Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Spitter’s Saga

Yaaak Thooo…HolyDove! Make way for the red shower to reach it’s goal..Thhumpp! and it sticks to the wall forever. You ask what?? Well, something that’s beyond Government’s Unique Identification Number or Voter Id card. Something that identifies Indians as Indians. Something that is national passion and favourite pastime. And that ‘something’ is ‘Spitting’. The nation has an ancient fondness for something called paan -- a betel leaf wrapped around a varying mix of areca nuts, cardamom, lime paste, tobacco and other flavours and after it is chewed, there are two places it could go, down or out!.

Art of Spitting

Armed with a mouth full of saliva mixed in discharges from the respiratory passages, they leisurely shoot it on all the walls, may it be walls of post offices, railway stations, bus stands, streets, adjoining walls of some residential/office building, bazaars and why not the hidden wall behind the elevator? If you haven’t noticed it yet then do it next time you climb an elevator and press a button before exit so that it explores some other floors while you check the copper-stained-walls-behind-the-elevator that have been rusted from the infected saliva of spitters. The guthkas and paans are to be blamed that lure these innocent people who are in a habit of constantly chewing paan and after few minutes just like the itch needs to be scratched, the spit also has to be smacked out.

I paused for about seven minutes when I first saw it, wondering how they actually do it! And how on earth could the ‘impossible to reach’ part of the wall i.e between the two floors could ever be stained. Possibly the elevator constructers were too pissed with the contractor and they retaliated by decorating the walls with grime, I concluded the thought to leave. Or it could be the job of spit-haters who love to part with our bodily fluids and ‘thoo’ it on the walls, I thought again later.

Recently a columnist explained the whole concept as the biological make-up that enables them (the spit-haters) to produce so much of stuff that seem to be forever having to get rid of and expel it from the body lest they fall sick and die. It’s funny that the spit is not only crimson or blood red but also transparent and green! Don’t ask how. You must have seen the streets and public toilets patched with thick cough like phlegm ridiculing at you as if you have been commanded to wipe them off with naked hands.

These Do No Good Too

Nevertheless the ‘Do Not Spit Here’ sign post do no good, rather, itself gets bathed with the sputum yet stands still in a (S)pitiable condition. If spitters are at the bus stand, they will spit at the stand while they are waiting, on the steps of the bus while boarding, and through the window on the road while riding. The auto-rickshaw-wallah will slow down while spitting, the taxi driver will poke out his head and spit in the air, the truck driver won’t even look while spitting. (Seems like there is some big spitting marathon going on in the country and everyone’s in.)

“A tourist friend of mine from Netherland initially got horrified to misunderstand the red spit as blood and got impatient to know why so many people suffer from almost the same disease and still be unnoticed. But soon it dawned on her that the terracotta haze is nothing but a filthy, unhealthy, smutty and stinking habit that many Indians acquire, Isnt’t it petulant?” asked Akanksha, a bank employee irritably.

How About this

It won’t be surprising if Indians approach the International Olympic Committee with a proposal to introduce a new sport ‘the Spitathlon’. Since most Indians practice the sport, it is sure to get huge viewership and fans. Millions of tobacco companies would sponsor and zillons of money would flow in. Doubtlessly for Indians to become world champs.

“Though my teeth are stained and my mouth smells but I make sure to get rid of the first juice of paan that is dangerous for health so I spit,” comforted Jagpal, a businessman. But Where? Where do you spit? “Ah! That’s not a worry, there are many places.” he winked. Okhay!!

This Would Do!

In China and Dubai, chewing and spitting paan, especially in public places, is prohibited. Dare you suggest that we take the same approach here in this country, soon some bleeding heart liberal sena attacks on you and declare it a person’s human right to spit on the pavement.

Let’s start a secret campaign of saying ‘yukk’ to the people spitting around. Make ickiest face looking at the blob of gob spitted by them. If this doesn’t work, maximum we could do is to make sconces like brackets on the walls with a door to cover. Two motives are fulfilled here, one the spit is out as usual on the wall second the wall still looks clean and beautiful. Atleast the distemper and paint expenses would be limited to four walls of the sconce. Spitters beware, all of this is a flabby ‘something’ to annoy the people but once they vow to stop you, the maroon infected sputum would go down, not out.

CAUTION: Effects of chewing paan are very similar to that of chewing tobacco. Many people think that chewing paan is safer than smoking tobacco. But studies have shown that instead of being safer, they are equally, if not more detrimental to one's health. This is because, paan with betel nut and the other spices is kept in your mouth for minutes at a time, causing more harmful chemicals to enter your body than when you smoke - you just shift your lung problems to your mouth.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On Amrita Pritam, For Amrita Pritam, Because of Amrita Pritam

Very lately I finished a book in Hindi (well yes, I tried my eyes on Hindi for a change), it's called 'Paanch Baras Lambi Sadak' by Amruta Pritam. Oh! quite a heavy one for someone who keep oneself distant from the deep thoughts, solitude and being too sensitive.
It carries a few short stories and a long story too, called 'Yatri'. Each story gives an idea on how drastically life twists itself within a span of five years and how, for some it's a long time while for others it's not the case. 'Yatri' on teh other hand was bit dragging and extremely saddistic to handle, but I read it patiently.
It proved a bit heavy to me for the reason I simply couldn't absorb the idea of someone writing so very well. I mean that's what I would call a perfect writer, Amrita Pritam had the ability to connect each and every word and thing she wrote, knew exactly what she wanted to express further, skilled to pour life into the dead and non living things. It took quite a long time for me to finish a book of just 180-200 pages because unlike other usual books, it forced me meditate it! Sink in. Within.
It surely weren't the stories in particular that swayed my thoughts but the pensiveness of the author left me hysterically wondering could it be possible for a human being to think of something so sublime! And then I find my eyebrows raised with a thought 'it's just the first book of Amrita Pritam that I have read, what would happen if I read further?' The writer's soul within me says that her writing has a capability to deject a good writer and elevate an aspiring writer. And I decided to be an aspiring one. May be forever. May be till I finish reading all her books. May be till the day I become a writer like her.
I was experiencing a block recently, it wasn't the writer's block exactly but yes, something near to it because I knew I wanted to write but the cause was missing. Thankfully, it's over now. Amrita Pritam definitely added fuel to the tank of words, though she is all about Hindi, the language which is absolutely alien to me when it comes to writing, but her style of writing is brisk, sausy, novel, unused and fresh forever. Really believe it or not she was an awesome woman of thoughts and words.
Her writing is are isolated? Not liking it? Read her, you will love your solitude and would want to be there forever. If you aren't isolated because you are afraid of it, that fear will go off once you read her, because you will start loving it. And if you aren't isolated at all for no reason, you should want to have a cozy corner in life where you could read her heartfully. The latter one goes with me!

So guys don't miss a chance to read her at least once if you want to try some serious reading or writing for that matter.
And as for now I am back to my very own shelf of books backlogging since ages, namely: 'At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks (more than half done) and 'Wuthering Heights a classic' (just started) and many more. They feel ignored, therefore, after a brief attention to them, I would be back to Amrita Pritam's Biography called 'Rasidi Ticket'. Yeah, I have already got it with me, courtesy to my friend Raj.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Status updated!!

Did you update your status today? Dude, Dudette, Boss, Jobless friend, “C’mon! ofcourse we did!”

Dude @11 am
Gtalk status: “The sound in silence..boss snoring”
Yahoo status: WTF, Monday sucks big time.”
Facebook status: “Me going to have a bash this weekend, are you coming?”

Dudette @ 11 am
Gtalk status: “Why is that guy from the other cubie peeping into mine every 10 mins, huh! Oh! BDW my new boss is the dumbest person I have ever met, gonna kick this org soon.”
Yahoo status: “Things are getting better with him now..but could be worse soon.”
Facebook status: “Aah! Had a bathtub wash, emerged from the rich lather and showered in Palmolive bodywash…Sonu are you coming?”

Dude @ 5 pm
Gtalk status: “The smell of air..boss just farted”
Yahoo status: “WTF, shit Monday, shit Tuesday and shit office, gf…oh shit forgot to call her again!”
Facebook status: “Am sorry my darling babe..I won’t betray you again. Am coming…”

Dudette @ 5 pm
Gtalk status: “…but he seems to be so cute. And boss huh! He sucks the life outta me”
Yahoo status: “You a** **** get the f*** outta my life…I call off this relationship”
Facebook status: “The day doesn’t seem to be great enough, my pervert TL assigns me shit stuff, need a refreshing bath again.”

Boss @ 11 am
Gtalk status: “Understand fully what your company does for your living.”
Facebook status: “Don’t doodle or daydream at meetings. Work. Perform. Overtime. Perform. Target. Perform. Result. My Peformance.

Boss @ 5 pm
Gtalk status: “Dudette, you are FIRED” “Dude, come and meet me in my cabin.”

Some jobless friend
Gtalk status: “Work hard, party harder, letz go guys..”
Yahoo status: “Decent guy searching for a nice girlfriend..dudette are you free?”
Facebook status: “Ppl, there is this girl called ‘dudette’, just called off from her bf, try her. Mail id is….____”

Folks, I believe it’s high time to watch out for the zombie-sh status’ that we have had imbibed to update on hourly basis. Because someone freak (like the jobless friend or the boss in that case) might be secretly infiltrating into those of your cashew-nutty lines with a conclusive mind to FIRE you.
There have been already a few cases recently and before it gets accelerated let’s resolve not to update anything personal that could invite people (like that of the dudette’s), anything professionally offensive that could terminate you, anything frustrating that could give chance to people to talk about you or take advantage of that.

I usually update my status that’s either inspiring, or encouraging/sometimes discouraging too, or complaining, or preaching and etc that’s swimming in my mind at the moment…I try to avoid mentioning stuff about ‘what’s going in my life’, sometimes my updates surely connects to me indirectly and again it opens a keyhole for useless (at times useful) people to peep and make conclusions as per their convenience. But then it depends on how you deal with it. Back step or back fire. I don’t know how many people like or dislike updating their status, nor do I want to know but we need to understand that it’s not a private place at all. They say, it sometimes pays in public life to be a high profile ant worker. And it’s true to some extent.
It could be even otherwise, nobody cares for your status updates. There are many irritating ones who rant in long cluttered sentences, about every organism that passes by. You are not being read, so please quit updating. Because we simply don't care.

Anyway too much of gyan is prohibited I know…just this; if you have that itch to update your status then scratch it by renewing/ranting/criticising/playing/teasing but BEWARE you are being watched!!

So, Dude, Dudette, Boss, Jobless friend, did you just update your status??

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

He made his ‘unknown’, known…

An exclusive interview with Saumil Shrivastava of Raipur, the debut author of ‘A Roller Coaster Ride-When an IITian met a Bitsian girl’ and share his experiences with the readers.

Everyone has a good story hidden in their head and there was a magnificent one in Saumil Shrivastava’s too. The only difference is some of these stories get the opportunity of being penned down while some breathes their last in the minds itself. And to avoid the death of that thought this should be followed ‘Write about it by day, and dream about it by night’.
This citizen of Raipur currently in Gurgaon has done one such thing, he has come up with a full fledged novel that took birth in his mind as an ocean of thoughts which he has shared with the whole country. ‘A Roller Coaster Ride- When an IITian met a BITsian girl’ had hit the book stores on June 15 and is playing well in the markets all over.
Excerpts of the interview:

1. What was in your mind when the thought struck to write a novel, like ‘can I really do this?’
Saumil: Honestly speaking, initially I was bit skeptical. I was worried about many things such as how the story would turn out to be and what will be the reaction of the readers. But thanks to Mili, my wife who pushed me motivated, I was able to complete my debut novel without many roadblocks. I’m happy that majority of the readers till date have loved the story. Infact, couple of readers felt that their life is like A Roller Coaster Ride similar to that of the protagonist in the novel. So it is really satisfactory.

2. I have read the novel and I liked the story but I wanted to know why have you portrayed the main character of the novel as extremely foolish in his personal life, like have you met such real life character ever?
Saumil: Not just one many. Right from my college days to my workplace, I have seen so many bright lads make a FOOL out of them going blind in love. It’s not that they were born foolish, but it’s just that when in love many times we tend to lose our identity.

3. Have you started thought processing on your next work?
Saumil: Yes, it should be out in the market sometime mid 2011.

4. How’s the response from readers, any suggestions they gave?
Saumil: My novel launched on June 15. It’s just been two months and the 2nd print is out in the market, so I must say that the response is really encouraging. On a serious note, one common feedback that I have got from different section of readers is: that the novel is "Interesting and Gripping". So I must say for my debut novel I am pretty much satisfied for now. Definitely, there are some loop holes and some scope for improvement. I would try to improve with every book I write further.

5. Who are the editors of the novel, you didn’t mention them?
Saumil: The book is published by the Srishti Publishers. They have their own set of editors who have done the editing.

6. Has Chetan Bhagat, by any chance inspired you?
Saumil: Not really. I always dreamt of being a script writer much before Chetan Bhagat launched his 1st novel. But his success did ensure that publishers in India started taking experience-based authors more seriously.

7. What are your passions besides writing?
Saumil: I am quite interested in singing. It’s in my blood. My Mom and my sister they are among the best singers in my home town. One fine day I definitely wish to improve my skills in this area.

I have also been associated with a World Peace Organization, NGO for the past 4 yrs, as I strongly believe when you succeed you should share it with others. So, community service is the best option. It is just a small attempt to return to the society I live in.
8. A message for the youths and those being fooled in love…
Saumil: Being in love should be the best feeling in the world but if it is not then don’t be in one. Don’t just drag the relationship for the sake of being in a relationship.
For those who are fooled in love, I would say “Get a grip on your life”. Be in love but don’t lose your self respect. Else when you grow older, you will realize you were such a big FOOL.

For more information about the author, book review and readers opinion check - official site of the book.

From The Book Shelf

‘A Roller Coaster Ride- When an IITian met a Bitsian girl’

Genre- Drama, fiction

Publisher- Srishti Publishers and distributors

Author- Saumil Shrivastava

Pages- 216

Debut author Saumil Shrivastava an IITian from Mumbai is basically from Raipur Chhattisgarh and currently settled in Gurgaon. The novel Roller Coaster is based on a fiction that connects to the lifestyle of maximum of the youths today, so in a way it is a fiction based on non-fiction.

Story walks back to review Maddy’s genuinely roller coaster ride with lots of jerks in his career, friends and love life in particular. Maddy the focal character is an IITian who after a bunch of struggle reaches Gurgaon with a good corporate job in hand. A few poky yet lively and virtuous friends/colleagues/flat mates altogether made his life disquieting and heartening as well. Maddy had this foolish habit of chatting and meeting with strange girls on the cost of ignoring his enjoyment with friends. But no sooner he met with his dream girl Divya (in the office, life for him completely changed everlastingly, for good or bad…find it out in the novel.

Oh! And the place H93 where Maddy stayed with his friends and the celebrity cook plays a significant role in the novel with frequent reminders. Specially the kind of sudden undesired hindrances that popped up every now and then attaches the reader to the main character’s life.

Every time you finish a page of this book, it creates curiosity for what would happen next to Maddy or how he would deal with the unforeseen trouble. So, it proved to be a perfect page turner for all those who feel connected in someway to this novel. And the blend of different kind of characters like Harsha, Satya, Pooja etc stages a link with real life encounters in almost everyone’s life.

Saumil’s novel definitely conveys an important message to the most worrisome problem of youngster’s i.e love and career. It clearly suggests you to balance things wisely and how to shrug off unwanted depression by boozing and fagging out with friends. Though the novel targets towards the lifestyle of core youth but then who grows old without crossing this critical bridge of adolescence. Thus, Uncles and Aunties, Roller Coaster is a nice excuse to peep into your youthful past.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Peepli Live…Ofcourse

People, Politics and 'Media- The Greatest Tragedy of India'

You must watch this film, not for how good is the cinematography or direction or the dialogues (it's more of slangs to be better) but for how and why the Media is loosing it- the faith, interest, dignity, honour and truism it had been carrying and gaining since it became the fourth pillar of our democracy, the ‘Prajatantra’.

Prajatantra in English is democracy means classlessness, equality and freedom that has now become an excuse to misuse the power of the unethicals.

Movie narrates how the news becomes news, how small news in a small newspaper becomes breaking news in all the TV channels and then how it is shaped/cooked/sensationalised and manipulated as per the requirement.

Mumbai teri jaan

I remember when I was in Mumbai as an intern to a news channel around 3 years ago…I had this urge to join any TV channel asap to atleast get a break and then flourish. I used to dream and imagine the expression on my parent’s face when they would watch me on the television. Suddenly I got an opportunity to cover Sajnay Dutt’s Tada case when thankfully the chaos there made me realise electronic media isn’t my cup of tea and then Bollywood’s biggest of all Abhi-Ash wedding coverage made me make my decision iron strong. They look beautiful just on screen but honestly I felt like a Dog for the first time standing at Bachchan’s gate in scorching heat for hours and have nothing much to report except for the decorations and the names of guests arriving! Then the stupidity of reporters saying “Sthiti abhi itni dardnak (WHAT?) nahi hui hai ki Amitabh ko police force ki zarurat pade, aap dekh sakte hain darwaze pe jo gende phool ki mala lagi hui hai wo (phalane) dukaan se ayi hai lagta hai) !!!! huh!! I thought if I will just have to blabber about everything that’s of least concern but the news and then exaggerate for nothing then….should I…?

Then arrived Abhishek on a horse and suddenly the crowd turned crazy running on road to touch and see him. Police force started thrashing even the media persons in confusion, I have no other option than showing my college identity card (no press card was given to interns) and escape to a corner. Here I am trying to explain that things are not all that sophisticated and polished as they are portrayed.

And Peepli Live shows it- the truth half said.

I tried to watch the movie not as a mediaperson, just an audience who waited for quality movie to garbage the thoughts of idiotic and fictional movies in the dump yard behind my brain. The hyperbole of electronic media in the movie scared the poor farmer to move!! I mean the media was behind his back even to the field to check the colour of his excreta! For God’s sake!! But yes, this is what the media is actually doing. Digging stories from garbage and dead graveyards. The farmer then disappointedly disappeared till the channels wale declared him

I say…

No sooner I turn on the news channel, my mood turns off, my conscience abuse me for encouraging their TRPs and I decide to blog yet another post.

It disturbs me because I feel that I belong to it and it belongs to each nerve of me now. The time isn’t too far when people would stop appreciating and believing us, we probably don’t understand the fact that we exist exclusively on their BELIEF, and we are betraying that belief by CREATING STORIES. This film has been made to convey a message not about farmers, village, illiterates or politicians but Our Media whom we believe what they show. And saddest part is media thinks, “Hum wahi dikha rahe hain jo Public dekhna chahti hai”. C’mon kuch aur dikha kar to dekho guys…something substantial?

I hereby conclude in a poignant tone that electronic media depicts the saddest picture of Journalism among all its streams of Print, TV, Radio and Web. In my opinion Media has become the Greatest Tragedy of India and would soon become in your opinion too.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saare Jahan Se Acha..Ye Tiranga Humara…

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My India, My People and My Flag

"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new…India discovers herself again."

- Jawaharlal Nehru
(on Indian Independence Day, 1947)

“When in despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love

have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it always". - Mahatma Gandhi

Jai Hind! It’s me the rectangular shaped raiment divided into equal horizontal colours with a blue wheel of 24 spokes in the middle. I distinguish our India from other countries. I am your very own national flag, the tricolour!!

15th August being one of the most historic days for our beloved country, when I see most of the population engaged in enjoying, performing, dancing and singing around, I would also want to confirm my presence by contributing my thoughts and feelings with you. Firstly I am overwhelmed with honour and pride to know that one of the citizens initiated to amend certain rules of [Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and violation of flag code 2002.] After facing little opposition of FIR and complaints, he finally succeeded to announce that not only the ministers and VIPs but every Indian citizen can unfurl me with respect, honour and dignity even after 6 pm. Just one thing you need to make sure is to illuminate the surroundings or you might violate the Flag Code of Conduct.

My First Look

I have traveled for 63 years now since my recreation and have observed several ups and downs to grow older. I was officially adopted on July 22, 1947, a few months before India received independence from Britain on August 15. It was the nationalist political party, the Indian National Congress, whose efficient members designed me after long discussions and fuming arguments. Did you know I was initially introduced on August 31, 1931 as the national flag? And I looked absolutely different then. Red colour symbolizing strength was at the bottom, saffron for victory in the middle and green at the top for boldness and enthusiasm. Eight lotuses at the top symbolized provinces of British India and the sun and moon at the bottom represented Hindu and Muslim. Vande Mataram was inscribed in the center in Devnagari.

There were several changes made even after that with a Gandhi’s charkha that’s now become the blue wheel. The final and first national flag for independence was designed by Venkiah Pingali of Andra Pradesh, it was hoisted on August 16, 1947 at 8.30 am which then unfurled on August 15 since 1948.

Anyway I know that’s not much in your interest but there are ofcourse a few ecstatic and hard feelings that I want you people to know.

Today I Complain

Though there were certain strict rules inscribed to express love, respect and devotion to me just like what Hindus do to their Gods, Muslim does to his Allah and other do in their respective cultural Gods. It was said that:

-Under this flag there is no difference between a prince and a pauper, rich and poor, man and woman. Every Indian should rise to salute the national flag. (And what do they do when there’s an urgent need to maintain peace and harmony? They run holding me in groups to discriminate between the religions and batter those who overlook me!)

- The Tiranga must not be used as a drapery in any form whatsoever except in State / military funerals.
(Drapery? For God’s sake there are some Matajis who use me as foot-mat!!)

- The Tiranga must not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle or a train or a boat. (Dude! I am being printed on faces, as tattoos, pants etc.. No, am not being arrogant to receive full fledged respect from the citizens because I know it couldn’t be received forcefully. But I believe our constitution allows right to freedom of speech.)

- The Tiranga must not be used or stored in such a manner as may damage or soil it.

(Oh Please! don’t you realise they burn me almost daily in Kashmir or whenever and wherever some riots takes place?)

- When the Tiranga is in a damaged or soiled condition, it may not be cast aside or disrespectfully disposed of, but shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag. The other proper way to destroy the Tiranga could be immersion into the Ganga/lake or buried with due respect.
(No, dear people I am actually being sold out least in Re1 on the street square before and on August 15 and then dusted/ stamped/ shed/ dustbin-ned and everything after that. Didn’t you realise it yet?)

- The Tiranga must not be used as a portion of a costume or uniform of any description. It shall not be embroidered upon cushions or handkerchiefs or printed on napkins or boxes.

(Well I was imprinted in saree of a famous sports celebrity to touch her feet with other national flags of various countries. Yes, it created quite a hullabaloo around)

- The Tiranga must not be used in any form of advertisement nor shall an advertisement sign be fastened to the pole from which the flag is flown.
(Well sometimes there was too much of it to sensationalise and grip the sports star like Sachin Tendulkar who was accused of
sporting the flag on his cricket helmet below the BCCI emblem. He later changed it and placed the flag above BCCI emblem.)

Dear People…

I, the flag of India feature three coloured bands. The top band is saffron [representing courage and sacrifice, the second is white representing purity and truth, and the third band is green standing for faith, fertility and chivalry.] In the middle of the flag is a blue chakra signifying growth and development.

So, why don’t you just accept me as your national flag and not some sort of designed raiment to be draped or played and painted around? And dear people, I would be treated honourably around the world only when my own citizens would nurse me delicately. Don’t throw me away in the mud or stamp me after the day of freedom is over, because I represent you and you represent me through out the year anywhere and everywhere. Let me feel the feeling of sophistication that you tend to express but unknowingly disregard me most of the times.

There are a few refined ways to fold and preserve me that they usually do at Wagah Border. The same is followed by the neighbouring country Pakistan too. I believe the kind of discipline followed at Wagah Border could shake the soul of enemies to the core. Well, the simple ways to fold me up are:

1: Work with a partner to fold the flag of India. This will help you avoid having the flag touch the ground or anything else near it.

2: Hold one end of the flag with both hands while your partner holds the other end of the flag. The stripes should face up.

3: Fold the flag in half keeping the fold parallel with the stripes.

4: Fold the flag three times in the other direction. Each of the three folds should be equal in size to the other folds.

5: Keep the flag of India in a respectable place and handle with care. It should not be placed on the ground, on a table or in any other manner which might be deemed as disrespectful.

So, I sign off with an enthusiasm to be unfurled on all the buildings, houses and offices depicting the grace of my country and citizens today. Happy Independence Day!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All Indians Are Our Brothers and Sisters… Oh! C’mon...

Recently Published:

It was Friendship Day last Sunday…when one of the most disgraceful events took place in the capital to be etched in the hearts of sufferers for a long time. Yes, dear all, it’s a crime to celebrate the days invented by western countries, in our culturally rich capita of Chhattisgarh, Raipurl. This is the message conveyed by Dharamsena, Shivsena, Bajrang Dal and more groups like those through the turmoil they created.

The friendship day chaos

What would have been ‘their’ reaction to find ‘their’ sister celebrating friendship day with her friend or whatsoever in that park? Would it be the same? Would ‘they’ vanquish, trample and kick the girl in public place pouring oil and colouring her face with grease in front of the camera!! Not at all… ‘they’ couldn’t even dream of doing it rather, ‘they’ would break the bones of people daring to insult ‘their’ sister. Here the ‘they’ and ‘their’ quoted because it refers to ‘them’. The (un)respectable activists belonging to Bajrang Dal and Dharamsena etc, who created mess, filth and chaos on their sin-to-celebrate Friendship Day .

Why don’t you mind your own business!
A group of 12-15 goons (better to term goons instead of activists) of what they call is Bajrang Dal, Dharam Sena and Shiv Sena, valiantly rushes into several parks and restaurants shamelessly exhibiting audacity, stripping purity out of love and friendship. Molesting and beating the guys might be in their routine but the cheap act of KICKING, MISBEHAVING, ABUSING and HARASSING GIRLS proved that they aren’t gender biased but the one for all ‘beasts’. Irrespective of gender discrimination they hit and insult anyone assuming it as their ‘Param Dharma’ that too on camera and in presence of Police force! Are those goons to decide what’s and where’s for the citizens? They call themselves the guards of society and culture. So we should assume that their culture allows them to thrash females on the name of saving the culture? No way, they actually want to make spaces on cover pages of all the newspapers and the media wilfully make their wish come true. They suddenly disappear when society really needs voice for justice then why to abruptly turn up out of the blue on the special days?
The offence of those innocent people was just that they risked life to involve into an anti-festival called friendship day.

Pillars of Democracy
Guessing the girls’ state of mind would be something out of question but here the gun points towards the important pillars of democracy that were present on spot in attire of human beings. Do we need to name them here?
The Police force present on the spot muted themselves when the maliciously mischievous goons pranced in, in the area. Whatever would be the reason of their powerlessness. Then comes ‘the king’ of Indian constituency- ‘Our Media’ with highest TRP creating turmoil and right to news on petty incidents every now and then. By god’s disgrace they don’t even realise what they are doing, forgetting their prime duty as a human to report about the incident or atleast try to save the poor girl from beatings. But they don’t forget to sensationalise/ endlessly repeat the clippings and scream about the shamelessness of people present at the incident.
Even the women helpline number- the Rajdhani mahila police, aapki seva mai tatpar couldn’t show its worth. Now who would believe you Mam Mahila Police?

Better late than never
Surprisingly after undesirable pregnant pauses only, the villains were detained the next day. Long after the tormented females were pictured in all the local newspapers, national news channels and web portals. When several women associations yelled for justice, voice was raised in the Vidhan Sabha monsoon session, the authority woke up from deep sleep and detained a few sena people. But the regard and esteem that accompanied those girls have divorced them to be looked upon with dishonour wherever they walk.

Shameful! Whole country is talking about you

# Nihar Nayak: Dude, open your eyes Girls were beaten up, kicked and their faces were blackened. Hell bajarang dal..main reason is that they are uneducated, unemployed, unsuccessful & don't want to walk with time...ban the bajarang dal...the killer of mother INDIA..
# Meenakshi Choudhary: They should be slapped and kicked by those girls in front of public. There are lots of ways to convey message, this is not the way to protect Hindu religion. It depends on individual whether he/she wants to celebrate or not, who gave them right to misbehave like this?
“Kya saza sunai jaye? Break the bones or should you the ‘moral sena people’ served with the same treatment?”
More than 500 responses like these are blinking on various websites criticising the act happened here.
Almost same episodes of assaulting and beating girls in public places unnecessarily, have taken place in the recent years. Mangalore pub incident in 2009, Meerut police attacked innocent girls sitting in parks in 2005, girl stripped and insulted in Mumbai in 2007 and many other events like these keep disturbing the nobility and honour of Indian girls followed by the impotent yet pregnant pauses…
Time to take the sword in your hand girls and REACT to the beasts from poor culture.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Silent Spectator

This isn't actually a post but an article published in Central Chronicle...

When there is a story teller sitting beside you to narrate things and stuff, effort gets easier penning it down on a sheet of paper.
Narrator here is someone very close to me, and through the following story wishes to baygon spray the bugs of regret running within his body since years. "It is from my childhood days that turned into younger days and it's hard to believe that I have grown mature with this guilt, being of no help to the poor tailor but sympathetic," he says.
A Tailor’s Tale
"Riding bicycle as the newest birthday gift for growing to a 12 year old naughty kid, I was enjoying the smell of breeze when I first saw him. An ordinary man with a thread in his mouth was likely the first multi-tasking creature I saw in my then lifetime. Gadgeted with a table like sewing machine, his hands and legs were parallely working, I wondered how Near to him seated a lady whom I later discovered as his wife, who was busy untangling the tangled load of clothes and pieces. She was constantly mumbling something that I couldn’t hear but she looked annoyed, possibly on the tailor who was absolutely unreactive to everything she said. Actually the khrr..khrr..khrr..sound of machine embracing wife’s mumbles didn’t really allow them to reach tailor’s ears. Though he was poor but he had all the essential equipments that a tailor must have, his ear had a blue chalk tucked behind and a measuring tape was hanging around his neck and whenever his hands rubbed on machine’s wheel to stop and adjust the cloth, it ached me imagining his rough hands getting scratched over the wheels.
They lived in a small rented house that exposed the tailor’s shop from outer view. It soon became a regular sight for me on the way to school but never an unusual one because it was fun to see the tailor struggling with clothes, changing needles and threads. As a kid it was quite astonishing to see a large piece of cloth being converted into a shape of shirt. If I look back from now, what I didn't notice was his sincerity towards work that never allowed him to notice a guy who usually stood by his shop to watch him.
In a way it relieved me because I felt comfortable to watch him being unnoticed. Neither I nor the tailor knew what was coming. One day he was thrashed out of the rented house with his belongings due to unpaid rent. He was quite as stone and unresponsive as if politely saying “Yes, I agree that it’s my fault as I haven’t paid the amount and here I stand bowing my head to survive as God wants me to.” On the contrary his wife seemed highly furious spitting out words of dishonour towards the haughty landlord who spectacularly showed arrogant superiority to disdain the unworthy. She was crying her heart out while collecting her belongings scattered on the road. “Hum kahan jaenge, arey samaan to mat phek H*******r. Uparwala kabhi maaf nahi karega, garib admi ko satata hai.” she screamed. I watched standing at a corner, the softer side of me asked to try to rescue them and the harder one pulled me suggesting that I would be awfully nosy.

I knew the summer season is ending and rains would make their roofless life, impossible to survive. Though I wasn’t related to them in any way but the human within me was clinging to tailor’s life. Now I started visiting his place more frequently, twice a day only to be a mute spectator. For next few days they managed to cover the heap of dwellings with black tarpaulin sheet and slept, ate, worked and lived roofless on the narrow passage beside the rented house. I heard her wife fuming again to the passing landlord “Road se toh koi nahi bhaga sakta hume.”

Ofcourse not, within a week as the rains arrived they secured themselves in a three by three metre of space under a tarpaulin sheet tied to five bamboo-like sticks. The fifth one stood in the centre preventing the rain water to accumulate and ruin the self-imposed house.
While lying on my comfy bed I imagined the couple with their knees pulled up to chin trying to be cozily warm in the rain outside and I pulled up my blanket to shy away from the burning guilt within. What appealed me most about the tailor was he looked so passive about whatever is happening around him or to his life, absolutely unparticipative. As if only thing he was concerned about was, stitching. He worked like he doesn’t need money, silent like he has never been hurt and lived like no one was watching. But I was…

Gradually the tarpaulin sheet was replaced by a square shaped tin that needed no fifth stick in centre to disturb the ambience of house. “Actually the sheet got holes on several parts that drenched them last night,” I overheard a group of local people chatting. To me it seemed to be his first step towards progress and I found myself imagining him in a bricked house one day after he has earned good sum of money.
I remember the last time I saw him before leaving the town for further studies, he was operating the sewing machine again to convert the cloth to shirt, sitting at the door of his ‘bricked’ but ‘cement-less’ house. The wife still mumbling, what, I couldn’t hear. Regretting to imagine just a bricked house and not the complete one, I left and never returned to that place until yesterday. No, he isn’t there. “Mysteriously left the place one night,” said the landlord who has now become the tailor of that area. Insatiate, I enquired from a beggar across the road and there lied the truth to satisfy me “Saheb, he was beaten badly by some ‘gundas’ and I know who sent them”, winked beggar grinning. “When his wife was assaulted by the ‘gundas’, the agitated tailor surprised everyone with his defensive stunt but got badly wounded. And then he left the place that night limping without a word of complains.” …..period.

Now, looking back to the time, a vague feeling convinces me that I couldn’t be of any help to the tailor perhaps because as a kid I didn’t know the right way to avail him with resources but I was quite sensitive and empathetic that is why it keeps coming back to mind even after years in one form or the other because the fittest continued surviving.
“It’s true that story of a poor men’s life is written on his body in a sharp pen but the only relief that I can give to the poor tailor in an indirect way is this, writing his life on paper and not his body,” narrator concludes.