving.

I am reminded of it again at work. Perhaps because my driving-day is approaching this weekend! Uffff….I am all tensed up….why is driving no fun?

When will be my “Driving---Thriving”?

I can hear everyone's thoughts now. Practice…practice…like a mantra. I am hoping that I will come back to this thread some time in future and vouch that “Practice Practice is indeed the mantra”…Until then I guess I am going to be tensed up.