20 March, 2012

Reality dance shows - A story

Chutki, an 8year old girl looks pretty with adorable eyes and innocence in the face. She is from a middle class family, her father being a government employee and mother a house wife. She has a younger brother who is very naughty. Her parents made her join dance class as they like their little princess dancing rhythmic with music. She too loves dance and she picks up every step very fast and she is also good at academics. Her life is simple and happy. 

          Whenever she used to give a dance performance, people used to say to their parents "Chutki is a child prodigy and she is very smart. You are very lucky to have a daughter like this with exceptional talent in dance in an early age". Her parent used to feel proud and happy and that makes her also happy. She starting winning first prizes in all dance competitions that she participates. Her parents made her participate in even district level and state level competitions even though it is difficult for them to spend money on her travel and dance dress and accessories. They encouraged her in every step. 

            Her father took her for the auditions to a dance reality show for some tv channel. All judges are spellbound seeing her perfection in dance, her expressions, footsteps, hand movements etc., She got selected in auditions and even first 3 rounds of the program very easily without much competition. Now, its time for quarter finals. Their family is given accommodation in a five star hotel in Mumbai where competition takes place and the schedule for shooting is for around 2 days. There is rigorous practice with all other participants, Chutki is groomed well, every detail taken care of like her hair style, dressing and makeup. Even though there is slight competition, she could win quarter finals too. Semi finals are just few days away. They came back to their home town. Every one started recognizing them on the streets and Chutki has become a star around the household. Neighbors, teachers and all well wishers congratulated her and wished her all the best for next rounds. Prize money is a very huge amount if she wins in finals. As there are chances for her daughter to win, their parents dreamed of a comfortable house, car, giving better education to their children etc., Chutki never cared about win or loss in competition, she just enjoyed her dance till now. But, seeing her parents dreaming big, she also thought she should win for sure to make them happy. Pressure started building up. She got selected in semi finals too with another good performance. 

             Organizers arranged a shooting schedule of 10 days for finals. Each participant is assigned to a celebrity dance professional and their practice, guidance, song selection, everything is picturized. They also went to every participant's native place and interviewed their family and grand parents, showed their home, life style etc., Chutki felt like she is in a cage with all lights focused on her and every one expecting her to perform the best. Every thing around her is exaggerated and show cased in tv.  She couldn't attend school for 10 days and had to miss classes in between for different rounds of selection and shooting schedules. Their school head mistress and teachers are fine though as these organizers also showed their school in tv interviewing some of her friends and teachers. But, Chutki felt she is missing something. She wants to play like earlier with friends, fight with her brother, get good marks in academics, spend time with her parents etc., On the other side, she is becoming nervous that she might disappoint her parents, friends, teachers, neighbours and every one else if she doesn't win this finals. Earlier, she always enjoyed her dance, but now she want to perform to win the prize. 

             At last, the D -day came. Her parents took her to temple and also gave their blessings and best wishes. They made sure that she is well fed and her father also promised that he will buy her new toys and more dresses after she wins. She wanted to ask, "is it fine even if i don't win? I don't want to dance this time. Can i drop out?" etc., but didn't dare to ask. When her turn came for dancing, she is nervous, couldn't concentrate on music and is checking the faces of judges and audience in between to see the reaction. She understood that she didn't perform well like earlier and the result is as expected. She didn't win either first prize or second. Her parents, friends and everyone else who supported till now are disappointed. They showed sympathy on her and told her that she can do best in future competitions , but no one asked her why she failed and why she was not like earlier. 

             As she never experienced a failure earlier, it is difficult for her to forget this. Her parents didn't say anything and they just told her it's fine. But, her teachers, neighbors, relatives still show sympathy for not winning it even though they say at the end that it is ok, not to worry much. At last, she decided that she will never perform anywhere again and she want to concentrate on her studies. 

Author's note: These reality shows just create a hype for TRP ratings and if parents are not mature enough to counsel their children that win or loss doesn't matter much in the world, children like Chutki will feel depressed and pressurized. 
What do you think? 

Until next time,

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

16 March, 2012

Should we show sympathy?

Did you see beggars irritating people near traffic signals? How do you react? Sometimes, i don't know how to react - whether to show sympathy or hate them for their pestering attitude. They knock the car windows again and again even if we signal them to move away. Their main objective is not to request us to give money, they want to irritate us by touching many times(if we are in auto/ bike) such that we will end up giving something to just avoid them.

 It's not that i don't have sympathy on them. But, if you have watched the movie 'Slumdog millionaire' you might have understood that there will be a big gang around it, who will sedate little children or sometimes infants too and send them with a lady for begging to win on sympathy factor. The gang will set the targets for them and until and unless they earn that much amount they will not be given any food. Whose mistake is this? whom to be blamed in such situations? We cannot see the gang behind these beggars and just show our anger on beggars. 

We also listen of accidents near traffic signals due to these kind of people running between cars and bikes  creating a confusion when green signal is given. In some places, police check that beggars don't come between signals and interrupt traffic, but in some areas in the city, situation is still the same. 

I remember my father's advice in my childhood. He said once, if you really want to help a beggar, take them to a hotel nearer, order a meal and pay the bill. Because, few beggars request money saying they haven't eaten for a long time. So, that will suffice them. You know.. my father actually did that many times. I have also seen a few who will beg money to buy liquor and enjoy :) those will obviously reject the offer :) I think, basic necessities are food and clothing for any one. So, if we can help them with these both that's enough. No need to give money specifically.

What do you think? 

Until next time,

13 March, 2012

Urban shots - Bright lights - [Book review]

This time, i got a chance to read another short story collection edited by Paritosh Uttam titled 'Urban shots - Bright Lights'. 
Earlier, i read 'Wise and Otherwise' by Sudha murthy which is one of the best short story books that i read so far. You can find review here

Book details :
Name:  Urban Shots - Bright Lights
Price: Rs. 199/-
Publisher: GreyOak in association with Westland

It is a roller coaster ride of emotions when i go through this book as there are different stories with different story lines edited to  the perfection by Paritosh. Some stories make you feel the pain of characters, some are funny and light reads , some are emotional and we can relate to them easily, whereas some will make you think about the characters even after few days. There are also a few stories which are not that great. All stories are just 4 or 5 pages and so it is very easy to read. People who are not book lovers may also enjoy this book. 

Book starts with a story 'Amul'. Author 'Aravind chandrasekhar' takes you to the heart of an innocent child who is ill and how she perceives harsh realities around her life. It is interesting to read how she correlates maths principles to happenings in her life.
'Across the seas' is another heart touching story about a mother waiting eagerly for her son working in another country to come home and how happy she feels reading the letter from him. We can relate this to many people that we see around us, as author 'Ahmed Faiyaz' has written it in a very realistic way. Iam really impressed with the writing style of Ahmed after reading his other stories also like Mr Perierra, It's all good and Jet set Go!
'Maami menace' is very hilarious and a joyful read. 'Father of my Son' and 'Good morning Nikhil' doesn't have a story line exactly but every family can relate to those easily as they capture a simple happy family moments. My favourite story is 'The rain coat' by 'Rashmi Sahi'. Many parents try hard to get the best things for their children but children may not realize the value of small sacrifices made by their parents. In this story, 'Roma' could understand her mother's sacrifice at last. 
P.K Koshy's daily routine seems to be a unique story. It makes you involved in the character and make you think like a retired government employee and see his office and neighborhood through his eyes. It also shows how artificially an employer gives a send off to their employee after working with dedication for whole life when we read his reaction about the gift that he receives from his ex-colleagues.
The weeping girl is just awesome! climax is very funny indeed. 
I mentioned only a few stories that i liked out of 29 stories in this book.
My Rating : 3 out of 5 
Do read when you get time and let me know what you felt :)
Book is on a discount in flipkart.com. Try it if you are interested.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Until next time,

06 March, 2012

Travelling by auto in Hyderabad - Not an easy task

To all those who travel by autos in Hyderabad.. do you have a hassle free travel always? I have a few good and many not so good experiences.
I have patience of a saint.. not kidding :) true! i wont get angry often and even if i get, i wont lose control of myself and shout/ scold in the peak of my voice. I try to control and talk about the issue with logic. But, when it comes to auto wallahs i just lose my patience and get angry. See below some of the reasons..

1. Auto fares: First thing that irritates me is autos not having meters. In few areas of Hyderabad, autos will not have meters which show fare and distance. Even if some autos have, 80% of them are tampered as per ndtv survey!
Auto wallahs who doesn't have meters for their autos will demand a hell lot of amount(which is at least Rs.50+ genuine meter fare) and our skill of bargaining helps to some extent. If you speak perfect hyderabadi language with confidence,there are more chances of reducing the fare.

Got this info from andhraspider.com which might be useful to know auto fares:
Minimum Fare for Autos in Hyderabad: Rs14 for first 1.5Km
Fare per km: Rs8perKm
Waiting Charges: Rs15/hour – minimum 1minute is taken
No extra charge for luggage
Formula for calculating cost of your journey (for more than 15kms): Rs. [14 + (Total Distance-1.5)*8]

2. Language: Some auto drivers here just try to scare you by speaking in urdu/ hindi, especially if you are a Telugu person. So, usually people who come from different places of Andhra feel un-comfortable to bargain in Hindi. This is what they want! I have come across some auto drivers who are reckless, drive very fast, doesn't talk with respect etc., So, any day, if i come across an auto driver who speaks to passengers with respect, i just give him extra money without bargaining much. Because, it is very difficult to find these kind of people.

3. Safety:  Just observe traffic signals.. autos being small, move between vehicles easily. If you are a newbie driver, then first thing you should be careful about in cities are auto drivers. Autos go zig zag in the gaps between vehicles so easily like bikes do. Forget about safety if you are travelling in share autos. They can fit any number of people in auto and driver will be fine with very less space for him to sit/ even stand. 

Sometimes, i feel taxis are better when compared to autos except for the fact that they are not very economical. It will cost around Rs.100 by auto from our place to Secunderabad railway station and auto drivers will demand at least Rs.150. If we book a cab, it will cost Rs.250, but driver will be waiting at your door step 10 mins before the expected time to leave. Since distance is constant and time to reach station will be within one hour, there will not be any change in cab fare. There will be enough space for luggage and 4 persons can travel comfortably in cab with AC.
What you say?

Until next time,

Image courtesy: http://www.spiritualbangalore.com/
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