Saturday, 29 November 2014

I have.. When are you going to?

I reminisce a childhood memory with my cousin where we once discussed the cleanliness issues. I realize now, it was a very enlightened discussion. Makes me wonder, where does this littering all around start from? Go to a local paan shop late evening on weekends or even weekdays and witness the civilized and the affluent crowd of the city throwing of paan ka patta’s  on the road outside their car windows! Shameful act it is!Well, we have 3 types of people in our society. Type1 are those who casually litter whenever commuting, without realizing the condition of their surroundings. They throw whatever stuff they’re eating or packets that they’re carrying. This seems to be an oblivious state of mind.

Now, Type 2 are the ones, who before littering their surroundings, first check here and there and try to make sure that they’re not being watched. When, it feels safe, they drop a packet or two or may be the leftovers of the fruit or polythene full of garbage, at a clean spot, giving a chance to let others litter around. It’s a human tendency to look out for collective garbage and then throw theirs there, without realizing, that one person started it in the middle of the road inviting others to pile it up and make it a garbage point. This type portray them as being oblivious (who they're obviously not).

 The 3rd Type, are the ones who never litter. Either they keep the leftovers with themselves till they find a public dustbin or they carry a carry-bag whenever they leave their houses, just in case if they need to throw anything halfway. I know these kinds are rare but they do exist. 

This post is dedicated to the Type 3’s, to speak up their voices and join them with Reckitt Benckiser on Strepsils- #AbMontuBolega campaign and be that change. I see so many people (yes the educated and wannabe sophisticated ones) showing their concern over the cleanliness of the country and how no one cares to make an effort, while they when visiting a foreign nation will blow trumpets of cleanliness being maintained there and everyone contributing to it. While, on the other hand, at the same time, they themselves throw stuff on roadside, moments after giving a lecture on cleanliness and sanitation. Hypocrisy.. Isn’t it?
Nobody expects anyone to do wonders and devote hours of cleaning. I feel, it’s all about self discipline that should come from inside. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may give thousands of speeches or start with uncountable Swachh Bharat campaigns to clean India, but it won’t help until and unless one has that desire to bring about the transformation and Be that Change!
Potholes on roads are left all ignored for the government to come and fill it up. All of us feel it’s not our job to do, it’s somebody else’s. Be that somebody. Roads in residential areas are a mess. Not a single person in the neighbourhood would pay heed to bring the idea before the society and get it done. After all, it’s government’s job to do. Go to public toilets, temples, hospitals, banquets, small lanes, parks, and what not. Every damn thing is filled with filth and dirt. Its cliché to mention how we tarnish our monuments with names of beloveds and how the message on walls to keep the area clean, is stained with red paint and the state of cleanliness at railway stations depict a true picture to the foreigners of who come visit our country and how our Indian railway track is the world’s largest public toilet!! The Atithhi Devo Bhava by Amir Khan is a remarkable ad which makes an attempt to shake the conscious of every individual and help them realize what are they doing with the country and what image are they building of the nation.
When it comes to the hygiene of Indians, they are pretty famous round the globe. Examples are plenty. Millions of Indians don’t eat or drink anything till they have brushed their teeth. Guests take off their shoes/foot wears outside the house and then enter. A toilet paper in the bathroom is not enough. We need water after we poop! Everybody cleans their houses like crazy at the time of Diwali, and the list goes on and on and on!. Then why such a laid back attitude outside our houses? May be that’s the way we have seen our aura since childhood. It is something which is there in the system from years and it will need everyone’s contribution to change that mindset. #AbMontuBolega is a digital campaign which is encouraging people to speak their minds without any prohibition. Montu is someone who cares not only for himself but for those who are around him, for what is right! He tried to speak up earlier too before his parents, friends and colleagues but couldn't succeed and kept mum. There is Montu in everyone of us. We just need to bring him out.

The main aim of #AbMontuBolega campaign is to “Speak your heart out! Khol ke Bolo”. It provides a platform to connect and aims to build trust and help create support for citizens to speak for what they think is right, with a healthy voice and the courage to speak.
Join your hands Kyuki Bin Bole ab nahin chalega #AbMontuBolega.
I have raised my voice. Now, your turn!

This is my official entry for to #AbMontuBolega Happy Hours organized by Indiblogger campaign in association with Strepsils.
Check here and Like the official page on Facebook:
Click here and follow Strepsils India on twitter.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

#Bring Back the Touch

It was a long winter night. Roshni was sitting in front of the fireplace.. in tranquilty.. zillion of thoughts crossing her mind.. of pain.. of joy.. smiles, jokes, laughter, love, happiness, togetherness, sharing each other, making time for each other even on the busiest of days. It was never about who is taking the initiative to spend time.. it was never about who is making more efforts  for the relationship.. it was never about who booked the table for two or got movie tickets, or who is making up first or calling first and ending last.. the only thing that mattered was the outcome of all the actions taken by any of them. The quality time that they both spent with each other was the only thing that mattered. Roshni missed her friends and felt guilty too about the fact that she isn't able to give time to them, but meeting Raghav and spending time with him took all the anxieties away. Just a look after a long day at work took away all the worries.. a simple smile from him was the only thing that mattered.  Roshni and Raghav.. their relationship was beyond perfect, having small imperfections in themselves. It was a love marriage. 
They dated each other for 3 years and then planned to get married. It was beautiful. Their mornings, their nights, their endless talks, their missing each other while away at work! The passionate love that they made with each other, the chemistry that they both shared, the spark that was always there between them, it was something out of the world! But it was then, that made Roshni so lost in her thoughts? What was the dilemma in which she was stuck? The pain in her eyes, the numbness in her voice, the fine lines on her forehead.. what was going on?
Raghav comes home from work. Tired.
Door opens.
Raghav- “Hey.. Hii.. sup?”
Roshni quite
Raghav- “You Ok honey?”
Raghav- “ It was a hectic day in the office today. Had to receive a few delegates and then work with them. Skipped my lunch as well. M really famished. We can order something if you’re not in the mood to get up and I have no energy to cook”
Roshni- “Sounds good”
Raghav- “Cool”
After getting freshen up Raghav tries again to find out what’s wrong with Roshni. There must be something that's eating her head and that’s why she's so quite.
It was their daily routine to come straight to home right after work.. have dinner.. watch tv.. and go to bed. The daily chores of life makes everything so usual specially when someone has completed 3 years of their marriage. It seems so normal to concentrate on work and responsibilities than each other. And there’s no harm in it as long as both are there for each other or just get each other by making a simple eye contact. Yes, they were this close. The busy life of Raghav in a city like Mumbai, was taking him away from Roshni, he being oblivious about the fact. But Roshni was keeping track of everything. Sharing love messages and words was immaterial for them, but that look in the eyes of serenity, of happiness, of being with each other, was the thing that counted. Raghav was losing that sight. It had never happened in their six years of togetherness where he has missed a single emotion of Roshni. It was just not possible. It was not his thing. And that was one thing that kept things alive between the two. A simple hug before leaving for work, or a hand in hand in times of pain without consoling or talking or explaining anything, a simple gesture of naughtiness, solved all the puzzles. . All these are small acts which keep a relationship’s spark bright. Where had it all gone? What was it that Roshni was drowned into. She wasn’t worried.. neither was she taking any stress about all of it. A lot had been going on at her work place lately.. missing deadlines.. rebuking boss.. jealous colleagues.. unable to grab business, were a few examples that took a toll on her. And at home, she barely conversed anything. He didn't ask and she didn't tell. He didn't see, she didn't show. He didn't care, she didn't care. And this kept on happening, until that day when she got some time to herself and thoughts on thoughts kept pouring in into her lil head. She didn't even remember the last time when he touched her.. no physical contact.. at all.! Or even asked if what was going on,assuming everything must be fine. Both of them were too busy to talk such silly stuff.

Raghav once again tries to find out the issue.

Raghav- “Now tell me, what’s wrong? Why sitting at one place for so long?”
Roshni- “Hey”. 
Coming back from her thoughts and realizing Raghav has been around for quite sometime. Her eyes were in pain, in desperation, in need. There was fear rushing in them. There was agony in them. There was everything but happiness. Raghav’s eyes was stuck on Roshni’s, without taking his eyes off her, he started getting all the answers to his questions. His pupil dilated and with every look he was realizing it had been ages, he had sat with her like that, his eyes meeting hers. It suddenly occurred to him, he had missed all of it so much.
He keeps staring her and holds her face, she’s so beautiful. He touches her hands. They’re so soft, so sensual.. he thinks. He’s missed it all.. from the time he doesn't even remembers. A rush of adrenaline goes through their bodies and give them a sense of satisfaction.. of being together.. of the divine feeling that nothing is wrong.. everything is good.. everything is smooth.. like before.
He gives her a nice long hug. Tears roll down her eyes.. of happiness and peace and relief. As if all the pain, all the trouble had vanished in one single moment. That is the power of touch. Touch of a dear one. It relieves an individual to an extent one cannot even think of! Touch can comfort us. Reassure us. Relax us. Even arouse us... Words do lie.. looks can deceive.. But a touch.. it does reveals the truth!

To touch someone you love is to acknowledge their presence and to communicate your desire for them. Touching someone regularly you love and yourself, gets the endorphins flowing, which creates a sense of caring and please, and calm the stresses of the day.
It’s the #BringBackTheTouch initiative written as a part of Indi-Happy hours on Indiblogger in association with Parachute advance Body Lotion, dedicated to all those people who haven’t lately experienced the wonderful magic of touch. Reignite the spark within yourselves for your loved ones and rekindle your passionate relationship.

Happy Reading



I was ten years old when I once visited Rajasthan with my family, staying with the locals near the famous temple of Goddess Kaila Devi, Karauli. Getting up early in the morning to visit the temple and doing morning rituals, gave rise to the need to defecate.. which possible only in the open.. in the nearby fields. Obviously, I got very cranky about this and disagreed as well to do it in the open. On the other hand, it was getting difficult for my parents to make some arrangement for me and unmanageable for me as I had to hold on the matter inside me for long :P. 

To my rescue, one of the family friend knew a place nearby where I could release myself from the morning torture! A public toilet! Yes, of cors, its condition was pathetic.. disgusting is the word I guess. The place was stinking and disgustingly filthy! Well, on the brighter side I didn't had to defecate in the open. Also, it was not something that I had to deal with everyday. But now, as a grown up, makes me mull over the fact that there are so many women out there who have adapted themselves to this system. 
And this adaptation to the system has engulfed the need to have the most basic necessity of an individual, to have a toilet in the house! I mean, can you beat the fact that 626 million Indians defecate in the open! It really comes as a shock to me. Also, even if there are toilets available, convincing people to refrain from open defecation and to use these toilets is a major hurdle. Two lakh fifteen thousand children under the age of five die from diarrhoea, one every second (thanks to defecating in the open), where, India has the highest number of under five deaths globally.

They say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. But what about the fact that these people have learnt to stay in that dark cloud and don’t want to see the silver lining. Isn’t the situation horrifying enough? We talk about development, education, infrastructure, economic growth and what not?! We, the youth of the nation, want to put an end to the conservatism that is ubiquitous in the country. There are men out there, Indian men, who still believe in purdah system, which is prevalent in a few villages, preventing other men to see their women, along with the fact that it (purdah) signifies honour, respect and dignity of the females, while at the same time, these same men don’t feel ashamed of the fact that their own women, including their mothers, wives and sisters, defecate in the open. Isn’t it their moral responsibility and females’ individual right to have privacy and access to a hygienic toilet? Is it too much to ask for? And where does the dignity of women go then?

Defecating in the open or lack of sanitation is a major factor for causing deadly diseases like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, diarrhoea, etc. It can also lead to malnutrition and stunted growth in children. Also, there are strong gender impacts like lack of safety, private toilets make women and girls vulnerable to violence and is an impediment to girls’ education. Rapes and sexual molestation take place when women go out due to natures' call and search for places secluded in the hours of darkness and become prey of these demons.

Lot of initiatives have been taken by the Government of India to subsidise the construction of toilets but not much has come in hand yet. The “NO TOILETS, NO BRIDE”, slogan launched in Haryana in 2005 urging the brides to reject a groom if he did not have  the lavatory at home, didn't suffice the purpose.

The recent visit of Mr.Bill Gates to India and his meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has really taken the subject further. This is not the kind of issue every politicians like to talk about. But Mr. Modi has done more to raise the awareness of the requirement for toilets than any other leader in the country has done so far. Creating good sanitation options for people, a safe place to poop is the need of the hour right now.
Just building the toilets is not going to solve the problem as open defecation is a practice acquired from the time people learn to walk. When they grow up in an environment where everyone does it, even if later in life they have access to proper sanitation, they will revert back to it.

Domex, the leading toilet cleaner brand of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), announced the launch of Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) in November 2013. They are doing an excellent job and so far their efforts have resulted in bringing the change in Maharashtra and Orrisa and they aim to build 24,000 toilets by 2015 in areas faced with the problem of open defecation, where people do not have access to improved sanitation. Let us come together and be a part of  this campaign. #ToiletforBabli is Indibloggers’s way of contributing towards Domex initiative and making you and me a part of it.

You too can become the part of this campaign and can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on and Domex will contribute Rs.5 to eradicate open defecation for millions of kids like Babli.

This is an exciting time, not just for India, but for everyone who cares about giving the poorest people a chance to lead healthy and productive lives. With all the attention and innovation going on in these areas—from health to financial services—we have a fantastic opportunity to make an impact. It’s inspiring to see India moving to the forefront of these efforts.

This post is  written as a part of Indi-Happy hours on Indiblogger in association with Domex.

Happy Reading

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