Monday, March 7, 2016

Unheard voice of a woman!

Fortunately, most of the people I met in my life, whether it be professional or personal life, provided equal opportunities, in almost all circumstances. Therefore, I personally don't have immediate complaints on my family or profession. I have a great parental family who gave me highest education of a Ph. D. and I have been blessed with an amazing husband who not only supports my career unconditionally, but also shares every responsibility including house-hold work 50-50. I am making this remark because the moment people read this blog they start judging that there is something wrong with my family or profession. I can't change what you judge, but before judging me, just think, this piece of writing could represent an unheard voice of your mothers, your wives, your sisters or your own if you are a woman.

On this women's day, in this post I would like to express my thoughts of being an independent woman. From my childhood I was known as a feminist. I always fought for my rights. At home, whenever my granny used to set special rules for being a girl, I tried to educate her. Although I could not change what she believed, I was quite successful in protecting myself from following those rules.

However, I do have complaints on the society in general where I see un-acceptable discrimination. Hence, with a perspective to look at a broader aspect of the society, here are my humble view on how it works as of today-//2016.

I must tell you at this stage that I would be polarized to think of what I have seen directly. I do not promise to address all the points. Mostly I write on what I have noticed. My short background for this purpose is, I hail from south India, all my education including Ph.D. in astrophysics in Karnataka, and now doing my post-doctoral research in Germany.

Indian society or the society of the world in general, although has evolved to an extent that at least middle and higher class families allow girl child to go to school, study, work if interested (assuming that the girl child is allowed to born), but in social standards women are treated as second grade citizens. They are suppressed from such a long time that now some women themselves feel they are bound to be subordinates of a man. If there is a revolutionary thought inside a woman and if she dares to ask, she is considered to be a hot headed arrogant, selfish woman!

The main question I am addressing here is the IDENTITY of a woman. Why a woman is taken for granted always? Why isn't she respected for what she is! Why is her identity unimportant? This problem, to my surprise, is international. After staying in Germany for 3 years now, and after interacting with women belonging to several nationalities, I realized that the problems below are common in every country.
  • It doesn't matter what extreme character a man has, such as he being a alcoholic or a loser in some sense, the children always get name of their father. Why no one thinks of including mother's name for recognizing a kid?  Why all the efforts she puts in giving birth, raising the kids have to be like the fruit behind the leaves? Once upon a time when the man was the bread-earner of the family and the women were uneducated, didn't go out of the house, it made a little sense that no one would knew her and hence children get father's name. But now? 
  • A man always remains fixed with his origins, let it be his parents, his place of birth, his house of birth etc. But a woman 'should' change everything as though she is made of clay. I am not saying this is wrong. Perhaps sometimes it is convenient like that for both husband and wife. But doesn't this be made an option? But why it is a 'must'? why not it is a 'can'? If a woman wants to be recognized by her parents, her birth place, or the identity that she has earned on her own, what the hell is wrong with that? Now a days for people travel a lot for their jobs. When both man and the woman leave their birth place and make a living in a new place, it doesn't really make sense that she is recognized by the birth place of the man. Is this logical? Passport also requires that the person lives in that place for 5 years to be recognized by that address. 
  • Normally marriage is about closeness. And when two people are emotionally too close they feel comfortable being addressed singularly. But in some villages, even this is a problem, not to the couple, but to the older people. They insist that the woman should have a plural addressing for her husband, the reason for this being, otherwise the society thinks she doesn't respect her husband! What about respecting the woman? Does it really matter?
  • Even today people raise their eyebrows if a woman wants to support her parents financially even if she is doing that from her own earned money. Parents educate their girl child in the same way they educate boy child. But why only it is the responsibility of the son to look after his parents? Why can't she be a helping hand to her brother? Even parents think it is not good to be supported by their daughter. They feel shy! And then the daughter should be afraid of helping her own parents and she must do it secretly. Is this the culture we should be proud of?
  • The household work and motherhood is completely considered to be a woman's duty, internationally. At least in growing economy like India earning of a woman is considered as extra income and is supported, even if not respected always. Further, family support during child birth is an added advantage. However, in the west a woman becomes responsible for all the household and motherhood that she is abandoned from giving jobs! She is discriminated outright! Even in India how many men share the household work without being ashamed of it? Why are men so egoistic and ruthless to let the woman do everything at home and outside, in order to balance the home and to bring income to the family? 
In this evolving world, when women are being educated, have earned their identity like a man earns it, why are these customs also EVOLVE and REFORM? In this current world, everyday we have software updates for mobiles, computers, laptops, tablets. Why are these outdated customs remain hundreds of years old? Why aren't they updated? When it is so obvious for some things, why is it so difficult to implement these ideas in our lives? Why after marriage a woman is expected to forget what she is of her own?

An independent woman like me, who has put lot of efforts to become independent, undergoes a lot of churning in own head, lot of interactions with knowledgeable, successful people, finally leading to a set of thoughts which she assumes to be solutions of all the questions she had from childhood. And there comes a time, when she goes from a completely protected environment to the 'real' world, where she faces strong opposition to all these ideas, trying to prove she is wrong! She must start all over again! Where does this end?

A man who respects women will be respected and loved much more. A woman can love her husband and family madly, balance work-family life, yet keeping her identity and self-respect unhurt. It is possible, if you want to. If you think you can bring a change in this respect, why not?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


ತಡೆದಷ್ಟು ಚಿಮ್ಮುವುದು ಕಣ್ಣಂಚಿನ ನೀರು;
ಆಳ ಎಷ್ಟೆಂದು ತಿಳಿಯದಂತಾ ಈ ನೋವು;
ಯಾವ್ಯಾವುದು ಕಾರಣ? ಯಾರ್ಯಾರು ಕಾರಣ?
ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಾ ಹೋದಷ್ಟು ತಿರುವುದೆಷ್ಟೋ ಪುಟಗಳು;
ಉತ್ತರ ಸಿಗದ ಅದೆಷ್ಟೋ ನಿದ್ರಿಸದ ರಾತ್ರಿಗಳು;
ಹಠ ಬಿಡದಾ ಯೋಚನೆಗಳು;
ಕೊನೆಗೊಮ್ಮೆ ಸಿಗುವ ಭಯಾನಕ ಉತ್ತರ;
ಆದರೂ ನಿರಾಳವೆನಿಸುವ ಉತ್ತರ;
ನನಗೆ ನಾನೇ ಶತ್ರು!!
ಸಾಧನೆಗೂ ಬಾಧನೆಗೂ ಒಂದೇ ಕಾರಣ;
ಈ ಮನಸ್ಸು; ಈ ಚಿಂತನೆ;
ಈ ಹೊಸತು; ಈ ಕಾಲದ ಕಡಿವಾಣ;
ಈ ಸಂದರ್ಭ ;ಈ ಸಂಬಂಧ;
ಈ ಪ್ರೀತಿ; ಈ ಮಹತ್ವಾಕಾಂಕ್ಷೆ;
ಈ ಜ್ಞಾನದಾಹ; ಈ ಆತ್ಮಗೌರವ;
ಈ ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ; ಮತ್ತೆ ಈ ಹಾಯೆನಿಸುವ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ;

The reason


Stopping doesn't stop tears from rolling;
Beyond estimation is the depth of the pain;
How many people can I make it a reason?
How many issues can I make it a reason?
If I search, pages turn indefinitely;
And leads to countless sleepless nights;
But thoughts never give up;
To find for once, a terrifying answer;
Yet relieving is the answer;
 I am the enemy of myself!!
To achieve or to be depressed;
There is the same reason;
This mind; these thoughts;
This newness; this chain of time;
This situation; this relation;
This love;  This ambition;
This craving for knowledge;
This self-respect;
This analysis;
And finally the soothing feeling of freedom!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A simple nature poem with rhyming words..
(like I used to write in primary school :-)
In the midst of valleys steep,
Around the mountains high and deep,
Flows a river with constant music,
Carving the rocks with fun and frolic,
Once furious once calm,
Bringing around a new charm,
I, your and every tree,
Love your journey for it is forever free,
Bend a rock, jump a hill, but never giveup your goal,
You are a true inspiration to every soul..

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This poem is dedicated to my husband Sandeep
It is written on 12/01/2012


ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರತಿ ಉಸಿರಲ್ಲೂ ನಿನ್ನ ಛಾಯೆ,
ನಾಡಿ - ನುಡಿಯಲು ನಿನ್ನ ಮಾಯೆ |
ಪ್ರೀತಿಯೋ ಪ್ರೇಮವೋ ಕಾಣದೀ ಅನುಭವ,
ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆಯಲು ಸಂಭ್ರಮದ ಕಲರವ ||

ನೋವಿನಾ ಸೊಂಕಿಲ್ಲ ಕಣ್ಣಲ್ಲಿ ನೀರಿಲ್ಲ,
ನೀ ಜೊತೆ ಇರಲು ನಾ ನಾನಲ್ಲ |
ನಿನ್ನಲ್ಲೇ ಬೆಸೆದಂಥಿದೆ ನನ್ನೆಲ್ಲ ಎಳೆ ಎಳೆ,
ಶಿಶಿರ ಋತುವಿನಲು ಮನದಿ ಜಡಿ ಮಳೆ ||

ನಿನ್ನೆ ನಾಳೆಯ ಪರಿವೆ ಇಲ್ಲದೆ ನಿನಗಾಗಿ,
ನನ್ನ ಸರ್ವಸ್ವವನೇ ಬರೆದಿರುವೆ |
ತಪ್ಪು ಒಪ್ಪಿನಲು ಸ್ವೀಕರಿಸು ನನ್ನನು,
ನಿನ್ನ ಬಿಟ್ಟೆಲ್ಲವನು ನಾ ಮರೆತಿರುವೆ ||
---- ಎಲ್ . ಎಸ್. ಅನೂಷಾ ----

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tough Time

In my PhD Career there at times I felt life was too tough to face. I have a little brother who stood with me at all those times. He has filled the place of my big brother, whom I miss at these tough times. Once, I was going through a horrible situation, and in reply to my reactions to the situation, here is a poem written by my little sweet brother Avijeet.

A Voyage

In the troubled waters of the night
a boat has set sail
gusts of wind and ocean waves
can't sway her from the path

tremble it may though
left or right at times
the rudder inside
is held steady and tight

the flame
that burns within
shines through the dark

behold o creatures of dark!
that dawn is not far away

rays of light
will soon fill the ocean
and every tear drop
will glitter like a pearl.

Friday, September 24, 2010

But Why???

In this article, I am going to describe to you, two personalities I met in France. In a way, both the personalities, particularly the second one was strange to me that I thought that I can share with you. I hope that you would like it. :)

Few weeks back I was traveling in a train in France. I was sitting in a window seat. After few minutes a person came and sat in the seat beside mine. He wanted a pen to fill some form, so the conversation started. He asked about my profession, science, research, astrophysics etc. I kept on explaining to him what research I do, not bothering much about whether he would understand what I am explaining.. [:) as usual]. He seemed very impressed and interested by it. He was working in some Insurance company. After some time he asked my nationality!! Then he told me that many Europeans go to India, and when they come back, they get transformed. Particularly, he explained the differences between Indians and Europeans in the sense of living alone. He said, "we Europeans like to live alone, and we want to live alone most of the times, but in India and China, people live so much together...". He expressed his ideas on Indian culture, togetherness, spirituality, etc etc. He asked me some questions like what I feel about Europe?
Well, for this question I answered in Europe whether you go to France or Switzerland or Italy, life style is so common. Its all the same. People have reached a saturation in the sense of uniformity. But India is so diverse from place to place, town to town.. Its a mixture everywhere.
By his expressions it was clear that he likes India. As everyone does I invited him to visit India once. But for me it was strange, he said he has a kind of phobia to travel in plane. Each
minute on the flight he would be feeling he would die!!! It is impossible for him to travel in plane unless he takes some medicine during the flight. He said he could do that for short flights, but its impossible to travel for 8-9 hours with medicine and come to India. I was confused. But why? Do people love themselves so much that they cannot imagine dying? Are people so weak that they cannot train their mind to be brave? If they like to live alone and hardly have any responsibilities, or attachments why one should have a fear of dying? Is it that they are attached only to themselves?? I really do not know!!! He was a gentleman, with a good job, why he has such a phobia I could not resolve. I suggested him (free) to train his mind that its just an illusion. I told him that by training the mind, nothing is impossible to achieve. He said he would try it... Then he offered me a cup of cappuccino.. When I hesitated, he asked me "Is it an offense to offer a cup of cappuccino?" I said certainly no and accepted. Then he let me study some research papers I had with me...:)

While I was Speculated by the "why" s, he got down and another person took the seat beside me. This guy was an young boy, who would have completed schooling. His English was horrible and very very hard to understand what he speaks...and I do not know French so much that I can form a sentence and communicate. But I had to know if the train was late by half an hour or so. I asked him in English. He showed his ticket, and with lot of difficulty he understood what I asked and again with lot of difficulty he was successful in making me understand that train is on time. Both of us were destined to get down at Nice ville. Now both of us had realized that it was very very difficult to communicate with each other. So I did not talk after that. But he had a problem. He was new to Nice and he wanted to take a boat to a nearby island from Nice PORT. He asked me do I know where is the PORT in Nice. To my surprise, the only place in Nice, I could guide anyone was Nice PORT. Because I stayed in Observatory situated on a hill called Mount Gros. Every weekend I come to down town Riquier for shopping and PORT was 5-10 min walk from there. All other places I visited were with some host who know the place well, and I never bothered to know the city in detail. Had he asked any other place I would say clearly no I can't guide. But I was so happy and surprised that me, an alien in an unknown country, who hardly explored any place to know the city well, can guide a person of the same country!! He asked me about a place which was the only place I knew!! He could have asked other french speaking people in train, as it was so difficult for me to communicate with him. But no, he was not interested to ask anyone else. Well, I guided him that he has to get down in Nice ville, take another train to Riquier and its just 5 to 10 min walk from there. But I was not sure that his boat starts from that PORT. I asked him if he is sure about it. He said he does not know where the boat starts. I said to myself, extremely careless. But I wanted to help him and make sure he takes the correct boat. He has internet on his cell but hardly knew what to search. I said to myself, un-educated!! I tried in several ways, looking at his boat tickets, search the boat names etc etc. Unfortunately GOOGLE showed only picture of his boat but did not tell from where it starts. To be sure, I asked him (forced him) to ask anyone else on the train who know french if they know where his boat starts. It was funny but he did whatever I told, but did only if I tell. He knows how to do things, he would do it perfectly, but he does not do it unless he is forced to do it...(like the character in Forrest gump??!!)... In this case, I forced him to do all these efforts...Finally we got down in Nice ville. In spite of advising him thousand times that he has to go to main entry, buy a ticket and
then come back to the particular platform to go to Riquier, he was about to go directly to the platform where the train to Riquier arrives. Again I went to him, told (thousand+1) th time what he should do. As I had to go to the same place, I asked him to come with me. Then we went to buy tickets. It costs only an euro from Nice Ville to riquier, but I did not have change. Unlike India shop keepers do not give change and so I had to stand in queue where one buys long distance train tickets to get 1 euro change. But then this guy came to me and gave his ticket to me. Then he bought a new one for himself. Again, strange because he could have bought a new one to me, instead of giving his ticket to me. Again I felt care less!! This time he forced me to take 1 euro as I was not willing to take. I owe him 1 euro now!! :)
In train to Riquier, he made sure that 1st stop is the one where we have to get down. Meanwhile he told me that he left studying just after school and now he is going to the island just to enjoy... He asked me how can I speak English.. I said it is a language taught in schools in India.. Then he said "For me too, but I can't speak..."!!! I just laughed.. Finally we reached Riquier. I showed him the direction to PORT and told him he HAS to walk fast as he did not have much time. I made sure he asks some french speaking people to know the exact route to the PORT and said bye to him again thinking BUT WHY???.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Experience in Switzerland

Switzerland is a dream country! The high and wide range of Alps just inspires to work with much determination!! Those colorful leaves at the threshold of winter, reminds me of the stories I read in childhood about the Oak, the Jennifer trees..and imagined.
Truely, its a wonder.

There are mainly 3 (sometimes 4) important languages in Switzerland. This I came to know only when we landed in Zurich airport, trying to read some boards. German, Italian and French. So it is like a little India. Someone said, 'Switzerland is so small on the map, but the diversity in culture is not that small'.

Well, I had an opportunity to have some site seeing. Some are very nice and memorable. One of it was the Rhone glacier where the river Rhone originates. No words to explain. I felt an immense pleasure to watch those high mountains and deep valleys!! We were 2000 mtrs high and felt satisfied to be born!! Little too much but the pleasure is inexpressible in words. However, I carry those feelings marked forever.

Another nice experience was with chinyo!

If I was lost to myself, found myself back a little bit!! Grathsiye my dear chinyo!

For the first time (not considering in zoo) I watched and touched Swan. Its called chinyo in Italian. What a sweet word. It was so beautiful. there were littile chinyo too which are to be called pikkolo chinyo!!

Of course Italian is a beautiful language. To my surprise, it has an accent similar to south Indian languages. Whenever I tried to learn Italian words, I got a compliment for my accent. But I had to give credit to my mother tongue where we give much stress to 'ra' which is the case in Italian too. And an important thing is they speak what they write, unlike french people. For instance, 'bonjour' in french is to be pronounced 'bonshu' with only a little touch of 'n', not 'bon-shu'. But in Italian, 'buon giorno' is 'buon giorno'. I heard someone saying that Italian is called an Indo-European language. I did not search in google to check how much it is true. But nevertheless we did Indo-European, rather Indo-Italian dishes for sure!! :)
We prepared chapatis using Ferina floor, and curry of Finokyo (a vegetable in Europe), Curry of Pepparoni (capsicum). Actual recipe was italian. I added Indian Chatni powder that my mom had prepared and 'oggarane' too!! :) :) :) It was sooperb! Carrying heavy and light feelings, on my way to France in a week felt to share with you my experience. Grathsiye Swiss!!