Monday, June 21, 2010

Of skies and dates

“Aasman se gire, khajur mein aatke”

This proverb is probably my mom’s most used Hindi idiom/proverb. If literally translated to English it would sound something like “Fallen from the skies, stuck on dates” (the fruit) which doesn’t really make any sense. The English equivalent to this proverb would be” From the pot to the frying pan”

My mom uses this proverb every morning, to refer to a certain habit of mine. When I get out of bed, I tend to drift towards another comfortable setting like the sofa in the living room or the bed in my parents’ room. And that’s when my mom invariably utters the words “aasman se gire, khajur mein aatke.”

By the way I have never been delayed because of this quirk of mine. Yes, this exercise has always been well timed. For example: if I have to get up at 6.30 in the morning I would probably get up from my own bed at 6.15, just to spent the last 15 minutes of blissful sleep in another soft place. The calculation is almost reflex (I say almost coz maths can never be reflex for me.)

The other day we were sleeping over at my grandma’s house (my nani that is) I was sleeping in my aunt’s room. At 7.15 I got up from the bed and went to my grandpa’s empty bed and found a pillow for myself. Eventually my mom came into the room and before she could say anything I said –“Mujhe khajur mil gaya” I found the date. She just laughed and went off.

Well, I always manage to find my date, even though I haven’t fallen from the sky.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Aphrodite and why I like her

Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of Love and beauty is often depicted as vain and frivolous. I have a different perspective. True, she had many affairs. ( Adonis, Ares, Hermes and Dionysus are her most famous lovers)  Her affairs although, are not the only thing to her. ( And well Zeus had more affairs than she did ) But that is not the point.

Aphrodite, depicted as a very feminine woman is also a very strong one. As Goddess of love, the smooth running of this emotion in the world, is her responsibility . She has, many a times borne a lot of flak for it. Every strong woman has to constantly defend herself against defamers. Woman, in general, have to always prove their worth. But this again is not the point.

Remember the Trojan War? Remember how it started? Paris, a Shepherd boy had to present a golden apple to the most beautiful goddess among Hera ( the extremely jealous and possessive goddess of marriage) Athena ( the Goddess of warfare, strategy and wisdom) and ofcourse Aphrodite. Basically, though all three of them bribed the boy, he gave the apple to Aphrodite. Thus the Goddess is blamed for the war ( in some instances Helen of Sparta is blamed) Just like Sita and Draupadi are blamed for the wars in their respective eras.

Aphrodite did not let all the bad press deter her from fulfilling her duties. Infact unlike the others, she doesn't flare up or harm anyone at the slightest offence. She is not as hot tempered as Hera, Artemis or Athena.

Love is a beautifully thing. And that's why perhaps she is also the goddess of Beauty. It doesn't always have to superficial. To achieve that only cosmetics and plastic surgeons are required, not Goddesses. Aphrodite represents everything inside us that is truly beautifully and not ruled by how pretty we seem to the world.

The famous Cupid ( Eros in Greek myths) is her son, born of her union with the God of War Ares. So one more credit to her from me.

Not many people find her dependable. i agree with those people. Can we really depend on love to solve all our problems? i don't think love is the only thing required. That's why the other gods and goddesses are there! i am once again deviating from the point.

The only weapon Aphrodite can use to punish offenders is love. She makes them fall in love with themselves. Do you know how destructive too much self love can be? Narcissistic people are born. Imagine being so much in love with yourself that you cant see the world around you!

The goddess can transform herself from Drop dead Gorgeous to girl next door. She is never dowdy. No hair is out of place. Ever. ( This for me is a flaw. Perfection can be irritating for the non perfectionist) Yet she,even with her flaws seems admirable. And that's why she is my favourite Greek Goddess.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Certainly certified

Have you ever cringed while watching TV when a particular scene just pops up out of nowhere? Yeah. I am talking about those scenes, which if shown in a movie hall would be censored. Even normal slang is beeped in movies, right?. Or the movie is given a "to be watched under adult supervision" or "adults only" certificate. And we wouldn't go watch certain movies with the whole family. How many of us can see "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" with our parents, or for that matter with our younger siblings? I certainly cannot.

How many parents would allow their children to watch inappropriate movies? Very few, if any. If  movies are so blatantly certified, why not television content? Recently, I was watching a Hindi soap on a popular channel and was appalled to hear the kind of language they were using. Incidentally, my sister was watching too. I wouldn't want any kid to pick up such language.

Some jokes cracked on laughter reality shows get too embarrassing to laugh at. What is sauce for the gander is not tasty for the goose.

Some scenes, specially in saas bahu sagas or American soaps are to explicit to be watched with family. Yet, while watching TV together we invariably come across such scenes. 

I am not implying that such shows or soaps be banned or anything on those lines. Neither am I criticising the content or disapproving. To portray the story properly  or to add spice some scenes are required. And  everyone has the right to see what they want to.  Soap creators too have the right to bank upon popular themes. I simply want to suggest one change. Certification. A summary of the show's content. Warning about certain language or gestures used.

Certain DTH providers do give information about the content of a show, buy they do not rate any show. Every show before being aired should be rated accordingly. There should be a different censor board for television. This small change will make TV viewing a better experience.

 Indian Television has gone through several changes in the past ten years. We can now personalise our TV experience by recording rewinding or pausing live television. So why not this? Urban viewers have graduated from cable TV to DTH, they would be able to digest this small change. Wouldn't they?

Update: I did a project in my 2nd year of college(2010-11) Children and Adult content on TV where I raised the same questions. I included a survey where I asked children   ( 8-16) to tick off the shows they watch and found that most children do watch Adult Content on TV as it is easily available. I still want the same changes in TV viewership trends.