7 45 am
It’s the kind of day, when you want to sing, On a day like today…
It’s a lovely, lovely day. Clouds, intermittent drizzle. Light breeze, noisy birds, some car reversing, and the kids still asleep…Summer vacations mean lesser time on the blog, more time with kids. It’s the kind of day to take your car and drive with windows down. A friend needs to go to a nearby nursery, so we have all decided to join her. The truth is I need no more plants and animals…and I am determined to pick none, but I have learnt that if we add/change something in the house, I start enjoying maintaining and photographing it.
Husband hates hardware shopping. Hearing my cribs about a water–splattering kitchen faucet, and the urgent need to change it, a friend sympathetically drove us from the gym to a favourite Hard Ware Store. They didn’t have what I wanted, but they promised to get it and call me.
But my feminist mind was delighted to see the Bohri Muslim couple. All the time I thought they were Marwaris, when I had finished eulogizing the Marwari business skills, another friend who also shops from there, told me they were NOT Marwaris, but Muslims. That made me even more impressed, the woman looked confident, wore no veil, husband took her advice when I explained what I wanted. She understood and told her husband exactly what I was talking about, he nodded in agreement. I have just read/re-read three books in a row, ‘The Kite Runner’, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and ‘Not without My Daughter’ and cried through each of them. I have wondered what I would have done if I was in any of their places. Oh yes I observe how women are treated all the time. Then I thanked God I was born in India. America would not have been bad either.
Daughter wishes she was born in a country where there was no gender bias, and she prefers Europe or America (born as a citizen there). She often says she would like to join Politics so that she can really change this country.
I ask: Which politician have you seen change this country?
Daughter: So many, but only for the worse, now supposing they used their power to better the country, I will be like that.
(‘God Willing!’, my mind is still floating sadly, without a one eyed abaya in Iran & Afghanistan)
We can’t choose the country (or for that matter, State) of our birth, but we can definitely refuse to shut our eyes. I have just read Secret, and I believe if she continues to wish this, seriously – sincerely, she will succeed. And we all need a solid goal. Like most Indian parents, I love to see ambition in my children. (Even though the goals change every week, after every new movie or book)
Son who reads only when pressed to, read ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini (Only thing that works is, “No internet until you mail me a review.”). The reviews started before the book finished: I am deeply engrossed in Betty Mehmoody’s frequent trips to look for some ingredient for some Irani recipe, and notice a shadow in the room, I look up. Son is just standing there, a sad, shocked look on his sheltered, thirteen year old face. “I can’t read this book.”
I can make out when he is holding tears.”Where have you reached?”
“How could they do this to Hassan?”
“I wish I could say, it’s just a story, but Afghanistan did go through all this. Repressed society, anarchy, Taliban…we can’t even bear to read it, they lived through this, for years…. when you were born, around 1992 to recently… It can happen to India also. Fundamentalists, Facism and religious fervour can make people mad. If you really don’t want to read it, I can tell you the ending, it’s very nice actually, and you’ll laugh aloud.”
“I will read it.”
And many more reviews with less words more a look on the face. Until late at night when he sauntered into my room, a big silly, delighted smile plastered on his face. “This is even better than ‘To kill a Mockingbird!”
That’s the kind of review I wanted.