Monday, April 29, 2013

Of Precocious Orphans and Nirbhaya Lessons

Mriganka is the gutsiest woman I know. She’s not afraid of anything. Well, almost anything. This reporter-turned-actress-turned-entrepreneur is helping out at an orphanage, trying to educate young children about the dangers of sexual assault in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya gang rape case.

Mriganka, who can usually handle every situation with ease, found she was tongue-tied about broaching the subject of rape. To her relief, the children did it for her. “Nirbhaya didi? We know about her. She was left to die after some men did nasty things to her.” The children were precocious; easily absorbing information and eager to learn new things.

Mriganka, somewhat of a trailblazer herself when it comes to women’s safety in New Delhi, has organised many protests and marches. But nowhere has her work seemed so important and so relevant than with these kids. She feels she’s actually making a difference in their lives. And what could be more rewarding than that?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Of Wiry Bodies and Tennis Workouts

Sumit Upadhyaya's secret is out. This Dow Jones guy's wiry frame had many wondering if he had given up on food. No more speculation. The secret is his weekly tennis workout. Sumit and a couple of friends use a nearby court to hone their tennis skills.

So do we have a Somdev Devvarman in the making? Not really, says Sumit. He doesn't seem to have any pro tennis ambitions but it's still working out for him on the fitness front.

After a few unpleasant gym experiences -- aches and sprains -- it seems this journo has found his calling. Now, if only he could inspire his heavier peers to follow suit.

Of Homemade Sundaes and Licking Lips

It's not easy living up to Hot Chocolate Fudge standards. But methinks Swaty has mastered the art of this perfect sinful delight. Hmmmm, if only it didn't have so many calories.

Lest we have hordes of people rushing to Swaty's place and trying to get their hands on these scrumptious treats, let me remind you that icecream-eating sessions at her home are invite-only events.

Did I hear any groans out there?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Of Cute Toddlers and Nirupa Roy

Swaty's little kid Dhaani is nearly a year old and the cute toddler is spending time going through newspapers and magazines.

Methinks it bodes well for her debut as a journalist in 2030. Swaty was happy too, not least when Dhaani pointed at a glossy photo of Sushmita Sen and said "Mama".

But the happy feeling didn't last very long.

This week, Dhaani found a photo of veteran actress Nirupa Roy and promptly said -- "Mama".

Now I wonder if Swaty keeps her newspapers locked up.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Of Newborn Babies and Wedding Bells

You will always be reminded of a song by the Pakistani band Strings when you meet Swaty's little kid. Well, that's because the newborn is named Dhaani. Is it because hubby Manas is a Strings fan or did the little angel sport a greenish tint. We'll have to ask Swaty to find out.

In any case, Dhaani was born on the evening of December 14, a good ten days ahead of schedule. Looks like she didn't really want to share her birthday with Jesus.

Bride-to-be Sheelpa Kothari also missed Christmas by a few days, scheduling the wedding on December 29 in her hometown of Indore.

And pray what does the groom do? Well, Mihir works in a multinational bank. That makes the couple an interesting combo of sports journo and banker.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Of Neck Braces and Natural Icecreams

You would have thought wearing a neck brace for chronic spondylitis would be literally a pain in the neck but Sukanya Mohapatra seems to be coping well.

The Oriya lass is raving about the "Natural" brand of icecream she tasted in Mumbai. And this is a big deal coming from someone who hates icecream.

Her only complaint - "Natural" icecream is only available in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Ahmedabad so there's no chance of her getting some in good ol' Delhi.

Wonder what is so great about this brand. Go to Mumbai and see.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Of Good Tidings and Wet Nappies

Few things in life arrive right on time - like Misha's newborn daughter.

Sana breathed her first gulp of air on September 26 this year, on the expected date of delivery.

But I wonder what her name means.

Perhaps Misha can throw some light on this - after all she was named after a cute little Russian teddy bear.

Of Cynical Reporters and Beatific Smiles

There are few rewards in journalism but the biggest one of them is when your work inspires society to do something.

The usually cynical Ambika Pendharkar was pleasantly surprised when a reader rang up her paper and spoke to her about a piece she had done about an NGO for mentally-handicapped children in Pune.

Turns out the benevolent gentleman had been inspired to help out at the NGO and do his bit for society.

Well, now if you spot one particularly beaming specimen with a beatific smile wandering the streets of Pune, it might just be Ambika.

Of Busy Crossings and Speeding Vehicles

Last month, Chennai-based Sangeetha was walking back home one evening when a Tavera SUV backed into her at a busy crossing.

Sangeetha wasn't seriously injured but as she said later - the experience of lying down on the road with vehicles whizzing past a few inches from her wasn't a pleasant one.

The incident ended happily - the driver and some passers-by took Sangeetha to a nearby hospital where she was treated for minor bruises and discharged.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Of Tenants and Houses without Windows

By Mriganka Dadwal

Prologue: They say a life sans books is like a room without windows

I could never have imagined the former but that the latter exists came quite as a shocker to me.

It all started the day my current landlady said those three dreaded words to me - U MUST VACATE!!!

Life has never been the same.

My quest for a house turned into urgency, urgency into desperation and desperation into do-or-die thou must.

It's been two months. By now I'm Google personified for all practical purposes. But still gotta meet accurate search results.

Not that I have not undergone the usual rigmarole of meeting a broker, negotiating the price, checking out endless buildings. Even stooped down to questioning local vendors, and asking chattering auntyjis if the locality can accommodate a harmless single occupant.

Not that I have not been shown something which has some semblance to a house.

I say some semblance to a house coz they all have four walls, one door blah blah - so architecturally speaking they qualify to be a house - but that's where the buck stops.

And that's where the phrase "a house sans windows" comes to my mind.

Architecturally it's a shortcoming, aesthetically a sin.

To build a house without windows.

To erect four walls without sparing a thought about who will occupy it.

More importantly will the occupant feel at home in the house???

Does this phenomenon limit itself to aesthetic felony on part of our society? Well, to imagine that a tenant is a tenant is a tenant ... nothing less, nothing more?

Or does it boil down deeper. Our tendency to shut out anything which might lighten our soul and brighten our life?

Are we becoming so accustomed to shutting out what comes naturally to us that we create barriers where we need to create channels?

Or is it plain simple that anything which shows us ourselves too clearly must be made a social taboo? Coz we are afraid that the reality won't be flattering?

I don't know the answer but I know one thing for sure and I speak figuratively as well. Someone has to put their foot down and let in the light. I refuse to put up in a house sans windows.