Monday, December 12, 2011

For those who love getting married

Times have suddenly becomes strange as many friends of mine who were just months ago trying to fall in love with different girls at the same time are now being attracted towards falling into the bliss of marriage, just like a   colorful,confident,tiny insect falls into waiting arms of a beautiful Venus fly trap plant.

In the span of less than 8 months we (me and my friends) have lost many bachelors who have very bravely, smilingly embraced the culmination of their youthful days.

The poignancy of the whole situation becomes more visible when someone from among is sitting on the stage, exchanging smiles with the not so curious onlookers who have deliberately assembled in the marriage venue to celebrate the imposing of tons of responsibility and the taking away of a much rejoiced freedom of a young man. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How they define youths in Uttar Pradesh

The impending Uttar Pradesh State Assembly elections have livened up the otherwise monotonous bureau room of newspaper around Delhi. When you have election in a state where there is a presence of  political heavy weights like Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Varun Gandhi, Digvijay Singh and him-who-cannot-be-named then one can be assured of interesting times ahead.

Every political party in Uttar Pradesh is trying to prove to the other that they are really promoting the Youths by way of giving them more representation.

While doing a story on this very issue I came across some very exciting narrations and intriguing individuals.

A Member of Parliament, involved in the selection of candidates very proudly told me that his party has given tickets to seventy odd youths for the upcoming UP state election.

I was impressed . After all seventy is a seize-able number when you consider that the total seat in the state assembly in 403. Logically my next question was that was the profile of these young candidates.

The reply that I got was something that I had never expected.

“We have given tickets to more than 50 candidates who are around 40 years of age. If you take 50 as the upper age, then we have more than 70 candidates who are contesting the elections on our party ticket.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

For Keenan & Reuben

Will the brutal killing of two guys in Mumbai  make us stand up and realize that how weak and indifferent we have become to things that is happening around us?

Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes, the two boys were stabbed to death because they reacted in a way that the majority of us would not. 

Those who killed them have been arrested and I am sure the law, because of the relentless media pressure will surely take its due-course and punish them.

But what about the hundred others who acted deaf and blind when they were being stabbed? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How will the BJP use Modi

The three day Sadhbhavna fast under taken by the Gujarat CM, Narendra Modi has finally managed to push him on to the national stage from where he will look to play a more pan-India role.

The decision of Modi to abstain from food for three days to promote  unity in the state came at a time when the octogenarian and the BJP PM in waiting since time immemorial, LK Advani had just announced his decision to go on an all India Rath yatra to highlight corruption in the country .

This much televised and massively twitterized fast of Modi has managed to take the away the hype and the buzz that the announcement of Advani had generated.

Political commentators feel that the decision of RSS to  support Modis fast rather than Advanis yatra has made it clear as to how much clout does Modi  enjoys in the RSS circles.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Least Shehla becomes another Sarla

The broad day light murder of Shehla Masood in Bhopal has many known and numerous hidden facades that probably will be uncovered layer by layer as the investigation in the case progresses.

Ms.Masood was shot dead in front of her home at point blank range on 16th August while she was about to drive away to a protest march organized by her in support of Anna Hazare’s anti- corruption movement.

The fact that she was an active RTI ‘activist’ has attracted even more spotlight to the otherwise peaceful and calm city of Bhopal.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A CVC who never applied for the post : Pradeep Kumar

Pradeep Kumar, the newly appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner, who was the Defense secretary earlier, had not applied for the job of CVC. His name was neither sponsored, nor nominated by any authority, according to information received under the Right to Information Act from the Union ministry of Personnel and Training.

Interestingly he is not the only one who was singled out for this graceful act. Two other candidates, Naresh Dayal, former health secretary and RP Agarwal, former secretary, Higher education also did not apply for the post. Their names were, however, were included in the panel of names considered by the committee for the post of CVC.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is the Booker prize winner right this time?

Yesterday I was reading excerpt of what Arundhati Roy spoke on a talk show where she was elaborating on her article that was published in the Hindu in which she had severely criticised Anna Hazare for holding the parliament to ransom during the recent anti-corruption activism at Ram Lila ground.
I had first met her as a curious teenager in Bhopal at the British library in somewhere 2001-02 when she was there to promote her book.
And then as I became a part of a law school my gray cells started working and with time I became critical of her views. The prime reason for this was her views on Kashmir and on naxalism.
Till yesterday I have never been impressed by her arguments and writings. 

And I would not have probably been writing this if I would not have read the transcripts of what she said on the talk show yesterday.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

To the critics and to the supporters of Anna

I,along with thousands of others, was present at India gate in Delhi on 17th August as we heeded the call of Anna Hazare and marched to Jantar mantar sweating under the merciless sun to show solidarity with fight against corruption and discontent with the leaders. 

We were the same people who had elected these very parliamentarians and now we were marching to express our resentment against them. There were Congress supporters and there were the Saffron sympathizers and all were walking in unison.

There were youths, small children and aged people. And almost all of them had one thing in common; no one was there for Rs.150 or a piece of samosa  as it generally happens in a political rally. Nor they belonged to a particular stratum of the society or caste and class.

Equally true was that majority of them who were present there were not aware of the nuances of the Jan Lok pal bill. The only underlying sentiment that had brought them together was the common feeling of helplessness against Corruption. Period.
If it was not Anna Hazare and if it was Abdul Kalam, the former Indian president, then too people would have come out in the same numbers. It’s not about the individual as much it’s for the cause.
Anna Hazare in this 'movement' which is an expression of sentiments that resonates across crores of hearts, has emerged as someone whom the common mass can look up to in their struggle against corruption, a struggle that was always there in their life, but was not vocal enough, as it has become now under Hazare.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kyoto Protocol- a History and its present relevance

What is Kyoto Protocol ? Where are we going in the future with the Kyoto Protocol? How has the international politics bogged down this concept which was a step much required for the safe keeping of future of this planet.

It’s important to understand where we are going on this process and we also have to see where we came from. To understand this, we have to understand that there is a science-based problem—namely climate change—that was identified in the mid-1980s and led to the first fundamental process, the 1992 Rio Convention, which produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC].

That Convention gave a general outlook of what should be done to address climate change, but it did not give any specific tools on how to tackle it. So the 189 countries that were parties to the Convention decided that there should be a stronger tool to address climate change. At that point, the architecture of what we now call the Kyoto Protocol was decided. It’s important to understand that this was, fundamentally, a partial architecture, which agreed that industrialized countries would have to take the lead to reduce their emissions before the rest of the world, the developing countries, would take on commitments.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why Congress won't lose 2014

When Mumbai was attacked in 2008 even the most loyal of Congress supporters would have felt that it was the last nail on the coffin for the beleaguered UPA-1.  That was not the first time such a hair-raising misadventure had happened and most of the political pundits said that the next general election that were just months away would see the demise of the Oldest party of India.

They had every right grounds to arrive on such an assessment.

October 2005 brought death of 66 people in Delhi when three serial blast shook the capital out of the festive mood of Diwali, March 2006 saw attack on Sankat Mochan Mandir in Varanasi, Malegaon happened in September  followed by Samjhauta in March 2007. May 2007 went red with blast in mosque in Hyderabad, July witnessed serial blasts in Jaipur, Gujarat and Bangalore. It did not end here. In September 2008 Delhi was struck again resulting in death of 18 civilians and then the mother of all, 26/11 Mumbai happened.

This ' carpet bombing' of sort in no way substantiates a claim about a country that prides in being a resurgent, emerging,torch bearer and what not for the rest of the whole world.

But 2009 election gave a new mandate to Congress, even better than what it had got in 2004. Congress was riding high. No one can definitely say as to why India voted for a party that had let them down in the previous 5 years. 

Were we still evolving as electorates , easily vulnerable to the rhetoric,sweet talks and the goodies of the smiling Neta?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Of temples and and their wealthy gods

India and Indians have this pleasant habit of always making news and depending on whether you are an optimist or of the other genre, you can cite scores of examples to elucidate this tendency of ours to make headlines worldwide.

Recently we forced the globe to stand up and take notice of us when scores of scam were unearthed and as economist, sociologist and political pundits were burning their midnight oil to analyse the multi-faceted impact of corruption, we assembled at Jantar mantar and the Ramlila ground to raise our voice against the vicious fangs of corruption which like rain drops spares no one.

An indigenous Jasmine revolution of sort was playing out on the on the streets of Delhi as the whole nation joined the call of ending Corruption once and for all.

But no one in their wildest dream would have thought that it would be God himself who would steal the show by showing his brilliance as he announced his arrival to the scene in an ultra-extravagant way. A most pompous debut of sort was witnessed as wealth amounting to more than 1 lakh crore was unearthed at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Of a Yogi and a Prime minister

What possibly could Baba Ramdev have in mind when he decided to stage a fast at Ram Lila ground to express his displeasure against corruption and black money that is stashed away in tax haven countries?

Was he scared of the present government which forced him to take this noble initiative and attack the government before it victimised him? Does he have anything to gain monetarily and financially? Does he crave followers, attention and reach at places where it matters? Did the RSS/VHP/BJP combine take him to a hideout and brain-washed his mind to open a front against the UPA which has been crowned the most corrupt government India has seen since independence.
Or was it a simple desire to speak against corruption, which all of us might have felt at one point or the other. The only difference between him and us being that he decided to convert his thoughts into visible actions.
We need to look at all these possibilities and let our mind decide on how right or wrong Baba Ramdev has been, but do not view them through the eyes of a Congress guy or a BJP worker or a pseudo-liberal-intellectual-Leftist but as a common Indian. And as for those who are chronically cynical; do not waste your priceless time here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An occasion to Commend UPA-II

The second anniversary of UPA-II just went by. And to celebrate the momentous occasion the government had a quiet coalition anniversary dinner on Sunday. It was also celebrated at Tihar in a more subdued manner where the other ‘stalwarts’ associated with the present UPA had their dinner.

And this pretty well sums up the overall scenario. Governance and corruption have always been complementary to Indian political system but never have we seen their public display of affection as openly as we see it now.

When Manmohan Singh took oath on May 22,2009 as the head of UPA –II one would have expected that he would go all out on improving governance because this time he didn’t have to deal with the tantrums of the Leftist. The more than comfortable majority that they UPA got was seen as the kind of political platform that government needed to further its political, social and economic policy.

Did they achieve those goals?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time to introspect,we disappointed Rahul Gandhi

The ‘hope’ of India, Rahul Gandhi did a superman act today as riding pillion on a bike he managed to sneak into Bhatta Parsaul village of Uttar Pradesh where an intense battle of sort happened between farmers and police personnel a couple of days back.

Defying the imposition of section 144 he sprung a surprise and walked into the village at 5 AM in the morning and it’s been more than 14 hours and still he is sitting on a ‘Dharna’ with the villagers who are demanding better compensation for their land that has been acquired by the government.

That he has little regard for law as he exhibited by ignoring section 144 is something that need not be talked about, that is a minor issue in this whole political game that’s being played in the rural area of Uttar Pradesh.

But what needs to be discussed is his Lack of foresightedness and traces of political immaturity because if he actually wanted to help the farmers then he has surely failed. Media OB vans and reporters with mikes are no measure of  the involvement of 'genuine' intention, if any. Though if he had come their for political and TV mileage, he would be now happy like a child in a candy store.

Can anyone from the Congress party come out and say that this sudden early morning move has nothing to do with the assembly elections that are stated to be held in Uttar Pradesh the next year?

Or was it a genuine concern for the farmers that prompted the Gandhi scion to pay a visit to Bhatta Parsaul?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A case for a ‘Dalit’ in the higher echelon of the society

The Varna system that has plagued India for millennium still continues to rule roost in the country which is often hailed as the role model for emerging democracy in the world. We talk about a society for all, a compound where everyone despite and in-spite of his caste and creed gets an equal opportunity to rise and shine. But have we truly been able to break the chains of the Varna system that shackles our minds?

The Brahmins, the Khatriyas,the Vaishyas and the Shudras are the four pillars of our society,  rather the demarcation that still exist and continues to divide the society into four parts on the basis of birth. And it’s not that nothing has been done to dilute this demarcation.

The Constitutional forefathers tried hard to remove this demarcation by providing for reservations for the mass that had the misfortune to be born in this ‘low-caste’,a term that was defined many centuries ago  by those who were in the higher pedestal of the caste system.

Whether this reservation policy has worked for the 166,635,700 persons, Scheduled Castes population, constituting 16.2 per cent of the country’s total population can be argued upon for hours and yet when the talks will end there will be no concrete conclusion. And the same holds true for the merits of providing reservation, it’s hundred times harder to arrive upon a conclusion when it comes to the merits of reservation.

Reservation is something that tries to make the playground equal and fair for those who because of their birth have been deprived of quality living and education.

The question is whether providing for reservation enough? Is the policy of providing for empowerment at the bottom of the strata so that it can gradually gain strength and social acceptance as as it grows effective enough? Is this affirmative action not required at the higher level? 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

हमारी और हमारे भोपाल की कहानी कुछ ऐसी है

एक शहर से प्यार होना थोडा कठिन है. पर हमे वो हुआ, और काफी जोरों से हुआ. 

सन १९९५ , फ़रवरी का महीना था वो शायद. हम  ने पहली बार हबीबगंज रेलवे स्टेशन देखा.उस समय वो काफी अकेला सा था. एक छोटी सा स्टेशन था वो और एक्का दुक्का ट्रेन ही वहाँ रूकती थी. उस समय हमने पहली बार भोपाल को देखा था और देखते रह गए.

फ़र्ज़ कीजिए फ़रवरी की ठंडी सुबह जो हलकी सी धुँध से नहाई हुई है और उस ठंढ़ में आप एक छोटे से स्टेशन पे उतरे जहाँ ५-१० लोगो कि ही भीड़ हो. कुछ ऐसा ही दृष्य था उस समय. अभी भी याद करते हैं तो रोएं खड़े हो जाते हैं. 

वो था हमारा पहला पल जब हमे भोपाल से प्यार हुआ. या यूँ कहिये कि हबीबगंज से प्यार हुआ. जो समय के साथ और गहरा होता चला गया.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The liberal retardism that they think we suffer from

I could not go to Jantar Mantar to be a part of the crowd that had gathered to support Anna Hazare in his stand against corruption because I was not in Delhi. Many of us who could not be present there had different reasons but Harsh Mander has come out with the most mind-boggling of all the reasons.

In todays Hindustan Times he writes that he didn’t go there because he was disturbed by the presence of  pictures of Bharat Mata on the stage and in the hands of the supporters which he thinks naturally points to the presence of RSS and the likes.

Secondly he was perturbed by the presence of godman like Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri RaviShankar during the whole movement. And then he goes on to say, as if he has got the bulls eye, that his presence of the saffron element in the whole movement was confirmed  after Anna Hazare praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi declaring him a model chief minister.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

It's about us... not about them

Corruption has always been an issue. It was before you and I were born and it was present when our forefathers took admission in schools. And we have always wished that it should disappear, but never have we felt this feeling as strong as we feel now that corruption has to go this time.

There is no next moment or another movement for this.

The fast unto death taken up by Anna Hazare has moved the entire nation that has been sulking under the numerous scams that have happened at a amazing periodicity both at the micro and macro level. 

This has been a year of revolution and movements. Egypt,Libiya,Tunisia and many other countries have or are experiencing the evolution of thoughts that have transformed into actions. The unifying factor in each of this country is that the issues that have forced the mass to come on the street are issues that are basic to the daily life of a common man.

Unemployment, price rise, nepotism has ignited the fire inside the man that walks on the street to take notice of the condition around him. Conditions that were always present but were ignored and then neglected and allowed to fester.

Recently when asked whether any such revolution can happen in India, our Prime Minister replied in the negative and said that we are a democratic country where we have the means to redress our problems.  And he was so right.

Friday, April 01, 2011


18/male/Bhopal here. Looking for a good clean chat.

This was the time of 1999-2001. The time when the internet connection at home was still a big-ask. The only player providing internet connection being Satyam with packages of Rs. 3000 for 3 Gb download.

Me and my friends would go to one of the many a internet cafes and pay anything between Rs.60 per hour to Rs. 80 per hour to log into the world of the mythical internet. At that time having an email address was nothing less than owning a Blackberry today. Rediff was a rage then and so was Yahoo was still a rank outsider and most people were more content with having a desi address in

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The failing of the Mahatma

Why is Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi  a taboo subject to write on , especially if you are not supporting whatever he did. Critically evaluating his actions have never been a favourite subjects of commentators alike.

For me he has always been a leader, maybe a leader who was above his contemporaries but still a leader never the less. And he was no god, but a human being.

The more and more I read about him the more my feeling that he has been given a status of  demigod gets strengthened. Whether it was bestowed on him or he actually demanded is something that I cannot comment on. But I am forced to believed that we have ignored his fallings whenever we have thought about our Father of Nation.

As I have aged, my image of Mahatma Gandhi has also changed. First he was the Father of nation, someone who is immune to any wrong doings and as I write now I look at him as someone who was a mortal man who was swayed by his desires and carried his share of bias. He too like us was prone to love and hate and to success and failure.

I feel that his actions during the time period of 1915 when he jumped into the Indian National Movement and to his subsequent death should be studied with an open mind. Not with a preconceived notion that we are looking into someone who was always a god or as it turned out eventually, the father of the Nation. 

To bestow on him the title of Father of the nation is asking something too much from him. It’s best if he was not bracketed but left in the history for the coming generations to judge his actions and his success. Perhaps if he was alive he would never have agreed to his such a supreme position. More so when he would have been confronted with his repeated failings which he continued to ignore.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kalmadi and Raja reunited

New Delhi : Suresh Kalmadi and Andimuthu Raja are long lost brothers who got separated at childhood when they were running away from a BSNL linesman after they had stolen copper wires from him and if it was not for their respective embezzlement in 2G and Common wealth they would not have been reunited again, a ‘We-leak’ cable has revealed .

A cable no 01010101 dated 20.01.2010 from Joginder Clinton, Field Director, India CIA ( Corruption India Accentuated ) to Shri.Lalu Yadav ( State Head, CIA, Bihar) has revealed that  Kalmadi and Raja were brothers who got separated while trying to hide reel of telephone cables that they had taken from a BSNL linesman when he had come in their locality to repair a minor fault.

The linesman, whose name is Sardar Mohan Singh, after discovering the embezzlement, gave the brothers a chase as a result of which Raja took a train to South and Kalmadi landed in Pune, all at the tender age of seven years. Surprisingly though the CIA was aware of this fact for the last few years yet it chose to remain a mute spectator to this meteoric rise and fall of the brothers rather than acting as a guardian.

According to sources if it was not for a loose mouthed ED officer who was a part of the team that conducted raid on Kalmadi’s house, both the brothers would have never met.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

of Shaadma and her tale

It was 1.30 AM in the night and the craving for tea forced me to ask the driver to stop at a Dhaba on NH3 about 65 kms before Jalgaon in Maharastra.  I had a train to catch the next morning from Jalgaon and had more than ample time to do some badly needed stretching and catch up on some food and some tea and fag.

We, me and my driver had been driving for a couple of hours and had left Nashik long back. The dhaba was built in midst of a picturesque landscape. It was on NH 3 surrounded by tall mountains of black rocks and tree. 

I didn’t ask for the menu and simply told the waiter to bring Dal Tadka and Roti. And the driver too gave his silent assent to the choice of menu with a discreet smile. If you are at a Indian dhaba and you prefer vegetarian than rest assured the best  meal that you can have is Dal Tadka and Tandoori Roti.  With time  I have developed a strong reason to believe that The taste of Dal Tadka is virtually the same at every Dhaba, be it in Bastar, Koderma,Nangloi,Meerut, Vindhyachal or Solapur. It’s the best bet you can play without caring for how it will taste. The hardness and the elasticity of the Tandoori may differ but the Tadka in dal will always remain the same.

And Like many of us, I too have a kind of liking to sit on the charpai when having dinner at a Dhaba. And this Dhaba had nothing but charpai strewn all over, where one could sit with your legs folded or lie down and gaze at the stars which were shining like small moons on a clear March night.

Monday, March 07, 2011

I, Aruna Shanbaug

I was a nurse at a hospital in Mumbai, full of life just like a 24 year old girl. I had many dreams, countless aspirations just like all. I was about to get married to a handsome doctor. And then everything fell apart.
On the night of 23 November, 1973 I was sexually assaulted by a boy who was working in the same hospital where I was. And I lost my power to speak , I was paralysed and slowly I slipped into a vegetative state. That was 37 years ago. With time everyone left me, my family, my fiancé, my friends and my death too.
A vegetative state is a condition which arises after a patient suffers from severe brain damage. It’s a state of coma. In the vegetative state patients can open their eyelids occasionally and demonstrate sleep-wake cycles, but completely lack cognitive function. I have been in this state for the past 37 years. This was before India won the world cup in 1983, or before the calendar turned 2000. I don’t know who is Sachin Tendulkar or who is Shahrukh Khan.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Still nationalist at heart

A letter to Sagarika Ghose in reply to her fear of the death of the liberal democracy

Dear author of ‘bloody mary’

I will be very honest to the extent of being brutal here as I write this to you. I have very occasionally read your column before. If my memory serves me right I read it some months back because you had written a piece on another idiot of the Thackeray clan, Aditya Thackeray. And I appreciated it, just like many others might have.

I have not put any effort to decipher why I don’t like reading what you write. Perhaps I am not attracted by the subject matter on which you write but one thing that I am sure of is the fact that I like your way of writing, the use of poets and poems etc. But that's where the appreciation ends.

Your recent write-up “Still old at heart” is something that I decided to read because I thought that it was something that was fresh and different from your too repetitive ranting for a ‘liberal’ Indian. And guess what, you proved me wrong. But then if only I had started from the last paragraph I would have been spared being ‘enlightened’ by your delightful thoughts.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

As guilty as Rupam Pathak

The murder of BJP MLA Rajkishore Keshari by a school principal Rupam Pathak has brought back Bihar in news, albeit for a wrong reason.

The popular MLA was stabbed in full view by the lady when Kishore was receiving visitors at his home in Purnea. According to her, the MLA along with his associate had raped her earlier.

During the election campaign in the state earlier, she had filed an FIR against the MLA but later withdrawn her complaint saying that she had registered her complaint under the influence of political pressure from opponents of Kishore .

This crime in itself cannot be termed or seen as just another murder. For two reasons.

Firstly for a forty three old educated lady to kill someone that too in public without giving a damn to her life which she knew would be at perils once the supporters of the MLA catch her in itself speaks about the mental stress and pressure that she might be experiencing for a long period of time which finally burst out in open through the killing of Keshari. What prompted such a drastic step?


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