There Was Something Different About that Touch

May 22, 2016 , 8 Comments

Mira Sanyal, 25, Media Professional
She headed towards her CEO's cabin in a bid to show him some NFAs and take approvals before he leaves the office. It was Friday noon and she needed to complete some paperwork and hand it over to the respective teams before they get bitten by the weekend mode. She went twice to check if her boss is around but came in vain. Her phone was ringing continuously and the business heads wanted to enquire about the approval status. She peeped inside his cabin but it was still empty. As she turned back, she almost collided into her boss, unknowingly, who hurried towards his cabin. It was not deliberate yet she felt guilty and apologized. He smiled and asked her is she needs anything. She told him about the papers where she needed to accord his approval/signature. She quickly explained about the one and as she was handing it to him for his signature, he pulled himself a step forward and grabbed the papers from her palms. 

There was something about his touch that made Mira very uncomfortable. She initially dismissed it as her imagination being over judgemental. She moved back without any reaction, got the papers signed and moved out of the place. 

There was something different about that touch which made Mira uncomfortable.

Geeta Datta, 32, Divorcee
Yes, there is indeed more to Geeta than her divorce but given her post-separation trauma, she couldn't get over it and unfortunately, it was dominating her life even after months of the verdict. It wasn't that she was not trying but no matter how much she tried, there would be instances and people that would remind her of it. There would be people including her colleagues who would often talk to her and in a bid to console her, left her even more acerbic with their unwanted advances. From her landlord to the grocer to neighbours, everyone looked at her with a different perspective, with neither being empathetic but something else. She felt like being stalked by vultures who are ready to tear her apart at next probable opportunity. They thought her separation affected her personal life only in terms of an absent sex life. She was appalled by their thinking and grew even more melancholic.

When she met Rajesh with regard to a probable business alliance, little did she knew that he will become a good friend. He understood her, made her laugh and helped her even find a new accommodation in town. As a goodwill gesture, she invited him one afternoon for lunch at her new place. Before leaving, he took her hand in his and thanked her profusely for the good food and hospitality.

Except for a momentary awkwardness, Geeta didn't felt any discomfort. There was something different about his touch that did not send her any sexual vibes but rather comforted her. 

The difference in Touch
Touch is a wonderful sense that is imbibed in the world, from humans to animals to plants. While dictionary signifies it as mere an act of putting a hand or finger, on in contact with someone, there is more to a touch. It has a healing, soothing and comforting property. It also has an ugly face to it. Probably the sensory like any other sense helps one to differentiate one experience from other.

Geeta and Mira were two individuals, two different women under two different circumstances. They both were subjected to two different type of contact. I call them "unspoken but well heard" contacts. While it is very easy to sit from a distance and judge them basis the circumstances but only the person who had come in contact has the ability to feel it. In this case, Mira and Geeta became the victims of some pre-conceived, prevalent notions that took them around different, and more bitter experiences of life. It is not that society is harsh towards only women. Well, harshness is such a quality that does not differentiate human from another human, old or young, girl or boy, child or adult, black or white. It is the insensitivity of the human nature that creates such discord. 

While every touch is different and you have to decide what comforts you and what makes you uncomfortable. When something comforts, do appreciate it. When it makes you uncomfortable, do stand up and take a stand.

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There is a Mother in Mother in Law too #HappyMothersDay

May 08, 2016 7 Comments

"Since God cannot be everywhere, he made mothers"

It was 9:00 am in the morning. Richa packed her purse, checked her makeup and hurried outside her room. She ignored her in-laws sitting in the drawing room as usual and stormed out of the main door. She reached out to her car keys and drove towards her office, playing her favorite music till she reached her office.

Richa is an upwardly mobile woman, hailing from the sleepy town of Nanded, Maharashtra. She worked as a hardware engineer in an MNC and stayed with her husband in a rented apartment in Pune. She was the elder of the two daughters hailing to a middle-class family and took it upon her to support her parents and younger sister even after her marriage to Kaushal, four years ago.

It was a love marriage wherein Kaushal and his family supported her whole-heartedly right from the wedding ceremony to the decision of staying away for her career, to continuing her job and almost everything. Her father was a retired insurance agent and mother, a housewife. She was very close to her family and including her sister, who was equally qualified, working with a software firm and living in the same city as she.

It was the month of April and her in-laws were visiting her from a quaint little town near Kashi where they were living post-retirement. Kaushal was keen on his parents to stay with him, a decision that did not go well with Richa. She tried different tacts in her book to disconnect with them including not being at home till late in the night, spending time with her sister and friends, locking herself in her room and phone, ignoring them at all possible occasion including festivals among others.

The in-laws were simple, loving people who were quite fond of her daughter in law but were unable to deal with her frequent mood swings, were in shock initially with her behavior, followed by denial and later acceptance. Kaushal, being a doting son and a loving husband would often try to cover his wife's acts and assuage his parents to stay with him. He promised Richa's mother to take care of her happiness, a one-sided promise that ruined his personal life and equations with his own family. He tried very hard to strike a healthy balance but it was not in Richa's skin to co-habitat with others.

She felt it is a breach of her individuality and was always up with silly excuses to blame others and create a needless rift with her extended family.

Well, Richa is not the only one, but there are many other women like Richa who use Feminism as a tool for their Shenanigans. They abuse the ill of women related issue but using them as the cue to wash their hands, insensitively. They use sensitive issues like dowry, women rights, divorce etc as the tool to make their means work.

It is sad and incredible.

Who is to blame and why?
We often forget that other women are also someone's mother, daughter, sister or wife. We are so self-absorbed with our emotions and understanding of a family that we fail to see that there are emotions and world that exist beyond us too.

It is a mother who inculcates these values in us. It is the early upbringing in our lives that influence our larger part of lives. Whether it is son or daughter, a mother is instrumental in imbibing right values.

This is not just about Richa but many like her who twist and turn their world to suit their conveniences. Some of them end up with divorces, a broken marriage, and big alimony. Little do they realize that money cannot soothe all the pain that life may bring. Youth does not last long, neither the arrogance.

If you are wondering, what happened with Richa, well, her in-laws moved back to their small house near Kashi. Kaushal who was a doting husband moved away from her. They lived a mechanical life of office at home and home to office. Seeing Richa's chemistry with her family, her sister's marriage was called off before finalization.The groom's family in a bid to learn more about the girl and the family enquired about her sister's wedded life. While Kaushal's parents lived tight-lipped, Richa's own behavior became the reason for the discord in her sister's marital life. Her arrogance that she was earning better than her husband, fell apart as she found herself alone, managing all her expenses. Relatives first blamed Kaushal and his family, soon they could see the real reason and She tried starting a new life by marrying Shailesh but her past haunted him. Her second marriage was disastrous. Unlike Kaushal who bore all the expenses, Shailesh demanded his wife to contribute equally as she was earning too. She threatened to walk out and he happily showed her the way. Her selfish acts delineated her from her sister who realized the folly of Richa and refused to take her in.

Richa applied for a movement to the USA which was accepted. She moved to the USA but was given handshake due to company's restructuring which focussed on employing the natives over migrants or Non-residents. She wanted to go back to Kaushal but that was not possible now. Richa with her shrewd ways spoiled her life and a family that could have been her pillar of strength.

I Promise mom
Every mother should teach their daughters to be compassionate and accommodating. Every daughter should promise her mother that she will build a home and not the house. Of course, I am not talking about the unfortunate lives here. There are different segments that exist in society. While not every mother in law could be a mother, not every mother is a "monster-in-law". A woman should promise her mom to take care of her mother in law like they took care of their mother. Mother in laws should love them back

A woman is a born mother

If a mother in law needs to understand what her daughter in law wants, a daughter in law to has to understand what love her mother-in-law wants. If every mother in law was daughter in law once, every daughter in law will be a mother-in-law one day. If they are not, they should still believe in the fairness of Mother Nature.


PS: The names are fictional and used for the narrative. No intention to harm any animal, tree or human being.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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Of Indian Education, Chalk & Duster and, Movie Review

May 05, 2016 , 2 Comments

Film: Chalk & Duster
Cast: Shabana Azmi, Juhi Chawla, Divya Datta, Rishi Kapoor, Girish Karnad, Jackie Shroff, Aryan Babbar, Sameer Soni, Upasana Singh, Zareena Wahab, 
Director: Jayant Gilatar
Genre: Social

Synopsis: KantaBen school gets an ambitious and shrewd New Principal who wants to soar high at any cost. She works her way from being an administrator of the school to the New Principal of the school and brings forth some very unpleasant and astute changes in the school, leading to teacher dissatisfaction and resentment.

In an unfortunate turn of event, she terminates one of the senior and very efficient Math teacher Vidya who couldn't bore the news and gets an heart attack, leading to hospitalization. The news reaches the rival school and creates a media controversy and unrest among other teachers. The terminated teacher's best friend- Jyoti, another efficient science teacher refuses to get bullied down by the new Principal and her cruel machiavellianism, resigns and resorts to media for support and outreach. She with the help of an honest journalist Bhairavi, manages to create enough stir and motion against the school management, towards justice for Vidya.

About the story: The film touches right chord when it talks about commercialization of education and raises the long pending issue of teachers and their lower status/income in the society. While the topic is sensitive, the treatment is a little dramatic and cinematic at some points. especially the whole inteview video going viral and media's over efficiency over the matter. Right, if our media is that efficient to fight for right causes, farmers in India would not be committing suicides, while a certain sect of media waxing elocution on sudden rise of intolerance in India.

The story is simple, heart touching and relevant. At the same time, it is slightly lopsided which makes it unreal at times. Nevertheless, if that helps to stir up an important subject like this, why not?

The Subject: Being somebody who always wanted to be a teacher, the subject is very close to my heart. I have seeen numerous people churning to be teachers esp in Govt schools but very rarely you find good teachers. The education system in the country lacks standardization or is it too much of a certain standard that is being followed in our educational societies? While the goveernment had taken many initiatives for the upliftment of poor and teachers, the question remains is if that is helping education system or not? My experience has seen more of ineeficient teachers who are in profession for either quota, secured income or otherwise. However, I have seen good teachers too but like I said, very less in ratio to inefficient ones. I would love to see more good examples and look forward for improvement in education system where a teacher judges an answer sheet basis the handwriting and breadth of papers filled, in a bid to complete the evaluation job and play on volume by evaluating large quantity of examination papers where they are being paid Rs 4 or so to judge a student's merit or ability. Yes, it is funny, ridiculous and very demeaning for students who have worked hard on education but have to prove their worth by submitting big fat answer sheets with cinematographic artwork.

Acting & Screenplay: The ladies leads the pack here. While all the actors including Juhi Chawla and Divya Dutta did a good job, the outstanding one came from veteran thespian Shabana Azmi and Zarina Wahab.

Actors like Sameer Soni and Aryan babbar were wasted in their respective roles or is it the case of bad acting that we may concur? 

The Rita Skeeter kind of characterization of Richa Chadda was inspirational [for our journalist if they want to] in pool of cliche surplus. Screenplay is decent and cinematography by Baba Azmi is good too. 

Numerounity Overall View:  Chalk & Duster is Sensitive but little too Cinematic. The not so out of box climax in KBC format diluted the senstivity for the topic for a while but gave a cinematic relief . However, if your audience is primarily kids and families, it does entertain. Hope the governing bodies find even more creative solution to such issues and problems. The not so creative jingle of BODMAS was more horrible than entertaining but Pandit Hari Prasad brought good old trigonometric memories.

Overall, the film does a good job in highlighting some very pertinent issues in our society with regards to education and politics around education. The education in india is indeed a sorry affair. This may be largely due to poor governance and over commercialization of basic education. Forget the state of affairs, movies like Chalk and Duster do not get enough dues and often are lost behind the big banner releases and their item numbers

"Great Subject, Good Actors, Mediocre Treatment" 

Numerounity Reviews

My Rating [solely for highlighting the issues] 3.5/5

In hope of seeing that school of dreams soon, someday :)

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