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Kishu’s B’day with Santosh Charity

19th Sept was b’day of Kishu and this year’s 19th Sept was the second one without him in our lives. Everybody says “life moves on” and yes even I agree now that life moves on but then it never moves on like earlier. There is no salve which can heal this pain, no moment or object of happiness which can overcome this grief and no rationalization of thoughts which can let you accept this reality. Yes, things are moving ahead but not even a single day passes without remembering 5th Feb 2009 and things associated along with it. I don’t think I can ever describe how it feels esp. on days like these…You keep on thinking whether to cry at the loss or mourn the fact that we will never be able to even listen to his voice even for a second, forget about being with him or celebrating his special day together the way we used to do it earlier. But then it’s his b’day and whether he is with us or not, at least we should be thankful for this day as because of this day only we got to spend 27 memorable lovely years together. Mom was as always inconsolable but when we insisted her to express instead of keeping the grief within herself, this is what she had to write about this day. Though honestly speaking both me and Mom know that it’s not possible to express the exact feelings associated with Kishu or his absence from our lives in words…it’s just NOT possible!

Like last year, this year also I decided to spend the day with kids at Santosh Charitable Trust and as earlier they really made the day special for me & Kishu. The way the sing b’day songs for him or the way they celebrate this day with me, I think if Kishu is around somewhere, hopefully he would like the way his day is being celebrated.

It is one place which has really got a special place in my heart, a place which redefines the meaning of orphans or special kids. It’s an orphanage run by few noble souls who are doing it selflessly just to provide a better life and education to those kids. Total strength of the orphanage now is close to 55 (including staffs) and the financials are mainly based on the voluntary donations collected from working professionals, organizations and some authorities. Unlike other similar places, this one is really different. First the way they are transparent with their expenses, collections etc. you know that your money is in safe hands; secondly you need to meet the kids to understand this self urge towards donating money for them. I mean the way they talk, the way they introduce themselves or the way they all describe their ambition in life – with gleam in their eyes, clear goals and zeal to achieve the same! Not even a slightest trace of that becharapan or self pity in anyone of them. When you see them working so hard to realize their dreams, you on your own feel the need to do something for them which can help them in some ways and in return give you this unparalleled satisfaction of doing your bit towards them. Even my association with them is just one and half years old but trust me at least for this place nobody pesters me to contribute anything, it’s my internal conscience which tells me to do so. And thankfully I’m surrounded with few likeminded friends who also have been contributing to this place on their own.

Do check out their website - for more details about them and if anyone of you is keen to help these kids in having a better future, you can contact me or contact the numbers mentioned on their website. They do provide all authentic receipts for your contribution and money is utilized primarily in the education and overall personality development of the kids. Don't think about the amount, every penny is important for them. I don’t have any personal association with the trust and this post is no enforced marketing campaign on their behalf. I do it out of my own will as I know that every bit of contribution is important for them.

Of driving, men drivers & women drivers

In the whole history of mankind, have you ever, ever, ever met a man driver who can actually apologize to a woman driver saying it was his mistake??? I actually met one today, it was a very small mistake yet he apologized & that too on his own! A guy on Bajaj Avenger banged my running car from behind and before there would have been a scene created on road, he got down from his bike, came to me, apologized and said – ‘I know aapki koi galti nahi hai, I’m really sorry, it was my mistake!’ He looked at the car and said – ‘there is no damage in your car, once again sincere apologies’. OMG, I was really, really shocked! One the mistake was just too small for him to get down from his bike, walk up to my car and then apologize, next he was actually a man and the banged vehicle was of a woman. Now isn’t it assumed in this world that whenever there is a bang or accident between vehicles of a man vs woman, it has to, has to be the woman at fault! I’m just so full of respect for this gentleman.

Now, before we go into debate of men vs. women driver, let me be honest and tell you all that despite being a woman I don’t have any objection in accepting that men are good drivers. In fact if I speak of my surrounding, when it comes to tricky driving, pati is a better driver than me and so are lots of my men colleagues and friends. I don’t think I have ever tried to prove that I’m a better driver than them and have no intention to prove the same in future as well. Thankfully I have been driving my car successfully for last few years with bang record of only once till now and that too it was almost 4 years back (touchwood). For me, driving is more of a necessity than a pleasure and those living in Bangalore or Chennai can vouch for it as to how difficult it is to deal with auto guys here. I have absolutely no qualms about accepting the fact that men are generally good drivers, but what I’ve problem with accepting are two generalizations – 1. All men are better drivers than women, 2. All women are bad drivers. Yes, I hate these two general statements. Trust me tolerating women driver centric jokes is a different thing and I’ve always done so generously but facing the repercussion of it in real life for no fault of yours can get too much at times. Picture these:

1: Pati driving and crossing a junction in full speed, some auto guy also trying to cross the same junction from perpendicular side. Both will blow the horn, finally pati wins and crosses the junction while auto guy will take a sharp break and give him the pass. Now imagine the situation with me trying to cross the same junction, I’m almost there just about to take the turn, an auto guy comes from same perpendicular direction blowing his horn. I had reached earlier and I was nearer to the crossing but auto guy will keep on blowing the horn till I don’t stop and let him go! There won’t be much space in front of me, he will tilt his auto, do this & that but still he has to go before me. While crossing he will give me a disgusting and scornful look with sometimes even fingers raised at me. His expressions tell me that stopping and giving him the pass despite me being the first to reach that junction was not enough; I should have actually got down, saluted the auto driver, curtsied and then allowed him to pass with a bow! So, what he is just another rowdy auto driver, after all he is a male driver and it’s his janam siddh adhikaar to give that filthy look to all women drivers on this earth.

2: Another woman driver whom I know had parked the car on the left side of the road with her parking light on, this friend had new car. An old dilapidated white Indica with a male driver was trying to take U turn from opposite side of the road, driver was on phone and god knows where was he lost? Suddenly me & friend feel a dhaad bang on the door, so the guy had managed to bang his car royally on the new car. The moment friend rolled off her window glass, this driver just pounced back on us. You know how it is like ulta chor kotwal ko daante…OMG this man just didn’t listen at all, kept on blah blahing as to how the car was parked at the wrong place never mentioning even once about the fact that he was driving and our car was standing still - so, if there was a bang, it has to be his mistake. But then this man started his sentence only at high pitch observing that on opposite side a lady was on the driving eat. As they say – aggression is the best defense; within no time all the jobless people nearby gathered around us and started supporting him. As I said earlier, you know that when it is a tiff between man and a woman driver then no one even bothers to ask whose fault it is. Soon it became a big row and this lady actually ended up paying to the Indica driver for some smaller scratches on his already super scratched car and there was not even a single eye who tried to see that it was the door of my friend’s new car which was badly dented. And no, I have not tweaked any fact over here to make the incident look more sympathetic towards my friend, each and every word is written as happened.

3: On a lighter note, whenever something happens in our car (me & my husband share the same car), the default question of others will be – aur Kanu, kaha thoka is baar car ko? Hmmm, be it a small scratch or a big dent, the hobson’s choice of suspect is always me. And as I said in my first para, last when I had a road tiff with me on the driving seat was actually 4 years back. If pati is around, he will jokingly reply – nahi yaar, mere se thuki car, kanu se nahi. If not, then poor me will keep on explaining that it’s not me.

When it’s for fun its bearable but when it’s being misused by people like in situations 1 and 2, then it really gets on to your nerves. You know, I understand some women hit panic button faster and hence those troubles on road due to women drivers but I have really seen some jerk men drivers too! I understand men may have better control on brakes & accelerators but this does not mean that women are bad drivers always.

Oh paisa yeh paisa :)

So, now there is an ad also on television which just substantiates the fact that as far as sports in India is concerned, money is there more in endorsements and not the actual sport! I’m speaking of the recent Fair & Lovely ad where this gal is trying to win some cycle championship and her brother tells her to change the sport if she wants to buy a new house in order to fulfill her mother’s dream. And whoa by the end of the ad, the gal is able to afford any bungalow in that locality because she is all ujli ujli now…errr I mean fair & lovely ;) which has helped her in getting some endorsement deal from a famous sports company. Now when there is endorsement, there is money & when there is money, then maa ka sapna pura karne ka time ;)! And of course this endorsement came to her because she got transformed into this gorgeous, pretty, FAIR & LOVELY gal by applying fair & lovely! Chalo finally maa ka sapna sakaar hua, all thanks to this miraculous Fair & Lovely and the brand endorsement deal. Whatever happened to that cycle competition, who cares?

In a country where Sania is bigger than Tennis, Saina is bigger than Badminton & Vijender is bigger than Boxing, it does not come as a surprise that endorsements and not the actual sport are the main profession for so many of them. Well, there is no harm in earning money out of your profession be it sports or anything else, but commercializing your profession to an extent that you forget your profession only??? And mind it, I have not even spoken about Indian cricketers and their much discussed endorsement deals worth millions and billions of rupees Well, that’s a topic worth a book, Indian cricketers and their success in endorsement market is in fact a case study for marketing students across the globe. It’s really funny when you see this dark truth being shown proudly in the form of an ad commercial too :-). On one hand the ad is speaking of a sports gal but still the concept of bedaag goraapan :P, and to add to that she gets money because she gets that endorsement…LOL, des humara hai rangrez babu :)

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