Of this baby and that.....

Courtesy :Portfo.li
Nowadays it is rare that you go through the news and not have a panic attack.  With numerous reports on mayhem, death, destruction and corruption vying for your attention, you are almost convinced that apocalypse is knocking at your door.  At least the media will have us believe so.  So it’s not surprising to read that almost 1/3rd of the population tuned in to watch a Royal wedding in a has-been nation, infamous for its wet and not so wild weather.  It made for a mushy watch; we got to see royalty in their outlandish hats and of course Pippa’s derriere.  Did you know Pippa Middleton’s behind has over 15, 0000 fans?  What’s wrong with the world! 

So naturally, when one fine morning you chance upon an inspiring story of a girl who beat all odds to emerge a victor, your faith in humanity is restored – well almost.  Meet Soma Sharan - a girl whose life reads like a fairytale.  From a humble ashram in Haridwar to heady Los Angeles to bagging the Gates Millennium Scholarship, this is Soma’s story.... 

Year 1993, in a lonely alley a 3 day old baby girl is abandoned to die.  But this is the holy town of Haridwar and God has other plans for her.  The baby’s terrified crying catches the attention of a good Samaritan and the rest as they say is history.  The girl is adopted by Sri Ram Asram, an orphanage where she spends her growing up years.  At the age of 10, she is one of the few who are sent to Mount Madonna Yoga Centre in USA and later to the school by the same name. 

But what should have been a dream come true for her turned into a nightmare.  Soma had a tough time coping with a language that was unfamiliar to her – her Indian English was not good enough for America.  To make matters worse she had to face the barbs of her classmates for being an orphan.  All her life, not even once had she felt that she didn’t have a family.  And now all of a sudden Soma felt so alone.

But Soma Sharan is one plucky girl who doesn’t give up easily, her spirit is indefatigable.  The taunts only provoke her to work harder.  Soon she became part of the school volleyball team, which went on to bag the state championship.  I was the only fresher in varsity volleyball team.  And that’s not all.  Besides being a star student, Soma is a good dancer and has performed in school plays.

Courtesy :Times Of  India
Soma is now going places.  Not only her undergraduate course at the University of California at Los Angeles is being sponsored, she has also earned a scholarship for her graduate studies and even her PhD.   Soma is the girl who carved her own destiny. 
She is now back home to be with her brothers and sisters (she has 70 of them at the ashram) before she embarks on her journey to realize her dreams.  Soma wants to dedicate her life to help destitute children all around the world.  I see myself in different countries. I am not keen to live in one placeThere’s so much to do in the world.  Soma Sharan is truly a citizen of the world.

Another girl who has been making news is Suri Cruise, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes daughter.  The girl barely out of diapers has been named one of the world’s best dressed women in Glamour magazine’s annual poll.  By what twisted definition does a 5 year old qualify as a woman?

Suri’s multimillion dollar wardrobe is more in the news than her mom, Katie Holmes’ career. The kid never repeats her outfits, loves flaunting labels like Armani, Burberry and Ferragamo.  She has over 300 pairs of Mary Jane shoes (a French label), indulges in five hour shopping marathons and is often spotted in kitten heels and makeup.
Cruise and his wife Katie are rather proud about the pint sized diva’s sartorial choices. Apparently she dreams of designer bags and helps her Mom chose her outfits.   And doting Daddy is all but approving of his progeny’s demands. It all figures doesn’t it - wasn’t it Daddy Cruise who jumped like an excited puppy on Oprah’s couch when he wanted to announce his love to the world at large? 

How will Suri ever understand the worth of things, or the pleasure of working and saving to have something lovely?  She wants it and she gets it.  Will it not be more sensible for the Cruises to stop pandering to the demands of their willful daughter?  And for God’s sake, does she always have to preen like a peacock in her designer couture – what can’t she be dressed “normally” like any other kid! 

 Can you imagine her as a fully grown up adult?  What a terrible catastrophe she will be.   The last thing we need is another brat! 

What a startling study of contrasts: a self obsessed million dollar baby with designer dreams and a girl with humble beginnings who dreams of changing the world. 

So is it good to have more or less – you decide.


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  1. The story of Soma is very inspirational. People crib about destiny and luck, but it really is the person who makes his/her own path. And her story shows that we all have the power to fight against odds and come out victorious. Just need to have some confidence and self belief.
    Suri.....she is a Brat...enough said.
    And the Wedding. Pippa's buttocks were Pip(pa)ing hot. :P

  2. Hi Purba
    Been so mad busy that I had no chance to comment. however I have been reading religiously mostly on the crazy Mumbai commute.
    I like this article. What a contrast you are right. I wonder if Suri's parents realize is just a spectacle for the paparazzi. Atleast Madonna takes her kids to inland countries of Africa.
    The story of Soma is inspiring.

  3. "Year 1993, in a lonely alley a 3 day old baby girl is abandoned to die. But this is the holy town of Haridwar and God has other plans for her."

    The Story of Soma , when i first read a week (i guess) on TOI it was very inspirational .It is one of those "I made it myself "stories. The one above indeed has designs for everyone. here in this case " A abandoned Girl Child" in a rural town of India had not been abandoned may have either been traded off to a early marriage or worst.Cant imagine how some parents do it.But good for them THEY dont deserve to claim themselves parents of such a Jewel i guess

  4. Somas story is inspiring.
    Baby Suri might become another Paris Hilton or a confused Lindsay Lohan.

  5. Soma’s story is very inspiring. I would rather start with humble beginnings and then work hard to get what I want! Unless you do that, you wld never realize the value of things. Its pathetic to watch Suri strutting about in her million dollar shoes and clothes. In a way they are killing her childhood aren’t they!

  6. The human spirit is indeed a wonderful thing. When you've beaten it out of shape, it still fights back and fights back hard.

    By the way, methinks this is one of your better posts: it makes you sit up and think! If these are two ends of the spectrum, where are we standing?

  7. its a thought provoking post by you...

    On one hand the story of Soma is inspirational and on the other, as Alka Gurha ji said above Baby Suri may be Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan of future.

  8. The problem with parents all over the world is- they try to be 'the' kind that they thought was missing in their parents. And in turn creating a new kind of kids due to new kind of mistakes...
    Suri cruise is being what Katie and tom are making her... Alas! When they would realise their mistake it will be too late.

  9. Food for thought, dear Purba:) Soma will sure go places. Is it not the paparazzi whooverdo divas like Suri? Read the story of Ellie Wood, the child Ms America! Ufffff...yeh sab bahut zyada hi hai:(

  10. "Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society" - that's the name of the Facebook group no? :P
    Also forget about Suri Cruise, I think her mom is venting out all her frustration over her dead career on the poor child by turning her into a mini Paris Hilton at this age. Catastrophe. The world is nearing its end I'm sure of it now.

  11. Soma's story is very inspiring.. i just wrote a post on my blog about something similar.. about how parents who have nothing strive to give a better education and future to their children.. and here you have parents flaunting their kids and decking them up like dolls with no thought as to how they are going to cope up in the 'real world' when they grow up... such unnecessary hype around suri cruise and at such a young age!!

  12. Jhalmuri times updating me again!

    1. Beatrice/Eugene (I don't know who was worse) had atrocious hats.
    2. I couldn't care about their hats as much as i care for Soma's story. Thats one hard battle to fight - you against the world.
    3. I thought they'd know better than spoil Suri. The poor little girl may not even know that she's got the entire world watching!

  13. Indeed! I see it as the freedom that self-made humans have as against those born with a golden spoon in their mouth. Soma chose what she wanted to do. The little Suri has no choice, she IS getting into showbiz whether she wants to or not.

  14. Carving your own destiny, Soma's life has set an another example of self belief.
    I'm not sure on the latter story. It is provoking me to ask my mom for a Gucci T-shirt.

  15. Prats...So have you joined her ass appreciation Society yet?

    Curry Spice...Children need a grounded upbringing, how else will they appreciate fine things of life.

    RK...So right, by abandoning Soma they gifted her a better life.

  16. Alka...I hope her parents realize that!

    Ruchira...She is like a pint sized Lolita, strutting her stuff!!

    Kartikay...The choices we make, make us what we are.

  17. Irfanuddin...Just a reminder that too much is not always good :)

    Deepika...Pampering does not translate to good parenting. As parents it is our duty to instill values in our child. She will thank us for it later in life.

    cloud nine...Googled her, couldn't find anything. Send me a link!

  18. Samadrita...Imagine a kid hounded by paparazzi and apparently there's a fashion blog dedicated to her!

    TheGirlAtFirstAvenue...Ahh she has an online moniker now :) Will be reading your post soon.

    mazingout....Someone compared that hat to prawn coloured entrails LMAO...

  19. Ambika...If you get everything on a platter, where did you get the drive?

    Prateek...If Suri can have it, why can't I. She also has a tiara collection worth 25000 dollars, you want one too?

  20. Soma's story is inspiring. No doubt her indefatigable spirit is what helped her cope with the challenges that came her way, and what's most inspiring is she wants to help other children now.

    I think in many ways Soma Sharan is more fortunate than thousands of girls who are not even allowed education let alone a chance to be a part of school Volleyball team, their strength and determination is wasted in fighting against early, forced marriages and domestic abuse.

    About Suri Cruise, I feel at five she is too young to be blamed for wearing expensive shoes and being the best dressed 'woman'. Maybe the parents are hoping to create a future in modeling or in Hollywood for her, but I wonder if it is fair to a five year old.

    She may not grow up to be a spoiled brat, she might just grow into a successful designer? I feel sad for this pretty five year old child.

  21. Are you gifting it to me!?! Aww....How sweet of you ma'am. :P

  22. Stark contrast.. Lot of lessons to learn from the world.

  23. Soma Sharan's story is inspiring! Girls rock!! Suri Cruise might hurt her feet with such shoes.

  24. Soma Sharan's story is inspiring! Girls rock!! Suri Cruise might hurt her feet with such shoes.

  25. Do we have a replacement for the acronym LOL, a better replacement?

    Humanity isn't dead, and as much alive is the concept of 'Vasudheva Kutumbakam'... though some people might take these words to exceptional limits way past decency, but yes, success stories like that of Soma reaffirms the faith in goodness.

    Ah Sharon, whatever she might be, and though still Woman to be, isn't she cute? Okay, she's pampered, too much rather and its high time for the couple to get down to some serious parenting. It would be the paparrazi itself that would be condemning the girl if she grows up to be a umm... bad girl? (read Bitch).

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  26. The former and the latter are quite contrasting but that's the world's way. Otherwise, it's the media hyping about Suri.

  27. I must confess that I did not notice the story of Soma but I did know about Suri Cruise. The blame does not only belong to me, rather our media is equally liable for focusing mostly on the flashy news.
    You've nicely portrayed the contrast between a 'would be' brat and a humble woman, a carrier of real Indian heritage. A-musing post.

  28. Soma's story is truly inspiring. Cant even think to imagine what it must be like to be an orphan and to be taunted at that. True grit. She is just the right person to be a mentor for other such kids.

    As for Suri, i think its a terrible thing to push a kid into limelight. Her parents and the media are doing damage to the kid's innocence. Why cant someone stop this nonsense?

  29. IHM...Oh absolutely, why blame Suri for being a spoilt brat. It is her parents who are dolling her up. But it worrisome that a kid at such a young age is exposed to so much attention and speculation.

    Prateek...A tiara? Will request Suri to send you one :)

    Harish...Life is the best teacher.

    Giribala...Suri appreciates your concern :p

  30. Anshul...She is very pretty and is much aware of that. But a toddler in heels with the parents tacit approval is worrisome!

    Nethra...For the media she is just another celebrity.

    Rindo...Exactly...imagine a baby in heels and makeup! So not done.

  31. Sarbajit...Glad you liked it :)

    Abha...There is an entire blog dedicated to Suri's sartorial choices! How ridiculous is that. Why can't the child have a regular upbringing?

  32. "We survive on adversity and perish in ease and comfort." - Mencius

    Soma's story is very inspiring. Pipa did steal the show though I didn't know about the fan following.

    poor Suri - She is just living her Parent's dream. What a cruel thing to do with your own child: take her childhood away!

  33. Yoww!! An Ass-ociation fr tht.... WoW!!...Guess, Pippa pipped the score with the Britishers appreciatin more thn stiff upper lips :P

    N in other news, I think the definitive virtue of human achievement is Ambition.

    And my two cents, 3 bahts n a quarter say that ambition hs gt nothin wid person's financial background... ambition, in my opinion, is the matter of a made up mind.

    n the change in ur purse is no reflection of the unchanging direction in ur mind.

    Sure, countless number of bollywood movies hv shown us tht 2 much money softens ambition…but seriously, really? The thing is this does not make interesting read… it doesn’t inspire us… I mean, Mukesh Ambani getting richer every year makes interesting readin only cos he’s Indian…a Carlos Slim getting richer dsnt really connect to us on any level…I mean, we overlook tht the dude must’ve put his mind, heart n soul in strategizing his way to wht he is today. But the bottom line is he’s already fortunate so we assume he’s had things easy fr him. We’r all just suckers fr emotional stories… an underdog who works his ways against all his odds to emerge the top dog sounds a lot more cooler thn the top dog becoming the prize dog.

    Of course, not taking away any of the inspiration from Soma’s story but I think Lady Suri is sufferin frm a case of bad stereotypes – Lindsay Lohan, Britney(makin a fabulous comeback, btw) and a similarly fortunate Hilton r not exactly awe inspiring pieces of inspiration. I think that if TomCat can supplement Suri baby’s supply of cash n clothes with a generous dosage of ambition, she cud b what happened to our own Rajesh Khanna but on a whole new level of the stratosphere. (Rajesh Khanna was initially ‘struggling’ as a wannabe actor, running between studios in search of a role in his red, shiny imported sports car!)

    My take is it does not matter wat the change is in our pockets.. all that matters is that sterner stuff called ambition in our hearts. As a alcoholics non-anonymous, my closing quotes r, irrespective of resources at ur disposal, in the words of the great Johnny Walker: “Just Keep walking ”.


  34. The haves and the have nots. The divide will stay and probably the chasm will only widen as this world moves ahead. Its startling to look at the starkness but i can tell you for sure Shoma would live a happier person.. whatever the world may feel or perceive. Hats off to her and others who do not make it to newspaper and hats down (if thats a word) to parents like suri's who are nurturing a catastrophe in making.

    A different yet not so different post from you purba - i loved it!

  35. dreamysap...The child doesn't know it yet. Wonder what kind of adult she will be?

    Raj...Now that's a debatable issue - whether money softens ambition. But as a teacher in a metropolis all I see is plenty of attitude with no substance at all. And doting parents who turn a blind eye to their child's misdeed make it worse.

    At the risk of sounding politically incorrect - it is the so called small towners who are surging ahead.

  36. Zephyr...Such stories should be highlighted to inspire the younger ones :)

    Mayank...The chasm is growing - 1% of the elite and the powerful controls the world. Growth has to be inclusive for us to progress.

  37. Very inspirational story...and I had no clue about this girl!

    And I would certainly look forward to what happens to Suri when she grows up...

  38. Hey Purba ji, not fair...u deleted my comment..n tht too, after i put almost an hour on it..

    nt nice..

    but still a fan bt lets see if u delete my next comment.


  39. Inspiring story of Soma Sharan. What a contrast in upbringing and environment can do to a child:)

  40. i had noo idea pippa's a** was in the news,,but now il make it a point to chek it out;

  41. Sorry to all the readers who posted their comments. Blogger in course of their maintenance managed to lose not one but 16 of the comments.

    @ Raj - I had read your comment and replied - my loss entirely

    Giribala...Suri appreciates your concern for her shes :))



    Joey...Yupp and now you know.

  42. soma's story is indeed inspiring..

    the other is best ignored

    love your new layout - neat

  43. Wow...
    It must've been reall yhard for her to sail through the hard times. I'm glad she persevered. :)

    About Suri? Lite lelo boss. ;)

  44. Blogger lost my comments too!

    Soma's story is of course inspirational. She is a lucky girl and has a good heart to want to give back to society.

    As for Suri Cruise. She is to be pitied. I can just see her growing up into another Lindsay Lohan - anorexia, bulimia waiting to happen unless her parents do some sensible parenting.

  45. magiceye..And it's good to have you back after a long break :)

    BlueRoses....LOL @ Lite lelo boss

  46. 15,000 fans for a bottom? let me check out what's so special about it......

  47. Deepa... It is up to the parents to let Suri know that the best things in life are free.

    Joshi....It's 15,0001 now.

  48. Somas are the ones who should inspire on Page 1 of a newspaper while the Glossy editions are wrapped with Suri's and their mommas..
    Even am guilty as I missed Soma's amazing story, though am glad I could read it here.
    It reminds me an anecdote by some Globe-trotter who visited some obscure South-East Asian country.(pardon missing nouns. old age!) What he found on the front page was a story of a man who was able to grow grass and flowers on a barren stretch of land after years of struggle. And other such positive news on Front and initial pages. Everything gory and flashy was 5 page onwards.
    I guess its 'We' who make Suris trend the conversations and then just dream to 'be' or 'reach' there.

  49. must say it was a soulful post. yet again you have entwined facts into a winner

  50. The pic posted in the blog of Suri makes her look like a tiny tot desperate to grow up.
    What's wrong with the world?!!

  51. mepretentious...If I remember correctly it was Dr Abdul Kalam, when he was visiting Tel Aviv. And he put forth such a pertinent question - why is the media in India so negative?

    confusedyupie....Thank you :)

    Enchanta...Seriously! she looks like a pint sized Lolita.

  52. Read that Suri Cruise article and was wondering how can a 5 yr old distinguish betn tonnes of brand. anyways inspirational post.

  53. Soma's story is truly inspirational! Genius can never be brought down!

    And about Tom Cruise's daughter. Hmmm, guess we all try to give our kids the best of materialistic stuff (and principles, values etc)? And Tom Cruise's materialistic best is better than most other people's! Can't expect an apology for being too rich and there may even be another side to them where they share a small percent of their fortune with the less fortunate. The question is, do we?


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