Why The Thoothukkudi Custodial Deaths Concern Each one of us.

TRIGGER WARNING – The content contains references to sexual and physical violence. Reader discretion is advised.

George Floyd’s death sparked a lot of controversy and people all over the world stood in unison against it. My Whatsapp status, Facebook and Instagram stories where all filled with the news and the details of it for days! How many of you reading this heard of the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) and dug deep into it? The Thoothukkudi custodial deaths are a matter of concern to each one of us and it is imperative that we know all about it and talk about it.


  • On 19th Jun, Jayaraj (59)was taken into custody by Sathankulam Police.
  • His son Bennicks (31) went to the Police Station looking for him, saw that the Police were verbally and physically abusing his father and stepped in to stop them.
  • Infuriated, the Police took him into custody and started beating him up as well.
  • The duo were beaten up profusely. The police pulled out Bennicks chest hair with their bare hands, stripped both of them and inserted baton into their anus leading to rectal bleeding.
  • On 20th Jun, they were taken for their medical check-up and the doctor’s report said that they were healthy.
  • At the judicial magistrate, they didn’t mention the torture because of repeated threats from the police. The duo were sent on remand to the Kovilpatti sub-jail which was around 100Kms away from Sathankulam.
  • On Jun 22nd night, Bennicks complained of chest pain and was taken to the hospital where he died.
  • On Jun 23rd early morning, Jayaraj too breathed his last.

What was their Crime? Jayaraj and Bennicks had kept their shops open for 15 minutes past the permitted lock-down hours. When the Patrol team asked everyone to close down, Jayaraj allegedly made some remarks against them


The FIR report states that when the police warned the duo about the lock-down hours, they verbally abused the police, threatened to hit them, sat on the ground and rolled around which is how they were injured even before they were brought into the Police custody. The reason for their deaths were stated as heart failure and high fever.

Tamil Nadu Custodial Deaths: 2 Police Officers Arrested on Murder ...
Bennicks (31) on the right and his father Jayaraj (59) on the left

Following their deaths, protests arose around Thoothukkudi and shops remained closed for a day. Gradually the case rose in popularity and amidst rising demands for justice, the Madras High court intervened and ordered the Superindendent of Police to submit reports.

Based on the CCTV footage near their shops and the multiple witness accounts, it was apparent that the facts of the case had been twisted. To add to this, the post-mortem report and the witness account of the Head constable, Revathy changed everything. The magistrate who conducted the enquiry was intimidated by the Sathankulam Police and everything in their capacity was done to destroy the evidence and hinder his progress with the enquiry.


  • When the duo were brought before the Sathankulam Judicial magistrate, he was supposed to conduct a physical fitness examination. How did he deem them fit and approve the remand?
  • The Doctor who examined them did not raise an issue either. If they were bleeding profusely, he clearly ignored it.
  • They were taken to Kovilpatti sub-jail which was 100 Kms away from Sathankulam while they had a district jail in Perurani.
  • The Police station’s CCTV footage was programmed to delete the recordings every 24 hours. Perhaps this was done in order to get rid of the evidence.
  • The case was investigated because it gained so much attention. This means that there is barely any control over custodial deaths.


Firstly, this could happen to any of us, our friends or family. While George Floyd’s death had a racist twist to it, a lack of it doesn’t make this case any less important. More people should know about it, discuss it widely and understand their rights.

Secondly, the issue gained much popularity only because there were witnesses near the shop, friends and relatives gathered in the Police station, and a lot of hue and cry was raised over it by the people. The Sathankulam Police have resorted to such violence earlier too for it to come so naturally to them when there was no crime committed. People don’t turn into barbarians overnight.

There must have been similar cases that were been buried because there were no witnesses which means one fine day, we could be arrested for a crime we didn’t commit, be tortured and killed due to an illness we didn’t have.


Four Police Officials have been arrested and charged for the murder of Jayaraj and Bennicks. The Government has announced compensation of Rs. 20 lakhs for the family. Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi declared a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs for the family.


Every problem starts at an individual level. The people involved in the Thoothukkudy custodial death case, happened to be the Police. But you and I, since childhood, have been told not to question or retort to our elders or people who are superior to us in any manner. As we grew up, we passed on this lesson because we become incapable of handling even a little bit of retort or insubordination. “How dare you question the Police!?” is the default mentality of the cops. Some of them forget that they are public servants and go on to become a superior, race amongst humans so much so that even if they break the rules, we fear to question them. But how dare Bennicks get in the way of the Police when they beat up his father?

While presently nothing can be done about power in the wrong hands, we as citizens can know our rights and be prepared for a situation like this. This article on thefederal.com explains the rights of arrestees and how the proceedings should have actually been in Jayaraj’s and Bennick’s case.

Let me know your thoughts on the issue and what you think could be done at individual and legal level to make things better.

Sources: Arre, The News Minute, Republic World, India Today, Indian Express
Featured Photo by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash


My Book ‘Life in the Time of Coronavirus’ is available for Free download Here. It takes you through the humane aspects during the pandemic while narrating the personal experiences of people from different walks of life.

20 Ways in Which Kerala Floods Restored Faith in Humanity

I am a Keralite working in Bangalore and August was extremely difficult for me, because my people where struggling. My family was safe. And yet, I was troubled every moment of my existence thinking of all those people back in my homeland. The Kerala floods made me realize that our love for our homeland was much much deeper than we knew.

The other side of a calamity is that, it is harrowing to be safe and away from home while you keep wondering how your people are.

You might have already heard the tragic stories and watched the disastrous videos. I decided to write this post to give you a glimpse of the silver lining of the calamity. Here is a compilation of all the help, compassion, sacrifice and love that the people experienced during the floods in Kerala. It’s a bit long, but worth your time:

1. People took their own vehicle and ventured out for relief activities. Some prepared food and carried them to relief camps, some provided transportation for people, others provided relief materials etc.  You can see some of the screenshots I had saved during the floods below:

2. We generally think twice before sharing our numbers with a stranger. For the above purposes, people displayed their numbers on social media with no fear or inhibition.

3. Celebrities used their reach to relay information that poured into their inboxes. Some of them were in the field throughout, rescuing and taking care of people in the camps, some were seen knee deep in water, setting examples. My respect for a couple of them (Read Tovino Thomas) increased manifold. You could say I’m border line fangirling them now.

A Man Kisses Actor Tovino's Hands for All the Help he did in his Hometown
A Man Kisses Actor Tovino’s Hands for All the Help he did in his Hometown during Kerala Floods

4. When we thought that things were getting scarily dark, our saviours swooped to rescue thousands. They donned lungis instead of capes, they used Oars as weapons. Who would have thought that a common man would suddenly turn into a Super hero? The fishermen of Kerala taught us that there was a Superman in everyone of us. And for us Keralites, they are our very own army.

FIshermen - The real Heroes in Kerala Floods Art courtesy - Pavi Sankar
FIshermen – The real Heroes in Kerala Floods Art courtesy – Pavi Sankar

5. Where the boats couldn’t reach, the choppers did. We saw God in every person that extended a hand to help. Not only in those IAF personnels who winched people up in different circumstances including the pregnant woman in labour, but also in those who gave the moral support to the survivors.

6. Students turned their schools and colleges into relief camps and shift call centers. My sister was in the call center in her college and she hadn’t slept for 3 days! They circulated their own numbers and college number as helpline numbers and in no time, they began getting calls from people crying for help.

A post on how Amrita college students helped immensely during the Kerala Floods
A post on how Amrita college students helped immensely during the Kerala Floods

7. Many of them changed their Whatsapp groups into virtual relief camps and messages were pouring in by the second – Someone is stranded in a place, some of them haven’t eaten in 2 days, some of them are neck deep in water, videos of pleas for help, and so on. None of us slept peacefully during those days. We used the virtual relief camp to draw attention and call for help.

8. People outside the State and Country contributed lots of supplies and money, formed groups and did their fair share of networking. They found relief camps, enquired the genuineness of the requirements, locations and numbers, passed on the information to rescuers, ensured that people were rescued.

10. We had Radio stations going live 24 hours to keep people updated. They were also accepting calls for rescue and passing on the info. I myself called them twice and they were extremely helpful.

11. We had people opening their houses, shops, offices etc for complete strangers. They had some kind of a blind trust that only came with compassion and humanity.

12. We had the rich, the poor and everyone in between living together under the same circumstances, eating the same food, sleeping in the same mattresses and bonding like never before.

13. We had the common man – My father, my mother, my neighbours, relatives and friends venturing out to help people they didn’t even know.

14. We had temples opening up their halls for the Mulsims on Bakrid because their mosques were under water.

Temple in Kerala Opened for Muslims as Mosque was Flooded
Temple in Kerala Opened for Muslims as Mosque was Flooded

15. We had little children breaking their Piggy banks to donate for the flood affected people.

16. We had friends from all over the country, who never contacted us for years enquiring if we and our family were safe.

17. I had a random person looking at me and giving me a thumbs up as I pushed a trolly filled with baby diapers out of the Supermarket to be given for the flood relief.

18. I had the supermarket guys deliver the relief supplies at the pick up point twice without having to even request to them.

19. I had a friend updating statuses that said, ‘I spoke to Mumma and Pappa after 6 days of no connectivity. They are safe. Thank God.’ and my heart went out to everyone of them like him. He was in UAE. His family was in the heart of the affected area and he hadn’t heard from them for 6 days.

20. There was a sense of belonging when people simply walked out into the road. It felt something like, ‘Yours and mine are affected. We know each other’s pain. We will overcome this together.’ The floods brought every person to the same level and suddenly all of us could see how similar we all where at the base of it all.

There were confusions, problems, and miscalculations obviously because, with calamity, nothing is preplanned. There were so many factors that tried to make things difficult. But we were all focused on getting people out alive, helping them survive and giving them a strong footing. Everything else was secondary.

There was unity in chaos. Kerala is still in the rebuilding process. The damage is tremendous. But slowly and steadily we’ll get back on our feet. We’ll remember the struggle, the pain, the hands that extended, the ones that back-stabbed and, the ones that held us strong. The South will remember it all.

The South Remembers every bit of it - Kerala Floods
The South Remembers every bit of it – Kerala Floods


If You Wouldn’t Eat it, Don’t Put it on Your Skin

Do you know the amount of poison we are being exposed to on a daily basis? Do you eat the Chemicals that you put on your skin?

A friend’s post on instagram and our conversation following that, opened my eyes to it. Elaine from The Fire spirit blog sent me this video by Fittuber in which he has categorized all the toothpastes, shampoos, oils, soaps etc that are used by most of the Indians in the order of toxicity. The videos were enough for me to think about alternatives.

She introduced me to a range of Organic products going by the name ‘Raw beauty’. Before I tell you more, let me clarify this. I have not been paid to write about them. I ordered their products, used them, and am writing my own opinion. Chemicals and plastics are ruining the world. If the consumption of either or both of them will reduce, that is the reward for me.

What is Raw Beauty about?

They make face wash, tooth powder, foot soak, perfume, deodorant, face serums/oil, after shave, healing salve, shampoo, hair conditioner, soap etc from organic raw materials. For instance, one of their facewash is made out of oats, aloevera and rose. I have used it and will be discussing it in this post.


There are so many organic brands, why did you go for Raw Beauty in particular?

A question I asked myself long before ordering the products.

  1. A gut feeling. I went through their page, saw their posts full of conviction and confidence that I haven’t seen anywhere else. You are right. Maybe it’s sheer good marketing skills. But another caught my attention. It said;

    Simple. Isn’t it? I liked the sound of every product they made and I went on to the next step.

  2. I had a chat with the owner, Sunaina.She hails from Punjab. I was curious as to how she started this business. About 15 years back, she decided to say ‘No’ to chemicals and began using everything organic. Slowly, her family began to use them too and with time she decided to make it on a large scale for more people. That is how Raw Beauty came into being. She sources some of the raw materials from farmers in Punjab and also helps them sell their harvest.

    She turned out to be so genuine and was up to answering any question I had. At various times, when I asked if her products would help me get rid of some health issues, she said they wouldn’t. Instead she could have gone ahead and gotten an order from me. To an extent, you get to know about a person’s product when you speak to him/her. It was a clear green signal for me.


  3. I read the ingredients. That is how we purchase things right? When we can buy things filled with chemicals, we can as well try something that promises no chemicals.

That’s all it took. I decided to give it a try.

What I ordered and my experience with it:

I ordered a foot soak for Amma, an underarm salve and the face wash for myself.

  1. The Foot soak – It is made from Himalayan Rock salt, Epsom salt, Blend of Essential Oils and Naturally Occurring baking soda. It relaxes you after a tiring day and relieves pain. Amma used it and she found it immensely helpful as she keeps having leg pains on and off.
  2. The Gulaabo Face Wash – It is in powder form comprising of aloevera, rose and oats. This is what made me fall head over heels in love with Raw Beauty. I smelled the powder and it doesn’t smell synthetic at all. If you have a strong sense of smell, you will get the over powering fragrance of real roses and the mild smell of oats and you will know that there is nothing synthetic in it.

    The Gulaabo Face wash
    The Gulaabo Face wash – Completely Organic made of rose, aloevera and oats

    Once I washed my face with it, the difference was clear. As opposed to when I use chemicals, my skin didn’t become so dry. It got a natural glow about it which I never got unless I used a cream or a powder. My skin felt softer and smoother. ‘Porcelain’ is what comes to my mind whenever I look at my face in the mirror.

  3. The Underarm Salve – A Deoderant in the form of a salve/paste. It was a new for me. The thing I loved about it was that it smelled of spices as opposed to the usual fruity aroma. And the scent wasn’t too overpowering. After using it, I did sweat but the odour wasn’t there anymore. Mind you! I have quite a strong body odour and nowadays I don’t have to bother about it.

    Underarm salve made of beeswax.

    They also have Perfumes (In paste form) for those who need it. I went for the deodorant as it works as both.


As per Fittuber, companies use chemicals in their products because they are cheaper substitutes for organic ingredients. Hence all organic products will be slightly pricey. So are Raw Beauty products. But the benefits outweigh the costs.

For instance, The Gulaabo costs Rs. 500 for 150grams which means you can use it for more than 2 months assuming you use it twice a day. Rs. 250 for a facewash for a month might seem expensive, but you aren’t applying any chemical on your face thereby keeping it toxic free which according to me, is worth the price.

How to Order?

Visit Raw Beauty’s Instagram page and send them a direct message. This is their handle – @Rawbeauty2018

Will I Recommend their Products?

Yes! Yes! A million times Yes! I use them myself and will continue to do so. If you are conscious about the Chemicals in your products, do take a look at their Instagram page and consider switching to a healthier option. If you have any questions regarding them, please feel free to ask in the comments.

So, will you prefer switching to something organic and will you go for Raw Beauty?


Image courtesy for the first two pictures and the featured image – Raw Beauty’s Instagram page.


Saying Yes to The World

“I couldn’t sleep yesterday!”

“Why so?”

“We went patrolling.”

“What patrolling?”, I was baffled. We were 21 when we had this conversation. We were both mere CA students and he wasn’t in any sort of organization that went patrolling during the nights.


I held my breath. It wasn’t a topic I wanted to discuss with a boy. This was way before I realized that no topic was a taboo. I was shy and just listened.

“It has increased over the years and it has been a while since we have gone patrolling. We do this. My friends and I. We decide a date and scour the area, get hold of women practicing prostitution.”

“What do you do with them?”

“Initially we warn them. If it gets worse, we report them to the Police.”

I didn’t know what to do with this new information. But I sure did feel proud of my friend. After all, prostitution was a filthy practice! How could women simply sell their bodies for money? It is one of the biggest contributing factor to rapes and molestation. It fuels the fires. I was proud of my friend.

Until I read Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho.


It was a slap on my face! A wake up call. Maria’s story was enough for me to imagine the various possibilities of prostitution.  It may or may not have been a personal choice. It may or may not have been forced. But who are we to judge them unless we were born in a brothel or helplessly forced into prostitution? Above all this, is it really that bad? Is a prostitute worse than a murderer, rapist, pedophile, your uncle who touched you wrong or a corrupt politician?


Prostitution wasn’t a problem anymore. The book opened my eyes to a new face of prostitution and suddenly prostitutes became mere humans in my head as opposed to the grotesque image I once had.


The thirteen year old was going to the North of India for the first time. It was a crowded train and they were group of seventeen – Two teachers and fifteen students. As they were playing card games, she heard it. A distant series of claps and clangs. And suddenly people began to droop as though they fell unconscious. Before I knew, half of them were pretending to sleep, a few were clambering up the upper berths and a couple of them were trying to get to the farthest corner of the coupe.

‘Hijra!’ someone gasped. And a fear began to creep inside her. She hasn’t seen a transgender before. But within those thirteen years, she had heard enough to fill her with dread. Before she had the time to process what had happened, the transgenders  were upon them. Clapping and asking for money, with a basket in hand. Her friend and she were the only ones who hadn’t pretended to sleep and one of them came right to them. The girls looked at them, trying to get as far into their seats as possible, the fear showing on their faces. Both the girls had a fancy magical slate they had bought for their siblings. Without further thoughts, the friend dropped hers into the basket. The person who came to them smiled and said that wouldn’t help. Soon, someone gave some cash and they all went on to the next compartment while the group laughed in relief.

Years later, I, the then child, began wondering how they feel when we shun them, look at them as though they were monsters or untouchables. What are we educating our children? Why was a thirteen year old who hadn’t seen a transgender all her life, so scared of them at the first sight? I don’t know when the transformation happened to me. But transgenders weren’t my problem anymore. Something or someone opened my eyes to a new face of LGBT community and suddenly they became mere humans in my head as opposed to the grotesque image I once had.

Image 2


Instances like this and my own changing perspectives about things, people and life made me realize that the world is what we perceive it to be. With time and experience, our perceptions differ and the way we look at the world differs. It is all in our head. If that is the case, what happens if we just close our head (mind)? Whatever is our perception becomes permanent. We refuse to accept anything else. When I understood this, I began to look at everything in a new light. It sounded something like, ‘Is my perception about this particular thing the only side to it? Are there more ways to look at it or deal with it?’ or ‘How can I improve the way I look at this?’ and I began to progress.

When I became open minded to things, I was able to accept many situations as a way of life. I realized people do what they do because they have been exposed to a certain set of people, situations and stories. I began to get a certain kick in analysing why people behaved a certain way and suddenly the world became an interesting place, and people, interesting beings.

Understanding and accepting the other person’s perspective is the key. Realizing that perhaps if you were in the same position as the other person, you would have become like him/her opens your eyes. These factors makes you an open minded person and you begin to say yes to the world. Along with this, if you just travel a bit around, you will know different faces, stories, backgrounds and situations and you’ll realise that life is much more vast than you imagined.


Here is a warm, fuzzy video on Why people love the world

So, are you the kind of person who is striving to say yes to the world? Why do you love the world? And what is your story?

Image courtesy – Image 1, image 2 , Featured Image

The Journey of Water From Abundance to Scarcity, Purity to Poison

“I used to walk about 4-5 Kms everyday to bring water. I was a little girl, seven or eight years old, that by the time I brought the pots home, they would be half empty as the water used to drip.” my grandmother recalled.

Children carrying water

Children carrying water

“Do not open that hand shower. It is leaking and a lot of water is getting wasted. If at all you open the main knob, ensure that you close it after use.” she would repeat tirelessly.

As I grew up, all of this fell into deaf ears until the reality of those words began to make sense. One day, I decided to close the tap while I brushed and took the trouble of opening it and closing it only when I needed the water. Until then, I used to keep brushing my teeth as the tap water flowed and got wasted.

Honestly, I am not the best person to advocate water conservation as I am not quite there. But having learnt not to litter the streets, I am taking tiny steps towards reducing plastic and using organic products. Focusing on saving water keeps drifting in and out of my conscious efforts. But I do try.

Where do we stand today with respect to availability of potable water?

Not much about the drinking water has changed over the years or rather the centuries. The change has happened to the human population. We have been multiplying so much that the water available has become insufficient for all of us. To add to this agony, all the freshwater is getting polluted due to factory emissions and non degradable wastes.
Statistics: Here is a representation of the countries facing a high percentage of water withdrawal compared to available water in their respective area in 1995 and 2025. (Image and Information Source: Quizover) Shocking. Isn’t it?

Countries facing water stress - 1995 Vs 2025

Countries facing water stress – 1995 Vs 2025

Why we should save water?

Do you think the Earth needs us? What do you think will happen when we ruin, pollute, dirty, plunder and poison the Earth? Have you ever given a thought to the slogan ‘Save Earth’? Does the Earth need saving?

Once humans are done depriving the Earth of fresh water and polluting it, the Earth will empty itself of all of us and with time, will gradually find ways to survive. The Earth will remain. It does not depend on us, we depend on the Earth.

Now to come to the core issue. What do you prefer for yourself and your children? A clean death or dying bit by bit? We all know the answer. If potable drinking water reduces, it means one of the two things – Absolute dearth of water, parched throats, death due to dehydration or availability of polluted water, lots of diseases and intake of Chemicals. In either case, death is imminent but slow and painful. By this paragraph, I have just pointed at the dire consequence.

water contamination at its peak

Water contamination at its peak

The water content doesn’t change in the atmosphere. It just changes form and gets recycled through groundwater, rainwater etc. But consider this. If you waste half a glass of potable water today, you never know how it returns in future. As acid rain or as poisoned water from freshwater lakes? Maybe by putting it to a better use, you might leave something healthy for the future.

How can we save water and use it for something more meaningful?

It is about investing water to make something cleaner, fresher or healthier:

  • Keep a bottle for yourself and drink from it, ensuring you finish the water every time. This reduces use of glass/tumbler thereby avoiding throwing away unfinished glass of water.
  • Even if there is an unfinished glass of water, leave it for pets or birds.
  • Cultivate the habit of not sipping the glass so that someone else can finish the water in the glass instead of throwing it away deeming it unfit as someone else has sipped it.
  • Where you have RO purifiers, collect the waste water that leaves the spare tube and use it to clean floors, water plants or wash vessels in the initial stage.
  • If buckets in bathroom are filled and you need the bucket for another purpose, keep aside or use the water for the toilet instead of using the flush.
  • Collect rainwater if possible and use it to wash vehicle, bathe your pets, water the plants and so on.
  • Turn off the taps/shower while lathering your face/body with soap and turn them on only when you need to wash it off. Most of us, for the sake of convenience, leave the water running even if we aren’t using it.
  • In fact, storing water for bathing reduces wastage of water compared to using shower.

You can take a baby step to save water right now by #cuttingpani. It is a simple initiative by livpure. This video will give you an idea of what it is:

If you are convinced with the concept of #cuttingpani, I’ll leave this graphic here of which at least some can be used to preserve water.


Hope that helped. Do you have any tips to reduce water wastage? If so do let me know in the comments. Together, we can leave some additional pure water for the future generation. 🙂

To start with, it you wish to see a difference, please sign this petition which will be submitted to restaurant owners and concerned government authorities to take appropriate measures for the implementation of #CuttingPaani.

Image courtesy: Child carrying water, Water contamination, Graphic on reducing water usage.

Disclaimer: A Few Handpicked Things does not claim ownership to any of the images in this post. Due credits as to the source have been given. If any of the images needs to be taken down, please contact me.

This Women’s Day, I Mourned

For all those women who were and are raped, for all those abused wives and friends, for all those women whose talents are suppressed for merely being born a woman. For the child raped by the Church priest, for the 7 children in the orphanage who were raped, for…
Yesterday, I was tagged in many Women’s Day post and videos and I did not participate or comment on any of those. Honestly, I did not feel like celebrating.
My facebook feed was flooding with women’s day wishes, tags and videos extolling womanhood and praising women. Meanwhile, the newspapers and TV channels had small snippets of rapes in orphanages, rapes of siblings, of little children and stories of rape related to various religions/communities! The irony.
I am not ‘proud’ to be a woman. It isn’t a hard earned achievement to be proud of. If anything, I am scared and I feel unsafe all the time. Umpteen times have I considered dressing up like men so I would feel safe.
I was born with genitals different from men and that dictated my life. My duties, the way I walk, talk, clothe HAD to be according to a rule book because of the body I was given at birth. I have been suffering on many levels because of something that wasn’t even my choice! If given a choice, I would prefer to be a male. I know! I know! Guys tell me it is not easy. But for starters, I would like to go out without being stared at (read x-rayed) or followed. Or even worse, without being groped, or pointed at like an animal at the zoo.
It is well and good if, after all this celebration, one really resolved to not make a woman in the street uncomfortable or to appreciate how one’s mother/wife works every day without even a break on a Sunday and resolved to give her a break every alternate week or so.
I doubt that any rapist, molester or vulgar men sending vulgar or threatening messages in facebook messenger or showing their genitals or rubbing them against women in public would be reading this or that this write-up would make a change in any manner. But if things like these could be stopped, that could call for a celebration.

Women Wouldn't have to be celebrated
Women Wouldn’t have to be celebrated

No offense meant to anyone celebrating it or wishing people. I am awed by your positivity. I just don’t feel it. This Women’s day hullaballoo has been immensely annoying to me because it is like celebrating Peace in Westeros! I don’t want to be praised, wished and extolled on one out of 365 days because I am a woman. I just want the respect that any person deserves irrespective of gender on all 365 days.
I am appalled by the necessity of a frequent reminder that women are people and not boobs and mere holes between the legs. A reminder that falls on deaf ears. In a perfect world, Women won’t have to be celebrated. The need for a celebration is disheartening.
Note – I am not generalizing and I know, all men aren’t the same. I am not against the celebrations either. A series of events and news during the last couple of days disturbed me and the women’s day celebrations seemed like a joke at the wake of it. Hence the rant. Phew!

My Sin? I Watched Them Being Butchered

I have been listening to the vicious revving of the chainsaw since yesterday. Last time this happened I remember looking out my window helplessly, willing it to stop. The sound was haunting. But soon, I realized that it was worse when it stopped, for when it did, I cringed; dreading the thud of death as a tree dropped to the ground.

Today, two have fallen going by the number of thuds. I heard the silent screams as the leaves rustled  on their way down. Wait! Was that a scream or a sigh I heard? A last breath!

As I look out my window, I see gaping holes in my Emerald woods, pale-white, wounded stumps of trees that once were and logs well arranged. If trees bled, would they stop? I wonder.

Felling my Emerald Woods
The Dying Woods

The chirping of the birds have died. The greens have faded. A parrot is perched upon the coconut tree watching, as they slice a fallen tree one limb at a time. Was that her home?

The parrots would leave & never return. The peahen would have fled long ago or worse been killed and cooked. The blue kingfisher would be in for a surprise. It will be the second time she’ll be going around in loops searching for her home.

Have you come back from work and found that your home was missing all of a sudden? You just can’t find it! It was next to the blue house with Aluminium roofing. But now, there is this blank space. Nothing else!

The Emerald woods I called it. It was akin to the Enchanted woods & Forbidden Forest in my imagination. The canal winding before it gave the place a mystic aura.

Not anymore. The canal is filled with filth, mush, plastics & waste.

They will return to claim more trees. They’ll butcher them loudly and mercilessly. They will watch them bleed, joyfully hacking them to pieces and proudly present them to people in return for money. They will come again, to pave the edges of the woods, to own the canal waters, to deprive the Earth of everything natural and replace it with everything manmade.

And one day, they will come for me. I’ll be replaced too with something manmade, a robot perhaps? I’ll deserve every bit of it. For my sins. The Sin of watching. The Sin of doing nothing. The Sin of believing that I am helpless.

Moments before chopping down trees
Before – The coconut trees standing tall

After they cut the trees and sliced them and left
After – Mourning the Death of a loved one

The third tree fell now. The coconut tree the Parrot had perched upon.

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Why Shouldn’t we Litter the Environment?

Every day,  I would get down from the bus, pull the ticket tucked safely beneath my ring and put it inside my bag. I would eat chocolates, and deposit the wrappers inside my bag or purse. I’ll reach home and empty my bag of all the waste and put them in the dustbin. I have been following this practice for quite some time now. Must have picked it up during the college. Sometimes, I would tell my friends not to litter the environment and they would scoff at me. They would ensure that I see them throwing it or they would take my bag and stuff the wrappers in it. Why shouldn’t we litter the environment? is a question they never ask.

In a day, I see so many strangers throwing papers and plastics on the street. I cannot approach each one of them and ask them not to do it. I can. But, I don’t think they’d take it well. However, I could tell my friends. Or so I thought. But every time I try, they gang up and the joke is on me. Though I could argue, I don’t think they are willing to listen. Because they know the banes of polluting. They just find it easier to cover up their act and  have some fun at my cost and continue with their lifestyle.

Why shouldn’t we litter the environment? They never asked. For not asking made their lives easier.

You know!?

Yesterday, this happened again. One of my friends threw a paper in the street. A few steps more and we would have reached our building which had enough dustbins. I told him so. He began defending himself and sought the help of another friend. The two of them had lots of fun mocking me. Later on, they pointed at something in the room where the food waste was kept and asked me to clean it all up. Since I was preaching stuff, it was mandatory that I practiced it, they said.

Why don’t you pick up all the waste around if they bother you so much? They implied. Yet, they didn’t ask me why not to litter the environment? I could have given them a purpose.

I don’t mind cleaning things up. I have gone to extents some people wouldn’t think of, to clean up places & things, and I would do it all over again if the need arises. What they missed during the entire conversation was that, I wasn’t asking them to clean up after someone else, I was only asking them to refrain from littering.

My message was lost while the only thing they remember & focused on, was that I pointed out a fault. When I said, ‘Put it in a dustbin’, they heard ‘You are at fault’. The jibes after that were simply to get back at me. To belittle me so that they felt better. When there is a chance to mock someone, people join hands & have fun.

As for my side of it, there is only one reason I am doing this.


Do you think I am doing this to save the Earth? No! As a friend once told me, the Earth needs no saving. We humans need saving. Our body and our mind needs saving. If we save the surroundings, we save our health. What do you think will happen to Earth because of our actions? When she can bear no longer, she would just shrug off all the filth from her body, wash out all the dirt and life would perish. The Earth remains. Now ask yourself; why shouldn’t we litter the environment?

If I could get this message across to my friends with due seriousness, maybe there could be some change. I realized that my attempts at educating them personally failed every time. All I can do now, is to unload it right here on my blog, to be forgotten, until something else comes up, right? Currently, I don’t see any other way to get the message across.

Every time I write about Littering the Environment, I hope at least one person will be inspired by it. Every time I ask someone not to litter, I hope at least one person would understand. Instead, every single time, I am verbally bashed and belittled and every time a little part of my belief dies. And as I introspect, I wonder. Am I wrong? Are their reasons justifiable?  When everyone around me mock at my purpose, does it make them right & me wrong? Sometimes I lose faith in myself and in my beliefs. Should I stop? Am I fighting for a lost cause?  Am I hopelessly, desperately alone in this?

It really isn’t easy to spread messages like these when people are ready to pounce at you. There are always these two sides of me battling each other. One, my inner voice. The other, the voices of the people around me. The former voice wins every time. This time though, I let the latter win. Initially. Not anymore. It isn’t time to stop trying. I will continue my work and I will make a difference. If not today, some day soon. And you will know why you shouldn’t litter our planet.

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Featured Image courtesy: jbgreenteam.org

I am Tired of Struggling to Survive. Yes, I Give Up!

Title: The Story of a Suicide

Author: Sriram Ayer

Genre: Tragedy

Website: The Story of a Suicide

Note:  This is an e-book which can be read in the website above.



The story revolves around four college students – Hari, Sam, Charu and Mani.

Hari, an average guy from a conservative south Indian family, and his sister’s pet, almost always keeps to himself. He is often disturbed and moody and battles constantly with his own demons.

Sam is a very ambitious guy from a rich family. He has got the looks, the brains, and the skills to woo girls – a deadly combination! And he is very well aware of his qualities.

Charu, an extreme feminist, is beautiful in her looks and impulsive in her decisions. She lives with an I-don’t-care attitude and comes off as arrogant at first. This, coupled with her highly unpredictable nature lands her in various predicaments.

Mani‘s mother is a laborer in a brick kiln and his father left them many years ago, to return occasionally to abuse his mother and Mani for money. Mani is wiser than his age, probably due to his experiences.

There are several other characters that play pivotal roles at the right times, as the story unfolds.

The Plot

This is a story set in a college campus. It begins with a tragic event that brings Sam and Charu together. Sam is instantly attracted to Charu and she initially reciprocates his feelings. But soon things become unsure by her unpredictable behavior, coupled with Sam’s possessiveness.

All it requires is a bit of humiliation & a spiteful Facebook status to give an ugly turn to things.

Hari, Sam’s roommate, befriends Mani and the two become very close. For the first time in his life, Hari is able to confide himself in someone. He tells Mani about his demons and his childhood and this gets them closer further.

While the entire college turns against Charu due to her impulsive actions and devil may care nature, she turns to Mani & Hari for solace.

Meanwhile, there is a stranger sending inappropriate pictures to Charu. She is terrified when he sends an image of her cleavage taken from a very odd angle. A picture, not taken by her, but taken a few minutes back, when she is alone in her room.

As the story unfurls, the plot thickens and the four characters are caught in a mesh of each other’s doings with none of them having any clue about how the other is getting affected.

In the process, a life is at stake!

Relevance of the book in today’s scenario and tips to deal with them

The book brings to the forefront, myriad social issues. Some have been under much debate recently while some still remain unaddressed:


1. A Note regarding IMPULSIVE DECISIONS –

Many a time when we are anxious, angry or upset, we make impulsive decisions. It could be an action, a word, a facebook post or even refusing to do an act. Once we are cool headed, we often regret it.

Sometimes, it is too late to make amends. Even if, at times, our actions were justifiable, it wouldn’t be received well by others. It could backfire at any moment and wreak havoc! (As it happens in the book).



How many times do we leave children unattended or send them with strangers? Most of the child rapes are committed by people within the family. How could we trust strangers when there are demons within the family itself?

While, there are people who believe that men cannot be raped. Even if they are raped, it means they are weak or in the colloquial language, ‘They have no balls’. They do not report the cases out of shame and because no one would believe them! By denying them, you are denying the  fact that, even you are a potential victim.


Empathy is the key.


This is a term that most of the people shun. It has been defined, redefined, misunderstood and trampled to make it look disgusting. The thin line between feminism & feminazism should be understood here.

Charu has a point when she expresses that a female is an individual and has the right to take decisions about her life as much as a male has. By possessing her, one cannot take her reins in their hands or clip her wings and dictate how she lives the rest of her life.

But there are instances where Charu generalizes men as a whole and voices strongly how they are all similar when it comes to female domination or thinking with their genitals. This isn’t feminism and it is important to know the difference.


How often has this topic been discussed and why do people fear LGBTs? Why is Love feared, mocked at and shunned while hate and terrorism is well accepted?

Does the fact that your relative, friend  or neighbor is bisexual or gay, affect you in any way? I think not. As long as people are compassionate and live peacefully, their sexual orientation is none of our concern. Hate and violence are what we should worry about. Not Love!



Suicides have been increasing at an alarming rate. This happens when people have to confront their own demons alone. Calling them selfish, mocking them or being insensitive about their pains will only worsen their situation. They need people who would really listen to them and also some counseling.

People fear change. People fear the unknown & the uncertain, which is why we think death as a finality & mourn. We have no idea what happens after death. Now, imagine how horrible one’s situation must be, for one to give up one’s life and embrace the unknown death!?

And when we haven’t gone through this phase, how could we judge them and call them selfish?



Social media plays an important role in the story. It depicts how dependent and vulnerable internet and social networking sites have made us. Our emotions are almost always kept for display in all or many of these sites.

Technology has its uses but it also takes the ugliest of forms through cyber bullying. The book gives a warning that through technology, anything could be accessed at any time and that you are at your vulnerable best. How scary is that!? It is always better to be cautious and wary of the pictures you take, people you talk to,  friends you make and the information you share.



Quotes from the Book:

  • How can the world decide that men and women of all ages have to behave in a single regimented way? Every person is different; I have the freedom to live a life as I please. I am not saying all men are the same or all girls are victims of male domination, but you will have to accept that men have for centuries tried to control women and their destinies in ways that were convenient for them. I hate to be in a relationship that clips my freedom.
  • People don’t remember what you did to them, but they would never forget till their grave about how you made them feel. You might argue that it was a reaction to how someone made you feel but never underestimate the potency of a disgraced beast.
  • Much of our problems can be negated by killing our impulsive and reflexive responses. Aren’t our responses mostly to fight? Inflicting pain on ourselves with the hope that our pain will hurt the other is plain stupid. People just don’t care. 

Do I recommend this book?

Yes. To get an idea about the trial and tribulations faced by victims of sexual abuse. To understand what leads a person to the verge of suicide. To understand the problems faced by LGBTs and how their lives get affected when they are discovered. The book narrates incidents that are very much real and messy and living in today’s world, we need to get a taste of it. Not to hate, but to be empathetic.


The book reaches out to the youngsters, moral policing ideologists, to the parents and to every living person. It keeps us engrossed right from the beginning, increases pace as the plot thickens and towards the last one-third of it, you can barely stop. Every chapter has been supported with beautiful illustrations.

I must admit that it dwells a bit too long  on dream sequences repeatedly. It also leaves a lot of loose ends with respect to what happens to rest of the characters. But all this can be ignored since it drives home the messages.These are the kind of stories the world needs now. Raw, brutal and real.



Image courtesy for all images – The official site of The Story of a suicide.

The images and the contents with the watermarks belong to A Few Handpicked Things in Life.

The Lord’s Laments

Today, as I was browsing through Facebook, a series of satirical quotes caught my attention. The author portrays how certain religious beliefs scream irony so much so that even God is flabbergasted. But, we humans do not question them because come on! We go to hell if we do. And no! You don’t need to know where Hell is. One simply does not ask such questions.

The series were named ‘Daiva Vilapangal’ or God’s Laments by one Mr. Mahesh Haridas. Each one of them focusses on The Lord Almighty’s worries and how he must be lamenting about them.

All credits for the idea and images go to Mr. Mahesh Haridas. Those who know Malayalam, can check the post here. For the rest, I have given the translations below. I apologize in advance for my inability to give the exact translation.


The Lord’s Lament 1

The Lord is in distress. He received crores of money in the form of offerings and the last date to pay his tax dues is fast approaching.


Should The Lord pay taxes? But isn’t he the one who created us and the entire universe? Then why would he pay tax? Does it mean that he is dependent on the government and that he has to abide by the laws and regulations? So, the law makers are above God, right?

The Lord’s Lament – 2


The God of Death, Yama decided to give our Lord a treat for having helped him meet his targets. As usual, all the killings on Earth was in the name of God.


I have my God and you all have to follow my God. No! Your God isn’t the real one. We protect our God and if you do anything to tarnish his image, you will be facing us.

And so we fight and die. Now, if we die, who will protect our God? He will perish without us. Oh dear!

The Lord’s Lament – 3

On a closer look at Earth, he saw that the walls were all covered with messages and quotes in his name and he wondered, When on Earth did I say all that?

“You shouldn’t love the same gender. Why do you think I created two genders? I would have created males alone or females alone if it was allowed. I decide whom you love. Alright?”

“Menstruating women shouldn’t enter certain places of worship. It infuriates me and my wrath will be upon you!”

“Are you a Hindu marrying a Christian? Henceforth, I do not want to see you. I prohibit your entry into my home.”

“Share my picture on Facebook. Else, you will hear a bad news in 2 hours and will have bad luck for the next 10 years.”

God – Whaaaaat!? Someone is impersonating me!

People – Oh shut up! You aren’t the real God. Real God says things like those. ^_^


The Lord’s Lament – 4

An arrest warrant for God. Due to the fireworks conducted to please The Lord, hundreds lost their lives.


“Um… tell me how people died, again? Er… was I supposed to watch the fireworks? I was enjoying my Pizza.”

The Lord’s Lament – 5

The Lord was the judge and he gave away prizes to the committee members who played movie songs the loudest, to entertain him during the festival.


“Hey! Can someone play that song from the latest Rajnikanth movie? I like that guy! 😀 ”

The Lord’s Lament – 6

The establishment made in the name of God, without his knowledge, was destroyed and in its place, another building was constructed again in the name of God. He looked at these humans and said, “(Damn!) I should have planted some plantains in their place.”


Some of them are equally hilarious and disturbing. For instance, the last one. According to some, if one doesn’t belong to their religion, one is not religious at all. I personally know people who believe so.

Some of the comments on these posts said that festivals and fireworks weren’t for God’s entertainment but for ours. The question is, if certain entertainments cause trouble and nuisance, is it necessary in the name of religion? Will we lose anything by reducing some of the festivities? This is my opinion and I know you will have yours. I respect that. But the answer ‘This has been followed for years and this should continue’ is too vague and unsettling.

To believe or not to believe is up to people. But stereotyping the God you have never seen and expecting people to follow your version of it, manipulating religious practices as per your convenience, using fear as a tool to get things done in the name of God only depicts the crookedness of human minds.

Your God is your conscience. Your version of God need not tally with everyone else’s version. As long as your deeds do not hurt anyone physically or mentally, you are worshipping your God right.

How different, peaceful and beautiful the world would be if each one of us minded our own business, ensured that we did not hurt our fellow beings through words or deeds, and extended our hands when someone was in need?

Featured image courtesy: Favim.com

PS – I am not an athiest. I am religious in my own way yet, that doesn’t stop me from questioning certain beliefs. I do not have any grudge towards any religion. If the mention of any names hurt your sentiments, I apologize. It wasn’t intentional. Meanwhile, some of the sentences explicitly display my belief and I do not apologize for those. To know the difference, you may ask me. Thanks 🙂

Valentine’s Day – 9 Fun Ways For Couples & Singles

This Post has been selected as a WOW post by Blogadda

There are lots of singles who turn all gloomy when February begins. They see the Valentine’s Day vibes everywhere. It begins with annoying people like me, writing posts on how to’s and what to’s for valentine’s day. No matter where the singles turn, there is love in the air. During those times when I forget that it is Valentine’s Day and ask someone,

‘Hey! What’s up?’

I get a sigh and a low voice that sadly mumbles, ‘What could be up for a single on a Valentine’s Day?’. The voice is so low that a-minute-ago-happy-me is pulled down into the abyss of depression!

If Valentine’s Day celebrates Love, who brought about and spread the notion that love happens among couples alone? Anyone can celebrate Valentine’s Day and no! It is not desperate. Let me show you 9 fun and thoughtful ways to celebrate it for both singles and couples. Bring a new meaning to Valentine’s Day:

1. Take Your Granpa(rents) Out On a Date – You have Valentine’s Day and the days before and after to spend with the love of your life. Most of our Grandparents are single now, thinking about the days with their better half. Give them a wonderful experience. Ask your Grandma to wear her best saree and jewelry that she hasn’t worn in ages. Ask your Grandpa to show some sunlight to that old exquisite suit of his. Take them for a movie and then a lovely dinner. Treat them like the King/Queen that they are.

A Sikh child pushes his grandfather on a swing in a park in the northern Indian city Chandigarh August 13, 2006. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore     (INDIA)
1. A Sikh child pushes his grandfather on a swing in a park in  Chandigarh August 13, 2006. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore (INDIA)

Psst! Grandparents are a bit tough. You might hear them saying in their bold voices, hoarse with age and experience, “We do not celebrate Love on one day lad! We celebrate it everyday. No date will match ours lad! Don’t trouble me with such stuff!” You’ll need to do quite a lot of coaxing. Kids, I tell you 😉

2. Send a Bouquet to Your Mom – Age no bar, women love flowers and bouquets. The only other person who can totally flatter them, apart from their husband, is their children. I once bought jasmine flowers for my mother. That was the first time I gave it to her – An instinctive buy when I saw them across the street. She looked at me teary eyed and said, “I love flowers. This is the first time someone’s gifting me jasmine flowers without my asking for it.” Well, let’s just say that my dad isn’t the expressive types.

If your mom loves to wear jasmine, buy her some or order a bouquet and have it delivered while you stand behind her at the door.  Or give it yourself telling her that she is your Valentine. You can send one for your dad too, if he loves flowers. 🙂

3. Visit an Old-age home – You cannot be a valentine to more than one person. Who said so? More than the money you spend on charity, the time you spend makes memories and brings smiles on their faces. The ones in the old-age homes were once like us, in the prime of their youth, with dreams in their eyes and laughter on their lips. Somewhere in their lives, they stopped receiving the love they deserved and were abandoned.

When the entire world celebrates love tomorrow, they will be longingly looking out the window, waiting for their children who may never come. Even worse, some of them wouldn’t even have any hopes of seeing their children.

4. Go Tripping – Plan ahead of time. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by going on a tour. Chalk off all those places you have wanted to visit. Plan with your friends/family or go alone. While the entire world celebrates Love, you will be celebrating lot more. It will be one of the most memorable days of your life. And when someone asks you what you did on 2016 Valentine’s Day, you could easily tell them how you went on a trip and enjoyed it to bits.

5. Love Yourself – Who is that one person who knows you in and out? Who is that one person who could get the whiff of every emotion you feel the moment it begins? Who is that one person who is capable of loving you more than anyone else? You. No matter how many people love you, you are the first one that should love yourself.

You know your wishlist. You crave for so many things. You know what Valentine’s Day means to you. Go grab what you want. Gift yourself that gadget, those books, that trip, those CDs, the dresses, shoes, food, lots and lots of food. Pamper yourself. It’s the day for Love!

6. Date With Fictional Characters – This George R. R. Martin quote says it all:

And reading is like breathing for the book lovers and it is more important to us than eating or sleeping. If you have gifted books to yourself, you need time to read it right? Just hole up in your Utopia and devour book after book all day. Book, words and literature are your love and so are the characters in them. Spend your day with them.

My Idea of a Fantastico Valentine’s Day: Books.Coffee.Chocolates.Window.Rain

7. Surprise Someone – Just about anyone. The old friend you haven’t called for a while, a relative, a neighbor or just about anyone who wouldn’t expect you. Buy some knick-knacks to eat, some drinks, take your favorite movies and songs in a pen drive and just crash land at your surprisee’s place. Drink, dance, crack jokes and have a fun-filled memorable day. Things to ensure:

a. That your surprisee doesn’t have plans
b. If your drinks include booze, no drunk dialing exes.

8. Nurture your Neglected Hobbies – Remember that blissful satisfaction after you created something? The awe and the pride you felt when you looked at your creation? Don’t you miss that?

I’ll just leave this here

A day you would have spent with a loved when if you weren’t single. Use the day to do something productive for yourself. What is that hobby you had that you never nurture these days? Try going back to it. Hobbies seldom leave you. They just lie buried beneath all those ‘Have to’s’.

9. Set a Goal for the next Valentine’s Day – What is that one thing you want to achieve this year? It could be anything expensive or time taking. A trip, a job, a gadget, a vehicle, an art, an ambition, whether it is making someone or something yours, mark this day and aim to achieve it by the next Valentine’s Day. Set the Goal and work towards it. Achieve something you love and you have always wanted. Lay the groundwork on Feb 14th, 2016.

For instance, if you intend to buy something, open a Recurring Deposit account and transfer a small amount to it every month. Do the planning on Feb 14th and open the account on the next working day itself.

So, what are you doing this Valentine’s Day?

Image Courtesies

  1. thegirlwhokeepsdreaming.tumblr.com/
  2. http://www.vivalasvegasweddings.com
  3. http://sonalidalal.blogspot.in/
  4. gomissing.in
  5. emimiranda.tumblr.com

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

What is Wrong With The Youth Today?

Belonging to Generation Y and being in the prime of my youth, I have often been disturbed by this question asked by the elders. According to them, the values, cultures, traditions and laws preserved by them and their ancestors are going to the dogs because of the youth today.

On a personal level, I noticed faults with their generation too. Not once, but many times. I had to endure these comments because I wasn’t allowed to answer back. Else they’d say, the youth today do not respect their elders. A weapon to stop youngsters from speaking up. After much observation, I realized that being quiet simply proved them right. This isn’t a blame game. This is to open their eyes to reality and stop the blame game.

1. The Youth Today do not respect their eldersI was taking my 80 year old grandmother to a doctor and the old auto rickshaw driver was driving recklessly. My grandma was finding it very difficult and so I asked him to slow down. He didn’t, saying he was in a hurry.
While returning a very young rickshaw driver took us home. He said, “This road is very bad. Full of pot-holes. It will tire Amma. I’ll take the interior path.”

I waited for another person to compare the old & the new generation.

2. Internet & movies are spoiling today’s youth – I know friends who watch porn and haven’t till date, even for a moment behaved without dignity.

I know middle to older-aged men comprising of people with esteemed professional degrees in superior positions who have brought forth vulgar requests, made lives of employees miserable and in certain circumstances, groped their employees.


That was just one of the many faces.

3. The Music Today is Soulless “The music today is soulless”, they said. Things from our childhood & youth are soaked with memories that their shade will be evergreen. No matter how wonderful an experience you have in your middle age, you will compare it to your youth & childhood and find that it never matches. It is the same with everything else including music & movies.

I accept that there were some soul stirring irreplaceable songs in the past. There are such songs even today. There were musical wizards in your days. But today is no different. If you cannot pick even a single soulful music from today, it’s because you have convinced yourself that your days were the best. It is your mindset that prevents you from enjoying them.

4. This generation is all about parties & DJsThis comment is way too common. I ask what is wrong? I ask the elders if there was nothing of this sort in their youth. I have watched the old black & white movies that featured clubs and cabaret dances. I’d say they have depicted them in such bad light that the gen X should be ashamed of themselves to point fingers at gen Y or Z .


We do have pubs and parties. But since when did dancing and socializing become an offence? Since when did it begin to determine the character of a person or a generation?

5. The Youth Today do not have respect for Indian Values & Traditions– I admit that I am not aware of many of our traditions. I’d love to learn them and I will learn them.

I know Tambrahm friends who eat Non veg, smoke, drink alcoholic beverages etc. They may not follow the daily rituals. But they are kind souls, who listen and can be reasoned with. On the other hand, there are elders who follow ALL the rituals to perfection and the next moment, argue irrationally, use abusive words and belittle everyone around.


I have aunts & mom’s colleagues who have been subjected to brutal domestic violence by the ‘tradition followers’. I have cousins and friends who are treated with care & respect by their husbands who may or may not follow these traditions.

6. Women in this generation wear scanty clothes & are arrogant – Being a woman from this generation, I do not wear scanty clothes. Arrogance does come when it is called for by comments like these. Long gone is the concept of a woman who is always patient, listening and affirming everything told to her by the society and pretending to be sati savitri. This is where I voice my thoughts.

Women wear clothes that they are comfortable in. Most of us know what to wear and when to wear them. You could see the same girl wearing shorts while going out with her friends and draping a beautiful Saree while going to temples. The women today are capable of adapting to their surroundings and embracing change. This something to be proud of.

Clothes and arrogance are unrelated. Why else would tele-serials depict arrogant Saree clad mother-in-laws & daughter-in-laws?

The older generations faced a lot of tribulations to give us comfortable lives. We, the youth of today, respect them and the values they taught us. We also have the inquisitiveness to know why certain things are the way they are and we question them. We party and have fun. We help the ones in need. There are some poisoned minds among us too. But that doesn’t mean, all of us are the same.

The youth today comprises of people who, without a second thought formed a team and extended help during the floods in Chennai.  The youth today comprises of youngsters who listen to elders insulting the ‘youth today’ and out of respect keep their views to themselves.

Finally, I am not sorry to break your bubble:


Me – A Woman Pointed Away from Technology & Towards Kitchen

Two conversations were sufficient for me to realize that some of the educated people today, still lack the common sense to think for themselves.

Conversation 1

It was about booking an Uber. The app showed us that there were no cars available. Having used it many times before, I suggested a solution. The reply was a mocking smile and,

“This is the problem with women & technology.”

I felt like I had been slapped on my face. I looked at him open mouthed. He was someone close to me, educated and I’m sure he must have come across tech savvy women. Yet, this is what he said. Since the cab was our priority, I explained to him how to go about my suggestion. Soon, we were waiting for the cab. I told him softly that I was hurt when he said those words. I don’t think he understood how awful I felt, but all the same he apologized.

What about all those situations when men are equally ignorant about technology? I have come across many such instances. I have corrected men when they were wrong. Yet, I haven’t heard a comment that said ‘technology & men’. I ensure that I don’t mock people for their ignorance. Here the mocker was the ignorant one.

via meme generator
via meme generator


Conversation 2

I was discussing about my course with a relative (A man) and then the topic of family came up. I was told.

“You women should venture into the kitchen and take up some work.”

I said it wasn’t as easy as said. There are situations at home, I have classes & studies. Due to various other reasons, it isn’t possible for me to do all the work at home.

“Face the consequences. You ladies have to take up the household chores”, came the reply.

Probably, he was used to talking that way, rather than listening what the other person had to say. I didn’t want to worsen the argument and so I agreed and ended it.

I know many working women who wake  up early, prepare food for their husband, send them to work, then they go for work, return, do household chores, prepare dinner & clean up after the same. These days, men are helping too. But there are many houses where that doesn’t happen.

It goes thus, women ‘have to’ do the household chores while men ‘don’t have to’. We are still clinging on to age old customs without thinking logically. There is a limit for the human body to take up work & stress. Beyond that limit, the health gets affected which is partly why more women suffer from ailments than men. Most of my friends’ mothers have knee pains, low bone density, other joint pains etc compared to their fathers.

Woman Working - Silly Woman! That's not the kitchen.
via meme generator


Let us think logically. Our ancestors did restrict women from living their lives and so, their lifestyle was thus. Now that women are in every field, we should also lighten their burdens. Every family is different from the other. So based on your family, talk it out. Discuss how the burden could be reduced and shared if not equally, at least to an extent. It might be complicated at first. But gradually, you can work it out. Ultimately, the health & peace of mind of people around you is what matters.

Those who cannot be this open minded can marry women who aren’t ambitious rather than marrying educated women and squeezing the life out of them. If you are a parent who has a problem with a working daughter in law, find a daughter in law who prefers to be a house-wife. There are many such women. I respect them all equally. Forcing someone to become someone else is not the solution.

I am a CA student. I am capable of doing the chores at home & I actually like doing them. I love cooking, arranging & cleaning. But when I have classes or when my exams are approaching, studying for minimum 10 hours a day becomes necessary. People (relatives who don’t know how difficult CA is) ask me to do chores when I take a break. After studying for 2 hours, the only 15 mins break I take, I should work. Does that sound reasonable to you? Why isn’t that asked of the men who are pursuing the same course?

Both the conversations happened within a span of a month. Both are my relatives; well educated, know the strains and pains of a working woman, have worked with women colleagues. They see the lives of women, be it in the family or at work and yet, use tones that generalize women and phrases that adorned the women of 19th century.

If education and experience talks this way, what can I say about the rest of our country?

16 Tips to Make Your Year Productive – I

Fed up of making resolutions and dropping them midway? Then chuck resolutions and prepare a set of achievable and interesting goals. By goals I mean, all those one-time-things you have always wanted to do. You can even do them side by side. Here is how.

The year glides by and before you know, it is December. In the end, you ask yourself, ‘What have I achieved this year?’ and you can’t think of anything much. Deep inside, you know that the year was just okay and you are in the same position you were, when the previous year ended. 365 days whooshed past and you have no clue what you did. To change that, I prepared a list of things I wanted to achieve this year. When I wrote My Bucketlist for 2016, it was well received by the few who read it. That inspired me to write this post.

Resolutions are mostly recurring, boring and general in nature. That is partly a reason for us to stop them midway. Most of us keep resolutions to make a difference in our lives and at the end of the year, we are back to square one. Isn’t it time to change the pattern? Yes! Prepare a list of achievable goals. Things you have wanted to do but never got to doing or fears you wish to overcome! Anything that would be a propulsive factor to you, something that does not require a forever routine.

Why Replace Resolutions with Goals?

Know the difference in this context 🙂

Let's drop the resolutions and pick up the goals
Let’s drop the resolutions and pick up the goals


  • The reputation – Most of us do not take up resolutions anymore because we know it is not going to happen!
  • The Recurring Routine Nature – Most of the resolutions have a routine nature and picking up routines isn’t easy. People get bored when they hit the gym on the tenth day or eat boring dietary food everyday. There is nothing interesting to pep it up.
  • No Defined Plans – To hit the gym regularly, to read more, to meditate, to diet, stop procrastinating are the regular items on the list until the list goes missing. No one defines what regularly means and how to achieve that, what more means in ‘read more’, how to meditate and what dieting means according to you. With no plans, they all vanish into thin air.

Here is an extensive, but not an exhaustive list of goals you could prepare:

1. A Bank Account to Enjoy Life – If you are earning, open a Recurring Deposit account, give a standing instruction so that a portion of your salary automatically goes into the RD account. This will be your account for enjoying life. I have seen many of my friends work a lot, spend carelessly and then struggle for money when they want something they have been dreaming for long.

Now, what is your passion? Is it traveling, reading, shopping or partying? If you transfer enough per month, you will have enough in the end, to go on that trip, buy all the books, go shopping or partying. Did I hear you say that you already have good investment plans? Even then, you need an account for splurging. It is an assurance that you can have fun at anytime! I saved a bit when I earned earlier and used it for a recent trip. Trust me! You won’t regret it. 🙂

2. For Book Lovers – Many of the book lovers do not manage to read as much as they used to. I, for instance, read barely 3-4 books last year. The books I intended to read in 2014 are still pending.
The best thing to do is, to prepare a list of books you intend to read. Keep going through the list and soon, you will find yourself remembering about your goals more often. Movie lovers can do the same with movies.In a year, there are so many moments we waste unknowingly. Always carry a book around so that you can read whenever you get a free time. In this manner, you won’t get bored and you will achieve your goals.

Prepare a list of books you want to read
Prepare a list of books you want to read

3. For Globetrotters and Bikers – Whether you are a Globetrotter or a crazy biker, prepare a list of places you wish to visit. I know that most of the guys prefer impulsive rides. You can have that. Preparing a list makes it easier to decide. But most importantly, like I mentioned earlier, looking at the list urges you to travel more.
When you get tied up with work or studies, you don’t realize that the year is coming to an end. It is in the end that you look back and regret that you didn’t do much that year. The list will be a reminder. When you look at the list, you’ll look at the calendar. The fact that you haven’t covered much of the items will make you go for an impulsive ride or trip.

4. Learn Something New – I decided to learn a new language. You can decide on anything you have an aptitude for. Here are some tips:

  • Martial arts
  • Music or musical instruments – Indian or western.
  • Dance
  • Knitting or stitching
  • Painting of any kind – Pots, Mural, Fabric, there are a hundred options.
  • Craft and DIY tricks
  • A degree in a subject that you are interested in – Fashion, Vedas and Sanskrit have been in my mind for quite some time. But not this year.
  • Sports – I am not listing anything here. You know it better.

    Pic courtesy: via Canva.com
    Pic courtesy: via Canva.com

5. Cook – Ladies and Gentlemen! Cook something new. Not Indian or Chinese! Something very very different whose name you can’t even pronounce! Be it Mtuzi Wa Samaki from Africa or Char Kway Teow from Singapore or Fiori di Zucca from Rome. I have no idea what these are, but you get the point. Later, if you feel up to it, you can prepare a four course dinner for a family or friend. Who else can you experiment on? 😉

Along with this, you may also take up learning actual cooking. It is a goal that will help you throughout your life. Eating is something we cannot stop. It is only natural to know how to cook. A bit of burnt curry a day is better than hotel food for an entire year. It is no rocket science; you’ll pick up with practice.

6. Meet a Friend You Haven’t Met for Many Years – Outside the city! I said that because, you can also check out a place from your travel list. Write down the name of that friend you haven’t met for years. Maybe more than one. Call them up, discuss your plan. Keep in touch with them and discuss your visit more often. By doing this, you have already done half the job. They will remind you, your goals list will remind you and the universe will conspire to make you both meet.

7. Face Your Fears – I am not the right one to say this. I have lots of fears and I am too skeptical to face them. This is for those people who are more daring and who will have the guts to put this down in their goals list. Pick up one of those fears; whether it is facing the public, heights, clients or anything else, decide to go for it and get it over with. Er… I shouldn’t dwell much on this. 😛

Read on to find the remaining 9 tips…


The Chennai Rains – A Positive Note

100 Happy Days – Day 65

Happy to Be a Part of a Dynamic Youth

There has been immense loss of lives and property due to the floods in Chennai. We, being in the neighboring state, could actually understand the gravity of the situation. You begin to understand a situation only when you or someone close to you are affected by it.

The Hands and the Hearts of Youth

While the situation in Chennai worsened, people from different parts of the country came forward to extend their support. All of a sudden, my facebook feeds were flooding with call for help and support. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, in my hometown, Ernakulam, teams such as #anbodukochi and #CochiHelpsChennai had collection locations at different points. People could contribute supplies or cash. These supplies were brought to a single location from where, they were sorted into kits, packed and sent to Chennai. Similarly, many other districts in Kerala and also other states in the country did their best to extend their help.

The Fictional Heroes Became Real Heroes

I came across news where celebrities were contributing fund for the cause. A number of celebrities including AR Rahman, Shah Rukh Khan & Rajnikanth contributed huge amounts. Actor Sidharth kept providing transport services, responded to help requests and was in action throughout. Here are some of his tweets that earned a lot of respect:

He arranged vehicles for delivering food packets.

And water.

He gave them strength and hope.

He encouraged the volunteers, he also inspired the rest to come forward.

He assured them that he will be there and all they had to do was to call him.

I had to pick a few from hundreds of tweets he had shared. You can head over to his twitter account and see for yourselves. The efforts he took.

Our Saviors & Protectors at their Best

The Indian Army was there as always to rescue thousands of people.

Indian Army rescue and relief operations during Chennai floods

Image courtesy: dnaindia.com

While, the Indian Air Force did their fair share too. Here is a footage of the IAF rescuing a pregnant woman.

Courtesy: http://www.hindustantimes.com

When Everyone Became a Hero

The unity of the residents of Chennai, to a large extent, helped each other. I was listening to the radio today and one of the victims said that until the floods hit, he did not know any of the neighbors. But, when the need arose, the entire neighborhood helped each other whether it was for rescue operations, providing food and supplies or for support. Images of muslims helping in temples, other religions taking refuge in mosques, opening up of halls and houses for people who lost their homes became a common sight.

The Game of Self Promotion

While the entire city, state and even the country was in action, the rulers played their part in providing relief and rescue operations. I read many comments slamming them entirely, which I think is sort of prejudiced. It isn’t right to turn a blind eye to the good deeds.

But, I have to mention that using this disaster to promote a certain group symbolizes that humanity is hitting a new low. There was a lot of anger over the fact that goons were forcibly pasting stickers on the relief material supplied and carried by trucks. This was followed by the release of some hilarious sticker memes by the angry crowd. My favorite being this one:

Enter a caption

Image courtesy – Amul.com


The Only Flaw in Us

Amidst all this, one thing that caught my eye was that, #Intolerance was still trending during the Chennai rains. The topic had begun days ago and there had been a lot of fuss over it. But this is where we have to prioritize things. Is someone’s opinion more important than dying lives?

You might ask me, how will the change in trend help Chennai. I know it won’t. But when intolerance is trending, it shows that there is a large population either ignorant about the Chennai rains or insensitive about it. And the best way to avoid such situations is not to gobble up whatever the media throws at us. Freedom of expression is given to everyone. It is one thing to express our opinions. But it is an entirely different thing to sleep over and cling to our opinion and forget all else.

The Ray of Hope

At the end of the day, we realized that there is no enmity between the people of different states. When a part of the population was in trouble, the rest dived to their rescue. Many came forward to take this up and they all did a wonderful job. I feel very very proud to have been born in this era and to have been a part of this youth and this is what makes me immensely happy.

Here, in Kochi, in three days’ time a lot of materials were collected and sent to Chennai. The group which included the celebrities worked hand in hand for this endeavor. Every time I went to buy supplies, I noticed someone else buying them too. Thousands of unknown people were working for the same cause. I am sure it must have been the same in other places too. If in such a short span, the youth could do so much, with time and planning, we could run the country.

In short, this meme created by a great anonymous soul, sums it up:

Source – Facebook (I wish I knew the creator, who deserves an applause.)

I end this post with a prayer for those in Chennai. I pray that the clouds do not return, that the water dry up soon, the houses and vehicles get restored, that the people who are ill get well soon, that no infections or diseases spread post-flood and that this fate does not arise elsewhere.

||Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavanthu||