Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Forever Reprobate

May be when I was on the hospital  bed, I believed that I could swill another glass of alcohol and could betray the lurking death, as I always had duped everything that unearthed my frailty. But this time I was wrong, I just could not betray death. Eventually, breathing became painful and I died in writhing pain; now I sit in heaven. You're right, I am a toper. I do not know if I miss life, sitting here, or the glass of wine. May be the latter. I had totally surrendered my life to those regular bottles that seemed to give delight, an exotic feeling and made me forget about everything around. I could shout more boldly at my wife, I could do anything I wanted to and roam around as a free-bird. But, now I cannot do that. Drinking is not for mortals here, in heaven.  Of course, I am missing my drink, its so very hard to accept that I wont be getting even a drop here. I feel like cursing those Gods who are enjoying theirs.They know I am an addict but they seem to ignore my desires.

A lot of thoughts are running in my mind currently. But right now, as I can see, no one is mourning at my death. How do I construe this behavior as? Why aren't they crying ? Don't they love me ? Won't they miss me ? Are they happy that I am  dead? My wife, she is sad but she seems to be alright. My younger daughter, she seems to be a little perturbed, she is the one who lit my pyre. She must be thinking of a lot of things. But why am I suddenly thinking of her, when I did not when I was there, coz if I had, I would not have been a chronic drinker. Not many people have come in my obsequy. What is happening to me ? Why am I talking like a sober person. Is it the loss of life or the loss of opportunities to drink again. I have never felt sober ever since the bank in which I used to work got shut down.
Should I say , drinking was a huge mistake of my life? Or should I say, I still do not care after dying. Well frankly speaking , I cannot bring myself to care. But I do feel , it would have been great if I could get some more time to indulge in my fetish. Liquor has consumed my cognizant ability.I am dead. My family doesn't cry for me. They should not cry for someone who did not care about their future and just went on to satiate himself. My birth was a great loss. I could not create any meaningful life. I do not have any regret, because as I said, my cerebral thinking is null now. But the worst thing is that I am in pain and have to battle it without my comrade, that glass of liquor. And it is turning out to be really arduous and onerous.

I miss drinking. 

Forever reprobate.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Morning Homilies

This post has long been procrastinated, and I take total responsibility for the cunctation. But, the worth has not been nullified in any sense. What I am going to indite today, I witness every morning, seems like a matutinal ritual when I go for jogging, and it fills my heart with gratitude. Not that, I despise what I see or those who are involved in it, but seeing them makes me realise that my life, which I did not even deserve for a second, because, it has been a fluke all this time, right from the birth of this mortal ;  is a grand one. 

Every morning I do not have to clear filth on the road, every morning I do not have to think about plucking the best flowers so that the devotees who come to temple might buy mine, I do not have to wake up at 4 every morning for collecting the newspapers for dissemination , I do not have to worry for nothing when I wake up in the morning. Hence, I feel my life is better. In my office, I see two types of people. Us, who sit in front of laptop and work and second those, who are incessantly cleaning, some window pane, washrooms, floors, tables while people keep to-ing and fro-ing in the premises. I feel grateful to them, and often profess it. The smile, when you see, you smile too in return , it tells you that they have felt great by the expression of gratitude. 

I did not deserve this luxury, I did not deserve education, what did I do to have got such parents, who not only made me educated but also made me a person who can discern what pain is and make out how to mitigate it, I did not deserve nothing and still I have got everything. It overwhelms me. Being in North, I did not get to see a huge number of lady vendors and hawkers, but I see them in Bangalore. Some are selling coconut-water, some road-side pakoras and samosa, and yet some other selling the slippers that one might find in hotel-bathrooms. Seeing all this, I realise  sorted and peaceful is my life. Smug. Please do not construe my view as condescending towards these people.

I see all these kind of people around me and then I look at myself. I am so complete with what all I have. Money is everything in life, it is. If you do not have money, you cannot buy a life of dignity, you cannot buy good books, you cannot give presents, you cannot be satisfied and probably happy. Money is important, whole world is running after and revolving around money. Hence, we must be grateful for things which provide us money. Poor people lead a tough life, a very challenging life. It takes a huge heart to sit on road on a rag and sell hotel-slippers with the hope that you will get customers. It takes huge amount of fortitude and courage. Other's misery and impecunious circumstances make me feel grateful for my fortune, which as I have said, I did not deserve. Everything has happened like a protocol, I was born as a human (what did I do to be born as one, I dont know), I was educated , I graduated and now i am in job. I am grateful, and I tell this to God, that I am, for every single day. 

We do not have to worry for "grunt-work" , we must be grateful and make our lives such that they are useful for those who could not due to some reason could not make their lives better. God Bless Them. These people teach me the most important thing every morning and I am grateful to them, because this lesson keeps me grounded throughout the day. This lesson keeps me grateful and bound to my roots. You see, how you feel when you pass through a heap of garbage, its so very difficult to breathe for those nanoseconds, but think about those, who wake up in the morning to do exactly that, be in that fetid and putrid ambience and inhale the effluvium for extended period of time.

Think about that ! We are no less than any king or queen. Life is good, complete and best. We must be grateful. I am. And if all this does not make sense, then atleast wake up and RUN for ourselves !!

Take Care.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

An act of profound kindess

I thought of putting up a succinct facebook status describing what happened with me today, but instead I thought the protagonist of this real life story deserves a place on my blog. The lady, for whom I have total respect for is a Pharmacy student and aims to pursue a Ph.D in AIIMS.

Here is the allegory:
After office today, I was coming back searching for a hospital which could provide relief to me from the suppurating infection in my leg. I had been walking a lot in search as a result of which the wound had become worse. I did find one hospital, but owing to absence of doctor, the emergency staff asked me to come the next day. I beseeched if they could do anything, telling them that it was imperative that some dressing was done at least, but I guess they had their own reasons. Then, I walked all the way again back to home  halting at one place to have food. After gaining energy, I went to a local chemist shop. There was the protagonist, I asked her if she knew any hospital nearby.  I do not remember exactly, what she had replied. Immediately after replying, she asked me what had happened. I told her, that I needed to get the pus extracted to get me relieved as soon as possible. She gave me a chair to sit. Kindness. I had already started to feel better. She said, she would do the needful and get it cleaned. After finishing off with two customers, she came to me and asked me to show it. I showed the lesion to her. She told that it was still in its incipient state and meddling might exacerbate the wound. I conceded. But, she said, she will do the dressing. Kindness. Kindly pay attention that it is a local chemist shop. 
She cleaned the blood which had spread all over. It hurt, sort of burnt. Then after applying a liniment, she dressed it carefully. Its not her job to do that in a chemist's shop, but she did it. I asked her, if it was her shop. She said, no, she works part-time there. She told me that she was a pharmacy student, and loves what she does. I thanked her from the bottom of her heart. And her rejoinder, "If I cannot use my education for someone's betterment, my education is a total waste".  That moment  felt so happy to know that there was this girl on earth, who was doing a course she loved, and she was not only studying it, she actually loved doing it and in real sense understood what it meant. She was committed to her job. Beautiful. She told me further that she wanted to do a Ph.D in AIIMS. I was elated hearing to her dream (big-dream), relating that we both had that dream-connection. I further thanked her, and took the necessary material that I could use to dress the wound for the morning. 

Her kindness eased the pain. I was happy and thankful. And I know she will go on to become one of the best in her field, precisely because she has the heart, will and aplomb and she knows what PAIN is. You don't get to meet such noble souls often. God Bless Her. She strengthens my faith in dissemination of kindness and proves one fact, "What you give, comes back to you". Acts of kindness, cleanse your heart and diminish some scintilla of evil inside and makes you better, always.Period.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Color Purple

The tale of pain and affliction gets a new lease of  life when the reader discerns that the tale is  brimming with love, the love that is not contingent on being close, being together; just the feeling that the love prevails, in exchange of the letters, in hopes against all the tides, the reader feels positive. Seems like Alice Walker has penetrated into the characters while writing this novel. When I started to read the novel, the improperly formed English made me wonder, why she chose such way. As I proceeded through, I realized the protagonist, 'Celie' could not study in school and hence her English remained as it was, incipient and inchoate. When 'Nettie' , Celie's sister's letter start to come up, you realize that Alice Walker has carved out the difference right in the rudiments. The difference clear that Celie could not get educated, while Nettie's properly framed sentences tell you that she has got the privilege to get the education further. This was the one thing that I liked about Alice Walker's imagination, which ossifies her connection with the character she has created. 

The story goes like this:
Celie, in her young years, is molested by someone whom she knows as her dad, but only later in life comes to know that he was not her dad. Shock. The beautiful children that she conceives due to this atrocity and iniquitous behavior, land up by fluke in her sister's Nettie's hands who has been asked by Celie's husband, actually a lover of Nettie to go away from their home. While Nettie is away, she writes letters to Celie, because she knows that Celie lives in a hostile environment, more so because she misses her and is solicitous about her. But, reprobate Celie's husband never lets the letters reach her. And Celie is oblivious to the letters. Only after Shug comes, Celie comes to know. Shug Avery is the character that binds together everyone. Celie starts to confide in Shug Avery and finds a confidante in her. All her weakness, concerns, and despairs she presents to Shug unconditionally and Shug, in turn loves her, loves her for every reason Celie's husband despises her. Eventually, Shug and Celie go away leaving Mr_________, Celie's husband. Shug and Mr. ________ are actually lovers, the man loves Shug, and Shug also, the only one who loves Mr.__________. Coming of Shug brings relief to the life of Celie. She discovers letters that she never knew existed. Overwhelmed with emotions, she begins to read them and discovers about Nettie, her life, comes to know that Adam and Olivia are safe with her. She begins to write too. 

The exchange of letters, cleaves all the distance and in my opinion is a beautiful beautiful emblem of how just this communication is keeping both the ladies, drowned in their own tribulations, happy and giving them hope and might to live their lives. The prospect of meeting again, and a real strong one, stumps you. You begin to wonder what bond that they share. This is Love. Darn, this is what Love is. You don't know when you will meet, or if you ever will meet, you don't know if the other person is alive or dead, you don't know on which part of the earth they are, but you love, you feel for them, not sporadically, but daily, every morning, every night, you feel for them, stronger than the night before: This is Love. The love that transcends all the despair and wipes out every history of wrong-doing, every pain that was cast in past and every lash of destiny. I mean I would be proud of myself, if I could be like Nettie or Celie or even Shug. Loving despite anything, giving your love because you know that love is the only feeling that will ever accompany to people till their funeral pyre, that will make them happy. Love is the only thing that makes existence worthwhile. The emotions freely flowing in the novel depict the vulnerability and love. Love, can wipe out every bad memory, howsoever heart-wrenching. 

Everyone, in the end becomes changed, their hearts change eventually. The halo of experience dawns and those who were reprobate turn humane, callous become kind, iniquitous become considerate, selfish become self-less and sadists become sanguine. Finally , after a long long time , approx 60-70 years Celie and Nettie meet, love and hope they had in their hearts for each other brings them together never to part again.

 Love is the greatest force in the Universe. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Down the memory lane..

I grew up watching that wrist watch on his hand. It was the most decent one, smart and had an aristocratic quality about it. And it was just the right kind of watch for him , totally suited to his charming personality. Whenever I saw it on his wrist, it felt that that watch was manufactured only to have the privilege to be on his wrist. That watch had a class about it, whenever it was not on his wrist, I played with it, trying to fit in my tiny wrists, but it always slipped.

As I grew old, it began to slightly slip less. I loved that watch, and always imagined that I will use it when my wrist becomes fit enough to don it. But after some time,the watch,  it became defunct. He did not get it repaired. I know why. It was a low, very low priority event. It now found a new place, above the refrigerator in a box. Nevertheless, a child's mind knows no functionality when she is into something ardently. It was of the same value to me. I used to play with it, but somewhere I was bothered about it not working. That was sad. I decided I will get it repaired when I become able.

By the time that time came, the watch became worse. Its display was gone, numbers were missing, but still its silver metal strap was intact. That was enough to keep me happy and hopeful. Alas! I could never get it repaired. I totally lost track of it, and today I do not know in which corner of my home it lies, if at all. I never realized that I should have put it somewhere safe, so that when the right time came I could get that amazing watch repaired. I, still would like to search for it, and get it repaired so that I can wear it ( I am selfish) , I had always dreamt of wearing that watch in my hand. It would have suited my persona as well.

Though, I go home carrying a new watch for him, for the wrist that has for more than 15 years been without a watch, I feel happy , but I also know that this new watch can never be of the same aristocratic beauty and charm as was that old one.
Pristine.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hoping against Hope ?

The basis of this blog post is the link above. 

Ched Evans was convicted of ravishment of a 19 year old girl and after having served half of his 5 year term at jail, he has come back imploring the football juggernauts to allow him to play again. The riveting question is, "Should he be allowed or not?"

In his defense, he boldly says, "The supposed crime was consensual (there is every reason to doubt his claim)" and also "I didn’t know that there was a law that said once you come out of prison you still can’t do anything". 

Football community policymakers, have staunchly expressed their displeasure at his supplication, citing that when one plays or represents a country or a team, that player becomes a role model and to get Evans back to playing would mean defying the sanctity and initiating a sacrilegious act. Its cursory to even speculate at this time. Anything can happen in this world, because as you know, world is a funny place.

If you have gone through the link, you would observe how hard he is trying to make amends, how badly he wants to get back to business and how he is vying for some support, whatsoever, so that he can just get back to what he used to. This phase of his life, this disconcerting phase holds lessons for us alike. When he mentions , "It is a rare and extraordinary privilege to play professional football", it clearly indicates that he cherishes it. Did he feel this way earlier? We do not know. Did he ever had any idea that such an incubus will ever happen in his life? Certainly not. But today, that he sees an uncertainty looming large on his coming back, he has an albatross around his career.  Lesson one: We do not know if he cherished it or not, but from now on, we must cherish whatever place we are in. If its providing us ways to meet our needs, we must be grateful and thankful. His pain is discernible, must be like a person who just lost his limbs in an accident. It can only take a miracle to wipe out a bad name to get wiped from one's life.

He also puts forth that, "I would like a second chance, but I know that not everyone will agree." By making this statement, he seems to have fathomed that getting what he wants will not be a cakewalk at all, far to say possible. This suggests, that he still has a sense of realism alive in him. In the first part of his statement, he again proffers an intense desire to have a second chance. Will he be granted? Who knows? In the same position as Oscar Pistorius, he must be musing what life could have been if that night he had tempered. Lesson Two: The burden of loosing one's self-respect in public is tremendous. We can learn from his situation in despair. When the moral iniquity of a person becomes public, he looses much accord. Let Jesus, give us wisdom that we may never indulge into moral iniquities.

In the last paragraph he expresses his desire to "contribute towards society" and "to help people who maybe can’t get a job." Did he express any such philanthropic ideas before going to jail? We do not know. Did he want to help people earlier to get a job? We again, do not have any knowledge of it. Yet, his continual assurances, depict that he will do anything to get his football jersey back. Lesson three: Let's not wait for a shipwreck to make us realize what we have. Let "contributing to society" and "helping jobless to get jobs" come more as a natural instinct than as a way to expiate. He will keep seeking , seems plausible. But will he be granted ? Remains to be seen. 

Let our strength guide our ways and overcome all frailties, capitulation to which often make us fall in ditches of infamy and slander.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

As understood from the biography of Sir. C.V.Raman

This blogpost is basically a short description of Sir C.V.Raman's biography that I recently finished reading. Writing a blogpost describing this genius's life is a challenging job and chances are that it will fall short in some way or the other. Yet, in this post I want to tell my readers about Sir C.V.Raman, and  I am sure after reading this, they will also feel proud that a Nobel laureate of his stature was born on our Indian land.

He was born into a traditional South Indian family, and family had interludes of debts. Raman, since childhood had a predilection for nature around him, he was curious by nature and had an innate desire to see, observe and inquire. His such disposition made him search for answers, and by the time he was 17-18 he was already presenting papers in one of the famous  journals, Nature. One of the many things, he always emphasized was a spirit of enquiry that should be present in everyone. He exhorted people to reason, ratiocinate, ruminate, cogitate and muse about the daily natural happenings, which often regarded as banal and picayune by people; seemed to befuddle Raman.  For instance, he observed musical instruments, and reasoned that there must be a mathematical principle behind the working of a particular instrument. He studied that and came up with a theory which was duly published. Every single paper that he has published is based on natural things he observed, but different in the fact that he set out to find a solid reason, factual logic behind them and left the world nonplussed. 

He was not a formal PhD, and he always mentioned that one does not need a degree to pursue research or to certify oneself as a "researcher". In his talk, "Why Sky is Blue" he mentions "Science is not about finding quick and fast answers, The spirit of science is to delve deeper. Don't be satisfied by short and quick answers. You must never be content with that; you must look around and think and ask all sort of questions....In the course of time you will find some of the truth, but you never reach the end....The greatest thing in life is not achievement but the desire to achieve. Its the effort we put in, that ultimately is the greatest satisfaction"

One of the most striking and motivating incidence of Raman's life has been, the way he never let his penchant for Science disappear or even get dimmed when he was working as a public officer. He used to wake up early, go to his laboratory, come back, get ready for office, work in office from 9:30 to 5 and after 5 went straight to his lab and worked there till late night. He never felt lax and lassitude was not his cup of tea. This incidence is emblematic to the fact, that he was an intensely sedulous person, extremely focused and diligent without bounds. At times, I felt a thing for his wife, but she was totally supportive of him. She knew him and also the fact that Science was important for Raman, in the words of his father. He was an able mentor, who himself shortlisted students and then went on to train them and make them one of the finest scholars of Indian scientific community.

He was of the notion that Science is not an esoteric or recondite notion of few things, Science is everyday happening that we must inquire. He did not just aver to the facts, until he himself proved them, this was how the Raman Effect was conceived. In addition to his scientific prowess, he was an extremely cogent and powerful speaker, the way he explained scientific phenomena in layman's language made even a person, not very well-versed with scientific know-how understand what the idea was. He was not to mention, courageous and determined. The first thing that he looked out for when got transferred was a suitable place near to office, and hatched up labs in his place, which guaranteed maximum time on his desk. This sort of worship can only be attributed to someone who dies and wakes up for only pursuing what they deeply cherish. 

In his life, obviously he had conflicts and cold war seasons with his contemporaries, but he never let it affect his love for science or scotch his progress towards revelations. He was like one of those people, who need nothing except what they love, his lab and science. We often kvetch about not having enough time to do what we want, but Sir C.V.Raman is a living example of how such thoughts can be remonstrated by. He did both his job and his work, diligently, and for a considerably long period of time. During his directorship at IISc (earlier known as the Tata Institute), he introduced the provision for admission of female students, and personally mentored a few of them. His students left for abroad for higher education, he was disappointed but then let them go, much against his wishes. He felt that students should study in India and improve the condition of research in their own country. This is a point of moot discussion, in today's time.

Sir C.V.Raman not only made India proud, but people who have read about his life, find a change in the way they begin to perceive at things. If he could do it, why can't we. After reading I was thinking , we have "A Beautiful Mind" based on the life of Prof. Nash, this legendary scientist deserves "A Beautiful Mind" too. Sir C.V.Raman was undoubtedly one of the best scientists India has ever produced, we must feel proud of him.

"I study science not because anything is going to happen to me but because I feel it is a kind of worship of this great Goddess Nature of which we are a part"

Sunday, September 21, 2014

You ought to know....

I contributed this article to the annual magazine of my college ABVIIITM: Abhishaar. 

This article is an address to the brilliant first year students, especially the girls who would have settled by now in the green and vibrant campus of ABVIIITM. I do not think and cannot think of any other opportune time to tell this to them, to convey to them what I feel they should know right at the first rung of their ladder of success. Yeah, I know I am not a Kiran Majumdar Shaw or a Sheryl Sandberg or a Malala Yousufzai (but we still are someone in making, isn't it?) , but who ever said that only position could sanction you to give little piece of wisdom. As an alumni (this word makes me feel slightly old ) of the institute you are in and as someone who has a strong and unbreakable bond with the alma-mater, I consider it my responsibility to give to you a better ground to groom yourself right from the prime time of your beautiful years which has already begun.

Know that as educated young girls, you have a responsibility and that is that you are the promise of a more equal world. Every woman is looking up at you in hope. And also know that you have to work harder, even harder than you did for writing your JEE. College is about academics, and academics is not isolated from learning. Allow yourself to look at life as closely as possible because after these five years you will get little time to introspect and indulge into an unfathomable abyss inside everyone of you. Allow yourself to interact with your seniors in the hostel and in college premises, they have an astronomical amount of knowledge to give to you and to share with you. May be you feel scared right now, but they are the most generous people I have ever met and you will ever meet. They are more than dying to share everything they know with you, this I can assure you of. You have to learn from the experience your seniors already have had, not interacting will be great great loss. Go ahead, exploit their erudition. Know that college is not the same as school, it will push you beyond your comfort zone, you will be battling not only grades, but also higher truths of life and find yourself in the quest towards finding answers to questions considered as abstruse and esoteric. You will have to learn what lonliness is, because this will the most important lesson of life you will ever learn and it will change your entire perception about solitude and you'll understand the might it carries with itself. You will have to learn what perfidy is, because then you will be able to become smarter at gleaning the right kind of people. You will have to learn what loss is because then you will be able to strike out a balance between your priorities. Know that AASF is the best functional organization in the college and you must be grateful for everyone who takes pain to organise sessions for your benefit and sound grooming.

Know that you are very very fortunate to have a fabulous Sports complex (it became fully functional when we came in our third year) and you gotta play there regularly. You have to go one day, experience the bliss it is to be there, even if for half an hour. As I said, school prepared you for college, let your college prepare you all for life. I attend a variety of seminars here in Bangalore, and they are mostly delivered by foriegn speakers. You want to know, what the upshot of the majority of discourses is? It is soft skills ! Five years is a long long time, friends. Ensure that when you come out of college after 5 years, holding the degrees and formidable placements, you have an added treasure: a superb and impeccable way of communication, a finesse beyond any measure. We do not have any option as far as the soft skills are concerned, you have to master it, at every cost. So, you must be thinking , How? The answer is participate. Participate, as much as you can, be it an extempore, be it a JAM, be it a debate, English or Hindi, participate, prepare. Period. Just don't let these precious five years go without overhauling yourself. When I look back I have a lot of regrets, and its in human nature to have regrets, I want you all to have comparatively lesser regrets. This is why, I am redacting this article for your today, because you know, we are connected in larger scheme of things.

Connect with the faculty, do not hesitate: remember this, “Do not hesistate regarding anything”. Take up projects, code, I am sure AASF has impresseive plans for your learning. Make sure you live every single day of your college life, its a treasure truly. Allow it to transform the way you think, the way you perceive things, allow it to make you stronger and stable. These are the golden as well as foundational years of your life, and to add on a stricter note: litmus test of your character. And I can assure you that if you wake up and go for a morning walk daily, your life will change.

We are in a marathon friends, you have started just now and I am still running, and when you pass out you will be running and I still will be on my track, because career ain't a sprint, its a MARATHON.

Welcome on board to the IIITM family.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Why I Quit reading Indian Newspapers religiously....

Reading newspaper was the one thing that I was hitched to (still am), could not imagine sleeping without reading one. When the hard copy was not available, e-paper made sure that my date with newspaper did not get cancelled. But reading newspaper, whether the TOI or The Hindu was painful and it was like playing a game in which there is only despair. With hordes of news revolving around ravishment, kidnappings, murders, apathy of government towards citizenry, callousness of citizenry towards fellow people, people going neurotic for reasons stupid and inane, and the most important pages presenting extremely knowledge-less stuff the supposedly images of state-of-art newspapers underwent a change in me.

I started reading New Yorker and Nytimes. com. Needless to say, the variety of stuff ranging from world politics to sports, from education to lifestyle, from opinions to science and technology not only made me read them daily but also coerced me to compare the content that was presented in these online mediums and the newspaper.  I understood that they understand the meaning of news pretty well, and what it means to disseminate it. In the section on the websites, "More From" if you check , these sections are enough to tell what the focus of that newspaper is, and I am not talking about the suggestions that come up when you read some news, but I am talking about the main page "More".

The appeal that these Western vernaculars had, made me instantly develop a penchant for them. Reading them not only meant gaining knowledge, but also meant that the English was improving, and the most significant thing was their 'projection". They were not projecting negative news every time, they had positives to show, they showed deplorable news in a way that can be best described as 'pathos' and most importantly they did not just base all their stories about murder when some murder happened in the local city or town. The writers that these magazines feature understand their accountability as writers and give their best shot in every article they indite. Jug Suraiya might like to learn from Amy Davison or Nora Ephron. Yes, for a change Chetan Bhagat is a comparatively a better writer when it comes to writing the columns of newspapers sometimes.

 You can argue and say that our newspaper just tell the truth, but that will be a moot discussion.  They are negative, lack wisdom, lack stuff that enlightens, lack the content that spread positivity around, instead splutter hopelessness on an average. I do not know about the Green revolution but an overhaul in Indian journalism is an inevitable necessity. Newspapers like Deccan Herald and Indian Express are comparatively much better when it comes to the choice of articles and the memoirs. There is a shift that is required, meticulous planning and optimism in the industry.  I know there may be some of you having the feeling of sedition charges against me but all I am trying to say is that it might do us good if we could learn how to put what content, how much of that content, without forgetting its viability and need.

After all positivity begets positivity, negativity begets apathy.

 If you ever get time do read nytimes.com , I am certain it will blow your minds and provide you with the correct notion of what newspapers are like.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Is Pistorius still the Hero that he was ?


I remember when Oscar Pistorius had risen to fame as "Blade Runner" , I had tweeted "Another great personality in my litany of great people" and I had been totally inspired by this man who is born without fibula. I was proud of Pistorius, I still am for the indomitable spirit he elicited all his life despite a major impediment to his life. If a leg less person can become a fast runner, what cannot be not possible, I had thought. 

I do not remember exactly how much time has passed since the first time it came to news that Pistorius shot his girl-friend, but ever since I read about it, I was deeply saddened. Sad because, such kind of incidence happened that took off sheen from what had been a career of fame and celebrity. Sad because, he was my hero. Sad because, he murdered or fear-killed his girl-friend and now he has been convicted of culpable homicide, which will send him behind bars for 15 years or so.  Yes, I am also sad that she faced such a gory end. That must have happened in a speed, difficult to get discerned by the normal eye. Such kind of incidences sometimes challenge ourselves, toss a part of our soul and chagrin us. The feeling when our heroes suddenly become the most reprehensible of people gaining flake from all over the world due to their actions of depravity is disconcerting. Its almost similar to an incidence wherein a seer gets caught indulging in acts which he forbids to other.

Does their refulgence gets waned? The answer is, yes, totally. No single paper, no single magazine is today redacting about what Oscar Pistorius was prior to committing this felony. Today he stands in front of the world as a man, rather a famous man who killed someone and now is just a notorious bloke. This incidence reminds me of Lance Armstrong, who also had to undergo a tough time in his life due to illegalities he committed. Famous people when get caught up in the vicious  web of their own acts loose their credibility. Certainly, becoming successful is not easy but one has to become even more sedulous to sustain the good word about them after they become someone in the stage of the world. I become inevitably upset when such blemish gets cast upon people known far and wide, praised universally. And thence, come the lessons.

Our heroes make us learn both during the zenith and the nadir of their times, and sometimes cease to be 'hero'. Mostly fanatics behave in such a way, who extol their champions in their heydays, and do not flinch from excoriating after witnessing the evidences of dastard acts. I, on the other hand, choose to feel sad for them. Never another day may come, when our heroes fall !! Such, incidences teach us big things. Crime spares none, results of bad deeds befall on everyone equally: impecunious, famous, wretched, notorious, you name it. And hence, such kind of revelations render us cautious. A blaze is enough to cause conflagration which the posterity will never forget. When our heroes get portrayed as villains, because of their heinous acts, they teach us not to be like them, not to ever indulge in any act which has the potential to bring an opprobrium in the future. Pistorius must be feeling real bad, his career, his life, the name and fame he earned has reduced to ashes and life seems to have become a can of worms in the current time. The universe that conspired to make his dream come true is now lampooning him. Times are hard.

Fame comes at a prodigious price and its not cushy to maintain it pristine. When one becomes famous, even the way he/she eats gets judged, and this incidence is a murder, cold-blatant murder. These moments confute every medal, every trophy and every wisp of appreciation famous people ever earned. Certainly, keeping up the name is not everyone's forte. Truly as an apothegm states, the road up and the road down are the same. This is a big incidence in Pistorius's life and something he wont be able to forget so easily.

 The mistakes that people make deliberately or inadvertently, remind us of our own in some different manifestations. Impeccability would be an ideal situation,  we have ghoul and god both inside us. Let us not let anything warp our minds....

Saturday, September 6, 2014

On Mistakes

"I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a 'mistake' is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.”
― Hugh Prather

While browsing through Goodread quotes (yes, on Mistakes) I bumped into this one. in every word of the quote above I feel, Hugh has written it for me. I always knew in facts that making mistakes was normal, human as long as you learn from it and emerge resurgent. When that happened practically, there was a blow that over the period of time transcended into a lesson. I have always found it difficult to assume that I can make mistakes, given the fact that I am cautious and wary of how I make people around me feel, given I do not lie or dupe. Until recently, my vis-a-vis with mistake happened, after a real long time. And since it happened after a long time, the  scourge was manifold for I could not come to terms with the fact that I did cause agony in a part of the universe. As Hugh says, "hidden assumption of being potentially perfect", I too could not believe that the damage was done. but gradually light came, started pouring in from parts of universe that cared, those who cared enough to tell me that "Its okay, to make mistakes" and "You should get used to it". even then, it seemed to make a little sense because all I was doing was listening without ruminating or cogitating.

But now I have accepted that I am also a normal person in this universe who will make mistakes and I have resolved not to fear from making them rather embrace them and learn the lesson, becoming more wise and intelligent than the previous day. mistakes are painful when they happen. I can recall how Mr. Lincoln would have felt when he wrote a letter berating someone. After that day, he never did rebuke anyone in his entire life. Sounds congruous. Its liberating now to know that "the hidden assumption" has been quashed never to surface again. As long as life is, making mistakes will be. Although, I know tomorrow if I make another mistake, I will feel the same chagrin, but that time I will be able to pat myself on the back and say, "Its okay beta, I still love you. You will only become better after this"

another lesson. I always  loved my self, the self that seldom did any mistake in social circles. But over the period of recent times I have moulded myself to love my erroneous side too which is a part of my existence, my meaning and my character. Mistakes only refine our characters if our outlook is positive towards them.

Leaving the painful feeling behind and moving ahead keeping safely the lesson learnt.

Monday, August 25, 2014

My stint with the "Adultery"

So, in a week's time or less than that technically, I finished up my coveted novel "Adultery" which at the time of order I did not know was yet to be released. Time flies, seems like only yesterday I was waiting eagerly for it for about close to 45 days and today I am writing about how I found this much anticipated new work of the reverend and the most loved author Paulo Coelho .

Its quite baldly applied by the name of the book what the raconteur in Paulo wants to convey and around what the plum plot will revolve. Let me try to summarize the story here for you :
"A woman rich, affluent who is a journalist is well-settled with her husband who is a  reticent man, yet loves her a lot and more than that, he respects her for he thinks that his wife is a doughty lady with astronomical amount of patience and mental strength. They have two kids whom mostly they place at their parents' home to look after, since both of them are working.  But, this woman whom everyone envies for the supposed comfort in her life is not happy. She thinks the spark in her life has gone, life has become a series of todays and tomorrows, coupled with the mundane tasks of the regular days. She wants to have some adventure that would rejuvenate her and fill her with vitality leaving the torpor and listlessness that has now become her life. Now since she is a journalist, she interacts with people and sometimes feels amused. The D-Day comes when she is to interview her former boyfriend (The story takes a subtle turn, just as in "Fifty Shades of Grey", but is much less violent and practical), and then turns out he too is non-chalant in is marriage. So, what better can happen? They get hooked momentarily, satiate each other only to understand later that what they are doing is a sin.  Someday, the man becomes reluctant, someday the woman and someday both of them become neurotic to land at a coffee shop again. (No doubt, infatuation is a dangerous accord, always weakens a man's erudition) . So, this woman with her overly woman-feelings starts to analyse the world she is creating. At times she is full of remorse and at the other times, she just wants to forget the entire world and just lie in her trance of a world of "adultery" which for time being is mitigating her pains of a mundane life. But, later on, when she thinks in a more clairvoyant manner, she is good to realize that there is no future and hence the "fling" needs a full stop. All this time the stopgap that she was actually enjoying has become a big NO NO. She plans to tell this to her husband, but decides against it, when through his confabulations she gets to know that his jerk husband would never mind her being knave because he loves her irrespective of anything. She falls that second, and decides to re-energise their relationship of marriage. Then a series of sabbaticals they take and according to her she finds the real meaning of her life and things become fine. Happily Ever After "

Now, in and out of this plot are the most beautiful lines on love, existence, doubts that force a person to think about. If I would have ever read this novel 5 years back, I would have despised it like anything, and who knows, might have termed it as "erotic". But that is the beauty of Paulo Coelho, he does not write, he carves out the human emotions on the piece of paper very artistically. To even think of a story line like this needs a heart that understands inherent human feelings. The behavior and the doubts of the women depicted in this story must be real, such quagmire everyone falls in time or again, because you cannot deny that a human is a natural seeker of love and adventure, man and woman alike. (Woah ! now that forces me to think, why he did not make a male protagonist).

 I think this is the undeniable truth of life - We sometimes land up in fugacious assortment of meetings and associations only to realize later that they are not feasible in the long run, although there is a slight chance before getting hitched to someone, which gradually diminishes afterwards. But you never know, it might work the other way round. In the list of my reads of Paulo, this one has not been able to stir me totally (I loved Eleven Minutes, I think everyone must read it to understand what human heart is like, even of those who are considered to be vermin). The deep philosophy is deeply missing, though at places, he has carved out some beautiful originals, like "Love is not a feeling, its an art". And the cornerstone of the novel ? well there can be many. I would like you to have your own, after you are done with the novel.

Keep Loving !

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Supposedly Trifle Things are Big Teachers

Lying in the cemented place beside my room window is a thing that I use every morning. Its a "sandalwood tilak"  I purchased from ISKCON temple, Bangalore. Its been close to two months that its there. And everyday I use it, it teaches me a beautiful thing without any break. While preparing the paste in my hand, I smile at the fortitude it displays in spite of being kept open in an air which consists of all possible microbes along with dust. The beautiful observation I have had is that of its undying fragrance. The enchanting, peace giving, and cooling scent of "Chandan" as we call it, not only keeps my mind cool but also in an utterly simple way teaches me a great lesson. Although inanimate and may be trifle (for majority, mainly unorthodox) yet by its very nature it mystifies me. Its a marvel of nature, a manifestation of nature as our teacher.

This "tilak" lies exposed to air but has not diminished in its scent, the fragrance is captivating; it has got cracks due to rain water, but the fragrance is still unmatched; it broke down into two pieces due to a fall, yet renders the same piousness as it used to when it was intact. Not an iota of dereliction of duty . Isn't it beautiful? Silently lying in a discrete corner of a big room, here this small thing is spreading the light of its wisdom. Its inanimate nature is emblematic to  patience, fortitude and simplicity. Its long-tested fragrance symbolizes that irrespective of any external pressure, vicissitudes or protean nature of the surroundings , it has maintained its nature of providing scent; this teaches us resilience and unconditional giving. Time and again, it gets wounded, sometimes by rain water, sometimes by an accidental fall but that apart, it is dutifully  doing what its supposed to, its inherent nature has not withered away.

Every morning before I start my day, my friend, "sandalwood tilak" is asking me to be like it in some measure if not in entirety-"To be a beacon  inspite of every vestige of negativity around".  I love this object, small in larger scheme of world, yet  huge! 

There are a lot other objects like "chandan tilak" which can teach us beautiful things. One more  I have frequently observed is a "diya". When its burning, it provides light and when it gets extinguished, it leaves an enchanting fragrance behind(I can feel the smell as I write this. Its so heavenly !! ). Its so metaphorical !! In its lifetime it spread light in darkness and when it died it left a beautiful smell behind , teaching us to make our lives full of  magnanimity and benediction such that  when we leave for heavenly abode, the world is a little better and a little more happy. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gandhi Exhumed


This blog is about how an Indian feels when he reads stuff like this http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-interviews-blog/gandhi-was-obsessed-with-sex-while-preaching-celibacy-to-others-kusoom-vadgama/about someone who is considered hallowed in the nation.
Flipping through the pages of digital newspaper, this article catches me eyes. The headline is enough to launch me into a state of mental agitation and at the same time indignation towards the supposedly doughty lady who bylines the article. I read the article twice just to make sure what I am interpreting is correct, and sadly the content is in consonance with the headline. The reading of this text makes me feel insulted, as would to most of the Indians. The obloquy which the lady has cast on the Mahatma of 125 crore people is totally unjustified and an act of defiance towards the sentiments of his countrymen.
Such kind of incidences keep to-ing and fro-ing in the lives of elite people, some trying to tarnish the image while some vying for a significant position in the world scene for an insignificant amount of time. I do not know whether the contents of this article are authentic and frankly speaking it does not matter, reasons of which I will give later in this text. But, a newspaper is a medium that gets circulated across all the 195 countries of the world, and news of this kind about the man of such a towering stature, spreads like a fire in a dry forest. As an Indian, I would never be able to swallow the fact that any foreigner or any occidental person judges the Mahatma, who led Indian Struggle for Freedom in an austere manner and completely sacrificed his luxuries, based on this piece of utter humiliation and debasement.
Mahatma Gandhi is a symbol of India and its ideology, and is respected all over the world. Indians revere him by calling "Bapu" and at every important government location exists his portrait as an emblem of his teachings and homilies. Who could have thought that an amateur barrister after being thrown off from the first class compartment of the train despite having ticket, will become such a big furore not only for the India but for the people of South Africa, a nation with which he had absolutely nothing to do. He could have been silent, he could have been mute, as thousands of Indians have become today, but instead he chose the road less taken, that not only made a difference but a transformation whose plangency is still resonating in the boundaries of India and in the world. A lanky fellow draped in dhoti toured the country to listen to people, to hear their agonies and apathies , challenged the authority, went to jail, came out, launched scathing non-violent attacks and redeemed a nation along with his able contemporaries, all this gets sullied in this piece of text.What a slander !!
The texts addresses her also as a "former Mahatma follower". A person never asks anyone to follow him /her. Its out of choice and reverence that myrmidons gets formed. Her walking out might be her own decision, totally respected as an idiosyncrasy. I am sure she must have read "My Experiments With Truth", I have also, and that book inspired me. Gandhi has presented himself just as any vulnerable young man in his youthful days, with his own set of remorse and times of vacillations, and the restitution that dawns upon him during the death of his father. No one is born a celibate, but its a practice which becomes stronger over the period of time, because after a time an ultimate realisation comes that the carnal pleasures are ephemeral. He has not flinched from mentioning this incidence, how many of have guts to accede to similar incidences in our lives ?  Very few.
A normal denizen of a country, becomes a soul of the nation, and this kind of flay towards him is totally unacceptable to me. I know hordes of people do not like Mahatma, who accuse him of treachery and bad decisions at few times. Everyone has their own opinions, I have my own. I have grown up listening to his stories of benevolence and instances which prove his benediction, and not only him but many more. I think there is no use of posthumous excoriations of people considered as apostles of humanity and hallmarks of compassion , they only shadow the good that such people did and sow unnecessary doubts in the minds of the people.
As for the content that this article mentions, we do not and should not have any right to judge a person by what he did, or does in his personal life. He practiced sex, and promoted celibacy. He fought hard to defeat the natural desires, he overcame them too, time and again he experimented, he started sleeping separate, because he knew that such kind of debauchery was only causing him agony both mental and spiritual. And he promoted celibacy, because he knew the ultimate peace lied in being abstinent, else the man just becomes miserable. Such context is a trivial issue to judge a mahatma or (anyone for that matter) to spread bad word about him. But even trivial issues become big issues when big people are involved, such is the harsh truth. 
The article has failed to move me or challenge my convictions, because I believe to castigate to someone we must achieve what he/she could achieve in his/her lifetime. But at the same time the lampooning has inflicted emotional agony, especially at the time when the celebrations of the Independence Day have not snuffed out.
Haven't people got any other more productive stuff to indulge in rather than exhuming the mortals and doing post-mortem of their lives. And I am not  an ardent of follower of Gandhi , but I revere him and his ideals and I believe that he has left a better world for all of us. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lessons from the era of "Tryst with Destiny"

Happy Independence Day Friends !

This day fills me with confidence and pride when I reflect back at the year and the day that would have been on the fateful midnight of 14th August 1947. I am sure the feeling among the hearts of those Indians who were a part of this legacy was heavenly and profound, their hearts beaming with inexplicable happiness and positive energy. It took a long time for us to get redeemed from the foreign yoke and emerge with an identity of self in this vast universe. India's quest for freedom teaches us a lot of things. Here is looking at what I feel it has to teach to us today, and we must always bear these in our mind. 

  1. 1. No nation is so rich in its cultural heritage, sacred in its values and tradition as India, its a fortune to belong to this nation of hermits and sages. (We can argue the values have been pillaged but I still believe humanity is alive because I am). If we follow the values that our country has bestowed upon us, we all will herald a new era in which everyone will be a Swami Vivekananda.
  2. Our ancestors, fought real hard, due to their incessant struggles and initiatives, we can breathe in a free India today. We are indebted to them, we are. 
  3. The more time it takes to persevere, the more palatable is the taste of the result. Anything, worth having is difficult, and hence patience and strategy matters. 
  4. A mass movement, needs a leader that takes everyone together in a cause. If there is no leader the team fritters away and gains nothing. Be a leader and take initiatives, they do not have to be as big as to become the headlines of the vernacular newspapers, but big enough to make a small difference in lives around. 
  5. Respect women. Period. 
  6.  A simple man with an indomitable spirit and a dream in mind is a  very dangerous man, he will outwit everyone. A simple ignition within changes us, positive or negative, the choice is ours, always. Have a dream.
  7. Sometimes to tame an animal, there is a need to behave like one.
  8. Evil can only be uprooted only if we are together without any fear of authority and fear of death. What India lacks today is this feeling of togetherness because all of us  are busy earning money to get a car better than our neighbour. Lets, pause for a while and do a kind act today, it gives peace class apart from that felt from buying a car.
  9. Education is the only thing that can empower the proletariats and make them feel equal.
  10. Independence has been bequeathed upon us, and we do not value it. Freedom is a beautiful thing. Every morning I do not have to think that someone will be standing on the road watching my action and caning me if I do something against the prevailing norm. 
  11. Everyone who sacrificed their lives and continue to do so even today, have a family of theirs too, but when the decree comes they have to leave it and tread forwards in fulfillment of the obligation. Love for the country is the greatest and involves the biggest of sacrifices. 
  12. Every supposedly weak men can be made strong if supported and counselled and most importantly heard. 
Lets co-operate with each other, support each other in dreams and ambitions, thats the only way to move forward and live a peaceful life. Gain knowledge and then using that knowledge, lets just GIVE BACK to everyone around, wherever we are.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Live today while you have it....

All this time I was missing on one of the things, staying up late night, in a dark room, beside the big window in my room with my laptop in my hands. So, today I decided to follow it. I think its a beautiful feeling , sitting beside the window late at night, looking out occasionally and admiring the sodium lights in the dark silences of the night. Its a beautiful feeling, cool type, fills me with so much of energy. 

People can be themselves in the solitude of night, they talk to themselves, reflect on their lives, smile at few things. In the labyrinth of the world, its should be imperative that we pause for a while, halt and admire the beauty around us, the smallest of things that have their own role to play in this world and we ought to reflect towards them a sense of belongingness. Work goes on, for those who don't like it, it becomes drudgery, and for those who enjoy it, becomes a vocation. Work will go on, the process of completing responsibilities and meeting deadliness will be incessant, but we can't just let our every precious day pass without feeling the ineffable beauty around that makes life all the more idyllic.

 Life, for  me never has been what I got on my birthday, what clothes I have to wear, who favors me, and after sometime the grades also stopped mattering that much, all that truly meaningful I ever found out was how to use the education that I so fortunately obtained for  redeeming people around me, on a daily basis. I believe no act of kindness is quotidian, banal or something that does not create an energy in the universe. Everytime we give our seat in the bus to someone elder, we create a positive environment in the bus, everytime we give our sweet dish served in the mess to someone who wants two, we make him happy and create a notion that kindness and understanding exists, everytime we decide to listen to someone even when we have some work, we create a solicitous trust around, everytime we sacrifice something that belongs to us to create happiness around, we serve our purpose as a human in a tangible way. 

We are the most miraculous creatures in the history of Earth. 
-Fortunate to be born a Homo sapien (being human is a work in progress)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Noxious Dream

It was a bad dream, not the worst that I have had, but horrific, grisly, and sinister it was. For, the first time even in my dream I found myself so helpless, devoid of any idea to avert the situation and gagged right from the core of the soul. Now, before I describe what the dream was all about, it may happen, that you might simper, but if I am not able to convey even a wisp of pain it afflicted upon me in that unconsciously conscious state then it would entirely be my fault. Waking up after a nightmare realizing it was not true is extremely comforting and life-breathing. As a matter of fact, the impact of a nightmare slowly enervates as the day moves along, in bits and pieces. After being through that dream made me recall "Mariam" from "A thousand splendid suns', I guess that's symptomatic to the dream.

"I was being forced to get married, yes all the proceedings going through, without an iota of my wish, desire and will. I saw myself being dragged to marry, forced upon to drape in bride-wear, with all relatives hovering around, and smiling, don't know on the occasion or on my distressing situation. The next moment I see myself howling at my parents, something that I can't even dream of doing, I made him understand, but the damage was done. I called up my friends, told them, I remembered about the bet that I had with my another friend regarding who will get married first, and she had won."

The dream or the nightmare whatever I may say it, miffed me. Slowly, as I came to terms with its factual illusion (Sometimes you wake up from a dream and Thank God that it was, but a dream), I started to reflect back on it with more alacrity. It was utterly painful, mentally disconcerting, and no less than a cataclysmic situation;  the feeling of being pushed to marry without any morsel of willingness, subdued with societal doctrines and protocols and succumbing to it anyway, to get certified by the age-old yardstick of dignity of a woman. No, I don't remember what was happening around me, all I can recall is a helpless me at the hands of so -called full of prudence elderly. If it was so painful to be into that situation in the dream, I cannot imagine the height of the consternation and trepidation it causes or has caused to those who have been through it in their real lives. And, precisely that's what motivates me to write. (We don't need to know about everything in depth, to understand people and their pains, they have the same fears as all of us have, same doubts, same confusions, varying in degree, yet co-existing in the space and time)

"Mariam", for those who have not  yet read the splendid and heart-wrenching novel "A Thousand Splendid Suns", is a child of 16-17 when she is married off to a grizzled 40 year old man, post her mother's suicide. When Khalid bespoke about her unrelenting pain and emotional crunch, I did feel peeved off but the realization altogether today is on a different scale. And, this happens, it happens to girls who live in areas of abject penury and distress. I know it won't happen to me, I know it won't happen to you too, who is reading this currently, but you never know. It might just happen, even in the most affluent of families it happens, when the fancies of a girl are crushed only to satiate the long anticipated feast or profit or as I said, "An Age Old Yardstick". Just imagine that happening, even for 10 seconds, I am sure it will bring a shiver down the spine. 

Mariam must have felt utterly devastated when it was happening to her, with no one to talk to, with no one around who could possibly revolt against it and save her life from the doom that followed.  And it happened to her because she was poor, because her dad could not take responsibility of accepting her as his daughter and because her mother was reduced to a cadaver and eventually her life became a can of worms. 

Marriage, is a sacred relation, a confluence , to speak very frankly, of grief and happiness. I would never wish it to be forced upon anyone at any cost. Not to you, not to me, not to any boy, not to any girl. There are stories, yes true accounts, in which girls are just sold once they reach puberty, married off, without having any empathy for them. And not only adolescents, even the ones fit enough to marry have to go through this sordid saga, yet they succumb, because they mostly have no to zero choice. 

Sometimes dreams that we have with our eyes closed manifest themselves as an eye-openers.

Monday, July 14, 2014

एक कुक्कुर की आत्मकथा

मैं  एक कुत्ता  हूँ।  अपना नाम बता   रहा हूँ लेकिन लग रहा है कि खुद को ही गाली दे रहा हूँ, मेरा  नाम मेरे माँ बाप ने ऐसा तोह नहीं रखा होगा की लोग उसे गाली से बुलाएं , शायद वक़्त के साथ गाली में  तब्दील हो गया हो जैसे की "रावण " गया । जब कोई इंसान कहे , "मैं  एक इंसान हूँ" तब तो कोई गाली नहीं होती फिर मेरे साथ ही ये नाइंसाफी क्यों ? मेरा कोई अस्तित्व नहीं?? मेरे साथी जिन्हे बंगले वाले लोग ले गए , उनके नाम हैं, कोई तुफ्फी है, कोई रॉकी है, कोई ब्रूनो है तो कोई शाहरुख़ है,  मेरा नाम कुत्ता है, गंदे नाली का कुत्ता, सड़कछाप कुत्ता , यहाँ तक की पागल कुत्ता।  मेरा भी तो कोई नाम होता जो प्यार से पुकारता कोई, मैं भी उछल -उछल के दौड़ लगाता , और अपने  मालिक की हिफाजत करता।  मेरा भी मन करता है जब मैं ब्रूनो को देखता हूँ, मेरे साथ ही बड़ा हुआ, और देखो आज कहाँ महल मैं राज कर रहा है, उसे मेरी याद भी नही आती है, सब भूल गया वो, कैसे मैंने उसको रेल गाड़ी के नीचे आने से बचाया था।  लेकिन ठीक है , वो खुश है.
 मुझे खाने के लिए दर दर भटकना पड़ता है, रात को सोता हूँ तो यह सोचते सोचते कि कल कहाँ खाना ढूंढूंगा , कहीं रात मै मुझसे ज़्यादा ताक़तवर मेरे जैसे कुत्ते मुझे मारने तो नहीं आएंगे , कहीं कोई शराबी अपनी बोतल मुझपर तो नहीं फेकेंगे , बच्चे मुझ पर  पत्थर तो नहीं मारेंगे , मेरा कोई घर भी नहीं है , जब बारिश होती है या सर्दी पड़ती है तो समझ में नहीं आता की कहाँ जाऊँ।  सर्दी तो मेरी चमड़ी को भी लगती है , पर सड़क का कुत्ता कहाँ से कपड़े ला सकता है।  कहीं किसी कोने में दुबक कर , सिकुड़ कर बैठ जाता हूँ , और काँपता रहता हूँ , अगर कहीं आग दिखती है तो बिलकुल शान्ति से जाकर पास बैठ जाता हूँ , ताकि कोई मुझसे डर   न जाये.
कोई काम नहीं हैं हमें , बस दिन भर इधर से उधर , उधर से इधर घूमते रहतें हैं , कभी हड्डी मिल जाए तो दिवाली हो जाती है और फिर तो पूछो ही मत. एक बार मुझ पर किसी ने कचड़ा फेंका , तबसे मुझे खुजली होती है , उसकी वजह से मेरे पूरे शरीर में बीमारी हो गयी है, और मेरा तो कोई है भी नहीं जो इलाज करवा दे. एक बार एक महिला मुझे ले गयीं और फिनाइल से मुझे नेहला दिया, तबसे कुछ ठीक महसूस कर रहा हूँ. कुछ लोग तो सच में अच्छे हैं यहाँ , कभी उनके घर का बचा खाना ही मिल जाता है तो लगता है दावत है आज . मेरा एक दोस्त भी है , वो एक चूहा है , हम दोनों खाने की तालाश में घुमते हैं और जो भी मिलता है , उसे बाट कर खातें हैं।  चुहु, अच्छा है, मेरा ख्याल रखता है , चलो कोई तो है   जो मुझे चाहता है , इसी में मई खुश   हूँ।  हर कोई प्यार चाहता है, कहीं से भी मिल जाता है तो खुश हो जाता हूँ।  कोई हल्का सा सर  सहला दे तो लगता है की हाँ मेरी भी कोई चिंता है , कोई ज़रा सर्दी में कम्बल ही उड़ा दे तो मन में उसके लिए सच्ची दुआ निकलती है।  ऐसा तो नहीं है की मुझे मेरी ज़िन्दगी पसंद नहीं , लेकिन अगर मुझे भी कोई मौका मिलता उसे शुरुआत से ही बेहतर बनाने का  मैं भी आज कहीं अच्छी जगह पर होता।
एक बीमारी हो गयी है , चुहु भी नहीं रहा , सोच रहा हूँ जल्दी मर जाऊं।  लोग गुज़रेंगे तो यह कह के निकल जाएंगे , "मर गया साला कुत्ता "

Saturday, July 5, 2014

When Sharapova met Sachin

Recently a controversy has stuck after Maria Sharapova accepted or to say, the world got to know that she does not know about Sachin Tendulkar. I saw this on Facebook few days ago which was followed by a gamut number of status(es) calling her insular and dubbing her ignorance as elitist. I tried to ignore it, because frankly speaking it didn't mean anything, because she didn't know of him; but I am sure when she comes to know about him she would certainly be all brownie points, because she well realizes how hard it is to reach at the pinnacle in sports career which is full of injuries, uncertainties and challenges.

Its only today that I read an article by an over-zealous fan in India that I decided to write. I think and strongly feel that its a very normal thing if she does not happen to know about the cricketing maestro. And I don't second the outrageousness on the part of Indian fans, its not bigotry after all if she is ignorant. No one is supposed to know about every Who's-Who in the world. We, Indians, ourselves do not know about the whole lot of legendaries in our country and find it very apt to criticize a someone, and comparing the number of likes on  her facebook with that of Sachin, and remarking in an utter disgraced manner that half of the likes are due to her beauty (sex appeal as used in the article).My Dear Writer, if it would have been as you claim then Sasha Grey would have the highest number of likes amongst everyone (2million currently).  Sachin, himself would have lambasted this kid who has drawn such nefarious comparison based on a number.

I mean there should be no fuss about this whole saga, made sordid now. There are gazillion of famous people whom we don't know, that doesn't mean that we are ignorant or insular. What matters is that when we know about them, we do get amazed. This highly rabid and blinkered view by fans just reflects their ignorance about a normal human behavior. By going their such behavior, it seems that they would murder an Indian who does not of Sachin or of any other famous figure. When an Indian dies due to lack of food, gets murdered in front of us, is being eve-teased in front of us, is in tears because of some problem, it does not infuriate us, but suddenly Sharapova not knowing Sachin seethes us with an infinite resentment and anger. Why? Is it necessary to be so over-reactive? Doesn't it rather tell us, that we are insular and obstreperous?

Such behavior is no less than what is practiced in Taliban, whose activist kill everyone who comes to give Polio vaccine in their areas, for they feel its against their God and religion to give a Polio vaccine. There's a smorgasbord number of things, we don't know about or others don't know about and they are equally famous in their own worlds, and not knowing them doesn't amount to an iota of blasphemy. Such behavior which has evinced so much of non-required hoopla, which is utterly extrapolated and downright retrogressive has boldened the deep-rooted apathy among the fans in terms of logical thinking and is a preclude to a healthy fan-environment, giving rise to only fanatics. I mean, such vitriolic criticism to a person for not knowing some other very famous personality is something I would scoff at as many times I hear it.

As an old adage goes, "When we judge a person, it does not tell about them, it tells about us". And exactly it happens here, such monomaniacal interest proves that the fans worship Sachin as the Lord of the Rings, but fail to acknowledge the fact that the other Gods might be oblivious to it, who if come to know, will certainly dance with pleasure of the achievements of the former and drink ambrosia together, on a metaphorical note; which is much more important and hence, significant. Its such a pity, carving out invectives, engendering stupid conversations for no meaningful reason.

The reason of fury is more infuriating to me, personally. Both are great sports figures, and I know of them both, that I assume saves my life in this part of the world. Suddenly, a being-Indian feeling emerged, where does this feeling vanish, when in our day-to-day lives we witness situations which actually need our voice and concern? I know, no one can herald a much needed change in our country in a single day, but I rigorously feel, we can herald that around ourselves on a daily basis (Period), and trust me, its an exhilarating experience. Criticising her, meant and quite loudly that only Sachin's achievements are achievements, other's accolades are nothing. I respect Sachin, he is an A class batsman, and I am a fan too, but I would not resort to such an abrasive behavior.

Where is the sporty spirit in the fans who are ardent devotees of a famous sports figure? I think such display of character, is not only faulty right from the core, but also emblematic of the fact that some Indians can go crazy for no reason. I would request them to live a more realistic and rational life and in future not to resort to such inane and fatuous behavior.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Are you glued to your Smart Phone?

Smartphones. Good Phones. Handy Phones. Phones that have become synonymous to life. Synonymous to entertainment. Synonymous to breathing. People owning a smart phone are a part of a pantheon. Phones which have become inevitable, indispensable and a lifeline.

I have an incidence that has motivated me to write this blog. 
"Last night while I was having my dinner, a couple of girls who live in the same place I do, were also having dinner. But they were chewing less and chatting more. So, much so that their one hand was in the plate, hanging like someone hangs puppets, and the other busy on the smart phone. The moment later, when I finished up with my dinner, one of them was standing on stairs, now with her both hands engaged on her smartphone."

Such incidences are not uncommon. If you ever happen to travel in Delhi Metro, and in that, in female section, you will witness a strange sight. Only 0.5% can be found reading something, rest all busy on smartphones, listening to songs, chatting, and glued to it like they are being paid to. Yes, correct, Addiction. Smartphones have become an addiction. They are killng in every way, one can be productive in a real way. As an intern I used to work in a famous company and had a chance to meet with its CEO. He told me a strange thing. Due to extreme usage of his phone for checking mails, and doing all the subsidiary jobs his fingers had become contorted and becoming like that permanently, his treatment was going on. 

Seems like, its no less than a challenge in present times to spend an hour without anything, with just self. Excess of everything is bad, real bad. Its a common notion that smartphones have made people connected, true, they have, but who hangs to his/her phone while eating, sleeping?  This seems downright outrageous. Technological times have led to an advent to lonely times. People have forgotten that their body needs them, to talk to them. It seems like an itch, when the net-pack finishes, and one is not able to WhatsCrap anymore. I mean, someone told me , that "if you buy a smart phone, we will always feel connected". But, on a practical note, I told my dear friend, that if in any exigency they called me up or texted, I have no reason I won't call them back. Using smartphones, as time pass has only led to killing of time when we could have been genuinely productive.

I know you can do a million of things using your smart phones, half of them extraordinary. But I know this too, if its not an addiction, then its fine. There is so much look around, feel nature, talk to people, engage with them and much more healthy than being hooked to the SPs. The light rays strain eyes in the worst of ways. The waves have become so predominant that first de-addiction center in India was opened by NIMHANS, Bangalore. 

Lets not become slaves to our phones, lets open our eyes to our surroundings and our own-selves too. Lets use them for what they have been conceived, and not recklessly become dependent onto them for everything. Not lately, I heard of an "APP" that could track your partner, his/her activities. Scoffing !Life existed before smart phones too ! They have made our lives more convenient , but lets not allow them to get our every second of life. Too much exposure ain't healthy. #BeJudicious

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Infidelity: A curious case

In yesterday's newspaper that I read today, a shocking incidence came  into fore. A husband purportedly murdered his wife for having an affair. Now, not that I am saying what he did was correct or incorrect, because actually just like a light spectrum, this scale is also a spectrum with its rear ends being the "incorrect" and "correct". The reason that he put forth was "infidelity" on her end. 

We see infidelity, largely as execrable in these times, a larceny so reprehensible that the person often ends up being ostracised from the society or meeting the same fate as the wife in this news. I know justifying against it can be a dangerous accord. But I feel we need to have a change in perception towards this infidelity. Its very human to seek love, affection, understanding, care and warmth. Everyone likes it, desires it and basks in glory of emotional happiness when he/she gets it, and right on the other end, the paucity of it, or sudden contortion makes the world go upside down. If a person has a fling with n people prior to marriage its considered to be quite not like a felony, and just a normal, healthy thing, sometimes taken with rancour but largely as not a threat. But if the same thing happens post marriage, it becomes infidelity. The point to be understood here is that the emotional needs, desires of person remain always the same before and after marriage, on the other end, in fact, increase post marriage and its a mutual thing that is experienced by both the partners. So, why does infidelity amount to a punishment? 

If someone is dissatisfied in the relation, they have every right to be satisfied, to be happy and live life happily, marriage does not make someone a slave or a lackey at someone else's hands, if it does, then I staunchly question it being pious. So, suppose A married B and now A is not happy, has tolerated, practiced let-it-go for the fear of society, for the fear of being defamed, and if A is a girl then double whammy at her door step, A clomps everyday of his/her life unhappily and thus in great depression and mental instability. So, if A finds happiness in sharing things with some C, becomes attached on a higher level of emotion as compared to A, then what is  so wrong. Everyone does that to satiate themselves of the challenges life throws at them, every single person is busy finding a succor in form of anything and everything, as inanimate as a computer (as in a recent movie). Human seeking humility, gentleness and love is a pretty very very normal thing. Second, marriage does not entail anyone getting a slave for the life time, who will follow all your diktats alike. Love is a human right, feeling happy is a right too. But, just after marriage it becomes a crime. Its not easy to walk out of a marriage gone wayward, its an ordeal which only mounts the pressure by every passing day. 

So, its simple, if any suspicion of 'infidelity', the need of the hour is communication and not a sudden gush of feelings like hatred, malice, condemn or criticism. I am sure people fit enough to marry are mature enough to communicate in a sincere manner than just being a puppet to sudden feeling and committing a sin.Communication can solve all problems if people are not tied to their respective egos and are willing to listen and sacrifice. The news of snatching the valuable life from a wife makes me question the two worlds I exist in, the one which is all practical and the one which is still grass-rooted to the darkness of self-made rituals and protocols, lacerates my heart. 

I know many would not like what I feel and dub me as overly-western, but seeking love in hostile times is neither Indian or western, its universal. I know sometimes it may be deliberate too, but then whatever, nothing merits such a brutal end. As for me, if my partner practices 'infidelity' I would rather introspect where I fell short of affection that they had to seek external quarters, and if everything's intact and still they want to be 'infidel' (as society calls it), I would happily let them continue in their voyage of love, because thats not a mistake, no one owes you anything though it would be very painful. And no power, no bond on earth can prevent nor should restrict anyone to seek love and care.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A memorable trip to Value Lanes




We were flabbergasted back at Vivanta Taj when we were told that the second weekend we all were being taken for an Outbound Learning Trip (OBL), the name of the destination was kept hidden though to mark it as a surprise. We were all very excited because after a wonderful and most comfortable stay at the palace-like-hotel we were being taken for a trip and an accidental slip of tongue of one of the members resulted in a word 'rafting' and that further pushed the adrenaline rush within all of us.

It was a long trip to 'Value Lanes', took close to two hours for us, a group of 248 students. It was a two day trip, or excursion to speak precisely.

Brief Introduction about Value Lanes
Value Lanes, an area spread across 7.5 acres, and 40 km away from the heart of Bangalore has been set up by retired Army officials. The tasks carried out here in groups or teams are tailored such that during the course of the task, right from the beginning till the end, a spectrum of values moral in nature are learnt and which push a person to think beyond. It is run by the best men I must say, who are ardent devotees of self-discipline, style and in-depth experience of life and its scourges. The way they speak, the way they treat you, the way they make you understand things, you can say that they have actually lived their lives in the best spirit and not just existed all this time in their vis-a-vis with life. The physical tasks are lesser strict versions of the ones that actually happen in the army, yet subtle enough to echo the intended messages.

First Day(20 July 2014)

We reached Value Lanes around 10:30 am in morning. We were divided into three big groups and every big group was to do a collective activity, further divided into sub groups. There were in total three activities, which were to be performed by every group on that day turn by turn. The first activity was chalking out the strategy to make out the path using hardware such as two bamboo sticks and ropes, and then completing the hurdle and when all members of the subgroup completed then only the task was assumed to have been done. This task, taught us a couple of important things. First, at the time of beginning of any task (read project) it is very important to figure out the strategy with which the team should move forward, because any flaw in it during the running time, costs time for coming up with another strategy to solve it. Second, co-ordination. Since the task was being performed by two sub-teams from the either ends, it taught us to look into the interest of others, who are also a part of the bigger project and at the same time completing our goals too. Mutual co-operation was the third aspect. The best thing after completion of task by all 80 students was the brainstorming session, in which the lead of the sub-teams of 80 was called up to share his/her experience, the challenges the team faced, the strategy they used to overcome it, how far it proved to be successful and how they could have bettered it.These sessions of reflections were excellent because the broaching on the tasks forced everyone to think and analyse themselves in larger scheme of things

Second task, and the most favorite of everybody was an utter ardous, strenous physical activity task. In this we actually got a feel of training in army. Crossing two ditches by jumping, a large one by a tarzen rope, then a spider web, tyre wall, hanging bridge, everything was exciting right from the very beginning till the end. And it left us very tired, and have contributed to the cramps all over body, yet we rejoice in them. And the indubitable testimony to the fact that we purely loved it was, that we again did them, again and again till we mastered our fears.  

The third task was making a tent, in which four members in team of 5 were blindfolded and only leader could see and hence guide. This task reciprocated the value of trusting the team lead, how well the mutual trust and belief is in the team. All of these tasks, which were planned very meticulously by the organisers in its every vestige were effusive with the values needed but not predominant in hordes of people around us.

Working in a team is not as easy, behind a successful team are contradictions, arguments, difference in opinions channelised in a proper way and in way way to do better for a team rather than reduce it to mere group of some n people sharing a common goal. The food served was also sumptuous.

Second Day
Second day we did more fun. It comprised of conquering the hills, going high on them, identifying the targets and smacking them down with the gun, paintball, correct. Walking up the hill really fast was amazing and the satisfaction of killing the animated targets downright chilling. However, when I was going in my task, I actually felt it was real like and some sort of suspicion also grew, since we were on a hill in a wild area, you don't know when an animal might just turn up out of nowhere. That made me realize, though its a feeling I have grown up with, that searching for enemies, terrorists at the stake of our lives is a very daring experience because you don't know which second you might get knocked down, its all a game of calculated risk, courage and smartness. Next off, again there was a bamboo race, in which we were supposed to tie our feet with thick bamboos with ropes and walk all the way to the finish line.
Only two feet could remain untied, two of the same person or one-one of two different persons. The most important part in this activity was tying the knots tightly, because any sluggish knot meant a fall. The best thing was that everyone completed the race, called as 'Human Skiing'. The third activity was more of spontaniety, we were asked to jump onto 40 numbers in an ascending orderput randomly in an open room, in 40 seconds, with no one stepping on the same block  at the same time. These were all fun. Unfortunately, since the water flow was low, we could not do 'rafting', yet what all we did was the best we could have at Value Lanes. A plethora of values and new friends.

When I entered Value Lanes, I really didn't pay attention to its name, but now I understand why its called as 'Value Lanes' and since I have been back from there I am feeling very happy and sorted out. Such little fun activities will turn up as instances later in our lives, when we will look back and take a decision in accordance with what we learnt at Value Lanes. I have tried to put up an inexplicable experience. The images of men who made it and guided us will remain fresh in my mind, and the lessons with me every morning I wake up and at every night I go to retire.

With the creators of Value Lanes.

Thank You SRI-B.


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