The recent appalling incident in our country, of a woman posing as a man and marrying twice for dowry brings to fore the sheer ignorance with which we are moving ahead as a society. Even in this 21st century we are battling against social evils like dowry, that more often than not leads to loss of lives. The girl and her family members go through a lot of mental harassment. Gone are the days, when a girl was forced to jump into her husband’s pyre, and glorified as Sati, and we patted our backs for stepping into a progressive society.
But one wonders now whether we are really progressing as a society or regressing? Or is it mere ignorance? Dowry cases in India are increasing year-on-year and everyone is turning a blind eye to it. On one hand, we talk about technological advancements, transporting people to Mars, women empowerment, so on and so forth, while on the other hand, we demean women by reducing her worth to a mere object by purchasing her in return for dowry in the name of marriage. What else could one call that? When will this social demon die, one wonders. Society as a whole is collectively responsible for its growth into a gigantic demon now and, therefore, calls for a collective fight to end this woe. High time!
Shower of ideas
One often comes across the most hilarious, and often preposterous, of excuses for reaching somewhere late. This is particularly true of employees, a colleague said, recalling an incident narrated by a senior scribe. Working on the newsdesk in a news agency, the scribe often had to pull up late-comers. Once while handling a morning shift, he confronted a youngster, who was over an hour late.
“Sir, I got delayed while standing under the shower. Because that’s when ideas come to my mind,” was the smart-alec explanation. When the senior pointed to the other colleagues, the young lad had a prompt reply, “Sir, they take a bucket-and-mug bath and so there’s no scope for ideas generating there!”
A colleague, for whom all neighbourhood stray dogs and cats are family, had named her Sweetoo. The name fit the cute fawn coloured, light blue eyed cat to a T. Sweetoo had made a bael tree bang opposite our colleague’s house, her home. All day she would shuttle between the tree and the colleague’s courtyard, sometimes to eat but mostly to terrorize other younger cats.
Though our colleague loved all her pets, she confessed to being a little partial towards Sweetoo. Everyday, when our colleague left for work, Sweetoo would invariably follow her, defying the strays or the running cars, till our colleague got into an auto. All along the way our colleague would make futile efforts to send Sweetoo back. But undaunted the cat would make sure our friend had got into an auto before she returned home. At night, when our colleague returned home, she would be waylaid by Sweetoo, who would swiftly get inside the house even before our colleague could.
This had become a daily routine till the other night, when the headlights of the office car fell on Sweetoo lying just two houses away from hers. Sensing something odd, our colleague went to check, only to find Sweetoo’s lifeless blue eyes looking afar.
Apparently, the next door security guard informed, after seeing our colleague off, Sweetoo was returning home when she was hit by a speeding car. She somehow managed to come near the house before she gave up. Sweetoo was pregnant. They say all dogs go to heaven. Just pray that all cats go to heaven too.
Overheard: Surely, hauling in one big fish for monetary scam is worth thousands of salaried employees for minor tax offences.
Contributed by: R V Smith, Abhijit Loreng, Nivedita R, Alpana Bhaumik and Asha Ramachandran