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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Adventures of New-Orleans

After the Canal De panama escapade, our next fixed voyage was Mississippi -New Orleans –Louisiana. To reach the historic port of call New Orleans, one needs to transit the famous Mississippi road river. It’s a total of 22 hours course which bestow the ultimate experience of enchanting Mississippi heritage. The river provides a true slice of Americana- serene landscapes, green panoramic views, quaint towns, bustling ports and massive ship traffic. Known to be the fourth longest river of the world, it passes through 10 different states of America. Round the year, the illustrious river is bustling with tourist hopped in state of the art Ocean going Cruisers.

Past the two day long stream, we anchored in New Orleans-a major United States port and metropolitan area in the province of Louisiana. “NOLA” as they call evolves around the holy trinity, jazz, food and entertainment. Everybody on the ship was first timers to visit the place. So after browsing through net we rounded few sites to explore through out the day. Our first destination was the famous “French Quarters”-the heart and cultural center of the city. I was totally enthralled by my first overview of the place. High-energy, vibrant surroundings, musical streets, aromatic air and mounts of exuberance. 


Heart and soul of the French quarters is the Bourbon Street. It’s the most happening and wildest thoroughfare of the quarters with sounds of jazz music, country western, colorful decked-up girls and Mardi grass beads. The street gets the peak of its liveliness in the evening and it feels like you are a part of a carnival. We even gotta chance to relish a limousine ride all around the place. Beware the street is prohibited for kids as it jammed up with strip clubs, free flowing spirits and some adult stuff.

From there we rented a three wheeler rickshaw paddled by a girl. She took us to the famous “Jackson square”. The street was meandering with beautiful artwork from the super talented artist. It was one of my favourite place to walk through due to the different displays of artcrafts hanging on fence by artist to sell. The place was brimming with musician’s, street performers, Crazy costumes, fortune tellers and even voodoo specialist. The square is also famous for St Louis Cathedral and the Andrew Jackson monument.

After strolling for few hours and due to my hunger pangs, we took a cab to Magazine Street for our much anticipated Indian cuisine. The buffet was mouth watering and we hogged like beggars. 

Loaded with food we went to Wal-Mart for some retail therapy .But my expectations doomed as most of the merchandise was of inferior quality. Halfheartedly we did some cosmetic shopping, souvenirs for family and friends and a nice handbag for myself.

We still had a couple of hours remaining before heading back towards our cocoon. Being an animal lover, I always loved visiting zoos and Aquariums. Audubon Aquarium of Americas is one family friendly activity in the city. Best display was the underwater tunnel, the Amazon rain forest and an open ocean tank. Life size aquariums, whales, penguins and white alligator, the place is a must visit for animal enthusiasts. 

With heart full of unparalleled memories of one of the most phenomenal place, we reluctantly trudged en-route to our vessel.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mard Ko Bhi Dard Hota Hai................

My mind is reeling with a whirlwind of thoughts. A bit of vacillation a bit of uncertainty, whether to pour out my heart on this insignificant issue. How many people will reverberate with my feelings? 

After the Delhi and Mumbai rape case, numerous debates & speculation had been conducted on the recent crimes against women. Demands for Law amendments, better security, women’s liberation and empowerment have been soaring since then. Undeniably women are known to be the inferior sex. Numerous initiatives and movements are in progress towards Women’s amelioration. But not even once I hear about men’s predicament. Following the heinous incidents, we perceive all men’s to be either rapist, misogynist, masculinist. The same men we call our father, husband, brother or son. Never saw anybody advocating towards male emancipation. Are they not belong to human race?

Remember the old poem "Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice; boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails." Is it not bigotry?

Last year I received a random message form a girl on my FB page asking whether am Anurag’s school mate. ANURAG my seventh standard class mate and who got in touch through social media over fifteen years. Out of inquisitiveness, I talked to her for some time. After few minutes of chatting, she informed me about his untimely demise. Shell shocked, I couldn’t breath for a while. Embracing my wits, I conveyed my condolence and inquest about the mishap. Another shocker bounced. His wife of one month filed a false case against the whole family including his sister’s one year old daughter. Police came to apprehend the whole family at midnight. Around that period Anurag was working in another city. He was shocked and panicked as it was his love marriage. He could not believe that the girl who once claimed to love him so much filed a false against him.He along with two other friends soon started off to Lucknow. On the way his car collided with the truck and all three young boys died on the spot. After a month of his death, another case of domestic violence along with 498a was registered by the girl. It’s been three years now and this ironlady is fighting for her dead brother’s dignity. She is an MRA activist and now helping other martyrs of false cases against biased laws.

If women want to file a complaint, there is a provision of recording it as a criminal complaint under national statistic of crime against women but if male goes with an authentic grievance, they merely have to console with non cognizable offence. Due to these serious loopholes in our laws, it termed as a legal terrorism for men and their families.

There is another famous case of Munish Dalal, who suffered nine years jail imprisonment due to misuse of dowry law by his wife. He along with his family has been acquitted by Noida court after continuous 10 year ordeal. Adding more to their dilemma, the government incorporated the incident in NCERT textbooks that is still taught to children in Class VI. Later the girl’s charge junked due to her confession of an affair and cooking up a false story to wriggle out from nuptial. Will anything bring back his lost ten years?

Remember Capt Saurabh Kalia who fought for his country in kargil war 1999.The brave soldier was badly treated by Pakistan troops. His body was mutilated to unbearable extent. Since then his father an ex-air force personnel is running pillar to post and still struggling to prove his death as crime. We have signed so many petitions against rape’s, marched candle lights for the victims , made black bindi images as out profile pictures against crime towards women. But this old man is fighting alone for justice. 

Have we ever stand-up or demanded justice for a man same way we do for women's rights? Am not claiming that all cases against men are false or counterfeiting women’s quandary.But in some cases we need to consider man as victims and not accused. Next time don’t judge a man till he is “guilty as proven” not “guilty as charged”. Crime and criminals have no gender. Punishment to the criminal has to be equal irrespective of gender. Am neither a feminist nor misogynist but a daughter, wife, sister and a friend of a man who pays a penny to their emotion and feel compassion. 

DO YOU????

This post is not intended to violate or disregard or disrespect any provisions of the laws of our land nor are they intended for casting aspersions on any individual or for defaming or maligning anybody whomsoever.