Sep 3, 2011

Awakening Of A Nation


August 16th - 28th, Year 2011:
Courtesy: Google Image
This period of time will be etched in Indian history with golden dust. Obviously, I am talking about Team Anna's Anti-Corruption movement, which can be best defined as:
A fast that stopped the nation, made it think and retrospect. Or, to put it crudely, a mass movement that gave the government a much needed chemotherapy for treating its cancer of corruption.

Having said this, I would now like to take an unbiased approach and present a different perspective regarding this Anti-Corruption movement. Whether this movement will achieve its ultimate goal of abolishing corruption, time will tell; but let’s open our eyes and minds to what it has already accomplished:

  • This movement has brought the people of India together, without any biases of caste, religion, social or economic status. This has happened for the first time ever in the history of independent India. The concerns regarding dalits and minorities not being adequately represented are rather unfounded and paranoid.
  • Somewhere along the long journey of 64 years of independent India, the people had lost the pride of being Indian. This Anti-Corruption movement has brought back the patriotic flavor with a pinch of pride in the heart of young India.
  • It has reversed the thinking equation of corruption from the “acceptability of its presence” to the “will to curb the increasing menace of corruption”.
  • It has metamorphisized the cynicism and ‘chalta hai’ attitude of our people into hope and a strong will to change the sorry state of affairs.
  • India can now boast of setting a unique example for the entire world by putting up a nation wide peaceful protest for full 13 days, without any incidence of non-violent act.
  • Last but not the least; it has awakened the middle class to come out of their comfort zone and shed the complacent attitude, thus involving themselves actively in the political matters of the country.

One mass movement, one fast and 13 days have brought the equality and unity of India back. So, before discussing the pros and cons of Anna Hazare’s Anti-Corruption movement, spare a thought to what this movement has already given our country.

My salute to all the people who form the backbone of this movement, and also lakhs of people who supported this movement by taking a stand against corruption.

Aug 6, 2011

Guardian's Angel - Part 2

[Continues from Guardian's Angel - Part 1]

And then,
Wham! Bang!
Aah!
A shooting pain in my head, and
my eyes flew open,
my muddled mind gropes for reality.
Where am I, I wonder?
Courtesy: Google Image

I see myself on the damp ground, and
an ugly, stout fellow towering over me.
He seems to be shouting furiously at me, but
I cannot comprehend anything.
My head is throbbing badly.

This overpowering man
lifts me up roughly by my collar.
I hear him shout, "You lazy bum, sleeping on your duty.
How dare you!
I did not employ you as a guard of your angels,
but to guard against thieves!"
Saying this, he marched off in a huff.


And I stood there, frozen like a statue
my shoulders slumped,
my eyes with a faraway look.
I sighed! Alas!
It was just a dream,
a mere dream,
a pleasant dream on a wet, callous bench.
And a dream's a dream; nothing more
And dreams never always come true
Or , do they?
I wonder??

Aug 3, 2011

Guardian's Angel - Part 1

This is a short poetic narration about a night in a life of a common watchman:

A starry night, with a dazzling moonlight
The smell of jasmine, senses this nose of mine
Aah!
Such a lovely night with my beloved beside.
And I wonder, whether,
It's the deadly silence of the night, or
the magic of serenity shrouding you?
Are those stars shimmering, or
is it the sparkle in your eyes?
I wonder!
Courtesy:  Google Image
Is it the dazzle of the silver ball, or
the radiant angelic face of yours?
Is it really the smell of jasmine, or
you near me?
I wonder!

Is it the wine, or
your drooping, seductive eyes intoxicating me?
Oh God!
Am I in paradise, or
I see an angel on Earth?
I wonder!

And suddenly, I feel the earth shudder, or
is someone shaking me?
I no more feel the feathery touch of the angel.
I hear some voices, seem to be coming from a distance,
and, again the harsh shake.
And then, .................


(To be continued)

Jul 25, 2011

Americanisation of India

Courtesy: Google Image
You must have heard the phrase "Missing the forest for the trees". That's what we all do when talking about America. I agree that Americans are honest, have integrity and have excelled themselves in technology and resource developments. However, there are more important issues where America needs to reflect upon its policies; but sadly no one (including media) talks about it and we also prefer to turn a blind eye to that. Well, here are some questions which are downright eye openers.
  • Who created Taliban?  AMERICA.  India, apart from other countries, is a victim of this creation. 
  • Who funds the terrorism? AMERICA. 
  • Who dumps its industrial waste in other countries? AMERICA 
  • Who promoted Globalization and abolished the work culture of India? AMERICA. This has lead to widespread exploitation of working individuals in India, thereby hampering not only their health but also their family lives. 
  • Who promotes consumerism worldwide? AMERICA. This has promoted materialism to obsessive levels. 
  • Who encourages a lifestyle which causes rampant misuse of ecological reserves and talk about Green Revolution? AMERICA. A small example of this is the advent of ‘wooden flooring’ in buildings which is being considered as a sign of luxury.  
  • Who created 'Corporate Culture' promoting extravagance in work place and encouraged work slavery in office? AMERICA.  
  • Who believes in Wars and destroyed several countries, killing innocent people, on pretext of defense? AMERICA.  
  • Who religiously believes and literally follows phrases like "Divide and Rule", "All is fair in love and war"? AMERICA.  
  • Who believes in ruthlessly destroying unique cultures of several countries, promoting not only western culture but also economic slavery? AMERICA.
We had a great quality of life before the clutches of Globalization, Consumerism and Terrorism invaded India; now we seem to have a great quality of living which has cost us our wonderful quality of life. India has always been a peace loving nation, which neither encouraged wars nor imposed its rich culture on others. Sadly, it has been molded economically, mentally and culturally to suit the needs of powerful nations like America.

P.S: The intention of this article is not to hurt anybody’s feelings. I am not against America and its citizens but simply voicing my views against certain policies of America, which are causing great harm to developing nations like India.

Jun 22, 2011

UNISEX

Courtesy Google Image
Are you a women or a man? Does it matter anymore? Nowadays, difference between both the genders is blurring. Women dress and conduct themselves like men, losing their femininity and grace; and getting into Clint Eastwood garb. On the other hand, men are imitating women and indulging in all sorts of beauty treatment; they are shaving off body hair which somehow materialize in a ponytail at the back (of head!). Is it just 6 inches pack of muscles which seem to signify manhood for the men of today!

‘Gentlemen’, unfortunately cannot be used to address men anymore, who are becoming gentler and softer day by day. Women, on the other hand are growing up into ‘tough gentlemen’.

Oh God! The genders are getting all mixed up. Men are not anymore from Mars than women from Venus. Both of them are from the planet Earth and they are in the race of transmutation to evolve into a new gender – “UNISEX”.

And that seems to be the mantra for the men and women of today. Be modern, be unisex!

Jun 8, 2011

Break Free

I was just wondering how it feels to be a new person altogether, without one’s family backdrop, without one’s last name, without any qualification and of course without one’s money.  Just truly be yourself; then whatever will be left of you will be your mind (without any educational qualification), your skills (without other person’s recommendation), your character; and the power to carve yourself into an original entity.

How amazing it would be to lose all the past baggage, present expectations from loved ones and future ambitions, and discover oneself, on a path of your own making. It will be then, that our true self will come into light. I sincerely wish for all of you who are reading this, to experience this kind of exhilaration, at least once in your lifetime and you’ll understand what true joy and absolute contentment is.

Most of us try to accumulate degrees, experience and goodies all our lives, and here I am, one of those few eccentric individuals who is trying to get rid of all that; for a glimpse of ‘true self’; for a person I am in my own mirror without any intrusive refractions and reflections.

Mar 29, 2011

From A Cynical Point Of View

History is fascinating, present is one’s own perspective and future is not known. But hopping between these time eras, I wondered whether the human race has really evolved during its long journey of hundreds and thousands of years.

Courtesy Google Image
In the past, we fought with clubs, then swords, bows and arrows; now there are guns, missiles and bombs for the same.
In the past, we played outdoor sports and indoor games for amusement; now we just need to glue our eyes to the screen for that.
In the past we used our vocal chords for communication; now we play dumb and use our fingers for communicating (internet, text message).
Earlier we never needed to package anything; now packaging is quite essential and the stuff inside is almost of inconsequential value.
In the past we used our feet for walking, then animals and now we have machines to carry our weight.
Earlier we prayed to nature Gods (air, sun, water, fire) and now we exploit the same nature for our own luxuries.
Earlier we used our mind for calculations and remembering stuff; now we have calculators and reminders for the same. Likewise we used to think new ideas in the past but now we google them.

Have our thoughts or our actions evolved with time? Earlier, we humans fought like savages in greed of territories and treasures; we still do the same. Earlier we fought in the name of religion; we still do the same. Then and now, our actions and motives remain unchanged. But what’s changed is the mode of doing them. Machines have evolved over times, thereby reducing our mental and physical work (still we complain of lack of time!) So who is evolving eventually? We, the human race, who is outsourcing its faculties to inanimate objects or the machines which are gradually taking over the human race?

Mar 15, 2011

Earth's Fury

The natural disaster which struck Japan recently is a warning sign for all, that our Earth is getting choked; and in response, the Earth shuddered and threw back what we, as humans have been giving  it for so many years.
 
We need to create immediate reforms in our lifestyle to suit nature and not to change nature to suit our lifestyle. 
 
Courtesy Google Image
The first step towards this lifestyle reform is to change our attitude. Banish the western or rather American philosophy of ‘use and throw’. Instead we need to revert back to our (Indian) eco-friendly culture which promotes the theory of ‘use and re-use’ or ‘use and recycle’. Moreover, all countries in the world should unite and pledge to shift the focus of research from defense, electronic gadgets, and so on, to the tapping of solar energy (which is freely available) and using it cost effectively and efficiently.

Individually, let us all pledge to take small but concrete steps to save water, grow more trees and switch off electrical appliances when not in use. This is just a beginning and we need to do much more to save our planet Earth. Let's start now.

Feb 28, 2011

Education Breeds Mediocrity

Courtesy Google Image
The following article is from my earlier blog and points out the stifling of one's creative potential in the present day education system.

I read this article “Take a Right Turn “in a newspaper where the author mentions about the brain tilt in India. I totally agree with his notions that Indians on an average are left-minded people, meaning they have a better logical and analytical thinking, but lack in terms of creativity and innovation which are the forte of the right-minded people. Why is this peculiar trait seen in Indians? Do we truly lack original and creative thinkers? Probably! And the reason behind this is our redundant education system and also the upbringing to some extent. All kids are creative, inquisitive, and love challenges. But as they grow up these qualities seem to vanish in thin air. Why? I think it’s because we as a society curb their uniqueness, their creativity and push them to follow the 'safer path' , or a path taken by majority', or a path which gives good returns in terms of fame and finance but  never a path which is of one's own calling.

It saddens me to say that most of our educational institutions have become xerox machines that are producing loads of xerox individuals year after year. The kids are losing their originality and individuality. This kind of system breeds mediocrity and in present times we have started celebrating mediocrity! In fact this is the root cause of our failure to produce good leaders. We are conditioning the kids from the very beginning to follow the footsteps rather than making their own footprints. Then, how can our nation expect the birth of any leader, forget good or bad.

Feb 8, 2011

Alluring Aromas

Today morning, when I was having my first cup of hot coffee, its revitalizing aroma made me gather the scattered thoughts aromas in our lives which we usually take for granted; but they sometimes bring a satisfactory smile on our faces. This is just to share some of my favorite aromas which often make me realize that I have a sense of smell too ;)

•    First and foremost, invigorating aroma of freshly brewed coffee (especially in early winter mornings)
•    Rusty smell of old books (which often make me want to get lost in an old dusty library)
•    Inky smell of new books (makes me nostalgic, reminding me of school days when we used to get the new set of books for the new academic session)
•    Aroma of bakery products in a small bakery shop (surely makes my stomach rumble!)
•    Hungry smell of earth in the first rains (makes it hard to resist getting drenched in the rains)
•    Hazy smell of impending dust storm
•    Salty smell of sea air
•    Haunting, chilling smell in the historical monuments (especially the deserted ones)
•    Earthen smell of water kept for long in a terracotta pot (make me more thirsty for water!)
•    Smell of moist freshness in dense fog
•    Damp smell of trees in hills and mountains
•    Last but not the least, tranquilizing and cozy smell of small babies

Please feel free to add to this list of everlasting …..unforgettable…..AROMAS!

Feb 3, 2011

Who is your motivating force?

Who is your motivating force? Now why I have started this topic is because I feel very strongly that anecdotes and life stories of great people, and also the writings of eminent thinkers are the potential seeds of inspiration for our spongy minds. And it stands more so for young minds who are quite permeable and malleable. Thus I strongly feel that the school curriculum should pay emphasis on biographies of great people, to be taught from year to year ; great people who have made a niche for themselves in the history of times. 

Some of my inspirational characters include Albert Einstein and his never ending dedication to his theories and going beyond the realm to prove them true; Mahatma Gandhi for his stark honesty and being a true spiritual leader of a vast nation like India; Swami Vivekananda for inspiring the youth of India to a strong character building. The list goes on and on.....
What are your inspirational characters? Please share with all the readers and enhance this flow of inspiration.

Jan 23, 2011

Inspirational Awakening

I have read several books and delved into countless writings, but my inspiration still remains the same – Ayn Rand. I started reading her books when I was in school and had a reasonably capitalistic bent of mind. However, I do not agree with her philosophy of capitalism anymore, but her strong and persuasive and dominating play of words is like a blast of hot air and affects you long after reading. She was a renowned philosopher of her times. She mainly wrote hard core philosophical stuff.

But she is mostly famous due to her three works of fiction that reflected her core philosophy, which can be summarized in one sentence as: “Selfishness breeds perfection, which in turn paves the way for success”. Her three fictional works included “Fountainhead”, “Atlas Shrugged” and “The night of January 16th”. Sometimes I feel like making a documentary movie on these stories but then that is a very far fetched fantasy. Even her fictional work portrayed strong characters like Howard Roark, Dominique Francon, Dagny Taggart, John Galt, Hank Rearden, Gail Wynand who leave strong imprints in your mind. Not only this, she always favored original intelligence, creativity and individuality in her characters.

It’s been more than 10 years since I have picked up any of her writings. However her words still remain firmly engraved in my mind. Well, would you like to share who your favorite ‘Ayn Rand’ character is? Mine is Dagny Taggart with her unrelenting spirit to continue running her railroad company against all odds.

P.S.: I will come again with an open discussion on Ayn Rand and her philosophy of capitalism.

Jan 17, 2011

Life, as I know it

"What is life?” my 5 year old daughter asked me with her usual innocent expression. I struggled mentally on how to answer this insightful query. Shall I answer her philosophically, metaphysically or just practically? Life, as I know it, is like a river and you a raft in it. It starts on a high note, with strong, determined currents, raging and thrusting, making the raft struggle along the course. The raft stumbles, sometimes tumbles or topples only to revert to a stable position. Sometimes it gets washed offshore and finds the much needed rest. Sometimes it gets stuck under water or in a whirlpool of currents and struggles to free itself and gain control once again. As it courses forward with time, it may find itself slippery, battered, wet and covered with silt or muck. Sometimes it may just sail around in silent water. It may even provide itself as a life saver and save someone from drowning. Often several rafts may join together and form a more stable form in river. This can be a boat, yacht or can even a small part of ship. It is actually an equivalent to family, friends and acquaintances. But every beginning has an end; it is inevitable. The raft ultimately flows to its end……..but the river goes on and on before it merges with a vast water body. So ever wondered what kind of raft are you? Who is the driver of your raft? Do you maneuver your own raft or you let the course and currents of river monitor your progress?

Well, I got a little philosophical here. Life, as we all know it, is more adventurous, mysterious, meandering and fulfilling than the river. But the question still remains unanswered for my little daughter. Well my dear honey….this is for you. “Live your life fully; cherish every moment, whether good or bad and do not be a stoic. In course of time, you’ll understand what life is.

A special mention of a famous poem “Ulysses” by Lord Tennyson where he mentions to live life to the lees is quite apt.

Jan 16, 2011

Irony of Life


I saw this notice outside Rumtek monastery in Sikkim. It’s so true……but we get lost in the mirage of money and fail to realize this significant truth of life.

Jan 14, 2011

Back with a Bang!

It's nice to be back on my blog and what a better way to begin the new year 2011 than to resume blogging. My blog had taken a backseat due to my work commitments....but not any more. I plan to continue writing and posting regularly. I hope to keep up with my resolution.

Let's start this new year with the following inspirational lines by Robert Frost:
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
 But I have promises to keep,
 And miles to go before I sleep,
 And miles to go before I sleep."