Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lajja - for whom ??

From past few days I have been re-discovering the new meaning of democracy. The old version of democracy " Of the people, by the people and for the people "would soon get replaced by "Of the politics, by the politics and for the politics ". Do we need proofs for this?

I take the liberty of presuming that people who have the habits of reading newspapers and watching news on TV would be well aware of the political situation in India. Nothing to boast about. The recent bedlam over Gujarat polls is enough to support my words. Election is the best season to witness the slandering phenomenon. After all if calumny of somebody else's character can make you appear lesser villain, why not do it? If presidential polls can sustain such gimmicks, we are just talking about politics at the state level. Politics is not standing on any moral grounds. At least this is what the people have been compelled to believe. The political bigwigs do not bat an eye lid while using any object or person as a pawn for elevating their position before the masses.

This time EC has been cleverly used by the two major parties in India to checker each other. To show that it is not polarized EC had to issue notice to certain speakers. This is just a small glimpse of what the politics is capable of doing in our land. Ah, also how can we forget the melodramatic episode of Taslima Nasrin? Very aptly someone has quoted that "One Man's food is another man's poison". While Taslima is on flee from one place to another to find abode for herself where she can dwell with peace, she couldn't refrain from being a part in the Gujarat polls, though not willingly. Modi seized the opportunity to act host for the troubled writer, in the hope that his anti-muslim image would get a make over. By default, voters are assumed to be fools, who cannot see thru things .Maybe they are right!

I am not a politically inclined person and I share zilch interest in who is going to throng the hot seat. My only concern is that why is so much of fuss being made over Taslima's stay in India? Is it all genuine or politically moved? They know the best. Religious fanatics say that she has offended the religion by writing some controversial things in her books. Don't the very same people keep the communal sentiments up on the high tides perennially? Don't they cause mental and physical harm to our nation by killing its secularity? Well, I guess they don't fall in such categories.

At least Taslima's books haven't incited any physical harm. Not until her book got politically tinted. Whenever a writer pens down her thoughts, it need not appeal to all. There would be certain segments in society which would raise objections to anything and everything written and painted. Haven't we heard that the other name for art is radical? Radical thoughts need not be treated as blasphemy always. And if incongruous zones are not explored by the writers then who would bring the common man for rendezvous with eclectic thoughts? This in no means should be taken as prerogative by the writers to craft dictum without head or tale. This also reminds me of the small frenzy which Mayawati created some time back over a song in Madhuri's come back movie "Aaja Nach Le". Now I am sure that like me, 99.9% of people wouldn't have taken the use of word "mochi" in the song, as derogatory. Only after the hue and cry by Mayawati, such a thing came into notice. So ultimately who is undermining certain castes in India, is it the art or the political mob? This creates a sense of deja-vu in me about jingoism, all but for wrong reasons.

Taslima has conveniently become a pawn in the game played by the politicians. But can we blame her? The journey through which Taslima is going definitely needs to wind up. If we don't intervene in politicization of the art then we would continue to lose many more Hussains and Taslimas.

It is not Lajja for Taslima who vocalized her thoughts via books, but Lajja for people who adopt jaundiced approach towards art and poison the nation in-toto. Anomaly in art is still a diminutive issue to focus on. Need of the hour is to palisade the nation from the jaws of political and religious dogmas.

The new Indian Religion - Youthism

Faded jeans, half tucked shirt or a funky Tee, expensive mobile, gum chewing mouth churning Yankee English…..does this ring a bell in your mind?

The youth of Today's India

This however is just a lop-sided reflection of our youth.
Apart from living in Levis, keeping time with Cartier, and walking in Gucci, these youngsters also exude dynamism, confidence and the alacrity to beat the best in the world.

Indian youth, today, have transcended all boundaries and achieved the zenith in all major walks of life. They are the true and new face of our burgeoning economy. India is the new buzzword in the global dictionary with everybody from business to politics wanting to share the spot light with India. This success is unprecedented, in the history of India. The youth of this generation knows its mind and leaves no stone unturned to achieve what it dreams of. One could completely get bamboozled with the various facets to our young generation. Their aplomb and killer instinct can keep people, riveted forever.

The screening of recent film "Chak de India" also accentuated the spirit of juvenescence in India, and showcased that if grit, determination and focus form the cardinal pillars of any person, conquering zenith would not be too far. "Chak de…" was Indian youth personification to the fullest. The movie succeeded in instilling a mixed feeling of patriotism and unflinching zeal to actualize one's dream.

With globalization and advent of internet, information has become ubiquitous like god and air. There is nothing which can not be known by entering the world of "www". Our tech savvy youth have completely exploited this boon and polished themselves to compete with the finest brains of the world. While this remains a common scene in the cities of India, the rural side still remains aloof from the benedictions of such developments. India has beautifully transfigured into the "Wanna Be" countries of the world and little more effort from this exuberant generation can do wonders to our motherland. It is not a surprise when we hear about our IITians and IIM grads, being recruited by the "who's who" of the corporate world. This talent pool has earned huge laurels for Indian, everywhere. Such is the power of our youth that India is now being considered a major challenger to the world super power, U.S.A!!!

The youth of India, representing a third of our population, constitute a vital and vibrant human resource. They have not only proved their mettle in the field of work, but have also exhibited the humane aspect of their character. Today's youth doesn't shy away from shouldering the responsibility of lending helping hand to the needy people.

This rare combination of qualities makes them a class apart from their contemporaries across the globe. Hats off to our promising generation for their endeavors towards excelling in life, now and always!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Always Up....

Nope, this isn't anything about the Reliance MF advertisement which speaks about keeping your returns "Always up". Wanna know what is it actually?
Anybody who comes to India this season would be gripped by a fever called "Always up".

Well you wouldn't have to look into a medical dictionary for its definition, coz it's smeared all over the face of the country. (Almost) Every aspect of India is vocal about this fever. Be it the soaring sensex in the stock market, the ever appreciating rupee value, festive seasons of Sales or the bollywood productions…All seem to be promising a bright and peaking future for this country.

The stock market has bloomed wildly in the last couple of quarters scaling a journey of 14k to circa kissing 20k, further strengthening the beliefs of investor in the escalating economy of India. No wonder that the stock market, despite its uncertainty has attracted 20 million shareholders. That makes India the 3 rd largest investor base in the world after the USA and Japan. After all who wouldn't want to fill their kitty, when India is growing richer everyday. Animal instincts have become rampant in India with majority of investors feeling Bullish. It's a tug-of-war between bears and bulls which churns the market and drives the sentiments of the investors. For now the Bulls have undeniably taken a long lead.

Those of you, who aren't financial buffs, need not scratch your head. It's high time that you get yourself acquainted with the parlance of the stock market (at least the basic ones).

[Check out for updating your financial knowledge]

Alright, for the sake of those who are blissfully oblivious of the above mentioned subject, there are plenty of other reasons to feel "up". Ensuing the stock markets is our national currency "Rupee" aka INR. This also has been giving dollar a run for quite some time now. At 39.3 it is emblematic of the growing conviction of the domestic as well as the foreign investors. So what does this mean to the laymen? Simply putting you can buy more dollars now and become rich in US J. It would be wrong to say that Rupee appreciation has benefited our country on whole, because IT and ITeS companies have seen their profit margins plummeting on the behest of rupee appreciation. However a more conservative look says that we appear more strong and flourished to the outer world now.

If this still appears Greek and Latin to some of my fellow beings, then let me talk about some "ups" which are more related to our mundane activities. The onset of autumn season sees a line for festivities in India. Be it Dashehra, Karwa Chauth, Diwali or Bhai Dooj, we Indians get sufficient opportunities to loosen our pockets and live lavishly thru this season. All streets would be garbed differently but in a single mood of "Sale". Flat 50% off…Up to 50% off…Clearance Sale…Phew!!!
A new species mushrooms during such seasons, popularly known as "Shopoholics". They are found in the age group of 20-40 years, gender female (though I refute this…males are equally maniacs about shopping, but lack of choice makes them less conspicuous) and found in various kinds of shops, especially during sale time. They would be armed with packets and packets of shopping bags with them@ this point of time…

Ok, just to add some spice to our banality lets take a peek at some of the much talked about films of the year. This weekend was kick started by the release of No Smoking, featuring perennial hunk of the bollywood, John Abraham and his love interest Bipasha Basu doing what she does best….an Item number… also@ loggerheads is the movie Jab We Met featuring the newly split couple Shahid and Kareena (further highlighting the frivolous nature of film stars). The following week would witness the heat between the mega releases Saawariya and Om Shanti Om…While one has the star attraction of launching Ranveer Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor's son) and Sonam (Anil Kapoors' daughter), the other is hyped due to recently acquired six packs abs of SRK. There is enough entertainment on the screen to keep us peppy and cheerful till the season winds up.

...and the cherry on the cake would be the double victory in the 20-20 world cup once again by the young and effervescent team of Dhoni…

The spirits of Indians are definitely high considering above reasons and if you still haven't been convinced by the presence of "Always Up" fever, then check out with the best doctor in your town. You maybe plagued with "Always down" fever ;)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A lot can Happen over Coffee.....

I had a very wierd expereince in a coffee shop the other day. While i was busy sipping a steaming cup of Latte, I could not prevent overhearing the conversation between two friends, seated exactly at my back.
Though I could not track the entire converation, I was sure that it was some kind of woe, which one friend was effusing out to the other. Here's an excerpt of the same.....

What is that keeps me lingering on to it…Is it the righteousness of my decisions, that I m fearing obliviously? Or simply the uncertainty of my future is engulfing my jubilations?

I am a strong person, who could fight all odds in her life…or so I thought about myself.

Do I really know the self which abodes within me or am I just painting a rosy picture and endeavoring to fit myself in that frame?

Nothing seems to assuage the battle within my mind….an incessant turbulence has gripped it…I feel lost, while I have been making efforts to find myself. Why are there so many contradictions in life? My head is aching thinking about all these incongruities…I feel like running away from everything to get some solace…somewhere…do I not deserve at least some respite from the bedlam enveloping my aura, my being? Oh….how much I am trying to overcome this interrogation mode but all in vain. My mind is jostling to reach beyond this gruesome phase. It's tearing my heart apart and I just can't bear this excruciating pain anymore.

I just took a step towards my happiness; did that entitle me to suffer so much? Why am I being held responsible for the sorrows which somebody else is experiencing because of my decision?

Never have I seen my hopes getting belied, like this time. I am happy….I want to be happy but I feel so guilty. This duality in my mind should cease now, else it would drive me insane. At times I wonder if frivolity is my second name. Deep down my heart I know that I grow whimsical about my decisions after a while, but why was the "while" so long this time? It has left my life blatant with marks!!! I digressed because I was not happy...because I felt lost and suppressed…

I am happy now but something is impeding me from enjoying it…what is that?

I feel like the mariner in Samuel Taylor's "The rime of Ancient Mariner"…an invisible albatross is hanging heavy on my neck. Only if I could see it, I would have tried taking it off…alas!!!

These thoughts are choking my mind. Gawwwd…

I wish I could undo certain events from my life. I wish so many things, but I know they might never see the sun. Bequeathing them is the dismal option I am left with now. In that case would I have put enough fight against the odds in life? Do I have the audacity to indulge in any fracas with life now? I hear no voice coming from my mind or heart. They have become defunct. All this only because of this mammoth mayhem, which has swallowed me in its vortex. The pot of peace is empty like this room. My only companion here is my echo. Could life have been worse than this?

My salad days have gradually purged…with no sign of returning ever…

I can not stop tears rolling down my cheek….I wish these tears could wash away all the glooms from my life and bring back the olden times of warmth, love and security… I wish it could happen.

[This is just a miniscule part of what a friend has felt for another friend]

Monday, September 24, 2007

Indians aka Fanatics !!

Talk about being fanatics and Indians beat the entire world. Fanatic about what becomes a matter of secondary importance. Indians have always believed in displaying their affections for the public heroes. Be it cricketers, or movie stars, or some festivals our fanaticism knows no boundaries, and often becomes comparable to a mass hysteria.

The recent shows like Indian Idol and ongoing T20 cricket world cup to name a few have been driving the entire nation to a state of frenzy. Gluing to the television sets becomes a paradigm, ubiquitous across the length and breadth of the country. And mind you, gender and age permit no bars here. The Indian idol grand finale was showered with around seven crores of votes via sms over a fortnight. If this was less, people also thronged the websites to get glimpses of their favorites. Newspapers, TVs and hoardings were abundant with the posters and news about these young lots raring to make a mark on the nation of one billion and above. It takes no time for us to idolize "the rising star".

Running parallel to this is the cricket match. One match is sufficient to rush the adrenaline high in our mind and body. We have all the reasons to completely charge ourselves. As though some high voltage thriller plot would be getting unveiled. To get a taste of it just look around your self. People have rushed office a li'l early in the hope that they cud leave early as well and experience the ecstasy of watching their pets play and cheer our country to victory.

Here's a small excerpt from some e-mails in circulation in an IT firm as on 24th September 2007.

(C Savvy is a the Functional Manager for the project
Rahul is the functional lead
Starry is the functional lead
Jazzy is a team member)

All these mails were sent, by keeping the other three people in CC. So practically everyone knew who is penning down which excuse to escape from the boredom of office to the much exciting world of  cricket.


I am out to attend a meeting from 5 PM onwards. I expect you people to stay back and put long hours of committed effort today..

No excuses please!

Warm Regards,
C. Savvy

Dear C. Savvy,

I'm expecting a sudden relapse of my food poisoning at around 5 today. Kindly grant me permission to go home early before you leave for "THE MEETING"

Thank You

Hi All,

Since all you guys would be in meeting or at hospital (food poisoning or something else), I would stay back in office to work.
Please don't try and contact me as I would be busy. In order to have undisturbed work I would be in invisible mode.


And this is the final one, breaking all levels of courtesy and patience…

Dear C Savvy,

I have to watch India Pakistan T20 Final today…
Will you allow me to go home early today or not???


The last one was in much bigger fonts; however it has been toned down for this blog purpose.

This is definitely a drop in the ocean. We Indians can go miles to follow such fanaticisms. One might wonder, what happens to millions to people who don't have access to media channels for following the suit of hysteria? Well, well my friend our fanaticism is not benign. It's malignant!
It's as contagious as common cold. It spread like a sneeze. When you get plagued with fanaticism, some visible symptoms would be laziness@work and hyper activity@home.

To prevent this hysteria from seeping deep in to the culture of the organizations, many IT companies also installed some TV sets in its office to allow its "fanatics" employees to enjoy their fever and also contribute to the company's bottom-line.

Such is our zest and fervor, that it becomes only too easy for these "heroes" to assume the status of god, at least demigods!! While these demigods get to bask in such ephemeral glory and mint money, we go gaga over their charm and adeptness. Time changes at the flip of the coin and these demigods are reduced to the stars of yore times. This however does not dilute our admiration, because a new star gets born and our madness follows that star incessantly…till it has fire!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

a Wild goose chase

And this year we all witnessed it again…..Bangalore as always, extemporaneous.
Two occasions and many days of suffering…
Bangalore, once a pensioner’s paradise is now marred by the maddening population, occasionally accused of infiltration by bunch of morons.
The then authorities did not have enough acumen to predict that Bangalore would be transmogrifying into the IT hub of India, and occupying a place on the global map, and so here we are jostling everyday to commute between work and home!!!!!

Nah, that’s not what’s actually bothering bangaloreans, but the perturbing point comes firstly, when it rains heavily in Bangalore and the drainage systems show their shallowness (pun) explicitly. Within minutes of rain, the entire city gets sloshed and we are left to the muse of Mother Nature….but wait the plight doesn’t end here. This raining spree doesn’t complete at a stretch, but happens in intervals. So while first fifteen minutes you are required to be collected under a bus-stop or any shop, the other fifteen minutes you can come out and move towards your destination!
You could be called lucky if you are able to traverse this distance in the dry spell, else you are one among those who get to witness the mood swings of Rain god.

To make things worse, the roads also get jammed due to the slow moving traffic and water puddles. Lady luck has to definitely smile upon you, if you are riding a two-wheeler, and still able to differentiate between the road and the divider clearly.
This entire scene on the road looks no less than any procession. Albeit it s a different matter that in Bangalore, the procession for good causes are less and more for trouble causing issues (Rajkumar’s death for instance. The town was painted dark in vandalism on this particular day!!!!)

Secondly, if there are any festive occasions (which by a matter of chance are negligible in Karnataka, as compared to the other parts of India) like Ganesh and Gauri Habba (Habba in Kannada means festival) then the traffic assumes a mammoth stature.
I was stunned on hearing the consequences of heavy traffic, the other day. Many of my colleagues had started from the office at 7pm and reached home only after 1200pm, when the distance from traffic point to their home was barely 1.5 km (the only group of people benefiting from such heavy traffic were, the road side restaurants and thele wale, who enjoyed serving food to the much harassed people). Such scandalous travel experiences can leave you completely drained, both physically and mentally. You have to be an expert to maneuver in such traffic.
However, amidst all the sufferings, one thing which caught my fancy was the tech-savvy city traffic department, of Bangalore.
While I was at home with my irritated flat mates (there was no light in our township, and everybody was upset about not being able to watch Indian Idol), my cell phone beeped, indicating receipt of a SMS. I was surprised to see that the message was from city traffic urging to the public not to come out on the roads and add to the traffic, until unless it was required. I was glad that they at least took some human step to reach out to people.
The traffic had already turned python. To add to the woe, entire city appeared to have come out on the roads, as it was Ganesh Habba, and most of the people, living in the vicinity of Bangalore were going home, for the celebrations. I even fear to think about a situation where an ambulance could have got caught in the traffic and…..!!!
A chill runs down my spine, on mere thought of such a predicament.
If rumors are to be believed, then a red alert has been issued in Bangalore instructing people to be at home to avoid any kind of stampede.
With so many adjourn, I wonder how people can still manage to feel happy about the festivals. Maybe this is the spirit of Bangalore.
None the less, the magnitude of Bangalore’s traffic cannot be over powered by anything else. The nuisance it creates is nerve-racking. It makes you tour the enitre city to reach your destination. (Now, did you find a relevance between the title of the blog and the blog itself).
To put an epilogue on this, “killing” would be a euphemism for Bangalore’s traffic, but who cares!!!!

Life-On a Philosophical Note

Sometimes, it takes li'l too long to fathom life...and then you realise that you have missed out on some wonderful things in life....or maybe you realise that you have metamorphosed for better in life!
Whatever be the outcome, its aftermath would emphatically be phenomenal. Time never flies, without leaving its mark.... You cannot have a command over time, however what you do to fill this time can surely be kept tab on. Relish the moments, which you get to live, lest life gushes away. Catch each moment and fill it with yous spirit;let your soul blend in the flavor of life. Live life in its simplicity, because complexity was never its name.

" Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you."
-Richard Bach

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

All the World's...a stage

The stage is set…the throne is adorned….and the Bhavan redecorated….
The festive occasion has come….the grand gala… swearing ceremony for the most coveted Seat in India….The New Face for President of India.
On July 25th, Ms Pratibha Patil would take the oath as new president of India, going down in the history of India as the First lady President!

This is a time for celebration…for raising a toast to the future of India.This is a time for our president to develop a Vision for India…India which could bask in the glory of being numero uno in all major walks of life.This is indeed also a time for going back to some basics.

A monthly salary of Rs.40, 000, a sprawling palatial abode and a bunch of people for “Ji-Huzuri”, is this all our politicians are fighting for?

Madam President, as Pratibha Patil would be called, has been able to rake quite a few controversies since her nomination as Presidential candidate by the current government.

This presidential election saw all. ..Thanks to the much educated and decent political faces of our country…they seem to be uncovering many a scandals, murders, rapes and crimes of similar ilk only during elections. They have numerous weapons for denigrating the character of “opposition’s candidate”. Mud slinging and Tongue lashing becomes the name of the game during elections. However what was unique this season was that the highest seat of Indian democracy was also bestowed with allegations of murder and improper means of wealth creation. What a demure way of exhibiting ones respect for the head of our country!!!!!!!!!!

The sanctity of the President’s post seems to have lost.

While Pratibha Patil basks in the glory of her newly earned title, I wonder what new she would do to make her presence matter.
I feel li’l remorseful in biding farewell to Mr. Kalam.
To me, he represented a brand…an apostle of integrity and knowledge. He was one president after Dr. Radhakrishnan, who succeeded in igniting the young minds and instilling them with the hope and vision for a better India. The others have just completed their tenure and exited peacefully.

There is no gain saying the pride which Pratibha Patil has done to the entire women clan, but aren’t we again becoming gender sensitive? I mean why should it matter if the president of India is a male or a female? Isn’t it more important that a right candidate gets elected and steers the country on the path of prosperity? Perhaps Not!

Power and money have become the cynosure for all politicians. In such a scenario Pratibha Patil doesn’t seem to be giving any respite. I am sure, like me, many wouldn’t have known about her existence in the Indian political backdrop…not that it matters, but it certainly would have helped us to relate to her. If it had to be a lady then why not pick someone who has the grit and the vigor to ensure CHANGE.

While I write this, one name which continues to flash in my mind is Roman Magsaysay Laureate- Kiran Bedi…lady who has always set a paradigm for young generations to follow. She exudes a nationwide appeal, which is as genuine as her work has been…No charades…no facades…She is strong, yet so graceful. She also happens to possess a forte, which Mr. Kalam had, and which turned out to be topping the list of qualities people wanted in their Presi…Non Political Association.
So did we miss out on some real candidates for Presidential election?
This question would remain unanswered like so many of them have been in the past….Sighhhh…

Many claim, that even Kalam wasn’t able to do anything out of league from the banal activities of a president; however what they are definitely overlooking is the magnanimous impact which Kalam has till date on the youth of this country. Can Pratibha Patil have the inductive effect? My doubts stand very much intact in their place.

There were plenty of polls thru all channels of media to reflect the choice of people, but all in vain. People’s choice was conveniently ignored by the people’s representatives, who feigned to be doing their best.

Albeit I am an optimist, I am unable to thwart the skepticisms from my mind…I am unable to jettison the disappointments and fear, which have found an abode in my heart ever since this battle began.

The time is crucial,
The Fate is uncertain,
In between, lies the banal answer….
They hog power,
They hog money,
Where is the Well being of people, honey?

I keep my fingers crossed while my heart wishes that I get proved wrong…at least this time for sure!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A DAY in my life!

Ah! What an incredible feeling it is to witness the dawn of a day…
It’s still dark outside and almost everybody in the country is rejoicing the pleasure of having a sound sleep.
What an ironical thing? While the world sleeps, I get ready to perform my tasks for the day. After all most the people cannot even begin their day without me.

So I set out to take a peek into people’s life and mark the beginning of their day!
Isn’t it a noble act? I give people a sense of getting connected to the world in a glance and rejuvenate their much pressurized day.

My itinerary kicks starts by taking a round of every door in my neighborhood, my locality, my city, my country….phew!!! Traveling is my passion and I have found many people who can pay me for living my passion. Ain’t I smart?

Okie…no boasting now…But you would have to spend a day with me for knowing “what makes my profession so fun-filled”.
After all I am also a professional (like you), and do my tasks with utmost sincerity (unlike you). Thank god! You are not a mind reader!!

Let’s go to some house first. Early morning this is best place to catch my client.
Bade Babu: As the name suggests, he is a big boss in some Desi MNC. For him morning starts early, but office has its turn only close to lunch time. Now that he is awake let me grab this opportuuuuuuuuuu….. Arre….where is he taking me along??
The door shuts and here I am with Bade Babu, all alone in this..uh..small room.
I am being scanned from top to bottom by Bade Babu. Now don’t even ask me what other $hit is happening here. As soon as Bade Babu opens the door and slams me on the ground, I rush out of this house before anything more disastrous can happen. (Could you pass on some tissues to me…sob...sob)

This client was definitely not a morning person!!

Let’s go to some office now. I hope to meet some pleasant client there.
So here we enter. Stop gapping and move ahead. It’s our country’s largest IT giant.

XYZ Technologies: You want to know the name. Well “what’s in name?” didn’t somebody say this?
This company’s biggest asset is its people (many of whom get the privilege of being on bench for 8 months!!) How do I know all this? Didn’t I tell you about my intelligence? My networking is stronger than the most intelligent person in the world. Arre bhai it’s a demand of my profession after all. Can’t take a risk, you see:-)
Le’me go to the library. Somebody would definitely come to see me there.
After a wait of 5 minutes, I see a young looking employee rushing towards the library. But hey, why is he hiding behind me? Oops... incidentally his PM (Project Manager) is also coming here and this young man, instead of being in his cubicle, must be dwindling his already zilch productivity. And so he thought of hiding behind me.
“Gosh…what a tiring day it has been.” You can feel that sadly, but I certainly love my trips…

It’s about 1pm now, so time to move out and meet my next client….
How about meeting some energy oozing college kids?

Let’s see which story gets unfurled here.

Engineering College: The place of fun…for all and none!!
Welcome my dear friend. Yes, this is one place where fun prevails amidst all situations.
Be it exams, be it freshers’ party, be it farewell, be it PL….what engineers don’t forget is to laugh and to smile!! let me take you to a tour of this ever green stream of science.
One place which all students consider a must go is the Canteen.
Some eat, some rag…
Some meet and some brag…
This is the gist of happenings in a canteen. Also known as the Mecca of students, for reasons well known to you now!
Let me also take you for a visit to library…No we wouldn’t be seeing many kids studying there. In fact here is what you can also see apart from bookworms…Lovebirds.
On pretext of meeting me they often coo-chi-coo with their partners…and I get the honour of being an eye witness to their love deeds….Giggle…

Well, its dusk, so let’s meet one last client now.
How about going back to some house now? Not bad right…
So let’s barge in now….where?

Mr. & Mrs. Gupta: They’ve just returned from their offices (so I just sit quietly here).
Mr. Gupta finds me next to him so he picks me up and looks thru me to get reconnected to the world. After Mrs. Gutpa gets some tea, she picks me up as well and does the same. They discuss on some topic and get into an argument...the argument is turning louder and louder….bangggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!….Mr. Gupta slams the door and zooms out of the room. Thank God, for peace can prevail now.
Slowly it gets darker as the night gulps down the evening putting every soul back to sleep.

So, this was just a small glimpse of how my day goes by. I travel, listen to all gossips, witness all cozy moments, peek in your personal life, see you crying, hear you getting scolding, go to offices, got to restaurants…and all this with U ….Would you still ask me to change my profession?
Still wondering who I am…I am your NEWSPAPER, silly.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kalpana Chawla- Rise from the ASH !!

And we all thought that she was dead!!!!

Everyone (including me) had forgotten about her.

No, this was not because her contribution had been overlooked by our country but it’s just the time span which seemed to have covered our memory layers.
May be she didn’t like it and so she is back amidst us.

This time only as a child, a girl child.

The news of Upasana, a young girl, claiming to be a reincarnation of Kalpana Chawla has sent waves of surprise and curiosity in the minds of this entire nation.
This girl who is rumoured to be a reincarnation of kalpana chawla was born to a labourer couple, two months after the unexpected demise of the astronaut in the space.

The surprise element in this story is not the reincarnation factor but the two diametrically opposite backgrounds of the Kalpana Chawla part 1 and part 2!!

The authenticity of this news piece is yet to be established, but a lot of our fellow countrymen have already stamped it true. After all in a country like ours, such stories only appear plausible. Who would bother to find out if there is even an iota of truth in the words mouthed by that li’l girl?

What ever be the reason behind this piece of news doing rounds in the country, we must admit that many of us would want it to be true. Why? Simply because it offers something stimulating to our minds and gives us an opportunity to think beyond our mundane schedules. In layman’s term, it spices up our life!!

The entire gamut of reincarnation is still enigmatic and possesses a big challenge to the world of science. Forget explaining the concept of reincarnation in its entirety, there is no rational theory in today’s world which could remotely demystify this.

A lot has been talked about reincarnation in Hindu Mythology. One who does good in current birth would get a second life filled with happiness.
But Upasana story doesn’t seem to be falling in line with this belief.

Kalpana Chawla was one of the illustrious astronauts and had brought plenty of laurels to our country. Barring her own family, which had snipped all their ties with her (as she had dared to marry not only an outer caste man, but a man from different country altogether!) she has done proud to India. So do you think she would be reincarnating to live a life of pauper? Well, my brain is certainly unable to draw any parallels between the two.

Now, this brings about a very strange observation from my side. The story of Upasana aka Kalpana Chawla doesn’t fit current scientific explanations nor does it seem to be obeying the Indian mythology. It has apparently might have carved a paradigm for itself.

Whether the more logical world of science would be able to benefit from this sensational revelation is all left to the level of inquisitiveness generated by it.

But one entity which would have definitely loved this news the most is “media”. After all, isn’t everyone hungry for scoops and juicy news and who else could cater it so well to millions to people, if not our own media?

Moreover this news appears to be ensuing the latest fad gripping our country…The Sequelsssss….We’ve seen “Dhoom and Dhoom2”, “Koi mil gaya and Krishhh” and if rumours are to believed then even HR…Oops Himesh Reshamiya would like to do “Aap ka suroor2”…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who the hell gives him such torturous ideas....Can somebody tell him that he just cannot ACT!!!

Anyway, picking up the thread of our conversation, I wonder if we are witnessing someone who could become a “Kalpana Chawla 2” in couple of decades or less than that.

This thought alone is sufficient to run a chill down my spine, so I think I would let the scientist unfurl this “supernova” of reincarnation. Till then let media rule the roost of thoughts in people‘s mind. After all aren’t we supposed to hear what they say and believe what they show?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Maya ki Maya

Well, well, well…..the cat is out of the bag now.

Everybody inland (and maybe even abroad) knows that India isn't that poor a country what we are made to believe!
So this is extremely good news for our denizens…right?
Let's find out what (or who) makes our country so rich and wealthy overnight.
The latest news rife in the country is
"Maya grew 400% richer in 3 years " (reported by ToI).

For those of you who abhor current affairs, Maya isn't any bollywood filmstar, or a recipient of much envied family heritage. Neither is she the new face of KBC or Indian Idol. Then who is she??

She is one of our politicians and the current CM of UP, better known as "India's Dalit icon".
Mayawati has recently declared assets worth over Rs. 52 crore, according to an affidavit filed by her for nominatios for vidhan sabha.

And mind you, all this just in a span of three years!

Absolutely Amazing…how I wish I could know the secret behind minting so much of money in mere 3 years…common man of India nurtures this dream every day. Alas, this dream fades away every morning and the common man is left to the amusements of his life.

There's more to this truth. Mayawati is just a burgeoning spawn amongst politicians. The bigwigs of political arena are touted to be valued at Rs 500 crore each!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ever wondered how these politicians manage to accumulate so much of wealth. After all they are also in the government jobs like millions of us and earn not more than few grands each month. Maybe not.

Politicians have always thronged the news channels for reasons, right or wrong. They have become the perennial flavour of our society, of course not by our choice. Either they are opposing something good which the opposition party is doing, or they are creating waves by being scammers.

Over a period of observations, I have done my own analysis on these politicians and have come to a corollary: more the number of scams, a politician is involved in, higher would be his/her wealth.

It also reminds me of Newton's third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Our politicians seem to be obeying this rule diligently. Be it Laloo, Mayawati, or Jayalalitha and Chandrababu Naidu, all have been equally zealous in one thing- amassing wealth.

They sure can divulge authenticate modus operandi behind this.

For the good work they do being in power, they tend to develop untold bhakts (followers). But these bhakts also can not raise so much of money overnight.

So what's the secret behind this?

One option which comes to my mind is that probably politics is a very lucrative field to be in. No wonder the story of "rags to riches" is seen here more often than anywhere else.

If this is so, why were the politicians from older era weren't so rich?
Maybe, this option also gets ruled out now.

I feel having got caught in the vortex of "Maya ki Maya".
The more I try to brush this news away from my mind, the more I get intrigued by it. Somebody has to demystify this and let the common man know the formula for sudden richness. Only if wishes were horses, we would have had all the truth naked, before us.

Well, this could very well turn out to be a "Pandora's box". Then moment you remove the lid, all problems would start flying around.

So what do we do now?

For the moment, let's leave this buried formula of "Maya ki Maya" suspense and pray to God that some day, some body would have enough pluck to question these politicians on their face, and dig out the truth for us.

Till then let's continue to bask in the glory of our own richness-albeit only in dreams!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The "ancient" Times of India…is it really our time??

Just as I was going thru ToI (Times of India) on the net, I thought of reading some new articles by our own columnists. Since I had seen an interview of Bachi Karkaria on the TV yesterday, I felt like taking a peek into her column.
“Sex? Don’t toy with it” was the latest pick of Bachi and, I was tempted to read thru it completely.

Having read this article and the news on which it was based, compelled me to think, if we still are a country of fools and ignorant who need to be tutored in each aspect of life- from bedroom to bathroom!

Don’t we know what is good for us? At least, being an adult and having received so much of gyan for nearly a quarter of a century (on an average, an Indian studies till the age of 25), we can take a stand on the products we want to use in our daily life. How can a minister holding portfolio of some completely unrelated sector, plea to the government and decide that we as a country do not want to use “such” products?
Did he think he was some self appointed moral policeman of India, or was this some act of defiance to the adoption of a “foreign concept”?
I wonder what’s going to be the fate of this country which doesn’t even allow its citizen to take a call on their own needs.
I would have been happy, had the minister opposed the condoms by Hindustan Latex, as anti environmental (considering disposal of latex as difficult), but the statement that “condoms are for population control and not for pleasure” exhibits the shallowness of his thinking capacity.
There’s no gainsaying the primal purpose of condoms, but can we ignore its other benefits like safety from AIDS and the other diseases of its ilk.
And is there any harm if people derive pleasure out of something which is designed for “population control”? Well, I don’t see anything wrong in it, morally or otherwise.

Mr. Minister seems to have ignored such things. In this ever evolving era, where the definition of culture has apparently blurred, can we still confine ourselves to the facade of “Indian” culture?

I mean, “condom and sex” are no more a topic of taboo in our coevals.

Given the kind of exposure we have now days, I wouldn’t be shocked if kids would have the know-how of condom. The issue is not emulating the west in their sense of pleasure, but to leave it to the discretion of common man, whether she/he wants to endorse a specific use of the condom. I am sure that our much bothered “Palisader of Indian culture” Mr. Minister wouldn’t have heard the news about
female condoms “Confidom being introduced in India, by Hindustan Latex. He definitely would have opposed it by mouthing things like “population control is the right of men and not women” or various other slogans of the same sort. The female condom was welcomed by the women group. It not only gave them the power to prevent unwanted pregnancy but also rendered them with the choice of doing so, and jettisoning the dependencies on their better half.

It feels very sad to know that sex education has still not percolated even to the wealthy band of Indian population. At least, Mr. Minister seems to be leaving that impression upon me.

Leaving our country in the hands of such powerful imbeciles, could do little wonder to us. Pardon me for using such a harsh parlance, but I am genuinely keeping my fingers crossed for the fear of coming across anything, close to such a condemned concern as that of our Mr. Minister!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dreamsssss.....flying high

The blue sky, white clouds and the unexplored zones high above us are no more an arena dominated only by men!
Japji Kaur Cheema, 18 year old lass from Chandigarh, has earned the title of being the youngest commercial pilot of India.

The changing paradigms are reflective of the growing awareness among people about different career options and the rising desire to earn hefty packages.

Achieving such a feet requires a fire in the belly and the grit to stand by one's dream against all societal odds. This news brings back in my memory, the beliefs of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the most famous character of Richard Bach. Jonathan is a mascot of passion and determination for people who nurture a dream and put in efforts to fulfill that.

Jonathan makes one believe that a life without any passion, any dream is a waste. Every life comes with a purpose. We need to unfurl that purpose and work towards achieving that; perfecting that.

Flying, since long, has been associated with men, as it was perceived to be risky and tough. These two adjectives still flank the profession of flying-be it commercial or for the airforce. What makes it commendable now is the fact that these adjectives are beginning to lose their charm on the minds of the people. Many women have gained expertise in this field and have reached high ranks, albeit this number is still small.

Myriads of factor have helped transcend this boundary and generate quasi-parity.

The respect which is generated for pilots topped up by fat packages makes it look glamorous to the laymen. Some get guided by their penchant for flying and some get bit by the bug of doing something different. Reasons could be countless as time has been boundless, but the results are before us.

This aptly reminds me of one of my dearest friend (who also happened to be my senior in my engineering college). While rest of the world took the usual path of being in the s/w world, she chose the path lesser traveled. She chose to become a pilot in the Indian airforce. Her parents take pride in being addressed as Ms. Pilot's Parents. It's worth to get a glimpse of their faces beaming with joy.

I duly respect all the professions (hailing from the land of Mahatma, does have its impact). However the feeling of doing something different is always stimulating.
Kudos to all those, who’ve strived to “be” different in their life and followed their passion to its achievement.

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” has been the most inspiring book in my life, and unconsciously my mind tries to bring its metaphor in all events that happen to me in my life. Watching your dreams shape up and metamorphose into a reality can be the most humbling experience in a person’s life.

Japji would have already witnessed this exhilarating experience, so what are we waiting for?
Let us also take a plunge in the sea of our dreams and search for the pearl, garnered stealthily by our hearts.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Structured Query (Language)???

"Develop your SQ", were the words of wisdom from my boss to me. It sounded too familiar to me, but still couldn't decode what he meant by SQ.

Perhaps it's some kind of a new computer language or a new tool which is being used by my company. Maybe my boss forgot that its SQL and not SQ !

The age old existing languages still appear Greek and Latin to me, leave alone fathoming the new in this field .

Luckily I did not vocalize my thoughts and buried them in some grey cells in my brain.

"Aweready (accented version of alright), then. See ya on Monday. Think over how you would achieve your SQ." My boss told me. He was foreign returned and always made a point to reflect that thru his accent.

"Sure sir". I had no option but to make him feel that he was very clear in defining his requirements to me.

"Have a nice weekend. See you on Monday" said my boss and zoomed out of the office.


I heaved a sigh of relief.

The thought of weekend had blinded me towards everything else, so I pushed that stupid sounding SQ out of mind for a while.

I packed my bag hurriedly and dashed out of the office. This was only after ensuring that my boss had left.

After reaching home I collapsed on the bed, as if I had returned from a war.

I prepared a cup of hot ginger tea and made myself comfortable on my bed with today's newspaper. I was feeling very relaxed now. Don't know whether it was the ginger tea effect or the feeling of weekend. Whatever it was I was feeling calm and soothing.

As I was flipping the pages of the paper, my eyes fell on an article in the editorial section (my favorite section). It read "Leaders and Quotients".

I started to read and found it very engrossing till I came to a point where they had mentioned about various quotients like Intelligence, emotional and Spiritual……………..that means IQ, EQ and SQ.

Here I got a shocker. So was this the SQ, my dearest boss was referring to?

Spiritual Quotient.

Now who on earth invented this and why do I need to develop it?

I considered myself fairly intelligent enough to understand above average complexities in my projects. I said "above average". This bars geeky, rote, telegraphic representations of several computer languages.

Anyway, now that I knew what SQ stood for, I thought of knowing about it and the ways to develop it.

The news paper said SQ is the capability to look beyond (what?). Trying to understand the purpose of life and the best way to serve the distressed are qualities that are found normally in a mother who understands the needs of her children.

I wonder something which sounds so complicated would be how complicated to implement.

Being able to understand and exhibit high IQ and EQ were a challenge in themselves and now we are further being burdened with this concept of SQ.

How I wish at this moment, that all researchers could be put for hibernation till eternity. One day they come up with some study saying that eating XYZ is good for your health, as it would lower your risk of getting a heart attack. Other day some other study would reveal that the same XYZ would cause problems to a particular body part if consumed in excess.

This reminded me of old Tomato ketchup advertisement where a villain had tied up the hero and ordered his henchmen saying "Isko liquid nitrogen me dal do…nitrogen isko jeene nahin dega aur oxygen isko marne nahin dega…"

I felt comparable to that hero in the advertisement. These researchers would not let you die nor would they let you live.

Nevertheless, I still had to grapple to understand this concept.

I brushed aside all thoughts from my mind and sat down with the paper which said

"Spiritual intelligence touches the heart, mind and the spirit. When a leader develops high degree of spiritual intelligence the organization will definitely excel………"

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dad, you are the best- Happy Fathers' Day

 As the world celebrates fathers’ day today, I ponder upon its significance.
Not that I deny celebrating this day, but all I am trying to find out is, why just a day’s celebration for such an extraordinary person of our life?

I was listening to my favorite channel on radio-“FM fever-104”, when suddenly they started advertising about “the hero of your life…” making it sound more like a movie.
I couldn’t figure out the name of the movie, so kept myself glued to it for chances of missing out on the revelation of the movie’s name.
…and to my surprise, they announced it as “…your father! Celebrate Fathers’ day this Sunday”.
Now here burgeoned, my inquisitiveness, for knowing the history behind the origin of this day’s celebration.
So what do I do next?
As I was unable to decide on my next activity, I thought of wishing my dad, and gauge his reaction over it. So I called him up and wished. Surprisingly, dad sounded very happy and spoke to me for some time (longer than his usual talking times…so this made me feel that he was happy :-) ).

Nostalgia runs within mind, when I think of the days when my dad extended his resolute love and support to me. How he used to cheer me up when things didn’t go my way and when I faltered in fulfilling his expectations for me.

No words could ever effuse what a person feels for her dad (n mom as well…but I prefer to stick to “dad” as today is his day). Maybe the girl factor plays a cardinal role in churning such emotions within me.

I have frequently come across a very funny punch line on the t-shirts saying “My dad is an ATM”….Now none of us would disagree to this, but little do we wonder about the epochal role which this ATM plays in shaping up our life.

Before I could digress from the topic completely, I thought of doing some R&D on this day’s celebration. What better mode than Google to look for answers, so I logged into my system and “googled” (yes...this is the term people use in my office for “search”) the net for father’s day. There were plethora of web results that I could look into, so I chose some and read thru to unravel the genesis of fathers’ day story.

Folklore say that, the celebration of fathers’ day was practiced thousands of years ago. It started when a son wished long and healthy life for his father. Thereafter it became a practice for the people in that area to celebrate this day.
However the most recent information which I got was that, this tradition began in US in the last century. One Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd felt that there was a need to recognize the efforts of a father and hence began a campaign lobbying for the cause.

So, this day is actually her brainchild.

Later, in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.
So here we are celebrating this day. Commercialization, of such days is a different story which again can be plowed, in a separate chapter.

Googling so many sites, did give me insight into this beautiful info, which I felt should be made more known to our coevals.
I personally feel that such days, help us to voice our love for our near and dear ones, which many of us wouldn’t have ever done. At least on the pretext of celebrating such days, one can remember to express their love and affection and help in resurfacing long buried warmth in the relationships.
However, one can never say if certain parties would let this happen amicably, given their past records of demolishing shops on the behest of palisading “Bhartiye Sanskriti”.

Whatever be the future, the present certainly is good.

Sitting at home in the silicon valley of India, miles away from my family, I find such days to be the most effective means of bonding with them.
Before my frontal lobe starts taking charge over my parietal lobe, I better indulge myself in some less emotional work:-) .

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”
Fathers Day Quote by: Jim Valvano

Saturday, June 16, 2007

At last it rained………….

Comes rain, and comes alive all my excitement for life!

The little showers, which run down on my face, make me feel rejuvenated and all set for taking up new tasks. Entire surrounding looks green and clean (to my relief!).
I feel like sipping, a steaming hot cup of coffee, and celebrate the onset of my pet season.
So I decide to march towards my home. On the way back to my home, I decide on quite a few things which I would do to enjoy this mood and the season, of course.

I am reveling the cool breeze against my cheeks and humming my favorite song from the movie Ghulam “hosh walon ko khabar kya…”
Suddenly I hear a screeching sound, so I turn back to figure out its source.
“How cute”, I see a pup on one corner of the road. A car just brushed by its side and so this little creature made the maximum use of its vocal chords.
I laugh at this sight and then jostle towards my own nest.
Now I am actually hurrying to reach home, as I can see the evening growing darker.
I make sure that my handbag, which I had bought from Goa, is with me, and increase my pace. Hardly a few yards ahead I hear “Splat!” and before I can realize what has happened, I get soaked in (d)rain water.
Without even batting an eyelid, the auto driver swings his auto and skillfully drives his auto like a horse on a road. I am left to my own amuse and fate to tackle this dirty situation.

Every dog has his day, and today is mine!

I take my bag off my shoulder and peep inside to find a handkerchief.
Thankfully, I get one. I clean my face and try wiping the dirt from my dress.
Guess its manageable now. So I proceed ahead after cursing the culprit (auto driver). I can’t stop thinking, as to, why did I have to walk back home and not take an auto itself.

Adventurous mind !

Not bothering too much I continue to walk. After walking for some ten minutes, I find people gazing at me. Maybe its my perception or am I hallucinating?
I try to ignore them, but after the incessant stares and some funny expression I feel like punching people in their faces. It’s so irksome, when you become a cynosure for people around you. A few steps ahead and I feel like a fool now. Why?
It suddenly dawns upon me that this part of the city hasn’t witnessed the refreshing bout of rain, which I did near that park. No wonder, that my dirty face and soaked clothes are compelling people to wonder the place of my arrival.

Thank you Bangalore..errr..Bengalooru.

So those people were right, who had said that, this place has the potential to make you experience all four seasons in one day!...huh !!
So while it rained near the park, it was completely dry, some kilometers ahead of it.
I don’t feel like sipping that hot cup of coffee anymore. In fact I feel like going home at the earliest and look around for an auto. An auto comes and surprisingly is willing to go to the place of my choice (without any tantrums). I get inside it and look at the surroundings which are sans a drop of rain water.
I get lost in my own world as the auto vrooms on the way to my home.
Suddenly I hear the auto driver asking me “right or left, madam?”
I come out of my reverie and look around to figure out where were we exactly.
Then I ask him to go straight and stop on the left.
I get down from the auto and take out my wallet to pay him the fare.
The fare was substantially more than the usual fare, so I argue with the driver.

As I do so, a heavy shower of rain pours on earth drenching us all. The auto driver asks for his fare and I cannot stop wondering over the climate of this place- Unpredictable!

The auto driver leaves, after taking his fare, and a smile appears on my face thinking “At last it rained… this part of Bengalooru as well!!”

Friday, June 15, 2007

Richer India !!

The whole day one news which has been reverberating in my ears, is the news of Mr. Mukesh Ambani becoming the number one trillionaire in India….oops!! I mean the only trillionaire in India. So that means our country is heading towards regaining the title of “golden bird” all over again.

Well, not even remotely! Apparently, India is still at the same position where it was before the elder Ambani had climbed this distinct ladder. One must wonder then, why all this hoopla gets created on some Indian earning some crores of wealth?

This article in no means, intends to, demean the accolades of Mr. Mukesh Ambani, but I certainly fail to understand its benefit for the common man like me.
Technologically and economically India has achieved many feats and is being touted as the super power for the coming decades. But many of us would find it astounding to know that these benefits do not permeate to the poor people who essentially need them. With billions of people to support, our country needs citizens who can contribute in the upliftment of the underprivileged class.

Just yesterday I was reading news about our PM urging to the CII for putting a ceiling on the salaries of captains of industries. Some of us might argue saying that this is right as the disparity in society is getting steeper day by day, and this needs to be tamed. While the other counterparts may argue saying that salaries in industries are based on performance and hence must not be regulated, else the brain-drain scenario would soon resurface at the top levels. Right or wrong, the underlining point is the concern for fellow being in the society and the not the salary structure. Government has to play a certain part and as citizens of this nation we ought to aid this effort from government. Giving primary education to the children, creating awareness amongst the people and generating job opportunities for youth are the cardinal dwells for this country. A lot of work is going on in this field in the names of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), philanthropy, charity etc., but the real substance appears conspicuous by its absence. Who is to be blamed for all this mayhem? The answer is none!

Someone has rightly said that “everybody’s business is nobody’s business”. Each one of us think that it’s someone else’s responsibility to contribute to the society. Little do we realize that in this process, limitless time gets lost and countless opportunities disappear into the horizon. The time when we could have made a difference in someone’s life goes away with each passing second. So, does it mean that now nothing can be done? Well, not if we can still apprehend the power of helping somebody.

My conscious mocks at me for not doing my bit of work for the needy people. The choice is mine now- do I want to feel this way, the whole of my life or can I opt for the path lesser traveled ? Better late than never, people, come and take your decision!!

While this may appear a little plausible, let’s join Mr. Ambani, in celebrating his newly earned title!!