Friday, December 31, 2010

India(n)'s New Year Resolution



India(n)'s New Year Resolution

* End corruption
* Stop black money flow
* No scams
* No scandals
* Abolish child labour
* Realise gender equality
* Respect women
* Worship workplace & its true ethics
* Strive for higher literacy rate, and better quality of education to children
* Save water
* Save electricity
* Stop adulteration
* Hang rapists
* Keep judicial system, police force and government as 3 independent systems
* Solve criminal cases in a jiffy, (not after the victim is old, brain dead and eventually dead) and NEVER let them free again.
* Stop bribery
* Maintain communal, social, economical, regional harmony. Its our country, its our world.
* Jail druggists for life
* Don't spit on any public property
* Don't treat the roads like your trash can
* Harsher rules on faggers and boozers, enforce the ones in effect properly at least
* Don't waste money, charity is an option if you don't want to "spend" the money
* Treat neighbours with love and respect
* Nation first, yourself second

Jai Hind!

Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Journey to the 22 yards, Part 2

(for part 1, click here)
In came Sreesanth, and the match had begun! I was in the stadium with a thin, but noisy crowd, and noisy it sure was! Right from the word "GO", the kids were very busy with the loud horns and trumpets and whistles!

It looked very bright, sun was out above our head, and it was all so very well for cricket. In a few overs' time, Sreesanth had gotten India its first wicket! Guptil was out caught behind. Of course, we had no clue about the edge. The players celebrated, so did we ;-) . We had to wait for the replay to have a better look at what had happened. And the sun was shining on the screen, so, we couldn't see much of it at the first go, but the multiple replays helped! And very soon, their second wicket was also down... Sreesanth had uprooted McIntosh's stumps.. This was much clearer! The stumps were cartwheeling! It was such a wonderful sight! I just love it when a pacer beats the defense of a batsman and hits the stumps hard enough for the stump to take a walk!

Our favourite, Ross Taylor went in to bat, and he played some gorgeous drives on the off side, assisted by Bhajji's unsure fielding. But then, he wasn't going to stay in there for long, as Ishant and Ojha shared the duties in reducing the Kiwis to half their size by the time they went in for lunch.

All throughout that session, we had Sachin fielding near our stands. And he received, you know, thunderous welcome every time he came our way! To each of it, he would show his appreciation with a wave of hands, wearing a serene smile on his face! And on some other occasions, there would be Ishant or Gambhir. Both of whom got loud cheers from us. Ishant got "Complan Boy" cheers for sure! :-P

We had to settle for bread-pakodas and samosas for our lunch, and some desserts (read as soft drinks and ice-creams). We didn't bother much, food was secondary to us all! The game was what we came there for.

And the players returned for the last session of play. We had to go higher up in the stands to avoid the gleaming afternoon sun, which I had been resisting thus far. From the top most possible box, the view was exactly what they call "bird's eye"! The players on the field seemed to be miles away, but it was a different feel! When the 6th wicket fell, we thought it was a procession out there. New batsmen came and went, but Jesse Ryder held fort at the other end.

We had been wondering why McCullum (Baz) had not yet arrived at the crease till then, and had our own theories about it (injured, not playing, slept off etc). But now he arrived. And very soon, both Baz and Ryder had injuries on the ground... Ryder had a sore thigh or something, and Baz had pulled a muscle while going for a run. And, bot of them had an injury being carried into the match. So, as per the agreement between the captains, neither of the two were allowed a by-runner. And then on, it was more of stand-and-play, whereas MSD spread the field and made the two to run for their runs!

Nor did they run much, nor were they scoring much. It was a boring phase. A stalemate. And then, Ryder threw his wicket away to Bhajji towards the end of the day. Either he lost his concentration, or got tired of staying put... Either way, we folks got a big boost to enjoy the day on a happy note! We were all the team's expert now. Each of us knew exactly how to get the three remaining batsmen out within two overs the next day. This was the conversation we had on our lips as we walked toward the East to board a bus, leaving the stadium behind us. The stadium was dark on one side and was bathing a shade of bright red on the other side, courtesy the sun! A giant red ball, visible between two trees, it was a beautiful sight.

As we reached the cross-roads, the police patrol was busy directing the crowd so as to avoid any traffic jam. This place has no traffic problems any other time of the year. Just that 5000 vehicles swarm this place during the match-days! So, we cut around the corner and proceed to bus-stop..........STOP!!! The place was flooded by people! I bet 1000s of them! We were NEVER getting on board a bus if we are to wait for one there. So, we had an idea flash in front of us. We crossed the road, and boarded a bus going in the opposite direction, got down at the next stop and boarded the bus on our route from there! So, we saved time, and patience!

And by the time we reached "Burdi", which is the heart of the city, I had sore throat and hence, cough, cold, running nose and all its family members. I got some cough drops and an inhaler to help me fight through this. We bade goodbye to our little chap, and returned to our hostel. It was a cool evening, and a mild breeze blew across our face on the auto-trip back to room. I was tired, and wasn't even sure if I knew what I was talking to the people who wanted to know about the match. (there was a power cut in the hostel all day long, so we were the only ones who had seen the match! :-P ). After the dinner, I crashed into my bed and fell asleep!

The 2nd morning, same routine- got up early, bathed, left hostel by 7 am. This time, we went to that Burdi place to have our breakfast, to avoid putting our tummies to any risk. I was loaded with my cough drops and inhaler. (and we decided not to carry our charts today, no one noticed it, so, not worth the work).

We went to the stadium riding a tempo/share-auto... Some 13 people squeezed in a tiny space, and that included an Englishman, who seemed to be sarcastically impressed with it ("aah... can happen only in India"). The journey was quick, and we were there b 8 45.

The play began at 9 am. It was calm, and not many people were present when the play started. Baz left early, to Ishant. And now, the tail was in! Right below our bay, school kids ad started to flow in. They rushed inside in huge numbers and were scattering in all sides, which startled the ground staff, who were seated comfortably down there, without a thing to worry...till then! And now, they shoed them away from the railing and then made them sit on one side. LOUD cheers of "INDIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA INDIAAAAAAAAA" echoed throughout the stadium, and we joined the chorus!

Today, Ishant got more cheer, the kids love him. And Gambir got "Captain Gauti" complements on being selected te previous night as the new captain for the following ODI series. He was blushing, to sum his expression! Ishant then knocked back Andy McKay's stumps! My favourite Indian bowler on the ground and him destroying the furniture was quite a sight!!! And the legendary batsman of the 21st century, Chris 'Phantom' Martin came in to bat along with the always promising Tim Southee. Martin was brilliant! No one could breach past him :-P . But Southee was now depositing balls towards our end. One fell short, one fell into our stands. First, we liked it. Then it grew irritating! And soon enough, he cheered us up by throwing his wicket away.

Viru called for it at mid on. Some of us saw the ball in the air coming down, the rest who didn't spot the ball looked at Viru. He pouched it and went into the dressing room, which was just behind him! NZ all out for 193... a little more that what we thought we could restrict them to.

And all of us were now craning our necks to have a good look of the dressing room. The umpires came in first, who got some cheer... Then came to Kiwis, who got a little more. After a few minutes of practice on the field, they came together for a huddle. but the attention shifted to the men who mattered - Indian Openers, Viru and Gauti!!!! The Delhi Duo have become very fearsome in the recent past, and we all were waiting since the previous day for this treat!

From now on, Viru and Gauti helped us lose some pounds of body weight. We were put to the duo's fitness regime of sit-and-stand exercise. We sat and waited for the ball to be bowled, which would be belted to some corner of the field, and we all got up to cheer out the name of the batsman who played the stroke. Occasionally, the celebration will feature dancing, slogan shouting, and in extreme case, swearing :-P . When Viru stepped out to Dan and deposited him over the long on boundary, we were surprised it was a 6! He hit it so effortlessly! Gauti was just creaming the ball between the gaps. The kiwis were just flightless! Lunch was called. Everyone took a breather. Openers wanted to get their breath back for some more brutal explicit cricket, the fielding team wanted to wake up from the unconsciousness, and we needed something in our tummy to fuel us through the subsequent sessions!

After a good lunch, the play resumed. Slow to start, picked up pace, and lost its steam when Viru got out. Then, in came Rahul Dravid, whom people didn't respect much due to his recent form. But I was more than happy to see him in. In my mind I had this imaginary book, and I put a tick mark next to "Watch Rahul Dravid play". He came in and played with unmatched charisma, so very conscious of what he was doing. A defensive stroke was so beautiful. A shot was so stunning, that we would wave a salute to him from the stands. Not for nothing is he "The Wall". Watching him play, was like watching poetry in motion, silken touch, handsome play(er)!

Gauti perished to a tame delivery, and another wonderful innings ended short of its destination. He now had his touch back in his armory and was ready to lead the side in ODIs. As Gauti left the ground, the crowd stood in appreciation, clapping loudly. After he left, the clapping stopped, but not a single soul sat down. All were awaiting the entry of the one man, claimed demi-God, the single man who has been breaking though every possible record...Sachin Tendulkar! This reception, might have been rarely received for someone who is just entering the pitch. I dont think Steve Waugh got this loud reception after his last innings in Sydney (if you remember the match, you know how big that innings meant to him personally, and to the team, having saved the test).

So, now, we have Sachin and Dravid out in the middle. Tea was called, and play resumed in 20 minutes. And for 35 balls, not a single run was taken. Which was making the crowd restless. When Sachin finally drove the ball down the ground for a couple, the whole stadium got up and cheered, in a mocking manner :-P ! Then on, the two settled in and played some exquisite strokes. Especially the ones straight down the ground, their feet so assured, the fielders' feet so immovable. The two were painting a beautiful cricketing match on the ground, while the sun was dipping into the horizons, painting a scene itself along with the landscape in the distant vicinity!

As the day ended, India already led the Kiwis by a big distance, and were comfortably in the driver's seat! Dravid and Sachin were in ominous touch! And now, we had so much to share, talk, discuss and relive!

I had enjoyed my two days at the stadium, my first ever attendance at an international cricket game. If at I had a wish not granted, it was watching VVS Laxman playing. He was the man I was hoping to see playing. He is my favourite batsman in the current set up. But, ah well, it was a very good experience. More so, because India was playing better and was all set to win this match, having saved one from the jaws of defeat and drawn the other "comfortably". As I went back to my hostel that evening, I was recollecting frames from the two days, reliving those moments. It was a nice feel, though my not-so-nice health brought me back to reality time and again.

Watch a cricket match in live attendance - check! :-)

(Looking forward to getting my hands on ticket for the world cup game (Ind-SA) :-) )

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Women Empowerment, the target still remains a dream

What should've been done ages ago, still remains as a continuous process "under construction". Women Empowerment, a phrase pledged by many, kept by only a few.

Ancient India was a land of richness and equality. Women enjoyed equality, and it was not looked upon as a discrimination on the basis of gender. Women were treated with divinity and respect. Women with treated with love, women were treated just as any other human being.

But by around 500 BC or so, their status began to decline at the hands of men. Things started to change. The Mughal rule and the European invasion made things worse. Women went on to become social slaves. Women fell innocent preys to social stigmas, "sati", the worst of them. Men made rules for the women. Purdah system stepped in. Dowry came as a monetory value of compensation on marriage, as if men thought women are not worth their level, and the gap had to be compensated with money and other valuables. Women weren't allowed to see/enjoy the world beyond the walls of the house they were "kept" in. There were a few notable leaders who tried to educate the people on equality, Guru Nanak being one of the most famous of them. But there were too many people to be educated, and very less number of teachers!

The "british raj" made things even worse, when they portrayed the Indian women a lot darker. Leaders grew large in number against such treatment. Some brave women broke stigmas, made some name for themselves and encouraged women to break free. Chennamma of Kittur and Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi were both queens of large respected states and enjoyed comfort in their own places. But these were the women who took their rights to their hands and defeated the british army all by themselves.

And then on we have had so many other names... But in the 21st century, the finishing line with "Women Empowerment" is a very hazy far figure, yet to be neared.

Yes, we have political leaders, actors, players, businesswomen, technocrats and all. But, do you think they are representing the common women, with regards to mental peace? I mean to say, do you think a common woman enjoys the same amount of peace and security as these people? Go on a walk around your neighbour-hood. You will come across the general people, kids, teenagers, elders, shopkeepers, working janta and vehicle pliers. Do you not see, in some way or the other, the women still a storey below where they must be? Women walk out of their home with a confidence to achieve what they dream of, but so many of those are short lived because of social stigmas. And most, if not all, are because of men... The small percentage (not-men) is due to the women of yester-generation who are unwilling to give up unsocial beliefs.

With no direct offence meant to any individual, I proceed to cite some unanswered issues.

I love sports, probably most of you know that. So, I begin with the same. In the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, the cricket crazy Indian nation was introduced to some Haryaanvi girls. I do agree, I did not know most of them. But once they did come up in the news, I tracked their history. I'll give you just a couple of examples. Haryana is a land known for agriculture, and wrestling. We've seen many many wrestlers come from Haryanvi families, and India is proud of them. This time, the limelight was taken with authority by the girls from the state.

First example - sisters Geeta and Babita. Geeta won gold,and Babita won silver in their respective categories in wrestling. Their father is a wrestler and he taught them bravery. He sent them to training sessions with the coaches of the Wrestling Federation of India. He encouraged them, and instilled the fact that they have in them what it takes to win! And despite the fellow villagers objecting to sending "their girls" for sports, despite all the loathing, the girls went on with their hearts full of confidence and returned with their heads held high. And the fellow villagers? They now hail them as the "Lions of the Village". Babita recalls that she used to be teased when she rode her bike and sported short hair, being told "that is not what girls do. go back to your home and stay indoors". She is not afraid to tackle any man, and now the men do know what she is capable of.

The second example - India's Golden girl, Saina Nehwal. She hails from Haryana is proud of that, but grew up in Hyderabad. She shares the feelings of the other sportswomen from Haryana. Saina recollects that her grandmother was actually sad that it was a girl baby, she wanted a boy! She refused to look at Saina for more than a month! But when India's last gold medal was in sight, which would guarantee a second place on the final medals tally for India, the heart of over a million Idian was pounding for this girl, the prayers of them all directed towards her. And she had a superb comeback victory that scripted India's Silver medal place on the final charts.

Haryana's sex ratio is 847 women to 1000 men.

While Indian men's hockey team gets all the attention and service, the women team, for long periods were bunked in low class hostel and had to wash their own clothes and paid low fees. Utter discrimination? YES!

Moving on...
Do you think all the cine-stars are happy with the top-level status? Well, not many. Sometimes, stardom hurts. more so, for the ladies.

Pamela Anderson arrived in India a few weeks ago, and it took her just 2 minutes to start hating the Indian men. She never thought India was full of people who "wanted to touch her".
1. this showed that she never pictured it up before, meaning, the foreigners do assume Indians to be well behaved; 2. now she will always regret having that prejudice before coming to India, and with her number and level of contacts back at home, many more will share the same. Those "desperate" people have let the whole nation down, thanks to their attitude to women!

Gul Panag, once contested Miss Universe representing India (having won Miss India in 1999) was in New Delhi for the marathon last month. And when she had finished the race, she had just nothing but complaints, about the men. She complained that the men groped her during the marathon. This was an international marathon, and she was a woman of utmost respect, who knew how to handle the media, and the word spread like a wild fire across the country and beyond the international borders! She said that when she fell down, men took the chance to grope her instead of helping her back onto her feet! And added, if she had to complain, it had to be against all men of the city, which was improbable to do, and hence didn't make a complaint, else she was ready to complain. My friend who works in Delhi agreed about the indifferent attitude of Delhi men towards women.

New Delhi is the capital of India. Not setting a good example with that! The problem is not domestic any more.

Coming to advertisements on print or television media. If the ads for deodorants and shampoos and soaps and hair gel and cigarettes and liquor and casual wears all come to portray the thought of "women will be turned of if you use it", I am telling you, it is not helping the case, but making it worse! I don't think any women will, on a sane note, agree to sell a product after being exploited on any level.



Indian janta loves its actresses. They will queue in front of any theatre to watch a movie, just for the sake of the actress with shameless phrases on their lips (like "arrey, woh pakka maal hai" or, "sariyaana figure aval..paarthae aaganum"), why don't I see that many women as brand ambassadors for commodities. I just saw a list of Indians with highest endorsements. it had Amitabh, Dhoni, Sachin, Shah Rukh, Akshay Kumar and few other men... NOT a single woman! I bet hands down, Aishwarya Rai has done more than what most male actors have. I bet Saina Nehwal has achieved a fandom more than some male sportsmen. But no, Indian advertisers will have ads on TV with men. But when it comes to print media, there will be a skimpily clad girl on left side to catch your attention and the text on the right side for you to read. Typical advertising idea, which worked on men. Why, aren't women also potential customers?

Solution?

There are a lot of examples which you can share too. People have to take this issue onto a whole new serious level. The current and next generation must live in a better atmosphere. It must be built on trust, and the trust must come from the current and older generation. For this, the older gen must be taught about the freedom the women folk deserve by right! And then, there will be more and more, if not all, willing to live and let live. I am pretty sure many have ideas that can be put into effect at some level. You can start it by changing the mentality of some men around you, help women stand on their own feet and feel that every one of them is worth the immense knowledge and intelligence and are not a puppet held by others!

India will then make a faster move towards the freedom described by the Father of out Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who said that true freedom will achieved only when our women can walk the streets of our nation in the night without any fear.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Journey to the 22 yards, Part 1

On a toss between which blog should host this post, this blog won fair and square... (whats so fair about square?)

A couple of weeks ago, around this time, I had just returned from a little stationery shopping - charts and markers. No, I didn't have a presentation the following day in my college. It was going to be my first ever attendance at a cricket stadium for a test match! India was to take on New Zealand at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha/Nagpur. And, I was excited about it, felt like a kid!

Having missed out on a chance to attend a test match a couple of years ago (Ind-Eng @ Madras) thanks to the hefty security that left more security personnel in the stadium than spectators, I was looking forward to this game for more than 2 months! Day 1 and 2 were on the weekend, and "the stage was set" (sorry for being Ravi Shastrish)

Back to the present... I spread the chart paper on my bed, stared at it, my eye focusing way beyond it. It was one of those situations where you don't know what to do, because you have too much going on in your mind. My roommate came by, picked up one of those charts, wrote one in expectation of Sachin's 50th ton. My brain cells couldn't win a war over the what I should write, and after dinner, when I zeroed in on what to write about, I had no choice of words to put in". So, I went out for another walk for some edible shopping, which we finished off later that night during a party thrown by my classmate who was about to leave for greener pastures.

Anyway, it was nearing midnight, and I wanted to sleep, thinking I would write after I go to the stadium, and went to bed.

Got up at 5 30 next morning, soon enough woke my roommate. I took bath in the cold shower. Noticed that there was a power cut. And with some time on hand before the planned departure, I finally arrived at what I wanted to write. (keep the drum rolls coming, its on the way). Scwibbled it on the charts, wrapped it up and we were ready. the third guy of the group arrived, and we left the campus in search of an auto the bus stop. Nothing starts early in the morning in this part of the country. (catalyst - wintry chillness, and a little bit of rain)

We finally got one and reached the bus stop (Chatrapathi) and we had to wait for my friend's 10 year old cousin to join us. In the meantime, one bus, not very crowded, went past us. Assured by my friend that there will be many more of them we waited for the little chap to arrive. He did very soon, and we were off. A standing ride to the stadium, but not painful, then began! The highway was beautiful, black road, green surroundings. A cool wind eclipsing the picture of yellow sunshine. When the Caribbeans sang "Sun is shining, and the weather is sweet", they probably meant this.

A little further was a 10 minute break at a petrol station. And then, we went past the hotel where the players were staying (but they were already at the stadium). In 10-15 minutes, we were at Jamtha. From a mile away, the stadium was looking beautiful! A neat white structure with tall floodlight towers, and peeking holes portraying the yellow/blue/green/purple seats in the background. Seeing is believing.

Once we got down, we cut down that one mile between us and the stadium. We had to buy the tickets. We were walking straight down the road and we almost went past one asbestos shed bunker that could've easily slipped past us as a tea hawker's shop, caught my attention. Someone was putting up a banner on it... the sign read "Tickets here". And we went on for it. "Bay E, Level 1, seats 31-34" it read. And each one of us had our own version of where it was. And enthusiastically, we reached the gates of the stadium. my roommate pointed out Laxman Sivaramakrishnan in the Toyota Innova that went past us and into the VIP gate. LSK was about to wear his sunglass in the car. I thought he was going to sing a song for us, but that will be just me...

With the stubborn guards not allowing us in even after 9 pm for a match that was scheduled to start at 9 30, the twitter updates from cricinfo and NDTV were the only things that kept us "within the game" that time. Then came the security check. He looks at the charts and says, "what are these?". C'mon Mr Policeman, what did you expect a chart paper to have, my report card? he opens, and reads them... Don't know whether he read them or not. he fouund one of them empty (we thought of making one if something exciting happened during the course of the game. He said, "no, you are not allowed to take in empty charts! strict order". And he takes away the empty chart (also my bag with a couple of water bottles in them. But then, gave my bag to a shopkeeper to safeguard it instead).

Finally one stadium manager who seemed to be driving down that way found us all waiting outside, and immediately rang up the subordinates and asked them to open all the gates. he apologized to us on the gatekeepers' behalf. So sweet. The same policeman, who takes the empty chart away, allowed me to take pen and markers inside. Funny? Stupid!

We enter what we think is our bay, get through the security checks and get seated right near the boundary line! WOW! what a view! The ground was greener than the green crayon you used in your kindergarten. And there was a camel near the pitch. Oops, sorry, that was Ishant Sharma! 6'5", no kidding! he was taller than all present on the ground!

The sign on the little big screen said "match delayed due to wet outfield". There was sun shining at most parts of the ground, but there was one shady part near the east side, which was still wet due to rain in the previous afternoon. "Supersoppers" were put on heavy duty. Saw dust was sprayed around and the advertising boards were cleaned. Sunil Gavaskar was frantically waving his hand in front of the camera, explaining something to the television viewers... No play for a while. The whole area under the shade was to be blotched out dry! It would take some time.

And we were informed by the ground staff that we were in the wrong tier, and we were supposed to be on the first tier, and me huffed and puffed and made it to the top tier. The view was more clear now, whole ground visible!

So, the play was delayed... But, we were not sad. It was a first-time for all four of us here, and we were all so very excited to see the Kiwi players practicing near our side of the ground.McCullum, Ryder, Martins, Guptil, Hopkins, Jeetan Patel, Southee, Taylor, and of course, NZ's beautiful physio Miss WhateverhernameWhocares. Taylor was the only one who would respond to our cheering, whenever we called his name. He would wear that handsome smile and wave his hands, and we would go frenzy over that and try our chance at the other players. When none of them responded, we were back at Taylor again, who didn't disappoint us :-) . ( "I'm just a kid" )

Near the Pavilion (Southern side) were the Indian players practicing. Ojha running, Srisanth and Ishant bowling, Sehwag throwing balls for MSD to bat. And at the far end (west) was Sachin, with coach Gary for some fielding practice. And, the west stands were flooded with school kids. Once they saw Sachin their side, they rushed to that corner of the stands, like water collecting towards one side of a tilted conical flask! And boy, can they shout! Every time Sachin caught a ball, the noise from that section of the ground was loud enough to catch the attention of anyone on the train that runs on the track behind the stadium!

Nearing 11 am, players went in for lunch, sighting no chance of play anytime soon. the kits were still on the ground suggesting play wasn't going to start for more than "anytime soon". After some more ground inspections by the referee and umpires and groundsmen, between which supersoppers and ground staffs were working out hard, the call came in that the game would start at 12 30 pm! At 12 noon, there would be toss. Sunny Gavaskar did a pitch report. It was a touch green, supposedly hard and thought to favour batsmen. The mic Sunny had was not connected to the ground audio-system. So, we didn't hear what he said about the pitch. But I was very very excited. This was the perfect time for me to bring out my chart! I un-rolled it, opened it and waved it enthusiastically! It read "Make Earth Greener. Make Pitches Greener. Save Test Cricket" . And after Sunny's talk, I pinned it there on the railing with some wiring me and the little chap found there.

Ravi Shastri ( I think) hosted the toss, and the captains were out there with the match referee. MSD tossed it up, and Ravi Shastri went to Vettori with the mic. So, it meant NZ haf won the toss. And it, by default, meant NZ were batting. Many of us were expecting to see the likes of Viru and Sachin and Laxman out there, but we were just as excited to see all of the them walk into the field together!

Sarva-darshan!

We quickly spotted them all one by one as they came out of the dressing room. Dravid was the second last, Sachin the prestige!

And then came in the Kiwi openers!

Game set. Umpires called "Play" and Sreesanth steamed in with the ball, the ground with fresh throats screaming at the top of the voice and the local vuvuzelas echoing...

to be continued..... .... ... .. .

Monday, November 15, 2010

Number Game

We all live in the world with so many things around us that amuse us. Things of different sizes, shapes, colours and textures. But there is always this one thing that would've amused you in one form of the other - numbers!



Without numbers, the world will be impossible.

You are woken up in the morning by your alarm clock at a particular time on the clock. And then you snooze it for a certain number of minutes. And then you are reminded by your family/friend that he/she tried to wake you up x number of times, but you didn't bother waking up, and then you finally get up off the bed! The toothbrush has so many bristles, the toothpaste has Y% of salt in it. Your breakfast is so laden with numbers all over it! One stuff is 100% fat free, or you want to have 3 chapatis, or 4 slices of bread or a health drink that promises it will give you Z kCal of energy!

Then you go for a bath. The water must be of some temperature. Your bath soap (the brand always says it is the "new" version) promises you "beauty in 3 weeks". Your shampoo has 100% dandruff-free formula. Your clothing has to be according to your waist length or shoulder or leg length... some prefer it tight, some loose, but it's all in a frame of reference to the "exact fit".

You now have to go to school or college or work. You either take your own vehicle which consumes fuel at some sky rocketed price, that runs at a fashionable mileage and can touch a whopping top speed of K kmph! Or... you take public transport for which you pay a fare of Rs. R and enjoy a conversation with the other m co-travelers.



You enter the school just before the first hour can start and you battle through the 6 or 8 or 10 classes. If you are at the office, perfect place for numbers to attack you. It starts with the boss reminding you how many minutes late you are to work. Then you will be interrogated about some profit and losses, some numbers on the computer screen will seem interesting (for various reasons..which may vary from the score of your minesweeper game you were playing to while of time in the office, to the annual profit of your organisation), and the day will dip more into numbers.

If you are at school/college, there will be numbers in all your subjects. If not in the form of mathematical/science problems, they will feature as page numbers, question numbers, volume number etc. You have certain number of sessions, and have to follow the time-lines!

Once back from school or college, you want to play something... Indoors or outdoors, it is flooded by numbers. I wonder what man played before number systems were invented...

Entertainment, movies, they all play around numbers... If KBC is about winning certain amount of money, reality shows are about being the no.1 on the show.

As you sit down to eat, you are consuming some calories of energy. You want some number of that delicacy. When you talk with people, there will be a number in it for sure... time... rank... score... distance... number of people/cars/animals...telephone number etc etc...

Bored?
Try sleeping...

But you might have to start counting the stars or the sheep that jumped over the fence!



numbeRRAM

Monday, October 25, 2010

a living disgrace

if you can't be a human, you can't be a teacher... you are a waste. wonder why God created you.

dedicated to the rotten presence of that idiot on the face of the earth...


Mom, dad, PS: I mean this post... i cannot be "sweet" in this post

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get a life, Losers!

(Disclaimer: the blame charges are against losers, not against the readers.)

In my college here, we go for a field trip, except that, the theme park is a power plant. I enjoy it, so, it's like a field trip. We are split into two batches, first of which is supposed to start by 8, but due to factors like us coming late the breakfast preparation getting delayed, the bus getting delayed, delayed, delayed, delayed, the start is delayed to 8 30, 8 45 or even 9. And after a trip of an hour, thanks to the circumnavigation around the city to pick up the faculty, we reach the power plant that's outside the city limits. So, that'll be around 10 am. And after a mini lecture every day from the faculty, we are on our own to wander in the "theme park", instructed to assemble back for departure by 12:40 pm.

It so happened today that a few guys from the other batch joined us without prior intimation. And a few guys from a pvt. company (X) also had a plant visit today. All in the same bus. Some guys had to stand all the way during the travel. After the visit, when we were to return back, I noticed the bus filling up with the returning students. Me and my little group found some vacant seats and sat down, tired (also had some tasty kachodis). And then, the reason for this post propped up.

Apparently, one guy from that company, X, was "sitting where mr B" was sitting" earlier in the day. So, mr B was angry at mr C (of M/S X). And then B and C had an exchange or words, and then swear-words etc etc...no fists and punches though. And then the crowd takes sides. No one knows what's happening, but wants to take sides. What should've been a quarrel between B and C, turns out to be a war between people from A and the guys from my college! And, my colleagues won't get into the bus sighting the people from X as the reason! When the faculty comes to resolve the issue, they complain "those people were sitting in our places... we sit there every day. and he was using abusive words at us when we spoke to them. we won't board the bus until they get down. and only we should sit, and they should stand. it is our bus, not their's.". And then, the colleagues sitting inside the bus get down to "support" "our guys". I was sitting in the bus, watching this head-splitting, nerve twitching, hunger building nonsense... I was too tired to even slap the two idiots who started it.

And this goes on for 40 minutes! Not getting on a bus for something as dumb as "he was sitting on 'my' seat". These guys are 24-28 years old! And they make a scene like kindergarten kids who pissed on each other!

WHAT THE **** IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE!???

The faculty suggested that some can adjust, and stand during the journey, it won't kill anyone. That was pretty just comment. But that got one response - "we are engineers, we won't stand". I felt like bashing that idiot that time. Like as if everyone else were lesser human beings...

And these people, wanting all from our batch to get off the bus in strike/protest, were in my sense complete idiots! Two idiots start quarreling and I would have to take sides... Why should I? I have the God given gift of respecting myself, and taking my own decision to sit in the comfortable bus!

Some guys were wanting to get down. I asked one of them, "why do you even want to get down?" (and take the risk of getting back to college at your own risk by boarding and switching a couple of buses en-route which will delay the return by at least an hour...not to mention spending for that stupid journey, while the travel expense fees have already been paid for the inst bus!) And his answer was, " if we don't get down, those those people will corner us. they won't talk to us, they won't support us if need arises, they will cause problems to us". This guy was so afraid! To be honest, I was afraid of no one! No one meant a bit to me, and I am in no way gonna be afraid of any silly idiot who wants me, for no reason, to get off the bus, for which I've duly paid.

People are just afraid! They can't stand for themselves. They just can't say, I'm "this" and I'm proud to be "this" in spite of what you may think, and I am not afraid of your comments. I was thinking it may be a weakness in some angle, but no, I think it's a big positive to have my own opinion and stand by it, if not being so meant being an indecisive chicken!

Now, the loser of the day, Mr L... He jumps out of the stationary bus through the emergency window to join to commotion! And after five minutes of not understanding what was happening (clearly because he doesn't understand the language they were talking...correction, I meant quarreling)! And he comes near the bus, pokes me and says "C'mon, get down!". I politely asked "why should I?". And he just swore at me and left! Give me a reason, you damn idiot... I may have something to ponder upon... But no, Mr. L just wanted me to listen to him! For some reason which even he didn't know! So, the next lines are for that loser Mr. L and for any other loser who fits the example :-

"If you have no reason to talk, no reason to play on, no reason to stand on your filthy feet, don't you dare bloody try to fling me in your direction. You are just a puppet, with no brains, played by someone else, knowingly or unknowingly. Wear a hat that spells "DUNCE", go to one isolated corner of the world, and don't you bloody dare open you mouth to utter a syllable, because your tongue is not speaking your words, but the words of your puppet player... You are owned. Your body and mind is sold out to someone else. You are a slave, and you have no courage to break out of it. YOU.ARE.A.BORN.LOSER.! And you deserve being called a loser. You not only lost everything, you do not have a desire to win anything. You just go by words or others, nod when they say something and nay when they say a negative and look for that response on your face.".

And before you jump to conclusions of me having personal vengeance against that L(oser), let me tell you that I have nothing of that sort against him...but I know him long enough to tell you that he is a loser!

Stand on your feet for what you are! Not what you are made to feel like, not what you are made to look like by someone else. If you are walking the other way, continue walking without hitting the breaks. You will be bumped by many as you walk against them. But, once they know how strong you are, they will make way for you! Don't be a loser, be a winner!

For all my boldness, inflexible attitude, I've lost a lot people who pretended to be my friends, for which I am not sad about...but rather happy that I don't have to have any hypocrites on my list of friends. Those who accepted me for what I am, are great pals to have! And they know that I am not the kind of guy who makes cock and bull stories of such themes! If I do find something wrong, I am not afraid to tell it out. good or bad. I can't add gloss to something that's ugly, sorry!

Nevertheless, I am hoping for a good new day tomorrow. Looking forward to playing in grease, oil, ash, coal and soot. climbing on vertical ladders to open tanks, looking into furnaces, watching the ground RIGHT BELOW my feet from 50m height, standing at a spot not knowing if it is going to be a spark or a bucket load of ash. Didn't I tell you it was a field trip? It's an enjoyable field trip to one of my favourite theme parks :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Reservation

Why do you think one would want reservation, or demand reservation, or lets say, politely, request reservation?

Is there a need that gets pacified with reservation? Does the pace of work improve with reservation? Is there an improved assurance of something, some work to be completed? Does it simplify things? Why do we see reservation everywhere? Why?

This is my answer.
In a word.

FEAR

You fear that you are not going to get something with what you have, but you want to have it, and thus ask for a relaxation. In a world of competition, that is the world of incompetency.

There can be plenty of examples, and I will project my views on some of them. Open for like, dislike, "for"s, "against"s, discrimination dot dot dot.

Random beginning.


Why is there a "Ladies' Quota" in the Indian railway reservation system? I'm still bamboozled by this. I can understand ladies' coaches, usually in local/MRTS sort of trains, where women need some privacy. But in the general long distance trains I've NEVER seen a ladies' coach! So, why the reservation? If you think that "all the men fight their way to the reservation counter and book the tickets in a jiffy that we women don't get tickets" (understandably so, women are physically not as strong as men), then you must be looking for a reservation counter for the ladies. Fair enough? I feel so. Same goes for senior citizen. But for an elder, I would rather save him/her trouble and give a reservation.

Ah well, staying with "Ladies' Quota", what is your opinion about the 33% women bill? If you ask me, it was a big projection of the fear in the women. Either they are snubbed from participating openly, in which case they are weak and crying for help, or they are having a bit of ego issues against the men. Let me tell you this, if you are forcibly going to make a woman stand up to politics and face the world much against her will, she is not going to be effective. NOT AT ALL! You know that same old horse taken to the pond story (which I keep hearing from people everyday, like they ran out of inspirational stories), you can make her win the vote, but then she has to represent you all. Its not like the woman candidate represents the women of the society. So, why this bill? I, as a feminist, would love to see women come up in politics, take their own decisions in a sensible manner for the betterment of the nation. But, not by force. I do not mind what number they come in. 33%...50%...or even more? Its our country. And we are people. Why discriminate?



And what is this number? "33"! Are you fixing a cap on the capabilities of the women? Are you telling them - "ladies, you can't do more than that... you can't contribute more than 33% to the country"? You know so many great women who were better than men of their era. be it in politics or business or otherwise. You think there are no more Indira Gandhi 's and Indira Nooyi 's and Lata Mangeshkar 's and Rani Laxshmibai 's around? If men can stop bullying the ladies and black mailing, and if ladies can be that bit more determinent, I am sure we semi-blind people can see what we could not earlier.

Moving a touch upwards, the big topic - reservation based on caste and community.

the Constitution of India says "The Union of India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty and, to promote among them all, fraternity."

For one minute, close your eyes, think, think if that phrase has been justified yet in our country.

Who said caste system has been legally abolished? It is still in existence. Why, it is us who seem to be supporting it... Making reservations for each of them! First they are made to feel uncomfortable, then given luxury, and now they want more! This is not my personal remark against anyone, any community, any section of the society...but, against the system that has put an invisible barrier between people. Look at India now. We are 63 years independent. 63 years after uniting together to break from the divide and rule policy of the British. If we half a million people could battle all those years ago to free one of the most populous and largest country of the world from the hands of some pardesi fellows, why are we not breaking from our own blinding thoughts?

Don't raise an eyebrow at me. We are living in a generation where technology is ruling the roost, Indian technocrats are in demand everywhere in the world, maybe even on moon if need arises! But remember, in the same country, there are some communities who are fighting (I mean, real fighting, blocking roads, going on fast, suiciding, killing, bringing the roof down) for getting their community named under "Scheduled Castes" or "Scheduled Tribes" or "Most Backward Castes". People, look at these names... Aren't these discriminations in itself? Someone comes and tells a person - you are an OBC, and the man says "yes". I wonder what he might be feeling from within, if he ever gave a thought to the words that made up "O.B.C." .

Aren't we all born the same and die the same? Then why differentiate?
This is one tale which I tell to myself, if not, to a listener who can think rationally, just to portray the lack of competitiveness than can result out of reservation. this fellow "X" has the comfort of reservation, of some sort...

X is born, (lower hospital charges if at all any needed)
X gets easy admission into school
X has to pay less fees
X needn't score much to get promoted
X can afford to score less in finishing school exams
X has relaxations in college entrance exams
X has to pay less fees in college
X can afford to score less in college exams
X has reservation in companies' job opportunities.
X has easier way up the ladder, be it salary or promotion or what so ever.

Tell me, can a country be run by people who grow up the ladder like this?

All people face the same teachers, go through the same lectures, sit in the same class, live in the same hostel, and...and... the end product is, some people get the special treatment after claiming that they are not being treated properly and need reservation! there are states with 69% and 72% reservation in most govt institutions!

And anyway, X has the "extra option" of contesting in anything as a "general" candidate, putting the "general" people even more confused!
Fear...fear...fear!




Its time people were knows for their capacity, not their birth, or any materialistic or non-materialistic properties that gets associated to him/her at the time of birth.

If they need to be brought out into the open, open more schools...generate more jobs! If I'm going to generate power/electricity, I don't think I will be in a position to charge it differently for people from different caste/community, or pay the employees doing the same work differently. It just doesn't sound right! Give the opportunities to the poor. there are so many rich reserved and poor "general" people who are the end product of this new nation moving forward with ropes binding itself to that strong old tree.

We are pushing the pedals of a stationary cycle. the wheels may move, but not the cycle.

Reservation is endless. South African cricket team has a reservation for blacks in the team. And Indian cricket has regional quota to fill a squad. Colleges have regional quota. You want to get into a bus, you reserve it, as cheaply as possible - put a handkerchief on the seat and claim the seat as yours! Want to go to a famous restaurant for dinner, you reserve a table fearing it may get "stolen" before you get there. Car parking - there is a VIP parking... C'mon people - this is going overboard, discrimination for cars? And like those VIPs can't hear from the rear end of the auditorium, they are always given the first rows of the shows! Not like they get the respect that they think a first row dignitary would receive!

No matter what I talk or do, things will go on continuing like this. because, either people are not wanting to change, or too lazy to change, or think differently. But me being as open as I could, couldn't put this message off any longer!

With so much fear bringing up so much divide it is "India Shining". Just imagine how bright India will be if everything was eradicated and there was a sense of unity beyond caste, creed, colour, sex, region etcetera etcetera.

But, nevertheless,
Mera Bhaarat Mahaan

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Perfection? or Satisfaction?

When you watch the image of a famous personality, your mind wanders... You have that bit of respect, the awe, the appreciation when you see someone who has a well established status in the society. You would say "Sachin is the best cricketer on earth...", or "Amitabh is the perfect actor on screen", "he has the perfect characteristics to lead the country", "he is the perfect businessman"... etc

One might wonder that perfection is the ultimate self, what one needs to be to survive with heads held high, what one needs to be to enjoy the respectful status in the society, what one needs to be to enjoy the living... I say, perfection is not what's needed, it's satisfaction that you need first.

Perfection is what others want to see in you. Satisfaction is what you must have in yourself!

Do you want all of Buffett's wealth, or do you want to lead a well settled life? Do you want Ratan Tata's industries, or do you want to lead your team to a satisfied annual result. Do you want the "perfect" life where there is no scope of improvement with only the fear of falling back or do you want to have the most satisfactory life, free from any complaints about it from your side?

You cannot be perfect. It's because, you cannot define your own perfection. You always know you can do better, you can push yourself for more. Have you ever done something which you think no one on earth can do better? Even if you did, why did you think so? Was it because you "thought" no one can eclipse that, or was it your best shot, and it was better than all your previous attempts? Of course, if you can do this much, you can always do better!

Bill Gate's who was the wealthiest person for a long time, never actually boasted about it. Nor did his competitors. Buffett, Gates, and many other multi-billionaire, multi-millionaire have promised a large percentage of their personal wealth to charity. Why? They were satisfied with their lives. They found the excess amount surplous of what they might need for generations together, and were keen to help out other beings who need it much more than the rich men may even need.

Ussain Bolt is the fastest man walking on the planet. He may as well rest for a couple of years and still see his name un-erased on the history books. But, he doesn't feel he is perfect. He knows there is always the scope for improvement. His records keep getting broken...by himself. And, though he has a penchant for excellence, for victory, he is a satisfied man. He knows what it is to win, what it is to rise from rags to riches.

Rajini, who was no richer than a bus conductor 35-40 years ago, is the face of Indian cinema today. But, have you seen anyone as humble as him. Just look at his face during any public appearance. Look at the calmness in his face, the sense of satisfaction, the humble heart that resides in his body is now in his face. Isn't he the highest paid actor in the nation, which is not that rich by itself? But he is not eating all the money. Many know about his generous activities, the prime-most of them being a school he runs for challenged children. Its the sense of satisfaction that he has with what he has achieved. He had a talent, and he has made the best use of it. He had the satisfaction, and he let many more have it.

We all say Sachin is perfect. But if you ask him, he would say "No, I'm not perfect. I'm only learning from everyone, from every match". We have not seen a better student of the game. We all know that the bars for excellence in the game of cricket, as regards batting, are set beyond the horizons by the immortal batting soul of Sir Donald Bradman. But, if at all there has been one single human who has come close to him, it has been Sachin Tendulkar. Not Ian Botham, not Sir Vivian Richards, not Allan Border, but Sachin Tendulkar. A true statement, coming from the legend of legends, Sir Don Bradman himself. Sachin knows that the world is not over. There is a better tomorrow. There is another record to be broken, there is another game to be played, another victory to taste. It took more than a dozen years for someone to equalise Saeed Anwar's record, and soon, it was broken by Sachin. Is he a satisfied man? Yes he is. Is he perfect? No, he is always getting better and better.

We want so many things to happen, so many things to be gained, so many things to be obtained... Materialistic, or otherwise. But, let us remember that, let us strive for satisfaction, not for what we or others term "perfection". What seems perfect to one eyes, is a whole level below perfection for another. So, its just you who ha to judge your mind and heart! You want to be a successful person? So be it! May you have the best things in life around you. If you feel you are satisfied, you will get the feel of what you believe one would get when he/she is "perfect". This is perfection in your own yardstick.

"Be satisfied with what you have" may not apply always, as you need that little something you aim for. But once you do get that, you will be enjoying the satisfaction! So much, that you may not be asking for much more that that. You may be working to graze further into the lawns of excellence, but this time it will be with the sense of happiness, satisfaction, contentment.

Be happy! If not, become happy!
Its a small pond, take a dip into it. You won't want to come out.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happens only in India

India, the land of unlimited-ness, the land of one-ness, the land of cultural distinction, the land of unison, the land among seas and rivers, the land among deserts and snow-capped mountains, the land of saints, the land of businessmen, the land of farmers, the land of industrialists...the land of Indians.

India is that one distinct vortex of cultural mix, that spreads into its closest neighbours, so distinct, so unique, so good, so wonderful, that this place is named the Indian Subcontinent! There is no other region in the world spread across different countries, known under a single name for their culture uniqueness. No other. And at the core of the Subcontinent, is India. The only country in the world with two official names - India and Bhaarat are official names, as per the constitution.


Unity in diversity

India is a secular nation...declared, and largely followed. Where else can you find such a large mixture of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains ?

Where one celebrates the festival of others', where one festival means holiday to the whole nation, and joy to them all. Indian where your surname doesn't matter when you are one amongst others in the crowd. Where, skin colour doesn't matter when you walk on the streets. One doesn't think he is superior to another skin, nor does one feel inferior. That is the freedom people enjoy and love in India. A colourful nation Indeed! To remove any argument on why India is known as "Hindustan", which may cause some tension between communities - it was not named so. India, or, Industan means "the Land of the Indus". The British twisted the name, either due to their lack of pronunciation skills of Indian words, or due to their sickening intention of dividing the Indian community for their "divide and rule" policy, and hence Hindustan came up. Anyway, it doesn't mean "the Land of the Hindus", it still means "the Land of the Indus"


While in some or most nations, animals are almost never seen on streets. In India however, they are free to move anywhere, graze wherever they like, lie down on the middle of the roads. What's more. We worship them! Some do cause nuisance, but that has been put under our belt, and we live with it. I've seen cats, dogs, cows, rabbits, horses, donkeys, ponies, oxen, bulls, buffaloes, monkeys, chicken, roosters, rats, and even snakes! We may shoo it away, but we don't cage them in places like dog-pounds, nor do we always leash them. Many a times, we feed them with "goodies" !

A traveling Indian, or say, for that purpose, a foreigner in India, will surely have the language problem. India is a land of nearly 20 languages, most of them, exclusively spoken in India. A language for every 600-1000 km in any direction. One may not understand what the other speaks. But, one thing is for sure - the locals have a BIG heart to show the visitors. A complete stranger will know that he is getting the warmth in a place where there is a someone, a someone whom he/she hasn't met, doesn't understand the language, but understands the mind, the heart. A visitor, is given utmost respect and hospitality.



I was in Shimla a decade ago... We didn't know it was peak season, and didn't bother to book a hotel before-hand. The whole town was flooded with tourists, most of them resorting to park their car on the streets and spending the night inside it, or standing outside (October, was the month). We were beckoned by a "Dhaaba" 's owners, who offered us their room for the night and food. That was the coziest night and the most sumptuous dinner I've ever had in my life. In a town in Uttar Pradesh, a Sikh house owner wanted to rent his house only to a South Indian, and was he glad to rent it to us. When we left, he just found another South Indian! When you go to Punjab, I'm sure no local will let you leave his house without eating meals with them. If you don't drink lassi offered, they might even consider your denial sweetly offensive!



India is one place where we have our own versions of Hollywood, with "B" or "T" or "K" or some other alphabet replacing the "H" in it. Tell me, has anyone in the USA or the UK built a structure for any of their actors? Or even a character? is there a temple of worship for Angelina Jolie or Leonardo Dicaprio or Chris Nolan or say, James Bond? Well, in India, we do! there are structures where people idolise the Indian film stars.

All the Kapoors and Khans and Bachchans and Rajinis and Mohanlals and Chiranjeevis and the numerous actresses and the directors and singers live not in their body, but in the hearts of the millions and millions of fans, not just in India, but in every part of the world! We love them, so do everyone else. Their birthdays are the most celebrated "non-holiday" days on the calendar.

Cinema is one glittering star in the sky. But there is a twin star that shines almost as much as that - cricket! Cricketers are role models, they are brand ambassadors, they are the face of some organizations, they are demi-Gods. If cricketers ran the country, I'm sure everyone would listen. When a match is going on, everyone in the vicinity unites, waving the Tricolour, cheering for the team.

This one aspect of worshiping cricket brings out so many different aspects of the country. Just look at the craze for the game. There are temples, beliefs, superstitions, brands, products etc. It is the single call for unity. People from every religion, every region, every culture will unite for this one event...hugging each other, sharing joy, dividing agony, moving forward!

India is one place where you just won't hear the word "no" from people. Will you do this work? "Ok, sure". Will you get this for me? "Yes, I will". Can you tell about this? " yes.. this is...". No matter how busy an Indian is, no matter how tight his schedule is, no matter how incapable he may have been in doing that work, he.will.not.say.no! Why? Because we don't want you to lose the trust in us. We want you to know that whatever is asked, we will be happy to serve, though it may affect our freedom, time, schedule. Some rue their decision of accepting, while most adjust their time to rope this in, and work on this. If they don't know, they learn it. We all know that things get delayed a lot in India. This is one reason, people accept responsibility about which they are not sure about. The delay occurs because they take that extra bit of time to learn. If they were reluctant to learn, you may never see the completion. The other option might've been to just decline the responsibility, but that is not so Indian. so, the waiting game, is the result of the learning game.

So many other things happen in India, only in India - who can cook 20 different cuisines and call it by one name - "Indian cuisine". Indians visit a zoo and think they have seen it all, while the beauty lies in watching the Red Panda in the Himalayan foothills, the colourful pheasants in central India, the asian elephant in the forests, the Rhino in the North-East and the Blackbuck in the deserts, amongst others. Indians, by nature, are a bit carefree and "adjusting", which leads to some things like - irregular planning of things from methodology to roads to improper maintenance of the same!

All in all, Mera Bhaarat Mahaan! I'm proud that I can easily relate Bhaarat to my own name, and feel more Indian than ever. Whatever India is, howsoever it may have been, whatever it will become in the future "Bhaarat humko, jaan se pyaara hai".

This video is for everyone, Indian or not, watch it for knowing India!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What if ...

What if...?



What if... I were a sportsperson?
- I could've been on higher grounds, being watched, earned more money, seen my face on every corner of the street, had a fanfare, gotten proposals... and what not?

What if... I were a journalist?
- I could've been to the farthest corners of the planets, covering all the stories I wanted to cover, make a name for myself, let the pen and paper do the talking, voice my opinion, earn the respect I wanted to...

What if... I could have made it to LA for the last two summers?
- I could've been realising a dream... I would've been on the sidelines of the world's best sporting franchise playing in the finals, winning it... If I was so much excited halfway across the world, God knows how excited I may have been out there!

What if... What if... What if...

None of the above 3 pass across my mind, even if I have nothing to think of. The 3 are my dreams, but not a missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle... because, I am working on them, and am riding one dream at a time!

"What if" - the sound of it makes you (me, at least) crave for something, like you are missing something, like you are not happy with something... You always wanted the extra hand, you wanted the extra patience, you wanted the money, you wanted the fame, you wanted the place, you wanted the rank, you wanted her face, you wanted his muscles, you wanted that status, you wanted the, you wanted the, you wanted, you...wanted...

Come out of it

Look around you. You have the God gifted body, a wonderful heart, a beautiful mind and loads of people around you to remind you that you are living a glorious life amongst them. You are so unique, you have the abilities no one else can dream of! You are the one ultimate self, like no other across the face of mother Earth! There is just you, and the higher self! Nothing in-between...



Why do you want to put yourself in someone else's position and seemingly try to momentarily enjoy the thought? The moment you come out of it, you will start to lament your current position, hate your life.

Replace the "what if"s with "I will be"s and motivate yourself to reach that helm, and not sit like a hapless human being who can only "think" of doing so. Dreams are meant to be realized, if you are serious about it... So, unleash your dreams, make them come true. You will have the sense of satisfaction the very moment you start to work on that, of realising it! It does.



So, like Swami Vivekananda said - "Arise, awake and stop not until the goal is reached".

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stereotypes

India is a large country, filled with different kinds of people, scintillating colours, myriad landscapes, glorious festivities, huge number of languages, cultures and all... The most diverse country in the world. Lets see what we think of our fellow countrymates, across the imaginary borderline between the southern and northern part of the country... most of these, are from my personal experience, having been on both sides of that borderline, facing and raising questions myself...




Here is a North Indian’s sketch of a stereotype/typical South Indian:-

• Any South Indian, by default, is “Madrasi”

• They have loooooong names

• Their default one-line dialogue is “Aiyyo Raama”, or “Romba romba nalla nalla”

• There are some Northern states, then there is a Bangalore somewhere, a Hyderabad there and then a Madras in the south most part of India. Kanyakumari? That is also there somewhere.

• They stole the idea of “wada” from the “North”

• Saambar, rasam, kozhumbu are the same thing known by different names in different dialects

• Celebrate festivals too early

• Their main objective in childhood is to study

• By default, good in mathematics, become engineers

• Who is this Rajinikaanth? Chiranjeevi? Are you talking about flowers, sir ji?

• Tough to survive in South India

• Very hot place, how do people live in those conditions?

• Carnatic music? Its soooo tough yaar. Hindustani is easy, see so many people sing it.

• They can't speak Hindi, let alone Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali et al


















Here is a South Indian’s sketch of a stereotype/typical North Indian:-

• A North Indian, is mostly, a “Seth”

• They have un-pronouncable names

• “haan”, “nageem”, “boltha ka gotha hye”, “arrey yaar” . . . Only north Indian language – Hindi

• There is South India (South Indians know the 4 states), then there is a Bumbaai, and then a Delhi. Rest are there or there about.

• North Indians don’t know anything about “vadai”, medhu vadai, masala vadai, saambar vadai.

• Chapati, roti, naan, phulka, paratha? All the same, saar... We have twisted paratha, and copyrighted it as parotha/burotta.

• Celebrate festivals too late

• They do not care about primary education!

• By default, businessmen

• Amitabh Bachhan? Eh? Who?

• Impossible to live in North India. Saar, I don’t know Hindi!

• Winter in North? How can human live there? Sweater? I wear it when temp goes below 22 degrees

• Carnatic music is the best, you know aah? History says it! Hindustani aaa? I don’t know many people who sing it, saar.

• No way they can speak any South Indian Languages, they don't even know what languages are spoken here. madrasi is not a language, saar!




Unity in diversity. Thats India :-)



Mera Bhaarat Mahaan !

Monday, August 23, 2010

English went for a ride

dis 's a vry intrstng pst. a vry dmb 1 actly. i's so disgst'd wid d use of d sms lingo dat i decidd2 wrt d post

evry tym i gt a fwd on ma mob, i hate it... bt tis k. tis nly sms

bt sm ppl use it in nrml wrtng 2. in bks, psts, emails, etc. cnt evn rd wht the hel 's writn in it. wts wrng in ppl wrting it prprly? is it dat painfl? wht the hel d'yu thnk u hv achvd in wrtng in dat stupd way? u thnk its smrt? wel, tis nt smrt, tis luks ugly.

whts d urgncy? a few xtra wrds and ltrs wnt kil u! u gng 2 bg plcs, 2 cmpns, 2 univs, bt ur eng 's bd, vry bd. i wndr hw ppl ll evr rd ur writng, wht'd dey thnk f u?

dis wrtng styl stinx. tis d wrst. nr do ppl tel wot dey wnt 2, nr do d rders gt wot's wrtn. so, d whl purpus f hvng a lang's dstryd. tis lyk graffiti on d wls in strts, nw in bks, emails, nd oder plcs lyk nwkng syts...fcbk, orkt wateva u nam it.

d bst wy of gvng info 2 oders is via wrtn way. so, 1 mst hv gd enuf skls 2 wrt prprly. so dat, ppl cn ndrstnd wot u r tryng 2 sy, nly den it '' b gd.


the 21st century one letter wonders :-

k
s
u
r
n
d
v
y?
m

>1 letter wonder(why) :-
ll
hz
grl
gyz
wot
lyf
wot
dis
stf
dey
wru

and many more

this post has taken me more time to type out than what would've taken me to put up a post in my normal style of thrice the length!

Gosh. i'm finding it difficult to type with proper spelling after just 15 minutes of scribbling like this!

Well, English, wherever you are, your days are being counted

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Destination Nagpur

In the past four months, I changed from a stay-put rock, that didn’t even roll (let alone gather any moss) to a traveller beyond (my) imagination! Not like I was on a weekend tour of some spot, but had something or the other to do, somewhere! After trips from Madras to Coimbatore to Neyveli to Coimbatore to Madras to Coimbatore to Karur to Coimbatore to Madras to Nagpur to Coimbatore to Madras in 6 weeks, it is now time for another trip!

Nagpur! This time, it’s the destination! I had to join the National Power Training Institute, Nagpur on the 16th of August. I had a two week break in Madras, where I enjoyed mom’s food, time with family at home, met some good friends, baked cookies, ate, slept till late, watched TV till TV got bored of me, movies on comp/theatre etc and some more etc.

Saturday, 14th Aug night, I had to start my journey to Nagpur, one of the places where I used to live more than a decade ago. I didn’t have a lot of packing to do, as most of the things from Coimbatore were coming along in the same bag to Nagpur as well. Clothes had to be washed, and ironed and put back in the bags. Nothing new, as such. Went to ‘Central, to board, what maybe my favourite train, TN express. The station was crowded, as usual. There were 15 trains starting in the next one hour or so, I believe. Huge TV screens and huger speakers on them were blaring announcements and advertisement. I had to pull my two luggage through the crowd, which always seemed to move in the direction opposite to my motion! My tall figure did help me find the safest path to move ahead, out pacing slow people, who would be walking on just the path which will prevent you from overtaking them with your two baggage. I reached the platform where stood my train. It’s a long train. First came to two or three general/unreserved compartments – overcrowded, yes. Then the AC ones –many of them. Then came the sleeper coaches. (I wanted AC coach, but got only Sleeper coach, as AC was already full... too little too late, I was). S1,2,3... finally, S7!

Lo and behold! I had to check again if it really was my coach, because the place had more people than in the unreserved compartment! My bay had a whole brood! And, (gulp) I had to travel in side-upper! And I came to my bay not willing to look behind to say sorry to the people over whom my luggage (trolley kind) had stamped over. “hey, it’s not my fault. You are the unwanted piece in here. If you want justice, get out and go find some room in the compartment meant for people without tickets!”. And I told to the man in my place to move away, as it’s my place. He moved a bit, giving me enough place to sit. Then I asked him to move his legs away, so I can put my luggage in place. He said “ok boy, put one of your luggage here, we will put one of ours”. I was having none of it. “where would I put this? It’s my berth, I am using my place. So, if you can excuse me”. I don’t know if he did, but I wasn’t bothered. I had to put things in place before I got a headache due to this crowd! And I sat down there, waiting for the TTE to come with a tear gas (and me hypothetically wearing an oxygen mask :-P ). There were 13 people sitting in the space where 8 are allowed to. And there were a couple of little rascals on the upper berth too. Who were they? Mamta’s kin or what?

TTE arrived, told them “your ticket isn’t confirmed, you can’t stay here” to a few of them. One half had confirmed berths, other half stuck to them. Oh God! Sleepless night, I thought to myself! But soon enough, I fell asleep, thanks to the train, and my berth position that made the train’s motion rock the “cradle” I was sleeping in.

Dawned 15th Aug, Independence Day #63 for India! Proud to be an Indian!

Independent India turned 63, meaning I turn 22! It was 1 am on my watch, and I checked my mobile phone – I had received calls and messages from family and friends. And before I could blink, my family called again and wished me. I couldn’t reply to the sms, as my mobile got completely screwed up, and would obey only at 1 pm or so! (apologies for the late replies). And I slept again, got up at 7 pr so in the morning, and just peeked below my berth – 5 people already sitting there! Gosh! How am I going to get down??? And the pantry-men were already making calls for breakfast and tea! Even if I try to not listen to them, my tummy could listen. Ah well, it’s my berth! It’s my day! Off I hopped from the berth, like a stick insect unfolding and stretching itself before a jump, and went off to get myself refreshed for the new day! Chased away the little nutcases who transcended the borders and crept into MY territory. Ahh... its always nice to have some space for yourself. TEA! Err...tea flavoured water... hmmm. Now, something to eat? Bread cutlet it was. I liked it, and good for me, it didn’t upset my tummy later in the journey.

The weather was nice. I travelled the same route I did a month ago. This time, it was even better. Clouds, and a bit of drizzle. The only part I didn’t like in this journey, was that my phone was getting very poor reception all throughout the journey. Many couldn’t reach me, I couldn’t reach many. I did receive sms, but couldn’t reply back. And sms were charged as much as the calls. One or two sms would get sent, the rest, I called and thanked for their wishes. Even customer care was busy, not reachable or inexistent on that day! Happy Independence Day!

The “crowd” split into smaller packages and fit into several other bays, and I got some room to breathe! Lunch came around the mid-day mark, and I ate fast. I didn’t want to fill my tummy full. I knew that I could treat myself better once at Nagpur. By 2 15 or so, the train was about to chug into the station, but pulled to a stop just before the station, probably waiting for a signal to move ahead. When it stopped, that instance, the compartment was filled with cool air. And there was a big thunderclap up in the skies (no rain though). I enjoyed the moment, while most others in the compartment were concentrating on lining up in front of the door to get down. The train stops at Nagpur for fifteen minutes. Even if I was blindfolded, legs and hands handcuffed, and dumped on to the upper birth of the bay right in the middle of the coach, I can easily come out within 15 minutes! Sigh! Its correct when they say, “patience is a virtue”. I had to resist the temptation of wanting to eat the hot samosas that a pantry vendor had in a basket right next to me. “five more minutes bagrat, you will be in the land of Haldiram’s “

In five minutes, I was in Nagpur. I got down, dragged my luggage out, and waited for the man from my hotel to pick me up and take me to the hotel. On my way, I was reminded again – it is Independence Day. And, my b’day. After taking a good bath I had a good lunch (Version 2). First time I had milagai (chillie) bajji! No, never in Madras. But...err.. this was the hot one! Lucky that I had ordered alu paratha. There was a cup of cold curd, and half of it went in, to extinguish my burning tongue (I can still feel a tinch of that). After I was done with the lunch, I went online, and facebook was filled with more of wishes, and I wished them back (thank you all, you all made my day). And then I went out to get a SIM card. The guy wanted some local ID proof, so, I couldn’t get. So? What next? What a question? A little twirl of the head, and there it was – Haldiram’s ! I just barged in and got myself a big box of sweets, and ate half of it minutes after entering the room. Cursing the cable operator for not telecasting ESPN for the big match, I was browsing through some random channels, enjoying bits and pieces of the movies shown on hindi TV channels, till each of them hit the most irritating part – commercial break! So, I was actually watching a new movie altogether. We sports buffs do not have patience during a break more than 1 minute long, in some cases, 2 minutes. But, God bless the operator, he brought in espn for ten sports, and I was enjoying the big match. My dad then reminded me of dinner. At half time, I ordered my dinner, and it came just in time for the second half – paratha, alu gobi, lemon soda! What a way to finish on my birthday!

It was a crowded journey, a jammed mobile, cool weather day, Independence Day, my birthday, a few big treats (all to myself) and a dream which was well chased. NPTI, I head to, on the Monday!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Those Seven Weeks

Fresh from college,
corporate is where I was going to.
Vacations had ended forever,
or so I thought it must have been.

13 hours of an elongated journey,
with a lot of expectancy,
I stepped into my new home,
the weather all so very drizzly.

Hills, trees, green and green,
clouds to “cap” them all.
As cool as it can be,
my working environment was as good as it can be.

New faces, new seniors,
I had to meet.
So many accents under a roof,
even Tamil spoke Malayalam (and vice versa)

Attendance a must,
swipe the card or bite the dust.
Training in AC halls,
oh God, this must be fun!

I thought college was done,
but the tests brought back memories.
So many faces familiar,
reminded of (college) pals, and more and more memories.

Breakfast and lunch,
perfect to put you to sleep.
Lectures were tackled,
with closed eyes and minds, and snores.

Coffee(/tea) break now and then,
Vending machine was a trouble every “then”.
Tea bag in the cup, Coffee it dripped in...
Imagine the concoction, I couldn’t drain it in.

Smiles and wishes aplenty,
always brightened the day.
Cultural barriers wherever present,
We all broke through them.

“Inch” by “inch” knowledge was built,
after each session, half of which was lost.
Tools and rules came many,
notes I wrote, heed I didn’t pay any .

Subjects were alien,
trainers very friendly.
My project group ,
filled with gems of every good like.

Fun filled batch it sure was,
fun, fun, fun, all the time!
Bhaai, sis, hero, tau, dada, et al..
one little happy family my batch was.

Project deadlines didn’t matter much,
the bus to be caught had higher priority!
cleanest of routes,
peacock to airplanes sidelined it in turns...

Local transport, always fun,
green coloured Rs 7 ticket filled my wallet.
Always thirsty when trodding back,
1 litre water bottles filled my room.

4 weekends I spent away,
3 I spent in the city.
and in thise 3- Movies, friends, eat-outs,
I wish weekends were many!

New people, different people,
I met them many.
All taught me something,
none of which I will ever forget!

New friends came thick and fast,
all I did was grasp them all.
It was fun being one amongst them,
miss them one, miss them all (pls stay in touch... I know you will)

The clock had to tick,
the Earth had to spin.
There was a dream,
I had to chase.

With all those good days,
now behind my back.
I have to write,
my life’s next chapter.

As I wait for the next phase,
I am reminded of those 7 weeks.
As good as they were,
memories I always hope to relive.

Cbe, Cbe.

To all my pals at Coimbatore :-
Adieu, folks. Thanks for the wonderful memories we all had together! Hoping to see you all sometime, somewhere, somehow. Take care!


( - comments and suggestions welcome - )

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sunday + Aug 1st = friendly memories

It was Sunday, the first of August, 1999, when I arrived at the city of Madras (Chennai, if you must) and then on I officially became a south Indian (the location was the only missing criteria) and have been so till date! Seven years of schooling in Madras, and four years of UG in Tiruchchirapalli have now gone past me. Today, in the streets of Coimbatore, where I was traveling in bus I noticed a placard, an advertisement outside a store - "August 1st - Friendship Day cards available". And all those memories from 11 years down the tunnel of life sprang up in a jiffy.

I remember, my uncle came to pick us up early in the morning from the railway station, the traditional "Central". The previous day was a rainy day, I suppose, the streets were wet and it was overcast. My parents were very happy to be back in the South, this time for a "longer-than-vacation" duration, permanency! By Wednesday, my sister and I got admission into a school (which was already 2 months into the academic term) and from Thursday onwards, we were attending the classes! So, like within 10 days I had made the transition from studying in a north Indian school to a south Indian school, and believe me, you don't want me to list out the differences. In about a month of so, I had made some good friends, made up for the lost studies (lucky, I came just after an exam...couldn't have been ready to face an exam as soon as I enter, can I? ) and improved my Tamil (Appu, remember "Avaadi"? :-P ). It did take me some three to four years to bring it to tolerable limits, but that one month was enough for people to accept me as a Tamilian ;-) .

Tomorrow will be Sunday, the first of August, 2010! The first Sunday of August is celebrated as Friendship Day, all across the world (I guess). Its what I figured out 11 years ago and confirmed it as the years went past by, never bothering to check the record books for instant clarification. Friendship... How shall I define it? Should I define it? It'll be a disgrace to someone's friendship to bring it within the bounds of a definition. One presents abundant care, kindness, love and affection put together in an infinitely sized nutshell named friendship! Each one has his/her own way to express it, and develop it.

Having been to four schools and college in my little life, I know that friendship is a divine state which can only be enjoyed from within. How I enjoy the company of my pals, you will never understand or feel and nor can I do the same about yours. But what I (/you/we) can appreciate is the bonding that happens sub-consciously! And, most of these bonds are not going to be broken, (sans some sad exceptions) come what may. Even if you are not in touch, don't worry, the friendship is not going to take a hit. I have seen this through my very eyes. My dad and his school-friends have been out of touch for 30 whole years, and when there was a re-union of their batch, he somehow got the contact numbers of his classmates, his best pals. You won't believe how much they remember about those good old days! They can visualize it all. I understood friendship that day! Time and distance are no factors! Origin and language are no barriers! Looks and brains are no catalysts! Its just the communication your heart makes with your friends'.



"Every one is unique, just like everyone else"


This is an oxymoron, but I hope you saw the truth in it. The four years at college exposed me to people from more than 15 cultures. People of all kinds mingled like dust in the wind (no reference to the classic, here) and a few particles stuck onto me. After four years of college, I have friends, some of whom I met on the fist day of college, in my second year of college, in the third year, and even in the last semester... And all of them came into my life because we share something in common. Or, supplement something, and make the friend's life seem more complete. Yes, without my friends, my life is incomplete.

Even at work, as if the corporate culture and multinational inter-culture can make any difference to my heart, I made so many friends that I am overwhelmed by the warmth I receive in the chilling cold workplaces every single day. The guys on the bus, the warm smile as soon as I get down, the numerous waves of hand and "good morning"s from myriad people, the talkative gup-shups not withstanding the lectures and sessions, eat-outs... Who said man (/woman) forgets his (/her) childhood (read as - college/school life) when he (/she) enters corporate life? Do you even know how just a smile can get you a friend? I know, I have. And the friends help me sustain the smile. I just pray the smile I give them all never fades.



To all my friends, wherever you may be :-

Wish You All A Very Happy Friendship Day!
I enjoy(ed) your company whenever and wherever I had it, and I (will) miss you all whenever I am away from you. I am sure our friendship will last a lifetime! Thank You, All!


With a broad genuine smile,
P Bharathram