Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Marriage Reception

Indian marriages are solemnized as per the ‘Lagna’(Muhuratham) and the time is fixed by priests or the astrologer. This time is strictly followed and adhered to whereas the reception which follows once the marriage is over is left at the mercy of photographers, hair dresser and the beautician attending on the bride. I can say this more authentically as far as the marriages in South are concerned.

If the time of reception is printed as 6.30 pm in the invitation card, rest assured it will never commence before 7.30 or 8 pm. Those who make the mistake of being punctual are made to sit in front of a flower decorated podium with two ornamental reception chairs like those used in olden times by Kings and queens.  The invited guests helplessly wait and watch the photographers clicking the bride & groom in their best attires from different angles, first singly, than jointly and thereafter with family members. The younger family members in their glittering designer dress keep going round the marriage hall quite often like walking on a fashion show ramp. The reception is often delayed either because the bride is not ready having gone to a beauty parlor or else the photographer is not allowing them to go un-clicked to their heart content.

As soon as the married couple is ready to sit on their reception chair to receive the guests, there would be a mad rush to go ahead on the dais to hand shake, handover the gift and smile to be photographed as a token of attendance in the reception. Some restless souls who do not want to go through the ordeals of waiting in the queue first go for the buffet, fill their belly and later come to wish the young couple once the crowed gets thinner.

Once the buffet over and ‘tambulam’ (A pack of tender coconut, beetle leaf & beetle nut) handed over the reception comes to an end for the invited guest.  How nice it would be if the timings of the reception is mentioned as 7.30 or 8 pm on the invitation card so that all the rituals of make up and photography is finished before that time so that the invited guests do not have to wait and watch all the ‘happenings’ live cursing about the wastage of their time instead of blessing the newly wed!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is a 'loveless marriage' worth its while?

Guest Post by-Arunima Srivastava

Marriages may be made in heaven, but their fate is decided right here. Is a loveless marriage worth its while or is divorce the better way out? 
While the ever piling divorce applications may be a way to determine the number of troubled marriages, what's never accounted for are the number of couples pulling through loveless relationships. 

Going by a British survey done sometime back, over 59 per cent of wives would divorce immediately if their economic security was assured while half of husbands thought their marriage was loveless. Over 30 per cent said they were living in a doomed marriage to save themselves from going through a massive upheaval while another 30 per cent men said they were staying for the sake of their children, because they were scared that they would have to leave them otherwise. Get asking people here, and they confirm no less.

"Given a choice I would have walked out within the first year," agrees Nisha Vohra, a homemaker, who's been married for seven years now and has a six-year-old son. "It was an arranged match which seemed fine during the initial months. But too much interference from my mom-in-law and my husband being subservient to her made me resentful. I planned to seek a divorce, a decision which my family supported. But by that time I'd become pregnant so thought it better to carry on with my marriage," shares Vohra.

"This is very common," avers divorce lawyer Ranjana Dixit: "We have so many women, especially from lower middle-class homes, who'd rather stick on in a troubled marriage than be financially insecure or bear the risk of social embarrassment. In a recent case of a Muslim family that came to us, Shama had been divorced by her husband Imran, who had even performed a second wedding. However, after bearing all the social and mental agony, Shama pleaded to be allowed to stay with the husband and his second wife to ensure financial security. That speaks volumes for the dependency of a woman on her husband."

But is a loveless marriage reason enough for divorce? "Yes, of course," states Dixit, citing the famous Samer Ghosh vs Jaya Ghosh case, in which the divorce had been sought by the husband who stated that his wife no longer cared for him. The case which was dealt by a full bench of
 Delhi HC in March 2007 was termed as 'an irretrievable breakdown' of marriage, which also amounts to mental torture, and which is one of the seven grounds for divorce." 

But who's to decide if a marriage is loveless or not? questions Khursheed Kanga, a
 relationship counsellor. "The problem is that people have a utopian notion of a life-long romantic love. But reality kicks in soon after marriage. So it is this very notion that we try to fight first when people seek help from us to deal with the depression of a troubled marriage," though she agrees that, "Many of these people want to work on their marriage because however much they may wish to, they cannot divorce. And the reasons vary from concern for kids, financial insecurity to social embarrassment." 

Reasons which are valid according to sociologist Reeta Brara: "Only
 love can't sustain a marriage. It may not be a perfect institution but provides many safeguards like economic security, social status or bringing up kids together. And one should not be embarrassed in seeking them through a marriage. In fact that's the stabilising factor in any relationship. So, one can't really give up on a marriage just because there's no love." 

Also, is the fear of leading a divorced life a deterrent for couples? "Of course it is. Divorce can be a shattering experience and not everybody can handle it. Besides in
 India, there's a certain stigma attached to it, which sort of forces many to continue in a troubled marriage rather than walk out." 

{The writer of this article is Asst. Editor ‘Lifestyle’ TOI .com and has be reproduced from ‘Times of India’ with her due permission. Acknowledgement:- Times of India}

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Police Story

Can you ever imagine criminals and murderers bringing a drunken cop to police station? According to a news report, this happened in U.P. Two under trials lodged in Moradabad district jail facing charges of robbery and murder were brought to Bijnore for court hearing but found the court to be closed on account of Krishna Janmashthami festival. To enjoy the festival, the cops escorting the criminals decided to have booze. They asked the criminals to wait at a bus stand and went inside the liquor shop. Later finding the cops too drunk, the under trials escorted the cops to the nearest police station instead of running away! This is a strange case of bad boys turning good Samaritans while the cops showing how much irresponsible and careless they can be in discharging their duties. Is it not puzzling as to why these criminals were taken to court on a holiday and how the cops left them at the bus stand without any escort?

In an another incident, this too in U.P., a young IPS officer, additional Superintendent of Police in charge of traffic was assaulted and dragged in a car for almost a kilometer while chasing three police constables fleeing in a car. These police constables were caught red handed by her demanding bribes from lorry drivers on a roads intersection. Even though both the incidents happened in U.P., the modus operandi of the police are same every where from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Recently the Karnataka police has released a report by the Public affairs committee of Bangalore according to which ‘38% of policemen believe that corruptions part of the system and that honesty does not pay all the time. 64% police agreed that greed is the root cause of corruption’. This may be true to some extent because of the general perception that the ‘moolah’ so collected from the lower rank constable is shared up to the top level. But does it not mean that corruption is not on account of low salary or living condition but because of greed? Never the less, both the above cases bring the police force in a bad light. If there is one up right police like the one lady S. P., there are three others who are all ready to pull them down.

It is very rare that a positive story about police activity is ever flashed by the media. Even our films shown them in a bad light acting like a ‘buffoon’ or hand in glove with the criminals and smugglers (films like ‘Ardh Satya’ or ‘A Wednesday’ are exceptions). It is heartening to note that a NGO ‘Janaagraha’ from Bangalore has launched a website “I Paid a Bribe” to sensitize the public. is a Janaagraha’s  unique initiative to tackle corruption by harnessing the collective energy of citizens. It can be hoped that this site will bring out more such cases of corruption in all fields of life and the ‘non corrupt’ higher officials take note of such cases to punish the guilty, corrupt and irresponsible people in their respective departments for a better and cleaner image in the society.
( Sorry for the inconvenience as the comments button is not functioning for this particular post. You may mail me your opinion at my email Id-

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dreams and Focus

All counselors, teachers, personality development speakers emphasize that in order to achieve your goal, you should have a dream and focus on that dream. Our ex President Dr. Abdul Kalam always talks of dreaming big whenever he is in the company of youth and children. He is pained to tell that lack of confidence amongst youth was increasingly becoming a hindrance to make their dream a reality. Going back in time, these words were never heard from anyone during my childhood days. The word ‘Focus’ was confined to photography and we only used to day dream. But now when I look back, I find that my own day dreaming has great bearing on my life today.

While talking about my dreams, I have to go back to my childhood days. When I was in school, I got fascinated towards colorful children magazines. I developed interest in writing. Initially it started with writing comments on article under the columns ‘Letters’ and slowly switched to writing stories for children in a magazine style on a note book with sketches and dummy advertisements!  Then came a phase when my stories started getting published in the same very magazines, I used to patronize. As the age progressed I started writing filmy style stories because of filmy influence on me. It was only during college days that my writing skills in Hindi got stabilized and choose to write satires which are being continued even now.

Now it can be told that I had a dream of becoming film script writer and film director. Being a film buff, often I used to day dream about my stories being filmed and how I shall be directing the various scenes, how shall be the background score etc. Once in college, I even got hold of an application from Pune Film Institute for admission but I could never gather the courage to ask permission from my parents lest they get annoyed. In other words, as Dr. Kalam says, I had no confidence to get their consent. Like any other youth of those times, there were only two options left before me- either to pursue science or arts course. No body talked about technical or other professional courses. I chose Science, did post graduation but landed on to a Bank job.

But all said and done, the dream remained in my heart and mind. What if I could not become a script writer, I am happy with the thought that because of those dreams, I am able to script write articles, satires, political comments etc and am able to continue this passion. The idea of my writing this article is to reaffirm my faith that focused dreams do play a vital role in personal life. Keep dreaming about what you want to achieve in your life, be focused and sooner or later, those dreams are going to turn in to reality. To substantiate, I have another personal experience to share.

At the fag end of my career when I took retirement from service in 2001, I had a dream of things to do after retirement. I had a dream of visiting all my schools, colleges and houses wherever I studied/stayed right from class 1 up to post graduation level spread across 9 places in Madhya Pradesh. This idea, this dream and the urge kept ringing in my mind over the next 7 years. It was only in 2008 that finally I could give shape to my dream and embarked upon the dream journey down the memory lane which ultimately secured me a certificate and place in ‘Limca book of Record’ 2009 edition  and ‘ India book of Record’ 2010 edition.

(To read my complete travelogue please go to the  following link- )

To conclude, with my own experiences as above, I strongly feel that ‘If there is will, there is a way’. Dreams do influence your life and help you in achieving your goals. Will, determination and focus can turn those dreams into reality some day. So keep dreaming without loosing heart and never say good bye to your dreams.