2017- The year that was.

Traditionally, this is an exercise I undertake every year on my birthday. Taking stock of the year gone by and goal-setting for next year. But, this year, I am making an exception. January being my birthday month, I thought waiting for another 16 days is as good as writing about 2017 today.

What triggered this was a blog post I read of an amazing woman Amelia Boone. A legal counsel with Apple Inc. as also an athlete, she truly inspires me in many ways. Her blogpost, which I read first thing as I opened my eyes and lay in bed gathering enough courage to get out of the cosy blanket and hit gym on this particularly cold January morning, just made me realize how grateful I should be of the year gone by.

People who know me closely, know about the various challenges that I have overcome in life to reach where I am today. And with the gloomy winter setting in, I was feeling low about life and contemplating on thoughts that mostly leave one disturbed and little depressed. But, the blogpost cheered me up and brought back the focus that I need to survive the long winter ahead of me.

Last year was beautiful and if I look at it, it was full of trials and tribulations as also the rewards that come after you have successfully overcome your biggest fears. I have five major things to be grateful to God for. These things have definitely made me stronger and as I jot them down henceforth, the idea is not to trivialize the small blessings that came my way, every day.

1.  Becoming an Advocate-on-Record in Supreme Court: The year started with butterflies in my stomach. It was all about whether I would clear the exam or will I flunk. It was my first attempt and the winters went by waiting for the result to come. As I stood in Court No. 12 completely unaware that the result had been declared, Rajiv Sir came and told me that I had cleared. I remember very distinctly, telling him that he must have accidently seen the list of students who may be in the other list. As I rushed to see the list, the whole journey from Court No. 12 to the display board outside Library 1 felt like‘a journey of thousand miles’. It was there, right where it was supposed to be. In the list of people who qualified and became AOR. I had never heard my parents be so happy and proud of me as they were then. I had never felt true happiness until that moment.

2.  Establishing my own independent practice:  After becoming an AOR came the second challenge, of establishing my own independent practice. First generation lawyer that too female, in field of litigation, establishing independent practice, definitely looked like an uphill task. Sometimes, I felt like quitting but then something or someone would always say, just hold on for a little bit more. And with baby steps, I have been able to establish a thriving independent practice. Many people were instrumental in supporting me and they all know how deeply indebted I shall always be for their faith in me.

3.  Being part of Hadiya case: Usman, my friend and little brother (not younger because he is growing old) asked me to file Hadiya case during summer vacations. He said it will be a case which will change your life. Little did I know that a case has the capability of changing your life. The ups and downs that came during the case made me realize how we take our freedom for granted. It made me realize that the patriarchal nature of the society is so deeply ingrained that a woman’s voice will always be shut and her freedom sabotaged. It made me realize how much the society has increasingly become intolerant to a particular religion. It made me see how I was so vulnerable to be sabotaged by people who were once my ‘friends and well-wishers’. It brought out in full view how for men (pretending to be ‘friends and well-wishers’), it was easier to character assassinate a woman who was working hard every day, just because they could not overcome their insecurities. It brought me to a situation where being strong was the only option and I did just that, stayed strong.

4.   Running my first 11k: A couple of years back, I was obese (I am still over-weight). I couldn’t walk, the knees had given up and walking 100 ft was a challenge. I always wanted to run. But, as I grew old, it felt like a distant dream. Walking itself felt like a task, running a far-fledged dream. Then, I met Mr. Khullar in gym and life changed. He had finished 21k three times and he motivated a few of us to run. In a matter of 3 weeks, he got us all to run our first 11k. Running is done not just by your muscles but also with your will power. When the last kilometre was left and as I could see Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, the energy came from somewhere, some muscle I dint even know, existed. But, I did it and now I run every week atleast 3 times and I love it. I only pray to God that I continue to run. It is emancipating.

5.   Finding true love: The year showered me with love. So much love that I never knew I deserved. My parents love me so much and without their love, I dont think I can survive. My siblings, Prachi and Prashant, have been my pillars of strength; it is their unconditional support that makes me stronger every day. My niece Anadita has been most beautiful and loving person in my life. She has been my love and will always be the love of my life, until of course my brother has kids and then they will join the bandwagon. Most of my friends, my dear dear friends, have been so supportive and caring that I have never even for once (even for a nanosecond) felt lonely. The year gone by has blessed me with the support of some really amazing people who are now my true love.

What a wonderful year it was! 2017. So many things to be grateful about. Numerous heartbreaks, innumerable happy moments. God has been kind. Hoping that his blessings stay with me through this year. Life is Good. TOUCHWOOD!

Advertisements

Fireworks ban: A citizen’s perspective

When you have some 11,297 persons living in a square kilometer in Delhi and on an average 70% of them would burn firecrackers, with some 50 lakh kgs of fireworks stocked in and around Delhi NCR, one wonders if we are preparing for the ‘festival of light’ or ‘festival of pollution’? And please don’t give me the deal about Hinduism. I am a practicing hindu who waits entire year for Diwali. For me Diwali means, wearing new clothes, spending time with family, cooking traditional poori-sabzi and kheer, making rangoli, doing the laxmi pooja (and praying fervently to Goddess Laxmi to bless me the year round), meeting friends and family and exchanging gifts and of course a lot of laughter.

I have always been scared of loud noises and even though Diwali is my favourite festival (not too much of a holi person, you see) and having met with a terrible cracker accident when my husband was burning that blue atom bomb thingy, some hot pellet-like thing hit right below my eye, leaving me thankfully, not blind, but scarred for life. Even now, the sound of loud cracker, leaves me terrified to the extent that I don’t want to attend a marriage primarily because there will be fireworks.

So why am I going on and on about my not-so-important saga of a scarred Diwali when I should be talking about the firecracker ban that Supreme Court imposed yesterday. At the outset, let me inform that the Petition filed was seeking wide range of reliefs against use of fireworks (including fire crackers) as also prevention of harmful crop burning, dumping of malba and other steps towards environmental purity. The ban on fireworks was but one of the reliefs sort as part of interim relief, with prayer to ban it for just one Diwali. I have always believed that saddi dilliwallas have always been so large-hearted as to give that much concession.

This was of course recognized by the Court too when they observed in the Order while outlining the duty of the citizen, ‘..the duty of the state to ensure a healthy environment in terms of Article 48A of the Constitution of India as well as the duty of the citizens to ensure the same under Article 51A(g) of the Constitution.’

I remember one of the steps taken during last Diwali by Supreme Court was to direct Schools, NGOs and Government of NCT to take steps to promote ‘Green Diwali’. My niece all of 7 then, did not even touch a phuljhari telling us how she was observing a ‘Green Diwali’. She suffers from respiratory problem and especially around Diwali, she requires nebulizer to be able to breathe.

I know a lot of religious colour is also being given to this whole firework ban but today in Supreme Court, a fellow Advocate who happens to be a Muslim said to me, ‘My children are so disappointed that they cannot burn firecrackers this year, that is what they wait for the year round, with so much enthusiasm.’ I understand each religion has their traditions, some good, some bad. And it reminds me that in the aforementioned order of fireworks ban, the Hon’ble Court observed that, ‘Thus, there is virtually a consensus in the society that crackers should not be burnt during Diwali, which can be celebrated with equal fervor by various other means as well. Irony is that when causes are brought in the Court, there is resistance from certain quarters. It cannot be denied that there are adequate statutory provisions, aid whereof can be taken to ban the sale of these crackers. It is one of the functions of the judges, in a democracy, to bridge the gap between law and society. Here, fortunately, there is no such gap and the Court is only become facilitator in invoking the law to fulfill the need of the society.’

So instead of giving me the argument that it is a ‘knee-jerk reaction’, ‘ban should have been imposed in phased out manner’ or that ‘when you ban, the citizenry becomes defiant’ or the over-used ‘it is a war against hinduism’, please look at it as one Diwali which will be ‘Green Diwali’ where we will be upholding the Hindu tradition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and away from the prevalent tradition of ‘Me-before-You’.

Happy Diwali everyone! May you have a beautiful, Green Diwali just this once!

On victims and victimhood.

There is a disturbing trend amongst women these days to play the victim card. I am guilty as charged for playing that card too, unknowingly sometimes and other times deliberately. This is a pointed observation to Kangana Ranaut’s recent interview (and I like her acting skills superbly). I still feel that it was an unnecessary display of failed relationships on National TV and does not further the cause of women and their various issues.

This issue is raked up every time before the release of one of her movies – especially those where she is portraying a ‘strong’ female protagonist. We all have been dumped sometime or the other in our lives, or we may have dumped someone in our lives too. But, does that mean that the relationship turning sour should only be what defines us? I am seriously tired of this validation searching that goes on. I do that too and I will not believe that most women don’t indulge into it. If its not your significant other, it maybe a father or a mentor or someone who happens to be male and successful in the profession of your choosing. Its subconscious and at some level, automatic.

This brings me to my second victim- Gauri Lankesh. Her death has left me scarred (for want of a better word). It has instilled in me fear to refrain from speaking my mind out since the cost of being honest is very high. I am nowhere near the achievements or the courage that Ms. Lankesh had. I can probably only aspire to have it.

Yes, the torture can be mental or physical or both. And I am not glorifying one over the other. Having suffered both of them, I personally feel they are both damaging. But, death is not torture. Whilst women are defending Kangana Ranaut for having boldly taken the path of opening about relationships, how many of us can truly say that we have been defending the right of free speech and to practice our vocation, which was exercised by Gauri Lankesh? How many women on both social media and media in general, are coming out and championing the cause that Gauri Lankesh fought for with her blood?

The culture of ‘my truth is truer than your truth’ is failing us. Like the saying goes, There is my truth, there is your truth and then there is ‘the’ truth. I would be satisfied if the truth prevails and if an environment is created where everyone is given the freedom to speak their truth without this unwanted bloodshed. We all have a right to our opinion, and that is what the Constitution makers strived for.

I would like to speak the truth without the fear in me of being trolled, threatened to be raped or worst still, killed.

The saga of convenient truth

Someone said to me recently that there is your truth, there is my truth and then there is ‘The Truth’. It sounded like some innocuous statement, which sounds so profound after you have had heady mix of cocktails at 3 in night while trying to dissuade sleep from encroaching your drunken state; and then when you are sober the next morning, it just sticks with you.
 
It kinda stuck with me and mulling over it at every given possibility, I realized that truth could not really come in triplets. Truth could not be changed as per our convenience, like oh! this truth suits me so let me live with it and oh! this one is quite painful, well let me just discard it. Therefore, the difference was clear, my truth and your truth were convenience oriented while the real truth was the truth. It was that blood sucking vampire truth, which would kill you, ask for every ounce of your energy to acknowledge it and indeed, to act upon it would require so much more strength mentally.
 
There are so many decisions that one takes, which are required to be based on truth. As a matter of fact decisions should ideally be based on truth but increasingly, I have realized that decisions are based on convenient truth, which may be borderline lie.
 
Case in point being the morality clause upon which the society functions. Chastity, promiscuity – antonyms but with similar connotations; some thing which may look as rather chaste to one may seem to be promiscuous to the other. We can choose our own definition of truth and its different variants in order to mold the morality that fits us just fine. So the interpretation of truth varies for us but the actual truth stands exactly where it is. And in the heart of hearts, we acknowledge the actual truth but are just very happy living with our convenient truth.
 
So then the question arises as to how this journey from ‘my truth’ to ‘the truth’ is completed or is it ever embarked upon? In my experience, we all find our path. Some of us ignore it; some of us follow it while others still would live in a state of numbness, completely oblivious to the existence of such truth.
 
I have no clear-cut solution on how to find the actual truth. For all I know, I may never find it. But I choose to believe in the goodness of truth and that hopefully one day- it will show me the way. 

Insomnia strikes again

Sometimes when insomnia strikes, you are left wondering about if only I fall asleep now, I should be able to get 3 hours of sleep and so on.. In my case, insomnia was never an issue. I was one person who would lay on bed and zoom to the dream world. I would always wonder why the world would complain so much about not being able to sleep when all it took me was a few mins to fall down to sleep.. 

Aghast as I am, at nurturing such judgmental thoughts when now I am clearly a victim of the same. So far I have tried numerous apps, yes you read it correct, Apps to fall asleep.. They basically play these weird music from nature and I cant imagine how someone can fall asleep to something called as ‘beach by the moonlight’ when all I could think of was, Goa and a shack called Boomerang in Colva. 

So, I thought of doing the next best thing- Read. I had bought a very interesting book called ‘The Difficulty Of Being Good’ by Gurcharan Das and I thought maybe reading about Mahabharat’s protagonist and the subtle art of dharma will definitely put me to sleep. Unfortunately the book is really interesting and after reading it for nearly an hour and still with no sleep in sight, I decided to put it down and find another trick in the book.

So I decided to fiddle with my phone and after spending some more time on fb, insta, whatsapp status and the likes, I realised that headache had started to set in after spying and sneaking on the ex, the not so ex, the fair weather friends and so called friends, all I wanted was a cup of adrak ki chai. But the trouble is, I am too lazy to get out of my bed and make tea and then lay awake for the rest of the night and stare at the camera screen. 

Inevitably, the thoughts about future, life, family, friends, came running to the rescue. But the thing about such thoughts is that you cant fall asleep after that. As a matter of fact, you end up realising the fucked up reality of the open-ended discussion on how to live the rest of my life..

Finally, I realised that maybe I should write about insomnia and that might help. Lo and behold, I am so sleepy right now that maybe the post here itself will get posted.. and before I sound like a drunkard and this sleepy head may start another struggle with insomnia, here’s bidding farewell for the night to all my lovely friends… 

Good Night

How not to be ‘Single and barren’ -lessons from Mrs. Deshpande

And here I go again. Donning my neo-feminist hat and unable to come to terms with the ‘dress like an Indian woman’ theory of Mrs. Deshpande (the lady in the pic) I decided to do what I do the best, write about it. So here it goes..

The major contention of Mrs. Deshpande includes, but is not limited to, jeans/pants causing PCOD in girls because they confuse themselves to be a man and therefore, a gender role reversal takes place.

Oh how I wish Mrs. Deshpande’s medical breakthrough would have happened a couple of years back. It would have saved me from a troubled marriage, the innumerable hormonal injections and 3 operations inorder to have a child (which unfortunately never happened). It would have most definitely stopped me from thinking about calling my autobiography- ‘ Single and barren’. 

Alas Mrs. Deshpande did not realise that PCOD or any hormonal imbalance can occur for variety of reasons. It can be because of stress, genetics, the food we eat, the lifestyle we have and also the morons we have to deal with on a daily basis. 

To her second contention that a separate area for girls in the canteen will save girls from harassment; like always, Ted Talk came to rescue me. A powerful talk, in form of a conversation, where an actual rapist and his victim talked about their experiences post the rape, nearly 20 years after the said incident.The victim said,

“Only one thing could have stopped me from being raped that night, and it wasn’t my skirt, it wasn’t my smile, it wasn’t my childish trust. The only thing that could’ve stopped me from being raped that night is the man who raped me — had he stopped himself.”

Will Mrs. Deshpande instead focus on educating girls to be powerful and independent and the boys to respect girls. As an educator she would have created a more profound change, instead of this tughlaqi idea.

And as a parting note, if someone will ask Mrs. Deshpande please that an Indian woman wearing Indian clothes, married to an Indian man, is raped most of her married life, and that is called ‘marital rape’. So if a woman’s security is not guaranteed in her own home by wearing Indian clothes, by a man who vows to ensure her safety, how can we assure her safety on the street. Instead of telling girls on what to wear, it is time to train them so that they are empowered enough to take care of themselves in whatever situation life throws on them.

On that note,

Until next time!

The Justification to Procrastination

My advice to people seeking justification for procrastination, let me begin by saying, there is no justification for procrastination in the mind of a master thinker; the Type A personality as we call them. The problem with Type A people, especially women, is that they don’t know when to stop. When is it that you stop and catch your breath? When is it that you stop and say OK! I think I have done enough and now I need to unwind a bit, just loosen up and let things go. My question is the moment you catch yourself actually relaxing or unwinding, the feeling of procrastination strikes in.

Someone just called up and his words had me shaken to the core. He said and I quote, ‘ I follow you on facebook and I see you either in gym (OK!) or having dinner or lunch with friends (Guilty as charged) and when I see you in Court or call you otherwise, I can only see you working or hear about some case. I don’t see you in the corridor or wasting time.’ Well! My facebook life of dinner/lunch is only weekends and not weekdays when I am slogging my ass off. And it is not out of compulsion but out of choice, to catch up with the never-ending to-do list. Yes, I workout every day and I don’t miss even one session unless physically impossible. It’s a different thing that I do laze around near the coffee machine to have my nth number of coffee inorder to wake myself up before working out in morning. That Coffee and Adrak ki Chai form the major part of my diet. Yes! I am on facebook and Whatsapp most of the time but that’s b’cos I have them logged in on my laptop. So where is procrastination in all of this, you ask?

It is there. It is the fear of becoming a procrastinator that I keep pushing myself beyond limits to ensure that I do not become one. But, there is always so much to do and so little time. There is so much to read in my profession, so much to understand for a newbie like me, so much catching up to reach up to the level of my peers who, unlike me, started early in the profession. It’s the fear of missing out! And you inevitably miss out! Some case law here, some news piece there, some random development and interestingly, the occupational hazard of being a lawyer is that everyone will ask you about your legal opinion on everything! Like someone asked me the other day, why do we have to stand up when the National Anthem is being sung/played, I can show my respect to the National Anthem by sitting down too. I would have wanted to tell him, please google it but then since I am the legal google, my patient answer was, ‘there is no judgment by the apex court, or a legal provision, or an administrative direction that makes it mandatory for people to stand during the National Anthem. That they do so is essentially an expression of personal respect.’ Pheww! Said that.

So my brother sent me and my sister -Arianna Huffington’s article on Lifehacker. That’s when Nirvana struck! It dawned on me that I am sleep deprived, constantly anxious about missing out on an opportunity, control freak – to the extent that if a class in gym gets canceled, I am lost. And I am no big shot, mind you. I am basically a person on the bottom most level of the legal pyramid, vying to get my 15 seconds of fame. Does that make me insecure, yes it does! Because, there are always brighter, younger people, willing to put in more hours than me, having more cranial capacity than me, may be getting better opportunities than me. So have I grown old? The answer is both yes and no! Yes, because I feel old sometimes (not always) and No, because that thirst to learn new skills, to do new cases, to learn as much as I can – from everyone I meet. I am not in a rut because every day brings with it scores of possibilities.

But can I still do guilt-free procrastination? The 67 Ted Talks (Yeah my-go-to-guide-for-all-things-wonderful) on procrastination (and it is noteworthy to mention here that I did not watch all 67 of them, Thank you very much!) Yes! I can. I am going to sleep. I am going to rediscover the value of sleep, ignite a new feminist issue. Well! Everyone is sleeping around, so I might as well do it. And as Arianna Huffington said, ‘ We are literally going to sleep our way to the top!’ Yeah that sounds about right! I can still have guilt-free procrastination, while probably ensuring more productivity and efficiency (I have an MBA degree also, therefore, the staple show-off jargon!).

As an after thought – Hell! If nothing works… I can always procrastinate sleeping!

 

(DISCLAIMER: Too much use of the letter ‘I’ signifying a tendency of attention seeking behavior and/or narcissism. Kindly bear.)

 

 

Our self written obituaries – Pallavi Pratap


She died on a cold January evening on the terrace of her father’s house, mesmerized by the beautiful sunset of Lucknow, with no one by her side.

Pallavi Pratap spent her last days remembering her life as a child living in the house her parents so fondly built, of the protected childhood she spent with her parents and siblings. Her niece said that she was a kind soul who would help as many women as she could, in their troubles and endeavors. All her life, Palz, as she was fondly called, was confused about what to do with her life, not knowing where she was going. She just did things on whims and fancies of her mind and therefore, never succeeded in attaining any name for herself in the various fields that she worked in.

She is survived by her niece, as she had no child of her own; and has left behind a library of all sorts of books. Most of them have the date and the place from where it was purchased, scribbled in her handwriting on the first page. When asked why she would do that, she used to say that many years later if she picked up the book, she may remember a little bit of her past. She was no one famous, just an ordinary small town girl who lived all her life in big cities and mostly hating every minute of it.

Or was she confused?

(First published on 13th June 2015, http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2015/06/13/our-self-written-obituaries-pallavi-pratap-lucknow/ )

Turning 34! Age is but a number.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I turned 34 today… it feels great! Astonishingly awesome! Coolest thing I ever did… It is time for celebrations… celebrating life, being one of them… I have no wisdom to pass on to anyone. But I had certain realizations over 34 years of walking on this planet and I thought I should share, incase anyone finds a certain appeal in them.

  1. I love the fact that I have accepted the colour of my skin. I have accepted that a fairness cream is not what brightens my face but the ideas, dreams and insightful conversations that brighten me. (I still love makeup BTW) I have lived in a world where the colour of my skin determined my value in society. Dusky was dull and fair was beautiful. I am glad that’s over for me.
  1. I love my body more than ever. I have never felt so good even when I was in my 20s. Exercising has changed so many things for me and I dispense this advise to everyone. Workout! Hit the gym! Use your body, you will be so amazed to find out how much your body can endure and support you. I still can’t do the body combat class as well as I would like to, but I love that I can last an entire class.
  2.  I love the fact that I can still love with my whole heart, that I can be broken into pieces, shattered to bits and yet, have the ability to love again with my whole heart.
  1. I am vulnerable and I can feel my vulnerability every day. It should ideally make me feel weak but it makes me feel stronger; every single day.
  1. I love the fact that I have so many friends across age groups, professional groups, gender, and geographies. Friends who are clearly younger to me and teach me so much and friends, who are so much older and teach me so much! Blessed are those who have exciting people in their lives.
  1. I have understood, howsoever slowly, that family is not made by people who constitute it but by our ability to make sure that people, who constitute the family, stick to each other. That it is never too late to say sorry!
  1. I have understood that it is not important to do the same thing all your life. That in this one life, we can do different things, have different careers, have different dreams, and have a different set of friends and all of these constitute to make the one-whole-me.
  1. I have finally been able to break certain societal norms and be seen as a rebel. That was, by the way, the toughest nut to crack. But whatever makes you happy, should be applied (of course with reasonable restrictions).
  1. I have understood the importance of having mentors in life. People who teach you nicely, sternly, by shouting, sarcastically or not at all. Some people teach you things in the manner they know best, but you need to learn in your own way, at your own pace, by committing your own mistakes.
  1. That there will always be those times in your life, when you have to be strong and that strength will come to you. Surround yourself with not just strong people but also weak people, because strong people will lift you up but it is your duty to lift up the weak.
  1. I have understood how important it is, being a woman, to lift other women up. I make progress when we make progress.
  1. You have to keep your head high, no matter what challenges life throws at you. You have to make sure your head is high, your face may show emotions but you have to be courageous. Don’t be scared to show that you are emotional, if you can control it-do that, or else, just be the way you are! It feels just right.
  1. That no matter how much money you earn, what car you drive, what brand you own, what cellphone you use; money will never buy you happiness.
  2. Dance, like no one is watching.
  1. Laugh in the weirdest manner possible.
  1. Don’t judge; everyone has their reasons. But speak up.
  1. Watch comedy sitcoms on TV. The most relaxing thing you can do after a hard day at work.
  1. Have a dog, if not your own, then pet a stray dog. The unconditional love that a dog can give you, no single human being can ever do that.
  1. Being religious doesn’t mean you have to do everything that your religion tells you to. It basically means that you can cry for help to the Almighty or remember that he is watching you.
  1. Sing, in the most hoarse voice possible or if you have a good voice, then that should do. But sing nonetheless!
  1. Make mistakes, you are allowed to make them, but remember to own them. Be 100% responsible for your acts.
  1. Try to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Your life will change dramatically.
  1. Experiment with life. You will be surprised by the results.
  1. Save, whatever little you can. But save. Make it a habit.
  1. Someone very recently told me that he actually has a bucket list and it has worked wonders for him. It is working wonders for me! Thinking and planning for the things that I really want to do, which look howsoever out of reach, breaks the monotony of the day-to-day life.
  1. Waking up early… The world looks totally different during early hours of the morning.
  1. You are most certainly better than you think. Always be narcissist. If you don’t love yourself, then who will.
  1. You seriously cannot please everyone.
  1. Eat what you want but listen to your body. When it says its full, it is full.
  1. Be grateful. Period.
  1. You have to face difficult situations head on. There can be no avoiding.
  1. Get married at least once in your life. It will teach you patience.
  1. Don’t be saddened by the choices you made. Yes, things may have turned out differently, but you will never have control over the past.
  2.  And lastly, SMILE! You never know who is falling for your smile.

 

 

Father and Son


I have always refrained myself from getting involved into political debates and this post is not an attempt in getting into one. I am writing because I have an opinion in the current political turmoil in Lucknow.

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes father and son. History has witnessed many family feuds where the new guards crushed the spirits of the old ones as was witnessed in the numerous succession battles by warring Mughal emperors. But in the current feud, the younger generation has become martyr to the whims of old guards. 

We have drawn parallels about the same in our own lives many a times. We accepted what our elders told us without as much as voicing our own opinion, leave alone going against them. The few who would do the latter, were termed as rebellious and we were asked to stay away from them as they were bad apples.

In the current turmoil, an obedient son is asked by his father to follow the path chosen by his uncle. The young turk wants to bring about radical changes to shift the perception towards his party. Therefore, the criminals are denied tickets and development has been made an important agenda. The Metro is constructed, expressways are built, investment is brought in the state and a lot of development in rural areas is witnessed, with the advent of laptop and smartphones. 

The young turk is becoming larger than life; he is seen as a youth icon and appreciated for his clean image across party lines. A happy family with a doting wife, three children and a smile on face, this  is a picture that the millenials can identify with.

However, what the millenials also identify themselves with is a similar struggle that they underwent with their own families; the generation gap that every family goes through when it is only blood that unites them and nothing else. So people who wanted to chase their dreams, take risks, work hard for it and also make their family happy at the same time, could witness the struggle of a man in full public view, trying to accomplish the fine art of balancing the various egos in the family.

A lot of people are calling the expulsion as a fertile ground to plant the crop of ‘victimhood’. I beg to differ. It is not ‘victim hood’ but a clear identification of struggle faced by many young men and women when determining their own paths and overcoming the bottlenecks in form of expectations and sacrifices required to be fulfilled for family and relatives. Haven’t we all been taken on guilt trips everytime we may have tried to assert ourselves for what we think is right? It is like when a toddler is learning to walk, instead of supporting him/her to walk, you let them be. You let the toddler walk and subsequently run. So the guilt of living with the sacrifices that our elders made for us, and therefore making upto them by sacrificing our own happiness.. is like a give and take relationship, the burden of which suffocates us. Therefore, everyday Ekalavya is asked by Dronacharya to chop off his finger and sacrifice. This Dronacharya could be a father, a mentor or anyone who thinks he is responsible for moulding your life.

Let me end all of this by saying, every family has its own dysfunctional way where they find a method in their madness. Thats what makes them unique. But, in the end, we may all fight but love is what brings us back home. I only hope that love triumphs here too! And the patriarch realises that he needs to choose his son over the rest of his family.