Winters make me very nostalgic, especially during late
afternoon and in the evening. I cannot help but look out of the window with my
coffee mug in my hand and take a fascinating stroll down the memory lane which
takes me back to my school days and college days. School days they say are the
best days of life when you can put aside all the worries and enjoy your
childhood and carefree adolescence. I had an extermely wonderful childhood and
most of it was spent playing outdoor games with friends after returning from
school.. we had a great time riding bicycles, playing cricket, badminton,
pitthu, gulli-danda, dodge ball etc etc. This also meant eating right and
healthy since falling sick would mean missing school and also no play which was
Our guardians (moms who were mostly hands-on), had a tough
task at hand of keeping their children disease-free and they depended mostly on
natural remedies. I remember our mornings would start with juice of chirota/
chirayta (SWERTIA CHIRATA) , every alternate day and a teaspoonful of Dabur Chyawanprash . This worked wonderfully well for the immune system and later
when we attained adolescence this ayurvedic medicine prevented the skin
breakouts with pimples and acne. When I was a toddler my mother used to massage
me with an uptan of freshly pasted haldi/turmeric, Dabur Honey and milk which
had a long lasting benefit, and trust me I never encountered a pimple outbreak
in my growing up years.
I must mention that when I was doing my graduation, my
grandmother would take lot of pain in preparing masoor dal and Dabur Honey
paste in summers and a mix of Dabur
honey, rose water and glycerine (all in equal proportion) in winters. At times
I would be too tired to go through all the fuss of applying the pack but she
would coax me till I applied the pack. When I look back I can hardly stop
marvelling at the patience she had after a long day's work to do so much for me
and that too with a smiling face.
This practice was handed down to me by my grandmother and
mother and I used to apply the same pack along with Dabur Lal Tail when my son
was a toddler. It worked better than the baby products available then in the
market.. Also when he started taking food supplements like cerelac and
lactogen, I would dab a little piece of gauze in Dabur honey and wipe off the
milk residue from his tongue with that. The sweet taste of honey made the
process easy and the goodness of honey protected him from cold and cough.
There are no short cuts in life really, in nothing that we
do. It really petrifies me when I find these teenagers depending so much on
artificial and chemical based products to look beautiful. Out of ten atleast
seven have artificially straightened hair which is also artificially coloured.
The excessive use of eyeliners and make up is also very common amongst these youngsters. This should not be encouraged.
But honestly children nowadays are little disobedient,
becoming couch potatoes with ample access to television, mobiles and computers
to mention a few. Then there is an added pressure to compete in various exams,
projects, coaching classes and extracurricular activities.The stress generated
as a result affects the immune system and we make umpteen rounds of the doctors
In situations like these we as parents feel very helpless.
Dealing with children is very challenging at times and one feels clueless when
it comes to convincing them about the natural remedies. I am an ardent fan of
natural products and herbs and believe in eating a balanced diet, therefore as
and when required I put my foot down if my child refuses to listen to me. Its
Dabur Honey all through the year, in a glass of warm water, lemon juice, on
breads, with chapatis and also sometimes I add it in his favorite chicken and
prawn also. He likes it. In winters I make it a point to bring home a bottle of Dabur Chyawanprashand Honitus is a must.It substitutes for the extract made
from crushing the tulsi leaves and adding it to honey to cure cold and cough.
The foundation has to be strong if we want to build a mansion. So healthy
children would mean better future...
Since my son has a sensitive skin, I also give him a cotton
ball dipped in Dabur Gulabari whenever he is playing games on internet so that
he can at least wipe his face with that while continuing with the mindless
video games. Believe me it has had brilliant effect on his skin. The skin looks
cleaner and clearer. In a life so fast paced and busy if we can keep aside just
a few minutes for ourselves and instil the same discipline in our children,
then life will certainly become more beautiful. We can also save time and money
by avoiding endless trips to the hospitals.
An expensive facial or a face lift can give you a beautiful
face but only for a specific period of time that too with hundreds of side
effects. Botox, age defying creams, fairness creams etc are nothing but
artificial means to an end. It is better to age gracefully, eat healthy and stay
away from diseases as much as possible. What could be more better than
incorporating some natural products in our regime. A spoonful of Dabur Chyawanprashand Dabur honey in the morning and littlebit of Dabur gulabari for
the skin should take of our body. Then we have Hajmola to take care of
indigestion. Actually, Ayurveda has solutions to all our problems, all that WE
need is a little bit of patience. Discipline is the key word, the results take
time to show but they are very long lasting unlike the chemically enhanced
products. Truth is, nature is the best doctor, who helps us to make ourselves
beautiful inside and out....
Kali Puja to Diwali to Chhath Puja to Jagadhatri Puja...and
now cricket, more so because of Sachin's retirement...no respite at all...Every
few seconds there is a cracker or a bomb bursting somewhere. Is this how we
celebrated auspicious occasions in the past? The other day I was having an
insightful discussion with my father on the same topic and that is when I
realized that people have become so impervious towards the major environment
related issues and the problems that the old and sick people have to encounter
because of so much air and noise pollution. Think about the new-borns, the
bedriddens, the animals, birds and the poor and penurious, think about the
money that is being wasted especially when the times are so difficult.. I have
a pet dog who could not eat properly because of these high decibel sounds.
We keep blaming the ruling party, the entire system and the
circumstances for our plight. But are we not equally responsible for the ruckus
that is being created , are we not part of this system? Yes, I am referring to
the way we celebrate Diwali and Kali Puja. We are all aware of the turmoil that
our beloved earth is going through, then does it make sense to add to the
sound/noise and air pollution? What kind of world are we leaving for our
At the risk of being criticised by the admirers of the
ruling party, I want to ask what is this with their double-talk? Why do you
make rules when you allow people to break them? In the very first place, why do they issue permits to sell these harmful crackers? The decibel marauding firecrackers and
the microphones blaring from all four directions, is this right? Politically may be,
but for the common man who hates too much noise, smoke and dust these merriments
are becoming nightmarish.
Tantriks and purohits, in the olden days, used to perform
Kali Puja when it was pitch dark outside on the night of amavasya/ new moon,
late at night in the quietness. The sadhna, the ritual was so difficult and
demanded so much concentration that any distraction would mean displeasing the Goddess. Thus using firecrackers was out
of question. Even during Diwali (Diwali literally means a "Row of
Lights", celebrated on Krishna Chaturdashi ), one of the most festive and
beautiful times of the year, a time when Indians all over the world rejoice .It
is the darkest night of the darkest period, yet it is a celebration of light!
Diwali is presaged as the victory of good over evil.
Diwali celebrates Lord Rama's glorious and long-awaited
return to his Kingdom of Ayodhya after his fourteen long years of exile in the
forests. It celebrates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon Narakaasura who
had kidnapped and terrorized the gopis of Vrindavan. When the evil Naraka was
finally killed by Bhagwan Krishna and Satyabhaama, he begged pitiably for mercy;
thus, upon his entreaties, it was declared that this day of his death would be
celebrated with great joy and festivity. It is also celebrated as the day
Bhagwan Vishnu married Maha Lakshmi.In general, Diwali signifies the triumph of
good over evil, of honesty over deceitfulness, of truth over lie, and of light
Burning candles, fireworks and sparklers are brilliant methods
of conveying our joy. But, they are not the only or true meaning of
"light." Diwali means dispelling the darkness of our ignorance; it is
a festival of the light which shows us the way on our journey through
life. The purpose is to glorify the
greatness of love and truth, triumph of good over evil. Lighting diyas or candles
is still fine but the crackers! Hard times are ahead we all know, infact
difficult times are already here. What with the rising prices of potatoes and
onions without which Indian cooking is unthinkable, still we burn money all in
the name of festivities.
Well, some may think that I am preaching but no.. honestly I
abhor the kali potkas and chocolate bombs or any other form of firecracker. Not
just because of my allergy and respiratory problem but also because the elderly
people find it very difficult to step outside or sit in the puja pandals. I
felt very dearly for my pet dog who could neither eat nor sleep properly all
because of this undesirable noise. The explosives made him very restless and
nervous. I am sure others have had similar experience.
One may justify the use of firecrackers as the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rains. But here, in and around my building and also in many other places in Kolkata I see no reduction in the population of mosquitoes and other insects...
There..another one goes.. today happens to be the eve of
Kartik Puja/ Poornima …so one has to bear with this once again...
Reconnecting with my bestie Anindita after 23 years that too on the eve of Childrens' Day ...Wow! Thanks a ton Eva.
Life gives us so many reasons to celebrate .. God has been kind..very very kind. Reuniting with school friends brings back so many memories, the sweet ones ofcourse. We did not have gadgets like cell phones or tabs or even digital cameras in those days to capture each and every moment anywhere and everywhere. However, every moment pertaining to my schoollife has been inscripted very efficiently in my memory..
It has been a year of reconnecting with old friends, friends I had not seen in more than 20 years.Friendships can fade away, can lose importance or even die gradually due to time, distance or challenges thrown at us. But a strong conviction and old feelings of trust make it easy to reconnect (glad that I read and believed Rhonda Byrne - "An affirmative thought is 100 times more powerful than a negative one" ). ...
I really could not believe how close we felt, and how quickly we connected. Nothing has changed...nothing. Reconnecting with these friends has made me exteremely happy. I am grateful. Facebook is amazing !! And yes, when your past comes back to add some goodness to your present then that takes away the pain, stress and suffering which the complications of the present and the unpredictability of the future bestows upon us. Really friends, a little dash of happiness can make you look younger by few years and how!! Now I can easily proclaim that 40 is the new 30... so move on !!
"Like a roller in the ocean, life is motion
Like a wind that's always blowing, life is flowing
Like the sunrise in the morning, life is dawning
How I treasure every minute
Being part of it, being in it
With the urge to move on..."
( Haiku, originally a Japanese poetry form in English,is basically a short poem which uses different imageries to describe the nature or season.Nowadays Haiku is a very popular form and is written using other themes also. It has 17 syllables in the form 5-7-5 .)
मैना की हँसती-बोलती आँखों में पहली बार नमी देख दिल टूट गया , सच!! कुछ पूछने से कहीं रो न पड़े इसलिए सुबह-सुबह आँचल ने कुछ पूछा भी नहीं. दो सालों से काम कर रही है उसके घर में, कभी ऐसा नहीं हुआ इसीलिए आँचल थोड़ी हैरान भी थी. सोचा दोपहर को पूछेगी,तब तक शायद मैना का मन शांत हो जाए.
सुबह से कभी कहानी की किताब, कभी रसोई, इसी तरह दोपहर का वक़्त आया तो घड़ी की ओर देखने लगी. मैना एक साधारण सी कामवाली बाई थी पर इन दो सालों में आँचल के जीवन का एक अहम हिस्सा बन चुकी थी. रॉकिंग चेयर पे बैठे- बैठे ख़यालों में डूबी आँचल की तंद्रा अचानक कॉलिंग बेल की आवाज़ से टूटी. दरवाज़ा खोलते ही मैना की आँखों को पढ़ने की कोशिश करने लगी पर कुछ ख़ास समझ न पाई.
निश्चय किया पहले उसे सारा काम निबटाने देगी उसके बाद पूछेगी. पर मैना भी शायद मन हल्का करने का एक मौका खोज रही थी. बर्तन मांजते- मांजते, बिना कोई भूमिका बाँधे , क्रंदित स्वर में बोल पड़ी- "जानती हो दीदी, आज मुझे लगा जैसे बेटी को स्कूल भेजकर मैने ग़लती की है. पढ़ाई- लिखाई सीखकर कितनी अहंकारी हो गयी है. इतना गुरूर की असलियत को नकारने लगी है. आज जिस काम की वजह से वो शिक्षित हो पाई है, समाज में सम्मानजनक स्थान पाने के काबिल बन पाई है, आज उसी काम का उसने अपमान किया है. बर्तन मांजना, कपड़े धोना, उसके लिए अपने स्तर से नीचे गिर जाने जैसा है. मेरे हाथ में कल चोट लगी थी इसीलिये उससे कहा कि मेरी थोड़ी मदद कर दे. मदद तो दूर की बात मेरे साथ उपर आपके घर तक आने से मना कर दिया. बाप के डर से मेरे साथ आ तो गयी मगर कोई भी काम करने से साफ मना कर दिया. कहती है उसने कामवाली बनने के लिए पढ़ाई-लिखाई नहीं की है ".
एक साँस में कहती जा रही थी और फिर रो पड़ी. आँचल हतवाक् थी. मैना कितना सोचती है अपने बच्चों के लिए, कितनी परिश्रमी है. दिन के उजाले से लेकर गोधुलि बेला तक एक मिनट भी सुस्ताये बिना पाँच लोगों के यहाँ काम करती है और उसकी संतान ही इतनी असंवेदनशील !! क्या कहे, समझ नहीं पा रही थी, बस इतना ही बोल पाई- " शांत हो जाओ, कुछ खा लो ".
पढ़ लिखकर दूसरों के घरों में बर्तन मांजना , झाड़ू-पोंछा लगाना शायद तोड़ा मुश्किल ही है. पर मैना की बेटी यह बात अपनी माँ को दूसरे ढंग से समझाती तो अच्छा होता. उसने जिस प्रकार अपनी माँ का अपमान किया वो कतई एक शिक्षित और सुलझे हुए इंसान को शोभा नहीं देता.
मनुष्य कितना भी पढ़ लिख ले, सही मायने में सुशिक्षित वही है जो बुलंदियों को छूने के बाद भी वास्तविकता को नहीं नकारता.....
Maina ki hansti-bolti aankhon mein pahli baar nami dekh dil toot gaya , sach!! Kuch poochne se kahin ro na pade isliye subah subah Anchal ne kuch poocha bhi nahin. Do saalon se kaam kar rahi hai uske ghar mein, kabhi aisa nahin hua isiliye anchal thodi hairan bhi thi. Socha dopahar ko poochegi,tab tak shayad maina ka man shaant ho jaye.
Subah se kabhi kahani ki kitaab, kabhi rasoi, isi tarah dopahar ka waqt aya to ghari ki oar dekhne lagi. Maina ek sadhran si kaamwaali bai thi par in do saalon mein aanchal ke jeevan ka ek aham hissa ban chuki thi. Rocking chair pe baithe- baithe khayalon mein doobi aanchal ki tandra achanak calling bell ki awaaz se tooti. Darwaza kholte hi maina ki ankhon ko padhne ki koshish karne lagi par kuch khaas samajh na payi.
Nishchay kiya pahle use saara kam nibtane degi uske baad poochegi. Par maina bhi shayad man halka karne ka ek mouka khoj rahi thi. Bartan maanjte- maanjte, bina koi bhumika bandhe, krandit swar mein bol padi- "jaanti ho didi, aaj mujhe laga jaise beti ko school bhejkar maine galati ki hai. Padhai- likhai seekhkar kitni ahankaari ho gayi hai. itna guroor ki asliyat ko nakaarne lagi hai.aaj jis kaam ki vajah se woh shikshit ho payi hai, samaaj mein sammanjanak sthan pane ke kaabil ban payi hai, aaj usi kaam ka usne apmaan kiya hai. Bartan maanjna, kapde dhona, uske liye apne star se neeche gir jane jaisa hai. Mere haath mein kal chot lagi thi isikliye usse kaha ki meri thodi madad kar de. madad to door ki baat mere saath upar aapke ghar tak ane se manaa kar diya. Baap ke dar se mere saath aa to gayi magar koi bhi kaam karne se saaf manaa kar diya. Kahti hai usne kaamwaali banne ke liye padhai-likhai nahin ki hai ".
Ek saans mein kahti ja rahi thi aur fir ro padi. Aanchal hatavaak thi. maina kitna sochti hai apne bachchon ke liye, kitni parishrami hai. Din ke ujaale se lekar godhuli bela tak ek minute bhi sustaye bina paach logon ke yahan kaam karti hai aur uski santaan hi itni asamvedansheel!! Kya kahe, samajh nahin paa rahi thi, bas itna hi bol payi- " Shaant ho jao, kuch kha lo ".
Padh likhkar doosron ke gharon mein bartan maanjna , jhadu-poncha lagana shayad thoda mushkil hi hai. Par Maina ki beti yah baat apni maa ko doosre dhang se samjhati to achcha hota. Usne jis prakar apni maa ka apaman kiya woh katai ek shikshit aur suljhe hue insaan ko shobha nahin deta.
Manushya kitna bhi padh likh le, sahi mayne mein sushikshit wahi hai jo bulandiyon ko chhune ke baad bhi vaastavikta ko nahin nakarta........