March 18, 2012

List Goes On...

I was wondering how different my childhood would have been I was born in this century.All of us have beautiful memories and treasured moments which we wish to relive again. I would like to list a few things I truly regard as special and could recollect as the fondest memories of my childhood
• Sip Ups-The flavored iced delicacy in a plastic tube which used to cost 25 paisa. My amma used to discourage having it saying it’s made of drainage water , But still I would yearn for one especially after the March Annual exams, while walking back home in the hot sun holding your clip board and pencil case in a plastic textile cover.
• Sunday Programs in Doordarshan-Chandrakantha-The character that comes to my mind is ‘Kroor Singh’. Duck Tales used to be my all time favorite. I can still sing the theme song. The Chitrahaar which was eagerly awaited every week for the latest bollywood songs.
• 4:30-6:30 play time.6:30 used to be the most difficult time for the kids when they know they have to go back home now. Irrespective of exams or projects most of us enjoyed 2 hours of rolling in the sand and making our own innovative games, Climbing tress plucking mangoes, watchman running behind the kids, cycle race and the list goes on.
• ‘Free’. those Free things we get with Boost/Complan especially the stickers of sportsmen or the Frisbee or the cards. I used to eagerly wait for Balarama’s festival editions where I would get a sticker free which I would stick in my door adding to the collection,not to mention Mayavi’s adventures.
• Sending answers to Surabhi Program in TV. I have no clue how many postcards I have sent to them expecting my name to be announced.
• Train Journeys and enjoying the hot snacks especially the cutlets and vadas served from Indian Railway Pantry
• Occasional hotel food. I still remember how hard it was for me to get a parcel of Parotta Chicken from nearby canteen. Only if I had a 95 plus in all subjects I would have the privilege of tasting some hotel food which then was a taste I would die for.
• Chocolates and Stationeries from abroad. The Mars,the Twix and those special colored erasers and pencil sharpeners which had that ‘Foreign smell’ in the Lulu packets.
I might just go on.I am sure you guys have loads to add to this list 

March 8, 2012

Safety Pongala..

Logging into Facebook /Twitter has become the most convenient thing to get hold of the latest news. Unlike the past religious festivals are also being discussed promoted and covered in these sites. I was well aware of the famous ‘Attukal Pongala’ festival from indirect and direct mentioning from my close social circuit. Anyways, I couldn’t resist myself from ignoring the pictures and the media reports on the same. I decided to google if anybody has ever written on the dark side of this ‘Mega Event’ nor about the real safety measures needed to accommodate this crowd. Let me just make sure that I am a Devotee and has absolutely nothing against the religious beliefs of the 3.5 million women who participated in this or those million women across the globe who missed performing this.
I have lost someone who was very dear to me performing this so called ‘Food Offering to Goddess’.Its been almost 6 years and I still don’t understand the logic/or call it the bad luck when that person has been chosen among the 3 million to undergo a painful death or rather to put in the crude way,to offer herself to god by accident. Even 6 years back there were plenty of security measures, volunteers, ambulances and what not. I don’t know if the readers will blame it on the carelessness of the casualty, But I can bet that in a place like Kerala it is indeed a very difficult task to save someone’s life by swift paramedical care.I have been told that it took almost 1.5 hours to cover a mere 4 km in the state of emergency. Do they have a safety policy?Have they done the necessary studies?Are all these people educated about the safety precautions?I doubt whther this is all feasible in God’s own Country where 100% literacy come as a trademark.
I have investigated a bit on such untold stories(not in the Media )about precious lives lost in this much hyped and holy festival. Many lives, Families curse their ill luck or even believe as the Goddess’s early call to attaining moksha.
But the truth is that we people have to think if our society or our governing bodies are equipped with all that is needed to host the 3.5 million women. Mebbe I am biased in my judgement, but I have heard many personal stories who were deprived trauma care and are still leading a painful life. I couldn’t read of any story or a reporter mentioning about those who stopped living after this. I still believe if you believe in your faith, why don’t you do at your home in your own safety?