Dipawali Post – Amdavadthhi

Here’s my neighbour’s kids burning crackers

neighbours-kids

That is Rahul scurrying away after lighting his Tubdi

rahul-running-away

Rahul’s Tubdi Pataka (a fire cracker) upclose

tubdi3

Iscon Mall captured while pinion riding with Chintan on his Honda  a week before Diwali:

iscon-ahbd1

My favourite weekend haunt Adlabs is housed here, the mall in Diwali:

sorry its lost, to post later

A Couple in Prayer at the Thaltej Temple on Diwali day where I spent the evening at:

sorry its lost, to post later

The Thaltej Gurdwara from Chintan’s bike again a week before Diwali:

the-thaltej-gurdwara1

Good wishes arrive with this beautiful e-card all the way from across the seven seas, the first mail of Diwali morning that made me smile 🙂

jays-card-from-antwerpen1

Amend IPC 377, Save Lives

Why Use the Bible to Find Sanction for Criminalising, if Being Gay is a Western Trend? Does Kamasutra Disapprove?

let the window be open

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up the government for using inadequate evidence to oppose decriminalisation of gay sex in private among consenting adults.

The court was hearing a petition filed by 13 NGOs, including Naz Foundation, seeking the court’s direction to decriminalise homosexual acts among consenting adults by amending Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code

“We cannot compel our society to follow the trend of western society,”Additional Solicitor General P. P. Malhotra had said.

Exactly, can the state or general public in any circumstances compel the society, which comprises of individuals, to follow any trend? Isn’t it infringement of an individual’s rights?

If we hold that, to be gay is to be ‘influenced by western lifestyle’, how come we are quoting from the major religious text of the West, in defence? Wouldn’t it more appropriate if we turned to our own sacred texts or atleast Kamasutra ( after all it is the Kamasutra ) !

Gays still cannot legally marry or adopt in many Western countries even now, but no one could put a man in jail because of what he does with his mate in the privacy of his own bedroom unless his partner complains of inappropriate behaviour. That last bit is an important part – consent is an important consideration and implies a matter of conscious choice made by an adult.

It is not like they are killing each other or hurting other humans or forcing everybody to do what they do. So why can’t we and the state let them be?

Why do we have to catch hold of gay men and marry them off to unsuspecting women and cause four or five different lives to be shattered and wasted? In India especially, where arranged marriage is still in vogue, have the Government stopped to consider the plight of hundreds of thousands of women who are subjected to not only risk of HIV infection through philandering gay husbands but also doomed to a very un-gay marriage for life – (in addition to becoming unfortunate mothers of infected children in some cases) ?

When did the public of a democracy give the state mandate to moderate bed-room practise of two consenting adults?

Those people are not saying “anybody”, they are repeatedly stressing on the phrase “consenting adults”. They are saying ‘let men choose for themselves’, why is that so hard to understand or accept?

The other question is, can criminalising an act, change or detract behaviour? Doesn’t it merely push things under the carpet to fester and cause damage? In this case it is not even behaviour, studies suggest it is much more complex and intrinsic than ‘behaviour’, which can be learned and then unlearned making it comparatively simpler to deal with.

We are so concerned with issues of crime and punsihment, we are not even considering the help and social support some people might need. It is also the duty and responsibilty of the state and society to ensure welfare for and well-being of people who are different, not necessarily perverse or diabolic or abnormal or subnormal or diseased.

In addition to NACO reports, and UN reports, let the Government also ask for reports on the number of divorces that are caused due to mismatched gay-hetero incompatible partners. There would be a problem in getting that data though, simply because they would not come out of fear of persecution and wives and mothers and girl-friends are either blissfully unaware or still fail to notice or accept the truth.

But this piece of news suggests that we are close to throwing open that window soon.

when she met her tree

The tree stood before her with its branches full of new leaves. As the breeze blew it’s leaves rustled, creating tiny green ripples in the air. Many of them turned to reveal the silvery underside. It made her think of the word  ‘shimmering‘. The blue sky formed the backdrop and it was a beautiful video – just one scene but several frames long and she wanted to stay there and watch it for a long time.

There was nowhere to go anyway. No one was waiting for her. No…wait…someone was waiting for her. But this person was usually never in a hurry with her. She could get back when she was ready. There would be no angry probes or annoying noise. It was, in fact, too quiet with this person. No conversation except the one-sided ones she made constantly.

But this video made her want to stay out. She decided she would stay to watch, as long as there was light. When the day grew old and the heat became unbearable she would return – to her shelter.

She liked looking at pictures. She could spend hours gazing at them. Sometimes, if she liked it enough she would step into them in her mind. But she could only do that with a landscape. Because she can only do this with a landscape, she liked landscapes better than other pictures.

This one here was such a picture and she was already actually inside the frame. She could go forward and touch that tree if she wanted.

As she gazed, she became more intensely conscious of the azure autumn sky overhead. It created so much space around the tree. It made it look regal. Her first thought had been ‘so like a king’.

A beautiful person like that tree, she thought, she had yet to meet. She thought of all the people she has known since her childhood. She tried to think who might have been like that tree. So beautiful. So uniformly shaded and luminous and rooted and lively and straight and young and bright. And warm!

So many people came close. But no one fit the description exactly. A few people she knew resembled that tree in some ways.

She wanted to call her tree something – give it a name, so she could call the tree in her mind and leave a message with it. She had been told in her childhood by her grandmother that if one left messages at places one liked, one gets a chance to come back – to get the answers to those messages perhaps. And she wanted to return to this tree, one more time, someday.

Emerald Gold? The leaves really were more emerald silver. In fact, it was darker than emerald. No fire. Just freshness and sublime light reflecting from it. It was just early morning sunlight, but she thought ‘sublime’. But why was she thinking in terms of how it looked? Why couldn’t her tree have a name that had to do with her feelings for it instead?

Well, in that case, she realized, she would have to check her feelings and examine what these feelings have been to find a name. Fascinated. Soothed. Wonder-struck. Comforted. Nostalgic…

And Love. Yes, she had felt so much love when she looked at her tree. So much love filled her little soul that it hurt. She felt it might explode unless she let off some of it somewhere in some manner.

With love what it is, you can’t just dump it anywhere you will. There has to be space for it. It has to fit in. To be absorbed into the general design or scheme of things. Unless there is that space it is impossible to put love there. It would be rejected and you would have to take it right back and put it where it belonged. Otherwise there usually is a mess. And when there is a mess, people complain. And there is a lot of noise. She hated noise.

She scanned her mind for some such space, but couldn’t think of where she could put hers, where there might be space…

What if….but this person at home had plenty already as there were many to offer theirs constantly – with this person, it was like waiting in a queue outside the altar in a Hindu temple. There is so much waiting that one’s mind wanders until it forgets why it was there or about the offering. She looked at her tree one more time. The fluttering leaves seemed to smile at her.

She felt tired suddenly. She felt her feet aching. She looked around for a stone or a boulder upon which she could sit for a while. There was none.

So she turned and started walking away. She forgot to leave a message.

The day was still young. The heat was not unbearable yet. The breeze continued to blow the lovely leaves of her tree over and under the light swaying branches. Everything was just the way it was when she had wanted to stay. Yet, she was walking away. Something inside had flipped.

She left but didn’t reach home that day. There would be another, for that, she thought.

please note: photoments are photographic moments that stay in memory and leave an impression in someway, changing the way I live and think for better or for worse, or revealing something about the person I am or have become.

Gujarat Geared Up for Garba

And How!!! Look at this Garba Song

Child's Eye View of Ahmedabadi Garba

Tame roj roj garba ma aavjo re on Gujarati, Come for Garba every night O Gujarati

Tame aatank ni vaat thi na darsho na re Gujarati Do not fear or give in to terror

Tamne aam na jasho, tem na jasho, darsho re Gujarati,

Tame Garbe ghumjo re Gujarati, You would dance the Garba O Gujarati,

Tame ajaan vastu ne na adsho, tame ajaan thelane na adsho re Gujarati, Don’t touch unknown object or bag,

Tame saavadh rehjo, sachet rehjo, police ne 101 par jaan karjo Be careful, be alert, inform the police at 101 if you find something suspicious

Duniya ne bataavjo re, ame aatankvad thi ghabrata nahi re Gujarati Show the world that terror cannot daunt you O Gujarati!

It is 2:00 a.m. The music and revelry outside rises in a tumultous crescendo. I hear the wooden Garba sticks beating against each other, striking with reckless abandon at fear and anxiety, every face defiantly determined to be happy, come what may.  The glass bangles glitter, and the mirrors flash and I am transported back in time…in the courtyard of some fort, I see shining swords in the hands of mighty Gahlot princes amidst a swirling circle of Gujjars and Rajputanis, tiger like, swishing in their gorgeous rainbow skirts, dancing away the night…

The good and the happy engage in Garba, dancing away Darkness and Evil, this strange Navratri.

To be able to witness the indomitabe spirit of these people, so gentle yet so determined not to let their world be split apart by earthquake or strife, makes this a special Navratri for me. That is what I would remember about Gujarat all my life.

For those who are not aware, Gujarat on the west coast of India was rocked once again by 17 blasts on the 26 July this year around 19:24:45 hrs, two of which went off at two different hospitals in the city.

I would also like to record here that on the day of the blast, I witnessed amazing administrative dexterity – there was no panic among the citizens, not a single shutter down in my area which is about two kilometers from one of the blast sites, all buses ran normally, no auto rickshaws charged extra or were taken off the road creating traffic turmoil or made detours, except for the actual sites where the bombs went off, I did not see any gathering anywhere. Everything was managed extremely quietly with gritted teeth and calm consideration. And security was tightened at Garba venues.

Modi himself came and opened the session at the University Grounds on the first day of Navratri.

The lyric above was written by Naished Makwana, former district education officer of Vadodara and composed by Falguni and Dr. R. B. Bhesania and was presented in The Times of India dated October 1, 2008, by Tushar Tere of TNN.

For those who are interested in Why Navratri is for Nine Nights: Source 

shaarodiya

bodhoner ei belaey

Shaanto nistabdho bhor aar alokito shongeet mukhor raatguli bheshey cholechhey eker por ek.

Raater batashey sheuli fuler shugandho boyey niyey asheyna, Mahalaya shona hoyni, paat bhanga tanter sharee bhengey anjali deoa nei, dhaker awajey kaan jhaa pala nei, natun kapodey shushojjito projapatir mato kucho-kachader aanaagonaey aashpaash mukhorito noy, amar Maayer shodyo snato, garod porihita, pujoy nimagno chehara  koi?

Tabu akaash bataash khushir rongey deepto, modir. Banchar tor-jor bhaar heen, chinta bhabna okopot, malinyoheen, mon, shahoj-shundor, aanondito, udbegheen. Aaj Mahashaptamir bikel.

Bujhi je Praan amar utshobey shaamil. Bujhi je aaaro akbar Maayer ashish amar jibon chhuyey galo – bhirer majhey ei odbhut nibhrititey taankey pronam janiyey rakhlam.

Ya devi sarvabhuteshyu shaanti rupena sansthita, namastashwai, namastashwai, namastashwai, namoh namah.