On a day like today…

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.

I: Inshallah!

(‘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.

Related Posts:

A letter to the future…

Women’s Day

22 thoughts on “On a day like today…

  1. So is he going to read “Thousand Splendid Suns” on his own now?

    IHM did you see the Kite Runner movie? I feel i lacks the impact the book has.

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  2. Yes, that is a nice faucet. But can the spray nozzle be twisted around so it does not sprinkle? (If I wanted a thick stream of water)?

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  3. iam reading the kite runner these days…hv like watever i hv read till now…
    its so good to see women in power..irrespective of the setting they are in and the level of power they possess…it makes u feel the world isnt all in the dumps after all!
    mandira

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  4. i read The Kite Runner almost a year ago…….. it is one of those book which makes u feel sorry……… also it helps to appreciate the fact that we are leaving a democracy which has given us this freedom…… which we tend to take it for granted………

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  5. alankrita I was looking for the movie today, didn’t find it. Movies rarely compare with books:(
    He had started reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, and found it ‘dragging’, so I suggested he reads ‘The Kite Runner’ first. Now he is back to ‘Splendid Suns’…

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  6. Lekhni I think it should, but let me ask them, or check for myself, once they get it. I have only one outlet in the kitchen, with a T fitted for Aquaguard water Purifier,9will post a pic soon) I think I should ask the plumber if it is possible to have another, a separate outlet, for this one.

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  7. Mandira Loved the book, my kids see Afghanistan differently now…we can read these books many, many times. Best part is they are not boring, you learn so much! Hats off to Khaled Hosseini!
    Seeing this couple right in the middle of reading and discussing all these books, made me notice them even more.

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  8. Sachin Exactly what I felt, I thanked God we were born in India, and in relatively liberal families.
    Democracy is something I anyway feel strongly about, and those who don’t must be given these books to read. Like, some people have a habit of saying, ‘India needs a dose of Monarchy’….they are the ones who should get a taste of ‘lost freedom’.

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  9. Glad you are bringing up ‘thinking beings’ instead of the ‘learning-by-rote-churning-out-guide-books’ sort of children. Wonderful to know that your son reads, so few kids do that.

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  10. Manpreet Actually Son does not enjoy reading much, and I have accepted that, but I do persuade him to read some books, I feel EVERYBODY should read. The Kite Runner turned out to be so good, even he could not put it down:)

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  11. Chandni I loved ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ equally, in fact I had no idea life in Afghanistan was ever so modern. A lot like (middle class) children growing up in India or in Enid Blyton’s books. Tariq and Laila’s delightful, ‘normal’ childhood made a sad,sad contrast to all that followed.

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  12. Rohit Your blog was interesting,but I am puzzled by your leaving the exact same message on many other blogs! I read in the comments, that so were other bloggers who came to your blog in response to your comment on their blogs.

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  13. I’d read ‘The Kiterunner’ a year back, became an instant Fan of Khaled Hosseini. Then I waited eagerly a whole year for his 2nd book to come out, bought ‘A thousand…’ at a ridiculous price the minute it did. Now I’m waiting for his 3rd one. He is such an excellent writer ! I made my mom read both these books, I feel they are a MUST READ by everyone, helps us appreciate the life we’ve led so far.

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  14. From faucets to Hosseini- such a wonderful post. Yes, that is what literature does- opens us up to worlds unfamiliar to our daily lives.
    I’m sure your son will become a big reader with you to guide him.

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  15. Dipali Thanks!Loved your comment:) It’s so true, literature does open us up to new worlds!! Son finished Splendid Suns. I am persuading him to read ROOTS by Alex Hailey/Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand next.Any recommendations?

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  16. Priyanka I became a Khaled Hosseini fan with the first book too. He’s done a brilliant job – and an excellent social service, we Indians should all read these books to know how much we take our Democracy, peace (??) and freedom for granted!

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  17. Pingback: This morning… « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  18. I had read Kite runner a couple of years back and was talking about it for a long time. ‘Roots’…is your son a serious reader? Nice to know that, but should they go through (know) the realities of life at such young age, IHM? Sorry, if I am wrong.

    My sons started with Alistair Mclene, Ken Follet etc., then to PG Wodehouse etc. Then science fiction books. I think they started reading serious books in their 20s.

    Nice to read about the strong minded muslim woman.

    That faucet looks very useful. Will keep this picture in mind for the future.

    One son loves to live abroad and one son hates! For me and my husband, our roots are heaven! Love to visit other countries, though!

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  19. And that is the kind of review I am waiting from my 13-yr old daughter……she is currently reading the same book, IHM. And I faced the same question – Why did they do this to Hassan ???

    Sometimes, it tears my heart to see my daughter hurt by happenings like these – but what better way to know the reality, right ???? She asks me – If I’ve been born in Afghanistan, I’ll be going thru something like this, right Ma ???? – And I am torn to pieces to think abt it.

    Like that faucet model….may be I can think of that one, next time.

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