29 Apr 2011

Royal Wedding

It has finally happened!! Prince William and Kate Middleton got married today!! After a long wait and lots of speculations and debates, the historic wedding has finally taken place. Like millions of people around the world, even I sat glued to the TV as the royal coupled exchanged their vows.

What a gala event these royal weddings are. 1,900 privileged guests including the heads of around 50 nations had gathered at Westminster Abbey to witness the wedding. Thousands of commoners thronged the streets of London waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of the couple. The colorful ceremonies, the speculations over the bride's gown to the list of invitees, months of exclusive shows on TLC, BBC and umpteen other local and international channels.. pheww.. what a wedding!It was beautiful watching a stunning Kate walking down the aisle holding her father's arm and the look on William's face as he got the first glimpse of his bride. Prince Harry dint forget to whisper a comment in his brother's ears as Kate made her entry.That was really cute!! :)

Some of my friend's commented what a dream wedding these royal couples have.All the publicity, glitz and glam!But I don't quite think I'll be able to stand that kind of an event. All the media, people, the rituals and customs accompanying such an event would choke me. I really think Kate has mettle to stand there in front of all those dignitaries wearing a gown that could trip her any moment, and smile without a trace of tension!You have to applaud that lady.Even William appeared a bit tensed compared to his lovely bride. I would have preferred a more private event. Simple and elegant.The one thing that I absolutely despise is these big fat Indian weddings.Its all about showing off one's wealth than about the union of two souls.Often the bride and groom don't even recognize half the guests at their wedding. And the bride has to be decked in gold from head to foot or the family's honor will be in jeopardy.Sending out boxes of sweets and decorating the invitation cards with precious stones has become a common thing among the rich and the middle classes. In their rush to organize the most spectacular wedding the country has ever seen, they forget the sacred values behind a wedding.

My dream wedding would be a simple, private event. A fairy tale wedding held somewhere quite and peaceful.It would be nice if the groom could come riding a white horse but then I can adjust with a BMW!! ;)

22 Apr 2011

When will this end??

Atrocities against women continue to happen and justice remains unobtainable to women in some countries. The verdict passed by the Pakistan Supreme Court recently on the  Mukhtaran Bibi case is a shame to the country and its judiciary! 

Mukhtaran, a resident of the Meerwala village of  Pakistan was gang raped in 2002 on the orders of a tribal council, which saw this as a way of taking revenge on her brother who allegedly had an extramarital intercourse with a woman of the tribe. Mukhtaran was dragged to a stable and gang raped by four men. She was then pushed out wearing nothing but a torn qameez. On the order of the tribal council, she was paraded naked in front of hundreds of on-lookers. The accusation against Mukhtaran's brother was later proved to be false. 

As this shocking incident gained publicity, people all over the world condemned it and the police was forced to take action. Mukhtaran bravely went on to file a case against the men and a lower court convicted six people including the tribal chief. They were sentenced to death for this cruel and inhuman brutality. The Lahore High court later overturned this verdict and a few days back the supreme Court agreed with the High court. All the accused except one was let free and the death sentence of the accused was reduced to life sentence.
The verdict is unacceptable and it is scary to think that the highest guardian of justice has denied a poor illiterate women the justice she deserves. It is a setback to the spirit of humanity.The verdict is gonna set a bad example and people would become fearless to commit such brutalities. I don't have words strong enough to condemn this verdict. Not all women have the courage of  Mukhtaran to come up and report such events. If the ones who do come up are given this kind of treatment, the oppressed are gonna remain silent forever. Mukhtaran still lives in the fear of government and the men of the tribe. Pakistan government had initially restricted her from going abroad and it was only due to international pressure that they lifted the restriction. 

I do hope that a day will come when atrocities against women will stop and they will enjoy freedom and respect from the society.

14 Apr 2011

Smiling Strangers

I usually walk home from my college bus stop. Its a pretty long walk, but I never get tired of it!! In fact, i love the walk! It's a time for me to collect my thoughts, to reflect on the day's events, to watch the people around me, to take in the fresh air and listen to the trees whispering, to hum a tune and let the breeze play with my curls.. it's a time for me to unwind..

During the walk, I see a lot of people. Some of them would be rushing home after work, some would be out to do shopping, some would be heading to the church or temple while some people would be loitering around or engrossed in animated discussions with their friends, relatives,acquaintances or colleagues. The scenes are mostly repetitive except for the characters. But amidst them there would be a few familiar faces. I don't know who they are or where they are from. I have no idea where they are heading to. They are just nameless people,whose path cross mine regularly at one point in time. 

First time we meet, these people would glance at me absent minded. Then as we pass each other regularly, they would stare and I would stare back. This game of staring would continue for a while until one day, either I'll smile or they'll smile at me.
And now, everyday as I walk back home, I meet one or two of these smiling strangers. We never talk but a simple smile does the trick. After a terrible day at college which leaves me with no reason to cheer, a smile, even from a complete stranger is reassuring. The warm fuzzy feeling that I get after I've smiled at a stranger and got back one is simply motivating....

I hope my smile could also help these wonderful strangers to forget their worries,if only for a second.
World is so beautiful and filled with so many beautiful people.If anyone feels otherwise, its time to change the soiled glass through which you are viewing the world. A small smile can go a long way in spreading cheer and good will!. You have nothing to loose and the person receiving it might be in need of one.
I want to dedicate this to all those smiling strangers I've met!!
I don't want to know who you are or what you do, but I just want you to know, you've made my day.. Not once but umpteen number of times!!
Thanks a lot guyz..

10 Apr 2011

We Support You Hazareji!!

Anna Hazare, a name which is on the lips of every Indian. A person who is hailed as the next Gandhi. A social worker and Gandhiyan who is spearheading the fight against corruption in India. His fast-unto death hunger strike for the passing of Lokpal Bill ended recently after the Government agreed on passing the bill.

In history,we learned how Gandhiji won us Independence through non-violence. The idea was extremely intriguing for me at that time. How can anyone defeat a powerful empire without the use of any weapon? What good will a sathyagraha do against a colonial rule? Anna Hazare's non violent struggle has given me some idea regarding this. The power of a man's will power should not be underestimated.

To go on a hunger strike is no small thing. To do such a thing not for any personal benifit, but for the general good of the country is a great selfless act indeed. It shows  Hazareji's strong belief and dedication to the cause. I salute this great human being who has above everything, given hope to the youth of this country. It has given us faith in democracy and has made us believe that a single person can bring about great changes. A line that comes into my mind right now is a famous verse from Bhagavathgeetha  :

"Yada yada hi dharmasya         
Glanir bhavati bharata
Abhyutthanam adharmasya
Tadatmanam srjamy aham"

"Whenever and wherever there is decay of righteousness and a rise of unrighteousness then, I manifest Myself!"

God has a way of sending his envoys to Earth whenever something goes extremely bad. The corruption in our country had reached its peak with a new scam surfacing every other day. 2G scam was the biggest of all while ,Common Wealth Game spoiled the image of our country, Corporate lobbying and the subsequent actions of media in silencing the issue made us loose faith in the media. For the past few years we have been seeing the fall of the three great pillars of democracy- Government, Judiciary and Media.Rise of this Gandhiyan has given us a small reason to cheer!

But the victory of Hazareji is just the beginning. The flame that was kindled by him shouldn't be allowed to die out. Being part of the nation wide campaign against corruption and rallying behind Hazareji is a very fulfilling thing. But our job has only begun. We have to take a pledge never to give or take bribe and if we know of any corruption in the society, we should report it. Whenever in fear or doubt, think about the man who was ready to die to make our nation corruption free! 
India is proud of you Hazareji...