Woman

Amsterdam
An infamous city with an uncompromising beauty and characteristics.
Picturesque canals,
touching history
and mesmerising architecture.
Her extraordinary beauty and her seductive characteristics-
Resemblance of a quirky, confident yet humble woman uncanny.
Woman.
While entrapped in Amsterdam’s beauty,
the very same word kept circling my mind.
Woman.
A visit to Anne Frank’s secret annexe of 2 years
entrenched me with the feeling that
The most powerful weapon for a woman is her Voice
A walk down the lane where her body does all the talking
Made me think that her body perhaps is more acknowledged than her voice.
It may (or may not) be her Choice that led her go behind the glass doors
A choice that young Anne frank certainly did not have.
But as I walked and locked eyes with the young women behind the glass doors
sharing a half smile, longing for one in return
and mentally offering apologies for being on the other side,
watching them like animals behind cages,
I also wondered,
As a woman,
would it be my voice or my choice of selfie that would be more appealing to one’s eyes.

Can ‘Saibol’ fix the Kerala floods?

T & C-1

The resilience I’m blessed with or the deep appreciation I have for nature and its beauty probably stems from the first 10 years I spent in the most amazing place called Alappuzha. With her seductive backwaters, lagoons and canals, and plenty of other picturesque features no wonder Lord Curzon called Alappuzha the “Venice of the East”.

Our family, belonging to a middle-class Christian family, was settled in a place called ‘Chungom’. Our house overlooked our paddy fields and canals. I proudly bear the scars of my childhood – from climbing trees and falling repeatedly, running the fields bare-feet with friends during summer,and by getting stomped on by a vast amount of people during ‘Mullakkal Chireppu’ (local carnival) . My fathers pure passion for ‘vallam kali’ (Nehru Trophy Boat Race) and competing in the Nehru Trophy as a captain of their boat for one too many years also meant that Nehru trophy, ‘kuttanadan punchayille’ song, the competitiveness and the innate resilience from constantly losing the first place (Sorry daddy!) are all well inherited by me and my sisters.

There was one other thing that was a constant companion during these 10 years- ‘Saibol cream’. House built near acres of paddy fields meant that, during monsoon seasons fields flooded, and in no time, the water would be inside our houses. Us kids loved it- swimming and “trying” to catch fish, why would we mind it?!.

Even though we ‘loved’ it, every morning when you had to get out of bed or go to the bathroom, it took sheer amount of will power and a good couple of minutes before putting the feet down in the cold water. And at night, it itched like there’s no tomorrow.

We grew up with our Ammachi (grandmother) during these years. Shed be walking in the water all day running the house and at night, her toes would be itchy with all the bacteria and she would rub ‘Saibol’ in between her toes.

I experienced this for 10 years..my Ammachi may be for over 60 years after marrying into a family from Alappuzha in her early 20’s. She was accustomed to floods and water and stayed fearless…till this monsoon season. After fleeing her house, going to her oldest daughters and then to her youngest (due to her oldest daughters house being also flooded), at the age of 88, I heard fear in my Ammachis voice for the first time and I could do absolutely nothing about it.

My family house was rebuilt 10 years ago so high from the ground that they never had water inside the house for over a decade. Water still went inside. It was over knee high of my uncle who is 6 ft high. He had to abandon the house, sell all their much beloved animals who were their family members and take rescue.

Now the mentioning of the class again, this is a middle class family who were able to have their house built appropriately according to the area. Now, for those who were unable to afford that..I will leave it up to you to imagine where their house is now apart from pointing out the obvious that ‘Kuttanadu’, a part of Alappuzha, rich with culture, characteristics and Love is pretty much gone. If you were to visit a house is Kuttanadu or Alappuzha..you wouldn’t have gone back home without a full stomach and may be some ‘tharavu curry’ to take back with you.

And if you know anything about a Kerala curry, you know that its a perfect blend and balance of spices and ingredients that just makes the most amazing curry- an imbalance of any one ingredient can cause trouble for instance, chilli or salt.

In the past few days, people have been extremely kind, generous and helpful in Kerala and outside Kerala. Regardless of cultural, geographical, relihious or scoial boundaries, people came together, like a perfect mix. From a kind Sikh individual from Perth, Australia who raised £1000 to School and University students who have given up whatever little they had in order to save Kerala, I have enough to restore my faith in humanity.

And the next time you eat a tharavu curry from Alappuzha (and I any other delicious kerala curry as I dont eat duck), I hope you and I both be reminded of how all the perfect incredients came together and made a good curry during this crisis (if you know, you know).

One thing people of Kuttanadu, Alappuzha and Kerala are good at is working hard. Like them, I along with my fellow British Malayali youth, we will commit to raising even more funds, to help rebuild our homeland, Kerala, as I think ‘Saibol’ cream is just not going to be enough to able to fix the damages of this flood.

https://www.gofundme.com/sy6kg-kerala-flood-relief-fund

Doing the wrong thing is the right thing to do at times

We live in a society where we tend to stick to what provides us comfort and ignore the rest. We choose what’s best for us and then ‘mind our own business’

I came home from work, open the door and I see an envelope lying about with a familiar handwriting on it. I open it and it’s a red cross inspirational card inside. It goes

“(my name)

I am a believer now in trying to do what you can for people around you. You made me believe that. I hope that the good you do, try to do and will do gives you the strength and hope to carry on with your vocation no matter what the hardships. I pray to God that he blesses you with courage and happiness. But perhaps that’s why he has made me. To top up your courage and happiness when the going gets hard.
Do remember
You make me very proud. Every day, every minute, every second

(My man’s name)”

After a long day at work, sure this is a nice thing to come home to. So I left it at my window side. I went back and picked it up to read it again. And that’s when I heard a man’s raised voice. It was the guy next door arguing with his partner. They had their door opened and we have a thin wall so I heard everything (and because I eavesdropped as well-guilty as charged!) The story was that they were breaking up and he asked her if she was going to leave the flat. I could hear the girl’s distant cry. He left the flat after that.

Me being the busybody I am, wanted to bolt down there and see if she was ok. But of course I didn’t. Because I’m a sensible girl! So I sought my mans approval. I presented the case to him. The first thing he said was “you’re not going over”. He does know me eh?! He reminded me that its not right and its someone’s personal life. He was right. He asked me if I’d like it if it was me. I said yes. I was right.
I said to him that I’m going over and I did.

The girl surprisingly took my meddling in business quite well. We had a bit of chat about what happened and she made up her mind. I apologised for prying into her life but she said it had helped her. I offered her a hug AND my Malteser easter egg(big sacrifice for me!). She was receptive towards both of them and I felt great.

I phoned my man back and said what had happened. I begged for credits and I got them. That’s when I said to him that sometimes doing the wrong thing is what’s right. I always had the heart to be there for strangers but never the courage.But Now I do and I am glad I do because my courage brought me immense happiness just there. My man’s prayer to God was certainly answered quickly.

He said he loves me and is proud of me for doing the wrong thing
I said I love him and proud of him for making me me

If we never had that conversation, I would have slept on that thought. If he never sent me that card, I would’ve never known that what it is that I’m made of. They say right things happen at the right times and I say they are right.

Sometimes its easier to get cooped up into our own little den, mind our own business and pretend like we don’t notice the awkward things that happen around us. Unfortunately, its come to the point where that is what’s best for us and the ‘right’ thing to do- minding our own business!

But if you ask me, a little bit of ‘minding’, eavesdropping and hugging wouldn’t do much harm to the world.

And if you ask Jesus, he would say that you should love your neighbour as you love yourself

No title!

WARNING:  Graphic ***footage! **
It’s NOT NOT NOT for the faint heart’d!

My stomach churned as I watched this video! I’m gutted that there are people like these exist in this world! I’m also wondering whether they would be able to live normally after doing what they done to this child!
In a way. I’m glad that this child is now in a safe place where she doesn’t have to suffer any more because of inhumane and selfish behaviour of people!!
Rest in peace sweet thing!