Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last week of December in Bhopal

Flaunting a fishing rod all the way from Char Imli to Kerwa despite knowing that neither of us would really catch a fish is something that doesn’t happens in life so often. Similarly having a simple coffee at CCD has never been a rare affair but this time it was something that I will remember for a long time.

In the last week of December, absolutely mundane things like ‘doing nothing’ seemed so purposeful.

Questioning two children who were bicycling whether they were lost, in spite being aware that their home was just few steps away, hiding from know eyes and unknown stares, the two cats on the street, the white maruti with a very vintage music player, everything appeared so significant.

The sun that went down on the 25th of December, was beautiful ;like it always is. But why it looked more prettier that day is something that can only be understood by those who have been there where we were.

I was never aware that a blink can cause so much mixed emotions. When someone was blushing the other was smiling. And when someone blinked the other could not control her laugh. Yes, maybe it was the funniest thing that was happening at that time in the whole restaurant.

I say it so because even the not so funny pony tailed guy sitting on the nearby table with his wife found it hard to resist having a word about us, which he quietly whispered into her ear.

Moving from the dense forest to open fields, from a crowd filled hotel to a lonely road that had nothing but a security guard who according to some was not a human but a ghost, are some simple moments that I experienced when I was in Bhopal. And if it was not for the other person, the fields, the forest and the roads would not have appeared so significant.

In the last week of December in Bhopal, unknown strangers became important and the known friends and acquaintance where lost somewhere .

I discovered that if not handled well, the same level of jealousy can be caused by a 50 years old white haired guy and a 20 something restaurant boy. Also discovered was that blue-green eyes have the power to stimulate the same level of jealousy, specially if the eyes are that of a girl.

Kinship with two of my friends witnessed a new level of trust being reached. One which was expressed by words that cannot be written here. Strange are the ways of expressing care.

They are Friends. They understood everything.

The vibrancy that someone displayed, be it the blue color on her soft nails, the red cap that was apparently borrowed from a child and or the many a different shades of clips delicately inserted into her hair, made me experience colors of life through a new-never before seen perspective.

Missing the moments even as they were passing was so much painful to the heart. And painful was to let go off those moments that were built by those beautiful hands and the sparkling eyes.

I sometimes feel that we all cling to the past for too long or desire for the future so much that we are not able to enjoy what the present moments offer.

One day we all realize this. The only difference being that some realize it soon and some not so soon.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Bihar analysis -December

With the focus shifting to the forthcoming general elections, the atmosphere in Bihar saw enhanced political activity.

CM Nitish kumar taking the cue, decided to embark on a 1 month Vikas yatra under which he will stay in villages so that he personally oversees development related work and interacts with the voters.

In the past, various other CMs from different states like Raman Singh, Digvijay Singh, Suderlal patwa , CM of Uttarakhand BC Khanduri and the present CM of Andhra Pradesh YSR Reddy have embarked on similar yatra with mix results.

The spotlight in the state has now shifted to development as was evident with both the major parties, the ruling JD(U) and the opposition RJD announcing various new projects in the state.

The 6th pay commission was implemented in the state giving the huge number of government servants a reason to smile. The CM also announced starting of work on 6 major roads of Bihar, a project that is being financed by the Asian development bank.

Similarly construction of a major bridge across the river Sone which was long overdue was also announced.

Nitsih kumar also tried to reach out to the minority section of the population as he laid the foundation stones of three buildings to be constructed in the memories of Muslim leaders late Maulana Mazharul Haque, late Abdul Qayyum Ansari, and late Ghulam Sarwar.

CMs commitment towards the uplift-ment of the minorities has irked Lalu yadav as traditionally they have always supported him and the present endeavor on the part of Nitish has created insecurity in the mind of the RJD leader.

Not to be left behind, Lalu too announced many a new trains from Patna so as to woo the voters. Speculations are, that after delimitation Lalu Yadav will contest from Patna and his recent added interest towards the capital is being seen in this light.

The Kosi tragedy too continued to play its part as both the JD(U) and the RJD indulged in blame games over the distribution of relief money. On one hand, Nitsh kumar blamed the Center for not distributing the required promised relief amount and on the other Lalu Yadav accused the state government of not utilizing the money that was sent by the Center.

Will Kosi be a political issue is anyone’s guess. But it should not be forgotten that it was tragedy that affected millions and still millions are facing difficulty. Political games and gains in times of tragedy are inevitable. But one should not forget that in midst of everything even a loss of single human life is unpardonable.

A major political showdown between the coalition partner JD (U) and BJP was seen after JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari asked the BJP to follow the Nitish kumar model of development.

This infuriated the state BJP leaders and soon it became a show of strength with both the parties praising their respective model of development. On one side was Nitish model of development and on the other side was the Modi and Raman Singh model of development.

The winds have started to blow, but they have yet to gain strength and the political storm that is bound to arise, like always will give us many things to write.

Madhya Pradesh analysis-December

The result of the recent assembly elections came out with no real surprise as the predictions of BJP coming back to power in the central state of Madhya Pradesh came true.

This time the BJP won 143 out of the total 230 assembly seats. In the previous election the saffron party had bagged 171 seats. Political Pundits have attributed this win to Shivraj singh Chauhan and his development oriented approach which was more than sufficient to cover the corruption charges that was synonymous with his previous government.

With the BJP top brass giving Chauhan complete charge of the state, he followed the Gujarat model whereby he denied tickets to many sitting MLAs and brought new faces.

It is also important to note that the difference between many of the winning candidates and those who lost was not much and it is quite true that on some another day BJP would have struggled to gain majority.

With the state witnessing a high polling percentage of more than 68%, both Congress and the BJP experienced contrasting emotions before the final results were announced as the general perception that a high polling percentage indicates resentment of the common mass against the incumbent government started doing the round.

But in the end, it was the Congress supporters who were left disappointed as internal squabbling and dissent left the party short of the number of seats that it was expecting.

The party under the state leadership of Suresh Pachori won 71 seats, up from the 38 seats which it won in the previous election. And it is no secret that if the selection of candidates was managed in a better way, the Congress could have definitely won more seats.

The bipolar political nature of the state was further strengthened amidst speculations of the lesser parties playing a bigger role as none of these parties could make a dent. The BSP came third winning 7 seats while Uma Bharti led BJS begged a poor 5 seats with the former CM herself losing her seat.

The disappointing performance of SP led to its state party chief being removed by SP supremo Mulayam Singh yadav. Madhya Pradesh state president Narayan Tripathi was removed and a new state president from Uttar Pradesh, Deep Narayan Yadav was appointed. Yadav is an MLA from Moth in Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh.

State Congress party president Suresh Pachouri, was the man who was the most disappointed of all the Congress state leaders as of the 50 plus candidates that he had recommended only 8 of them could secure win.

On the other hand, Kamalnath emerged as the tallest of all, as 22 of his supporters made it to the Assembly. Former chief minister Digvijay Singh came second with 17 MLAs and Jyotiraditya was third with 13 MLAs.

Post the casting of votes and before the actual results came in, Congress was more ecstatic than the BJP as the high polling percentage gave Congress a reason to hope that it would win more than 90 seats which was what some experts had predicted.

Looking back to this election, BJP will breath a sigh of relief as the majority that it has secured is not that comforting as it appears. On the other hand Congress would curse their luck and their leaders as a better poll management and coordination among the senior leaders would have given BJP a run for their money.


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