Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cynicism personified

Jai ramji ki readers,

I would like to first thank Mr Taureansandy for allowing me to express my views on the current state of problems being faced by farmers like me. I am a small farmer in the hinterlands of what you all know as one of the most corrupt states in India. I won't reveal which state I am from. How should that matter anyway when you have humongous scams in the two most prominent G's I have known this year(CW'G' and 2'G')? To begin with, I would first congratulate all those who achieved what they had set out for this year. I am sure the feeling of achieving your goals must be extremely satisfying; a feeling I have never known as I never get the price that I deserve for my crop in the market. There is exploitation everywhere and when it comes to the same, I don't know how different this country, as we know now was different from the nation before Independence.

I live in a small village where we never had access to Television till a few months back when our village landlord got one. I was happy that I could be aware of what's happening elsewhere. But that happiness was short lived when I realized I could only watch the details of how a celebrity's dog was being treated, in a channel ironically named INDIA TV. I congratulate those brains that pass out from the so called institutes of higher excellence and have dreams of doing something meaningful for the country. But then, Greed is such a powerful and pervasive force that I can't help but pity those brains that stoop down to extremely abhorrent levels for money and fame.

I am 'cynicism personified' and I don't have any qualms in admitting that. I was once an optimist but the conditions in which I have had to struggle have made me lose trust in people. This year, the unlikely rains destroyed my crops and so has been the case with many of my other farmer friends in other states. I recently learned that my dear farmer friend who later settled in the Andhra region and with whom I had spent the best days of my childhood, had committed suicide because his rice crop was totally destroyed just when he was getting ready to harvest it. He was already under a huge debt trap and was beaming about a good crop when the thunder struck a few days back. There are only two types of people who actually know what uncertainty is, one a soldier and then the farmer. The other day someone from an NGO came to our village and started lecturing me on why I should allow my child to study in a school. Why should I when teachers there spit on walls and read newspapers while the students sleep? Why should I when the only thing my child learns is how to use expletives and speak rudely? I would rather teach him how to plow the fields and earn some money for the family than allow him to go to the school where even Maa Saraswati would hate to exist!!

People don't touch me and neither am I allowed to touch them. The collector the other day came to our village and washed his hands after getting to know that he shook hands with me. The same day I attended the funeral of my friend's daughter who committed suicide shortly after delivering a cup of Tea to the room where the collector was staying put. Her father didn't raise a hue and cry as he received the due payment. Disgusting right. But I would prefer to be blunt than be diplomatic or politically correct. Grandmothers here are experts in killing off female infants. Luckily I don't have a daughter and I profusely thank God for saving me the wrath of the society around me, though I would have loved to have a daughter which I had always dreamt of. I still remember the day when Kiran Bedi had once come to our village, delivered an excellent inspiring speech and had shown us how to live amidst despair. Though short lived it was, she is one heck of a gritty woman. My wife has to sometime beg for potable water. We bathe not more than 6 times in a month. Monsoon is the only season when we manage to drink lots of water and bathe daily.

Bollywood is a luxury for us and we don't encourage our children watching romance and love in movies. Love is taboo for us and those who dare to venture in that territory meet nothing but death. The only thing that is efficient in our village is the 'Khap' that delivers the death sentence for lovers so efficiently that it could easily put all the legal courts in our country to shame. Cricket is the only game that children manage to play in my village.

'Ok, Ok bhai, I am just winding off!!'. The problems me and my community are facing are so many that I have already reached the word limit that Mr Taureansandy had set for me. So before I go back into oblivion, I sincerely thank the blogger for giving me this chance to put forth what I thought was best for all of you to know. Over these years, I have mastered the art of appealing and begging for it has helped me survive. So, its nothing new when I again appeal to all the bright minds of this country to not be sympathetic to our problems but instead show some empathy towards us. We don't expect any financial assistance from you all for we know EMPATHY is a force that would drive you to ACTION. On this parting note, I leave for my wife would be worried about my whereabouts. Well, we do have a cell phone at home but she doesn't know how to operate it :)

'aam aadmi'

Disclaimer: The views stated above are that of the author's and there is no intention whatsoever of hurting any sentiments.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oxygen Trading....

May o5, 2047

Dear Mother Nature,

I won't ask you how you are for I know that you have run out of patience and are now adamant on unleashing your 'wrath' on mankind. You have already swallowed Mumbai and New York and now I am beginning to test my knowledge of probability and statistics betting on which city is next. Its most unfortunate that two of the greatest cities on Earth are now no more even as I am trying to celebrate my 60th birthday and my country mourning the loss of Mumbai in the centennial anniversary of its freedom. I admire the sense of timing with which you struck fear in us, and can't stop remembering the time when a certain Al Gore was scorned and laughed at while he was trying to educate us about the perils of Greenhouse Effect.

My kids don't know how a Tiger looks like because for them it is what Dodo was for us. When they see movies where the female lead actor dances around trees in the bright sunshine, they often ask me whether the Sun was really as bright as it is displayed or is it the 'magic' created by VFX. I have to spend half of my savings now on buying Oxygen because it is a scarce commodity in the commodity exchange where it is being traded at obscenely high prices. I haven't seen a bright Sun since days thanks to the Holocaust. After living all these years in sweltering heats when temperatures were usually 50-60 degrees, its been very difficult adapting to sub 20 temperatures.

Why am I describing all this to you when you know what's been happening with me and my family? Let me be frank. My intention is to convince you that there are other ways of punishing me and mankind for all the wounds that we have inflicted on you. Why are you being so cruel and inhumane? I assure you that people are already suffering from pangs of guilt and have been never so remorseful for the unimaginable ways in which they all tortured you. I plead you to stop this mayhem for if this continues to happen, the Earth will cease to exist. Don't you think mankind deserves another chance to undo what it did and once again reconstruct Earth to what it was 100 years back. I am sure you will oblige us and help restore the lost glory and prosperity of Earth.

Yours truly,

Mother Nature's Reply

Dear Taureansandy (I hate your name!!),

I have never been cruel and inhumane as you have described me to be in your letter nor do I have a sense of timing for time is nobody's servant. I would have stopped time the very moment you humans started inflicting wounds on me. When my dear friend whom you all refer to as 'God' said to me once that mankind is ungrateful, I laughed at him and defended you all. But now I regret those moments for you don't seem to empathise with me even when you were writing that letter pleading me to be kind and considerate.

You sure know about a gentleman called Isaac Newton who once said that 'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction'. That is the fundamental law of nature. So to now expect that I be kind and considerate is foolhardy because I am simply doing my job abiding by what you all call as the fundamental law. My dear friend has empowered you with 'Brains' which you have all used to lead a comfortable life so far. I expect you to use that again and escape my 'wrath'. However cruel and inhumane I may sound now, but there is something known as 'repercussions' which you all have to face. But I will consider your plea under one condition. If you can completely stop the trading of Oxygen in the commodity exchanges, then I will help mankind in reconstructing Earth back to its old glorious days.
Mother Nature

P.S: After reading Mother Nature's reply, he simply tore it for he knew that the task assigned to him can't be accomplished.

The usual disclaimer applies...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Delhi - Dilwalon ki Dilli

Hii folks,

I recently went on a trip to Delhi for about four days and returned back with mixed feelings. Delhi has just transformed totally, from a city which was reeling with floods and frequent traffic jams just before CWG to a city brightly lit with road signs promptly put in place and the Metro looking just awesome. Why does it take a CWG to transform a city from shambles to a world class city is a question only the policymakers can answer.

But the welcome I got was never friendly and pleasant, to say the least. First of all I arrive at Ajmeri Gate at precisely 8am. That is the time when almost all the metro stations in Delhi are crowded and bustling with activity. After taking the token, I have to walk in a queue which is almost 200 metres long and on top of that you get to see scenes like the kid in front of you giving you a long stare, as if he knew that I wasn't a Delhite. Then suddenly the security personnel out there ask you to put your luggage through the X-Ray scanner. He was pointing his machine gun straight to my head. I was already scared enough and on top of this, a student busy with his girlfriend (she was definitely not his sister!!) hits me with his bag trying to overtake me even when I was pondering on how to walk past the narrow queue which was moving at a painfully slow pace.

The crowd there was so scary that for once I thought I would never be able to reach the hotel. I was already calculating how much would I have to spend for the auto, when suddenly I was simply pushed into the metro. Fortunately, the doors opened that very moment or otherwise I would have crashed into the closed door. The huge backpack that I carried didn't help either. People were staring at me and just when I thought that I would survive this ordeal without being a part of any verbal duel, I was rudely proved wrong by a gentleman who generously mouthed some of the choicest expletives to me. I was chewing a spearmint Orbit gum and so probably couldn't indulge in a duel (was so dumb there!!). Or was I so shocked at the welcome I just received that I went numb? Only the almighty knows!! Nevertheless, I ignored that guy and that's the best thing you can ever do when faced with such situations in Delhi.

How can I forget the autowallahs of Delhi? Despite acting like a Delhite, showing off my Hindi speaking abilities which is decent enough for a Hyderabadi like me, the autowallahs somehow sniffed the real 'me' out and charged accordingly. I was in no mood to argue with them over the prices they were charging but nevertheless attempted a bargain sometimes. Some of them were again rude to me, but I remember my dad saying that its always wise to ignore rather than pay them back in the same coin. I might be sounding very critical of Delhi's autowallahs but my experiences weren't nice at all. So pardon me for being so judgmental!!

But when you ask me to rate Delhi as a city to live in, I would rate it as one of the best cities to live in India alongside other good cities like Jamshedpur and Ahmedabad. Roads in Delhi were always world class, but this time New Delhi was looking looking spick and span. The air quality has improved with Metro and CNG coming in. Delhites are some of the most helpful people I have ever seen. I was craving for genuine Andhra meals and I knew that Andhra Bhawan was the place to be for having it, but I was looking out for it in a wrong locality. Desperate to reach the restaurant, I casually asked a traffic constable about the same. I wasn't expecting any help from him either, but just took a chance. Just as I had thought, he didn't have any clue about the restaurant. I was just about walking back in disgust, when he asked me to wait for a moment. He went to his colleague, mumbled something over the walkie talkie, came back and gave me the instructions. I was pleasantly surprised. No wonder I dedicated the wholesome dinner I had that night to the nameless traffic constable and to the spirit of Delhi and its people.

On the last day, I visited the Akshardham Temple which is unlike all other temples I have been to. It looked more like a stellar display of the wealth that the Swaminarayan community members have earned over the years. The temple is a treat to your eyes with greenery all around and the moment you enter the 'Sanctum Sanctorum', the only thing that you notice is Gold and nothing else. Here all that glitters is indeed Gold!! But I couldn't help wondering about the absence of beggars, something which is always associated with Hindu temples in India. An interesting incident happened when I alighted at the Akshardham metro station. I just came out of the terminus and was as usual looking for an auto when to my pleasant surprise I saw a fleet of cycle rickshaws out there waiting for patrons. Two men approached me suddenly and one of them was pushing me to board his auto, whereas the other just said. "Dus rupaiye sahab". I stared at him in surprise and that is when he said, "Auto nahi sahab, rickshaw hai". I heard myself saying, "So what, its been almost 15 years since I travelled in a cycle rickshaw way back in my home town." I wanted to relive those memories and moreover a cycle rickshaw gives you the time to observe whatever is all around whereas you can't do that sitting in an auto. So, I followed that guy and in the process seemed to have pissed the autowallah who started staring at me. By that time I had had enough of this staring **it and so promptly stared back at him. "Sahab, achcha kiya aap auto nahi liye. Aajkal hamara dhandhe ka koi mol nahi, sab jaldi jaana chahte hain" His words were profound because we have indeed become so fast paced that we have even forgotten how to relax. Do we now have the time to spend on ourselves? He charged me 10 bucks which I was more than happy to spend.

I am not wrong when I say that Delhi is one of the best places to live in India. You will find the best food to eat in places like Chandni Chowk, best bargains at Palika bazar and the best roads to travel on. Delhi is one of those cities where the entire country resides. So even if you are alone, you are not because you will always meet someone from your community, just as I experienced when I went to Andhra Bhawan. For a fleeting moment, I felt as if I was back in Hyderabad and it felt good. And on top of it, Delhites are always there to help and take care of you.

Delhi - Dilwalon ki Dilli


Friday, October 15, 2010

Four kinds of people

Hii folks,

He questioned me," Aap mera interview le rahe hain tab se. Ab mein aapse yeh sawaal karta hoon. Kitne type ke log hote hain duniya mein?". I wasn't expecting this bouncer from a roadside vendor. I said," Shayad teen type ke hain. Pehle jo paise ke peeche bhagte hain. Doosra jinke liye paise important nahi hai. Teesra....hmmmm...Pata nahi". At that moment he was no more a roadside vendor for me. He was speaking like someone who indeed has a keen business acumen and someone who has learnt a lot just by observations and listening to various people. He replied back," Bhai, yahaan char type ke log hote hain. Pehle jo paise ke peeche bhagte hain, doosre jo paise ko bhaav nahi dete, jinke liye shaurat zaroori hai, teesre woh hain jinke liye ethics hi maine rakhti hai aur chaute woh log hain jo paisa aur shaurat dono chahte hain." I was stunned with his response. Needless to say, he was already someone whom I will be admiring for years to come.

For those who couldn't guess the person I am talking about, he is RAMBHAI. Rambhai is not just a name, it is a brand whose equity can't be valuated. Rambhai is synonymous with IIMA; might be exaggerating a little but I can't think of any better adjectives to describe this man. He is "Khuddari" personified, one who has immense self-belief in his abilities. He mightn't be a big entrepreneur like Dhirubhai, but whatever he has achieved is purely on his merit and nothing else. Unlike other entrepreneurs who wouldn't mind resorting to slightly devious means to get things done, Rambhai is a "shield" who has endured the bullets of corruption and ridicule for many many years.

He could have been the next Abdul Kalam, had it not been for the costly fees that he couldn't afford to pursue engineering. He would have been working now as a senior technical officer in the Physical Research Laboratory, had it not been for the "Recommendation Letter" which one of his peers was carrying while waiting at the interview lounge. Did destiny had other plans for him? No, I am sorry but he made his own choices and changed his destiny. That is what I would like to believe. I should recall one particular incident that Rambhai described about how he fought with people who undermined his capabilities and ridiculed him. His plans were to setup a small "kitli" within the campus. This would have helped him expand his customer base. But for that to happen, he was asked to give a "Bottle" of booze as a "token" or bribe by one of the assistants who he reckons is still working in the campus. But Rambhai knew that the goodwill he had earned would sail him through and now look how IIMA has acknowledged his services. Provision for a small window on a huge 10 feet high wall exclusively for Rambhai so that he can do business with the residents of the campus - What more could he have asked for?

Rambhai is confidence personified. His strong will and determination is something whose vibes you can easily feel when you hear him talking about IIMA, his erstwhile competitors and his family. You will rarely come across a person who would smile fully knowing that tough times are back for him to reckon with. Recession and inflation have been the two bombs that his shield couldn't protect him from. Dents on the shield are starkly visible when he says that he is now ready to compromise on his values and accept any sort of financial help offered by the Alumni and the students of IIMA with noble intentions. You feel sorry for him when such words come from a man who has endured all the cruelty and corruption present in the society for about close to 30 years now. He used to sell cigarettes and other such stuff on credit, but people have clearly contributed in inflating the Accounts receivable section on his balance sheet. He is pinning his hopes now on the huge footfall that the Campus is going to attract for its Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Before I wound up the session with him, he mentioned that there is nothing left to achieve now in his life. He just wants to finish up completing three tasks before he retires from life:
  • Marry off his daughter to a "Good" guy. He satirically stressed on the word "Good" and that very moment I felt sorry for guys like us!!
  • Buy property so that those of his family who are dependent on him have a home to live in, especially after the way in which he recently had to sell off his property to sustain his family expenditures
  • Ensure that his grandson who is now in the Sainik School join the Indian Army
I was clearly in awe of this man who had such a crystal clear clarity of thought; one who had set definite goals for himself and is clearly working hard to achieve those. His response to an erstwhile vendor who once competed with him was - "Yaa to mein tik jaunga ya khud hi dhandha chod doonga" best epitomizes his "Never say Never" spirit which I believe each one of us inherently has, but is something we need to be constantly reminded of.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

My encounter with The Mountain God

Hii folks,

Well after a long while, its good to be back to what I like doing when I am free - Blogging. At this juncture I would like to mention about one of my classmates here in WIMWI who is one of the very few following my posts here. I have felt good whenever he has appreciated my posts; well who doesn't like an encouraging pat on the back!! A few days back he had asked me to write about my experiences about Shodhyatra - the tour to Uttarakhand we undertook a few days back this month. Well here I am with my thoughts and ramblings.

To begin with, I have always been an avid traveler and so was very excited about this trip, especially so because I was about to trek in the Himalayas. As someone who has always loved nature for its diversity, this was one opportunity which I was never going to miss. For once, it was a great relief to be away from the hullabaloo of the city and spend some time amidst the huge majestic mountains. As dramatic as it may sound but the roads, rivers and the mountains there always seem to have a message for you. Each moment you spend there is uncertain. In one of the review sessions we had with our professor there, one of my colleagues said that dangers can be avoided by embracing certainty. I disagree for there is no such thing as certainty. For me dangerous events can only be made less uncertain. The Himalayas is an epitome of modesty and humbleness but that doesn't make it less powerful. It does remind us constantly that we need to respect its strength and power. Why do you think landslides and earthquakes are a common phenomenon there? And why do you think even the scientists can't predict when and where exactly the landslides/earthquakes would occur?

I was looking forward to have a glimpse of some of the rare and endangered species like the Musk Deer and Snow Leopard. But given our itinerary, that didn't happen. On our way to Ghangria and then further to the Valley of Flowers, we were told to watch out for the majestic Tiger. Though the Tigers here are not man eaters, but nevertheless there was a mix of both fear and excitement which made me extra careful while trekking. Though we couldn't spot them amidst the thick woods, I am sure at least a tiger or two was keeping track of our proceedings (might sound very lame!!). Well my camera was finally very happy, especially after the ghastly trip to the manhole worker settlements a few days before Shodhyatra. The scenic beauty there is absolutely a photographer's delight and for the photographer me, the trip couldn't have been more satisfying.

Uttarakhand is one of the few states where access to basic primary education is available to the masses with the literacy rate being well above the national average. And with about two-thirds of the landscape there under the forest cover, you needn't think twice before going there for a well deserved holiday. The people there are extremely proud of their heritage and rightfully should be. 'Poverty' simply doesn't have an existence though people do struggle to sustain their livelihood. But people out there, especially the womenfolk seem to endure physical pain effortlessly. Science reasons that these people have a greater RBC count than us, but the fact is only the fittest can survive and so these people struggled to survive and in the process physically adapted themselves to the surroundings.

But amidst all this excitement and happiness, there were quite a few things which bothered me. I was lying by the rivulet in the Valley of Flowers surrounded by the mystical mountains covered with clouds and then.....

My conversation with The Mountain God (TMG)

TMG: So what brings you to this place, human?

Me: Who are you?

TMG: I am the mountain god, the caretaker of the Himalayas and all that is part of it.

Me: Do you exist?

TMG: Well, you humans certainly have this habit of overlooking the obvious. No wonder, I am constantly being reprimanded by Mother Nature for not being strict enough.

Me: Strict enough with whom?

TMG: You big time dumbo, who else would I be strict with? Strict with mankind, who is hell bent on inflicting damages on us.

Me: Oh, now I got you. But we are doing our best to be good with you guys. Aren't you seeing how we have set up national parks and biosphere reserves?

TMG: Whats the use of addressing the symptoms when you are not addressing the core problem?

Me: And may I know what is the core problem?

TMG: The core problem is the way educated fellas like you are spending money on buying fur overcoats and leather jackets and belts when you can very well spend the same money on buying a few plants or raising a small garden!! You guys just don't respect Mother Nature

Me: But we work very hard to earn money. Don't we have the right to enjoy and splurge some on ourselves?

TMG: Look human, you are not a small kid anymore. You very well realise the fallacy of your argument and so stop making a fool out of yourself. You have come to enjoy the beauty and so do that.

Me: Sorry, but why are you talking to me? Why am I able to see you?

TMG: Well, don't think you are special just because I am talking with you. I was only looking out for a human and its just a coincidence that I found you sitting here besides the rivulet.

Me: Hmmm, is there something special you want to convey to me?

TMG: Yeah, there is a message which I want you to convey to your friends and everyone else you know.

Me: Yeah sure, so what is the message?

TMG: Well, the message is "Mother Nature - Best before 2050".

Me: Which means...?

TMG: This means that at the current rate at which you humans are adding Carbon to the atmosphere, you will kill Mother Nature in the year 2050.

Me: Oh my god!! What should we do then to prevent this?

TMG: Don't you know what you guys should do to prevent this?

Me: I am sorry. Yeah we do know, but as you said we humans have this bad habit of overlooking the obvious.

TMG: Thank Mother Nature, you realise this. Ok, then I have got to go and soothe my crying (melting) sister 'Gangotri'.

Me: ???? (Confused)

TMG: You indeed are a big dumbo!! Bye and do convey my message.

Me(Thinking to himself): No, we humans are indeed a big dumbo species!!

Just now, I received the latest issue of Forbes India magazine whose title reads "Greed is Back". When was Greed gone anyways??


Friday, August 20, 2010

Nikon Speaks out..

DISCLAIMER: This post is a crude and an actual description of the Valmiki community's lifestyle. Nikon doesn't intend to hurt any reader sentiments and emotions.

Hii readers,

People call me Nikon D3000. I was lying inside a sealed box for about 20 days in a well known electronics retail store in Ahmedabad and was sleeping happily. One fine evening, I was dreaming about being in the hands of Atul Kasbekar in his brightly lit studio with .... and the grumpy salesman rudely woke me up from my glitzy and flashy dream . And the first thing I saw after I woke up were two guys who were staring at me as if ...Whatever!!..They were comparing me with my fierce competitor and checking which one of us was better in terms of the grip and weight. I was seething with anger. How dare these guys compare me with "***on"?? Don't they know that I am the best!!

Thankfully my owner ultimately chose me, for he had already made up his mind. In short, it was a planned purchase. My first day on the field went about helping him click some fantastic and some not so good clicks of the T-nite proceedings in his campus. It was quite a boring proposition compared to the dream I was having before I was woken up. Anyways, I never imagined that my owner would introduce me to an altogether different world on the day this country called India got its independence. From now on the use of the word "we" shall refer to both me and my Lord together!!

We reached a filthy and pungent settlement located on the outskirts of this city, apparently to study the lifestyle of manhole workers belonging to a community called "Valmiki". I could observe that my lord was visibly upset and wanted to desperately cover his nose and ensure his olfactory senses don't malfunction in the future. The scene there was acrid and nauseating to say the least. Thankfully I only have eyes to see, so I was least bothered about the smell. My lord had a firm grip on me, even as he was carefully watching his steps to avoid dung and the dirty drain water while carefully crossing the muddy and slippery paths totally disoriented by the rains that had lashed this city previously.

Even while we were crossing another huge "dungy" obstacle, I overheard a woman mumbling something in their local language. Apparently she had mistook my lord to be a media reporter and was begging him to do something to uplift their present situation. My lord had already understood what she was saying, but could only nod his head to ensure she at least deserves some attention. Pangs of guilt and the realisation that he could do nothing tangible and effective for their welfare at that point of time, were the thoughts playing out loud in my lord's mind. But I was totally disoriented. The journey, in my dreams from the glitzy and flashy world of hot and pretty models posing for the fashion photographer to this isolated hell, totally cut off from the outside world was something that made me realise that I would be more useful clicking the anguish and the pain in their eyes and thus help my lord spread the awareness that India is still not independent. Ironically, no one within the settlement was aware that their country was celebrating its independence that day.

After a brief discussion with the community elders and knowing about the squalid conditions in which they were living since 40+ years, we bid goodbye to them. I was wondering why people out there were particularly enthusiastic about getting their pictures clicked. Malnourished children were following us and my lord was kind enough to oblige them by taking their pics. He was led into a lane that was extraordinarily squalid and where he took around 5 minutes to traverse about 50 feet inside that lane. Finally he reached a spot where he tried hard not to vomit. I was shocked to see a family of 6 people living out there, besides a hut which belonged to a manhole worker. "Saheb, hamari photo bhi keencho naa saheb", and that is where I clicked this photograph displayed above of a girl child who surprisingly wasn't scared of me. I am a simple DSLR camera and I only know how to click good photographs, but there at that moment I was disliking the very idea of capturing those gory inhumane living conditions. My lord was kind enough not to put me further through that horrible experience. I could see my lord walking very fast while returning back and that was understood. But on the way back, even the baby calf out there and the big huge fat goats seem to block our way, as if shouting at us and saying "Kai log aap jaise aaye aur chale bhi gaye, par hamaari kisko padi hai!!"

India's GDP is now worth more than $1trillion and is accelerating rapidly in terms of industrial and economic development. But, is internal development happening? I was manufactured in Tokyo, where I have never seen or experienced things like the caste system, exploitation and no access to primary education. So, when I describe this visit and the overall experience as heart wrenching don't say that this is nothing new in this country for because I am simply not used to all this goriness!! The huts in this settlement don't have toilets, no water supply and no power supply. People didn't dare sleep during the floods for the fear of getting washed out. Doesn't all this make this settlement a living hell??

On our journey back, I was sitting comfortably in the darkness of the camera case that protects me. I knew my lord had become totally silent after that experience; evidently he was deeply anguished. But I never expected him to scare off the auto driver when he suddenly shouted out "How can those people live in such disgusting conditions!!" even while his friend was calming him down. I then thought that even a lifeless thing like me enjoys the protection of a camera case, whereas people out there in that settlement are living a hopeless life without any protection of sorts. What an Irony!!

taureansandy's Nikon D3000

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yikes and Sharks!!

Dear "Future Kothapalli Sandeep",

I hope you will be in good health to read this ten years hence (Pun intended)!! Anyways, the 23 years I have spent so far have been dull, bland and boring, with little adventure. I have neither done anything exciting nor something that I wished I would do at this age (There are always some exceptions though - Doing MBA at IIMA!!). Though books have been my constant and faithful companions so far, I am yearning to do something beyond just thinking and analysing.

Before you read this letter in 2020 A.D, I want you to have settled down well in life after having done all of the following:
  • Sky dive with a parachute that fails, dive in perfectly into the south Antarctic ocean, and piggyback on a Blue Whale that drops you on an Iceberg inhabited by the Emperor Penguins
  • Conquest the K2 mountain with Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden in tow, give them each an AK 47 on the summit and then ask them "Are you still enemies?"......(Whether the AK 47 will really fire at that altitude is a question that only either of the two can answer!!)
  • Direct a 180 minute movie with the following setting - SRK and Salman sitting in a room, each with his arms tied to the window sill with an unbreakable metallic chain made of "Titanium-Gold alloy" (Though I am sure Salman will break the chain!!)
  • Bungee jump from the top of Burj Dubai
  • Act in an ad film that advertises "Space cars" with the tagline "Earth to Mars in three hours - Be there, live there, Experience RED!!"
  • Meet "Christopher Nolan" on his fiftieth birthday, and steal all his ideas in a "shared dream" with him (A befitting tribute to the director who labelled "Idea" as the most obnoxious virus known to mankind!!)
  • With PC Sorcar's tacit support, break into the arsenal of all the nations hoarding the nuclear weapons and just make them disappear into thin air
I would like you to tear this letter as soon as you finish reading because you and I both know that you would have to be bitten by a "genetically mutated" spider or drink the holy "elixir" to have done even a single thing listed above. Even as you are reading this, I hope to find you at least riding a " Tata Nano " that moves without catching FIRE!!

"Present Sandeep Kothapalli"

PS: "Yikes" and "Sharks" are two of the most used words by the blogger :)

Disclaimer : This post was meant to be an absolute nonsense and the author doesn't intend to hurt anybody's sentiments!!


Sunday, July 4, 2010


"What do you think are the three most important turning points in the history of post independent India?". I took a long pause, even as I was thinking of mentioning the three most important events in the 63 years of India's existence as a sovereign nation. The interviewer's question was a tricky one, which you always expect in a premier B-school interview. After ten seconds or so, I listed down the three events:
  • 1974: India became an atomic power(Smiling Buddha)
  • 1984: Indira Gandhi's assasination
  • 2008: 26/11 Mumbai Attacks
There are many other events which have been as tragic and historic as the above, but I don't know why I mentioned those three. As was obvious, they asked for my justification and I suitably came up with my arguments.

But now I feel, the second event which I mentioned as the Assassination of Indira Gandhi holds a special place. As in, it led to a chain of events that changed the course of Indian politics. Till that time, Congress was a virtual monopoly. Post 1984 saw the emergence of the BJP and other Hindutva oriented fundamentalist parties.

Indira Gandhi was a visionary and a true leader, popular amongst the masses with her "Garibi Hatao" movement. We are now almost self-sufficient when it comes to food production and the credit must be given to her. But people do forget that she was above all a human being, with shades of egoism quite evident from the way she toyed with the democracy during the emergency. Her tactical mistakes cost India, a large part of Kashmir. And the antipathy she shared with the then US President Richard Nixon amply proves that sparks fly when two giants clash!! But regardless of the blunders which she did, she was a towering personality, one who engulfed thousands of people even after her death.

Yes, I am talking about the Delhi 1984 riots. One of the worst ever organized government sponsored homicidal killings of all times, comparable to the holocaust under the Nazi Regime, not in terms of scale but definitely in terms of the intent. Official records cite a figure of 3000 sikhs killed, but thousands went missing and so the effective casualty figure almost doubles. Even, Osama bin Laden would have had a tough time motivating his cadre to kill that many people in the 9/11 attacks (Pun Intended). I distinctly remember not being taught enough about the 1984 riots in my history textbooks and I now know why. Mental trauma and agony are two things which hurt you more than anything else. That is what precisely happened with thousands of families who have lost their dear ones in those riots. Justice has been denied, and the the ones who conducted the pogrom are still drinking their cup of tea with glee. Names can't be mentioned out here, because the "matter is subjudice"!! An alibi most politicians involved in crimes use to escape the media.

Does the Indian Government have the right to morally preach the Uzbek Government for the genocidal killings in Uzbekistan?? No, unless and until its hands aren't stain free, it has no right to do so except allowing the foreign secretary to release an official statement condemning the killings and then keep quite. India desperately needs a Handbook on "How to protect its citizens" and I guess Israel would be the fitting author for such a handbook if ever, it was published. I am not justifying Israel's actions, some of which are equally if not more ghastly.

Point to ponder is that the government hasn't learnt its lessons well as was evident from the Godhra Riots in 2002. So, are we different from any other nation that has and still indulges in ethnic cleansing? Yes and No. Yes, because we are still a democratic nation and uphold the values as written down in our constitution. No, because the government and the whole system wouldn't hesitate to "discreetly" support the rioters and the arsonists when the need arises (read vote bank politics).

P.S: Watch the movies "Amu" and "Parzania".


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Raju in Bengaluru"

hii folks,

The summer this year has been a great experience for me, for I have traveled to newer places and met different people from various backgrounds. And in the process, realised that I am lucky. In plain simple terms, just lucky enough to be what I am now.

It was 4'o'clock in my watch, weather cloudy and with a soft breeze blowing through me, I was feeling very good about myself. I was doing things which I never thought would be able to do. I was going to conduct focus group interviews with two groups of people whom I have never met. And the thought of meeting new people and talking to them, asking questions and seeking answers was leading to a little bit of anxiousness and nervousness!!

I was waiting at the Nagarsandra circle, wondering why Bengaluru is full of places named with "Hallis", "Sandras", "Gudis" etc. I was utterly confused when I heard the guy on the phone saying "Nagasandra" while he was actually referring to "Nagarsandra". Incidentally both are different places, something which I realised after visiting "Nagasandra" only to find that this wasn't where I was supposed to be that evening. Finally I was at the right place, waiting for a guy who was according to what the guy on the phone described was, supposed to ride an Activa in a blue T-shirt, and coming to pick me up from the circle.

I instantly recognised that guy, and he also recognised me too. I don't know whether its your instinct or something else, but once you have a description of the one you want to meet, its amazing how you can recognise them, though you have never met each other before.

He was a tall frail looking guy, but almost scared the hell out of me with his ridiculous driving skills manoeuvering the Activa through small corners and streets. It was like the Activa was obediently following his instructions!! I heaved a sigh of relief once I reached the destination. Well the initial apprehensions I had about my ability to communicate with newbies were uncalled for as the objectives I set for myself were met. Participants were telling me more than I had asked for. After a spate of emotional outbursts and jokes apart, I was ready to leave when "Raju", the guy who had dropped me asked me where I was from.

Minutes later I was at ease talking with Raju because he was also from AP, the state where I am from. It always feels good to have someone with whom you can speak in your mother tongue in a "foreign" land. You can always learn something in life by meeting new people, and that is what precisely happened with me.

"Raju's" life has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. Born in the sleepy town of Anantapur in a peasant family, he was only expected to earn for his family as early in life as possible. As has been the case in most of the rural India, he too was a school dropout but was quite aware of the happenings around him. "Experience is the best teacher". He came to Bengaluru three years back, with dreams in his eyes, carrying his families expectations and burdens on his shoulders. Fortunately for him, the city didn't fail him. His ever smiling face had masked various emotions of pain and struggle that he and his family had to endure in his childhood, getting oppressed and exploited by the princely Zamindaars of Rayalaseema. After working as a mechanic for an year, he now is working as a Video operator recording focus group interviews and earning a decent 3000 bucks each month. His employer has been kind enough to provide him his daily share of meals and shelter to sleep. He narrated me his entire story during the 20 minute ride on the Activa, back to Basavanagudi bus stop. Though Bengaluru's traffic was noisy enough to act as an hindrance, but still I managed to hear him throughout, even as he was evading Trucks and jumping Traffic signals with ease!!

While I was wishing him all the best for his future endeavours, he pulled out his cell phone from the pocket and asked for my number. I was shocked, but then realised that the Telecom boom had already empowered the masses. I realised that at such a young age, "Raju " has seen and experienced much more in life than I have and so here was a guy whom I admired for his courage and conviction. His family is now somewhat in a better condition because he sends half of his monthly salary back home.

The "thousand watt" smile that he had while he bid me farewell left a strong and indelible impression on me. Something which will always remain memorable for a long time to come.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sandy Sandy!!

Hii folks,
Last weekend we (me with my roomies) went to visit one of the cleanest beaches seen ever in a long time. Don't be surprised because even this wasn't clean in the true sense, but certainly clean when you compare it with most of the beaches on the eastern coastline of India. I was in a trance when I felt the sand slipping beneath my foot. But the journey from Mumbai to the Island beach of Gorai, brought some stark and bitter truths out. Gorai is a fairly big island to the west of Borivali, where the Essel Group has already set up Asia's biggest water theme park.

A small channel of sea separates Gorai from the mainland. The tide plays havoc with the sea and its surroundings out there especially, when the visiting tourists throw out the litter in the sea. The mangroves are submerged under water during the day and once the Sun begins to set, the water level begins to recede fast, thus uncovering a huge muddy stinking dumpyard. No wonder for a nature lover like me, I couldn't spot a single sea bird except for Crows. By the way, when you find an unusually high number of Crows congregating at a single place, you can be assured that the soil and the surroundings there is either not fit for wildlife habitation or is littered with all kinds of Garbage possible.

And then there's an unfinished overbridge there, supposedly meant for the tourists to cross over the channel. You have wooden mechanised boats always overloaded with passengers and a disaster waiting to happen. Once you cross the channel, you are welcomed by the stink of Horse dung littered all over the road. Courtesy, the Tangas there. From there, its a 10 minute ride in an autorickshaw to the Gorai Beach. The coast is lined with Coconut trees that make the beach that much more scenic. But then again, you can't help but notice that the Hawkers and Vendors there who don't hesitate to dump the waste in the open.

But the beach soil is awesome and hard enough to act as a cricket pitch and a racing track. I took hardly 5 minutes to change into the swimming costume and threw myself in the sea. Swimming here is that much more easy than in a swimming pool, because of the sea water's high density. And for the next one hour, we spent clicking photographs and in the process tasting what real salt is!!

A beach is a place where you forget all the things in your life, and surrender yourself to the calm and serene yet the mighty and powerful sea. And suddenly when I was back to my usual self I realised, Was it me who swam and swam his heart out and enjoyed jumping in the sea?No, it wasn't ME. He was someone else. He was a part of ME. He, who had no worries in life and only knew how to swim and swim all the way to a place, elusive to many of the people in the world called HAPPINESS!!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't dare say "Bombay"

hii folks,
The summer this year has brought me to the financial capital of India. And here I am developing a marketing strategy for a well known private life insurer. Never known how it feels when you don't know what to do or when you don't have much work to do, but now I have been having more than my share of such experiences which I don't deserve. Nevertheless, on a brighter note I have traveled quite a bit here and explored new places, beaches and interacted with many people. Meeting people can be quite a nice experience, but also in some rare cases be horrible!! But you do learn how to face different personalities which is what I am up to these days.

Coming to Mumbai, it is a city of contrasts. It is very rare that you find a slum besides a skyscraper. People are either very nice or very rude. My first solo experience was one amongst my worst ever experiences with a taxi driver taking me for a ride. That is when you realise the importance of knowing a city well before you come and settle down. People here are fast paced and the slower ones are brushed aside. Buses are jam packed at peak hours, so much that you have to stand on one foot in the bus. Hire a taxi, only when you know where you want to go, because there are inevitably many routes to a given place. Don't dare say "Bombay" when you are in a crowd, because there is every possibility that the crowd will stare and castigate you the very next moment!!

The problem with Mumbai is it is surrounded by sea. And with the population rapidly growing more because of migration of labourers than natural reasons, the tree cover is coming down. On my way to Gorai Beach, which is an island beach, I witnessed how mangroves are being cut down to make space for realty. Though south Mumbai is awesome (British Legacy), the central region and the suburbs are pathetically planned. Mumbai for sure, will be one of the first cities to be submerged under the sea. I might sound utterly pessimistic and even I hope that doesn't happen, but people rarely acknowledge the bitter truth.

I was walking down the Marine Drive with my friends, when one of my friends commented on how the sea behaves violently here, come Monsoon. During Monsoon, you will find the entire Marine Drive wet. Nothing new in that. But, what's interesting to observe is the increase in the height of the sea levels over the years and Mumbaikars will vouch for that. People will never forget the Mumbai floods in 2005. I have heard some gory stories of people missing from that day onwards.

Mumbai might be a city full of resilience. It has faced all calamities and terror acts and yet shown an amazing restraint, rarely found anywhere. After the 26/11 attacks, contrary to what I thought there were no riots. Mumbai has the capacity to accommodate anybody from the world. But there's always an end to anything and everything.

I was shopping near Dadar railway station and bought a track suit for myself at a roadside stall. Polythene carry bags are banned in Mumbai and one isn't supposed to use them. But what the stall owner did was quite shocking. He uncovered a small jute bag and from it unleashed the CHOKER, read the polythene bags that do nothing but choke the earth's soil. Of course thankfully, I had brought my own bag so I refused to take that carry bag. He stared at me as if I have refused to take GOLD from him!!.

Now unless people stop doing such things, Mumbai's future looks bleak. Mumbai is a city I admire and I am pretty sure a lot of you also do, but then what future does Mumbai hold for itself when roads are dug incessantly to make way for MonoRail and then not covered off immediately, when manholes are opened at night and when you fail to find a single Trash at some of the Local stations here!! Point to ponder I guess.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

The year that was.....

Hii folks,
With only a few days to go before the first year ends at IIMA, I don't know how it is going to end for me. This period has been full of many downs and very few ups for me. A rare experience for a guy who has been used to achievements all his academic life. But this year has been a great learning experience for me. Though grades have been low, but learning has been good.
This was also the year where I revisited the actor in me when I did about 4 skits, and learnt how difficult it is to merely reproduce your lines in front of the CAMERA, leave alone showing your expressions.
I never imagined, that a transition to this great institute would affect my existing relationships, the bad way. When you become busy, then no matter what, misunderstandings are bound to crop up. This is what hurts you the most especially when you know that you always wanted to be yourself with others, but then comes the HALO effect into picture. You are now considered to be a great man because you are a student at IIMA and people start seeing a HALO around you instead of looking at you as who you were and who you are; a good friend and well wisher which I always aspire to be. And in the process, people fail to understand the physical and emotional stress that a student here can face. And that is what precisely has happened with me.
But as they say, every coin has two sides to it. There were also moments of pure fun, madness and joy at the campus. It all began with the T-nite when I bonded with the entire class and made new friends. Then came Diwali, when my dorm won the best decorated dorm contest. Enjoyed some wonderful moments with my tuchchas, hitting fours on their difficult balls and in the process hitting it off with them. The camaraderie for once certainly acted as a stress buster, amidst innumerable surprise quizzes and assignments. Then came Sonu Nigam who unarguably had one of his best concerts @ IIMA. I can still vividly remember the entire night full of ecstasy and sheer joy, especially when you see a less than a year old infant baby dance to his songs.
Stress was something which I experienced in full force at two distinct occasions. One during the various term examinations and then during my summers. But my mental strength sure could have become robust. There were internal debates within the campus about the workload we were facing, that it never decreased as was promised by the authorities.
Nevertheless, amidst the stress, there were those little moments of laughter when we cracked jokes on each other. Doing group assignments can be very boring, but it wasn't for me when you have a guy in your group who doesn't know how to be angry. This guy has an awesome sense of humour and its pure fun and a privilege to be with him.
And then there is your family, which is a constant pillar of support no matter where you are. Even as my group is still working on WAC, one of the most famously infamous courses here, am I writing this blog, fully knowing that my mind is past its processing period with the time now being 03.10 am!!

PS: The blogger is going to face the toughest ever fortnight in his life beginning today!!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Criticism is indeed bitter!!

Hii folks,
This post is especially for the IIM A Junta. For the first time, I have received a comment that has pinched me no end. The previous blog that was intended to be just a funny piece of fiction has been misconstrued as something that projects Non-MBA students in bad light. And I have been called as "ARROGANT". Well, my intention was to highlight the plight of many students who give more importance to money than relationships. I have many good friends who have been more successful than me without having been an MBA graduate and so there's no reason for me to be arrogant. There was no other thing intended and I sincerely apologise to all those who think I have been derogatory. I don't wish to further clarify my stand and hope that people understand my viewpoint.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sandeep calling Sandy

Sandy: Hey dude r u doing?
Sandeep: Hello sandy, I am fine how are you?
Sandy: Rocking mann.... Living an awesome life out here...
Sandeep: Cool, U must be enjoying a lot right!!
Sandy: Yup...Not like you mugging all the way in dat place...I forgot its name..wat is it?
Sandeep: My friend, it is IIM Ahmedabad. The toughest B School to get into.
Sandy: watever, I don't care. Its a damn assembly factory churning out nerds yearly....u guys r crazy abt numbers and money right!!
Sandeep: I beg to differ. You might be true in some sense, but we come out ready to face all the difficulties in life.
Sandy: nd in dat process u guys forget how to enjoy life... Thank heavens I haven't written CAT....Now u see I roam with hot chicks on my bike, have a fair job with a MNC.... nd u sleep hardly for 5 hours spoiling ur health...wat rubbish dude!!
Sandeep: Hmmm... I guess I shall also enjoy much more than you later.
Sandy: By the way, how many girlfriends do u have??
Sandeep: How many!! Are you nuts? I have friends some of whom are girls.
Sandy: I pity you dude... If u wanna learn some tips do call me... hehe :)
Sandeep: Thanks sandy. But I guess I won't need your tips.... I have lot more to do than just be desperate about girls.
Sandy: C'mon dude...don't sound like a loser... learn to enjoy mann.... when will you live life? After ur retirement??
Sandeep: Anyways, hows your family doing?
Sandy: Doing great, but as usual my dad's worried abt me. he's not even happy that I earn 3oooo bucks a month.
Sandeep: Anyways, keep in touch. Its time for me to go.
Sandy: bye dude... nd chill... U will realise this some day..

After a few years, somewhere in Goa:

Sandeep: Excuse me, can you book...... Hey, Sandy!! How are you? And how come you....Are you...
Sandy: Hi mann...Yup I am the receptionist here.... So you with your girlfriend?
Sandeep: No, I am with my family nd some of my dear friends for a holiday. I needed a break desperately...That's why I am here
Sandy: So how many rooms should I book?
Sandeep: 5 deluxe ones please
Sandy: Yah sure

After 4 hours

Sandeep: What happened Sandy?
Sandy: I am sorry yaar.. You were correct. I wasn't serious enough about my life
Sandeep: Hmmm.... Anyways I am happy now that you appear to be a changed man.
Sandy: I guess so... Working here since I left home... I couldn't stand my dad's taunts.. I wanted to prove him wrong
Sandeep: I am happy for you... So are you in touch with your family?
Sandy: I speak sometimes with my sis and mom... Haven't spoke with dad since days.
Sandeep: Then you must speak with him too.. He will feel good
Sandy: R u kidding me? Whose father will be happy to hear his son workin as a receptionist being overqualified for that?
Sandeep: Trust me, just make a call and speak with him now. My friends and parents are waiting for me at the beach.So got to go...

As Sandeep was walking down the street towards the beach where his friends and family were waiting for him, tears rolled down Sandy's eyes. He realised how his life turned upside down only because he failed to take his relationships seriously, how his so called Lady love left him because he was spending all his money on booze and pubs....Then something struck his eyes....A father was saying sorry to his son, who was upset that his father didn't buy him a Chocolate. As the father apologised, the son gave a big smile and hugged his father. He realised that it's never too late for a reconciliation.

Sandy: Hello, ma, how are you?
Ma: I am fine son, are you eating properly?
Sandy: Yah mom... ma, is dad nearby?
Ma: yah son, He's having his cup of tea...
Sandy: Can you put the phone on speaker mode?
Ma: Here you go...
Sandy: Hii dad, this is your son... Calling from Goa...
Father: Son........(Long silent pause....tears rolling down his eyes)
Sandy: I am sorry dad... nothing more to say.. I am working hard here....I am independent but I am missing you nd your taunts dad...
Father: (Wiping his eyes nd bursting to laughter)..... U haven't lost ur sense of humuor....Thanks to Jesus.... I forgave u long back..... Ur my son silly fellow... U came to this world because of me..How can I be angry with myself?? Haan....
Sandy: I have lost my golden years wasting it away.... Can I come home dad?
Father: U rascal, I will beat you again if u utter those words .....
And both of them burst out into laughter......

Sandeep: Hey come on, join us
Sandy: Yah .....
Sandeep: What happened? why are you looking at her that way? Isn't she "hot"?
Sandy: Hey, did you just now said "hot"?? I can't believe u said that....
Sandeep: Why, can't I say that my wife is "hot"? Haan....
Sandy: Mann...Is she your wife?? God bless you both...
Sandeep: Hey, something's wrong!! Where are your "Dudes" and "manns"??
Sandy: Thanks yaar...I spoke with my dad... Going permanently to home... I will find a job there itself and live with them...
Sandeep: I am so happy for you.... Nothing can be more precious than the love you receive from your friends and family.. I am happy you realise this...
Sandy: Yah I sure do now :)

PS: The above work is just an imaginary piece of fiction and bears no resemblance to persons and things whatsoever. Any sort of resemblance is just a mere coincidence.!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


hii folks,
I was in my room studying when my neighbour switched on the Television and raised the volume pitch high. I was annoyed, waited for him to realise that Fachchas are mugging up for the exams but in vain. I rushed outside with an intention to request him to lower the volume, but to my utter shock I saw the word "Bomb" on the screen and immediately realised that yet another terror strike has happened in a city where I spent the most important years of my childhood. Anyways, the dreaded feeling sunk in immediately, not because I was safe but because we are now habituated to hearing such "Breaking news"!!
Three days later, after the exams were over I went to the Himalaya Mall, a popular hangout place for "WIMWIANS" with my friends. I saw the watchman recklessly signalling me to enter through the Metal Detector. As expected it signalled me to stop as I was carrying some metal with me. But, the watchman was busy chatting with his pal and didn't bother to check me out. Now this is the state of affairs at a mall which is a highly vulnerable spot for a terror strike. It is our attitude that allows the perpetrators to strike at will. I was laughing at myself because I was about to watch MNIK which talks at great length about terrorism, and here I was in a mall where there's no security, waiting to be blown to smithereens.
Inside the hall, I vowed not to allow Karan Johar activate my Lachrymal glands. But soon couldn't help but shed a drop of tear. That's KJo for you. MNIK might appear to be a movie that glorifies the protagonist, but I see it as a creative expression of how Terrorism influences relationships and religion, captured in a subtle yet powerful manner on screen. As the movie came to an end, I saw a section of an audience clapping and wondered whether we Indians have forgotten how to appreciate, more so because none of us were. I agree some might have not liked the movie, but at least efforts made to highlight the theme can definitely be appreciated.
As I came out of the hall, my mind was clustered with various thoughts. Will we able to walk safely on the streets for a mile or two, five years from now? Would there be a place for "Trust" in the dictionary? Will India be as peaceful as Norway is? Will my city be filled with "Bad People" with a "no right to exist" for "Good People"? As simple as it may sound, but it takes a movie like MNIK to remind us that only two kinds of people exist in this world; "GOOD people" and "GOOD people who become BAD".
"We are born GOOD, we create circumstances that make us BAD"


Friday, February 5, 2010

Pigeon number 6109141.....

Hii folks,
This is Pigeon number "6109141", one of the many pigeons in the heritage campus of IIM-A. I wanted to share my harrowing experience today inside CR-8 which is supposed to be the elite section of students amongst the present batch of PGP students. I was happily flying and soaking in the fresh cool air, when from nowhere "Bluethunder" struck me. Yes, we pigeons are supposed to run for our life whenever Kites like "Bluethunder" choose us for a snack. It was my recklessness that could have landed me inside the long food tube of "Bluthunder", but somehow "Chidiyaatma" was on my side. For those who don't know who "Chidiyaatma" is, it is the equivalent of what you humans call as "Parmaatma".
As it was chasing me swiftly, I was flying faster than ever before, managed to ward off obstacles and trick it. But in the process, little did I realise that I would land up inside CR-8 whose doors were closed precisely by Prof XYZ, the moment I entered inside. The 90 odd Androids sitting inside trying to assimilate whatever the Prof was telling, was an overwhelming site to watch, one which scared the hell out of me. I spent around 2-3 minutes soaking in the surroundings and hopping here and there over the lights and the AC. There was no escape route for me and I was desperate to see the sun again. Those androids were now concentrating on me as I was disturbing and distracting them. But there were a few kind souls who were genuinely thinking of helping me out. Finally, I saw someone opening up the slits of a window, but alas I was too big to sneak in through and escape.
But the one thing I observed was the way those androids were struggling to decipher Prof XYZ's words of wisdom. Half of them were looking at me, half of them were mentally absent, half of them were acting as if they understood everything and only few understood everything. This is the state of things at the premier B-school in India. Who's to blame for all this?? Certainly not me!! I was only trying to escape death which I finally managed to, thanks to two pretty ladies who opened the two main doors through which I entered the "Cage" and who were genuinely concerned about me.
I am now genuinely thinking of shifting my base to a place called "ISB-Hyderabad" which is an equally beautiful campus as is IIM-A but where I hope to not find adversaries like "Bluethunder" and instead find a good faculty who can mould Androids into Humans because I believe only Humans will make the country I fly in, a better place to live for birds like me and for all living bodies in this country!!

PS: I would like to wholeheartedly thank taureansandy for leasing out this cyberspace to me for free and wish from the bottom of my heart that he fly very high in life and be the "Bluethunder" and not "Pigeon number 6109141"

Pigeon number 6109141

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trust vs fear.....

hii folks,
When you check out the meaning of the word "trust" in an Oxford Dictionary, you will find not one but many meanings to it. But for me "trust" is to allow without "fear", which means that fear and trust can't be together. Relationships are built on "trust" and not "fear". Fear is often used in conjunction with the word "Discipline". But both are entirely different and this is where people especially teachers fall in the trap. Very few realise that "Love" and "Discipline" can co-exist. Breakups, violence, suicides and all such ghastly things wouldn't have found their place in the dictionaries if people realise this often unsaid truth.
"Trust" is such a light word literally, but people have made it "Heavy" by adding "Expectations" to it. The sacred Hindu text "Gita" says the same, that do what you are supposed to without "expecting" results. So, in a relationship, love and take care of someone without expecting anything in return. And most often people like me and you do the same mistake of expecting something in return. And that's when "Trust" seems to be very precious, something which is not bestowed on others easily. "Suspicion" and "Doubts" often become the villain in this whole equation. But for any villain there always exists a "Hero" and to me that hero is " Forgiveness". To forgive is to love someone, to love someone is to trust someone, to trust someone we love is what "God" sent us for!!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

5 reasons why Chetan Bhagat should be sorry!!...

hii folks,
The year did start well for me. I started off the year with a trip to Mt Abu, a beautiful hill station in Rajasthan. On the way along National Highway 14, there also comes the beautiful hill Station Palanpur. The name Palanpur reminds me of Aamir Khan who portrays the role of a taxi driver in a town named the same in the movie "Raja Hindustani". And I suddenly think of the war of words between Chetan Bhagat and Vidhu Vinod Chopra et al. Indian media of late has been trying to sensationalise everything under the sun and Mr Chetan succumbed to media's relentless manipulation of 'Quotes'. Mr Chetan Bhagat has not been accorded the due credit especially when the "3 idiots" movie makers just say that the movie script borrows only 5% of Mr Chetan's national bestseller "Five Point Someone". By showing his credits in the far end when almost everybody is out of the theatre, the producers have set a bad example of acknowledgement. While the screenplay was entertaining and must be appreciated, what harm is there to acknowledge the Author's creation. Especially so when many scenes have been simply adopted from the book as it is. Even a child who has read the original book would agree that 5% of "Five point someone" is not "3 idiots". By apologising to the producers, Mr Chetan Bhagat has certainly had an insightful experience. An experience which amply shows that voices raised against 'Bollywood personalities' and 'Powerful politicians' alike would be suppressed with ruthless arrogance!! The digit 5 has somewhat proved unlucky for Mr Chetan Bhagat, why read on:
1. He's not a star in the true sense of the word.
2. He is under the misconception that any Indian has the "right to freedom of expression".
3. He chose to leave a fat paying glamorous Investment banking career and make a difference to the Society through his writings , which even a basic literate rickshawpuller can understand.
4. His new novel is set to become a huge success and people attribute this whole issue as an attempt by Mr Chetan to Publicise it widely. If this was the reason, why did his last book "3 point someone" was successful without these so called stunts??
5. He spoke his mind!!