Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Real Life Heroes and their #WillOfSteel !

#WillOfSteel is an endeavour by JSW to honour the unsung heroes of India, people who have truly proven their mettle and have unbreakable determination. Be it in sports, health care, social service or even saving the environment. These are individuals whose willpower has changed the world.

We all, and myself included, go ga-ga over movie stars and praise them to the moon. We spend a lot of time reading about them, watching their videos, and spending our money on their films. But are they real "heroes"?
We come across so many real life heroes in our life, and yet we hardly ever mention them on social media or in our daily interaction. So when JSW came up with this idea to honor some of our real life heroes, I just knew I had to do this. These people are so inspiring that I just knew I had to write about them. If we want people in our society to lead by example, who else could be a better example?

You can find all the nominations by JSW here. You can also vote for them at the same link. For a change, this would be an award ceremony where everybody would already be a winner, right?

As far as I am concerned, I discovered my inspiration in the following people and voted for them.

1) Satender Sharma : Children are always closest to my heart. So when I read the story of this young boy, who had to deal with atrocities like sex trafficking, drug abuse and child labour, at the tender age of 13, I just felt helpless. I know scores of children go through this, and yet we do nothing. The network is so large, we don't know where to start. And look at this young boy! After being rescued by Salaam Baalak Trust, he is now a grown up man who instead of chasing success, has again gone back to the streets where he once lived. But this time, to make sure that no other kid goes through what he had to. I salute you Satender. This issue is closest to my heart. I wish I can work like you one day!

2) Vijayan : Travel is something that a lot of us are besotted with. As much as might we call ourselves travellers, in our heart, we really are tourists, aren't we? We try and book the best hotels with the best view. We visit all the famous monuments a place has to offer and then head back home satiated of having visited the said place. But this man is what classifies as a "traveller". He is a simple tea vendor. You can well imagine the kind of salary he would be earning. And yet, he has visited more number of countries than you and I have. He takes loans from the bank and then works doubly hard to repay it. Once he also sold tea in Zurich to be able to scour a return ticket home. Impressive, right? 

3) Pamela and Anil Malhotra : In this age of globalization, everyone of has a ton of views on why Global warming is happening. But almost none of us have any solution or the will to do anything about it. But Pamela and Anil went ahead and did what one couldn’t even imagine. They transformed 55 Acres Of Barren Land Into A 300 Acre Wildlife Sanctuary. Thanks to them the ecological condition of the area and rapidly improved over the last decade. For sure, “where there is a will, there is a way”!

4) Laxman Rao : Almost all the bloggers I have known till date nurture a dream of being a published author one day. But only a handful of them are. Some have written entire books, while a few have been published in Anthologies. But who would think a roadside tea seller in Delhi has over 20 books published in his name? I am, for one, bowled over by this information. This man has really inspired me to leave my procrastination behind and get writing with the pen. NOW!

5) Karibeeran Parameswaran & P Choodamani: For me, being a humanitarian always comes first. And this couple will always be at the top of my list. The 2004 tsunami literally washed their life away as they lost their 3 children in it. But not ones to lose hope, they rescued and sheltered many orphaned children. Today they are parents to 26 such children, making sure their future life will be brighter and better. I salute thee Karibeeran and Choodamani !

6) Tauseef Siddiqui : Dharavi, the largest slums in Mumbai, is also one of the largest in the world. Until now, it has most often been in the news for its poverty and squalor. But Tauseef along with his friend Fahim started Be the Local Tours to promote a never before explored section of Mumbai, Dharavi. A section of Mumbai that is written off as the underbelly, Tauseef shed light on the fascinating Eco system hidden within this slum and turned the image around into an international tourist attraction. Today because of his relentless efforts, Dharavi is looked at in a whole new light. Hats off to this young boy for his revolutionary idea and showing the world that India is not only a land of the poor and snake charmers. We also have the most hard working and intelligent people who are working hard to make it big in an emerging economy.

I’m voting for Satender Sharma’s, Vijayan’s, Pamela and Anil Malhotra’s, Laxman Rao’s, Karibeeran Parameswaran & P Choodamani’s, and Tauseef Siddiqui ‘s #WillOfSteel and blogging on BlogAdda to help him/her get felicitated and eventually enabled by JSW.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We are growing up. FAST!

So I have been away, again!

And that's because I heard those three dreaded words from my maid "I am leaving"! Yes, I do see all of your heads shaking in been-there-done-that agreement. So our super cool maid cum nanny is going to her village and won't be back, possibly, for 2 months. Of course it set my pulse racing. How would we find a new maid so soon? Would she be reliable enough? Will she be able to take care of the ever-growing-naughty little S? Questions and dilemmas of a working mother loomed large.

A few interviews of prospective helps were taken. None managed to impress. The husband is in the midst of changing his jobs. More stress. What if the new maid runs away after the first few days? Like they are wont to do. We take the next logical, but difficult decision. S needs a day care now. It's professional and (God bless them) they won't run away! After all, I have to turn up for work every day too. We go to the best Day care school in our vicinity. They have no seats. They said they will "try their best"!

Crestfallen, we resume the search for a maid again. There are some who don't like us, and the others whom we can't seem to trust! In panic stricken mood, I call the day care again if their "best" has worked out for us. And hallelujah! One child who was supposed to leave the day care in May has had to prepone and is leaving this month itself. And by (happy) coincidence, little S starts her day care tomorrow, which is also our maid's last working day with us. God, you couldn't have been kinder.

Also, the husband starts his new job next week. Lots of beginnings in our household. None as special as the first day Little S will have tomorrow. I am, of course, excited and nervous. For both of us. It's our first day tomorrow. Wish us luck :)

When I told S that she would be going to "schoool" this week, she repeated after me "Zooo". Well, the girl is really down to earth and knows herself too well, no? :-)

Also, in the meantime, the 16 month old got potty trained (almost). A few accidents do happen every now and then. But she’s gotten the gist. We are mighty proud. Of ourselves of course :-P

Her latest fascination is catching mosquitoes, cockroaches and flies. She seems to be fascinated with them. But she also gets agitated when she isn’t able to catch one. The war cry when she’s launching herself in the battle is a must-see. It sends us rolling on the floor.

She has seen our maid’s mother keep her cellphone in her blouse. So she automatically thinks that her own mother does the same. So, without any warning, irrespective of wherever we are, she pries open my shirt/kurta/top and looks around for a phone. And yes, she has done this in public too. The never ending joys of motherhood! :-P
And so, in one of those moments of insanity, trying to protect my assets from becoming a public view, I ended up inventing this:
“Motherhood is when you decide to exchange your hour glass figure and fiercely guarded modesty for a lifetime of unlimited public faux pas and infinite love”! What say mommies?