My thoughts..

From where shall I begin?

The views expressed in the below post are personal, anyone reading them is free to disagree.

Everyday is a challenge now. Everyday is filled with not just one but many different challenges. People are worried for their loved ones. I guess this is the first time politicians are also worried for the people, because this virus spares no one.

Let us see the events chronologically to understand the points where the government did fail and then later on decided to cover up for its failures. But soon they realised it’s a little late now.

The elections

So this year there were legislative assembly elections in four states of India. Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Of the four states the elections of West Bengal made the most headlines. The voting dates ranged between March to April for all the four states. Now let us recall that it was from the month of March that India especially, in my state of Maharashtra started experiencing a sudden spike in the number of covid cases.
I googled about the trend of covid cases from the end of February till date. Because I clearly remember we were having an almost a normal life in February. I found the below data from the WHO website. Click on the below images to enlarge,

It is evident that from 1st March 2021, the policy makers should have started taking measures. But the news channels and everyone else was busy forecasting if Mamta Banerjee would lose her power in West Bengal.

Now we do have a legal body regulating the country’s elections, called the Election Commission. The Madras High Court blatantly blamed the EC for the “current situation”. An article from the Indian Express quotes the statements of Madra High Court as below,
“The court had told ECI on Monday that “you should be put on murder charges probably”, that “you are the most irresponsible over the last few months in not stopping political parties from wanton abuse of the Covid-19 protocol” and that “you are the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today.”
Link to the article: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/madras-high-court-raps-election-commission-of-india-refuses-to-gag-media-on-oral-observations-7297388/lite/

In response, the EC then banned any post victory ceremonies, link to the article: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatvnews.com/amp/news/india/election-commission-bans-all-victory-processions-on-result-day-amid-covid-19-surge-700746

I had expressed the same concern in one of my previous blogs. Why this mandate of holding elections during such a huge crisis. The more important question is… should the honorable Prime Minister of the country participate every time during the election rallies? I mean I don’t understand politics, they might have their legit reasons to show up at election rallies. My only concern is the crowd and chaos such rallies accumulate putting local security systems at pressure. And should the rallies be held, what precautionary measures must be taken by the concerned authorities while the country is dealing with a pandemic?

The Kumbh Mela

I won’t say much about this fiasco, this article by Hindustan Times is enough to showcase the facts. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/dehradun-news/91-million-thronged-mahakumbh-despite-covid-19-surge-govt-data-101619729096750-amp.html
According to the WHO website, India was already experiencing the spike in cases right from 1st March 2021 and yet the protocols were not followed.

Am I saying that The Khumb Mela is solely responsible for the spread of the virus? No. But it is definitely one of the reasons.

Let’s see what happened in April

Two back to back incidents shook the state of Maharashtra. One related to the fire that caught the intensive care unit of Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Virar. And second the oxygen leak at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital, Nashik.

The two incidents proved that people could die not only because of the virus but because of ill infrastructural facilities. The state and central governments offered monetary compensation to the families of the deceased as well as the injured. The state government also ordered special investigations and audits. They did show an immediate response but my question is why should anyone die in such a manner? Why should the families endure such unexplainable pain of watching their loved ones die in front of their eyes! These incidents were unintentional. A mishap. An accident.

My question is how will the government, state as well as central ensure such incidents won’t happen again? What more help can they offer to the broken families apart from the one time monetary help?

Questions asked by the supreme court.

The questions asked by the Supreme court reassures our faith in democracy.

Below is the link to articles citing questions asked by the Apex court to the government of India:
https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/why-don-t-you-buy-100-of-covid-19-vaccines-supreme-court-s-10-questions-to-centre-101619775007715.html

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/why-don-t-you-buy-100-of-covid-19-vaccines-supreme-court-s-10-questions-to-centre-101619775007715.html

I feel these are the type of questions the opposition party should be asking the government. I don’t know if the opposition party are ignorant or are ignoring the current crisis. Apart from a few tweets and letters, today the president of Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi has released a video on Twitter urging the government to wake up and devise a national policy on the crisis.

Link to the video: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/sonia-gandhi-on-covid-spike-in-india-government-should-wake-up-2425840

The big promise

Vaccine for all! For everyone above 18+ age. A huge daunting task. To vaccinate a billion population twice! Okay sounds good! But how? We don’t know. The policy is not yet clear. Yes we can expect it to become clear in the coming days..and there will always be a huge difference between the demand and supply. After all the vaccine is being made in a highly regulated environment which might have its own production limitations. So I don’t think it would be reasonable for any of us to think that vaccines will be readily available all the time for everyone.

If there are production limitations then shouldn’t the government import them. The central government has left this decision to the state governments. According to one article at Hindustan times, “Govt. aiming to support domestic vaccine-makers by guaranteeing purchases from them, say sources
The Centre has decided to leave the import of COVID-19 vaccines to State authorities and companies, two government officials told Reuters, a decision that may slow the acquisitions of shots as a second wave of the pandemic rips through the country.” link to the article: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-may-put-onus-on-states-to-import-covid-19-vaccines/article34417400.ece/amp/

As far as my own State of Maharashtra is concerned, I think the state government is doing a pretty good job by at least addressing the issues at the right time. I’m not saying they have absolutely achieved all the targets but I can say they are constantly keeping track of the situation right from March 2021 when the escalation in cases had begun.
Link to the article: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-maharashtra-govt-gives-nod-to-free-vaccination-of-citizens-above-18-years/article34430709.ece/amp/

What’s next?

I’m not saying that the government is doing nothing. It’s doing everything in its capacity to handle the situation. I only wish they had done it on time..I wish they were a little bit prepared for it. This situation is a lethal onslaught on many many families.

So what happens after we are done with vaccinating everyone?

Will it be easy to forget the hardships endured by the common man of this country?

I hope we remember it.

My kind of music..

My kind of music

I know it’s unrelated to the present situations.

But the present situations are too miserable to talk about.

I can write about them everyday and cannot do anything more than just expressing my grief for all those who are suffering the worst of present situations. It surprises me why the government didn’t put a cap on the prices of essential medicines required to treat (as they say it) the virus. It has begun to evaluate over this decision. The central government has now decided to ban the export of Remdesivir.

There’s a lot of negativity in the air right now. So I turned to some good music to ease my anxiety.

My journey with music as therapy

As a teenager I only listened to Bollywood and English pop music. Eminem was the only rap singer I ever listened to. From the past 4-5 years I have been exploring Indian classical music to relieve myself from stress. I mostly follow classical music made by artists like Rahul Deshpande and Anand Bhate. I got acquainted with their music through a Marathi film called Balgandharva. Another Marathi film that reintroduced Hindustani classical music in Indian cinema was Katyar Kaljat Ghusali. Both of the films are masterpieces. Timeless.

Recently, I mean a year back YouTube recommended me one of the musical stage show videos of the Sitar goddess Anoushka Shankar. I found it embarrassing that being an Indian it took me 25 years to discover her! She could really call all the Gods and Goddesses on earth and please them with her Sitar.

And the ultimate legendary musical duo is,

AR Rahman and Gulzar! Do I need to explain any further?

Music around the world that pleases me

Andalusian, Nordic and anything composed by the 2CELLOS are in my playlist. Especially the Kulning or herding calls of Nordic music allows me to go deeper into my spiritual side. I mean it’s my personal observation whenever I listen to Nordic music while meditating I feel more relaxed. Listen to Andalusian whenever you feel exhausted..the music can inject sudden positive energy into your soul. And just checkout the 2CELLOS you’ll thank me for lifetime!

If you are on Spotify you can listen to the below playlist I have created of the above mentioned artists or song genres:

Link below 👇

Be safe! Everything will be alright one day!

We need some clarity…

The world is going through a second wave of coronavirus. Some countries are even facing a third wave of it. First, second, third, lives are being lost, life is being lost, economics and the economy seem to have lost their value like never before in history and everyone’s confused.

Last year, during the same time India started experiencing it’s first few cases. By this time the government had begun taking measures that they thought were appropriate for the time. But no one knew what to do exactly. Masks started finding their way into our lives and lockdown was a new word for us. Many of us took the privilege of rediscovering our lives in isolation and many more lived in despair due to financial crises.

I still cannot forget the embarrassing migrant workers crisis India faced across it’s states during the last year. Many advised the government to give direct financial aid to the citizens but the government rather chose to provide credit to the businesses. I’m not sure which one is the least worst decision, to give away free money to citizens or to give cheap credit to already indebted businesses. Let the finance ministry decide because maybe this year too they might have to show up and make promises for a better future.

We were all going good until February 2021! Then suddenly what happened in March 2021?

Vaccinations have been started for people working in essential services on a compulsory basis. The initial drives look good. In my vicinity many elderly people have begun taking the vaccine. But the recent sudden surge in cases is bothering.

We need to find the exact reason for it. Physical distancing, masks, washing hands, sanitizers have become part of daily life. Still why the sudden rise? People belonging to the field of research must find out. I’m sure they would be doing it. But every single day of lockdown costs millions. No government is ready for another financial hit any sooner. We are yet to come out of the previous years losses.

My home has turned into an office for the past one year. No, I am not complaining, I atleast have my job. What I want to say is, we have crossed the limits of changing our lifestyle just to get adjusted to this virus which, I have heard, keeps on changing it’s features from country to country. It’s too much now. We cannot just shut down small businesses any more. Last year to repay their previous debts, the government announced credit schemes. Which means their situation hasn’t changed. They are still in debt and now with the news of extended lockdown looming over, how are they supposed to live? How are they supposed to live even after once this virus is contained?

If the vaccine is really working then we need more of it.

But maybe elections are more important.

My observations about love…

So last night at around 1:00 am, I was chatting with one of my friends. We discussed topics ranging from best Kishor Kumar songs to how and when to fall in love!

Such is the power of late night chats.

Out of the blue a mysterious part of the brain activates, which was asleep for most part of our life and revelations often ensue after having these deep late night chats.

A lot of time had passed between the last time I had a dialogue, on love. My personal experience suggests, the more one thinks about love, the more it runs away from us! So let’s keep this blog short and simple!

So here are some valuable insights discovered by me and my friend about love. These are tried and tested conclusions but some of you may hold different opinions about and that’s alright! 

The first question was, have you ever fallen in true love?

Now me and my friend come from diverse backgrounds. She has been single throughout her life and I have been quite familiar with this feeling of falling and breaking apart in love. Notwithstanding this difference in our experiences about love, we both came to a common conclusion that we haven’t yet found true love! If one has ever fallen in true love, one shouldn’t be asking this question to themselves ever! Is it too much we are asking for ?

What do you want in a relationship?

Hmm..We often think about what we want from the other person but seldom think about what we have to offer in a relationship. What do we want from ourselves, from the other person and as a unit together what would we like to achieve. I know this is too much to think when one is falling in love…when one is deeply engrossed in the magic of love, it’s the time when the sun shines brighter and honey tastes more sweeter. But a little thought could save you from a wrong decision from a wrong person.

Is there a right time to fall in love?

What a silly question right? There’s no logic in love hence no question of the right timing! Is it ?

Just mull over it for not more than 5 minutes and you might change your opinion. Although there is no right time to fall in love, there could be a wrong time to fall in love. And the time is when one feels the most insecure. That’s not the best time to find comfort in someone else’s words. At such times seek for a therapist rather than for a love partner. We may tend to depend on the person for our every emotional need, it’s okay to ask for help, but not okay to depend. What remains of such a relationship is only toxicity!

How to know if we have moved on from our previous relationship?

Well, I won’t be able to explain much on this topic, but I would encourage people to take time and understand if they have really moved on or they are just trying to fake strength. Is there an ideal time to move on? I don’t know but if you stuck with it for more than six months, I guess you should get help from friends, family or if required professional help from a qualified doctor.

Lastly..is there anything like unconditional love? Love without any expectations?

I say no. If you don’t have basic human expectations from this person why is even he or she there in your life? I am not talking about materialistic expectations, I am talking about the heart to heart conversations. There are certain expectations and sacrifices that need to be fulfilled. Both of them should have the courtesy to acknowledge these sacrifices on a timely basis.

Most importantly…both should know to have fun in life!

A glimpse from today!

Since it’s Holi today made some Puran Polis! Puran polis are my favorite Indian sweet delicacy. There are flatbreads made from wheat and Maida ( I’m not sure what’s Maida called in English) stuffed with a mixture made from jaggery, lentils, green cardamoms and a pinch of nutmeg!

Ahh just ignore the mess around the plate..that’s called normal cooking!

Passion

At times we become so busy searching for our one and only passion, that we forget to live life beyond finding passion.

We believe it’s never to late

Only to realise

Yes it’s a little too late now

Questions and statements like….

What would you like to do for the rest of your life?

Do what you love!!

How could you be doing that boring monotonous job?

Bring in some life into your profession!!

Leave everything and travel around the world!!

(As if it’s for free!)

What’s your passion?

Before starting to find your passion..

Ask yourself..

Do you even know what passion means?

Can you trust your passion?

Can your mind and heart stay committed to your passion for the rest of your life?

Can you earn from your passion? Enough so that you could invest for your future?

Here’s a ted talk that’ll help you more👇

Stop searching for your passion

One last tip!

Before you become passionate about something, make sure you’re disciplined about it!

Balancing the duality of our identity

Gender.

One word and endless discussions.

Gender.

The primary identifier of one’s personality.

In my life I never had the misfortune of being let down because of the gender stereotypes associated with being a woman. Not at school, not at college and not even at my job.

But why is this the topic for today’s blog?

Because of one instagram post that opened my eyes towards an aspect of gender equality.

Link for the post here👉 babil.i.k

Quote from the post,

“I think every person is made of a cosmic duality and what truly makes you a man is recognising the woman inside you.”

Which brings us to the below conclusion,

That every woman has two dimensions inside her personality, one is the feminine and another is the masculine. Similarly every man has a masculine as well as a feminine dimension to his personality. But are we having clear thoughts upon the definition of what is means by feminine or masculine energy?

Conventionally feminine energy is portrayed as a more softer form of energy, something related to our emotions. Whereas masculine energy is showcased as all about the physical strength. Now these are the conventional ideas which may hold their roots in the stereotypical ideas that we have been following for years. We might not even know their exact place of birth and what made these ideas become mainstream. How did we begin to accept them? It is difficult to answer this question because we might have varied opinions about gender equality. These thoughts come from experiences. Ironically, these experiences were generated from these age old thoughts. They were common across cultures. Throughout human history, power positions have been the birth right of men and women in the supportive roles. Yes there have been instances in history where we had some exceptional women leaders who changed the meaning of being powerful. That power wasn’t the exclusive right of men. Throughout history, being submissive was regarded as the ultimate feminine quality any woman could possess. I also want to point out the fact that throughout history men have died fighting wars for most part of their lives. They have spilled blood, their lives have been used for someone else’s victories, they have been taught to be a superhuman. A single mistake would cost them their self esteem. From a young age they had to prove their prowess. On the other hand from a young age girls had to prove their fertility and virginity. Now I don’t know if the creator of this world made it in such a way or we as humans distorted nature’s way of equality. But what I know is that for years we have believed that a man needs to be hard like a rock and it’s okay only for a woman to cry. That a man can express his aggression but a woman would be called outspoken just for opening her mouth. And this is just the beginning of the discussion.

So coming back to our question.

How do we balance these energies? Within ourselves as well as within our societies?

As a woman how do I balance the masculine and the feminine that’s inside me?

I tried to search on the internet about what these energies mean exactly. What aspects of human nature are categorised as feminine and what aspects are categorised as masculine. For feminine aspects I didn’t have to search much, there’s a lot written about it on the internet. So much that I got confused. But for masculinity, I couldn’t find much. Mostly what I found were critical blogs promising to redefine our idea of masculinity. So how do I find the answers if for one aspect I get bombarded by hundreds of blogs and for another I hardly find any to read. So I decided to search from a spiritual point of view.

And this search brought me to the term “Yoga” which literally means “union”.

But union of what? I observed two ideas flowing in the internet regarding the definition of yoga.

First is the union of masculine and feminine energies.
Second is the union of our own consciousness with the universal consciousness.
With respect to the second definition, I think our consciousness is itself made of masculine and feminine energies and hence I believe the two definitions, although they sound different yet are similar fundamentally.

In the end I found that it’s the biology that rules us. It’s in the hormones. What can you say further when your hormones are meddling with your mind. A slightest kick from the conventional societal norms is enough to imbalance our state of mind, eventually causing an imbalance in the state of society. Wow that’s kind of a circle. A vicious circle. Basically it’s like balancing the estrogen and testosterone. If biologically every man has some amount of estrogen inside his body, then what’s wrong if he enjoys his feminine energy. If every woman has some amount of testosterone inside her body, then what’s wrong if she manifests her masculine energy.

A balance between the two energies should teach us to be a decent human. That would be the ultimate union.

Plastic pasta

One summer afternoon
I was playing with my dolls
When one of them suddenly yelled at me,
“Girl I don’t like you! Don’t play with us!”
I left the dolls on their own
They played amongst themselves
Cooking cakes and drinking lemonades
And eating plastic pasta

I ran towards the mango trees
Tried picking some of them
When they suddenly teased me for my freckles
All of them started laughing at me
I threw stones at them
And all of them began falling at once
All falling over me
In a while I was swimming in a sea of mangoes

I struggled to swim across the sea of mangoes
I tried and tried hard to reach the surface
On the surface I saw a herd of horses approaching me
In no time they would crush me with these mangoes
I was afraid of becoming a mango pulp
Boring yellow mango pulp
No that’s not what I want to be

I kept my chin up
And aimed to mount one of the horses
Surprisingly all of them had saddles on them
I saw one
The slowest of all
Yes I aimed to mount for the slowest of the herd
And I managed…terribly..
Tumbling and crying
I saved myself from falling off the horse

I got hurt
Very badly
My cheeks hurt
My hands, legs and back seemed broke
Blood ran down from my nostrils
It felt like death
Scared and scared
I kissed my horse and got going

But where was I going anyway?

I didn’t knew

So I decided to make a raid upon the doll house
Revenge the dolls was my motto
Crush them
Break them
And while I was approaching the doll house
The big pink house filled with silly doors and windows
Silly tea parties and lunches
With pasta made from plastic

At the slightest kick my horse
Whom I called Regaro by the time
Galloped into the big pink house
Through the doors

And I found no one
With rage in my eyes and fury on mind
I searched for them everywhere
The dolls were gone

They had died from eating the plastic pasta.