Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I stand corrected- Also read about Mumbai and the neighbouring cities with their Rails

My Dad was going thru my blog and he pointed out a mistake in my MEGA BLOCK post! Okay dearies, the area from beyond Bhayander to Virar is not covered under Thane Municipal Corpn. Only Thane city comes under the Thane Municipal Corpn. Thane city is part of it. Each station in between Bhayander and Virar have a separate Municipality. Like Nallasopara Municipality, Virar Municipality etc. Only Mira-Bhayander have a Municipal Corporation like Mumbai as of now. And it is only second to Mumbai.

He was explaining to me how based of the population of a place and development, an area is given a city status and have a Municipal Corporation to govern it. Places with lesser population and growth than a city, have a Municipality. Mumbai city ends with Dahisar. The station after that is Mira Road followed by Bhayander. There was once a proposal for including Mira Bhayander in the Mumbai Municipal Corpn. That time this was just a Municipality. At that time the areas were fast developing and population was equally growing. So the politicians of these areas thought it wise to give it a Municipal Corpn status before they lose it out to Mumbai ! And that's how matters stand now ! But Mira Bhayander still enjoy the MTNL seva of Mumbai and the telephone area codes are the same as of Mumbai. It forms part of Mumbai local clearing too. Mira and Bhayander can be easily accessed by road from Mumbai. After Bhayander there is a natural boundary in the form of a creek and the areas beyond can only be accessed via a Highway by road. Train is the easiest access there.


While I am on the topic of Mumbai and neighboring cities, let me give you an insight into Thane city and district. And for those who don't know, Thane district is a vast and big district. Thane city is part of it. Mumbai on the western line starts with Churchgate and ends with Dahisar. Places beyond that form part of Thane district including Mira Bhayander.

Thane city is a place (station) on the Central Railway and has a separate Municipal Corpn. This place also comes under Mumbai local clearing for convenience. It has a vast population too and people residing there consider themselves as Mumbaikars too!


People who're still confused, can refer to the diagram for better understanding. The brown lines depict the Western Railway line which starts from Churchgate and ends with Dahisar (last Mumbai station on western line) then goes upto Virar (considered local), then the same line extends to Ahmedabad and beyond (outstation). The red line shows the Central Railway line starting with CST and ending with Mulund (last Mumbai station on central line). It further goes to Pune. Central Railway is further divided into a separate line called Harbour Line (shown in Blue) which starts from CST, then separates and meets the main line at Kurla before separating again. It further crosses the 'Thane creek' beyond Mumbai and goes to Navi Mumbai and finally towards Pune

Check this link for detailed diagram : http://in.geocities.com/pbamp2002/railmap.gif

Until then, chill

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sugar Free Love!

I saw 'Cheeni Kam' today. And just loved it. It's sweet. It's about Love, spice and all things nice! It's nicely made. It's cute. It's hilarious. And, Tabu just looks ravishing in it!

The story's about a 34 year old girl (Tabu) and a 64 years old Chef (Amitabh) falling in Love. To top it all, the girl's father is just 58 years! That adds to the fun. Finally it leaves a message that love is more important than age and can happen to anyone, anytime! It also tells us that life and death are in God's hand. So, though Amitabh's mother of 85 years (Zohra Sehgal) is still alive and full of life, there's a girl of 10-12 years, who has cancer and can die any moment. Also, though Paresh Rawal is 58 years, he is surrounded with a lot of age related problems, because he feels and acts like an old man. On the other hand, Amitabh is 64 years but young at heart and has no ailments as such and is much fitter than Paresh.

Go watch it. Why? Because me liked it ! But mainly because Indian junta needs a lot of lessons on age. Its only in India and its neighboring countries where so much hype is created over age!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

For those who don't know

Hey, I missed two important and commonly used words while stating meanings. They are 'Inshallah' and 'Mashallah'. Many might be curious to know the meaning of these oft used words.

INSHALLAH : means 'If God wills'.

MASHA'ALLAH : Literally it means 'as Allah has willed'. It is used as an exclamation of delight in the wonders of God. It is used on hearing some good news or about something nice.

More Islamic words/ expressions with meaning can be found out at : http://www.geocities.com/mutmainaa/expressions.html


Many Mumbaiites living in the far suburbs are bearing the brunt of 'Mega Block' on the Western Railway Lines. For those who don't know, by 'Mega Block' means the total stopping of train seva between Borivali and Virar and partial stoppage between Goregaon and Borivali between night of 25th May to morning of 28th May.

This is on account of the quadrupling work (four tracks, including to the existing two) between Borivali and Virar. Though this belt is the most congested in the world, at present there are only two railway tracks (up and down) in this belt. Mumbai Railways on the Western Lines is divided into two parts - Churchgate to Borivali and Borivali to Virar. The latter includes a part of Mumbai- Dahisar (Mumbai Municipal Corpn) and Mira-Bhayander (separate and unique Municipal Coprn, though place is part of Thane Dist) and extends beyond to Virar (Thane Municipal Corpn). At present, there are 4 tracks between Churchgate and Borivali belt and only two beyond. Hence the local trains plying beyond Borivali (Virar trains) have to share their tracks with outstation trains too. This results in lesser trains and large gaps between two consecutive trains resulting into overcrowding and congestion.

People in this belt face a big commuting problem. Men even travel atop the trains and even precariously hang out, risking their lives nearly everyday. Many women also travel on one foot or half heels inside the train and half heels outside ! Accidents are common along this belt. People living in these areas have been crying for better train facilities since many years. Their dreams will hopefully be a reality soon! The quadrupling project which began in 1990s was always halted or delayed due to number of reasons like - hutments in the way of the proposed tracks and many other ones!

With population in the Borivali to Virar region rising (reason being rising real estate rates in main Mumbai and people moving for cheaper and bigger flats beyond), the commuting problem worsened. After many strong agitations and signature campaigns and public letters to Laloo, the last one year has finally seen some headway in the Quadrupling project! After that Mumbai has seen a few 'mega blocks' but mostly during the weekends. Still the deadline of December 2006 could not be met. After that the court extended the deadline to 30th June, 2007. After that work speedened up and we've been seeing daily changes at Mira Road station. Its mainly Dahisar, Mira Road and Bhayander where the work had stuck up!

The Ongoing Mega Block which started at 11 pm on 25th May, 2007 and will end at 6 am on 28th May (Mumbaikars start travelling much before 6 am and travel much beyond 11 pm!) is supposed to be the last Mega Block before the completion of the Quadrupling project.

Many Mumbaikars living in far suburbs have taken leave from their offices to avoid inconvenience of travelling. Though BEST bus services are supposed to increase to take the additional burden, a bus cannot accomodate as much as a train does including those travelling atop it! Mumbai travels in trains and when trains halt, Mumbai comes to a halt !

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Meanings of Commonly used words

I hear many people speak and use many words without really understanding their meanings. These words are used commonly by many these days because they have been used in film songs with Urdu lyrics.

Let me explain the meaning of 4 commonly used words/ phrases (whose origin lies in Arabic) :

1. ASSALAAM ALAIKUM : A common greeting among Muslims meaning "Peace be with you" or "Peace be upon you".

This greeting is returned by 'Walaikum assalaam' which means "Peace be upon you too". A simple 'Walaikum' means "same to you"

Extended forms include "Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah" (May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you) and "Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu" (May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you).

The 'salaam' used here is not the same in meaning as its counterpart in Hindi/ Urdu. This is an Arabic word meaning 'Peace'.

2. SUBHAN'ALLAH : means "Perfect Glory is to God (Allah)". It is used as an exclamation of joy or relief after a period of hardship and difficulty. It is also used on seeing a beautiful creation of God.

3. ALHAMDULILLAH : means "Praise to God (Allah)" or "All praise belongs to God". In simple parlance, it means 'Thank God'. Many Muslims commonly use this word after a sneeze !

The Triple Filter Test

During the golden Abbasid period, one of the scholars in Baghdad, the capital of Muslim caliphate at that time, was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.

One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and said,
"Do you know what I just heard about your friend?
Scholar : Hold on a minute, before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test.

The Man : Triple Filter Test?

Scholar: That's right, before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say.

Schlolar continued :That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?

The man : No, actually I just heard about it and ...

Scholar : All right, so you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?

The Man : No, on the contrary...

Scholar: So, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left:

Scholar continued: The filter of Usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?

The man : No, not really.

Scholar : Well, if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيراً مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَلا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Surah 49 Al-Hujurat Ayah 12

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting) . And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.

And this applies to all of us before we back bite or spread rumours or gossip about others without verifying facts.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In search of the perfect person

I was watching a short TV movie on Star One and it left quite an impact on me and maybe on all those who might have watched it.

It holds true for so many of us in search of someone. The story is about a pretty girl, who rejects men citing many reasons and trying to slot them into some category. Finally, she realises that she gets along very well with her office colleague (actually her boss). Her sister and colleagues try their best to make things work between them. The girl in the story, though gets along well with the guy always refuses to accept her feelings for the guy cause he is not perfect in looks. He's fat and short. And she's pretty.

Finally her friends and sister reason out to her that 'love can arrive in any package'. Perfect guys/ gals exist only in romantic novels or movies. There is a difference between 'romance' and 'relationships'. And a perfect relationship is not just about looks. It's about 'getting along'. Some of us just keep waiting for the perfect guy/ gal and our wait goes on all life until we realise that its too late. We don't read about old couples getting cozy in romantic novels, do we? But in reality there are so many successful and happy old couples around us ! Finally the girl realises that she loves the person from within but is afraid of society's acceptance of their match together.

Yes, ain't that true? So many of us keep looking for the perfect guy or gal. Perfect in looks, height, colour, everything. Many pretty gals wait for a tall, dark/fair and handsome prince who is humourous as well as understanding to come along and carry them away. And guys keep looking for a fair, slim, sexy, naughty, educated plus traditional plus good cook plus religious plus blah blah...girl to make their house a home. We set up so many selection parameters for a life partner that in the bargain miss the true love that we come across. And when we wake up, its too late!

Lasting relationships are those with whom you can get along well as a friend, with whom you feel comfortable talking anything with ease, with whom you can laugh without a second thought. A person who can make you smile when you are low. A person who can understand your fears and help them put to rest.

But we keep looking for excitement quotient in a person. And many a times, people pretend to be romantic and sexy with their false talks. And when we choose based on this criteria, we are likely to get disappointed. And finally end up cursing our destinies. If we look for love and emotional compatibility, irrespective of looks and age, excitement follows. It's very rare in the reverse case.

So why do we keep searching and searching for the so called 'perfect person' ?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The benefits of Sujood (Sajda or Prostration)

I came across this article in my mail and thought of sharing the same with all.

Treatment for your Illnesses by doing Sujood

Sujood is elixir of Healthy life (Prostration)

  • If you are suffering from exhaustion or tension or permanent headache or nervousness and if you are afraid of tumors, so all you have to do is Sujood.

  • Sujood frees you from your psychological and nerves illnesses.

The latest result of a scientific study by Dr. Mohamed Diaa El Deen Hamed, Professor of Biological Sciences and Head of Food Radiation Department in Radiation Technology Center :

  • It is a common knowledge that a human being is exposed to extra waves of radiation and lives, in most cases, in the middle of electromagnetic fields which affects the cells and increase energy.

  • So, as stated by Dr. Diaa, Sujood frees the body from the extra waves that cause many diseases.
Communication between cells

  • It is a kind of a reaction between the cells. It helps the human being to feel the outer space and react with it.

  • Any increase in the electromagnetic waves to which the body is exposed, causes disruption in the cells and consequently the human being is infected by what is called the diseases of the era; such as headaches, muscles pain, neck pain, exhaustion in addition to forgetting things and non concentration.

  • This matter gets worse if the waves are too much and being blocked in the body. In that case, it causes cancer tumors and distortion of fetuses.

  • We have to get rid of these waves out of the body without taking medicines and tranquilizers and their bad side effects.
The Solution

  • There has to be an earthling’s connection to free these extra waves and this is to be done by Sujood to ALLAH Almighty, as we are ordered. This process is done by connecting the forehead to the floor.

  • In Sujood, the negative waves move from the body to the floor which is a negative pole. Consequently, the emptying process happens specially if you done the Sujood by your seven members (forehead, nose, hands, knees and feet).
Peculiar information :

  • The studies showed that, in order to empty the waves, you have to face Mecca in your Sujood. That is what we are all doing in our prayer (Quibla).

  • That is because Mecca is the centre of the Earth.

  • The studies revealed that Mecca is the best direction to free these waves because of facing the centre of the Earth which is effective in freeing the human being from his grieves to feel peacefulness afterwards.

Gajalee ! Joint for fish lovers!

If you're a sea food lover, then 'Gajalee' is the place for you. I discovered it some 2 years back when one of our office colleagues suggested the same for the department's dinner after many months of long toiling in office. It was at Marol and close to our office. On reaching there, I realised that the place was a 'fish and seafood lover's delight'.

They actually show the fresh fish and the live prawns and crabs (tho' I don't eat crabs myself) before being cooked. The place at Marol is not as big and was told by my colleague that the main place is at Vile Parle. Later I had a chance to discover that place with a friend of mine and I loved the place. The place at Vile Parle is much bigger and better. The service is good. Recently I'd been there again but during non dinner hours, thats why I found it much empty. They also have several types of Indian breads to go with it like - Ghavne, Amboli and the usual tandoor rotis apart from chapatis. You can choose from fish and prawn masalas to their fried versions. You even have the fish and prawn biryanis to choose from. I had tried the 'bangda fry' this time since we dish out lovely bangda delicacies. But found the flavour missing there. But all in all its a good joint with good sea food.

I'd been to Mahesh Sea Food long long back at Fort. And its very crowded during lunch hours. Never got a chance to go there again. And when one compares the two, I would give more marks to Mahesh for their distinct Konkan flavour. Its more Goan and closer to what we cook at home.

Pic : Shows a staff at Gajalee (Vile Parle) holding live crab and tiger prawns alongwith a promfret (dead of course!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Preparing for the next world - Stand up for injustice

No one is permanent in this world. We all have to pack our bags to step into the next life which awaits all of us. And to prepare for our journey thereafter, we need to have good 'aamaal' (deeds). These deeds are important apart from the 'farz' (compulsory) acts.

Good 'aamaal' also means speaking out and standing up for injustice. And there is injustice all around us. Just yesterday I was discussing religion and spiritually with my non Muslim friend . I happened to mention how I grew up amongst non Muslims, mainly Marathis, and how I saw an overall change after the 1993 riots. There was a strong resentment against Muslims then. And it still remains. Though much of it has died down. It still remains. I said that a Muslim woman in 'hijaab' (burqha) is still looked at with doubt. The moment they see one, people start grumbling in a Ladies compartment and start all sorts of complaints. If sighted in a First Class compartment, it is assumed that she doesn't have a first class pass. Everyone starts pouncing on her. I said that today's educated woman wears a 'hijaab' not because she is forced to, but because she feels safe and secure and chooses to wear it. She might be highly qualified and an executive and can still wear a burqha. My friend explained that everyone tries to take advantage of a weak person. Thats how society is. If the same lady walks in with a poise, then probably people will respect her thinking that she is some Arab Sheikh's wife and will look upto her. Maybe my friend is right to some extent.

But that cannot explain the point blank range at which police fired at Muslims when the riots took place in 1993. We stayed in Mumbai Central (quarters) then. And I've seen through my own eyes dead bodies being carried on 'haath-gaadis'. It was curfew time then and just happened to have a peek through the window. After that the military had to be called in coz people had lost trust in the police. I was in college that time.

The riots ended but the hatred didn't subside much. After that I have seen many soft whispers against Muslim community. And every time a Muslim has to give proof of being an Indian. I asked my friend why it was so? For many things we found answers within our society and for many things we thought the need to change things ourselves. We needed to spread awareness and also set example for the next generation. Only the youth can make a change. According to my friend, youth is divided into two types - 18 to 25 years and 25 to 35 years. The 18-25 years group learns from the 25-35 years group and we have to set a good example for them.

Where do children inherit hatred from? Their own parents and family. They learn what they're taught. I remember having two good friends in my colony as school kids- Meenal and Anita. We became very close to each other. Even played together daily and went to each others houses. Suddenly one fine day, both of them refused to recognise us. It was really shocking as well as insulting. And the change was overnight. Maybe their parents told them not to befriend Muslims. Or they picked it up from their peer group somewhere. But after that, they never spoke to us (my sis and me) even once and formed a separate group of Marathi friends. A frienship of many months broke overnight due to hatred.

People may wonder why I am writing this and what compelled me to do so! My talk with my friend, whom I met after a long time made me realise that I have many thought processes hidden within me. I only share the 'safe' and conservative thoughts and hide the 'controversial' ones within me. Recently too, I had a mail debate with my group and realised that a controversial topic can result in hatred even within friends. The topic was regarding biases against communities, regions etc. Many suggested me to take up the matter with civic authorities. But such matters can only be removed with awareness. What can civic authorities do in this?

My friend compelled me to write/ speak/ create awareness wherever I felt things were not right. 'If not now, when?' Medha Patkar is fighting a lonely battle and so is Anna Hazare. So why are we not taking up causes and issues which we feel about? Why do we wait for others? Our long conversation over dupper (early dinner with supper) was very enlightening, though I still agree to disagree with my friend regarding some issues of spirituality and self proclaimed 'gurus'.

The enlightening talk with my friend and the recent bombing in Mecca masjid and subsequent firing at Muslims who were even trying to help the injured, compelled me to speak up. I will take up several causes close to my heart, inshallah, if time permits

Of course, there are a lot of misconceptions about Muslims, which need to be removed. Misconceptions arise out of ignorance. And to make others aware, we need to be aware ourselves. The other day, in the train, I shouted at a Muslim female because I knew she was wrong and was arguing without reason. I, who never shouts or screams at others even in the crowded Virar train, had to shout because I felt that the woman was spoiling the image of the Muslim community. When I spoke, I put the dispute to rest. People were surprised, then quiet. Its easy to have pointless arguments and go on and on. But when you speak, you should speak to the point and with knowledge.

Spreading awareness for knowledge and peace is part of the process for good 'aamaal'. I need to prepare for my next journey. And I know that I am not immortal. No one is! So make a difference while you can! Each of us together can make a change in society. And as Malishka from 'Red FM' would have said it -'Bajate Raho!'

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday at Tikuji ni Wadi

Sunday was a day of fun and relaxation at Tikuji Ni Wadi (amusement park plus resting place). It was also a day after my parent's 34th Wedding Anniversary (19th May). So decided a day out. This is actually a Chickoo wadi, which was later converted to an amusement park. The original wadi remains as it is. Khatiyas (cots) have been added all over the chickoo plantations so that people can enjoy a sound sleep under the shade of the chickoo trees. Generally older people prefer to sleep there and basically come to relax. The other parts have been developed as an amusement park. There are also cottages available on rent at the wadi.

It is located at Manpada (Thane) and can be accessed by Thane bus from Mira Road (starting point). It takes approx 40 mins. You can get down at Manpada bus stop and take an autorickshaw till the park. Else can be accessed easily from Central line locations.

It was fun and relief from life's stress as I sat on the rides after ages and felt like a kid all over again. The Giant wheel, the jhula (where u actually feel relaxed and top of the world instead of giddy), the Spinning Coaster (which is quite exciting as it falls, drops, swings, stops, starts... cool). The line for the bumping cars was too big, and who has the patience to wait? 'Go Karting' is my fav sport, but its no fun without my little brother, so skipped that too since he's not in town. Enjoyed the time pass on the 'mini train'. Clicked snaps of clay animals. Sky cycle is fun, but who will cycle in the May sun?

There was a time when I was not comfy with many exciting rides. Then I learnt the rule of screaming when scared. It lets out the excitement from within you and you enjoy the fun instead of getting scared. Screaming releases your bottled up excitement and energy. Keeping quiet while on an exciting and little scary ride makes you feel giddy.

Just 'saw' the Water Park there towards evening. There's no dress code there as Esselworld. Didn't venture into the pool (which was already overcrowded) nor got wet in the showers in the other pool since didn't have a change of clothing. All in all it was a fun day out.

The problem is while going back, esp for those staying on the Western line. Though it is easy for getting into a Thane bus from Mira Road, it is difficult to get into the same bus while coming back from Manpada as it is already packed. Finally you have no option but to take an autorickshaw, who wait like vultures when they hear of Mira Road and charge you a full Rs 200 approx for a return journey!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Naya Phonwa!

I have already bought a new mobile phone 10 days back - K750i. But I'd developed this 'phone- losing phobia' so continued using my old handset for a week. Started using my new handset from this Saturday evening only. And I am getting used to a Sony (I've used one before) now after Nokia and Motorola.

Its got the features I wanted including a good camera (much better than the previous one!). This is a proper camera phone with focus, flash light, lense-cover and many in-built features. But still there are some features of Motorola and Nokia that I will miss. But overall its a good bargain. But the sad part is that a major chunk of my bonus went into buying it.

While the mobile fever (of losing and acquiring a new one) is still on, let me list some phone etiquettes and some important tips.

1. Always keep your first contact as AAA and save the number as 0. That way even if by mistake the first number gets dialled again and again in the rush hour in trains inside your purse or pockets, the number will not get connected. Of course your keypads gotta be locked, but just in case you forget. We all are humans, after all ! This auto dialling of first number had got into me into an embarrassing situation once and I will remember it for life. After that my first number is always A or AAA. For safety, you can add as many As in the name and as many zeros in the number! :)

2. Please keep dialogues out of your ringtone. It may sound cool as a college student but is a nuisance in office where all are working quietly. Also, in office, a cute dialogue-walla ringtone might sound good once, but again and again it might cause irritation to others.

3. Also avoid sms ringtones in the form of loud declarations like 'message aaya, message aaya......' proclaimed in excitement by a kiddy voice or 'U got a message' in a husky manly voice if you get several messages in a day. Its okay for people who use sms sparingly.

4. Keep your mobile in Silent mode in cinema halls, meetings and other places where important discources/ seminars/ events are being held. It causes disturbance to others

5. Girls can carry their mobile phones in trendy pouches available these days. That will add to your style quotient as well as reduce the possiblity of it being snatched from or falling off your hand. It also acts as a protective cover to your phone.

6. Be careful of your caller tunes too. It reflects your personality in a way. And having item numbers is not advisable. Different types of people call you. One of them could be an elderly respectable person. Save them the embarrassment. Also if you are a corporate guy/ gal and get several official calls, then better to use instrumental music only. Many songs are also available in music form. Alternatively, use a soft ghazal / song. I had music on my mobile for long. I broke my rule only for the 'Salaam Namastey' songs. I like all the songs of that movie. My present caller tune is 'Sili Sili tapti raaton mein' in Adnan's heavy voice prior to which I had 'Teri mastani anjaani baaton ko mera salaam'. Its always a good bet to use neutral songs about life, love etc instead of songs with blaring declarations or hot numbers.

Thats all friends. Samachaar samapt huey.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

GAUNA - What is it?

I was shocked the other day when a good friend of many years was explaining 'the Gauna practice of bhayyas' (as he called it) to all other friends on mail (since its difficult in Mumbai to personally meet friends) who were ignorant of the same.

According to him : It means when the husband is in Mumbai (or away) he still get's a good news from him wife in native place...... The frequency of such kind of practices has increased now. (exact words). Later he went on to explain how a boy of 17 yrs in his previous organisation was married in April 2006 and granted a leave of 7 days only. After that in November he went back to his village for a 'ceremony' since his wife was 2 months pregnant !

I did not comment on this issue cause we were already having a parallel debate on the influx of 'bhayyas' and 'biharis' in Mumbai and had our own strong opinions (will write something on the same soon- keep watching this space!). And this was a sensitive topic requiring detailed explanation without hurting anyone.

I had heard of Gauna when I was in school. I was born and brought up in a Cosmo colony. We had people from various regions residing there. There were many transferees too. There was a traditional Hindu bhayya family -the Sharmas, who had gone to the village to get their daughter married, but came back with their daughter, who continued to stay with her parents. My Mom asked her mother and was told that her Gauna had not taken place. Thats why she was still with them. The girl's Gauna was to be held a year later. She was in college then. We had earlier also heard of the same practice from another Northern family (not bhayyas).

If you have still not understood what Gauna means, let me explain. In many parts of the Northern states like UP, Bihar and interiors of Rajasthan, there has been the tradition of 'child marriages' since olden days. Once upon a time it was quite widespread. There might have been various reasons why girls and boys were married off even before reaching puberty. Maybe the people that time thought that it was better to tie them up before they grow up and divert their mind towards other females or run away or marry someone other than their (parents') choice. Or maybe, it was their way of acknowledging and carrying forward friendship/ relationship between two families which knew each other well. Whatever was the reason, we all know that child marriages have not been uncommon to the Northern states. But though child marriages took place, the elders very well knew that the newly weds were not mature enough to take on the responsibility of a family nor enter into parenthood, with both even not having reached puberty in many cases. That is why they started the practice of 'Gauna'. So even though the marriage takes place, the girl continues to stay at her parents house for some years till she is sensible enough. The actual 'bidaai' / 'vida' (farewell ceremony from parents house) takes place only after some years. And this ceremony is called 'Gauna' in the North. That is the time the 'actual marriage' takes place and girl goes to her husband's house. It's not what my dear friend thought !

Let us understand the various cultures around us before we come to conclusions about other cultures and end up misunderstanding communities. Often we form biases about people and such differences leads to hatred to small fights to terrorism and later Wars! Its like calling all Muslims- terrorists. Thinking that all Goans are 'bewdas'. It's like saying all Mumbai girls are 'bindaas'. That all Europeans are 'free-for-all'. Something like that.

As for 'Gauna', the practice is slowly fading away as marriage age is increasing. But still some people practice it as formality where there is a gap of at least one year between marriage and Gauna. In modern educated families, trying to keep with the tradition, they have the 'Gauna' on the same day of marriage.

The research on population trends is available in JSTOR (http://links.jstor.org/), an online journal archive made available to researchers through participating libraries and institutions. There is an article on The Age at Marriage in India (S. N. Agarwala) Population Index, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Apr., 1957), pp. 96-107doi:10.2307/2731762 (http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0032-4701(195704)23%3A2%3C96%3ATAAMII%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Q) This article consists of 12 page(s). According to the research done by them, it shows that though the marriage age in North is lower than South, the age of motherhood is approximately the same. And that's because of the practice of Gauna.

Now the mystery of 2 months pregnancy still remains in my friend's office staff case. That, dear friend/s, many simpleton men fail to understand the difference betweeen 2 months or 7 months. And this one was a village bumpkin. I have seen even men in cities who are ignorant of such things. And people from villages, who are kept away from information of menstruation etc would not know much. Many people (who are not very educated or illiterate) have half baked knowledge from hearsay and flaunt it. But the facts remain unchanged. They're ignorant. Even in this case, the boy from my friend's ex -company went to attend a ceremony in November (which is exactly 7 months) from April. And we all know that in India, a ceremony is held in the 7th month of pregrancy called 'Godh Bharai' (baby shower) or also known by other names. Maybe the same was in this fellow's case also. But exceptions are also possible :) But then we can't talk about that because everyone's respect and dignity is his/her own. We can't get into yellow journalism here!
Pic courtesy : www.hinduonnet.com

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Woh Ajnabee

I love music and have this habit of switching on the FM radio even while getting ready for office. Then I am half grooving/ dancing, half singing along while getting ready. It prepares me for the hectic day ahead. I came across this song and liked this one from 'The Train' (movie not yet released). The lyrics are cool and so is the music. It sets you grooving. Its sung by Mithoon (also the Music Director) and Shilpa Rao (new kid on the block?). And I can't stop listening to it too!

I will paste the lyrics so that you can sing 'em (Also pasting the links to video preview and song track)

Woh Ajnabee
woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee
Figure it out

[Aisa koi mujhko mil gaya hai sathiya
Jise dekhkar bhooli sari duniya]2

[Woh Ajnabee 2
Jo dekhe door se
A dekhu mein usko hi o usko hi
Abb sab kuch bhool ke ]2

A Dhadkan dhadkan ya saason mein
Raatein raatein ya khwaabon mein
Sapne sapne wohi to hai
Yeh bata dun mein use
Shaame shaame ya subhoh mein
Shaamil shaamil woh har pal mein
Har dum har dum woh baatoon mein
Mere rahi hai kahin

woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee

[Abb aisa usse jud gaya hai silsila
Wohi woh nazar aaye mujhko har jagah]2

A aaa zindagi hai Roshan hui
Hai uske noor se
Dil ko sacchi kushi Hasil hui
Hai uske Ishq Se
Mujhko abb har ghadi o har ghadi
Uska hi surroor hai
Dekhe woh usko hi haan usko hi
Aankhe majboor hai

A Dhadkan dhadkan ya saason mein
Raatein raatein ya khwaabon mein
Sapne sapne wohi to hai
Yeh bata dun mein use
Shaame shaame ya subhoh mein
Shaamil shaamil woh har pal mein
Har dum har dum woh baatoon mein
Mere rahi hai kahin
woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee

[Usko paaye paya mene sara jahan
Rab usko na karna naa kabhi bhi juda]2

o ooo abb bandagi shaamil hui
Hai mere jist mein
Dil ko sacchi kushi Hasil hui
Hai uske Ishq Se
Mujhko abb har ghadi o har ghadi
Uska hi surroor hai
Dekhe woh usko hi haan usko hi
Aankhe majboor hai

A Dhadkan dhadkan ya saason mein
Raatein raatein ya khwaabon mein
Sapne sapne wohi to hai
Yeh bata dun mein use
Shaame shaame ya subhoh mein
Shaamil shaamil woh har pal mein
Har dum har dum woh baatoon mein
Mere rahi hai kahin

woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee
woh Ajnabee 5
woh woh Woh Ajnabee

Video preview:

Song track can be heard here:
While I was on the page, I checked another song 'Mausam'. This song is serious one with Rock overtones (which seems to be the highlight of Paki bands/ singers these days)

Nopes, The Train (2007) guys aren't paying me anything for their music publicity. But I think they should. Wot say?

PS : There's a lot of debate on the voice of the singer here- some say its Atif, some Mithoon.

Miss u Moto!

Hey, so many changes happening around me. Need to capture on camera. But can't. Miss my mobile. It was so sleek and hardly 7-8 months old. My dear Moto Slim SLVR (Motorola L7). Mmmuaah! Where are you? Missing you, baby! I liked its sleek and slim look and took pride in carrying it in a pretty silver mobile pouch in my hand. It was my mini world. Walking internet, MP3 player, camera, recorder all rolled into one! Never in my life have I lost any mobile phone. And this one I always carried with me. Even to the cloakroom. But carried it back dutifully. The day I lost it, I was already going through stress and a few minutes back, had received a call from Delhi branch regarding some issue to be resolved. Maybe, these events made me absent minded. And lost it during lunch time.

The first mobile I owned on getting a job was Nokia 3310. That's is the sturdiest and toughest phone till date though they have already stopped manufacturing it long back. And because of its toughness, it still has a resale value though small. I handed it over to my Dad when I decided to go for a 'colour mobile' after some years (which he already lost in a crowded train later). I got hold of a basic Sony colour model- T68i . Not very great but 'colour phones' had just been launched and I didn't want to look outdated. Didn't like the features so much, hence changed it within a few months and gave the same to my brother who was in college then. Then I went for another Nokia sturdy model -3120 (right now using the same for the time being). I never spent more than 5000 rupees on any model. I used this one for quite some time till the 'camera mobile' craze caught up with me. Meanwhile mobile phone rates had also come down. I was looking for good features at reasonable rates. This time, I was ready to stretch my budget till 8000 bucks. And Motorola L7 was reasonable and sleek. And had junior AB vouching for it! I enjoyed having this mobile phone and didn't intend to change it for quite some time. But like everything, this one decided to bid me a farewell too within 7-8 months!

Tomorrow I'll go and buy a new one most probably. This time my requirements are FM radio in addition to all the above features. Earlier since I used an Ipod, I didn't feel the need for having a radio phone. Now I've zeroed in on two models as suggested by my little bro- Nokia 5200 and Sony Ericsson K750i. Let's see wat I carry back home with me.