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Fish in a pond

I LOVE BONSAIS… the majestic art form of growing miniature trees inside containers/trays or pots. In fact I am pretty sure that there will be a lot many of you who might be as passionate or more about these wonderful miniature yet realistic depictions of nature. It is like playing God and creating our own version of how nature should be, all that and more inside a pot. We love to spend hours tending and caring – doing root reduction, pinching buds, defoliating, grafting, pruning, wiring… strictly ensuring that the tree doesn’t grow – as it should. Does it mind??? it will never tell and I will never know…

Somehow I feel we have become so addicted to the joy and power of creating these miniature wonders that we have started applying the same steps to raising our children… from when they are still naturally ‘miniatures’. In the race for creating the perfect ‘wonder child’, ornamental to our social status and ego, we ruthlessly but efficiently clip their wings, pinch their dreams in the buds, cut their roots, change their inherent wiring… successfully manage to stunt their true growth, all in the name of excellence. A tree not free to grow as big and wild as it should; a child not free to thrive as per his dreams or desires. Is it right?¬†I often wonder…

I LOVE TERRARIUMS… the sealable ones with plants inside. For me it holds a mystical appeal, my very own piece of Amazon in a glass jar. There are times in life when I wish that I could get lost inside one of these terrariums…. cosy, safe and magical. Come to think of it, subconsciously this might be one of the reasons I decided to get married into the Army. The lush green, beautifully planned Army cantts we get to stay in are nothing less than pristine forests, compared to the world outside the boundary walls. The unique culture, the regimentation, community support, the facilities, the so called ‘perks’ one gets to experience inside those four walls makes for a charming way of life, like how a sealed container combined with the heat, moisture and nutrition would provide the ideal enviormental cycle for the growth of a plant.

Then why is it that whenever I look at my ornamental terrarium, the joy and marvel it awakens is always mingled with a tinge of sadness and a fair dose of guilt. Do these beautiful plants, safely enclosed and sealed inside ornate glass jars, miss growing in the warmth of Mother Nature’s lap… feeling the cheerful sunshine, the rustling winds and soothing rain on their leaves??? Or are they blissfully unaware of what they are missing… nestling cosy in the humid womb of a terrarium. They will never tell me and I will never know. Likewise in this wide, wild and wow world… rich in countries, each bursting with colourful cultures and hidden treasures, is the ‘Army way of life’ I so dearly love, like that of a ‘fish in a pond’, one who does not know the great sea?? I sometimes wonder…

I can ponder and wonder without ever being sure if my life is like that of a fish in a pond. However one thing I am quite sure about is that you guys are going to love this pond arrangement which I managed to rustle up at a moment’s notice, before a ‘surprise’ lunch, making use of some mundane items lying around… like an oven dish, a slice of hollow wood, some pebbles, stones and a porcelain house shaped piggy bank.

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TAG LINE: After making this arrangement, I ‘POND’er… is being a ‘fish in a pond’ all that bad a deal???

 

Ring The Bell

New Year’s Eve is something as a family we always look forward to. More than the ritual of bidding farewell to the old year with its trumps & dumps, five hundreds & thousands; or welcoming the new year with renewed hope & vigour… it is that yummy chunk of precious hours sandwiched between the two years – dressing up for the big night, grooving to the latest numbers, engaging in mindless games, gorging on good food & drinks, being together with your family & friends… basically having a jolly good time that we genuinely crave for.

We were indulging on this delectable slice of time on that pleasantly chilly eve of Dec 31st, 2016 at Rajendra Sinhji Institute in Bangalore, just 10 metres away from Brigade road where a huge crowd had gathered on the streets to enjoy the night to the fullest but shamefully ended up doing mass molests. The event cannot be labelled as city specific, it was mirroring the shameful incidents happening elsewhere/everywhere in/out of the country.

It must be the years of grooming, strict training, harsh punishments, tight security… the one thing an Army establishment offers you extra on its menu compared to any other public places is a rare, elusive & priceless speciality – SAFETY, more so for the fairer sex. Oops… did I just say the word ‘SEX’ aloud in a country where the mere mention of the word is a big ‘gandi baat’, like taking the name of ‘he who must not be named’ is a taboo in the Harry Potter series. By uttering the latter we invite evil, but by ignoring the former we invite such incidents.

The last two weeks saw newspapers, along with the outrage, overflowing with suggestions of how these assaults could be curbed. Many of those suggestions made complete sense be it implementation of stricter laws, harsher punishments, tighter security, encouraging openness b/w the sexes, including gender education from primary school levels & such. If endorsed these will surely help in curbing the assaults. But until & unless women are looked upon as equals or considered as important as men, you can become the first female American president, but still be helpless at the hands of beedi peeke nukkad pe wait karne wala, to mouth gandi baat or to attempt gande things… & ultimately blame it on our modesty or lack of it.

Men are the Frankenstein monsters here… but the hands that feed these ‘raja betas’ anarchistic views are not all male. It is high time we women also take as much responsibility for these incidents as the men. Till then we will be mouthing words of women power & giving speeches on liberation, all the while keeping a check on the length of our daughter’s dresses, the friends she hangs out with, her behaviour in public, the places she visits, the time she is supposed to be back… heartlessly clipping her wings & crippling her freedom all in the name of motherly love & concern.

Let the government do its part & let us do our bit too. Before we join our hands to bring about a revolution, let me beautify those lovely fingers with some delightful handcrafted rings. They were made using pom-poms, buttons, broken pendants, wedding cards, etc, etc.

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Ring-a-ring o’ roses… let’s ring the bell on such causes!!!