Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Brave Girl

This is a true incident that happened on the evening of November 24th. However, since I did not take permission from her, allow me to change her name. She is my colleague; and let's call her Shalini.

Have you seen street urchins throw stones at buses on the road? I have, but havent bothered about it much, coz it seems to be just children throwing small stones, most of which do not reach the moving vehicle. But what happens, if the stone is comparatively big, and it hits the glasses?

After a long day at work, Shalini was going home by a bus, when this happened. Someone threw a stone at the bus, and the projectile broke through the glass and hit her right on the face. Poor girl, she was not even on the window seat and fate had selected her.

Feeling blood, she screamed for the first aid box. Luckily there was one on the bus, and few fellow passengers helped her to clear the glass bits. Any other person in her place would get numbed in this situation, but her sharp brain quickly estimated the most prominent location where she could call her parents to. She asked the driver to start the bus, while someone called the police. In fact, they met the police on the way. The men asked the women on board to help them in carrying Shalini to the police, but no one came forward. Clutching her cell phone and purse, Shalini had to walk to the car herself. Her spectacles had fallen somewhere, perhaps broken too, but she could not think about them right then. Since she was bleeding profusely and her eyes hurt, she was sure that she needed medical attention urgently. She asked the police to take her to a hospital, and inform her parents at home. Two people from the bus volunteered to be with her all the time, till her parents arrived. The government hospital where the police had taken Shalini gave her very limited care, and wanted her parents to take her elsewhere for some tests since their own equipments were out of order. This was when they decided to shift her to a private hospital close to their home, and at least, where all facilities were under one roof. Her brother, much elder to most of us, took charge hereafter and completed all formalities.

It was much after the incident when we came to know about all this: next morning. When we rushed to the hospital, her face was swollen and cut; and we could hardly keep ourselves steady. Her mother told us that this was a much cleaner look, while Shalini jokingly told us how she vomitted everywhere: in the police car, government  hospital and also after her admission to the private setup.

We were relieved to see that Shalini was out of the trauma of the incident. She is young and unmarried, and we were worried that a face injury could disturb her future. She would be undergoing surgery soon to set right a few cracked, displaced and depressed bones... and only time will tell how she sails through this. A sharp and brave girl that she is, Shalini would be back with a bang!


P.S: My appeal to all of you is that please condemn such incidences... they prove nothing, yet hurt inncocent people. Why throw stones at buses?

And if someone is hurt, please come forward and help. Delay on your part can cause a life loss, even.

An update:
Shalini (actual name: Rupa) has written about her experience in detail. Read it here on her blog.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Two Extra Hours

"What would you do if you had two extra hours to yourself everyday?".. a simple question!

My first reaction was, "Nah, I don't need any more! Isn't 24 enough?"

Pondering, I realized there are few simple things that suffer because we are always short of time.

For one, I would Read the Newspaper diligently. I usually leave for office quite early, and can take a look at the paper only after I get back. This actually means glancing at the headlines, absorbing about 5%. 30 minutes for a fair scan through the bunch.

Number two on the list is Have Breakfast properly.  My morning schedule on weekdays is jampacked, and due to any abberation caused by extended sleep or any unforeseen event, the axe is almost invariably on the breakfast. I know that's wrong, but... . 15 minutes. Total 45 minutes.

Another thing that tends to get squeezed on weekdays is my bath. With two extra hours every day, I would like to block 15 minutes flat for a peaceful Bath. 15 minutes. Total 1 hour.

I would try to attend to my health (read fitness) a bit. I know it is all about a few free hand exercises, and it takes little dedicated time. But who has it? Anyone who does tries to inspire me by saying, "Do you not have 20 minutes for yourself?" .. Maybe I do, but you have to allow me to be lazy at times. So maybe I can carve out some time out of this "Extra time". 20 minutes. Total 1 hour 20 minutes.

You know what I would do for my home? Do the dusting everyday. I live in Delhi, where dust particles travel in the air.. and settle on anything that comes in the way. I just cannot inspire myself to brush it daily.. and would go for this chore only once a week. It requires 10 minutes, believe me, if you do it daily. So there you are. 10 minutes. Total 1.5 hours.

Well dusting is not the only thing that requires day to day attention... so allow me to budget 10 more minutes to miscellaneous housework.You know how it is... something or the other needs to be stuck, or replaced, or any such thing that remains pending till the weekend.. and maybe gets postponed to the next due to some unforeseen event or sheer laziness. That totals to 1 hour 40 minutes.

And last but not the least, I would like to allot 15 minutes to cooking and 5 minutes to sheer laziness. You know cooking gives you an unearthly pleasure.. the joy of creating a tasty concoction from raw ingredients is undescribe-able. My busy schedule has drained all enthusiasm out of me, but I look forward to instances of trying out new recipes.. or improvising the existing ones.

The last 5 minutes is a buffer that would get fitted wherever I feel like, mostly to the morning sleep. Winter is slowly setting in Delhi, and who would mind 5 extra minutes of sleep?

I pose this question to you... What would you do if you had two extra hours to yourself everyday?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Delhi International Arts Festival

Delhi International Arts Festival - a multi dimensional, multi venue annual extravaganza of all kinds of art forms: music, dance, films, theatre, what not. Somehow, it maintains a low profile and enjoys very selective publicity. What I mean is that although I live in Delhi, listen to the radio and move about in the city, glance through newspapers, I detect absolutely nominal coverage. My fate with this event is somehow jinxed.. it sometimes coincides with my holidays, sometimes I dont realize its on. This year too, this 15 day festival from 31st October to 15th November was about to give me the slip. But luckily I chanced upon a newspaper advertisment on the 7th. I checked out the website mentioned therein almost immediately to download the schedule of events.
I wanted to go on 7th itself, but could manage to land up only until the 10th. I chose the venue that was most convenienet for me, and also had two events scheduled on that day. Unfortunately, my husband was busy and could not accompany me. But so strong was my urge to break out of the daily routine, that I was mentally prepared to go alone. However, a junior from college who is also training under my husband, joined me.  Both of us landed up at the India Habitat Centre to attend a musical performance by a singer from Israel called Noa. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, her voice is strong, yet melodious. We could not understand the lyrics.. but who needs words to enjoy good music? She transported us to a different world altogether. Later she sung a song in English and made the audience sing with her too.

We slipped out of the music recital to an auditorium where a classical dance performance was scheduled. Although Bharatnatyam is a common danceform, the performance was so divine that it seemed completely new to me. The dancer, Vani Ganpathy, herself explained the lyrics and the choreographical interpretations so that we could enjoy her renditions, although we could not understand the lyrics of the background music (which was mostly in Tamil).

I felt strangely liberated with this break, and although I missed my family badly, I came back the next day to watch fringe dance. It consisted of a section on different forms of Manipuri dance, with their colourful costumes, and very delicate touch of martial arts. The last section was by a contemporary dance by a professional team called Danceworks. They are based in two Indian cities, with number of international dancers and more than 5000 students. Isn't that impressive?   

You must be wondering where are the photos.. but I am sorry, somehow my photos havent come out well. And my video recordings are long and heavy. So, please pardon me. I shall post few once I get some from my friends. And I promise you, that I am going to be back next year!