Thursday, November 25, 2010

Candle light- Mumbai's only way out

It will be exactly two years, two hours from now when the insanity that is called Jihad played havoc in Mumbai . And as we remember the innocent death due to the countless senseless bullets I am sure many of us will light candles at the busy squares of our cities.

Last year this lighting of candles happened in every city be it Mumbai,Delhi,Patna or Bhopal. At that time I was in Bhopal and I saw two radio jockeys standing under a pandal as they distributed candles to the curious guys that had gathered around them.

And like everyone I too noticed that the reason that so many candles were burning to death was not because of the cause but because of the girls who were distributing them.

I don’t have issues with it- lighting of candle nor I find forming of human chains a very senseless act of displaying oneness. But what troubles me is that why do we stop at such symbolic gestures. Why do we have this feeling of contentment and satisfaction after a hard night work of lighting candles.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Once there was a man called Lalu

Not long time ago Lalu chalisa was a very common thing in the streets of Patna. You could easily purchase it from the many a small shops that are lined up in front of the Patna railway station. These Lalu chalisa that were written by many of the faithful followers of Lalu Yadav would sometimes outsell the more original Hanuman chalisa.

And like his other predecessors from Bihar Lalu too had a fondness for the Indian railways.

Lalu Yadav and Indian Railway shared a very cordial relationship till he was the Railway minister. And both gained from each other. More aptly - it was the Indian railway that gained more. Not going into the economics, it was because of Lalu that the railway became a household name in Pakistan and world over. And it can be debated upon that whether the Railway as an institution gained any long term benefits during the tenure of Lalu.

Lalu Yadav was at that time Bihar and Bihar was nothing but Lalu. And even now that memory has not faded from the minds of many.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why Barkha Dutt needs to be defended

I have been at the receiving end of highly critical words and statements for the recent post on my blog in which I have defended Barkha Dutt. Few of them have come through authentic source and they have attached their email address in case I feel that I should revert back to them.

Mostly though have been under the hood of anonymous. And I have no problem with the person being anonymous, since it’s me who has exercised this option of having anonymous comments. But I have been a bit disturbed by the use of language and words which to put it mildly is inappropriate.

All of the comments and feedbacks barring a rare few have said that I am acting as an agent of Barkha Dutt and I am one of those 'educated idiot' who has been recruited by Congress.

I am sure not many of those who have commented on the recent post of mine have gone though my previous posts. And I don’t expect them to do so. None of the commentators have been following my blog so it would be unfair on my part to expect them to know I am ‘what’ leaning. As in am I a Leftist, a Centrist or a bloody Rightist.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In defence of Barkha Dutt

I have never admired Barkha dutt. I found no reason to do so. I always see her as someone who has gorged on the self manufactured hype that she has attracted towards her. She went to Kargil and made sure that she along with India emerged as the sole winner. The focus I still remember shifted from the Bofors to her as she reported the war with dramatic effects that were meant to portray a picture of a woman who is risking her life to cover the war.

She made sure that the right visualizations were carried out to the viewers just like the way she did years later when she was reporting the Mumbai attack. She would cover her ears in articulated gestures as to show how near she actually was to the real shooting that was taking place. The intensely scared look on her face made sure that the viewers had to forcibly digest the fact that she was actually doing a very good job.

She did everything good, no pun intended. But when she tried to cash on it and tried to turn into a larger than life situation, she flunked. Exaggeration fetches and catches the ‘ooos’ and the ‘aahhs’ but modesty and humility makes sure that the real admiration stays forever.

And in the case of Barkha Dutt she has never stopped from making sure that the headline shifts from the news to the anchor.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why I 'hate' India

A long list of people will come up if I start thinking of people who are Anti-Indian. (And what may be anti-Indian to me may be a patriotic individual to you, but that’s a subjective matter.)

But maybe then that list will appear peanuts if I start thinking about those who glorify such people who like to dislike India.

I pose this question to myself and search for answers that why we glorify those who de-glorify India? And for the starters I will make a disclaimer that No I am not a saffronwadi nor a Swaymsevak nor a BJP supporter.

The moment someone starts talking about people who propagate anti India feelings they are attached to an invisible tag of a fundamentalist, a dogmatic and an unsecular intellectual.

You blurt words against the professional dissenters like Arundhati Roy and you are called someone who is in cahoots with the people who perpetrated the terrible riots in Gujarat. The moment you call Geelani , both the Kashmiri and the Professor , anti Indian, you find yourself being measured on the scale of a Saffron promoter.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The man who moved the mountain

In this midst of election fever that sweeps Bihar I randomly remembered a Greek tale that I had heard many years back. And like every other Greek tale this was also a story of love, valor and determination. Of words of courage that were transformed into action. And like every other Greek story it had a sad end.

I first heard this story when I first came to Patna in 1997. And the story goes like this.

There was a young man who lived in a village. He was a frail built man with not much ambition but to live a simple happy life with his beautiful wife. He used to earn his bread while working as a farmer. And whenever it would rain, he and his beautiful wife would sing local love songs that would enthral the whole village.

Every morning he would arise and cross the huge mountain that separated his village and the small piece of land on which he cultivated vegetables. It was a treacherous pass with high raised sharp rocks. This bed of black rocks would become even more dangerous during rain as people would slip and devoid of any medical facility would be disabled for life.

One day her wife who was bringing lunch for him slipped and fractured her ankle. And that day this hero of ours decided that the mountain that had caused hurt to her wife will have to go.­­

And he sold his goat to buy a hammer, a chisel and a rope to chisel the mountain away. And he started working, day and night, ignoring the voices that called him insane.

He hammered and hammered and this went on for twenty two years. And when he finally finished he had excavated a 360 feet long, 30 feet high and a 25 feet wide passage. Due to the carving out of this new passage the distance between his village and the neighbouring village was reduced from 75 km to 1 km. Yeah you read it right, from seventy five to one.

And then one day this man died. As another Greek story of love, courage and determination ended without much fanfare, just like the many other fictitious stories. But this story is different.

The hero in this story was no Greek, but an Indian. And this was not a tale of fiction.

Dasrath Manjhi was a SC (Mushar, rat eating family). And he was born in a village of Gaya in Bihar. And it was sometimes in 1960 when he was still in his 20s that his wife slipped and it was on that day he decided that he would move that mountain.

And it was in 1982 that he chiselled that mountain away. All with a hammer and a chisel.

He died in 2007, long after his wife had passed away. He died amongst tall claims made by political leaders who saw him as a good investment to bank on. While he was alive, leaders visited him and made sure that this visit was publicized as it would mean a good impact on the backward class.

A movie was made on his deeds. But he himself died as a common man.

Promises that were made during his time still remain unfulfilled. Still his family continues to live in poverty and still there is no sign of the hospital that was promised by the state government that would be made in his name.

I am sure that when he decided to break the mountain he never had any intention that he should become famous. He chiselled those mountains because his wife broke her ankle. He made her a promise that he will remove those mountains.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that human deeds of such higher degree was born out of such small reason.

It’s even harder to believe that we still live in a society where some huge, painstaking promises are fulfilled by an individual while some less difficult ones are forgotten by the state.

But then if they would have been fulfilled then this tale wouldn’t have qualified to be called as a Greek tale.


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