Sunday, November 25, 2007

The past few days

Life has been pretty hectic the past few weeks with a lot of things going on simultaneously. Travel, concerts, recordings, practising and prepping for forthcoming concerts. And less sleep. Thankfully this weekend is slightly relaxed. I was to attend a wedding in Bangalore and somehow the alarms did not go off and I woke up too late to catch the early morning flight.
In a way, that was good since I could be home for Karthikai deepam.

Friday, Aahaa Kaapi Klub we decided to talk about the Smalin Janita dowry harassment case. We had been hearing about them for more than a week by then and I was curious to know and speak to the people involved. That is when I knew how convenient it was to work at Aahaa, under the Kumudham banner. Within minutes we got in touch with Janita's father, her husband and her sister-in-law and got their take. And that was the first time Christy Danius spoke to the media as well. Even as the show was underway, there were several people who called in and said it was good to know the other side of the story, since the media had heard of only what Smalin Janita's family had to say. Like ever, we are told not to take sides and honestly, it is pretty tough to take sides.
We also got Ms Shivashankari, Ms Jhansi Rani and Ms. Sumathi, an exceptional lawyer to give their opinion and advise women who will or want to eventually marry an NRI. I especially liked Ms Sumathi's comment where she said, a man would never accept a woman making mistakes or pardon or forget her errors or errant behaviour,(we have heard stories right from the Ramayana.. for one I don't have much respect for Rama, but there is much to be understood in epics like these. There is more to it than the face value)but a woman has been conditioned to always "poruthu poganum", to bear with the man's issues and faults, no matter how grievous they may be, and also that a she can/should correct him, make him human, and then make him God and worship him. I was rolling on the floor laughing but that one line mostly summed up the lives of most Indian women. Even if there are wife-beating louts, criminals, or whatever else the woman is expected to live with him than without him and lead a better life and also look upon him as God. Sometimes, no thanks to the media (serials, movies, whatever) portraying women looking upon their husbands the same way. Generally Ms Shivashankari and Ms Sumathi skimmed the surface of marrying NRI-s. That said, I do not believe that everyone living in India are great and everyone abroad are demons. I personally do not think I will ever live outside of India. I am too rooted here, my work, my music is here, and I just don't feel at home anywhere else, taking my travels into account. And Chennai is definitely the place to be. And as I have said before, home is where the heart is and that is definitely where music plays

22 comments:

நாகை சிவா said...

//home is where the heart is and that is definitely where music plays//

:)

Anonymous said...

Ms Chinmayi, sometimes this blog space seems too fragile to bare the weight of some of the things you write about.

Chinmayi said...

why is that ? :) Well then I guess the things I come across are heavy duty ;)

Chinmayi said...

Vj: I wont publish that comment for a reason best known to me. SPB Sir did all that as well. There is nothing that he could not do. Dub, Act, Produce, Direct, Compose, and live shows have been around for ages. Thats equally important as recordings are. And I think the paths are easier for us youngsters now and most of us are basically open to newer ideas than be stuck to one thing. There has to be constant evolution. There need not be another Chitra or SPB. Because thats what they will be. A second version. our generation is a trail blazing generation. I am sure our generation will set new standards. What do you say?

Chinmayi said...

VJ: and adding to that, there wasnt another P Susheela, S Janaki or a TMS. And for the other things, mail me and I will let you know. :) I cannot publish that on this forum.

Ananth said...

Being an NRI for the past three years, I have come across a variety of people. And there are two kinds of people here- ones who come to live, and the ones who come to earn (the second are usually the ones with work visas directly). There is a system that we need to follow to live comfortably in USA,and those who come to earn try breaking it, or try creating their own system. This makes the already greedy fellows more greedy, and they resort to all sorts of things to get more money so that they can "live" comfortably. And these hopeless fellows end up abusing their near and dear. Shame on them!

Uma said...

On behalf of all the NRIs, there are many of us who just ended up living abroad for different reasons. That doesn't make us less rooted to India. Living outside India has only made us feel more Indian at heart than when we were in India. something like "nizhalin arumai veyyilil theriyum".

Chinmayi said...

Uma and Ananth: Most of my extended family lives abroad and I should say that probably. I am rooted here because it doesnt make sense for me otherwise. My career my life my heart beats here alone. Thats about it. Otherwise, all my cousins live abroad :)

Anonymous said...

how is water problem in chennai,accusomted to drinking salty water i guess?

Maruthu said...

hi..already marraige market for NRI boys is out bcz of indian IT boys...all my frnds and me also suffering a problem in finding the good..girl...intha latchanathula ennum 4 case ethu madhiri vandha totally out...so thank u..chinms for supporting us...unga kural konchum ongi olikatam for us...pls

Ananth said...

Oh yes! definitely!! But if you were to be in a situation where you could continue doing all that you do now - in a different place than the one you were born and brought-up in, wouldn't you call it home?
The issue is not about being or not being an NRI.
I would love to see Smalin's husband and in laws kicked out of USA forever and punished severely by the Govt. of India.

Chinmayi said...

and yep.. the issue is not about NRI-s at all.. its about this whole fad of marrying the wrong people man or woman.. especially with regard to those being abroad, take 10 days leave, put up a schedule, meet one person after another, and then choose one and get married and leave, everything within the 10 days.. the issue was why is that people dont give enough time for their marriage?
And no I wouldn't call it home. I can't be at home anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

You are very correct about home is where the heart is. I have lived in US for over 12 years and I still regret my decision to come here. I cannot come back to India since my wife's parents are here and things have kind of taken root here. India is seriously great. I had no one to give me this advice when I was deciding to come to the US or not.

Anonymous said...

I was following your show on Friday (Smalin Janita case).Simultaneously googled for the case and came across a blog entry
http://merabarath.blogspot.com/2007/11/more-about-chennai-nri-being-accused-of.html

On the show, Smalin's father spoke very highly of Sardar Inam & mentioned that it was Inam who called and asked him to come to US to take care of Smalin as Inam felt that Smalin's husband was not treating her properly.

Later on, Christy's sister spoke about the case & when it came to
Sardar Inam, she said "There are some cases against him & so I dont want to speak about him".

The merabarath entry has this link to a google group
http://groups.google.com/group/isha-it/browse_thread/thread/82b79b48c68c68dd
What puzzles me is: [1] Whose side is Sardar Inam on? [2] Going by what Smalin's father & Christy's sister said, it looks like Sardar Inam is on Smalin's side. If so, why is Sardar Inam is listed as one of the persons helping Christy?

EsKay said...

Those who have got everything going in their favour and those who havent got anything to go in their favour think the least about working abroad. Pretty much everyone else aim to become an NRI. There were days when students moved abroad to fulfil their career ambitions in hgiher education. Now it is mostly the economic migrants. Their primary aim is to acquire wealth. If that is the intention, then you cant blame them searching for wealth in every available avenue / oppertunity.

Indian culture is not what it used to be. Even the media is keen on protraying the western culture. NRIs moved away from homeland abt 10 yrs ago are still living with the old mindset. They had enough time and are the right people to compare both cultures. They fondly remember the childhood India. People like them and those living in small towns and villages of India are still keeping the Indian culture alive. NRIs are keeping the Indian music/dance traditions alive. Deepawali firework celebration in London homes seems much grander than in Chennai. Senseless rules!

Home is not where the heart is; but it is where the fond memories are.

Chinmayi said...

eskay: I am blaming no one. This was only with the fad of wanting to marry in a hurry. And this post was with reference to me. I cant be anywhere other than Chennai even for a few days. My home is here. Here is where I feel the happiest. And fond memories can be made everywhere. I have fond memories of every performance of every place I have been to. And in spite of all the outwardly cultural disintegration, inside, we are pretty intact. Most of the people I know of abroad who settled down their want to bring the children back to India as soon as they are entering their teens. And I would say India, at least to me seems safer.

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

I absolutely agree with you Chinmayee.. There is no place better than where you feel at home.. i being born and brought up in Chennai can't think of going and settling anywhere else , except for going abroad for a reason like Higher education or for vacation..

EsKay said...

I think the basic reason why NRI parents want to bring up their children in India is because they dont know any other way. All they remember is their childhood in India. They think thats the best; they want their children to experience the same. Why? They are reluctant to handle the cultural clash.

People struggle to bring up children in alien culture becuase they dont know what to expect from kids under an environment different from their own when they were at the same level. They want a familier env and known ambience where they can tackle the situation better.

Aks any Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Scandinavian or German. Where they want to bring their children. They will ofcourse say their own countries.

Is India safer for teens? Not anymore with all the advancements in technology/media. They are not educated enough at young age to cope with the changes. Parents/Grandparents used to do that. But they hardly have time nowadays.

Memories drive the mind; mind controls happiness; happiness makes you feel at home. which means memories provide you the home. :-)
Sorry to have hijacked the topic tangentially.

Deepa J said...

I partly agree with the first "Anonymous" who has commented here. I am not commenting about the fragility of this space or anything but I am very much disappointed by your lack of sensitivity on the issue. If you have to talk about a horrendous issue as this, do so only if it really touches your heart. Your blog on that spoke little about the real issue, (which is sure to enrage anybody with the least humanity in their hearts) and drifted off to your preferences in living abroad or in India. It was certainly off-key, dear.

Chinmayi said...

Deepa: As you well know I cannot take sides and I will not either. This post was a report on what has been happening the past few days. Not what I think about Smalin Janita. And we took it up on my show because I thought it was important and also got the real experts to talk about it. I hope you understand.

Vijay Anand said...

What exactly is lacking in Chennai again? :)

As much as it makes sense for an artist like you, chennai has also the perfect blend of the cultural and the floating population, a perfect mix of young crowd (though this city could make use of activities to engage them), a nice beach - which is a huge plus; there is nothing that calms you down like the sound of the waves and some vaerkadalai to go with it :)

Chinmayi said...

vijay: nothing that I know of :)