Showing posts from October, 2007

Is marriage still an institution?

Over the last few years, even back here in India which one would consider more conservative than the West in the area of marriage, one hears so many stories about marriages breaking up, people having affairs, people leaving their spouses after 12 or 20 years of marriage...Everyone I know knows at least 5 marriages in trouble, and it's something that's distressing and scary for all of us married people.
Most of us think we're in happy marriages and yet you never know what's around the corner. A friend of mine made a highly percipient remark some time back. She said, "I always thought my marriage was special. But suddenly I have realised that it isn't, that it is the same as any other marriage." It's true. Most of us who consider ourselves happily married think that we have something special, that we know a secret other couples don't know. And it's a highly dangerous misconception to labour under.
I was thinking back about the time when marriage …

Lawyers or hucksters

I love legal shows on TV - Boston Legal, Ally mc Beal, The Practice, LA Law, Street Legal and the lot. I always wondered why there seemed to be so much negative energy aimed at the profession of lawyers, especially when I idealistically thought, since my grandfather was a lawyer, that they helped even out the score between the common man and those well connected.

Well, this piece of idealism went the way of the birds thanks to a recent incident. About a month ago, my husband was coming home from work around 10:30 pm. He was in the back seat, chatting with his mom on the cellphone when all of a sudden another car hit his car from behind. He dropped the cellphone, still on, which worried his parents no end because they'd heard the crash, and the impact caused him to bang against the front seat, resulting in aching ribs and a muscular pain which is yet to subside. When he got out, he saw a Skoda Octavia behind his car, with a crumpled fender. His car's boot had been badly smashed …


When A and I moved into our first marital home, it was a teeny, tiny flat in Fontainebleau. We had a lot of fun and started off our marriage just right, but it wasn't quite what I envisioned as a home. I guess I watch too many Hindi movies. I've always wanted a home which had a big expanse of garden - big enough for a shade-giving tree like Gulmohur, to be planted in one corner. Lots of lawn area. A bedroom that opened out onto a green expanse. We should have moved back to Jhumritalaiya instead of Gurgaon!

The flat we rent here is inside a rather nice, very un-Gurgaon-highrise colony. It has row-houses with adobe colours, rather Hispanic in style, and each little house comes with a backyard and a pocket-sized front lawn. We rented space on the first and second floors of a house, as the ground floor was already occupied. The second floor came with a marble floored terrace and two large rooms, and the first floor had 3 bedrooms and one drawing room, no space for a dining table. W…

Why, but why?

We had to get a new RC (registration certificate) for our car, having lost the old one under circs which I shall indignantly blog about soon. In order to do that, you have to get a certificate from the Transport Department that there are no unpaid challans or tickets against your car. Yesterday, I and A being crazy-busy, my husband despatched our driver to get the certificate. The driver had a good time. First he went to an office of the transport department near Teen Murti. From there he was asked to go somewhere in old Delhi. From there he was further shunted on to an office near the Hyatt ( which is the other end of town). Having left at 10 am, he finally got a piece of paper at 4:30 p.m. When he at long last came back with it triumphantly to my husband, the paper read, "This car has not been reported to be stolen"!

Why in a so-called IT superpower, are these documents and records not maintained online, so that any transport department can access them and print them out?


The reluctant fundamentalist

Just read this engrossing book by Mohsin Hamid. He tells the story of how a boy from Pakistan, seduced by the US and its jobs, people, comforts etc, then turns to the other side, starting to identify with the feelings of fundamentalists even though he doesn't end up by becoming one. It was un putdownable. One of the most interesting things about the book is how the worm turns, gradually becoming more Pakistani/ Islamic, from a character who was on the fast track to success in America.

One of the things that has really annoyed me over the years is the simplistic analysis of Islamic fundamentalism by the West, in particular America, as the discontent of the have-nots against the haves. If that was indeed the sole argument, there are any number of have-nots in india or Africa or South America, all of whom should be turning towards terrorism.

In my opinion, one of the things that is leading to growing terrorism and fundamentalism is the readiness of the Western mind to consider the thin…

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