Friday, 25 January 2013

SHE is equal to HE

A woman is always expected to sacrifice her ambitions, aspirations and dreams for her family. But what is hidden is that she has to even let go off her self-respect a lot of times when the male ego in her better half rises.

My eyes were moist. It was not of the tears; it was of the helplessness that I felt within. It was so difficult to change the functioning, mind sets and conventional approach of scoiety. What happened a few minutes back did not just move me emotionally but also awakened the feminist in me.

The usual boring day at work had come to an end. I was walking towards the parking outside the office building when I heard a loud voice. Before I could turn and see who it was, another shriek within less than a second scared me. Across the road, was a man in his late 40’s walking and having an argument with a lady probably his wife. The woman had a svelte figure and the man looked as fit as a fiddle. The man was shouting on the top of his voice, abusing the lady. The lady replied back and the man could just not take this. He stopped and turned to the lady. Clamped her left hand firmly and twisting it behind kicked her hard on the butt. He raised his leg again to give the poor thing another kick.  Satisfied proving his muscularity he started walking again with his male ego drooling over his face. The lady was resilient. Probably she was used to such violence back at home.  I on the other just stood there shocked, horrified by the entire episode. 

Normally I am upfront and don’t think twice in getting into such things. When I see something wrong happening I usually jump into the event without thinking of consequences. After some minutes when I came to my senses I was feeling a combination of everything irritation, helplessness, frustration, anger! How could the man just abuse her physically? Who had given him the right to hit her? Why did I not go there and slap him, stop him? How could I just let it go? When will the society change? How do I bring the change?

There were too many questions rising with no concrete answers though! I got exposed to a harsh world which I knew existed but was oblivious to it. Such things happen every day and in a lot of Indian homes.  In an Indian household where Man was the head of the family, where he was declared the undisputed king, where he assumed it was okay to hit his wife. A household where a girl was taught that she had to adjust to all conditions and situations, she had to respect her husband irrespective of how he treated her. She had to let go if she was used as a trash bag.

When will India start treating a Woman equally as a Man? When will a woman get the same respect as the man in the family? When will the physically and mental violence against woman come to an end?

The system will change with education and awareness. Let us pledge to aware and educate as many people we can. The society still needs reformation. It is a continuous process. We can’t stop. I have decided that I will never stop. Until SHE becomes equal to HE.

Monday, 21 January 2013

The day when Kites rule the sky...

Festivals, Lights, colours and tradition tend to bring out the best in me! How much ever jejune my life is, how much ever bonkers I am going over something, when a festival approaches I forget everything and am all ready to celebrate it. I am all Happy Happy!

As I left for work on the 14th Jan, every passing street welcomed me with Kite shops around. Young men getting their kite stocks for the day; Piebald kites and balloons all around; Kites swaying in the sky; People assembling on their terraces for Kite fights; Latest Himesh Reshamiya tracks playing on high volumes.  

Yes, you guessed it right! It was the day of Uttarayan .

Uttarayan also known as Makar Sankranti, almost always falls on the same day every year that is the 14th of January. It marks the beginning of the harvest season and is celebrated as a form of giving thanks to nature.

I usually love gazing up at the sky. But on 14th of January it’s a different experience altogether. The sky looks even more beautiful, colourful and motley with kites all around!! I feel elated and ecstatic.

Suddenly it struck me that I do not really know why we fly kites on the Uttarayan? Is there a mythological story behind this too? If yes, why did my granny not tell me?

After a lot of contemplation, I decided to use the lethal weapon- “GOOGLE” for the answers!

I didn’t find a specific cultural or religious significance behind kite flying; Seems like it’s a quite secular activity. So, don’t worry if you are not a Hindu. Flying Kites will not convert your religion. ;)

Meanwhile I found some interesting facts about the festival Makar Sankranti :
  1.  On the day of Sankranti, it is said that the Lord Sun (Surya) visits his son Shani, who is the swami of Makar Rashi (Capricorn). It is said that generally the two do not get along well but not this day, the Sun visits his son forgetting all differences of opinion. Hence, Makar Sankranti is considered to be a day to forget sourness and  bitter relationships.   
  2.  It is believed that a person who dies during this auspicious period of Uttarayan is lucky as he goes to heaven.
  3. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in almost all parts of the country with different names.
    • In Maharashtra, people celebrate by offering each other tilgul-laddus. People exchange these sweets with the words 'tilgul ghya, god god bola'. This means have these tilguls and speak sweet words.
    • In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Uttarayan. On this day, people go to their terrace and fly kites along with family members and friends.
    • In Punjab it is celebrated as Lohri and in Tamil Nadu as Pongal. In West Bengal, Sankranti is known as Pous Parbon - a harvest festival. In Uttar Pradesh, Sankrant is called Khichiri. Taking a dip in the holy rivers on this day is regarded as most auspicious. 
    • Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Kerala at Sabarimala. The forty days of spiritual discipline undertaken by devotees of Ayappa comes to an end on this day with a big celebration at Sabarimala.

Be it any region or any place Makar Sankranti festival brings people closer. The simple festival of kite flying makes the common man realize that even sky is not his limit! One does not need lots of money to celebrate this festival. All you need is some kites, good friends, family, music and thoda sa meetha!! Kyunki meethe ke bina toh har festival adhura hai!!

PS: I have started hogging on sweets.. Cupcakes, Pasteries, Rabri n Malpoa, Jalebi......the list goes on and on :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

5 Must Try Free Apps

I am not really a gadget freak. In fact the only gadgets I own are my netbook and phone. But just to have a little convenience in writing and reading and also considering the portability, I recently brought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

I have not really mastered all games but have surely researched extensively about which games to play. After installing, playing and uninstalling a myriad of games, I come to the conclusion that the below 5 games are my pick for at least a few weeks from now.

I will recommend you to download and try these at least once. Most of us are bored playing the good old Temple Run and Angry Birds. It’s time we switch to some other interesting games.

Subway Surfers:

Subway Surfers takes you in the world of surfing. The surfers Jake, Tricky and Fresh are trying to escape from a grumpy inspector and his pit bull dog.
 Keep collecting the coins by dashing and dodging the incoming trains. Along the way you can pick up the power-ups, big shoes that help you jump higher, a coin magnet that collects any coin you run past a jet pack that lifts you above the obstacles and runs you through a streamline of coins.

 Zabardast factors:
·         HD graphics
·         You have an option to sync with Facebook. Thus compete with your friends
·         Controls are very easy to understand.
Bekaar factors:
·         Unlocking the other character can be done after acquiring some exorbitant number of specific items via the mystery boxes.

   Cut The Rope:

Cut the Rope is a challenging and fun game puzzle. It has 8 themed boxes, each with 25 levels. Each theme introduces various devices to play with. The aim of the game is to feed candy into the mouth of a cute monster called ‘Om Nom’.
Although to pass any level all you need to do is put the candy in the monsters mouth, the trick is to collect maximum stars before doing that.

Zabardast Factors:
·         You can skip levels within the box you are.
·         There are hints as you progress each level.
·         Great Physics Puzzle


Ruzzle is a fun, competitive and fast-paced word game where you take on friends or strangers over three rounds time bounded word-finding action. If you are a bit of a word buff then this can surely run you over by its charm.

Zabardast Factors:
·         Good Graphics.
·         Invite Friends or  random Strangers.
·         Chat with competitors.
Bekaar Factors:
·         Not really a new discovery. It’s similar to Boggle.
·         One needs to keep waiting until the opponent completes a game. In case, you resign the game, the stats show that you lost that game.

  Flow Free:

Flow Free is a simple logic based puzzle but definitely addictive. The aim of the game is to join the same coloured dots making sure that you fill all spaces within the large square grid. But watch out the pipes break when they overlap or cross each other.

Zabardast Factors:
·      If you get stuck you can take help of hints. First 5 hints are free, you can buy other hints from the in-app purchase.
·         Bright and Colourful graphics.
·         Lots of Levels.
Bekaar Factors:
·         No online leader boards to maintain the high scores.

Hill Climb Racing:

First look at the game will surely not amuse you but a look further you might find it lurking. It’s an entertaining physics based driving game where one needs to control a vehicle which is driving uphill without toppling. As you drive, you need to collect coins (to buy upgraded suspension, tires, etc., for their cars) and gas cans to keep the car moving.

Zabardast Factors:
·         Small file hence easy to download even on a 2G network.
Bekaar Factors:
·         Very simple graphics
·         Game sound is too irritating.

PS: Would love to hear your feedback about the games. :)