ENGLISH OR HINDI?

  By Sunita Rajiv

It’s an unwritten expectation that a child studying in a public school is expected to converse fluently in English. This expectation gains dimensions with every passing year and the teachers take up this uphill task as a challenge. Workshops are organized, activities are designed, motivational lectures are given to teach the so called ‘second language’, which is successfully reigning as the accepted medium for more than five subjects. Still the goal is not achieved; it lures both the learner and the facilitator endlessly.

The student, caught in the horns of dilemma of ‘English or Hindi?’ finds himself jack of both and master of none. The mother speaks the mother tongue but insists he converses in English. The teachers stress on the usage of a language which is still an unconquered fort for them. Still when he musters up enough courage and ventures into this little familiar territory, he is laughed at by his peers who see him as a crow trying to pose a peacock. A stranger in both the worlds, he finds himself asking the meaning of a Hindi word [often seeking a synonym in English] and feels contented only if the English poem is explained to him in Hindi.

 On being asked as to who would like to participate in the assembly, the answer is a question “Is the assembly in English or Hindi?”If the answer is the latter one, hands go down and the few who ‘dare’ are found being laughed at. Their acceptance is viewed more as their failure to master the Queen’s language than their proficiency in the mother tongue. Hence, they sheepishly fight their urge to remain steadfast in their decision, holding on to their self esteem as their pool of inspiration. It’s considered a matter of shame by most students that they should be considered ‘not – so –proficient ‘in English because respect can be commanded only by being the champions of English.

Another revelation— students have the English alphabet on their tips. On being asked the number, “twenty six” comes the pert reply. But ever try asking the Hindi alphabet. Neither the number nor the order can be recalled by any of them. The quizzical looks betray their ignorance on one hand and seem to doubt your intentions on the other.’ The Paradise Lost’ is not the lost knowledge of their mother tongue but the loss of respect and of willingness to learn the language. In our race to learn English, we have somehow developed a low opinion and esteem of our mother tongue and this gene has been passed on too, to the coming generations. A Japanese, a German or a Chinese never shirks away from expressing himself in his mother tongue, why do we?

What we need to understand is that language is a tool in our hands that enables us to express ourselves correctly, emphatically and impressively. Because all the technological tsunamis have originated from the west, doesn’t mean that we should lose the grip on our language and culture. Our aim should be to plant our feet steadfastly into our soil and strive for the stars. Our hearts are big enough to hold both Kalidas and Shakespeare in high esteem. Let’s understand that our success lies in excelling at both the languages with equal dedication.

 If we have two eyes, we use both .If we have two hands, we use both. If we are blessed with two languages why can’t we be proficient in both? Language bridges the gaps between nations and hearts. If we take pride in our language and heritage, there is no reason why the children won’t follow our example. For if I can’t love my mother, how can I love someone else’s mother?

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ZOOZOOARIA

By Sunita Rajiv

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that in spite of all our efforts to remain fit and fine , we happily end up being fit and fat.’Zoozoo’, the mascot of Vodafone, can really be upheld as the national symbol of typical Indian figure. The pear shaped torso with its prosperous gathering around the waist, is just the shape our bodies  find it natural to grow into.

 The reasons are many but mainly the needle points to the gastronomical delights our tongue is always ready to savour.The generous helpings of sweets, our fetish for fried food and slavery to smell of sizzling spices, all join hands to add a good number of inches to our slowly swelling girth. The nonresident Indians miss their’ chhappan bhog ‘more than their filial ties. The hour glass figures of young girls vanish within a few months of their marriage and the blessings of “phoolo phalo” works literally. The Indian mothers proudly bless their Karishma Kapoors who eventually blossom into Farida Jalals and love the glow on their rounder cheeks.Men go a step ahead. While their pretty wives enthusiastically drown themselves in foodie delights, they indulge in all sorts of extremities because now the battle is over and the queen has been won. The once faithful leather belt begs for another hole and either loosens up or bows down in reverence to the swelling belly which will never deliver. The ‘zoo zoo’ is an icon for our men too. So if you need to see and assess a man’s prosperity, just look for two signs: receding hairline and proceeding waistline.

 Another culprit is the simplicity and accomodatibility[ if I may use the term] of the Indian dresses. Lets glance at the most trendy and comfortable wear- our churidar/salwar and kurta.The kurta is stitched properly from shoulders till the diaphragm, highlighting the assets, but he moment the garment reaches the stomach/navel, it displays two big slits on both sides leaving enough room for the occupant to grow to her heart’s content. The front side gracefully covers the façade and similar responsibility is shouldered by the back side of the kurta quite obediently .But soon the acute angular space between the two grows into an obtuse angle, proudly displaying the salwar pleats and prosperity of the owner. The sleek slithery slacks provide the same luxury with its elastic belt that keeps on stretching like the typical Indian patience, leaving enough scope for eternal zoozooing.

Undoubtedly, the creator of zoozoo should be given a national award for having so accurately depicted the geography of the Indian figure. In order to get back the ‘Paradise lost’, one finds multitudes of our countrymen and women in yoga centers, gyms and aerobics classes, trying to waste the fat around the waist. Like all beautiful things, the slim figure is short lived and the nation moves on with the armies of zoozoos everywhere on the road, in the offices, in metro, on stations, wriggling in and out with their bulky bottoms and wobbly waists because the entire country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is suffering from ZooZooaria.

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प्रकृति का सौंदर्य 

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The Lost Art of Letter Writing

The love of pouring emotions on a postcard, an inland letter, or just a plain paper; the excitement of opening an envelope inside which there were love, tenderness, and feelings that were personal,…

Source: The Lost Art of Letter Writing

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ENOUGH ! NO MORE!




How long will we plead, how long will we beg?
How long will the world pretend to be deaf?
To the earnest appeals of saving the soul
Of the girl child—ENOUGH ! NO MORE
No more will we say-“Please! Let her live!’
No more will we beg-“Please let her be born!”
We shall just shake  the conscience of men
And question the integrity of one and all.
O mothers! Why have  you been  all so weak?
Our Indianness has made you so very meek,
You crumble under pressure and bow to commands
For your own child , you can’t take a stand?
Absorb all strength from nature and from Gods!
Empower yourself and fight against all odds!
The world knows us as one word ‘WOMEN’
Let’s show to them, ‘WE’ are the real ‘MEN’
If I am strong who will ask me to abort,
The life of my daughter and cut it so short?
If I choose to give birth to my child
And I choose to be firm and not meek’n’ mild,
How can anyone dare to force me to bow?
Come on let us make the whole world know!
”Play not with our lives , play not with our feelings
We are the better halves, not spineless weaklings”
O fathers wake up now! And change your mind set
Restrictions are good, give them to sons instead!
Teach them to respect and honor their sisters
The cousins, classmates and their mothers.
Be firm and not be gentle, with your strong hold,
The sons would be considerate and daughters would be bold.
The cracks in the society are not caused in a day
We overlook these flaws and let insults sway.
If sons are taught to know the limit of their words
Then life will smoothly sail ,no girl will feel so scared.
Let no convict be spared, no law forgive all those
Who violate dignity of women who bring them shame and woes
If mothers and fathers join hands to shape character
Of their worthy sons and of their dear daughters,
If we don’t turn our backs and prove tough fighters,
If we raise our voice against every defaulter-
We will not have to hang our heads in shame
Reading the newspapers will not be a pain
No GUDIYA will be teased, no NIRBHAYA will then die
No JESSICA will be shot, society will not cry.
SOCIETY WILL NOT CRY, SOCIETY WILL NOT CRY
[The names Gudiya,Nirbhaya, and Jessica are all of those girls who have been victims of rape/ cruelty]
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So meaning ful and relevant!

Life, recently. Sweet mother of all that is holy and good, you guys, my heart has been so weary. It feels like my skin is flipped inside out and I’m staring wide-eyed directly into the blazing hot sun during hurricane-grade winds that just will not let up. So many of our brothers and sisters are […]

via Why I’m raising soft kids. — Choosing Kind

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hairline vs waistline !

When you are on the wrong side of 40 there are only two lines that are important to you:hair line and waistline.

All the other lines don’t matter. The first one gives you a shock every time you go in front of the mirror even to wash your hands. The cruelty is increased manifold if this washbasin mirror has a bulb on the top. The parting grows wider with each passing day and the parting pain of the once so lovely and luxurious strands becomes unbearable. So now when you walk out on the streets, its not the dresses that catch your eyes, its the dark lovely hair of ladies orthe headful of hair of men walking so confidently ahead of you which makes you lose the little self esteem you had. The hairline shows the won or lost battle against age. So now you listen to the hair lotion ads a bit too carefully. The model convinces you that it was only because of this particular lotion that he/she gained her hair and confidence both.You toy with the idea and eventually after much rumination ,give in. No sooner have you called the company whose plan has been crafted so perfectly to rob you of your savings too, that  you begin dreaming yourself as being blessed with lustrous locks heavy tresses and you can even picture the surprised jealousy on the faces of your relatives in the coming family get together. What’s more you begin to hear their addictive compliments.

Wait ! there is another line waiting for your attention and this line is inversely proportionate to the receding hairline.

Yes! this is your waistline which increases as silently and stubbornly as the withdrawing hairline. Your trousers revolt and the shirts refuse to let the buttons stay on place.Every time you try to locate the button which has flown to some remote corner in the room as a result of your tussle with the last years trousers, your wife screams and reminds you to visit the gym regularly. Your embarrassment knows no limits when she announces publicly about your steadfast vow to resume workouts and which always were pushed backseat due to your melting determination.You suddenly begin to understand the secret behind Vodafones icon “zoozoo’ which has a pear shaped body and an egg shaped face. This waistline makes you order all kinds of belts/ waist toners that scream on various channels about their unchallenged ability to reduce few inches within a few days. You are again transported to the Disneyland of your dreams. Thanks to alll the messages on Positive thinking in your Whats App groups, you fly your kite once again. No sooner have you placed the order for the latest tummy tucking belt ,you start listening to the great words from your loved ones which were never uttered.You undergo the torturous exercise of squeezing your bulging form into the socks like looking belt and keep visiting the mirror in the vain hope of seeing your pear like form to become hour glass figure.

Every sweet seems to betray you and kids start eyeing your half teaspoon more sugar in the coffee.When you go shopping and pick a shirt/ top to try, the salesman unabashedly tells you -“You need extra large size sir!’while politely taking away the shirt in your hand.You enter the parties with your stomach sucked in to face the the hired cameramen so ready to catch every glimpse of the guests. Every friend who meets you in the party keeps bragging about what all he is doing to keep himself fit and fine and you squirm at the thought of this friend taking you for the morning walk next morning.

Such are the woes of waistline and hairline , the LOCs of one’s existence.

 

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