Friday, October 22, 2010

Why are we such a great nation

Socho yaar kitna mast desh hai apna,not taunting,but think.

We are spending crores of rupees daily on Kashmir. So many people have given their life and its repercussions are felt all over India. Majority of us know that India is trying to thwart attempts of Pakistan to win over Kashmir yet we have no complaints when an author openly shouts in Delhi that India should free Kashmir. The same lady once wrote an eye watering piece on Naxalism and she famously said that one should not cry over the CRPF personnel killed in the anti-naxal operation as they are getting killed because they are killing the naxalites. Tit for tat. Simple.

We have kept alive Ajmal Kasab so that he can spit on the judiciary. Remember we have also kept a guy called Afzal Guru? He should have been hanged long back. Why? Don't quip that judiciary will take its own course. It will only work as it should if we don't ask it to go slow. But sadly that’s exactly what’s happening. Accepted that terrorist attacks are common in India but even a diehard secularist will say that it’s not daily that you have attack on Parliament or it’s not every third morning that you wake up to find five gun totting men consigning everything that falls in their sight to flames. Parliament attack and Mumbai attack were, are and will remain "a remarkable, out of the blue" incident. And it requires action of the same kind; an action that will be remembered and will serve as a precedent.

Why it is that one leader or author speaks for the whole Muslim community. Who asked them? Who told them that Indian Muslims will feel insecure if the parliament accused is hanged and they will feel anger if Kasab is sent to the gallows? None of my Muslim friends told me so. And I never felt that I should ask them this question because I know they too feel the same like every Indian feels.

Why do these intellectuals say that Kashmir is not a part of India, it never was? Just because they are intellectuals? Didn't we had intellectuals before? Or is Roy the epitome of the Intellectual culture of India? And why shouldn't we condemn her statements? And why is that whoever speaks anything that’s against Roy and her intellectual coterie termed as a Fundamentalist? Why is it that we have adapted ourselves to such double standards? And adapted so well that we don't even realize that we have reached the zenith of hypocrisy and the nadir of having respect for India, which I am sure many of us still regard it as our Country.

Yeah, I am done for now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

But for the tea at Jamshedpur railway platform

The quizzed look in her calm eyes made him flinch for a moment and he was transferred to the past when he would look into those same eyes and would find himself drowning without any regret in the blissful ocean of love, trust and care.

It was during a train journey that he had first met her. 

There was nothing romantically unusual about the first meeting. They both had alighted at the Jamshedpur railway station to have tea and by some innovative method, known only to girls, she had managed to miss her train and if it was not for the classical scene from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenege, he wouldn't have known to how to give your hand to a girl who is running to catch her train like a bride escaping from her own marriage.

That was the first time their eyes met and soon the casual glance turned into an attentive stare. Her eyes were like the best thing that he had ever seen. The light blue Kurta, the black cascade of black falling hair and a spread of innocence worth their weight in Scottish chocolate was too much for him to fight against.

His non belief in love was taking a serious dent, for he was experiencing the gravity of love that was pulling him down. Something was happening, he could experience it. But to describe it in words was something he would have miserably failed even if he would have tried.

He was falling in love. And he knew that had no chance of coming it out of alive.

This happened on a quiet day of a warm winter of January, 5 months ago. And soon their love became the talk of the small train.

And as their love blossomed from Bhopal Express to the dim lit walkways of Connaught Place he discovered that she was the more extrovert of two, always cajoling him to hold hands, swing legs, run aimlessly on roads, pushing through crowds. When she was in her full bloom she could make a 5 year toddler look like a man planning his retirement.

Every stare of her, her every word were like a gentle flowing stream or a subtle blowing air of a cold breeze. He was living in a world that was weaved by her, every string, every colour of this world was painted by her for him.

She was last thing that came to his mind when he closed his eyes. Wordly desires lost their identity as the intoxicating potion of love started flowing in his veins.

She was like a hand that was guiding him though this world.
And then everything came back from the past to the present. A crowd had assembled around the body that was very still. Yet there was something unusual about it as one could sense that a final wisp of breath was still trapped somewhere inside

The people watching him sighed in amazement as he opened his tired eyes for one final time, as the light inside those once bright eyes dulled the rainy morning.

And for the last time in eternity their eyes met again. She had the same quizzed look which she had at that time 
when he had pulled her on the moving train.

He saw her for the last time and his eyelids fell down; never to open again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is the Marathi manoos at Stake?

A few hours back I was going through a blog of a friend and I came across his recent post in which he has written about how a member of the Thackeray clan, Aditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray walking on his ancestral footsteps, forced the prestigious St.Xaviers college, Mumbai to stop prescribing to a book because he felt that this particular book is not worthy and suitable to be taught at the college.

Just for the records it was not a cheap publication that are available at the numerous book stalls on the railway station of Dadar. The book is titled “ Such a long journey” written by the well known writer Rohinton Mistry. It was first published in 1991 and was nominated for the Bookers and won many recognition including the “ Common wealth writers prize”. In 2007-2008, it was prescribed for the BA ( English) course in Mumbai university. And since then it is being taught there. It is a novel about how a family go about their daily life.

But one fine day a boy who is still struggling with the pull and push of attaining puberty, decided that he has to do something to gain some media attention as he was about to start his political career and add more stench to the already nauseous gutters of “India’s secular politics”. As he was considerate enough to not to resort to use of sticks and swords, he decided to go after “Such a long Journey”.

This guy, Aditya has nothing much to write about him. He is a student of the same college from where Rohinton passed out. And by gods grace he has also managed to churn out a collection of poems which he has aptly named “Black and White”.

Its noteworthy to mention that when Rohinton Mistry was penning down the lines of his book, this dude was probably wetting his nappies while listening to the gory achievements of his father and grand father post 1992 bomb blast.

But then creativity and hooliganism runs deep in this family. His father is a photographer, his grand father too is a cartoonist and his uncle as we all know is a painter. So it was but obvious that Aditya too would inherit this creativity and this rogue character. So, I don’t blame him.

This Thackeray feels that the book talks about the Shiv Sena in a negative sense. As far as he is concerned no other reason is required. If the Thackerays don’t like something ; then they don’t like it. And he issues a dictum 'banning' the book. Simple as that.

I won’t talk or write much about Mr. Poet Thackeray because as much as I know this guy by now has gained enough media coverage and I am sure the sycophants Barati around him would add more color and push him more towards the sky for his success in losing his virginity of hooliganism. He passed his debut test of showing his strength without a blood being shed and a office being vandalized.

Welcome to the world of right is might Mr.Black and White . But as a friendly advice, keep writing heart rendering emotional poems, for you have to show the people that you have a tender side too; just like the other members of your clan.

But I would like to comment on the audacity on the part of the university officials. I mean I just can’t stop admiring their ‘bravery’. They just couldn’t stand a college teen hooligan because he was from the notorious Thackeray clan and was going to start his own group of activist , which he has proudly christened “Yuva sena” . This sena will see to it that India’s cultural value or more specifically Marathi culture is not vandalized, burnt or destroyed.

I would like to commend people on their maturity for still regarding the Sena as a political entity. My immaturity suggests that it ceased to a political party long back. I always thought it was a bunch of mentally deranged goons who had decided to conglomerate on one fine day and start a party. Post the 1992 riots my inexperienced mind told me that soon this ‘party’ will disappear from the political scene of India. But as I now see, I was a fool then.

I was in a good mood today as I watched India successfully concluded the Common wealth games. I was enjoying every moments as I felt goose bumps when the army contingent played the band and I was ‘liking’ every facebook status that my friends were posting about the success of the CWG.

But then reality dawned and I realized that still we are what we were. Still we fear some Hindu clans and still we bow too their fancies without even taking a ‘token’ stand.

I have friends in Maharastra and they are much more forward and liberal than me and they are more into activism than me but I just can’t find questions to my answer that why they keep tight-lipped when they should speak.

I am not in Mumbai, many of us are not. But those who are in Mumbai why don’t they say that “ Ok you may not like whats written in the book but that doesn’t give you the right to destroy it”. Is it that difficult thing to make people understand? Does that require too much of courage?

Is being called ‘Bhartiya’ sounds more derogatory than taking pride in being called a Marathi manoos, UP ke Bhaiya aur Tamil Nadu ka Mallu.

You have to decide that , not those bunch of goons who pride themselves in hurting and destroying everything that doesn’t please them.

Its not Marathi manoos at stake, its your freedom to oppose tyranny and to speak your mind out thats the burning question right now.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dejavu’ing in Patna

Everything is back to the same place where it all started. Couldn't help but loose myself under this sense of Déjàvu. In Patna .

It seems that I have traveled two years back in time. Everything is the same. The same maths teacher who helped me with my IRMA,CAT and PO preparation is coming at my home to teach me maths , again. The purpose too is the same.

We study the same books, sit at the same place. We talk about the same things, the same political situation in Bihar. And before leaving he always ask me whether Bela is chained in or not, just like the way he used to do two years back.

At that time I had two parrots who would chitchat with me and inquire me about my progress in Quants. Times changed and one of the two died and the other flew away. Now I have two new parrot couple who too like their ancestors don’t mind poking me about my helplessness when it comes to maths.

The same room at my home provides me and Bela with a peaceful slumber as we sleep under the antic Khaitan fan. The age old fan in my room is still yellow and still it works in a silent manner unlike its counterparts who have either passed away or hanging in some obsolete corner and who cry out loud whenever they are switched on. I first slept under its cool air in Rajkot in 1987 when I was still trying to learn to recite humpty dumpty...

Two years ago I was not able to attend Abhivyakti in Bhopal because of my ensuing exams and this time too I will have to give it a miss and I will "miss it" dearly. The heart will require some consoling but I know it will manage, somehow.

Its election time in Bihar. The same political atmosphere easily identifiable by the flags on the street and the waves of white Kurtas that cover every corner of the city has engulfed Patna. Two years back it was the General election and this time its the assembly election. Two years back my neighbor Dasji tried his luck as a BSP candidate from Hajipur and lost. The slogan “Jahan hai Das, wahin hai Aas” didn’t help his cause much. 

But still he regards this particular slogan as one of the best he used at that time.

I met him yesterday while he was taking a stroll with his grandson and when I asked him 'which way the political river will flow in Hajipur this time', he replied that he is done with politics. He had decided that he would not contest any election again. Man of emotions and creativity are easily hurt and they find it aimless to bounce back and thats what happened to Dasji, who retired as a DSP and is an accomplished Tabla player.
Somethings I guess have changed.

Udankhatolas of various color and size are flying over the Patna airspace. As the Lalus and the Nitishs try to outwit each other.

For me this is the flight and fight for life and death for Lalu.He won’t form the government in Bihar that is a surety. Nitish kumar will come back again is a possibility that has to come true and will come true. But for Lalu, if he doesn’t performs substantially this time, his political career will be over for good and no amount of minority or Yadav appeasement will be able to bring him back from his political oblivion. He has to win more than 50 seats to command some respectability at the state and Center level.

It would be interesting to watch Congresses performance in the state as the party has decided to go alone this time. It was Rahul Gandhi who was more adamant in Congress going alone in Bihar, and he deserves accolades for that. It was sort of a huge political question that how a national party can be nonexistent in a state like Bihar. The absence of Congress in the state had created a vacuum that had led to the growth of regional parties like RJD and Ram Bilas Paswan’s LJP who were running the state like a fiefdom.

Read somewhere in a magazine that its "Resurgent Bihar" time. Hope this time goes on and on.


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