Can we counter the stereotypes now?!

Felt like writing this after reading Purba Ray’s post here – “A dark cloud over Nina Davuluri’s win”


Nina Davuluri is a house hold name now. More than her Miss America 2014 title it’s the twitter which made her victory more special. She is the first Indian to be crowned Miss America. Nina tasted the victory just after September 11th which in the history of America , is a sad day. To that matter it is a sad day for all of us. Few ignorant folks imagined that she is an Arab , a terrorist or a member of Al-Qaeeda and got offended by her victory in the beauty pageant  . The hate tweets followed like below.

How ever Nina didn’t flinch. She says  that she’s grown up with so many stereotypes about her culture that she just knew that it was something that she needed to advocate for. Even if she was slammed by tweeple it didn’t effect her much. Few nincompoops can’t take her title away. She sure made us all proud but the fact which I felt funny is few Indians raising their voices against the ignorant Americans. The same Indians who always stereotype others by what they wear , what they eat or how they look. We get united when we have to fight  the foreigners but in our own country we have many stereotypical images strongly imprinted in our brains. 

Every one who hails from North East is a chinki. If you are from Saawth you have to be dusky / black with a flat nose coz Dravidians were believed to be short , stout , dark with flat nose where as Aryans who are descendants of the Northies are supposed to be tall , fair and beautiful. I myself have faced this question in college , office , in the neighborhood and every where. Are you a Punjabi? Are you from North ? The only reason is I am fair/ white. When I say that I am from Andhra Pradesh people stare at me due to two reasons. One is my complexion and the other is my fluent Telugu. I am a Muslim and it is a norm to not understand Telugu and speak a broken language as per few ignorant souls who surround me! I am “used to” these kind of questions. If you are from Saawth you are a Madrasi. If you are from North you are mostly a Punjabi. It doesn’t matter if you are from Mumbai , Bhubhaneswar or Goa. They all come under North in the customized maps hanging on the hazy walls of many fellow Indians. Their visions are blurred by their ignorance which is a pain in others asses!

There are many more age old beliefs people have which if I discuss here it may become a sensitive topic. One example I can give here is about Indian marriages. Various places have various cultures. Ultimately every one is getting married to start a new life. I was asked many times by many puzzled Indians that if mother in law is tying kalipoth (an ornament worn as part of the wedding ritual) then how will that marriage hold good ? Seriously other than giving a “I pity you” look I can do nothing when I am asked these questions! In a land of diversities it is a very common scenario to come across a bunch of people who believe that their traditions are sensible and everyone else’s are weird! 
I love exploring and understanding others traditions. Different beliefs and rituals never cease to amuse me and my smile broadens when ever borders vanish during marriages. I enjoy attending a inter religious or an inter-regional wedding but I can never say , “Oh ! You do this like that. Will that hold good?”  Gosh! I sound XS- Xtra stupid even when I type it here 🙂 

A country where fair is considered as beautiful and dark is considered beautiful only when it is a mole that shines on the fair skin it is astounding to see the way every one supported Nina Davuluri. Had she not won the Miss America title she would have been pitied by fellow aunties and uncles that a little fair complexion would have helped her. I have a strong feeling that she would have faced such comments in her life. Nina Davuluri smashed all the stereotypes and won the title of Miss America 2014 which anyway will not change the attitude of many towards black / dark complexion and the practice of stereotyping a person by his appearance.

Nandita Das is running a “Dark is beautiful” campaign to imbibe sense in to people. We have to wait and see how much change this campaign will bring! 

From centuries the fairness cream ads are ruling the TV where a girl uses the cream , becomes fair in ten days and wins the Miss India title. The above campaign is also protesting against the un-fair ads.

I hope people like Nina Davuluri should act in an ad and show it to people that it’s not just the complexion which helps one to win the crown. The other skills do matter. 24 year old Nina Davuluri is from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh and I felt glad to see that she is born on April 20. No I am not stereotyping that all Aprilites are witty and charming 😉

Nina’s Bollywood fusion dance – 
Have a good day
PS: All images are googled. I don’t own them
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No doubt they are called “Legends”

Image

Remembering the legendary actor for his fascinating movies and his contribution to the Indian Cinema.  RIP Dev saheb. You live in our hearts.

I don’t miss my past because if you miss something it means you are static.

~ Dev Anand
(Legendary Indian Film Actor, Director & Producer)
{1923 – 2011}

DevAnand

DevAnand is a man who was ultra stylish and who maintained style even at the age of 88 .Yesterday I was listening to his songs continuously on radio and they all were too dreamy , full of style and attitude which made me blog this today . Sep 26th is DevAnand’s Birthday!

It is tough to pick one song but for now one of my most favorite songs :

Have a good day 🙂

Jodha meets Maham Anga- An untold episode from the Mughal era :)

Salaam-a-lekum Malika-e-Hindustan. This is your room,” the maid showed Jodha Bai her room in the huge palace. The room was regal. Every corner of the room exuded richness. Jodha Bai was impressed even if she was feeling low as she moved to a new place and has to live among new people. The beauty of the “Mariam_uz-Zamani” palace stole her heart

“This palace  is so stunning.” Jodha said in a low voice.

Maham Anga ji wants to meet you Mallika,” another maid came hurriedly to inform Jodha.

Jodha bent her head down so as to show respect to Maham Anga who is the foster mother of Akbar.

Namaste Maham Anga ji,” Jodha greeted Maham Anga.

“Namaste! What kind of greeting is it? When you are in this palace you have to follow the ways here! You got to greet every one with salaam!” said Maham Anga in an authoritative tone.

All the maids bent their heads down as they feared the glare of Maham Anga. All of a sudden there was a pin drop silence. Only distance cooing of a koel could be heard.

Jodha mustered the courage and replied to Maham Anga.

” From where I come we were taught to greet others with Namaste Maham Anga ji. I am sure both Salaam and Namaste mean the same but I will try to greet every one with a Salaam from next time!”

Maham Anga was furious. No one has the guts to confront her in the whole palace including Akbar.

“How dare you question me ? No one ever questions elders here. Is that what you are taught at your place?” fumed Maham Anga.

Jodha was shell shocked by her furious response. She tried to explain that she was just letting her know that Namaste is also a greeting but by the time Jodha spoke Maham Anga walked out of the room.

“The first day at palace did not go well at all,” thought Jodha.

She wanted to discuss this with Akbar but thought otherwise. How can she go to the emperor and ask him to resolve her petty problems?

The next day Jodha got up early , offered her prayers to Lord Krishna and went to the royal kitchen to plan something different that day. The cooks were surprised to see Jodha in the kitchen.

“Today I want you all to cook whatever Maham Anga likes.” Jodha ordered the cooks.

All the cooks exchanged glances on hearing the weird request. Jodha repeated what she said and no questions were asked and  the menu was ready in no time. Kaddu ka Kheer and Sevayya were among them which Maham Anga relished a lot.

Jodha poured the hot Kaddu ka Kheer in a bowl and took it to Maham Anga’s room.

Maham Anga was stunned to see her.

“Why did you come here? ” She questioned.

“Namaste. I mean Salaam-a-lekum Maham Anga ji. I thought I would come and greet you as we did not exchange pleasantries properly yesterday.” replied Jodha.

“Please have this kheer as a token of my respect. I ordered it in the kitchen specially for you. Having a sweet dish on a happy occasion is a ritual anywhere I guess!” continued Jodha.

Maham Anga first hesitated but later took the bowl from Jodha’s hands. She tasted a spoonful of kheer and was impressed.

“But how did you know that I like kheer?” asked Maham Anga who was clearly puzzled.

“I came to live here Maham Anga ji. I believe in showing respect and love by my gestures rather than by mere words. I would be happy to see that every one is happy here due to me.” replied Jodha.

Maham Anga was perplexed by Jodha’s words. She was surprised by her wisdom even if Jodha is just half her age.

Maham Anga muttered a thanks and Jodha left the room only after bending and acknowledging her thanks.

Aishwarya Rai as the beautiful Jodha. Image source :“here”


This is purely a  piece of fiction written by tweaking a scene from “Jodha Akbar” movie 🙂 The message of the story is that the language used to greet people is not important. What is more important is the feeling and the gesture. When the feelings can be understood no language is an obstacle to greet each other !

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

Cannot call it "The end of the Epic!"

Originally Published at http://theviewspaper.net/a-tribute-to-harry-potter-series/

Cannot call it “End of the Epic!!”- A tribute to Harry potter
The era of awesome movies ends. These are the words which first popped in my head after I watched Harry potter and the Deathly hallows—Part 2 in theater 2 years back. Finally there was a curtain raiser to the buzz, the goosies, the overwhelm and joy and also sorrow as there won’t be any more movies! The movie was grand throughout with a total 3D filming . It was an “aahaa” and an “Aargh” moment as well to me! The movie starts exactly where it ended in 7-1 and it doesn’t skip many details which is a delight to readers .There is no ambiguity even to those who watch only movies and don’t read books, but they altered few bits and pieces like they always do .Not sure why they do it but this time the changes were in sync with the movie. The movie doesn’t spoil the war spirit or the story line but as always the worshipers who follow book like bible ended up discussing and murmuring in theater that this is not in book or that part was shown in an unexpected way. For a moment I got a weird thought of casting “Muffliato” spell on the surrounding public so that we happily watch the movie. 

Few dialogues were just as expected and we actually sat at the edge of our seats and had goose bumps.  I enjoyed when Mc Gonagall says “Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries. Protect your school”   and then all the armors come alive. My adrenaline rushed when the war started. Even the death of  Voldemort  is so convincingly shown .He loses strength every time a horcrux is destroyed. He slowly loses confidence. Reading is lot better but this bit was more good to watch live .When Hogwarts was being destroyed we audibly shouted “Oh No! Hogwarts is ruined.” I know the mere muggles may call the fans freaks the way Petunia calls Lily but it’s tough to understand the emotional attachment with this magic woven by Rowling from more than two decades. When they show Hogwarts as just rubble I felt they should just show a scene from future in the end where again HOGWARTS rises to life and there would be abundant snow fall during the  December Christmas! I just wanted to see a happy school again with the trio sitting in Hogsmeade enjoying a butter beer.

The trio as always rocked. Snape/Alan Rickman is heart of the book and also the movie. A stern Person who seems to be loathing Harry all the way melts down to a man who loved Lily Evans potter throughout his life and the same reason his patronus is also the same shape as that of Lily’s which is a silver doe is a touching fact for the readers and movie watchers! ! The only deficit I felt is Snape’s story should have been a more detailed one. The movie should have been a bit longer as it  was the last one. When we feel magic around who wants it less? The KingsCross episode is too good! It is short and crisp without much confusion. 
My favorite dialogues from the movie:
Harry: “One last question professor. Is this real or is it just happening in my head?”
Dumbledore: “Of course it’s happening in your head but why should it mean it’s not real?”
This is just before Harry comes back from KingsCross!The only things which were silly were Dark lord’s silly victorious laugh which didn’t come out great. Everyone laughed in theatre at that juncture. Bellatrix is shattered to pieces. She should have just died like in the book. Again this will solely be a book reader’s reaction. Voldemort hugging Draco is weird as Voldy loathes Malfoy’s family throughout. Other than these things rest of the movie is as adorable as always and a PERFECT potter movie so far! The scene after 19 years is also beautiful except that Hermione didn’t age much, but she is an ingenious witch so I thought to myself that she must have done something to herself like having a homemade under age potion to stay young!  Ginny was so graceful and Malfoy who goes through lot of emotional turmoil looks natural too. The end was nice with the off springs again boarding the train at 9 ¾ at least giving a relief to the fans that the saga is continuing…
The cult so deeply imbibed in our nerves and running in the blood cannot end but the fact that there won’t be any waiting in July after Deathly Hallows made me feel bad for sure! The magic of this epic is for life time to me! Just when I was getting disappointed I saw this link and it was like the dementors sucking the magic out of me vanished all of a sudden .It felt so good to read this- http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/28-things-that-happened-after-the-harry-potter-books-ended
A glimpse from the link above

The only spell with which Rowling won so many hearts is that “Even if you are ingenious and know the darkest possible magic you cannot win if you cannot love any and have evil deeds in your mind. Love has greater magical powers!”This single mantra won the readers’ and audiences’ hearts all these years!!
I was “Petrificus totalus” when the movie ended and even after the end titles we were transfixed to seats for a while!
Some memorable quotes from the movies and books:

§  It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.  ~J.K. Rowling, “The Mirror of Erised,” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1997, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore
§  Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.  ~J.K. Rowling, “Dobby’s Reward,” Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999, spoken by the character Arthur Weasley(My most fav)
§  Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.  ~Steven Kloves (screenplay), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore
§  It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.  ~J.K. Rowling, “The Hungarian Horntail,” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000
§  If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~J.K. Rowling, “Padfoot Returns,” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Sirius Black.
§  Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.  ~J.K. Rowling, “The Parting of the Ways,” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore.
§  You place too much importance… on the so-called purity of blood!  You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!  ~J.K. Rowling, “The Parting of the Ways,” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore
§  It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.  Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.  ~J.K. Rowling, “King’s Cross,” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 2007, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

Smile is not always a curve which sets things straight :-)

It got awkward when Reshma was introduced to Sahil. She already knows him but had to exchange the pleasantries like she met him for the first time. To add to the awkwardness Ajay left her with Sahil as he got a phone call.

Sahil: “Hmm. So you seem very happy?”

 
Reshma: “Of course. Ajay is a good man but I have not embraced life the way you did. I didn’t climb the success ladder forgetting past so fast!”
 

Sahil smiled. The shadow of his smile held so many questions, answers and emotions but it was disrupted as Ajay came back.


Written for Saturday’s 100 words prompt on Write Tribe.
100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe

Voices in my head!

“I can never calm them down. Other than me no one can hear them but they are actually nerve racking sometimes. They are soothing, disturbing and many a times they are just an incoherent buzz. From dawn to dusk they talk to me punctuated by the hum of the washing machine, beeps of oven , whistles of cooker, distant loud chatter and laughs and so on so forth. They guide me, misguide me, tickle me, bring a frown on my face but never leave my head. When I sleep I may be in smiles but my voices always travel miles”.



This is written for“100 words prompt on Saturday” by Corinne.

100 Words On Saturday

"J" for "Jim Corbett"

I just had to post this as I was tempted to do a post on Jim Corbett , from long. From today I will be doing few photo posts. “J” for “Jungle” and “J” for “Jim Corbett”

Corbett National Park has captured the imagination of many with its diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. The natural uniqueness of the area was recognised long ago and so in 1936 Corbett attained the distinction as the first national park to be established in mainland Asia. Its geographical location between the Himalayas and the terai, and the streams, rivers and ridges crisscrossing the terrain, present Corbett with a remarkable variety of landscapes. This vivid mosaic of habitats – wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged, forests and grasslands – supports numerous plant and animal species, representing Himalayan as well as plains kinds. (from the corbett sitehttp://www.corbettnationalpark.in/

We were in to the wilderness and back. We could not spot a tiger in the dense forest in the month of December . The least we could spot were its paw prints but we enjoyed the trip to the fullest. We did not go on a jeep safari instead opted for elephant safari and it was adventurous to enter the dense jungle where we actually cannot go in a jeep or by walk. The below are few snapshots.

Mai aagaya Simran mai aagaya . tumhara ph nai lagraha tha 😛


Doesn’t the back drop remind you of Yash chopra’s movies and songs. Specially Tujhe dekha to ye jaana sanam from Dilwale dulhaniya lejayenge 😉 The sarson ke kheth (fields) made me hum that song.

This is my favorite click in our cottage. Every corner has colors and brightness in Jim corbett.
I know what is spread eagled clearly now. On the way to Corbett  we came across too many eagles.
Flowers talk don’t they ? It wished me a bright morning.
We are too shy to pose for the camera. We can show our love only to SUN!
Solitude is peace some times

In the resort just out side my room
Sun rise at the resort
We dont want to talk to each other

In conversation or in argument ? I like this pic as I felt the bird
which is facing the other side looks like the black angry bird 🙂


Elephant all set for Safari!

Good morning with a cuddle and dew
The Garjia Mandir on the banks of river Kosi. 
Sun set at the banks of Kosi



Kosi

A pond heron. I wondered if it was meditating as it was stand still
for long. It was in same position even during our return
Natures chess. White on one side of the river and black on the other
Indian Cormorants
Spot billed duck
Lazing

Elephants crossing the river for Safari
Spot the spotted deer
Our elephant PHOOLMAALA resting after the Safari. Seems they consume
300kg of sugar cane every day.


Camp fire which kept us alive during the chilly wintery night.
Temperature was around  3 to 4 degree centigrade in night in the
forest
Camp Fire at the resort 

Thus our trip ended with many beautiful memories though we were disappointed as we could not spot a tiger in the tiger reserve- Corbett. The peacock, sambar deer, Turkey and monkeys just disappeared in to the dense as and when we took our cameras out during the safari. Hence were not able to click. Nevertheless a beautiful and memorable trip in the nature’s lap!

I am inspired to do few photo posts now 😉 Many more to come.
Thank You

This is my second post for letter “J” for  “A to Z blogging Challenge 2013” ! Do drop by the first post at  “Jumping Jhapak”