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!