Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Diwali - last year

This is a repost from a previous blog I had. I wrote it as soon as I came from a trip to India last year during Diwali. else am I going to make a post a day... my blog .. my rules.., right?
I am still trying to hold on to those lingering feeling of being in India - by not eating out, not watching american tv as much, not visiting places I normally tend to visit and so on. Would this go away hopefully when I have a family of my own? Do I get this feeling because I am missing my parents, or does the place & the country, culture, play a role in this. For now, all I know is, I am still holding to the feeling of being in India.

Diwali, after 6 years in India was unexpectedly fun. Cousin asked me to join the rest of the maternal clan at uncle's house terrace on diwali eve(the previous day of diwali, people).

One cousin's wife asked, if I had come to India for "Ponna pakka".
Random thoughts crossed my head. Why would i go see a girl? just because i haven't gotten married for so long, they consider me a lesbian now? but i am not one.
So I swiftly replied lest my sexuality is in question, "Payyan Pakka". And clan immediately jumped on how these modern girls with female liberation idea and that brigade. If only they had known what was truly going on in my modern girl mind!

Ladies discussed the diwali sweet and general receipes. Aunt, who has been bed-ridden for couple of years and just started walking, wanted to know my salary and savings till date and such. Cousin's wife sighed from behind to ignore it. Aunt went on to talk about why the Mango trees branches which have spread half the motta maddi have not been cut. Niece sulked about how she had to wear salwar(her only dress code seems to jeans, skirts or any other western wear even on diwali day).Meanwhile, uncle remarked he smelt "vengaya pulusu"(onion sambar). Everybody to their own.

Nephews went onto burst one rocket after another( or whatever thing is called these days). They even gave me an opportunity from time to time. These rockets are superb - the changu-chakram, flower pots, all the things that we are used to but in the sky. Its almost as if hundreds of july 4 fireworks at play from every one's terrace. I asked one of my nephews what was the thing called, he replied "Vengaya pulusu".

On our first diwali after moving to Madras, we did the usual thing, got up at 4.00am and burst the first cracker(in our case it is usually the thousand wallah). Unfortunately, the opposite house neighbour got startled, switched on his verandah lights, ensured there were no miscreants and went back to sleep! That was the enthusiasm of the city in contrast to the other town where we lived. As years passed, we got accustomed to the city and also grow older and settled for more time in front of the T.V.

This year as any other respectful tamilian, I duly sat down to watch srikanth and vandana's morning interview, my mom interrupted. She wanted me to skip TV and burst crackers(such blasphemy). My mom used her usual brahmaastram and said, "Sastrutuku". So, my dad and I set out with our candles and bundles of crackers. And boy, what fun it turned out to be.

Pretty much everybody in the flat came down(just 4 families anyway). We burst 6 lakshmi veedis together(& our ear drums along with it), ofcourse thousand wallahs, lighting up the vedi in hand and throwing them before they burst(thalaivar style) and the end of throwing all the left over veedis together and lighting up(which did not burst! bulbits). I saw my dad play with crackers or vedis for the first time in my life leading the next door 8 year old to comment, "Uncle is smart!".

Evening followed another session in our "Motta Madi" where the only rocket I launched went down spiraling under people's sarees esp. my Mom's. My mom thankfully jumped. The dutiful kid I was ran for my dear life and failing to even notice the mother in danger. The two half punjabi, half palghat tamil kids are truly scared for the rest of life and might not touch a cracker. They disappeared instantly after the accident. Rest of us continued bravely to light up the sky and terrace.

The neighbour and I had plans to launch more rackets at midnight if India won the match against Pakistan that day. India successfully lost that match!

Writing skills leave much to be desired

I form several posts in the head, everyday. Sounds so wonderful in head.

Painful when I read the same post in the blog.

Disappointment barges in even as I write the post. to capture the strings of words in head, to sentences in the blog. What does one do? One continues to write.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Research findings from Sachita's world

Whenever I spot an interracial couple, I have a tendency to look at who the kids take after. I seem to have had some prior expectations on this issue. Yep wierd, I know. I had expected the african genes to be the dominant one, as its a long lasting race(remember the out of africa theory?). Like wise Indians too. I don't know if they can be included as a separate race, I always think of Indians as an amalgmation of different races. I did add them to the older races lists and expected their genes to be dominant. Frankly, I surprise myself how I even formed these theories. It wasn't as if I sat and thought through them. I just had formed them somehow.

What I did observe was, the one race which hadn't figured in my thought process, Chinese, seemed to be the dominant one. Chinese-Indian, Chinese-Caucasian - kids always take after their chinese genes. Even the second dominant one surprised me, causcasians. I had always thought of them as a fairly newer race and assumed their genes might not be dominant.

Indians seem to figure last in the list after Africans, rarely do the kids of a mixed marriage look anything like their Indian side.

Ofcourse, the whole observation is based on the samples I have seen and has no purpose except for this blog entry. It is what one calls a moo point.

Entha Vaaram Blogpost vaaram

My plan for the next 7 days is a post a day. Let us see, shall we?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I have often wondered ....

why we pay taxes in India.

People say governmant employees take bribes because the salary is not sufficient.

Any normal upper middle class citizens in India would be paying close to 50%(including sales tax & all other random taxes) of their salary in taxes.
The 40-50% of salary in taxes is true for any country. The taxes we pay, according to me,(feel free to argue here) is for the facilities we are provided with from roads to record keeping of the government. If you are in U.S, you pretty much get facilities/benefits worth your taxes. But if you are in India, on top of the taxes you will have to bribe your way through.

So what I am suggesting is do away with the taxes or the bribes. But the latter is definitely not going to happen, so can we please do away with the taxes? System might at least be transparent.

Instead of paying taxes and hoping and praying that you will one day get to see the roads or any such roundabout exercises, you will pay for services that you will be a direct recipient of.