10

Good Bye Aruna! (Guest post by the father)

I hope everyone is aware of the story of Aruna Shanbaug. It was a gross insult of humanity and justice. I remember seeing this story on Bhanwar, a show on an Indian TV channel and being shocked. From what I read and what my parents told me, she was engaged to get married to a junior Doctor she loved. He cared for her for 6 years till he got married and moved abroad, and until 1988 he and his wife would visit her at the hospital at times. The Dean had covered up a lot of the crime because he wanted to preserve their ‘honor’. It led to a huge failure of the whole case and the criminal getting away with peanuts for punishment. 

My father was greatly disturbed that day after he read the news of her passing away finally. He wrote the following to express his emotions and sent it over to me. 

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Good Bye Aruna. We will miss you badly.

Aruna Shanbaug died on 18th May 2015. A life started as a young, bright girl with a caring nature and full of dreams came to tragic end.

But did she actually live?

She died on 27th Nov 1973 when she was sexually assaulted and strangled by a pervert product of the society. He was lust and cruelty personified. It is very difficult to believe that such a man can exist in an educated, advanced society.

Aruna paid for being good natured, affable human being. She paid for resisting a man’s unjustified desires.

Who killed Aruna? The ward boy who assaulted but cannot be charged for murder, the society which produced such a person, the system which could do no justice to her or we all as a part of the nation to which she belonged?

What is it if not the mockery of justice? Aruna was sentenced to 42 years of pitiable life at the tender age of 26. But the man responsible for such ghastly act was given only 6 years in prison, released and may be leading a happy life without a shade of shame. Even the charges framed against him were nothing in comparison to his crime. Now when everything is lost, the learned legal brains are engaged in futile discussions whether he can be charged with murder!

I, a nobody, a common man, aam admi, am ashamed of the society, the judicial system and all males. Let nobody care but it was saddest day for me, the common man, when I came to know about the official death of Aruna.

Aruna, please forgive us. We all are guilty for what you had to undergo. We are guilty that we could not make amends to you and we are also guilty as we know we are not sure whether we can protect any more Aruna in future. This is lifetime shame for us.

No praise is fulsome for the doctors and nurses who looked after Aruna with such love and care which only God can show. We are proud of them and bless them.

Hope Aruna gets best opportunity in the next birth and is compensated for all the sufferings. Let’s wish we see her in the next birth enjoying decent life which she deserved. Till then good bye Aruna. We really, really miss you.

26

Motion Se Emotion

If you are easily disgusted by talks about poopies, please DO NOT continue further. If you cannot stand talks about toilet habits, please STOP NOW. Or maybe you can just watch the Piku trailer. Whatever. MOO I know you will hate this post! Ani, I am sure you are already fascinated.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION ALERT

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Have you guys seen Piku yet? Or at least seen the trailer? I will link it down below so that you can watch it. It is pretty cute and funny.

Regarding the toilet humor, quite literally, I found it hilarious and one that resonates with my household pretty much.

We are a family of people with badddd stomachs. And it includes the dog as well. Our daily discussions start in the morning with the quality of motion. My parents and I are hoarders of Sat Isapgol(hemp flax?!?) which is a natural fibrous laxative. The most exciting thing to have happened when I was newly exploring San Diego after my new move to USA, was discovring packets of Isapgul at an Indian grocery store. It was magnificent.

My father is always complaining about how he is either constipated or he has diarrhea. He will claim he needs to eat less because his stomach is not okay, but you don’t see that in reality. How the heck is he still so skinny, I have no idea. I remember hearing the same dialogue every day of my life since childhood, “I will eat light tonight, my tummy feels bloated.” My mother has issues with fissures because she ignored a lot of her digestive health as a child and also childbirth pretty much screws women up. So, she is not supposed to be eating very spicy, ginger-ey or garlic-ey food. Yet she does, and proceeds to complain about it till you get sick of it and yell at her, like, if she knows she is not supposed to eat those things, then why would she! She is also allergic to eggs and screws up her stomach with even a piece of cake, or anything that has eggs in it. Yet, she will eat that and then complain all night, morning and day.

I, am worse, in many ways. My laziness is at such a height, that when I was a kid, I wouldn’t go for days, just because it seemed like so much work. I had learned how to control myself, despite all the warnings I got from my parents all the time. It made travelling in trains and buses easier for sure. It annoys me to death, the way my mom will go to the loo in the train first thing in the morning, and will come back and ask for the paper soap and napkin in front of the ENTIRE compartment of people. I cannot stand the thought of going for my business in the train. Ewwwwwwwwww. When visiting India for the first time after starting my Masters, I had to go to Indore for a cousin’s wedding by train, within a couple of days of landing. While there, I made a fabulous decision of drinking 4-5 glasses of yummy jaljeera, in that sweltering heat, and god knows what kind of water. My mom always makes me carry a bottle of water from home since a 9 year old me got Typhoid. The jaljeera binge looked like the worst idea ever when it ruined my time. My grand plans of eating all the awesome chaat, that is so famous and that I thoroughly miss, went down the, errr, flush. The train ride back home was miserable, since I was shooting from both the ends and had a fever going on. The lesser said the better. I remember eating only ice cream for the next 2-3 days. It was just horrible.

I am usually oscillating between the two ends of the spectrum. It’s either nothing, or diarrhea. I tend to develop the latter at the time of an exam or interview. I have learnt to keep Pudin Hara(a green mint capsule) with me ALL the time. If I eat Thai food, I need it guaranteed. If I eat spicy street food in India, I will need it. If I have an important meeting or presentation, like hell I will need it. On the day of my flight back to USA in January, I spent the lat few hours at home flitting in and out of the loo. My uncle would call to talk to me and say bye and he called me 4 times, and the times I was inside. He was laughing because he knows my agony way too well. His 10 year old boy has the same stomach and mental disorder. Do you know the feeling when you are super sure that if you dig in the ground at a certain point, you WILL find treasure, but it’s a fruitless effort? Sighhhhhh. The hurt and the disappointment. 

You know, if I am going out or have a party to attend in the evening, I start planning my outfit as soon as I learn about the event. The next thing that pops in my hair is about when to wash my hair. And the third thing is, how and when to go and empty my stomach. If I have an early morning road trip, touristy thing, my running events, I HAVE to wake up so that I keep half an hour to get ready and around 45 minutes just to force my stomach to behave itself and let it go….(Elsa style from Frozen). The day I accomplish this, I have a certain glow about me. 

When I lived with roommates in Lonavala during my Engg, we were a super conscious bunch who overcame eventually the need to tell that they are going to need the loo for quite some time. It was 4-5 girls and one restroom. It had to happen. Thankfully the bathroom and loo were separate! But during the deed, we would be constantly flushing because OMG, lest someone hears us doing something that every human being HAS to do. One of the roommates, IB, did not think we could hear. So we ended up naming her Ploppity Plop. 😀 In the States, we have the exhaust fans installed in restrooms, which makes me feel so much better. But I have my own bathroom in my room now, so I am at peace. At work, I tend to go for any business when no one else is there. I don’t know why, but I need complete privacy. If someone comes when I am in a stall, I go deathly still until they have left. Mind you, my work starts at 7.30 am. It is way too early for even my head to function, it’s a long way ahead for the tummy. I end up going for the deed at work mostly, after making sure that all the stalls are empty. I am not a big coffee drinker except an occasional iced coffee or well, free coffee in office(which is disgusting by an unanimous opinion by people). But I have discovered the potency of just 2-3 sips of hot coffee or green tea. That’s all I need. The flip side? Since 3 weeks, my weekends at home have been extremely disappointing. I hope I am not getting addicted. Drink more water, PB!!

I haven’t even mentioned about the dog yet. Moony’s sessions are just funny. First, in order to avoid making the surroundings dirty, we carry a newspaper page with us. Now in USA, you get baggies with which you scoop the poop up, and I have done that for my old roommate’s dog. But I feel it just leads to landfill and my mom is more worried about the cost bit. So newspaper works better. Now as soon as Moony squats and gets into the position, my mom quickly put the paper right under him. She just has to pick up the paper after, ball it up and put it into trash. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Our day is spent trying to dissect the quantity and the quality of his poop. My father claims that he can even read Moony’s facial expression to figure out how satisfied he was with the outcome. I am told about all this even on Skype. Sometimes he doesn’t seem too happy with his business, so we know that an extra trip outside is going to happen. Sometimes we know he needs to eat his bit of grass to calm the sounds from his tummy. As he is getting older, we see all signs of an older grandpa in him. His tummy is much weaker now. You can hear his tummy making gurgling sounds a lot of times. He is turning into Mr. Stinkaroo as well.

We are strange people with stranger toilet habits. One thing that I totally miss about my half an hour on the pot in India, is reading my Pune Times or Pune Mirror. Such was our level of dedication that my dad had installed a makeshift rack to put the newspaper. US weekly just doesn’t cut it. During exam times, I used to sneak in my Nancy Drews and other books. It was the only place where my mom wouldn’t suspect me of any funny business. Although the Indian loos in the old houses would screw my knees. I do not recommend squatting for 30 min straight. 

Squatting reminds me that it is supposed to be the best position. So, Shawn and I ordered three of these things called the Squatty Potty, One for each of us and I actually took one to India to gift my parents. It was quite appreciated. 😀

16

Justice for sale

My newest Facebook comment on Arjun Kapoor and Salman Khan got me 99 comments. Out of those 99 comments, there were comments from 2 guys who I think are pretty brain dead, defending Salman Khan, calling me Congressi Sonia Gandhi and an unforgiving sinner. 8 people texted me to ask what is wrong with my FB friend list. 😀

 

All and sundry are definitely aware of the Salman Khan case that has been doing the rounds. He allegedly was driving drunk on a night in 2002 and drove over a footpath injuring a few people and killing one. The case has been languishing in sessions court since then and finally he was awarded a sentence of 5 years for driving under the influence of alcohol, culpable homicide not amounting to murder and for not having a driving license. Within a record time of an hour, he was awarded bail by high court for 2 days, and then after 2 days, the High Court passed a super quick judgement to squash his jail term and set up a new date. Tareekh pe tareekh, tareekh pe tareekh, anyone?

  

It makes me laugh(and shed tears on the side) that the lawyers and courts are tumbling over each other in their over eagerness to please Salman Bhai. Just a day before that, I read the saddest report on rapes, false naxal allegations on women and blatant violation of human rights in the tribal belt of India. I read up everything I could on Soni Sori and have been disturbed ever since. There are thousands of under trials who have been counting months , and some even years, till they get atleast a date in court for bail proceedings. I don’t know what to make from this.

There is this Arjun Kapoor who claims that no matter what anyone, or any court says, he completely believes that Salman Khan cannot do such a deed. There are celebrities claiming that footpaths are not meant to be sleeping on. There are hordes of celebrities visiting his place as if someone has died. Well, someone did die. In 2002. Under his vehicle, which is still being used by the way. He had the guts to send his driver to claim that he was the culprit, and he woke up after 13 years in order to ‘realize his mistake’. Kamal Khan who was a witness and had given a statement that Salman was indeed behind the steering wheel, disappeared one fine day. Another person died, who kept his claim alive that Salman WAS drunk and WAS driving. Having been tortured according to several reports, and being shunned by family and friends, he passed away literally on the streets after contracting TB. What a sad, sad end. I wonder where this generous Human Being was then.

Now, my mom and I are fans of his style and his movies. My mom had a huge crush on him when Maine Pyar Kiya came out. I fell in love with Salman Khan and Madhuri tai after Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. I whistled loudly during Ek Tha Tiger when he swaggered around. I don’t want to count his remakes, because I hate them to be honest. I feel they are made for people who have a really, really low IQ, even though I love masala films. I am extremely intrigued about his affairs and lap up all stories and old pictures of him and Aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif. But that is where my love ends. 

My father cannot stand Salman Khan. He gets mad when mom or me drool over him. He always says how can we like a person who is such a ‘gunda’, kills people, hits women, claims to have conquered all his actresses. He cannot stand the movie Hum Saath Saath Hain because they show Prem to be the most generous hearted person ever, whereas during the same movie he set out to hunt a protected species of rare deer with other imbeciles like Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre and Tabu. He chased a deer round and round till it was tired, then shot and injured him, and then cut its neck off with a knife. Real macho, Mr. Khan, real macho.

There are countless people who insist that his ‘mistake’ should be forgiven because he has done a huge amount of charitable work. According to that logic, Bill and Melinda Gates should be handed a couple of grenades and a free rein with a license to kill. His nonprofit Being Human began in 2008 or 2009. Only if our judiciary wouldn’t have been asleep for so long and had passed the judgement within a couple of years, would there have been less furor over this judgement? I wonder. I am not even harping on the fact that he claimed of drinking water in a bar when he was a known alcoholic, short tempered, egoistic enough to think he is always right(he still is if you watch Bigg Boss *rolling my eyes*), he hid inside his home till the cops came to get him after running away from the site.

 I am sure, after 10-15 years when the judgement finally passes, he will be fined Rs. 500 for driving without a license in the end and will be let go. 

But the charity will continue.

Whatever helps him sleep at night.

13

Flipflops in the sunshine

There are times when I curse living so far away from home, when it’s just way too hot, or way too chilly, or I can’t find good things to do or good food to be devoured.

Then there are times that this place makes me fall in love with my surroundings again. And again. Saturday was one such time.

 

Shawn and I have been hanging out with Melissa(an ex project engineer with my company, she got laid off, she is not too upset :D) since last two weeks at her place and in a beach park at Newport Beach to watch her boyfriend Sebas play Rugby. He plays for the Back Bay league team and they are pretty serious with their uniforms, and physio and waterboys. Unlike us softballers who show up in a Bazinga tshirt and hurl insults on our own teammates. Yup.

The previous to last Saturday was rather gloomy, and super cold with some drizzling rain. I was wearing two hoodies and borrowed jeans on my shorts. Even the hot chocolate in our hands wasn’t warming us up.

But last Saturday was just bliss. BJ’s yummy deep dish pizza was had, berry cider was downed, Peanut(Missy’s li’l Yorkie) was teased. We had lounging chairs at the park and later at the beach. I had my floppy wicker hat on. I realized how wonderful a 28 degree C sunlight feels on the skin mixed with a cool sea breeze. I have a crazy tan going on though where my legs look like I am wearing permanent stockings, even after religiously applying sunscreen. Sheesh. 

Someone was very tired after a nice run on the beach and a hearty poop.