fuck love

a blog on 'life' and other popular four letter words...

Friday, April 29, 2011

No chemical locha in my water please!!!

My Chemistry teacher was hot.

And I had a massive crush on her, which was one of the everlasting memories of my confused adolescence. Of course, I had to compete with 24 other similarly intentioned testosteroned classmates to gain her attention. To cut a long story short: Like every great love story, mine too ended without even starting (recurring story of my life).

After years of foul odors and failed experiments in labs, learning about atoms, molecules, elements, compounds, covalent bonds and periodic tables, the most important lesson I learnt in Chemistry was: Never lick the spoon.

For graduation, I opted out of chemistry and ever since, I had nothing to do with any chemicals except for my weekly rendezvous with ethanol (Bacardi for the uninitiated :P).

Or so I thought.

Now what if I tell you that somebody is putting harmful chemicals into all our bodies, making a fast buck out of it and killing all of us slowly? What if I tell you that harmful cancer-causing chlorine may have been entering your body and mine and that too, on a daily basis. And that you, your children, your parents, your siblings and your family may have been equally affected on a daily basis! Via your humble kitchen apparatus, the water purifier.

Shocked? Startled? Scared? Well, you should be.

The word of the day is Trichloroisocyanuric Acid or TCCA, for short – even though you might not be aware of it, but you may have been consuming this sinister compound on a regular basis. TCCA is used worldwide for sanitizing swimming pools and now, studies have shown that excessive swimming in such chlorinated pools can lead to cancer. Undoubtedly, TCCA is banned in the US from being used for household purification of drinking water. But the shocking fact is that in India, this material is used by many leading brands for household purification in their water purifiers – and we’re not even aware of it!!! Imagine feeding a baby with water from your chlorinated community swimming pool every day! Unnervingly, we may all be unknowingly drinking our way to cancer, kidney failure and other deadly diseases.

Alarmed? Agitated? Angry? Well, you should be.

This is serious stuff – Water is our basic life necessity and we resort to water purifiers so that the water we drink and feed our loved ones is as clean as possible. An Indian father will cut costs, conveniences and comforts to ensure a better livelihood for his children but will invest in costlier appliances in the hope that it will protect his family - big brands exploit this hope to make a quick buck. India does not have any existing standards for water purifiers and leading brands opportunistically use this loophole to employ such cheap but lethal materials to make a fast buck. We pay our hard earned money to protect ourselves and our families by trusting these leading brands and invest in such chemical based water purifiers. Its infuriating to know that to earn a few rupees more, leading brands are jeopardizing our lives. It enrages me to know that my 4 year old cousin may innocently be drinking this kind of water.

Thinking what can be done? Well, you should be.

As consumers, we should turn to safer chemical-free technologies like UV or Filtration(RO) for our water purification. However, not many people are aware of TCCA and its effects. The first thing is awareness – we need more people to be aware that this is affecting them, their families and their friends. Noted activist Bejon Mishra has highlighted in his whitepaper the safety issues concerning water purifiers. Mr Mishra has teamed up with Indiblogger to spread awareness on this issue. This post is written as an attempt to make aware, awaken and alert others of this crusade against chlorine. You could do your bit to support this movement by:

  • Please download this image, copy it onto a word file and stick it in your office notice board so that more people can call the toll free number to get more information. (1800-11-4424)
  • A facebook event has been created to mobilize support. All you need to do is just go to this page, hit ‘Like’, Share the link and Spread the word.
  • Spread this post to as many people as possible.

As consumers, we have a right to know what chemicals are used in purifying our water. As Indians, we need to know if they are approved by world standards. As individuals, we need to know that the well being of our loved ones are not harmed.

Spreading the word? Well, you should be.

In the words of Mr Mishra himself, "this is not a movement against any company, any technology or against any water purifier brand but merely a small attempt at empowering us consumers". And yes of course, we’re saving ourselves and our loved ones, in the process.

So go to the facebook page, Hit 'Like', share n spread the word...

“No chemical locha in my water please!!!”

Hopefully, chemical ka chemical aur paani ka paani ho jayenge.

You can see other posts on this same mission. If you liked this post, vote for it here.

This post won the 'Crusade Against Chlorine ' Contest. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why my blog is so named... :)

What is in a name? Well, I don’t know but I can tell you what’s in a number.

A long time back, someone once told me that my shoe size and my IQ are the same. Since at that time I didn’t know much about the IQ scale, I thought she was complementing me and I graciously replied, “Oh thank you and yes, I do wear a big shoe. Thank u for noticing!!!” J

Later when I became a bit more worldly wise, I unwittingly realized that these two numbers, head and toe apart, does not really amount to a complement when said in the same breath.

Again on numbers, I work in a number crunching job so I have frequent mental battles on a daily basis in converting billions into crores and vice versa. And some times, the results are revolutionary. I’m not alone with this talent- in my office, there’s another dude who holds the unenviable distinction of changing billion dollar companies into million dollar ones and vice versa in his reports (which are coincidently not too well received J). And the outcomes of my mathematical background (or rather, the lack of) are not exactly, very career friendly. And after some career defining moves of such nature, I have come to realize that there is a big deal in numbers – those extra zeros at the end does somehow seem to add up to something.

So back to the main topic - what about a name? Well as we all know, Shakespeare doesn’t seem to have an issue with it – according to his famous ‘Rose’ theory, a dead fish is equally dead in any other language and would smell just as bad.

Of late, a lot of thought, time and, talk have been spent with people asking me why my blog is named so. The good people that they are, they think there is some life altering reason why I named it the way I did. And I so very wish that I had a deep, touching and moving account of why I named it so - the irony of it all is that there really isn’t any- I just named it just like that (think I was even sober at the time, for a change J ).

I have friends refer to my blog as the ‘wo fuck waala blog’, ‘the fuck blog’ (no relations to India’s other literary erotic export) and various other derivations that bring out the versatility of the f-word ( on another note, its sometimes very inspiring to know that the f-word has been used as a verb, noun, adjective, adverb, exclamation, as a subject, object… in their humble description of my blog..rather than banning this word in school, I think it should be hailed and celebrated as the most versatile word in the Queen’s language).

Even fellow bloggers have said that there’s something shady about my blog judging the blog by its name. I keep reassuring them that beside the title, the blog is actually rather tame – hell, I even write on social topics J. Some blogger colleagues at office are afraid to open my blog in office in the fear that the obvious profanity in the name may alert my company’s ever vigilant web security patrol.

BlogAdda refuses to call my blog by what it is and refers to it as ‘Flove’. I wrote to them that this amounts to moral policing and is very unbecoming of a site of their repute and requested to leave the censorship to me and humbly asked them to change the name to what it really is. I wrote 11 mails and they still have not replied. It’s been two months (so much for the freedom of expression).

The high point of it all was recently when my dad got a facebook profile. After I unassumingly and proudly accepted his friend request (of course, I privacy protected all my pics :P), he called me up the next day and asked me why the hell did I name a blog like that. He said that we are all respectable people and well regarded in society and a name like this is very cheap and asked me to change it immediately. He also warned me that I will never get a bride because of my blog and ended the argument with “What will your colleagues’ think?”. I think my last thought was “Wow, more traffic”. J

So what is in a name? My take is “Everything”. You can’t put down a name like this and I have noticed that people get amused, slightly shocked, interested and even curious when I tell them the name of my blog. It’s easier to remember than a ‘Raj’s view on life’ or ‘A social experiment called Raj’ or whatever . It is a conversation starter, sometimes a conversation ender and it is backed by some amazingly written blogs (Modesty be damned! J). I remember spending a whole night to perfect my profile write up and I’m glad it came out the way it has. I remember picking and pruning parts of my life to write the Love Story. Rain’ denotes the search in me to find the ‘me’ in life. You go girl’ is my admiration to the women folk, especially of my company. Hazare’ and ‘Daughters’ touched me. And here I attempt to capture the blood, toil, sweat, tears and views of my life, pickled and peppered with cheerful irreverence, with these words of mine. And what do I name thee? fucklove.

And fucklove it is – a blog on ‘life’ and other popular four letter words…..now playing at a website near you J.

I remember someone saying that when tigers die, they leave behind their skins; but when people die, they leave behind their names. Since ‘raj’ is easily the most maligned Indian name on the planet , I need another legacy - who knows, it might just be ‘fucklove’.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hazaar Hazare Ho!!!

When a 73 year old man refused to eat, a 63 year old democracy found its appetite for expression.

What Anna Hazare did in 5 days is already part of social folklore- it connected with an underlying sense of frustration and helplessness that we citizens feel about the system. But what distinguished this revolution is the solidarity and support that was extended within a matter of hours.

People power woke up in India. People power has toppled governments, as seen with the Jasmine Revolution in the Middle East. India is not new to this phenomenon: the Hazare Revolution proved that the Jessica Lal uprising was not a flash in the pan. People do care. The ‘chaltha hai’ attitude that we are so (in)famously associated with just that- an association, and not our distinction. And now we’ve proved that we can and will take matters in our hands.

Once upon a time, democracy was by the people, of the people and for the people. Today, Indian democracy is largely by the politician, of the politician and for the politician. Can you believe a bunch of states are going to elections this week and we still don’t know who the chief minister designates are for many of the parties - the parties assume that once they are in power, they’ll decide who’s best for us. Is this really democracy?

But the Indian citizen is now shining. I’ve seen people who went out of their comfort zones to be part of the Hazare movement. People do care; all they needed was a platform to unite and channel their support. Hazare was the trigger and we, the common man, have made our move. People expressed support to the movement in various ways. Social media was buzzing with support. Networking sites actively shored up and galvanized support from across the nation and the Media connected more people to this cause. So potent was this new found force of the people that the government agreed to Hazare’s demands in a matter of days. People power triumphed, the common man woke up and democracy scored.

This is only the beginning.

Monday, April 4, 2011

India's Disappearing Daughters

Somebody once said that the safest place on earth is a mother’s womb.

However, the results from the latest Indian Census seem to negate the above statement. The biggest shock of this census is the decline in the child gender ratio at 914 girls (under the age of six) for every 1,000 boys. This is the lowest since Independence and is a steep drop from a high of 976 girls in the 1961 census. This is not just alarming, but Murder!!!

Female foeticide is as prevalent in literate urban India as it is in the rural side. The irony is that we as a country worship women – as mothers, as sisters, as goddesses – more so than many other countries: it’s ingrained in our cultures. “Mere Paas Maa Hai” is more than a filmy line –it is one of the most powerful lines ever made and it appeals to every Indian in a way no foreigner can comprehend; Raksha Bandhan is celebrated as much for brothers as it is for sisters; Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped with religious ferocity across the length and breadth of the World’s rising new Super Power. Then how is that we resort to such inhuman treatment for the Devi, even before she’s born into our family?

Centuries of social conditioning have put the Son on a pedestal, while relegating the Daughter to under it. As a result, a mother who bears a son has a higher social standing than one who bears a daughter. This needs to stop. Women are the caretakers of our life – as mothers, as home makers, as colleagues - awareness need to be built to change our society to a gender-equal one.

The dowry system is seen to be another major cause of the female foeticide. The Dowry system is ingrained in our society. The concept of the Arranged Marriage feeds to this premise. With the rising number of divorces nowadays, India is slowly moving towards matrimony that is not ‘fixed’, but favored, and thus hopefully bring in the demise of the Dowry. But it will still take a lot many more suns when Dowry as a concept will be abolished from Indian soils.

Did you know that an doctor earns a paltry amount of around Rs 5000/- in Bangalore after his MBBS? I’ve been in Bangalore for 7 years now and I know that Rs 5K is nothing here. For an MBBS to stand on his feet, he needs to do an MD and even a super specialization after that. The irony is the number of MD seats in India is in a measly number in comparison to the rising number of MBBS students. This serious supply - demand skew jacks up the prices for the existing MD seats (last I heard, it’s about Rs. 60-75 Lakhs for the basic seat), taking it beyond the reach of many well qualified MBBS students. How can you expect a doctor to follow ethics when his basic livelihood is in question? Hence it’s not very surprising he resorts to the illegal pre natal gender determination tests to substantiate his already low income.

As citizens, we must understand that female foeticide is nothing short of murder. The authorities has made the right noises by establishing laws and help-lines to tackle female foeticide. It is up to us, as citizens, to bring in the next level of change, starting with our mindset, to end this social stigma.

For the India that we are, for the India that we’ll become and most importantly, for the India that we aspire to be, let us save our girls.