Sun, Sand, Stars and Dreams

The chronicles of a misfit Indian teen


October 2012

When nature turns ferocious

Happy Halloween for those who are celebrating it.
And those who were affected by the cyclones Sandy and Nilam, do stay safe. Our prayers and thoughts are always with you.
The cyclone Nilam hit quite close to my hometown, Chennai, just less than 100 km away, in fact. Though, the effects are felt in Chennai too.
I, for one, have never experienced a cyclone, having lived in the Arabian deserts for years. All I have experienced are ferocious sandstorms, and I don’t think it is the same.
All I hope for is that, my family, friends, and fellow human beings, in India as well as in the United States, stay safe and be alright.


Give girls their chance

Yesterday was declared as International girl child day by UN general assembly to highlight the various forms of inequality, injustice and discrimination faced by girl children.

It is important to control the amount of inequalities faced by girls because today’s discriminated girls will grow to be tomorrow’s abused women.

Girl children face discrimination even before they are born in many parts of the world, the main reason female foeticide is on the rise. And if she commits the mistake of being born, her life is filled with endless prejudices and social stigmas.

When she is just a tiny infant, before she even comes to know the people around her, she is discriminated against by giving her less nutritious food than her male counterpart. And this continues into childhood, the girls are expected to play with dolls and cooking-games so that she could prepare for the future, a bleak one where she is stuck inside the kitchen and rarely allowed out for her entire lifetime.

Then, when she is around five years of age, many times, she isn’t even sent to school and even at times when she is, she is forced to dropout of school as soon as she hits puberty.

Yes, she might be physically and biologically different from her male counterpart, but that doesn’t mean she can’t study, does it?

And if a boy can study, what’s wrong with a girl studying? Well, there still are many people who think it is wrong, as we can see from the recent attacks against girls’ schools and also the attack against Malala Yousufzai, a 14- year old Pakistani activist for girls’ education. I would like to wish her all the best and pray for her health.

And those who do overcome these odds and study till grade 12, are not given the freedom to choose their career path. Often, girls are expected to be only teachers or doctors, and engineering, law and politics are meant to be only men’s domains.

In many cases, parents force their daughters to drop out of school and marry them off when they are barely 14 or 15, and even when they get abused by their husbands or in-laws, don’t file for a divorce, because they have no place to go, and because they are not educated are unable to even get a job to support themselves. And teen and single mothers are also discriminated against in the society and are unable to support themselves, often leading to their suicides or enter into prostitution rings. Is this what you want your daughters to end up as?

Why should this discrimination exist?

Many of you might wonder whether this is a piece of fiction, but unfortunately it isn’t. In many parts of the world, this still exists.

All we ask for is to give girls a chance. Show them some love and support.
Give them education for a bright future for them. Treat your daughter just as you would a son.

Competent dentists, are they extinct?

In the place I live, now, it is the time when summer changes to winter. (There is no spring or autumn here in this desert!)
And also the time when most people fall prey to common sicknesses like flu, common cold, fever, etc, while the remaining few unlucky lot catch something more serious.
So, with a lot of people around me sneezing and coughing, I too caught a bout of fever. But, it quickly moved on without developing into a flu.
But, let me tell you, I think I would have preferred a flu than this!
I had two cavities filled when I was around six or seven years back but the dentist who had done it was as impatient and ill-tempered as a bird which lost its worm. And because of him, I still have a phobia of dentists and used to keep missing dentist appointments frequently.
Well, at least I had the phobia till I met another dentist, a friend of my neighbours. She was as different from my previous dentist as night from day. She was kind, sweet-tempered and funny and most of all, she did it as a service to mankind rather than just for money.
But, unfortunately, her husband got transferred to another country a year back and so, she had to leave too.
And now, the entire right side of my mouth hurts and it seems like my right cheek is slightly swollen. Even after two days and eating a painkiller, the pain did not subside.
So, I went to a dentist. But, little did I know that he was a carbon-copy of my earlier dentist. I explained my problem to him and after poking and prodding a few teeth, he told me that there was nothing wrong with any of my teeth and repeatedly kept asking me where it was hurting and I kept telling him that the entire side was hurting and he told me that there was nothing wrong with the teeth. And told me to eat a panadol (painkiller) if it hurt so much. When I told him that I already ate it, he told me that he didn’t know what was wrong. All I could think was, ‘what a waste of time’.
Now, another day has gone by, and still my teeth hurt.
And with a reputed dentist, the appointment list stretches for more than a month.
So, again, here I am drinking hot water and eating painkillers and applying Vicks on the side of my face and holding hot water packs and hoping the pain goes off. 😦
And my case of dentist-o-phobia is back, unfortunately.
May I ask, are friendly and competent dentists living only in utopia??

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