Friday 24 August 2012

Weekend Blogging Contest at BlogAdda: Women’s intimate health

This post is a part of the weekend blogging contest at in association with

My family was never one of those who'd reach out for the remote when a "Whisper" or "Stayfree" advertisement was aired; even if it was done, it never seemed purposeful. As far as my memory serves me, I never knew what it was about and never really cared to ask anyone for a long time of my childhood. 

I do have an opinion on the topic though. I do not think that there is an impending need for us to "speak out" on this topic at our homes. Awareness is always a good thing and unfortunately one of the things which are never enough. So, I do not claim that India is completely aware of sanitary pads and other women's health products and that there is no need to advertise, I just want that it should be done in a way that does not embarrass the girl child. 

Male members of the family are not suited to join these discussions where common "lady problems" are discussed. This is the kind of knowledge that should be passed on from the gynaecologist to the mother and from the mother to daughters. It needn't be hushed and if there are health-related issues, they must be resolved. The females should know what is normal and what is not and they should be able to report any health related issue to both mother and father. This confidence can only come from proper channeling of knowledge.

Since these are sensitive topics and it is ok to want to discuss them privately, I do not advocate discussing them, talking about them when the whole family is in attendance. There again it depends on the rapport and chemistry among family members. A good family environment full of humour and confidence in each other can help building the confidence. Confidence is all that is needed here.

I, myself being a healthcare professional, think that the responsibility is shared between the female members of the family and the health-care professionals of the society. The doctors need to carry out camps in remote areas and other such outreach programmes where these issues can be addressed. Pamphlets in newspapers, magazines, advertisements on Television. The information must be shared and there should be encouragement and motivation to share it with others. 

If a problem is presented in all its gravity, the need to shove it down people's throats slowly erodes. It should be made known that it is an issue, a sensitive one at that and must be handled with care. Shoving this information mechanically down the society's throat is not going to do us any good. 

The problem that is in front of us cannot be tackled in the way we have tackled AIDS, HIV infection and other such taboo topics. The stigma here is much deep rooted in the psyche and is most of the times associated with a lot of shame and guilt. We need to fight the guilt and shame and also the disease. In cases of AIDS, the guilt and social stigma needs to eradicated completely whilst in this case, we need to handle the subjects all the more sensitively and with care. They are minds which haven't fully grown and need education, not instructions.

Jai Hind!

Long overdue.GKB Opticals, thanks a lot!

It has been much selfish on my part to take away the sunglasses after winning the contest conducted by on and never offer a vote of thanks. So better late than never, here it comes...

 A big THANK YOU to both of you, you blogadda guys are doing a great job and even though you didn't select me as a premium blogger, I know that your blog is in the right place. Hehe... Just kidding, I am nowhere close to the people you chose. Amazing team!

And to GKB Opticals, you folks have an amazing collection! Keep rocking!!

 About the glasses, these RayBans are amazing and go nicely with my face-cut. I can wear them on bike trips, brunches, sunday picnics, on my way to work, basically everywhere.

The aviators are cool for all seasons and the best part is, they give the classic look which never goes out of fashion. They go equally nicely with denims, jackets, scarves and T shirts. Here is the look that takes the prize for me-

Much love,

ABD out!

Rajasthani Folklore- Bhabhuti Naai. (Bhabhuti- The Barber)

So, I had this amazing person and author of "Never Mind Yaar" K Mathur visiting my blog the other day. Much humbled that she liked it. Moreover she wants me to draw for her story-reading of "Bhabhuti Naai". I jumped on the opportunity and did as instructed.

Here is how it turned out-

Umm... before you scroll down, I'd like you to do a few things in order to best enjoy the story.

1. Bring out the inner child in you.
2. Get your earphones ready
3. Click "Play" on the Youtube video of the story reading below.
4. Gently scroll down as the story plays out in the audio. The page might take a while to load because of the amount of photos.
5. Enjoy!

Thursday 23 August 2012

You Ask Me "Why Melbourne?"

This entry has been written for the "'s your time to visit Melbourne NOW!" contest conducted by Indiblogger. I was sure I wanted to go there and have a ball but then Indiblogger grabbed me by my collar and asked me- "That's all fine, mate! But why Melbourne?" and I went looking for an answer to the - Official website for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; I came back brimming with answers. So many answers that now one blog post might not do justice to it.

Here is why-

1. The Dance Clubs.

Admittedly I love to dance.... a lot. I love the dancing lights and thump of heavy beats. Couple that with an awesome crowd and you have a guarantee for a good time. I would love to hit the "Prince of Wales", "Room 680" or "Revolver." and celebrate every moment of being alive.

2. The Bookstores. 

I love the smell, the crispiness of fresh pages just out of print, I love to flip through the pages of a good book and check this- "Melbourne boasts more bookshops per head than anywhere else in Australia." City Bookstore, Coventry Nation, Mag Station, Sticky- The list of names of these bookstores is enough for a book-a-holic like me to start packing.

3. The Music Scene

The site tells me that Victoria has a very happening live music scene and those who have been to live concerts tell me that there is nothing better than being in a live concerts to amazing artists. Goose-bumps galore!! All the more reason to be there.

4. Walking Tours

Now are you telling me, I can just walk around in the city and it will be a workshop enriching me as an artist, an art connoisseur, a photographer and a traveler! I mean how cool is that!!

5. Nature Park

Phillip island nature park is where I can say hello to the two cutest little species that every inhabited the earth. The penguins and the koalas. I found them adorable and would love to capture and take back the memories. 

6. Food

I hear the "Great Ocean Road" serves some amazing seafood. I have always been very fond of seafood. The tinge in the aroma is something that lingers for a long while. Also the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges seem to be serving straight from the paddock to the plate. Can't wait to nomnom and chompchomp!!

7. Beaches.

During the night, I get to party in one of the most happening clubs and dine at one of the finest restaurants in the world and during the day, I can go surfing in the ocean? Am I spoiled for choices or what? Great ocean road, Mornington peninsula, Phillip Island, Cape Bridgewater... hmph! The list is endless and time is too little.

8. Sovereign Hill

Time to take a trip back in time. Back in the Victorian era where horse drawn carriages ran across the city and street performers charmed their way to our hearts! Bring it on Melbourne, bring it all on!

9. Aboriginal Victoria

For someone so interested in anthropology, this tour will be an enriching experience for a lifetime. I'd get to see the fascinating beliefs, rituals and culture of 60,000 years of rich history. Yes, sir. I kid you not!

10. Old Melbourne Gaol Crime and Justice Experience.

A 19th century prison which housed some of the most vicious criminals of its time. Thrilling and scary. Bring it on!

11. Ballooning.

Yes, we can take a glimpse of this majestic city atop a giant air balloon. This is as thrilling as it gets.I'd feel like Batman watching over my beloved Gotham city. Majestic, serene, rich and scenic.

And of course there is the cricket ground! Jeez! How can I forget that!? Cherry on the top!
So, this was why I am dying to go to Melbourne and why if I don't win this contest, I'll be going there on my honeymoon. Jeez, I need to save up!

I have visited Melbourne in my dreams many a time and I think...'s your time to visit Melbourne NOW!

Monday 20 August 2012

Games that ruined my life.

Ever since I got my new Android phone, I have discovered one thing about myself that I am not a very normal human being. I was living a happy, peaceful life with my Nokia handset which had the harmless little game called “Snakes” which I played for only a few minutes that too, only during national holidays. But now, I have Android Gingerbread 2.3.6 and access to the ginormous Google Play Store.
Now, thanks to all the games available out there, my mind has been reprogrammed. I can’t go to sleep before “finishing the level”. Thanks to Angry Birds, I know imagine hitting a building in such a way that it falls to injure maximum pigs, I hear them chuckle when they snort.  I two see pigs together and I know in my heart that they are talking about where they’ve hidden the eggs. I think all problems of the world can be solved by summoning the mighty eagle.

Now, I see fruits and I try to slice them by running my fingers across them. I even touch the screens of non-touchscreens, trying to zoom in or out by pinching the screen.

Thanks to Ninjump, now I see squirrels crossing the road and feel the urge to kill them with a sword before they reach to the other side. I see blue birds and I imagine killing three of them at one go and getting the power to fly myself. I see a high score on someone else’s phone and take it as a challenge. It has become a matter of pride! Ninja pride!!

Worst is the case with Chess. I never was much into chess for two reasons- first- the hassle of arranging all the pieces on the board and making sure that no piece falls out from the board or gets displaced, secondly- the embarrassment of losing. Losing in a game of chess to someone is a big blow to one’s ego. It means acknowledging that they are smarter than you, that they have more brains. Now with chess right on my mobile screen, I can lose all the time and to restart a new game, I just need to tap on the “Restart game” icon. Now I make strategies in my sleep too. I shuffle my knights, rooks and pawns trying to check the opponent’s king. The whole world has become a giant chessboard and all thoughts centre toward moving the pieces in an orchestrated, confident manner.

Not to forget the bike and car racing games- I am a nervous wreck while playing them and every time I smash into a vehicle, my whole life from childhood plays before my eyes. I’ll soon be needing blood pressure medicines if this madness doesn’t stop.

Saturday 18 August 2012

The Impact Of Negative News

If you turn on the news or pick up a newspaper these days, there will hardly be any positive news to instill some hope in your already burdened and fatigued mind. Anna Hazare was the one last big bubble that burst a few days back. There are riots in Assam, girls getting molested, foreigners getting beaten up, babies being battered to death, petrol prices shooting, power grid failures, tyrant chief ministers running amok with their absurd antics and to top that, a government that doesn't take the responsibility of anything. 

In such times, one would look forward to pre-term general elections and hope for the opposition to present with a strong, people friendly agenda, They might have the plan to loot the country even further but just the sweet talk has been known to soothe the ailing hearts and minds of Indian common citizens.Such a simple task, unbelievably, cannot be accomplished by Lalkrishna Adwani & Co. Instead, they are fighting among themselves, playing the blame game and taking time for "introspection". 

In such times, what we really need is a positive news builder society or PNBS. PNBS should be allowed to concoct positive news to cheer us up and freshen our minds. People can subscribe to it by choice and enjoy the ostrich in sand status until the dawn really comes. I think I have created a great idea! Gosh! Why am I not getting paid for writing all this? I should be paid for this idea... I am very depressed now! 


Friday 17 August 2012

A Love So Detrimental: My entry for the Get Published contest

So, Indiblogger, it seems is on a roll this year. They've come up with this interesting concept in collaboration with Harper Collins to provide opportunity to all the budding writers in India. Here is a link to - Get Published.

My idea for the short story about "Real Love in New India" is based on my tryst with the emotion of love during my college days. It's about the girl who turned my life upside down, head over heels and led me into believing in destiny, the conspiring universe and jazz like that.

What inspires me to write this story-

The sheer magnanimous nature of this feeling inspired me; and to overcome it, topple it and conquer it to bring my life back on track inspired me furthermore. They say "true love happens only once". I try to contradict that with a clause in my story. The clause is- true love happens only once in a lifetime if you idolize the person you love, if you give him or her a space in your heart that can never be replaced. Not every love meets its destiny, the most painful form of love is unrequited love and in such a case, you need to move over and look beyond true love. It is not an easy process and I went through it. It was painful, frustrating for me but now when I look back, it turns out to have its own quotient of humour. Yes, real love can be funny these days. If given an opportunity, I would like to share it with you all.

What it means to me...

This story means the world to me. It is the difference between a boy and a man. It's the story of how I transformed myself from a pillow wetting, lovesick idiot to someone who could walk to the sunset happily ever after with someone else. Trust me, no love was lost in the process. I still love the girl, just not more than I love my happiness anymore. The love which fumigated the whole room and made everyone sick has now been captured in a tiny bottle of perfume and tucked away in the deep, dark corners of my heart.

So, what say? Would you like to hear my story?

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs fromYashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.