Commonwealth G(Sh)ames!

Yes, thats what the Commonwealth Games,one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world, seems to be turning into- a BIG shame. And all because of a bunch of power-hungry and corrupt people who have been dubiously claiming to run our country.

I was ecstatic and immensely proud, when I got to know, a few years back, that my country was going to host the event in 2010, and even prouder upon knowing that Delhi, the city where I was born and bred and which I love with all my heart, was where the Games was going to be held.

But the last few months, that is, ever since the news about the shoddy handling of the CWG project has bee doing the rounds, have had me anything but feel proud.

I was in Delhi last month. And despite finding the entire city dug up with piles and piles of muck and garbage at every other corner, I did have a small tinge of hope that things will be fine as we drew in closer to the start of the games.

But when reports of misappropriation of funds, of mishandling of this project by our very own politicians started emerging,the very hope began to dwindle.

And the last two days, in particular have had me go through a gamut of emotions, none of which is happy in nature, by the way.

I’m furious, depressed, frustrated, saddened to see the organizers handle this project so callously thereby tarnishing my country’s image in front of the whole world.

With the Commonwealth Federation terming the Athletes Village as “filthy and uninhabitable”, an under-construction foot over-bridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsing, causing grave injuries to people, athletes from different parts of the world either withdrawing their participation or delaying their arrival, with grave concerns of security growing, I’ve never felt so embarrassed as an Indian.

10 more days to go for the Games to start and it seems there’s still a lot of work to be finished. Even though our leaders are insisting that the Games will be one of the most successful ever, yet going by the photographs that are being circulated across the web, of the conditions of the games village, I really dont know what to expect.

The BBC has put up images on its website showing conditions inside rooms at the Athletes Village .

I’m forced to wonder if this is why we elect our leaders. If this is why we trust them. If this is why we pay our taxes. So that they can stuff our hard-earned money in their own pockets and squander the country’s resources with no accountability whatsoever?

Our country may have got freedom from the British and even found her way to be a part of the Commonwealth Nations. But has she freed herself from the vicious web of corruption, malfeasance, red-tapism? NO. Will she ever? I hope so. As the saying goes ‘Hope costs nothing’. So lets hope.

Last week has been very hectic, and I’ve hardly been blogging. But the happenings in the last two days have affected me so much that I couldn’t help myself from jotting a few thoughts down. Just had to take it out of my system! Phew!

Life’s little joys…mean the world sometimes

Sometimes life’s little joys bring the widest, purest of smiles, give you moments that you want to cherish forever.

Yesterday, while on our way back from the pool, Namnam had wanted to hear a song which for some reason I was unable to play in the car. So I suggested we took the CD home and played it there. No sooner had I played the song, than Namnam started shaking her hips. Seeing her excitement, I couldnt stop myself and joined her in shaking a leg or two. And in no time the two of us were dancing away to glory!

Now, I’m an absolute non-dancer. It will not be wrong to say that I have two left feet when it comes to dancing. I’ve never felt very comfortable while dancing. So much so that I get very conscious of my surroundings when I’m asked to dance.Forget about surroundings, parties or gatherings, I cant get myself to dancing even when I’m alone :D.

But yesterday, I just didn’t care two hoots about the world. Not that the world was watching me, but I didnt even care about my own inhibitions. I was probably putting even Sunny Deol to shame. But who cared! All I noticed was how happy Namnam was when I was dancing with her, how much it meant to her. All I cared about ware those smiles that lit up her face when she had me & R join her on the ‘dance floor’. Oh yes, R joined us too, a while later. And the three of us found the perfect way to close our 5 day loooong weekend!

Thats how little it takes sometimes, isnt it, to make one realize how some moments, howsoever small they seem, can bring so much of happiness? In our rush to catch up with our lives, many a times we forget to live these small, but precious moments to the fullest, dont you think?

Anyway here’s the song that had the three of us dance our heart out!

Story-telling, the Grandparents’ way!

Pallavi had put up a status on facebook, a couple of days back wherein she mentioned how she couldn’t remember who Rama’s father was while narrating Ramayana to her son.

The status made me laugh out loud thinking about how well I could relate with her situation. I’ve had moments where, while reading out stories to Namnam, I have felt completely lost about certain characters and instances. So much so that I’ve even left them mid-way and tucked the books back in her shelf. * Shamefaced*.

But what Pal’s status also made me do was reminisce about my own story telling sessions with my grand parents. About the wonderful memories that are still so much a part of me.

The formative years of my childhood were spent at my maternal grandparents’ house. As both my parents were working and did not feel very comfortable having babysitters or Nannies around, it was only natural that they left me and my brother in our grandparents’ care, who lived just a few blocks away.

Story-telling sessions were an integral part of our stay at my grandparents. Especially stories from our Indian Mythology. The sessions were a wonderful way of bonding with our grandparents. We learned about the vastness of our culture and tradition from the different stories that they told us. They helped us widen our imagination ad infinitum.

Whenever I wanted to hear a story the first person I ran to, be it day or night was my grandmother,my Ammamma. She had some of the most precious pearls in her kitty. Her innate way of narrating stories made me want to live in those mythical eras. It was as though the characters sprang to life every time I pictured them in my mind.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

To give an instance which is still so vivid, when she told us about Jatayu, while narrating Ramayana, I remember forming a very ferocious and huge image, in my mind, of a vulture fighting it out with the giant Ravana. And then the image would transform into a very meek, broken,beaten bird lying on floor hoping desperately that Rama would come by just in time to be informed about his wife’s abduction. I remember feeling desperate myself at that point of the story, no matter how many times I would have heard it from her. Each time Ammamma reached that point I could feel that sadness and desperation creeping inside me.

Image courtesy Google Images

Another instance that I can give is when Ammamma narrated the story of Mohini, the only female avatar of Lord Vishnu, who tricked the Asuras by her enchanting ways, into handing her the Amrit, the nectar of immortality, and distributed it among the Devas. I remember having an image of a vast ocean with hundreds of Devas standing ashore to drink the Amrit. And for some strange inexplicable reason I imagined the Devas standing in a line, like school children waiting to get their candies!! Even the ocean that the Devas stood in front of, had the power to churn out Amrit, in my imagination!

One can find a lot of information about Mohini and the different versions and legends of her exploits in Wikipedia

While still on Devas or Suras, to this day I cant approve of them as genuine or godly as they are made out to be. I always felt they were a selfish, opportunist bunch who took advantage of their appearance and proximity to Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, to get the better of their infamous brothers, the Asuras. Thats my perception though.

Even Achachan, my grandfather had an engaging way of reading Bhagwat-Geeta, Adhyatma Ramayanam or any book for that matter. Hearing him and then having him explain it made us understand the essence of Indian Mythology in a far better way than we could if we had read them ourselves.

Stories begin to look and sound so much better when narrated by grandparents, dont they? I’ve observed how engrossed Namnam looks when her grandparents tell or read stories to her. I do read stories to her from Amar Chitra Katha, Panchatantra and other books but I know its so not the same as being narrated by the grandparents. They are a true blessing!

Being away from home, I still feel though, that Namnam is missing out on a huge chunk of fun moments and learning from her grandparents. But I’m glad whenever she gets to be with them, she makes the most of her time.

Confession of a Jealous…err… Neglected Mom

The only downside of a weekend is that your child doesn’t even want to acknowledge that you’re around as she wants to make the most of the day by spending all her time with her Papa…. and maybe even complain about how much of a mean & a bickering mom you’ve been through the week 😦 😦