Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Paradox: solved (?)

There is a lot of interest around the paradox of the Unstoppable force. In fact in the Batman thriller, The Dark Knight, The Joker says, "this [the paradox in the movie scene] is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object", referring to himself as the unstoppable force, and Batman as the immovable object.

Where can we go with this? Lets see.

Wikipedia, for instance nails the realistic possibility of such an instance saying that such forces/objects cannot exist in finite universe (click here for link)

Meanwhile, interesting videos on Youtube (link) try to argue that such forces exist, but not separately. This is what they come up with: The unstoppable force is the immovable object.

Hypothetically, consider that such a situation is realistic; and that the two entities exist separately: An unstoppable force, and an immovable object.

It could, simply, just reflect/bounce off the immovable object and continue in its path of everlasting motion. 

PS. Excuse me, for the unpardonable graphics ^_^

Thursday, December 2, 2010


10 years ago, as an 8 year old child I was fascinated by these tall American skyscrapers. They always looked as if they were pals with that seamless sky.

My father had told me this when I was 7, "Oh, America is the best country in the world." I don't remember anything else from that age other than those words of his. The impact was severe. And I'm sure he must, if he remembers, regret telling me this as I am here in this country today against his favor. :)

Things have changed; back in the mid to late 1990s, America's yearly deficits were well controlled (at a point, at as low as $0). Today, they swell over a trillion dollars, adding to the massive overall debt pile of ~$14 trillion. The might of America has reduced. Countries no longer get bullied by its gun-diplomacy tactics. The American youth is, in majority, unmotivated to be as successful as the previous generations'. . The Brazilians, Russians, Indians and Chinese (among a horde of other developing countries) all want a share in the pie. America is no more #1 in everything.

But, I await to experience my childhood fantasy. Of being in these cities, and straining my neck to see the top of tall buildings and still not being able to fit the entire picture in one frame. 

....you may be wondering, where am I heading to?
-Not anywhere much, intellectually. 

Be it on Google images, Michael Jordan's basketball team, or car-racing on the shitty video graphics of Midtown Madness. I have always been awed by the metropolis of Chicago.

Today, I booked my tickets to land in, what I had fascinatingly come across, in grade 5, as the world's busiest airport, Chicago's O'hare airport. 

I know not what awaits me; most probably, deathly freezing winds. But I feel those butterflies in my stomach as I wait for the 21st of this month, to see my childhood fantasy come alive. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"The Portrait of a Lady" Revisited.

"Well, once, I had killed a snake, and put the snake in Monali's (Mom's sister) drawer. There was quite a lot of noise from her side of course, I laughed and ran for it as soon as I heard Ma coming. I climbed the tree and sat there. Ma was so furious, that she didn't realise that if she climbed to the first floor she could have whacked me with a stick easily! Instead, she threw her chappal at me! Forget hitting me, it almost hit Monali when it fell backdown! I cracked up some more in the tree..."
I laughed along with mys iblings as mom recalled that "fateful" event. I imagined a younger Ma (my grandmom) racing around the house with a chappal in her hand and chucking it at a teenaged mom. I smiled inwardly.

Onviously, the lady in my imagination had no idea what God had in store for her.

Smt. Shailaja Patankar. Commonly referred to as Ma in my household, as that's what mom called her. Apparently, they had had muslim neighbours who called their mother "Ma" and it was picked up from there.
Ma was a beautiful woman. I saw all her old pictures recently, and black and white or not, she radiated beauty and intelligence of the purest kind. Although she was very young when she had gotten married, I'm sure she had been mature beyond her years.

She had been a wonderful sportsperson. Her mother had been an associate of the Maharani, and due to her sports ability, she got to frequent the Palace for games of Volleyball and the likes, in her childhood.

She paid tremendous attention to the education of my mother and her sister. She didn’t get to finish her education, but that didn’t mean they shouldn’t. When my aunt, Monali Maushi, was doing her architecture, Ma made an ingenious drafting table for her, involving bricks and a drawing board.

Ma ADORED gardening. I guess she found solace in her garden. She single handedly maintained the most BEAUTIFUL garden I have ever seen. As I write this, I can smell the mogras in her garden, and feel the chafas on her tree. I can remember countless times when I was little, and I sat next to her in the mud, playing with ants, while she loosened soil, planted saplings, removed weeds, all the time muttering to herself, and talking to her plants.

She had a different nickname for all of us…
I was Vinkie, Srushti Dinkie, Shrey Shambhu, and Rudra (my cousin) Nandu. She stuck to them like glue :D

When we used to stay in Kalyani Nagar, many a time and oft, Ma would take me out in the evenings. I still remember how she would mutter prayers while she bathed, and when she came out, she’d still be muttering them. Then she’d put on her flowery saree, with a sleeveless blouse ( I used to think she was SO “in” :D) and I can literally smell the talcum and the moisturizer called “Charmis” she used to apply. She took me out, no matter if it was just for buying groceries. Once, she asked me, “You want to ride in a new rickshaw?” “which rickshaw?” “That,” she said pointing at a nearby six seater, “ is a dukkar rickshaw.”

I still call six seaters dukkar rickshaws to this day.

I made a lot of trips to Ahmedabad from Baroda by bus with her. We would pass the National Institute of Design. “Maahitiye vinkie? Ek divas tu ithe abhyaas karnaar. Mama pan khub drawing karaaychi. Mi tila kadhi NID exam nahi deun dili” she said. At that time, I guess I was too small to get it. “You might not be my only grandchild, but you were the one who made me a grandmother.”

When I went to Baroda during my vacations, I used to sit in front of the TV every evening at five, to watch the Little Lulu show. I really REALLY loved that show, with the curly haired girl in thelittlered dress, and the fat boy Tommy (who I always hated!) When I used to switch on the TV, Ma used to bring me Parle G and Bournvita and used to come and join me. Soon, she knew the story too. Baba (my Granddad) once told me that she sometimes watched it when I was in Pune, coz it reminded her of me.

But as they say, “God gets jealous and weary of too much prosperity somewhere.”

We first started noticing the signs of the illness when she began doing the same chore around thrice a day. If Baba said anything to her, she’d retort and snap at him, so he stopped saying anything. If you pointed out that “Look, the plants are already watered. You’re going to do it again Ma”, she’d say “Oh did I do that already? I think I’m getting old,” with a smile.
We initially only thought it was age, or too much work. So it was ignored.

Soon, it started getting worse.

She began to cry at the drop of a pin. She would throw tantrums if anyone would tell her she’s doing something wrong, the perfectionist that she was. Baba would tellall this to us on the phone. Soon he started getting weary of her, and couldn’t control her anymore. So they moved into our house in Pune.

She started repeating one sentence over and over again. It used to sound like she was muttering to herself. She lost a TREMENDOUS amount of weight. Because of that, she looked like she had grown shorter by a few inches. We got it confirmed by a neurologist. It was Alzheimer’s.

I was in the eleventh then. Around the time they moved into our house, I started losing interest in academics. I started spending a lot of time in the DPS library, during breaks, and whenever we had free lessons, trying to find out more about the disease.
All we could do then, is try not to stress her emotionally…. And wait.

She lost her joyous nature. She lost her ability to express emotions. She would stuff her mouth with food, forget how to chew, and try to talk at the same time. She would drink water, with almost no water going into her mouth, and water falling out from all sides. She forgot how to put on clothes, and how to bathe. She forgot she has to comb her hair. She forgot everything in a very small span of time. I can’t even recall how short that time was. And how very scary.

Soon, she forgot my family. She only remembered me. Vinkie.

From when she would get up it was “Vinkie la zaaychay na?” “Vinkie la jevan de na?” “Vinkie la exam aahe na?” right down to the evening “Vinkie la class aahe na?” “Vinkie yetiye na? Vinkie?”

She scared the hell out of me once, when I emerged from my bus in the afternoon, and saw her standing on the road in her nightgown. She rushed over to me caught hold of my hand like a little kid, and I took her home. I don’t think I ate anything that day. And spent most of the night sleepless and in shock.

The next day she did the same. And the next. And the day after the next. Soon, I started locking the door from outside when I left for school, just worried that she’d go somewhere, and forget how to come back.

She stopped eating. I had to feed every morsel into her mouth and say “Ma eat” and pretend like I’m chewing something so she could imitate me. I had to pretend to drink water so she could imitate me. I had to pretend to sleep so she would lie down next to me and imitate me. I stopped going to school at that point. It was too much for me to take.

One day, she woke up at three am, and came up to my room where I was awake studying. “Vinkie… architecture cha form laaglaay na? tula architecture karaaychay na?”
I calmly led her back down and put her to sleep.

Baba told me the next day, that she continuously bugged him all day about how I “need the arch form” and how “the dates will slip by”. By this time, I was worried beyond limit.

Soon, she forgot all the elementary things too. She couldn’t tell when she felt like excreting. She couldn’t tell when anything happened to her, around her. She was like this hollow being. With no soul. Hapless. Helpless. And I could do NOTHING but WATCH. I had watched a flower deteriorate in the worst way possible, and seriously, could do nothing.

On my birthday that year. Second of September, I called a few of my DPS friends home. She realized there were people at home, and came out. There was pin drop silence, as she sat down on the sofa next to Aneesh. She patted his thigh and looked at him.

And smiled. That was the first time I had seen her smile since she came to our house.

Soon, Monali maushi decided to come to Pune to pick Baba and Ma up and take them to her house in Bombay. We dressed Ma up in a beautiful Salwar
Kameez. It hung loosely on her, but still looked nice. They left for Bombay that day. September the Seventh.

The next evening, eighth of September, we got a phone call that she was no more.

I didn’t know how to react. I was sad. Terribly sad of course. But in a way, I was happy. She had escaped from the most TERRIBLE disease I had ever had the misfortune to witness.

I realized then the importance of Khushwant Singh’s words as he described his grandmother,

“She could never have been pretty, but she was always beautiful.”

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The paradox of elections

Just the other day, I was watching this live telecast of the elections for the Governor of the State of Nevada in the United States of America.

One of the candidates, Mr. Rory Reid, gave a high-sounding speech deserving of an enthusiastic applause. I will do this. And I will do that.

Something we keep hearing during election campaigns, I will do this much more. And I will do this as well! I will bring change! I will, I will, I will.. Does this "I will" translate - in a few years - to "Yes, I have"? History tells us, most of time - no. 

Barack Obama, current president of the United States, had courageously promised a list of tough tasks during the 2008 presidential campaign. America emphatically gave him presidency. 500 days later, there is growing resentment to his ways. People have begun being critical of him. Where I personally admire him, I think his promises were too herculean to be realistically met. Whats amazing is, when speeches are being delivered, when applauses are deafening, the power of the word - not action - is given most importance. By the time it comes to action, the expectations were always too high. Bloop bloop.

Hasn't this been happening in India, too? Where politicians come in all melodramatic emotion swaying the masses with their melodious rhetorics - coupled with free blankets and country liquor. While action, is an agenda ignored and lost in the euphoria of promises and words.

Perhaps this image of politicians is what has even detracted the Indian middle class from exercising the most simple - yet most powerful - power vested with them, by the constitution, of voting.

We have, by experience, been skidded into the thinking that politics is a dirty business and nothing can - or will - change. Period. Let me do my own business. Period.

This is a gene common to all - most - politicians across races, countries, and I'm sure if they have elections in the  animal kingdom, the animals have it too. The lion for instance, has the loudest - powerful - roar. But he just simply lazes around in the fields, sleeping and staring blankly in the open! 

Imagine, would your attention be taken by a politician or someone desirous to bring change even if he/she did not speak with the greatest of charisma, and did not promise to bring you rocks from the moon?

Would we, as the people, be any moved by such a leader who is modest in his/her goals and aims. I don't think so. Which is why, we're fed what we want to eat, big promises. We like hearing big. And we forgive lack of action, in the next speech which is just another round of big promises.

Keep an eye out for any candidate who isn't promising the stars. If he has a good track record, he/she might well be a deserving candidate who should be given a chance! (But first, do you vote?)

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Blackberry mess.

A new security issue that has been boiling up. Which has different perpendiculars to it.

The Blackberry saga. That hi-fi business phone which has got all the savvy features.

The Indian leadership (along with that of several others - including UAE, Indonesia, Lebanon, etc) has a problem with its founders - Research In Motion (RIM).
The issue is this, quite simply: The government can't intercept data (ie emails and instant messages/chats) exchanged via blackberries. Which, rightly, poses a threat to the nation's security.

But, the rhetoric is here to stay - will terrorists/illegal elements stop functioning if the blackberry (worst come to worst) is banned? Is this a solution? Because we can't monitor XYZ, ban it?

Now, lets assume the Blackberry is banned. Great. So the government can have a record of all data being shuffled around in this system. Great (for the nation's security). But if you block me passage by an airline, won't I start using the train. If you block me passage by train, won't I use a car? Now you're not going to get cars off the roads!

They'll find new ways!
But why inconvenience the public because of this?

Or, this could open up another dimension, does the government want to keep all reins with itself (in the name of national security) but actually use it for espionage, or other benefits to elements of it? Yes, this is a highly fictional angle. But definitely worth pondering over.

So this should be an eye-opener. Tomorrow, if terrorists find out a way to not be traced/tracked on the internet; will the government put the gear to last-resort and press the ban-accelerator so quick? Yes, it will definitely contribute to the safety of the public. But what about general inconvenience?
Anyone listening to that?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Poona Blind School

Its the hard truth - in India, without influence, its not easy to get things done. For a simple act, such as this, I was shown the door twice: once by the principal, and then by a social activist (who I'm sure had nothing to do with the administration of the school, but was just throwing his weight around.)

However, once serendipity was by my side - things just flowed like silk. And I was there. With these bunch of positive humans! Who have all the talent, humility, goodness and the flame to do something despite their limitations. Despite being visually impaired, they have the hunger to succeed. Which is a great lesson for anybody who has the luxury of basic necessities in life! It certainly was for me.

Our team of three - Ishan, Abhishek and me, arrived at the school at a little before noon with absolutely no plan in mind for the session that we would do with these students. It was a classic case of being consciously extempore. Which, I believe, worked out very well. 

A certain Mr. Mahajan took us to the dormitory. There he called, no - yelled, out to the kids as if he were their general taking them to war. "AYYYYE CHALA CHALA CHALA. PUDHE GHEYU. CHALAA". There was, however, a kindness in his yell. The group self-assembled themselves. And our threesome was guided by these lively guys to the recreational hall. 

Here, we thought we should begin with ice-breaking and we began talking to to each one of them. Asking their names. What IPL team they support (and those who didn't root for the Mumbai team, received some gentle leg-pulling from the Shiv Sainik in me! Ha ha)
This very sincere looking guy, Shankar, volunteered to sing for the group. And his voice had an emotion at least I hadn't heard live before. It was, unflatteringly, simply outlandish.

One dude Mahesh, was wearing stylish clothes that made him stand out (yeah, like a complete dude!). I complimented him (and everyone who I could) on that and, wow, what a beaming smile each one of them have! Like, its made their day. It felt so good. We took all of their hands to shake. And taught them to shake it firm, like men. Great ice-breaker session!

So the singer, Shankar, took us to the music room (as some of the rest wanted to go for a swimming session that a group of German volunteers had organized for them.)
They have a way to communicate with people. They stick to them. In the outside normal world, gestures like these will be considered atrociously indecent. However, with these guys, it didn't feel odd at all. Some of them were stuck on to me. Their hands were their eyes. The rest were with Abhishek and Ishan.

In all, it was the three of us and this group of boys - Sachin, Ankush, Madhav, Abhijeet, Harshad, Pravin, Rishikesh, Sandeep, with their Sir, BK (Bala Kamble). We had a good time listening to their soulful music. They used harmoniums, tablas and the bongo. After each music piece of theirs, the three of us showered them with chants of "Awesome, dude, Awesome!". It was warming to see, every instrument in the room had been donated by someone. A small act of kindness making a difference! 

It was also interesting to learn how they played the game of cricket. Conventionally, there is a bat and ball. The ball is chucked, and you have to smash it with the bat. For them, its a different ball game altogether? However, with their inherent spirit to fight, they play the sport by putting on these dangler like objects on the ball so that using their sense of sound, they can connect it to bat! Amazing, ain't it?

As the whole thing was approaching an end... I took over and we had a discussion on football. It was great to see the fanfare for the beautiful game! We ended up talking about Brazil. And I made them do a small Brazilian dance - O Yapo O YaYa ae ae ae. Which gave us all a real kick!
Their voice made me believe, our aim had been accomplished. Our team had given them reasons to feel good about life!

Some of their eyes made me scared, some made me think, some inspired me. It felt great to be hugged by so many of them.
I thought we'd take 30 minutes. But we ended up spending hours.

Here, I'd like to give a special mention to the group of German friends, as the boys called them. These are foreigners, in an unwelcoming environment, they have striven to make a difference. And they have done it! On a little tour of the premises, we were shown this tree-house that the German friends had designed and built. They have been regularly coming down every day of the week, for the past year, taking the blind kids for swims, talking to them, teaching them to speak fluent English and German, and so on! They are the real heroes. Salutes!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The IPL, politics, and a little bit of drama

All this noise around the IPL, its commissioner Lalit Modi, and Dr. Shashi Tharoor has caught everyone’s fancy off late. For the wrong reasons. But maybe it was meant to....?

There is another proceeding taking place, simultaneously, which has been suppressed by the sheer popularity of the controversy surrounding the Indian Premier League. That of price rise and inflation. Inflation has jumped up to 10% from sub-zero levels a few months back. A silent volcano waiting to erupt.

It might also be interesting to note, that the opposition parties in the Parliament have called for a cut motion. If this cut motion is passed. Quite simply, the government will fall – disastrous for Congress' reputation. In the light of such high stakes, a mere four billion dollar brand (the league) hogging up precious time not only in the media, but also on the floor of the Lok Sabha, could just be a detour to shift the focus off imminent issues and the approaching cut motion.

Analysing this nexus, I would like to begin with Mr. Sharad Pawar, Union minister for agriculture. He might have to face the loudest music for the rising food prices if the cut motion is passed next week. I have never read or come across a single article in the damned media raising questions over his suspicious (and massive) hold on real estate/businesses/properties/even some of the biggest media houses/etc all over the country that, actually, amount to greater worth than that of the Ambani brothers combined.

His over-zealous participation in cricket politics, off-late, than in his ministry portfolio (of agriculture), in front of the media calls for something very clever. In very subtle ways the light has been thrown off of what holds potentially disastrous consequences for him and his government.

Secondly, the income tax raids on the IPL offices and broadcasting companies. What is the I-T department at the end of the day? A part of the finance ministry, and therefore; a part of the government. (Of course it isn’t a part of the day-to-day politics that take place in Delhi, it is an integral part nonetheless.)
The government, as per its fancy, can “influence” the I-T department to conduct raids. Which explains the hullabaloo surrounding the raids on the IPL. And come on, like everyone was so dumb that they didn’t know about the hanky-panky transactions and violations of investment laws that obviously took place in a fast-growing, billionaire fueled, business such as the IPL!

Thirdly, Dr. Tharoor. With my interactions with certain senior Congress Party members in Delhi last November, I concluded that there is a stark resentment against the ways of Dr. Tharoor. Giving him the boot because his ways are transparent, and he uses a little too much of Twitter would have called for serious flak from the international community (in which Dr. Tharoor impeccably served for 27 years on the trot!)
He seemed the perfect bait for the entire IPL story. So that fits well too.

Lastly, Mr. Lalit Modi. It is a well-known fact, that saving Mr. Pawar, everyone staunchly hates Mr. Modi in the Cricketing politics of India. Surely, for Sharadji, Mr. Modi wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice to save an entire government at the end of the day. Meanwhile, many other powerful people will be happy too. It will be interesting to see how that unfolds on April 26th. What advantage he does have, is the unrelenting support from franchisee owners; India’s respectful throb, SRK and liquor billionaire Mallaya. This will be a real interesting battle to see.

There is nothing novel in this move, if at all it is one. This is what politics is. What started as an innocent little contemptuous tweet, turned into a potential juggernaut, that the Congress seems to have fired in the hole!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi..... did he make India what she is?

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The man who spread the message of honesty (satya) and peace (ahimsa). Yes, he is one of those rare gems that will keep shining brightly (for eternity perhaps) in India's history. But.... is he responsible for India's freedom? Has he rightfully been accredited as the Father of our nation?

It is a fallacy that Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent policies drove the British away. Far from it....
The British left our lands in 1947. Two years after the end of the IInd World War. The end of this war marked the re-alignment of world power from the British throne to the US and the USSR. Right... and of course it also marked the establishment of the United Nations. 
As per the United Nations charter signed in 1945, countries that previously held colonies had to begin decolonization. Which meant, a formerly dominating powerhouse like Britain had to let loose of all its colonized outfits. And therefore, not just India, but a string of thirty odd countries gained independence during the post-ww2 period. 

So, how come... we blasphemously accepted that it was Gandhiji's truthfulness that drove our colonizers out? Isn't that very docile? Yes, he must be remembered and his paths must be followed - but to the extent of blindfolded acceptance that he has made our country what she is, is.... well, thats not just very progressive now, is it?

Gandhiji, is an exemplary and a great teacher. But leader? I doubt there was any progress during the twenty-five odd years of his "moderate" freedom struggle. He was responsible for the execution of deserving brave-hearts; Bhagat Singh and co. His Dandi March, today, has been hailed for its good natured cause and peaceful effort. But back in 1930, its yield was poor. All that resulted was a dis-satisfactory and rhetorical truce between Gandhi and Irwin (rep. of the Britishers in India back then).. and that too a whole year later (in 1931).

To an extent, Gandhiji's humble persona and his soothing nexus with the poor made him the ideal face of a newly independent India. But you know what? It took crores of rupees (in those days!) to keep M.K.Gandhi in poverty! Hah :)

The principles of Gandhigiri, when followed, will definitely transform society into a more humble, humane abode. But... have our historians painted a colorful picture, as in a 256 million colors one, and have we, the independent India, blindly accepted it in the euphoria of being independent? 

Defaming Gandhiji of the honors bestowed is no solution. We have imminent problems to find solutions to, and will do much better to focus on them rather than revisit history that will have no possible effect on the progress of the country... That is not the point... However, as educated people, we can only try our best not to be victims of the blind-following the-blind system by letting the sound of our thoughts inspire some thinking....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bureaucracy... - Bring change Man(mohan!)

"Come at 5pm. At 5 pm, Go to counter no. 3, after that, Go to counter no. 6, and then, Go to the head office five-hundred miles away. Or come in the morning, Madame is not here, Sir has not come today, come day after tomorrow. Come on monday, Sorry we can't do it, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!" In short, the lovely experience in any government-run office.

Literally all government employees (except those in the top commanding positions) have this very lax air about themselves. They don't seem to be bothered if there were people in need of urgent (rightful) help. The common man, suffering by their disrespectful procrastination and 'sit-back-and-relax' attitude, is the joker of the game at the end of the day. He pays all his tax, this tax goes into these employees' (are they even fit to be given that term?) bank balances and, yet, they provide service as if they are doing the country a big favor. Be it the BSNL guys, Air India hostesses, airport staff, govt. college peons, sports authorities, traffic mamas, food distributors, etc etc etc etc etc (phew)

They trouble, irritate the human mind to such an extent, where you are either forced to abuse them, or resort to unfairly stuffing their pockets. So, if you don't believe in bribing, or don't have any influence, then God help you. Cause you are going to be tormented severely.

So, moving away from what is the current story, to what is the cause of this story? I mean, why the hell are these 'babus' such snoozes? I believe, the job security factor is at fault here. These lackadaisical tarts  have no reason to compete for excellence nor do they have any pressures of performing under pressure. They're simply chilled out folks who come to attend a more mature version of kindergarten. Isn't that it? You don't do your job competitively, you don't perform, you don't respect clients, you sip your tea as if you were chilling out at a lounge when there are a hundred sweaty people waiting in queue desperate to get their work done, you openly take bribes, and yet, you do not lose your job. You have a retirement pension plan. You have insurance, rail tickets, and so many other incentives. Isn't this a faulty policy? Well, Home Ministry -Mr. Chidambaram- time you re-worked your policies and strategies. Cause the common man is simply getting suffocated! I can imagine.

At the bigger picture, this has held back the country's progress in many ways. Our governmental infrastructure and service is so pathetically poor! There needs to be serious revision of such frameworks and emphasis needs to be put on professionalism. For even if the bills, acts and provisions passed in the parliament are visionary, poor unprofessional implementing bodies just nullify the vision our politicians very miraculously show!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The sun rises; the sun sets once again,
You blink the eye, another day is at end,
Did you solve an equation today; or discover gravity?
That’s what this is my friend; Life’s brevity.

You did sit-ups today, you even ran the mile,
But when you think about it, was it really worthwhile?
Did what you did today deserve a second thought?
Life is too short, my friend, life is too short.

Hungry? You went to you favourite restaurant,
There you fed upon delicious croissant,
Then came satisfaction and subsequent felicity,
That’s what this is my friend, Life’s brevity.

You look out the window-more constructions and pejoration,
This puts you in quiet noticeable contemplation,
There’s quite a bit to change, in fact quite a lot!
Life is too short my friend, life is too short.

You try hard to remember, what happened when you were ten,
Wishing you could live that age, that time once again,
What you’re blaming on life’s longevity,
It isn’t that my friend, it’s Life’s brevity.

You wonder if the man you love will leave your side,
Then one after the other in other women confide,
It won’t happen-chill out- he’ll manage to get caught,
Life is too short my friend, life is too short!

You spend your days studying all about the world,
Everyday to you, another mystery it unfurls,
But all in vain- you’ll never know details of reality,
That’s what this is my friend, Life’s brevity.

Finally, you try to leave your footprint before you go,
In hope, that you can lead others forward tomorrow,
So try not to make a CARBON footprint; it’s worth a shot,
Life is too short my friend, life is too short. (:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

India & Pakistan..... peace?

Two brothers; India and Pakistan were not separated because Muslims hated Hindus or vice versa, or Muslims really needed and wanted land for themselves. It is a well known fact that there are more Muslims in India (content with their lifestyles) than are in Pakistan. Well, what happened, happened. Its History now...   

On a completely different track, since the 26/11 siege on Mumbai, the already sour Indo-Pak relationship has turned sourer. India is sending dossier after dossier, of concrete proof, so that Pakistan does justice to the perpetrators of the 2-day terroristic drama in Mumbai (who were, as we know, some citizens of Pakistan). To no avail. This is frustrating our Ministry, and of course, us.
However, the Indian Ministry is patiently waiting for its counter-part in Pakistan to show action.... in hope for a peaceful South-East Asia. 

But is it worth the wait? Or are we heading into an infinitesimal abyss of rhetorics? The current democratic government in Pakistan, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), is nothing but a dummy ruling body. Not that I have any authenticity or credibility to comment, but as an observer observing facts, I see a deteriorating neighbor. And for me and my country's sake, it is not good -who likes war? 

We have seen the Taliban take over Swat Valley. We read of bomb attacks happening everywhere. We know Pakistan is home to all, Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba, and the Taliban (among millions of such other fancy militant outfits). We know that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan is involved in border laws violations and infiltration. Yet.... we patiently wait. Salute to our patience! While the United States of America has free access to drone suspicious parts of the country with missiles (of course, it has maintained Pakistan's integrity by not invading it yet). 

So, as we all know, at the end of it all -is there any hope to see action? any hope -not only to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice but also -to control the exponential increase in the sprouting of militant-camps? While the common people of Pakistan are just as peace-loving as the ones in India, it is a certain group of these radical guys, who're stoned in their heads ... for life! They seem to be on a mission to make India, the Western World, and basically all infidels, fall. 

Coming back to the puppet, the PPP government; it is an unstable body, which visibly has no real powers over the land. It's just the leader on paper. Expecting a powerless body to do such powerful things (bring about effective positive change in militant and radicalism) is just a simple, wrong equation. Which is why, I appreciated India maintaining a positive diplomatic relationship with the Pervez-Musharraf-Army-Rule monarchy. At least, the dealings and relationship maintained had some credibility to it! 

I salute the Jang and Times Groups', from Pakistan and India respectively, for their "Aman-ki-aasha" peace project. But to me, it would seem to have only positive effects on the goodwill for these two groups (marketing strategy?). With the way things are shaping in the Pakistan, 'hum sirf aasha ki umeed leke baithe rahenge....'

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The hypocrisy of debates...

We've all seen them in school, on news channels, in newspaper columns, and just about on every other intellectual property... but do debates actually yield action? Or are they puffs of twisted vocabulary and grammar that disappear into thin air? Exactly, what?

Debates happen when conflicting view-points prove obstacle to a consensus -a decisive deal-making consensus. But today, it is more a matter of pride than of making a deal. One side of the argument wins, the other accepts (or grudgingly so) defeat and everyone goes back to their cozy beds to enjoy a good night's sleep. The action part of the issue is lost.

We're living in an era of speeches. Everyone puts energies into drafting sophisticated multi-paged rants. Seldom are those spoken words converted into concrete, visible action. All the bling-blang spotlight shines on that very highly refined orator. Again, seldom does that orator show any signs of being an action-man. Which is why, I admire President Obama of the United States. He has been a man who has worked towards action rather than only deliver high sounding sentences. Although he may not have accomplished all what he has said, he has got things rolling significantly, and that itself is a rare spectacle.

26/11 happened. The whole of India debated. So many people were praised for their highly effective speeches and comments on the issue. What has happened at the end of it? More than a year later, Ajmal Kasab is still unpunished (forget about a capital punishment, there isn't any damned verdict yet), India is still sending dossiers to Pakistan, we are still porous to terrorist attacks, there isn't any significant infrastructural upgrade that has taken place as far as security is concerned, and the I could become another "all-words-no-action" guy if I went on to complete this seemingly endless list.

To quite an extent, our Indian mindset is at fault. All news channels highlight: "Today's big debate...", but never do they initiate any kind of action. Our focus is on words, words, and unfortunately,  more words. If someone's child goes debating on a high level, those parents beam with pride, make announcements amongst their friend circle, buy the kid a new laptop, or just keep harping about how proud they are of the kid. But when the same kid (of course, when he is eligible to do so in terms of age)  tries to bring change, tries to join and work the system, tries to challenge faulty policies, tries to initiate action -he is laughed at, called a stupid nut for going over-board and thinking too much for his little brain. Huh. This is what is wrong, and faulty...

We're happy and content with the saying: empty vessels (in this case, words) make the most noise.

Fine. Debates help develop personalities, generate awareness... but all that for what? Those personalities need to be agents of change. What is that awareness that is just mindless general knowledge. If our parents' don't even go out to vote, instead encourage the idea of an exotic holiday during voting day, what use is their education? what use is their personality development?

I am not saying that we all should become Obama. All I'm saying is, our society today has placed hollow-words ahead of solid-action. And that means an unfair, unjust and bleak future ahead for the general masses...

Ode to the HP Cylinder Man

Yep It was time now.
The month was almost up.
Mom said CIAO!
But I’ve just given up!

She had left she was gone,
Now I was alone.
I heard his bicycle trample the lawn,
GREAT! He can’t even phone?

There he was Oh there he was,
The HP cylinder man!
He comes on his cycle every month,
Twirling his moustache!
Ugly-OH SO UGLY! From his head to his foot!
You can chance one- but the 2nd time- YOU CAN’T EVEN LOOK!

He knocked on the door and Yelled GAS WALA! Continuously,
I-completely green now- ran down to attend the door.
I tried to close my eyes, but couldn’t do that assiduously,
It was too much to bear man! I was totally floored!

“Toh tum ghar pe akeli ho?” he said with a smirk.
The hair at my back stood on end, as I turned to face him.
“Haan toh?” I said with my best attempt to sound brave,
“Gas kaha hain maaloom hain?” was what he had managed in the interim.

“Vaise bhayya- ise gas nahi CYLINDER kehete hain!”
He stopped aghast-wondering what in the world had I said?
“Haan kya? Par ispar vaise GAS likha hota hain!”
“Haan-par who isliye kyunki usme gas BHARA HOTA HAIN!”

He reeled with shock at this sudden revelation,
I started with surprise as he almost dropped the full one!
“maine kabhi apni life mein bolne ki galti nahi ki!” he cried.
Then he looked at me- as if convinced I had LIED!

“Maine bhi,” said I with sudden calm,
& he smiled YES HE SMILED- thanked me- and went his way,
I wondered then- wondered almost in alarm what made his day?
Wondered what it was- Wondered what did I say?

There he is-OH there he is!
The HP cylinder man!
He comes on his cycle every month-
Twirling his moustache!
Not that ugly now- I’m still confused as to HOW?
But now he smiles at me as if to say- WE’RE REALLY FRIENDS NOW!