Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yes we can...!!

hii folks,
18th December 2009, is one date which will remain memorable throughout my life, not exactly a pleasant moment though but for an entirely different reason altogether. That was the day when I saw the real India. I am able to write this blog, because I am in a position to write so. Didn't understand? You will understand when you see bonded labour writhing in pain while separating out raw cotton from dried cotton flowers, when you see farmers eating onions with thick bajre ki rotis, all this while ensuring good food for you and me. Believe me I had a hard time having bajre ki rotis during my field visit to a small village somewhere in rural Gujarat. You will understand when you see women stamping dung with their naked legs, when you see that children there chase stray dogs and cats instead of playing "Age of the empires" [read video games].
I saw desperation, but more than that I saw hope. Thats what made my field trip somewhat a pleasant than a ghastly experience. We saw how self help groups there run by women help each other by providing loans and insurance to the needy families. I understood why people say often that "Manav seva is Madhav seva". I was forced to question myselves" What am I doing for my country?". Living in the comfort of our homes we often don't realise that we have more than we require. On that trip, we actually saw how people were living happily in huts without TV, Computer, Refrigerator etc etc.. I was left wondering whether what these people do for entertainment!! Well I would like to give illustrations which I hope stimulate you to think of Nation and Family before yourself.
1. In a town here in Gujarat with about a lakh people living there are no domestic toilets. And there's only one public toilet which stinks. Quoting one of my able classmate here who said during his field trip presentation,"I want you to use all your 5 senses and imagine the stink out there in that *******" Manual scavengers here make a living by cleaning out the shit with their bare hands.
2. The Gujarat government doesn't hold Panchayat elections in villages out here. Instead a system of "Samras" is followed where Behen's [women] are elected to the Panchayat on mass consensus. But what we saw goes otherwise. Officially women are elected, but it's the Man who holds and runs the Panchayat. And these men either are the minions of BJP or Congress. So no development happens and the measly annual grant of Three lakhs released by the Government to the panchayat for development finally ends up in the accounts of the BJP/Congress or for smuggling illicit liquor.
3. Industrial sewage is dumped in the canals which end up in the Sabarmati affecting villages downstream.
4. In the Little Rann of Kutch, bonded salt workers toil hard to produce Salt and end up having severely frosted legs and hands which are later amputated to prevent infection. Try rubbing salt on your hands and legs and live a whole day without cleaning the hands or legs. You will realise that Salt is toxic to the skin!!
5. People who suffered in Godhra Riots still live on somebody else's mercy. Muslims there are referred to as "Refugees" by the so called Hindu Samaj sevaks!! One sex worker there describes how she ended up in a brothel because her own family refused to accept her. Her mistake was she was at the wrong place at the wrong time, so ended up being raped even while she was pregnant. The final result, dumping the still born foetus in the Trash.

But while I have been too frank in describing the reality of Apna Bharat Mahaan, there's still hope and there are saviours too. Miss Sonal, an M.Com graduate is the General Secretary of a women Self-help group which has in the last 15 years uplifted many families from the brink of extreme poverty to prosperity. I was in awe of her commitment and dedication to serve the society. Women members of that group now have in them what they didn't have previously- Self-belief and the Will. Each of them is a leader now and travels to cities alone, which previously was considered taboo in such areas. Each of them can boldly speak up to the the Revenue Mandal Officer and confront him for his inaction and callousness. What more does India require than this??
I realised there's no point making big promises which you can't fulfill. Do small things which meaningfully contributes to the society. I realise that my writing skills are my biggest asset, though still there's a lot of scope for improvement. And I intend to use this skill to make a difference. What do you want to do? If you have never thought about this, then think and act because its better late than never.

PS: I am proud to be the photographer who captured that pic above. "The older generation which is content and happy with the small things it has and the next generation that is eagerly looking forward to a bright future for itself"


Friday, December 18, 2009

Wildlife at IIMA...

hi folks,
It's been days since I have written something on Wildlife. Some events that have happened in my campus that I thought triggered my thoughts and here I am as usual putting those thoughts to words.
IIMA campus is a lush green campus and is in fact officially recognised as a Urban-forestry area in Ahmedabad. Home to about 25 species of birds including White Myna, Rock Pigeon, Common Indian Kite and most of all ' The White Rumped Vultures' which are on the verge of extinction, it spans about 55 acres. Evenings at the LKP lawns is usually a sight to watch especially with huge swathes of Swifts chirping and swiftly flying over the heritage structure. Their chirpings actually makes the place come out alive.
Oh!! I forgot to mention about the animal which is presently giving us a scare. The Langurs here measure about 7 to 10 feet from tail to head. And especially a huge adult Langur is enough to scare the hell out of you. All in all my campus is a Mini-forest with its own distinct ecosystem. You could see Kites chasing pigeons if you are observant and lucky!! Even the dogs chase you especially if you are savouring your Ice creams in front of them!! IIMA is specially looked after by The Gujarat state forestry department as its home to the highly endangered 'The White Rumped Vulture'. 'Prakriti', the nature club is also actively involved in spreading awareness about Bio-Conservation. Awareness and constant reminders are necessary even for intellectually briliiant minds like us because the hectic academic workload here gives us little time to explore the Campus. And I am pretty happy to be spending 20 months of my life here away from Pollution and honking Vehicles :)


Sunday, December 13, 2009


hi folks,
Its been days since I haven't written on anything serious as such. The other day my dad was enquiring about my blog and asked whether I was writing serious stuff or otherwise. I somehow managed to ward off his questions!! Though my blog is still not popular with my friends, but those who follow it have appreciated. I was looking for a source of inspiration and right this moment I am before you with my words straight from my heart.
Religion has always been a double edged sword. It has taught us compassion and also misled us. I just now remembered the 192 nation conference on Global Warming presently going in in Copenhagen where nations are set out to come to a consensus about how much emissions to reduce and whether to transfer the technology knowhow to poorer countries so that they at least get a chance to develop. A lot has been said about Global Warming being the greatest threat ever to the existence of humankind. And I too would like to believe so especially after seeing with my eyes what with the billowing smoke coming out from the chimneys doing to the beautiful clouds. This view from the window of a jet plane seemed to me like an aberration in the otherwise scenic earth I was watching. I realised how big our mother planet is. I realised that my outlook of the world is very skewed and narrow. I realised that nature knows no boundaries, no religion, no borders, no caste, no languages. It only knows the language of love. I instantly fell in love with her. And as my blog's welcome quote rightfully says "I am the citizen of the world". But the one thing that keeps bothering me is the fact that Global Warming is not that threatening as 'IT' is.
'IT' is TERRORISM. And before you think terrorism refers to the fighters fighting for JIHAD against the West, you are grossly mistaken. I mentioned the word JIHAD because terrorism is commonly associated with a MUSALMAN. Muslim religion is one of the most admired faith's for me. Similarly Christianity is a faith I admire. So let me quote the true interpretation of the word JIHAD
According to Beliefnet, 2 Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid, imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem, NY, defines three levels of jihad -- personal, verbal and physical. Considering each in turn:
bulletPersonal Jihad: This is the most important form. This type of jihad, called the Jihadun-Nafs, is the intimate struggle to purify one's soul of evil influences -- both subtle and overt. It is the struggle to cleanse one's spirit of sin. In a brochure, the Institute of Islamic Information & Education describes several different contexts in which The Qur'an (the Islamic Holy Book) and the Hadith (the collected sayings of Muhammad) use the word "jihad" to refer to personal struggles:
bulletPutting "Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth, our worldly ambitions and our own lives."
bulletResisting pressure of parents, peers and society; strive against "the rejecters of faith..." (Quran 25:52)
bullet"...strive and struggle to live as true Muslims..."
bullet"Striving for righteous deeds."
bulletSpreading the message of Islam. "The (true) believers are only those who believe in Allah and his messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their selves for the cause of Allah. Such are the truthful." (Quran, 49:15)
bulletVerbal Jihad: To strive for justice through words and non-violent actions. Muhammad encouraged Muslims to demand justice in the name of Allah. When asked: "'What kind of jihad is better?' Muhammad replied, 'A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!'" 3 According to the Institute of Islamic Information and Education: "The life of the Prophet Muhammad was full of striving to gain the freedom to inform and convey the message of Islam. During his stay in Makkah [Mecca] he used non-violent methods and after the establishment of his government in Madinah [Medina], by the permission of Allah, he used armed struggle against his enemies whenever he found it inevitable." 1
bulletPhysical Jihad: This relates to the use of physical force in defense of Muslims against oppression and transgression by the enemies of Allah, Islam and Muslims. Allah commands that Muslims lead peaceful lives and not transgress against anyone. If they are persecuted and oppressed, the Qur'an recommends that they migrate to a more peaceful and tolerant land: "Lo! Those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape persecution) and strive (Jahadu) in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy..."(Quran, 2:218). If relocation is not possible, then Allah also requires Muslims to defend themselves against oppression by "fighting against those who fight against us." 2 The Qur'an states: "To those against whom war is made, permission is given [to defend themselves], because they are wronged - and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to give them victory." (22:39) The defensive nature of physical jihad (or "jihad with the hand") is frequently lost among many, Muslims, Christians, secularists and others.

In her book "Muhammed," author Karen Armstrong writes: "Fighting and warfare might sometimes be necessary, but it was only a minor part of the whole jihad or struggle. A well-known tradition (hadith) has Muhammad say on returning from a battle, ' We return from the little jihad to the greater jihad,' the more difficult and crucial effort to conquer the forces of evil in oneself and and in one's own society in all the details of daily life."

JIHAD is a sacred word and is misused by the Media and a few people who were born good but turned evil due to circumstances. Terrorism refers to the atrocities committed by the CIA, it also refers to the atrocities committed by religious hardcore militants. And that is the reason why I believe terrorism is the biggest threat to humankind now. And its we who are at fault for this. When you point a finger at George Bush or Osama Bin Laden, remember three fingers point towards the self. How many of us would dare to adopt a small kid begging at the roadside?
If you ask me whats the link, here it is: You don't even bother to look at him leave alone giving a rupee or two, and instead curse him. What you get, the kid curses you and develops a grudge against the rich. Poor kid doesn't know that all rich are not like that. He grows up, becomes a man and in need of money he does things he oughtn't to. He goes on to become a hardcore criminal and ultimately ends up being a Terrorist. Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Veerappan, Osama Bin Laden etc.
Even the imperialistic so called sons of the Anti-Aryan Race as proclaimed by the greatest dictator humankind has ever seen HITLER, are inadvertently being terrorists with their acts of inhumane tortures against suspects whose only fault is either being BLACK or being a MUSLIM.
If you ask me the only solution to this problem is LOVE. "Love and be loved". Even I am guilty because at times I have not done what I ought to or what I have asked you to. But at least I realise that the solution wrests on our actions and deeds. And I am trying my best. Are You??

PS: I hate the word TERRORIST but there was no other option but to use it so many times in this post!!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Love vs Arranged......What??

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts expressed here are a part of the Intellectual property of the blog owner TAUREANSANDY. Any disagreement with the views of the author can be shared as comments in response to the post. Matters regarding this post are subject to the jurisdiction of Mr Sandeep who unfortunately remains the Alter ego of TAUREANSANDY!! So, the mention of the pronoun 'I' in this post refers to TAUREANSANDY.

When a baby smiles at you,
When a sister scolds you,
When a mother oils your hair,
When a father Asks you to study,
When a friend shares thoughts with you,
What are they doing?? They care for you, They LOVE you.

But I am not gonna talk about this love. I am gonna talk about love between a boy and a girl. Does love make life beautiful?? Indeed, say lovers. NO!!, say those who have failed in love. Love tastes bitter as well as sweet but nevertheless is a nice experience. I have seen many fall in love. Some failed. There's no answer to the Question 'Why do u love me??'. But still this question is being asked. So folks, lemme share something with you.

He was mad about her. He yearned to live his entire life with her. He dreamt a zillion things for her. But alas, he fails. The girl says NO!! Reasons- Career, caste. I won't mention parents here because they care for you and its their concern about you that's in conflict with Love and not them. Parents shall always welcome true love. So, he felt so disgusted about himself that a point came when he thought 'Have I made a mistake by loving her??'

So folks, the moral is Madness and Love are entirely two different things. Love expressed in haste seems like madness to others. So, experience love and love so deeply that it becomes irresistible. Love has to be mutual. So make sure you love but are more deeply loved!! Otherwise there's no other thing as painful as a Broken Heart.

PS: The guy above who failed in love has decided to go for an Arranged Marriage. Wise fella, I told him so many times that ARRANGED MARRIAGE is the best!! Then he didn't listen, now he is my mentee. HaHaHa .....Finally SANDYSENSE prevails!!

For taureansandy,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In my dreams!!

hi folks,
There was a dream, a dream which he hadn't had so far while in sleep. So technically it remains a dream as it's eluded him so far. And the dream goes like this.......
Scene 1: He was successful. His career was going great guns. That day he was on a visit to a temple. He was alone and wished that there was somebody to give him some company. After the darshan, he sat on a corner. Suddenly he felt something behind him, he turned around to see a cute baby girl smiling and crawling towards him. He smiled back instantly, for a baby's smile is one of the rare things that make you happy instantly. He took the baby in his hands and started playing with her. "Bujji, ekkadunnavu"?? said a sweet female voice. He turned around and saw her coming towards him. His eyes got stuck, mouth wide open, heart beat faster and didn't even realise that the baby was demanding his attention, for his attention was towards the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She was approaching him. He was dumbstruck at her beauty. She was the girl of his dreams. "Excuse me, bujji ki meeru baga nachinattu unnaru!! hey bujji, raa amma, uncle vellali kada" and suddenly he realised he was no longer young enough to be called bhaiyya. Kids would now address him as 'UNCLE'. 'Oh god!!', he mumbled to himself. 'Thanks andi'.... He thought that the girl might be the baby's mother. He was wondering who the lucky guy to marry her was. 'Hope, I too marry a girl like her', he said to himself and stood up disappointed.

Scene 2: At home, his father presented before him a photograph asking him to have a look at that. "Dad, nenu inka pelli ki ready lenu. So please stop searching a girl for me." Then his mother shot back,"Ammayi photo chuddaniki em baadha ra niku. Just chudu anthe. Nee taste ento kuda cheppaledu kada nuvvu.!!" "Sarey chudamannavu ga, chustha" and he just glanced at the picture casually and then realised that he had seen her before. He carefully looked at the pic again and to his pleasant surprise, she was the same girl whom he met in the temple. "Ee ammayi aa, eemaki pelli kaleda??",he queried. His sister looked at him with a puzzled look.Little did she know what had actually transpired between him and the girl at the temple. He jumped with ecstasy and .............
The alarm clock breaks up taureansandy's dream!!

PS:- Folks, taureansandy nowadays is having daydreams!! Arey yaar koi usko samjhao ki khayali pulav naa pakaaye! Mera time waste kar raha hai yaar!!

For taureansandy-