Saturday, November 28, 2009

For Whom The Bell Tolled........

"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God"
Psalm 90:2

Dearest brother,

It just seems like yesterday, that I was standing by your coffin , as people gathered to wish you their final goodbyes. It seems like yesterday that I was kneeling in church, as Father Mathew conducted the Requiem. It seems like yesterday that mother fainted when you were being taken away for burial... and it also seems like yesterday that I stood by watching, as your coffin disappeared slowly while they filled your grave with earth. The mournful "In paradisum" still rings in my ears... and yet, tomorrow, it'll be a year since we laid you to rest.

I don't have much recollection of how a year passed by. They say, Time heals all wounds. But nobody says, how long does it take to heal... or to even,stop hurting. We're still shocked that you're gone and we miss you so much... Mother spends hours, sitting by your grave and talking to herself. Father keeps re-reading the letters we used to write home from school... Shirley and Cathy always try to keep smiling, and Isabella keeps asking me when is her daddy returning. She was so upset when you didn't turn up for her birthday. I don't know what to tell her. She just knows that Daddy has gone to Jesus, and waits everyday for you to return. I have not the heart to tell her that you're not coming back. All of us are still trying to get on with our lives, but something or the other keeps happening which doesn't let us move on.

The media is always calling us up and they think that by doing this, they are doing us a great service. For the past one year we've been hounded by the local media for "reactions, interviews, debates" and what not!! We've changed our numbers because of them, and yet they manage to find out our new contact numbers. They ask questions like "What was your son doing in the Taj?"... "Do you miss him?"... "How did he die?"... "Which terrorist killed him??"... "What were his last words?", and none of them bother to be polite. We can't even grieve in peace. I have lost all respect for the media. Even our suffering is used to up their TRPs. I wish you were here, and even if these newsmen had come, both of us would have definitely been able to kick them away... but alone, I don't think I have the might to fight such hyenas!!

One question which they asked Dad was about, how he felt about the lone surviving terrorist, and if he was upset that the terrorist hasn't been hanged till now? Dad said, "I neither sympathise, nor empathise with him. But, I feel sorry for him. More than punishing this chap, we should punish those who indoctrinate these young people with such radical thoughts!!" I wonder how Dad finds the strength to forgive him.Earlier I was upset that he said so, but maybe Dad is right.

As usual, a lot of politics has played out since the past one year. Big big politicians make big big promises. Narendra Modi said he'll give money to the families of all those who suffered like you. I wish he had died instead of you. They think that money will fill the void in our hearts. The local MLA had come to offer "condolence" and "be with us in times of difficulty". You were right, when you said that all these politicians were the same... unsympathetic.. selfish..pompous and ill-mannered.

I wish God hadn't called you from us so soon. The only way we console ourselves is by saying to each other that He wants the best people with Him, so that they don't suffer the ills of mankind... and you were amongst the very best. I wish I could tell you how proud all of us have been of you. I know you watch over us all, from above... but I wish you could come and console Mother and Isabella.

Remember the cherry tree you planted?? I kept saying it'll never bloom and you said it will. You were so right... it finally bloomed, and the blossoms were so beautiful. Mother and Isabella made a small bouquet out of them, and placed it on your grave. I hope you liked them.

We have early winters this year. Its snowed a lot. Mother keeps worrying that you might be very cold. I told her that she needn't worry for you were resting with God, and am sure you'll be very comfortable up above. But then you know our Mother. Not a moment goes by, when we do not think of you. The initial days were very difficult. We'd keep waiting for you at the dining table... I know that gradually I might accept that you are no longer with us, but I doubt if Mother will ever feel so. Mother still lays out a plate for you...

I am sorry I wasn't there with you at the end. None of us know what must have gone through your mind, and all that you must have endured. The more I think about all that you must have suffered, the more troubled it troubles me. I tried to get all the information I could. I wrote to many people. Some were kind enough to reply, and I thank them for all the information they could share with us.

"Dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return"...All of us are made of Dust.. and it is to Dust that we shall return... It's so true. I wish I had paid more attention to the sermons. You always told us to seek refuge in the Lord, during times of tribulation... so i have turned to Him with a hope that He will guide us through our grief.

You've left me with huge shoes to fill and I know you will continue to guide me like you have always done. If only Life could be lived in retrospect...

On the day of the Judgement, when the Lord judges the living and the dead, I know we'll all be forever re-united. Till then.....We miss you.....

Fondly remembered by.... All of us!!

"Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible. And we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption: and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable: always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
Corinthians 15:51-58

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Medical Certificate!!

I am a sick person... I am regularly MEDICALLY sick... I know my dear friends like Kislay and Mocking Bird might also add that I maybe mentally sick as well... but lets leave that aside for the time being.

This is the story of me appearing for a semester paper during my engineering days in college. I do not wish to name my college, but I will tell you that I belonged to Electrical discipline. I am sure if any of my readers happens to be an engineer, he/she will leave no stone unturned in extending all his sympathies with me.

So this glorious day... the day of my examination, I woke up feeling very uneasy. My head felt heavy and my eyes reeled. I was regularly overcome with this urge to throw up... Before I left for my paper, I even threw up twice. Apparently last nights' chicken curry did not agree very well with my digestive system. I knew I shouldn't have had the chicken, but then the Human mind is a very greedy entity. It reasons with your digestive system and convinces you that even if the chicken curry is smelling weird, you should feast on it. It's a sin to waste food. Being a regular church going catholic, I decided not to commit the sin, and devour the chicken anyway. Little did I know that ten hours hence, I would be this miserable...

I somehow reached the exam hall. I had prepared well for my paper. I took my seat in the exam hall, and looked at the question paper. I was delighted. I knew almost everything. Passing finally would no longer be more difficult that discovering the nonexistent G-spot! I picked up my pen and started answering the questions. Boy I was smiling then. There was a song on my lips and warmth in my soul.

Just when I had attempted for 10 marks, I felt it coming. Rising from the depths of my incessantly bloating tummy, I could feel it travel up.. up... upwards. I knew I had to puke. I got up... rushed to the invigilator and told him, "Sir, I am sick and I have to go and vomit!!"

What he said next, baffled me. He said ,"Well, do you have a medical certificate to vomit??"

I argued, as I felt the chicken almost flying up my esophagus at the rate of knots , " Sir, how the hell was I supposed to know that my tummy will be screwing me up so bad today??"

I was told to either get out of the class and not be allowed to continue the exam, or shut my hole and continue writing the exam.

I had no option, so I rushed to the window and hurled. Yes sir, I did. Brave move, some might say. When I was half way through, he told me to leave the class and wash my face. I thought he was allowing me to go out. I ran out... rushed to the Men's room and ...... then I washed my face, and rushed back, only to be told that I wasn't allowed to enter the hall!!

"No... I told you... if you go out, no coming in," barked the invigilator. I was dumb founded and was again told to produce a medical certificate which allowed me to throw up during the exam hour.

As I walked back to my room, with my future looking as "bright" as Jayalalitha's lipsticks, I couldn't believe how insensitive teachers could be. Hmph!!

I went to director with my complaint, but even he saw reasoning in me being debarred from re-entering the room. I still can't. I'm not even sure if there is a medical cerrtificate which reads

" Daniel is my patient, and please allow him to vomit during exam hours. He suffers from XYZ disease.
signed Dr. Blah Blah Blah"

That doesn't even make sense!! atleast not to me... but then people call me a weirdo. Maybe that's why I can never fathom such rules.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

News At Nine

( The post below is a figment of imagination, and is not intended to mock any particular journalist or news channel. Any reporter/journalist/TV news channel producer, who comes across this post, is advised to click here, and enjoy the posts of one of my good friends. Those of you who decide to read this 'informative post', should do so at your own risk. Any one of you , who tries to screw me Barkha Dutt style should know that I am a VERY POOR man and I cannot afford to pay any legal fees. )

In the brightly lit studio of INB news channel, sits the famous bespectacled journalist Pranab Dutta, along with Billo Kumari, flashing a broad smile. The news desk is lit, the mic has been hooked to them, as the producer shouts, "Silence.... Pranab, we are rolling in 3.... 2.... 1.... go!!" The studio thunders with music and as it dies out....

Pranab Dutta- "Hello and welcome to the news at nine, on your favourite news channel... INB, which was also the most viewed news channel during the latest Lok Sabha Elections. Please DO NOT.. and I repeat.. DO NOT believe the other channels when they try and claim to be the number 1 news channel. We, and only WE at INB news have been awarded the recognition of being India's NUMBER ONE news channel.. the numero uno... and we have displayed it on our website with the COA stamp. Lets proceed with the headlines...

(fading music)

Manmohan Singh caught on camera taking orders from someone other than Sonia Gandhi , and that is our INB news EXCLUSIVE...

Lal Krishna Advani admits that Narendra Modi was bullying him during the campaign, and lodges complaint with Rajnath Singh...

In International news that we are tracking... Pakistan PM admits that he has a crush on Mayawati...

and in sports, Force India finally scores a point in the Turkey GP..."

(music dies out completely)

Billo Kumari- "In a surprising incident which your favourite news channel caught on tape, prime minister Manmohan Singh was caught taking orders from a lady, other than Sonia Gandhi. This has infuriated Mrs. Gandhi, and she has been reportedly, sulking in 10 Janpath, along with the other Congress loyalists, with many clamouring for his immediate resignation."

P.D- "What is even more surprising are the reports of Lal Krishna Advani, calling up Mrs. Gandhi, and consoling her. Your beloved news channel has also learnt that Shree Advani has requested Mrs. Gandhi to declare this as a national tragedy. This rather bizarre request has also found resonance in the Congress party. For more on this, lets join our reporter Gurcharan, who has been tracking this news.... Gurcharan, what do you have for us....???"

Gurcharan (over the video phone)- "Yes Pranab... As soon as we had a whiff of this news, we got into our News Channel Van (which has been voted as the sexiest News van in India), and reached the PM's residence. En route, we decided to have lunch at Kakke Da Dhaba. We ordered three plates of Butter Chicken, 30 Butter Naans, 11 Cokes and..."

P.D.- "Gurcharan, .. Gur.. Gurcharan... That is besides the point.. and remember that the channel will not reimburse you for your lunch... What happened when you reached the PM's residence..??"

Gurcharan- "Yes Pranab.. like I was saying.. After a good heavy lunch, we went to the PM's house and saw a woman, in her late 60s, entering the house. Dr. Manmohan came out to greet her, and she told him to fetch her mobile phone from the car. Dr. Manmohan Singh immediately obliged and fetched her mobile from a rather odd looking Maruti 800. Pranab, you can clearly see in the video that we sent you, how Manmohan Singh's facial expression changes when he realises that he has been filmed...."

B.K- "Indeed Gurcharan, he seems to have seen a ghost... His face is all white, and you can clearly see him trying to run away as soon as possible... Gurcharan... You've done the nation proud... Great work... We are joined in our Delhi studio by none other than the spokesperson for the BJP, Shree Priyesh Javlekar... "

B.K(turning to Priyesh Javlekar) - "Javlekar sahab, what is this?? The PM of our country, a country which is looked upon by the world, to be the most moral of the nations... and it is our PM.. a man known for his honesty.. a man renowned for his loyalty... a man known for his faithfullness.. a man loved by many... a man who goes to Saint George Bush and tells him that ALL OF INDIA LOVES HIM...and now, he is caught taking orders from some unknown woman...what do you make of all this?? "

Priyesh Javlekar- "Exactly as you are seeing today. The PM has brought shame shame poppy shame to the nation. I think the PM should own moral responsibility for this rather immoral act, and step down from his post. PM should be ashamed of his act. He is too old to be flirting now. I am sure BJP will provide a better and moral government at the center. When i heard this news on your channel, I was.."

P.D (cutting short Mr. Javlekar)- "yes sir, only OUR CHANNEL has this exclusive news and that's why are NUMBER ONE...."

P.J.- "Egg-jactly.... yeah, like I was saying... When I heard this news on your channel..."

P.D (cutting short Mr. Javlekar again)- "its not just "YOUR" channel sir.. it is the nations channel, and it is the love of the people that makes us the best... please continue.."

P.J.- "Yes Yes... absolutely.. as I was saying.. when I saw the news on the nations favourite channel, i was..."

P.D (cutting short Mr. Javlekar again)- "It is also the number one news channel sir... and we have documentary proof as well..."

P.J.- "Well... As i was saying, when I heard this news on the nations favourite number one channel, I was appalled... My wife fainted on hearing the news, and I had a tough time carrying her back to bed... "

P.D.- "But Mr. Javlekar, I want to know the truth, and nothing but the truth.. the truth as true as colour of your beard... what guarantee can you give the nation, this great nation of great people... that .... (Loud Music) .. ladies and gentlemen, we have BREAKING NEWS COMING IN... BREAKING NEWS... Yes, it is a breaking news... over to you Niharika..."

Niharika- "Well.. thank you Pranab and Billo... In breaking news that is just coming in, we have learnt that Katrina Kaif has rejected Salman Khan's marriage proposal... Salman Khan had proposed to Katrina, on his 43rd birthday, and Katrina said she needed time to think. Today, on her 20th birthday, Katrina Kaif has finally rejected his proposal citing the age difference as the major issue. It is ,reportedly , learnt that Katrina told Salman that she looked up to him, as a father like figure and that she had no daddy issues, thus isn't stupid enough to get married to someone twice her age. Salman Khan has been reported to be sulking and has gone to get drunk with his friends. Going by Salman Khan's past driving record, public is warned against sleeping on the streets tonight. We'll continue to monitor this rather important national news....Important to all the girls you see.. who knows, maybe he'll marry me.. My sapnon ka rajkumar... (blush .. blush)..Over to you Pranab...."

Pranab Dutta - "Well... All the best with your dreams Niharika, and I'll hope Katrina Kaif marries me....(turning to Mr. Javlekar) Anyway, Mr. Javlekar, it was nice having you in our studio... I especially love your new kurta... Kahan se silwayi??? (Mr. Javlekar blushes)...Anyway, its time to slip into a very short commercial break... when we come back, we'll tell you why Advani is pissed off with Modi... don't you dare touch that remote and tune into TIMES NOW or NDTV or CNN... "

(Commercials and loud Music... Mr. Javlekar gives the address of his tailor to Pranab Dutta, and wishes all a good night.... Make Up man rushin to retouch Billo's make up... producer shouts.. "3...2..1... and we are back)

B.K- "Welcome back everyone... Now Advani has registered a complaint with Rajnath Singh, the party president of the BJP, complaing about him being bullied by Narendra Modi, during the LS election campaigning in Gujarat. To discuss this, we are joined now, by the Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Milkshake Manusmriti... Mr. AMM, what do you make of this??"

AMM- "Well, Billo, we always knew that BJP campaign was flawed because during these elections, I heard stories of Advani running around and fetching a glass of water for Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi has for long, been seen as the new PM in waiting, and Advani jee was sad because Atal Bihari jee couldn't campaign this time. Modi took full advantage of Advani's emotional state and bullied Advani everywhere. I suggest, that criminal case should be filed against Modi and Advani be given a packet of paper napkins to dry his tears..Infact, I have decided to sponsor a packet of paper tissue for him."

P.D- "Ah.. Abhishek jee... You have spoken like a true gentleman... Even though you kicked their butts in the last elections, you still are willing to offer advice for the revival of the BJP... Kudos to you.. You are just like our news channel.. Humble.. Polite... Never show off... Atleast you have given some respect to a man, who is no longer wanted in the party... I salute you.. I honour you.. here, I even wanna smooch you... come..."

AMM- "Errr... pranab... you are forgetting that this is a live news channel... you don't want to excite karan Johar, do you??? Maybe later .. haan?"

B.K- "btw, abhishek... who is this new woman whom Manmohan singh is taking orders from?? "

AMM- "Arey, you idiots.. that is Mrs. Manmohan Singh... "

P.D- "Mrs. Singh????? our PM is a married man??"

AMM- "and you bloody losers... Sonia jee is not sulking.. she has fever and that is why she is indoors at 10 janpath Advani jee only called to wish her to get well soon."

P.D- "well... now we have a breaking news... we can confirm to you that Mr. Manmohan singh is a married man!! We are first news channel to tell you that and we shall be applying for a patent as well....Anyway, since Manmohan Singh is a married man, thus he is allowed to take orders from his wife as well... well I take orders from her...with "her", I mean, MY WIFE and not Mrs Manmohan Singh!! I think everyone in this great nation, takes orders from their wives.. because wives make a man... man makes a husband... husband gets a wife... wife gives orders... I don't know what I'm saying.. so lets slip into another short break.... "

(Commercials... Abhishek Manusmriti abusing the news wale.. Producer shouts... 3 ... 2... 1... )

P.D. - "Welcome back once again... In a day, which got more bizarre by the hour, Pakistan Prime Minister confessed to our news channel that he had the hots for Mayawati. Lets listen in to what he said to our correspondent, Noor Jahan in Pakistan"

(excerpts from the interview)

Noor Jahan- "PM Gilani, is it true that you have a secret crush on the Chief Minister of uttar pradesh in India.. Begum Mayawati??"

PM Gilani- "Yes, it is true that I fancy Mayawati ... Not only me... All our previous premiers have fancied her... I first saw her when ISI chief got her picture from his agents in India... I told him then and there , that I want this bombshell... "

Noor Jahan- " But we have reports that after you said that, the ISI chief ordered bombs blasts in India??"

PM Gilani- "Arey that bastard is hard of hearing and has no brains... He obviously misunderstood me, and planted bombs in egg shells across India... Honest mistake!! I confronted him and told him.."arey duffer.. not bomb in an egg shell.. I meant... wo wali bomb... pataka ... maal... samjha???"

Noor Jahan- ".... and ??!!"

PM Gilani- "As usual, he misunderstood me, and told his agents to blow up a pataka factory in India... (sigh).. the relations between India and Pakistan have always been based on misunderstandings... What to do??"

Noor Jahan- "... it is also reported that ISI was behind the attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul??"

PM Gilani- "Well... I called up that jerk... and told him.. Better control yourself... I love Mayawati, but it doesn't mean that you should plant bombs in India... understand?? Learn to control yourself.. KABU!!! CONTROL!!"

Noor Jahan- "Well, its quite clear how Kabu became Kabul... "

(Back to New Delhi Studio... Pranab Dutta and Billo Kumari looking shocked...)

Billo Kumari (in suppressed voice)- "Would you believe it?? Mayawati is supposed to be hot in pakistan, and no one gives me any bhao in this news channel also.. huh!!"

Pranab Dutta- "It is shocking to learn how a country, run by sexually frustrated people, cause such massive problems for their peace loving neighbours... I say, let us give them Mayawati... and send them all those ugly elephant sculptures as a sign of good will too... good riddance for us... Maybe that will cement relationships between India and Pakistan!!"

Billo Kumari- "In sports, on a day which , like we said, and WE ONLY SAID... because we are the number one news channel, giving you the maximum number of breaking news, and as we said.. today was a BIZARRE DAY.. and don't believe the other news channels when they say the same thing because we, your beloved channel, are telling you that it was a BIZARRE day... in a day full of surprises, Force India registered its first Formula One GP points in Turkey. Giancarlo Fishicella finished third behind the two ferraris. A crash in the penultimate lap by Adrian Sutil, triggered a chain reaction, as other 14 cars rammed into each other one by one."

Pranab Dutta- "Well, thats it for the tonight show, at News at Nine, on your favourite news channel, INB news... Your trusted.. beloved and YOUR VERY OWN CHANNEL.. and we salute you for your love, and please stay tuned for our next show on this channel... Saas Ki Murder karke Bahu Kahan Bhaagi... it is also an exclusive... see you tomorrow.. same time.. same place..

(Billo Kumari joins in)

"So this is me, Pranab and ... me, Billo, wishing you all a very good night... We'll see you again tomorrow... till then... Namaskar... yes dear friends, we also propagate our culture through our channel.. sorry.. YOUR channel... so... Pranaam... yes friends, this is another way of taking leave... So, all of you... GOODNIGHT"

(Music again.. Loud Music... as Pranab Dutta and Billo Kumari continue smiling at the camera)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Black, Brown and White...

Finally, the media houses have woken up and decided to give this "Racial Attacks in Australia" some decent amount of airtime. It is indeed nice to see that. Even the blogging community has taken up this issue of 'utmost importance' and expressed its anger in the strongest possible words. Well it is nice to see that too. Tomorrow, if half of India gathers outside the Parliament, and protests with a candle light march, I wouldn't be surprised. I also wouldn't be surprised if we hear reports of Ram Sene or Bajrang Dal, catching hold of a couple of Goras, and beating them black and blue. But what would surprise me is if this issue lingers on for more than a fortnight. I would be SHOCKED... yes sir.. you saw the spelling too.. its all in capital letters!!! I would be that shocked.

Racial discrimination is nothing new to us. What is this crap about "white man's syndrome"?? Why blame the entire white community for a racial assault committed by a few of them. We never look within ourselves, and seek to blame others for all our misfortunes. "To err is human, and to blame it on others, is even more human"!! Yay!! We are more human than anyone else. Nice .. Nice!! "A white man called me a pig".. and we'll scream Racial Discrimination at the top of our voices. But when we call South Indians as Illads, North East Indians as chinkis or chow chows or when the South Indians pass derogatory comments at North Indians, then we don't seem to care. There are many colleges down South, where North Indian students get ragged only cause they are north indians and the vice versa up North. All Nepalis become bahadur... Why don't we take up such issues too?? I think that the reason why it doesn't bother us, is because racism is ingrained in us... so much so that we don't even know when we discriminate on the basis our race, colour, sex etc... But in a pluralistic country like India ,which seems united on the outside, but is fragmented in the inside, it is not surprising to come across such cases.

Problem arises when we go abroad, and become a part of the minority... second class citizen, as they call it. Then all these things suddenly become so obvious. Back home, we were cursing each other with racists remarks, but here abroad, we become the butt of those racist comments. Big deal!! The biggest problem which we have is the lack of respect for each other's culture and background, and also we lack the will to accept the flaws in us. Everything is someone else's fault. We can never be wrong. On a personal note, I feel that the west is more appreciative of our culture than us, ourselves, but along with that, they also continue to be who they are. For quite of few of us, the moment we land on a foreign shore, our accent changes and we blindly try to be 'a gora'. Sighhh!!

But, why blame the whites for our obsessions with the fairer skin tone?? The Britishers occupied India for 250 years... so does that mean that we have been suffering from the 'white man's syndrome' only for the past 310 yrs? It would be foolish to believe so... even before they came to India,we Indians were trying out various herbs and treatment to improve our skin colouration. Now whom do we blame??? Now do we blame the Muslim invaders from central Asia??? They'll say.."Dude, yeah, we invaded India, but most of us belong to the same race man!!" Then whom to blame?? Ultimately we'll end up blaming the Lord himself, for having made us this way! Exactly.. how can we be wrong... blame the Gods!

We are brown because the climatic conditions require us to be brown so that we can live in a hot tropical country like ours. Thus, the Lord made us brown. We can work under the sun for hours without fainting like whites do. Whites are whites because they are native to the cold countries. Whites are not native to Australia anyway... In India we want to be white, while in the west, people see a tan as a sign of affluence, showing that the man has enough money to sit for hours at a tropical beach, tanning himself and doing nothing. Funny how things are in different parts of the world. We human, are never happy or satisfied with anything. Reminds me of a poem "The Human Abstract" by William Blake.

The Gods of the Earth and Sea,
Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree,
But their search was all in vain,
Coz there grows one in the Human Brain!

The 'Tree' here refers to a tree , borne out of seed of evil, thriving in the human mind. The poor Gods searched all of Nature, trying to find that tree, unaware that such a tree doesn't exist in Nature. Nature doesn't offer explanation for a mystery which is nothing, but malice, and that grows and thrives in our minds. How so true! I think this issue gained importance, not because it was a case of racial abuse, but more because it involved assault and now a student is battling for his life. Expecting the Indian government to do anything more than "condemn" the attacks, is like expecting Mayawati to say anything more than "Main Dalit Ki Beti hu..(I'm a dalit's daughter)". The Indian government cannot arm twist the Australians into taking any sort of action. The only option is to prevent students from going to the kangaroo land, for higher studies, but that too would be very foolish. I pray the government does something to improve the quality of education in our country. Atleast that way, many of our bright students won't rush abroad for their degrees, and it should help the Indian economy as well. Instead of spending a crore, gettin a degree abroad, we can spend only a couple of lacs to get the same quality degree here. Hmm.. food for thought.. any netas listening???

I don't say that we Indians are cowards, cause we can't protest. I feel that even if we protest, our government will never back us. (Be it the UPA or the NDA). Why won't they back us?? Simple...
a) most of our netas are disconnected from our problems

b) now that the elections are over, its like.. "public??!! who????"

c) Our leaders have greater things to worry about... like how to please DMK.. TMC.. etc
d) most don't even know what the need for good education is.

The plight of the citizens havs never concerned any government so far. Be it Indians in India, or Indians living abroad. As long as the money keeps coming, no one bothers.

Hmph... I hope things change and we first change ourselves. The pride which our forefathers had in being INDIANS, must be restored. We lack that greatly. We need to broaden our minds and think beyond racial divides, castes, sex, colours, religions and lets the world know that we are Indians, and we are Proud of being one.

PS: As USUAL, maybe I've misunderstood the meaning of "white man's syndrome"... My apologies.. I thought it wasn't just accepting them as a superior race, but also our continual efforts to be like them... Aplogies again.. Thank You KISLAY

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dynasty Politics and Rahul Gandhi

Ever since the LS election,'09 results were announced, the blogosphere has been abuzz with articles on Dynasty Politics and Rahul Gandhi! Though I'm neither as knowledgeable nor as eloquent as Bhai Chandra and His Merry Men when it comes to current affairs, history and the Queen's language, yet I'll try and put my views on the recently concluded elections.

I have a query... What exactly is dynasty politics??? What I can comprehend is that it essentially, is the transfer of leadership from older generation to the younger. If my comprehension be correct, then explain to me this. Why do the debates of so called dynasty politics revolve only around the Gandhis?? There are so many other parties where dynasty politics exists. There is National Conference, Samajwadi party.. NCP... RLD... DMK... Hell,its even there in the BJP. In an ideal world, a world free of sins and wrong doings, where equal opportunities are available to all, dynasty politics would have never found footing. But we don't live in that world, and the notion of idealism exists only in our mind, and thus in our views. Dynasty politics exists because there is an electoral acceptance!! There I said it... and I think I've kept it very simple. Great minds can continue churning out pages after pages, denouncing such a practice, but sadly, I'd rather not waste my time reading all that, and instead accept the truth of our political set up!!

Now, to the issue of Rahul Gandhi! People target him for being a Gandhi. People revere him for being a Gandhi. People despise him for being a Gandhi and people adore him for a being a Gandhi. Sadly, the debate about him revolves only around his name. If he was born a Gandhi, is he to be blamed?? If he inherited his political legacy, then is he to be blamed?? If he decides to be a politician , then should we get our daggers ready?? He is half gora, so what?? Advani is half Pakistani!! So should I jump upon Advani and choke him just coz he was born in what is now Pakistan?? People lament "Why should RG, be made the president of Youth Congress, before those who have toiled for years??? Had his name been Rahul Andhi, instead of a Gandhi, nobody would have even known him!!" Targeting him for being a Gandhi is as good as targeting Ratan Tata for being a Tata. It is a part of their legacy and whether my idealist friends like it or not, they will inherit that legacy. If that gets them additional mileage, in any sphere, then you can't blame them.

Much has been talked about Rahul Gandhi's role in these elections. Many bloggers have been moaning about "RAHUL GANDHI _THE NEXT PM" theory. If you recall, it was made very obvious by the leader of UPA, that Dr. Manmohan Singh was their choice for the post of PM in these elections. After the victory, all poor Manmohan Singh said was that he would like Rahul Gandhi to join the cabinet. The same day, Rahul Gandhi politely said that he has no intentions of joining the cabinet, coz he wanted to work with the youth congress. Here is a man who clearly says that he doesn't want to join the cabinet and insists that he is more needed to reorganise the party. Here is a man who, even though ,could easily be atleast a MoS, and yet he decides to concentrate on working for the party at the grass root levels. Even though DMK has only 19 seats, yet Karunanidhi is pushing for his son Azhagiri and daughter Kanimozhi, to be given cabinet berths!, and both are MPs with little or no experience ! Yet, this guy, RG, gracefully accepts that he lacks the experience to even consider joining the cabinet. In a power mongering democracy like ours, this is something unthought of.. unheard of!!

Now since the media wanted masala, and any news of the Gandhis gets them precisely that, they conveniently started projected Rahul Gandhi as the next PM. Suddenly we had the 24 hr news channels going berserk with debates on Rahul Gandhi as the next PM. Members of the all the parties were called for the discussion, public opinions were asked, Manmohan Singh's comment was played over and over and over AND over again, with each news channel claiming victory in pronouncing RG as the PM-2014!! I'm not sure if we should read too much into what the media has to say. They never get anything right. All their exit polls and entrance polls results went for a spin when the election results were announced. They said it was suposed to be neck and neck , and people like Mayawati and Jayalalitha would play king makers. Ultimately, UPA mauled the NDA, and all the remaining fronts, got a pole shoved up their backside!! What the media fails to realise that the ELECTORATE IS NOT FOOLISH!!! We read too much into what the Tv media has to say. One forgets that these 24 hr news channels, are viewed by around 20% of our population only!! The print media hardly gave much coverage to this "RAHUL GANDHI PM 2014" story.

Rahul Gandhi said, "Terrorism can be done away within 15 minutes, if we empower the people." Many people think that empowering only means handing out AK series assault rifles. Though i do agree that it is impossible to rout terrorism in such a short span of time, but I am a firm believer that empowering people will indeed curb terrorism. Here terrorism should not be understood be the the Pak- sponsored proxy war . We face a greater threat from internal terrorism than external. There are the Naxals, who believe in blowing to pieces anything the government makes.. then we have radical elements like Bajrang Dal, Ram Sene, IM, SIMI... who believe that the only way to gain salvation is by beating up people and planting bombs across India. Empowering people means to empower these people with education, healthcare and employment opportunities. If you observe the background of people joining such organisations, then you'll know that the reason why most of them joined was because they lacked education, had no future and no stable source of income.

I'm not saying that Rahul Gandhi should be made the PM in 2014. But I'm also not saying that he shouldn't be made the PM in the future. Politics is such a dynamic game that one can never predict what lies ahead. The person to be projected as the future PM, is totally prerogative of the party, and not just any one indivisual. Lets judge Rahul Gandhi for what he has done so far in politics, and not what his forefathers have done or said. So far, I think he has matured as a politician and has a long way to go before even he considers himself to be a PM material. He has showed that he has a stable head on his shoulders. We must get over our Gandhi phobia and mania. If the party projects him as the next leader, then so be it, coz ultimately it will be the people who will decide who should warm the PMs' throne... and remember, THE ELECTORATE IS NOT FOOLISH!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Guardian

I was born in a very small hill station called Lansdowne, which is nestled in the bosom of the mighty Himalayas. Perhaps it would have been smaller had it not been for the presence of the Garhwal Rifles, a mighty light infantry regiment of the Indian Army. Right from the day when I was born to this present day, I've seen my Lansdowne having undergone wave of changes. Change is evident... it is a necessity... perhaps it is the only thing that has remained constant. From a few shops at Gandhi Chowk to the establishment of a proper thriving bazaar there... from the flourishing pine and oak forests, to the mountains slopes being deforested in the name of development, I've seen it all... but inspite of all these adaptations and changes, there is one such presence, which hasn't changed... and that is these lofty mountains.

The Himalayas have stood ground for millions of years... . I have always been in awe of these mountains. Each of its rock has a history older than mine. Him-alaya... the abode of snow... the abode of the Gods.. These hills have watched over me all through out my life. I feel safer, lost in these mountains, than amidst a deluge of men.

I went to boarding school in Dehradun when I was only six. Six is a scary age to go to boarding you see. I had heard so many stories about how miserable your life becomes in a boarding school. My first few days in school were no exception. My constant sobs to go back home didn't go down too well with my matron. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one who used to cry and whimper to be sent back home. Now, from the back field of my school , you could see the Himalayas.. .stretching right from Mussoorie to goodness knows where!! Whenever I got a chance, I would sit under this jacaranda tree and stare at the hills. I remember the warm feeling in my tummy, when I first saw these hills. I felt comforted and I knew I would settle in my new life very well. I indeed did... homesickness became a thing of the past, as long as I knew that these hills were there. One of my biggest fears, right through out junior school was that maybe one day the mountains will just get up and walk off!! Thankfully they decided to stay put and guard me all throughout school.

Saturday night in school was Movie Night. Movies did not catch my fancy back then. I would quietly slip out of the auditorium and sit in the back field. From there, you could see Mussoorie. Now, Mussoorie at nights is a sight to behold (if you staring at her from Dehra ofcourse..) She was lit up in all the bright hues... there was red... there was orange.. there was yellow... that tall TV tower, with its beacon flashing from the top.. all arranged haphazardly on the slopes. Shining and gleaming through the night. I used to spend hours just gazing at that beautiful sight. I miss sitting in the back field and whiling away my time like that.

October was always special.Very foggy. The path used to be covered with fallen silver oak flowers. As we used to gather in the field for the morning P.T., the fog would clear and the sight of first snow fall on a far away mountain top would greet me. I would get restless, wanting to go there. I used to feel sorry that I missed out running like a maniac, with my tongue hanging out, trying to catch the first snow flakes in my mouth as I did back home. Sigh!! Maybe the mountains could feel my restlessness. All of a sudden, the fog would descend and the hills would disappear. I still feel that the hills did that to make sure I didn' get so excited that my P.T. teacher would catch me and send me to run rounds once again.

College life was fun, but something was always missing. I was too far away from the Himalayas. There were time when I felt so lost . There was no guardian watching over me... maybe that's why I never did well in college.

These mountains have taught me a lot more than my books could ever teach me. They have taught me to be patient, to be humble and understand the lessons of Nature... the various kinds of flowers, birds, reptiles, animals... I learnt to swim by being plunged into the rivers here. I understood what Silence is... what it feels to stand on top of the world...and top of the world is indeed very silent.

People from all across India come to the Himalayas to experience something called "Adventure Sports". I really do not understand what that means. Walking on a pre-determined route, with servants carrying your food supplies... running down the Ganges in a raft not controlled by you... shouting in forests, just to hear your echo is not adventure sports. Where is the adventure? And what do my hills get in return for providing "adventure" ?? The hills get heaps of garbage, ancient trees being scratched with "Paplu loves Daizy" messages and pristine forests being felled to make way for some hotel. We have mutilated these hills for centuries and they have quietly suffered. I wonder how long before the hills decide that enough is enough and take back all, what rightfully belongs to them.

There is a saying that if you have spent some time amidst these mighty mountains, you'll always return to die here. I have lived most of my life here, and I know I will breathe my last here. I belong to this mountain soil, and that is what I will be after my death.... Everytime I begin my journey from the plains to these hills, my joy knows no bounds. The moment I begin to wind along the narrow mountain roads, I feel so welcomed... Yes, I feel the same warmth in my tummy which I felt in school... It's good to be back home!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Nirvana

Another sunrise... another tomorrow, and I've made it through another day. As I deteriorate slowly, I think I'm at peace with myself. Day by day, I've begun to understand Life and her ways. "Too late" , some might opine, but then it's better late than never. I wasn't so smart anyway.

Life is indeed a beautiful woman... a seductress... for as long as I kept trying to seize control of her, she eluded me. Whenever I thought I had her in my grasp, she just sailed away, riding the breeze. She would then turn back to look at me, her eyes filled with scorn and tease as I looked on... more exposed, feeble and marooned than I ever was. Filled with anger and vengeance, I would always try again... I always would... and she always knew I would. "This time", would I say," this time when I catch hold of you, I'll teach you a lesson which you'll never forget. " My threats did not frighten her. Nothing did!!

Looking back now, I know not why I wanted to trap her. Maybe her independence irked me. Here I was, chained by responsibilities, education, the norms of the society, dreams and destinations and there she was.... carefree...wild... free spirited. When I lay sick in the hospital,she was around. But never did she ask me about my health or about my pains. Whenever my lab tests came back and announced the most uncomfortable results, she would only sing and dance. Everything about her made me loathe her, but then everything about her also made me want her. Maybe I was just in love with my contradictions but then it were also my contradictions which taught me to hate.

One day, she just disappeared. Just like that! No scorns, no taunts, no grins... She just vanished.

The same day tragedy struck and my world fell apart. I stood in the morgue, amidst 19 other severely burnt bodies, trying to identify my brother. The little hope I had of getting news of him being alive, was shattered by the locket he wore. It carried the picture of his one year old daughter. I had never , in my wildest of wild dreams, imagined that someday I'd see him in such a state. I recognised his face...Yes, I recognised him. His last days were very troubled and his end shall keep me troubled for the rest of my life.

The day of the burial, I saw her again. She stood next to me, clad in black, like all of us, and she was mourning. I saw her cry and I cried. Even after everyone left, she stood there with me. No words spoken. Then she disappeared. For long I didn't see her. I was busy with the undertaker, the tombstone orders and with his family lawyers.

It was on New years Eve that I finally saw her again. She was walking in the family cemetery, mindless and not perturbed by anything. This time, for a change, I smiled at her. She grinned back at me. I started wiping snow off the tombstones, when she sat by me.

"Why do you despise me so much?" Life asked. I said ,"I don't know exactly.. Maybe I feel cheated for having suffered so much, while you roamed around careless and happy. You've scorned me all my life. You've been unsympathetic and mean. I've been honest all my life and I've done nothing to deserve to be treated this way. "

"Is that all??", she giggled and continued, " I'm no different from you. Infact, I am YOU. The only difference is that in your attempts to seize and control me, you miss out on all the little moments of joy which come along. I, on the other hand, show you what you can be. You forget to enjoy what you have been blessed with. You have the gift of vision , the gift to feel and to touch, the gift of taste, the gift to understand and the gift to appreciate. You have resented me all this while, and thus you have been unable to enjoy Me.. Your life!! Learn to accept me and not fight me."

There it was! The secret of Life! All that is needed is to be able to accept. I'm at peace with myself ever since. Life, for long, has been a subject of constant debate. Great thinkers have tried to find the
meaning of Life. Mathematicians have even attempted to express Her as a polynomial with many unknown variables. Other people have written extensively about how Life is just a misery, and the ultimate aim of her, is to be spent, in trying to achieve Nirvana. I agree with none. Life is a concoction of all that you can feel...There is joy, there is sorrow, there are deaths and there are births, but it is up to us to cherish every moment of Life. Even the chirping of birds can lift your spirits, as long as you try and be one with it. Acceptance is all that is needed and you'll find joy everywhere. This is Nirvana.

Trust me, the day you stop fighting her, Life turns out to be quite a woman!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Time Pass... Pass Along

Here's how this one works. Name the last 21 people who posted on your wall, answer the questions and tag those people.

Disclaimer: I’ve tagged even those people who consistently fail to post on my wall .Since I don't even have 21 posts on my wall, I've decided to add friends at random But, to repeat this tagging cliché – if you are tagged, it doesn’t mean you have to reply. Though it’d be wonderful to see you making that effort ;)


1. Rodney Rodrigues
2. Abraham Eapen
3. Serah Basnet
4. Vanessa Rodrigues
5. Kislay Chandra
6. Wendy D'Souza
7. Moulshri Gupta
8. Sucharita Hazra
9. Andil Elita D'souza
10. Clyde Jonathan D'silva
11. Aditya Rana
12. Anant Kodikal
13. Saumayajit Samantha
14. Sharad Kumar Singh

Since my friend list ends thr, (Yeah yeah.. i know its sad!!), thus I'll restart the list from Rodney.. he he.. lets see how that turns out!!)

15. Rodney Rodrigues
16. Abraham Eapen
17. Serah Basnet
18. Vanessa Rodrigues
19. Kislay Chandra
20. Wendy D'souza
21. Moulshri Gupta

1. How did you meet 18? (Vanessa Rodrigues)
In college. She was my classmate in the first year, and she would turn down all my "polite offers" to take her out. As usual, I upheld my school tradition and remained a back bencher in college, whereas she was those front benchers. Thankfully , Coulomb's law held good and we neutralised our effects, by being the middle benchers in the second semester. (I did return to my last benches from the second yr onwards).. He he

2. What would you have done if you had never met 21? (Moulshri Gupta)
In that case, I’d never have known what an amazing sar-pel she is!! All through out college, she gave me nightmares and despised me. I reciprocated the feeling... :P Weirdly enough, after college we became pretty good friends.

3. Would 4 and 16 make a good couple? (Vanessa Rodrigues & Abraham Eapen)
I hope not... He he.. Naah, I don't think so... Abu and Vanessa are tooo different.

4. Could you ever fall in Love with 20? (Wendy D'souza)
Lol... No man... Her sisters would slaughter me to pieces.. He he

5. What is the best thing about 6? (Wendy D'souza)
Ah.. Wendy again! Umm... I like the fact that she is actively involved in sports, and I hear, she is great at it too. Very friendly... :)

6. What is your best memory of 17? (Serah Basnet)
Hmmm.... Serah! Walking back with her from Samsara, late at night. Had to drop her off at the Sikkim Tourism, and the roads were all khali khali... I mean, i had an awesome chance to kick her butts ... till this day I rue my decision of sparing her ass!! Ahh.. Smoking with her, incessantly .. that as well! We both loved Navy Cut.. She still does, I gave up!! He he

7. If you gave 19 $100 what would they spend it on? (Kislay Chandra)
He’d go and spend it all on burgers and mountain dew! Maybe a new novel as well...

8. Have you travelled anywhere with 15? (Rodney Rodrigues)
Yes Yes... In and around Manipal.. on my PULSAR ... he he

9. How did you meet 12? (Anant Kodikal)
He was my classmate.. saala pheku!! He was my lab partner for all four yrs.... Major tharki soul and somehow had a great rappo with the *beep* *beep* teachers like SGK n all...

10. Has 7 met your mother? (Moulshri Gupta)
Thankfully, no. She is a vegetarian man... LMAO

11. Have you ever wanted to punch 8 in the face? (Sucharita Hazra)
Oh yes. Yes. Yes. Millions of times. But then she is too sweet and thus i keep forgiving her.. He he he

12. How long have you known 13? (Saumayajit Samantha)
umm.. around 4 yrs now.. I got to know him ony in the second yr... This guy walks around the town for no apparent reason.. No wonder he is thin n all... :P

13. Does 2 have a boyfriend/girlfriend? (Abraham Eapen)
Oh... lots of ‘em. Half of Mallu babes have the hots for him. (The other half aren't hot enuff to be labelled babes).... Even the teachers had the hots for him...

14. What would you do if you ever dated 5? (Kislay Chandra)
I'd obviously go and shoot myself!!

15. Is 1 beautiful? (Rodney Rodrigues)
LMAO.. beautiful, I don't know. But he is too damn smart... Great doctor and an awesome musician....

16. Have you ever seen 3 cry? (Serah Basnet)
Ummm... I'm not sure.. But I have seen her very depressed... sad n all...

17. Have you seen 14 in the last one month? (Sharad Kumar Singh)
No... the last was in college...

18. Have you ever danced with 9? (Andil Elita D'Souza)
No... I still haven't met her, forget dancing with her... and andy, if u reading this, thank ur stars u haven't danced with me... Your toes have obviously, not suffered me!! LOL

19. When is the next time you'll see 10? (Clyde Jonathan D'Silva)
Hmmm... maybe when we come up with a plan to perform a fusion piece someday.. :)

20. Is 11 your best friend? (Aditya Rana)
LMAO... yeah right!!! obviously.... rana is sabka best friend.. and im best frnds with all his hot girl frnds... Nice cycle eh.. he he.. he is a *beep* to the core and deserves to be married off to mayawati!!!

21. What is your friendship like with 16? (Abraham Eapen)
Great Friends... One of my best friends I must say... I got to know him in the first yr and we were obviously the biggest vellas around.. We would go and watch any movie, no matter how stupid it was.. ah, those bike rides... we found the RIDE and the RIDE KA BAAP... Great frnd!

22. Describe 4 (Vanessa Rodrigues)
Hmm... beautiful, bubbly... She keeps giggling all the time... Great singer... studies a lot... fears her momma... very very loving... very sweet.. learning to cook... rest, i cnt declare publically.. :)

23. Describe the relationship between 12 and 17. (Anant Kodikal and Serah basnet)
Arey awesome relation man..... both of them are the best of friends...One is Raam, She is seeta... One is a pilot, the other is scared of heights... thankfully they don't even know each other... LOL

24. Have you been to 6's house? (Wendy D'Souza)

25.What is the best recent memory you have of 19? (Kislay Chandra)
Well, this one is not recent (since he started working n all...) I remember once when Shashank, Me and kislay were walking to the night canteen and this song he came up with all of a sudden... its sort of R-rated thus cnt reproduce here... but all three of us were laughing hysterically .... then all of a sudden, this guy, who was totally smashed, comes up n says "dude... do u have weed?"... I thought he was lookin for a guy called veer.. so i told him to search in the blocks.. either chummi or shanky, assumed he was asking for their Virya (hindi for semen.).. LMAO... think it was shashank.. the guy just cudnt believe we hadn't smoked up..

26. When was the last time you saw 20? (Wendy D'souza)
It's been ages..... met her during her Mahe -UGET exam...

27. Do you know a secret about 15? (Rodney Rodrigues)
Nope.. I don't think so...