Thursday, January 28, 2010

Girls Orphanges and School Days.....

The Barbhaya Girls Orphanage at Vile Parle

There are very few orphanages exclusively for girls. Running an all- girls orphanage requires a lot of responsibility and care about a number of things. It can be best run by females only. My first hand experience of an orphanage was the one run by my own school - St Joseph's High School (for Girls), Agripada. The school premises housed an orphanage and a dormitory, where we had no access. In higher school, we were assigned to various social activities as part of our social work. Every class had one hour of such activities once a week after school i.e from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
Some were assigned to go to Asha Daan, Agripada where 'special' children were housed. This was a few mins from our school. The same place also had an Old Age home attached. I remember going to the old age section as a school girl. It was a touching as well as a scary moment for me. 'Touching' because the old people were shunned and thrown by their own children and relatives as they considered them 'useless' and a 'burden' as they grew old. The stories they told us through tears and reflecting back can shatter anyone emotionally. And we were still kids. But girls after all ! And they say girls mature faster and understand emotions better. The experience was 'scary' because some of the people were very old and had developed illness and diseases and bed sores while some had no control on their bowels and movements. The people there did their best but had their own limitations. Later the authorities there might have realised that we were still kids oursleves to spend time with older people. On our later trips to Asha Daan, we were mostly asked to play with the 'special' kids there. We used to also help the sisters and other staff there with other petty work like folding clothes etc. It was sweet when the kids (some big, yet small) used to come running to us and hug us saying 'didi, didi' (didi means elder sister) recognising us when we used to go there again after a week! The kids there were girls only as far as I can remember.
One class used to be divided into several groups and assigned different places or activities on rotation. One activity used to be going and helping the orphange in our own school. The kids there were really small and some just born. Some had some disabilities, but most were just not wanted by their parents! It used to be fun feeding them baby food provided to us by the staff there. We used to just assist the sisters and staff there with small work and making the babies smile and wiping their tears. Many of these babies (boys and girls) used to be adopted by Indian as well as European families. They used to send snaps of the kids progress to the school authorities through pictures. I had a few of such cute snaps through a fellow inmate, who was also my sister's classmate. Some girls were brought up there only and stayed in the dormitory and studied in our school itself. I wonder where the boys who were not adopted as kids were sent. Because I never saw any boys there. Maybe they were sent to some other orphanage run by some other convent. Later the girls were married off or found their own soul mates.

Our social work also included staying back and tutoring kids from economically weak background who were not good at studies and also not afford a tuition teacher. We had to teach kids from the primary section. All these activities instilled a sense of responsibility towards the society in us even as kids, thanks to our school.
Recently I was looking for a good girl's orphanage in the suburbs, when my sister told me about one at Vile Parle. She'd got to know about it through her bank, which had taken up some social programme to help them. Later too she'd been there with one of her colleagues and liked the well organised place and the attitude of the women running it. The place is near Irla Nursing Home at S V Road, Vile Parle (West) and is called 'Shri Barbhaya Vanik Bala Orphanage'. I never had a chance to see the place until 26th Jan 2010. I'd gone there with my sister and bro-in-law. The place is run by Gujarati women.

You can call them (022-26713123) before you go there and ask if they have any immediate requirement. They will tell you of the same, whether it is rice or some pulses or books or whatever. Their requirements are simple and they do not force you for any donations. Instead of showering them with unwanted stuff you can give them what they require by asking them. And if you're giving away clothes, please do not give such clothes that you do not want for yourself or are planning to throw away because they are in bad condition! Always give away what you'd want for your own self! Because the lady there was complaining saying that she had two cupboard full of clothes, which were given by people but just lying there.

Check this UTube link of the orphanage :

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I was at a lingerie shop recently buying some undergarments. Two women came in, bought some stuff. One of the ladies, asked the other one whether she wanted to buy some panties. The other one replied, 'I don't like to buy from here. These hardly last for six months'. (What she meant was that she'd prefer to buy the cheaper variety in sold loose for around Rs 25 or so). I was shocked. Wasn't that a long time enough for a panty to last? How much do you expect something costing Rs 50-60 approx to last? A lifetime? And even if it cost less or more, undergarments ought to be discarded after six months if you're using them almost daily. Of course, they need to be changed and washed daily too ! Seeing the amused look on my face, the other lady with her clarified that she wore only Jockey brand!

It's rightly said that Cleanliness or hygiene is next to godliness.

Pic courtesy :

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wife's Poem

Nice poem for men who boss around with their wives and always find fault for no rhyme and reason !

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Life's Challenging for Women!

One of my female colleagues was so frustrated with the daily long work hours, no time for personal life that she was saying the life was better for women in olden times, when so much was not expected from them. Now people expect her to earn well as well as maintain social and family relations and look after family and home. She thinks of quitting her job and enjoying life also. But she and her sister are the only earning members in a family of three, which includes her Mom. Her father's no more. But even if that weren't the case, she couldn't have left the job because in today's age everyone wants a working wife. And if that weren't enough, they expect her to be a good homemaker who looks after the house, the kids and who's a wonderful cook! How she manages everything is her own lookout!!!

My colleague is right. Mumbai is full of career women. You see everyone putting in the same time and effort (sometimes more) than a man! Your heart goes out to the women who brave their way through a crowded train even through pregnancy, so as to reach office in time! Gone are the days when women were given concession in time at the workplace. And worse are the operations side in private banks and some MNCs. The Ladies Compartment is sufficiently occupied even after 10 pm!

Working in the operations side of banking, I have to think twice before.....
.... picking a personal call
.... having to make an important personal call
.... before going for lunch/ tea ('has someone else from my team gone'? or 'gotta complete this task first' are things that come to your mind... and if that's not all... an official call comes thru!)
.... having to attend social functions ('have to skip this wedding.... leaving early will not be possible'.... banking activities cannot be put forth to the next day, you're dealing with someone else's money after all!)
.... can't keep track of my bill payments - mobile, credit card etc (so I've put all on direct debit and finally automatically linked them to my account... else's I'll have recovery agents running after me only for forgetting to pay!)

But at the end of it, when you reach home, you're still the girl /woman/ wife! Resting or relaxing is not your privilege! You might get a little concession, but mind you, only little! Finally only the men of the house - your husband/ brother etc will have the right to put up their legs and relax. On Sundays, you can't plan to chill out or sleep through the day as coolly as a man can! You will have to think of cleaning, cooking etc. So on a Monday morning, you arrive to work a little more tired than relaxed.... and the circle continues....

Now since I am living with my parents and not yet married, I have some privileges. At least I don't have to bother about household work on week days since I work. Even if I reach home at 10 pm or later, I get home food cooked by Mom. But this week, when she and Dad were not at home (they were at our native place to attend a cousin's wedding), I was wondering who will cook for me if I were to marry and settle down. Who will pamper me like my Mom? We (my sister, me and brother) were managing on noodles, omlette, bread, cornflakes and ordered food. But yesterday, when I reached home quite late, I was too tired to make even instant noodles or an omlette!

Life's not easy for women now! Its more difficult than before. Now you gotta be working, smart in apperance, well-maintained, be a good homemaker, a bread-earner, a good wife, a good mother and be back in shape after motherhood! Society...esp Men's expectations are rising! Men notice even minor things like 'whether you've shaped your eyebrows or not' and they'll be the first to notice that you've had a facial !!!

Best profession for women who want to have a career as well as have a ample time for self and family is Teaching or having your own independent business ! But teacher/ professor is still the best option after all. Who else can enjoy so many leaves in a year, including convenient timings?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Male bashing

Hey why does life treat girls differently, man?
Maybe because we're special. God has made us so!
We don't have great expectations and always ready to make sacrifices;
Maybe that's why we're put through trials in our different relationships as daughters, sisters, lovers and finally wives.
The men want all the attention and maybe thats why the society is so pro-men and most of the norms, laws, and even nature works in their favour.
Poor men, what would they be without all those things working in their favour?!
So girls, let men have all that. We're special in our own ways.
Special when we cry for our loved ones,
Special when we care and be there for our near and dear.
It's always the Mom who keeps awake when her children are ill.
It's the wife who spends sleepless nights when her husband is going through problems
It's the woman who takes a day off from work when there's a problem at home.
It's the woman who has to cook and clean at home even though both partners have equally challenging careers.
But it's always the men who rest on Sundays and holidays.
Why should the men's mistakes and sins always be forgiven when no one gives women another chance?
Men always make a hue and cry over little pains.
But women have to look the house even after painful labour.
Then the child's her responsibility.
The daddy comes into the scene when the child's neat and clean!
After the mother's given the good values, the Dads come to take the credit.

I've known a spinster in her forties through some common friends and always wondered whether she had personal problems due to which she couldn't marry. Never dared to ask her such a personal question, though. But recently, after being 'taken for granted' and being 'expected to sacrifice' for being a woman, I was really depressed and spoke to her right from my heart.
There was nothing special happening in my life too, so I thought I'll share my thoughts with her and what she felt like at the thought of being alone for the rest of her life. I was surprised to get an insight into life for the first time. She told me that not marrying was a decision she took in her teens when young girls used to dream of prince charming and love and blissful life ahead! What she'd seen around her had made her realise that women always have to live upto, and sometimes exceed, expectations of the men in her life. But no matter what, the men will never be satisfied and always find flaws. And some men go to the extent of abusing and ill-treating their women, if they don't comply. Also, in her community, which still follows some age old values, for every festival gifts have to go from the girls maternal home to her in-laws house. And though the girls' family tries their best to send the best, her husband and in-laws will never be satisfied. The girl is then taunted directly and indirectly and finally there comes a time when you start dreading the festivals after marriage. Because you work till you drop during major ocassions but never get appreciated. You have to please everyone and still end up as the cause of their problems and finally lead a dull existence!

This was her perspective and to true some extent in the Indian society I asked her if she regretted her decision. 'No' was her prompt reply. Cause every woman -friend and relative she'd known had lost their own identities and stopped being themselves after marriage. And most of them were not-so-happy with their marriages.

And moreso, she said, she'd not come across any man in her life after meeting whom she could look back and say that if so-and-so would have been there, her life would be special. So, she still enjoys all the festivals in the true 'girl spirit'. And though all her sisters are married, she still chooses to be single and meet people and know different cultures. Her only regret is that she cannot fully enjoy life that way she wants to (the main reason for being unmarried) because she works with her brother in a family business and has to travel from one end of the city to the other daily leaving her very little time for herself. But thats the problem with everyone in the city, though.

Today, as I was walking down the street, I heard a middle aged woman speak to another woman with her, 'Kya karti bechari? Aurat toh mard ke saamne hamesha majboor ho jaati hai'! I don't want to be majboor. I want a man who will be honest with me and true care for me throughout life. I am not even asking for love because 'Love' is too high a word in today's age and too much to expect from men!

Till then I'll enjoy my 'girldom' !

(My heart's feeling a little lighter after all this male bashing! :-) )

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A vow taken at a friends wedding!

Attended a friend's wedding today evening. Could make it on time since it was a holiday on account of Diwali. It was my sister's and my common friend, so she'd come along too!

It was a fun meeting so many friends after so long. Meeting up, catching up on old times. Welcoming the bride n groom, the wedding march, the song and music selection as well as the host was good.

The theme of the wedding was 'white and lavender' and cooindentally I was dressed in a shade close to lavender. It was an evening to remember, moreso because a close group friend was getting married and it brought our whole group together after ages! The group (formed for creative reasons many years ago!) which had got lost in work, work and more work.

It also brought together some single working friends like me together. And set us thinking whether wedding was ever destined for us! We also wondered at whose wedding we'll all meet next.

We finally left with good memories and dreams in our eyes, with a vow to only marry someone who will really touch our hearts deeply and not just marry for the sake of others or just because we have to!

Friday, November 9, 2007


Most of us have read the poem 'Aisi Apni Wife Ho!'

Hey, we girls also have our expectations, which is presented well in the below mail which I received from a friend :

Aisa apna husband ho

Aisa apna husband ho
6' - 6'2" jiski height ho
Jeans dheeli magar body tight ho
apni baaton se karta excite ho
Wo dashing smart aur polite ho
Husband apna aisa bright ho.

Uski apni ek website ho
Network uska world-wide ho
Swiss bank mein account 26 - 27 ho
Jab shopping kar ke aoon,
bole begum tum kitni nice ho
Husband apna aisa bright ho

Uff tak na kare, itna quiet ho
Jalaa khana khakar bhi,
usey mujhpe pride ho
Mere har nakhre uthaye,
itna mizaaj uska light ho
Apne friends ke saamne kahe,
tum perfect bride ho
Husband apna aisa bright ho.

Dinner banaye wo,
jab bhi romantic night ho
Hamesha wo haar maan jaye,
jab bhi koi fight ho
Saas sasur ke samne kahe,
jaan tum hamesha right ho
Mujhe rani bana kar rakhe,
to phir zindagi delight ho
Husband apna aisa bright ho.

Bindaas apni mann ki karoon,
kuch is tarah ki life ho
Har doosre week ghoomne phirne ki flight ho
Aisa ho jaye to main udoon aasmaan mei,
jaise ke koi kite ho
Husband apna aisa bright ho!
Kaash yeh concept .001 percent bhi right ho,
Agar Aisa apna Husband ho,
to kya haseen life ho.