Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Catapult to rise

Hastinapur, Indraprastha or Delhi, a battleground is always set for war like a chessboard. If Delhi is the capital of the country then it is slated to capitalize on the polity, the think tanks and the monetary resources of the nation. The country's diverse culture promotes it too!

Ethnic conflicts that thrive on religion, caste or creed have become a thing of the past.
Today’s civilized needs have created multifarious demands from small-time business to education, health, social welfare and security. These demands have evolved the thinking of the new age politician. Undeniably religion does have a small role to play but throwing the dice on the political dais has pruned and punished many a politician.

Swirl and hurl the dice, you always have a cause and an arena, each luring the other thereby surges a Chanakya whose keen foresight resounds a solution. Sooner or later the stage manifests itself into an electoral war. Democracy permits an election to be held every five years in each of the 29 states which ensures that the political cauldron is kept hot. More recently the expansive territory of Uttar Pradesh implanted wheels on the feet of every politician to keep the voter engrossed and thinking.

Religion vs Security

Should religion precede development or otherwise? Well, both are important. The leaders of the recently ousted party in UP cried hoarse about development. They scored fewer decibels despite muscle power. This sent the saffron flags fluttering with cheers backed by the ruling party at the centre. This was certainly unlikely as per the utterance of a Communist leader that the Hindu Nationalism is muscular. (During my brief stay in Palakkad in January this year, I heard of a Hindu student leader of Nemmara, who was mysteriously killed in a place other than his hometown).  Who do we blame?

Dubious Complaints over faulty EVMs, last minute shifting of loyalties, mudslinging till the last minute got murkier and more venomous. All five states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab – braced to give a tough fight but the prestigious vote sharing came from UP. The saffron tide has won over the voters’ psyche, all with a practical intention that ‘enough was enough’. The common man must progress irrespective of caste and religion.

In tandem with the superpowers

The operations of our country are no different from other superpowers. power-broking deals from without as much as from within. It will be necessary in future to feel the pulse of the nation. It is essential of a well-established economy to reflect development in all fields rather than expose internal conflicts. Those creating conflicts have ‘vested’ interests with an ever-changing agenda. If the nation is not considered important, then the conflict is questionable. Dragging religion by calling them right-wingers or socialistic opportunists are left wingers is a cliché. These are the obvious perceptions but not valid broking tools.

Responsible media

The kind of flak that media entertains today is because it is not exactly acquiring dangerous or vital inside information. A dignified reticence has to be practiced by the media.  Concealed facts than can be detrimental to a nation. This moral obligation is mandatory for the media in general and important political entities, too.

Business should not be a crime

Business deals should avoid criminal activities especially bartering nation’s secrets which is highly probable in today’s sensitive cyber-network. A nation cannot appear naïve when security is at stake. Repeated terror attacks in the border areas, important cities are standing examples. The media must obtain critical information to save a nation from terror threats. However, the recent demonetization of the government has stemmed terror activities. The common man who is wise has thankfully understood this aspect.

An overall awareness among the masses should be harnessed for the common good by the ruling parties now and always. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Be Positively Charged

Imagination sometimes works overtime. Then, one should stop writing, think of some relevant work and fill gaps of relevance, be it at home or outside. 

Of late I have been brushing up my mythological knowledge by reading "The Palace Of Illusions" by Chitra B D (long name), only because she was acknowledgedly blessed by Swami Chinmayananda and other stalwarts. My sincere regards for this Swamiji is different, as he hailed from my father's hometown and was a neighbour too. If brains can be racked, a cousin got wedded to somebody in that family (Swamiji's). Of course, the Swamiji had snapped links with his family on having mastered the Bhagavad Gita. Quite valid!

Well, the book based on The Mahabharata, was interesting but appeared illusory . A divine mythological plot where the relevance is to help man live wisely, act in a pragmatic manner and assume relatives to be characters on a stage. Krishna, who provides the divine intervention is relevant and the Pandavas were presumed to be dead in the lac home prepared by their foes. Fortunately they did not die and so the story proceeds to a long battle involving the Pandavas and the Kauravas The original was/is more profound - Bhagavad Gita. This was written for a younger brand of readers. 

Constant Zero

The past couple of months have been an all-round churning of mental attitudes, near and far.That leaves me with a constant zero, no more chiselling of likes and dislikes. People coloured and discoloured for no fault of theirs. Then why do we deal with them?
The overall evolution tags on to revolution of the earth. So but natural we meet those whom we may not meet in future does leave an impression.
Constant zero sets the ball rolling
The word 'Relevance' initiates a set of actions where I occupy the constant 'zero' space.Whether it was to witness a sale of ancestral property of a relative, a claimant to or I did offer moral support. Not a sale but a distress sale, that leaves the claimant purchase many containers of pain relieving balm. Albeit the sale lay dormant for two decades, The deal fructified having brought spirits down, soothed the nerve.

She deserves adulation

Relevance brought me close to those persons involved, who I may not meet in future but I did relish those contacts for a short while.Firstly our (my sister& I ) hostess was a sweet and good-looking widow not bogged down by obligations / realities of life.
She still smiles, guffaws, eats well and parts with a joke or two in between chores.Never have I seen an Indian widow so alive and perpetually glued to her phone (her companion ). She will make her maiden visit to the US in April this year. Hope she will amuse Mr.Trump or is it the other way round.God bless her with more joyful experiences. Do I need to say more about Padmaja.

A Diligent student

Priyanka ,15 years, a daughter of a green grocer, brilliant ,committed and persevering in her studies.I can always picture her under a lampost or resting near her cart of vegetables and sell them by the end of the day. I was fortunate to assist her in her studies.Not a single day she missed to study with my assistance. It was a revelation to me about noticing this young girl who will not give up on her dreams.
She is blessed with a positive approach and wades through life not like a normal well to do girl of fifteen. I too am looking forward to Priyanka scoring well and await another class, the 11th standard with new hopes and tougher challenges.

A deserving break from Twitter to the world of real tweets

Recently, I accompanied my son and daughter-in-law to pack a weekend outing to a resort within the Jim Corbett park. The resort was a soothing experience for those who are dejected and disgusted with noise that comes as an icing on urban life. No TV, music system, computer or newspapers to distract.

Just listen to a variety of birds in placid surroundings. Went on a safari to say 'hello' to some of our wild friends. These 'wild' friends do not colour or discolour their visitors but just beg for silence so that their routine is preserved well. They will not harm our dwelling so we must stay away from disturbing theirs. To be more relevant - be compatible with the wild surroundings, they are our treasures. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lineage or progeny--No gap for emotion

Impudence or ingratitude need not be a term to describe how just the Creator was in creating you. No the Creator was not wrong, unless you wish to ascertain the act of your parents to bring you into this world was a fault. After all a biological act does offer a testimony for all to see.

In my opinion my life in entirety is insignificant for those I may be associated with close and distant. But people do remember my association with or without a befitting word to describe me or my existence , no regrets, but I do feel blessed to have met and nodded at all who passed by.

Treat me as matter and you too are matter to me.

P.B. Shelley did opine these lines for himself pertains to me except for a pittance of love from parents and a few relatives

Neither fame nor power nor love nor leisure,
others I see whom these surround, call life pleasure.

The entire gamut of homosapiens that you are associated with do go through a range of experiences for you to emulate, observe or empathise in whatever slot or duration you are allotted.The only lesson that these associations impart  is for you to check or revise your next course of speech or action. So predictable to facilitate the goal of human existence.Lineage or Progeny has no role to play for that pack of bone and flesh. Leaves no scope to oblige the planet called earth.

Daughter of the earth

Sarangini , 83,(name changed)lives peacefully, all smiles with no obligations. Mother of three girls and a proud grandmother too.I visited her recently at my mother's hometown after more than two  decades. 
Sarangini must have been a beautiful woman but earned everyone's displeasure when at 13 she eloped with a local dude-cum-dada. Later after giving birth to three pretty daughters she suffered a lot at the hands of her overbearing husband, a wealthy businessman. The husband died two years ago that left Sarangini quite chirpy and cheerful.
I admire her quick movements and guts to show us the way to her brother's house,she led us through lanes and bylanes , barefoot. It was twilight when most lamp posts are unfaithful. She left us baffled  navigating us to the right place which left the driver speechless.
A real daughter of the earth.

How many such women do you know, 83 years old, with a sharp memory and quite balanced in her movements, commendable eye-sight added to that sparkling smile ???  

Friday, November 18, 2016

From smog to scramble for Notes

This Diwali was a bit low profile for me but the post-Diwali fare has left me breathless.
No new clothes          -           Ok
No sweets                  -           Ok
No guests                   -           Ok
Sparse greetings         -           Ok

The day after Diwali was a ‘holocaust’ to face with my already crooked nose refusing to inhale. The smog that engulfed Delhi and NCR was like bonfires lit everywhere. Administration was left clueless and people with weak lungs looked listless.

Dad was right

Not very long ago when he was living with us he would get petrified much before Diwali over the over indulgence of  over burning crackers for the sound and light effects. He was asthmatic  so he covered a thin  muslin cloth over his mouth and nose and drew the piece around the back of his head to cover his ears adequately .My son called him a dacoit who was afraid of crackers.
‘Why don’t these fellows burn crackers in their toilets?’ dad blares out.
I would pacify him by saying ‘Dad the toilet is for different sound effects during and after Diwali’
He would caution my son from burning crackers in the balcony or anywhere near the house. All the children in our building looked like persecuted Jews running helter-skelter to move away from small time Hitler.

Woes of Delhiites

Woeful and doughful they are more mobile during festivities to give and take boxes(goodies), eat forbidden delicacies  and spin around in newer cars with wider smiles to all and sundry. In short everything gets illumined under the lustreless lights. I call it ‘lustreless’ because the entire body language gets inverted from ill-fitting clothes to new fitting ones, men and women decked up in finery to show all is well with us.
Children, young ones and grown ups move in and out of the house to light a few crackers as if it’s Baghdad or Syria or Mosul. I am referring to the size of crackers now. No bad intentions, the fireworks were heavy to complement the neighbours’ revelry (envy) used intermittently. ‘Ha Ha!’ you can laugh. Not exactly infectious  but a few seconds later the echo of such laughter is heard repeatedly in the neighborhood. All safe!

No Smoke without fire?!

Lo! Behold! Praise the war ridden nations that do not inhale so much smoke after bombardment. They eat it only for meals to console their stomachs.
Delhi had less noise this year but all felt an unending terror of smoke. Blame the cracker (fireworks) industry doling out fake products? More toxic air entered the lungs and the smog did not let you to look up to heaven for help. All withered souls looked morose.
The weekend smog lingered throughout for more than a week, so schools were shut. Poorly fuelled and maintained vehicles  that spinned around during Diwali, in and out of lanes and borders, added to the smog. An unexpected jail break in central India kept the police on toes. Most of them (police) looking haggard and out of spirits. What spirit? Festive spirits trailing downwards or maybe I am growing older.

Fiscal bombarding

(At the outset let me tell you my heart goes out for the bread winner who is honest)

Then came a weekend that brought the pulse rate down when black money was attacked in our country and also miserably coincided with the US elections leading to unforeseen results. Well I am not digressing, then came the historical turnaround of those spinning  currency notes  of 500 and 1000 that got demonetized by the government. Crooks at all levels got perplexed who normally sleep over moneyed mattresses. My neighbor is annoyed with this government decision terming it ‘bad’. So I (not me)must show solidarity and the fever caught up. Verbal explosives were flung in all directions , hotter than all fireworks.

Money Laundering week

The entire week is being devoted for laundering money but the exchange of new notes for old ones is making even lethargic people stir out to get necessities for the hearth. The intention is to sweep out/clean the ‘black’ currency from dingy lockers to see light and brighten the currency status. A good intention no doubt but “Asuras” live everywhere from Swiss bank account holders to Gold brick owners( Read it in John Grisham’s Novel)  investing  in the deep Carribean sea. They are stealthy and mobile to thwart any bright ray to fall on their wealth but prefer to let it remain in the dark rich dens of wealth.

The Autumnal equinox is faraway but winter already looks greyer, and sombre for those who dabble with cash the shady way. Laundering is mandatory but along the right avenues , you guess what it means & not to let the devil always win. My laundry awaits in the washing machine, bye, Sleep well.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Job done any which way-Result perfect

Heera (real name differs for privacy) is always a Go-to person who never failed to give a perfect solution. She did it any which way she could but this was her way of solving any problem and never failed a solution seeker. From pounding a picker of pockets (small thief) to hunting a kidnapper and beating him to pulp till the wrong doer is tossed into prison admired by a chain of onlookers .

How much I admire this woman in the neighborhood of a friend. As a child Heera earned her livelihood through accomplishing skullduggery jobs. Her wide ranging jobs began with running errands or fetching dry clothes from the terrace. By the age of twelve she dropped out of school but was fluent in English and Hindi.

Heera, a diamond to her beneficiaries, bloomed from a tomboy to a full time bully then a woman gangster. After marriage she withdrew into a household with a docile husband. Years fled past but after the blooming of three offsprings came the halt to her feminity. By then she learned to play cards, graduated to gamble and booze. Lost touch with the civilized(?) world and all her husband could do was puff like a chimney and drink like a fish from sundown to sunrise. Call of Providence for reversal of roles. The husband fetched food from a nearby restaurant and he would also baby-sit the kids.

The kids learned to stand on their feet without asking for mom’s help, though she was a non-stop ATM for them. At times she barked or roared and sad to add to it the drinks also drenched and drowned her feminine streak. Her husband only whimpered by her side, looking lost always, fumbling with car keys as any moment he would get orders to start the car. He was often seen petting  neighbours’ dogs sometimes stray dogs too!

Religious streak an earnest hobby

Heera a godmother of sorts for all and sundry, none missed to acknowledge her religious tendency to visit temples or religious places.  Sindoor smeared o her forehead haphazardly to endorse that pious mood.  She had this unique knack of tapping the fountain of money. She kowtowed high and low to see that her handsome son got a job with airlines  company. The boy was clever and learned the tricks of the trade and went job hopping from one airlines to another. Heera shifted to the city where he was posted. The earth is round so Heera was back in Delhi in a distant suburb strutting about with her husband in tow as a part time driver, cook, father, except being a husband. The son abandoned her for obvious reasons.The two other siblings followed like him.

Neighbour’s envy

Heera’s nefarious ways also won admiration because she was an inseparable link between the local police and a reputed lawyer. You cannot catch her at the crime spot.
One day a neighbor had complained to her of his teenage daughter eloping with a vagabond. Heera knew where to find him, the vagabond, got him arrested and today, believe it or not he is her stooge gliding from one job to another.

Lifestyle change

Today Heera moves in sleek cars with a paid chauffeur (not husband), two bouncers and a hand bag full of cell phones. Her rise from a small time maid to a Godmother is ecstatic to observe. Never will she fail to pass a crooked smile through crooked lips and a mouthful of ‘pan’ masala.  The men in the neighbourhood  withdraw  the moment they see her car enter/leave. I feel perplexed to gauge my admiration for Heera. Do you know she donates a lot of money to girls’ orphanages even today. She is friendless, hardly a mother, many punters on her phonelist.

She has suffered a couple of heart attacks and has survived. She keeps popping pills when she isn’t drinking but all dread her. Apparently she is nothing less than a modern day despot in behaviour. Would you dare to invite her for dinner? No, I wouldn’t mind. She has the power of ten CEOs put together or even more.

Heera kaam hua? ‘Perfect’ is her answer.

She is a perfect go-to person 24x7. A good fixer of problematic situations and forever busy, she is available to family, friends and foes. Always positive and forward looking but never sulks at problems.

She moves in all white ensemble; she is tall (5’10”) hefty and loud. Always dressed in white salwar –kurta. An Amazon that invites trouble and solves them in a jiffy. A godmother who is no Robin Hood but  loves to flaunt her power with elan.

A biopic on this character is awaited .

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Jaw dropping exercise

Did your jaw drop when you heard about Malvika R Joshi,a prodigious feat quite stunning though when she made it to MIT.  A teenager who has not completed her 10th or 12th Board exam (high school exams) but has won a coveted seat at an ace technology institute.  Are we equipped well to sweep aside news about mundane matters and gloat over super intelligence?  Jaw dropping?

Extraordinary rescue

The recent mid-air mishap was worth that jaw-drop rescue to save a hundred and ten lives. All practically did remain hung mid-air, over 12,000 feet in the Alps.  Aiguille du Midi had ill luck in store when two cables got entangled that unseated passengers in cable cars in blustery weather. How romantically frigid!?!

Three governments united sportingly for an unheard of sport over the Alps. The French the Swiss and Italian governments supervised rescue operations of those 110 trapped when each occupant of every cable car was rescued individually. Wow!

Jaw drop heading

The paralympic gold medal recently won by Thangavelu Maryappan – thangam in Tamil means gold but the unsporting headline from a newspaper made my jaw drop with disgust – they called the medal paragold – a very bad attempt to play with words which belittles the athlete.

Jaw dropping coughing fit

All would have followed the extensive coverage of the 15th anniversary remembering 9/11 when the twin towers at New York fell like a pack of cards when a diabolic plane crashed into them in 2001. America and the world are yet to recover from that unimaginable mishap. But what was more shattering or jaw dropping was a coughing fit experienced by Hillary Clinton. Oh, no! Dissecting  a coughing fit can make jaws drop especially if it is a Presidential candidate.

The 9/11 memorial service acquired magnified proportion akin to the Hiroshima (several decades ago) war debacle. But one veteran Indian journalist reminisced two vital instances linked to bad experiences. He made it sound like jaw dropping but quizzical, I mean the instances:

One, a grim reminder of the 1984 Sikh riots in India that catapulted a Sikh finance minister to be the next Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh for two terms – jaw dropped.

Two, the 9/11 tragedy also witnessed Barack Hussain Obama (Moslem by birth) who was elected President of the US for two terms.  So much thought for a less magnified fact thrust into the faces of Indian and US citizens needs to be pondered. Rather, a slow motion jaw drop.

United Nations

A fifth straw poll to be held on September 26, 2016 may give an indication of the shortlisted candidates for the job of Secretary General of the United Nations.  Women rule the list, as of now Dilma Roussef has dropped her hat into the ring. However, I would love to include some startling candidates like the Syrian president or the Turkish president to contest. They will, with power backing the heavy weights, albeit wielding a sword in one hand and an olive branch in the other. Ever thought of these infamous candidates to head the UN? Predictable or jaw dropping facts or even prospective (?) facts are weathering significance or lack of it. Wait, jaw dropping is effortless, good for smoothening wrinkles on your upper neck.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

No Greeks in the Marathon Medals

Olympics at Rio, an event that grapples the world stage of sports. You win or lose, you are there, you may be an ‘also ran’ but you are there to be noticed.
A stalwart at home or an event sponsored by money bags, doesn’t matter, yet records at the Olympics still fly high, even if it means the last laugh for the participant.
Every nation occupies the stage to be noticed. The most heart-warming and heart-rending participation came from the contingent that represented the ‘refugees’ from Syria, Libya, Yemen, all war-ridden nations. All for a universal circus. They came, they played, they left. Where are the Greeks?

India’s heroes – hope eternal
Our country also represented with enthusiasm and hope, the former attribute led to a whimper of controversies but soon brushed under the carpet. Most participants did well in the qualifying rounds and reached the Quarter Finals. There dropped the curtain and lo! We retrace our steps. All deserve a clap! A handful of participants stood out like P V Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Abhinav Bindra, Dipa Karmakar, the hockey team, the wrestlers' team, the sprinters…so on.

From Sindhu to Sindhi
We haven’t yet finished with felicitations for Sindhu when we begin hearing the whines of Balochs and Sindhis fighting for a homeland. How valid is the whine? It is not grapevine but two countries are witness to the whine now. The cataclysmic element being Kashmir. Regions and regional politics cry ‘war’ and civilians bear the brunt. Are we stepping backwards?
After the Gujjus and Marwaris, the Sindhis are an enterprising lot, a ripe corn left on a hot pan to ‘pop’ up ready to serve you the crisp form of corn. They ‘toil’. I know not how but are so humble and down-to-earth that after clinching a deal with you, they (Sindhis) seem ready to enter a carpeted palace/mansion, an affluent empire built with sweat and blood. Other hardworkers never mention sweat and blood. In my entire life, I have known only three Sindhis, one a boy next-door, brilliant coeval and rich. Next a colleague who exudes the most endearing smile but will not fail to borrow cash from you with that smile (cash duly returned too). A third is a snappy receptionist who will part with anything but not her comfort, self-centered. The job says it.
Feline links
War reminds me of cats, the most aggressive of domestic animals. But why are they called domestic? China recently hosted a contest on a global level to select the best cats. We all know China preens its boundaries but it does not give up the hard stare on them. Unfortunately, many of China’s neighbours are ready for a full-fledged war with claws drawn and ready to fight like Kilkenny cats. God save China’s borders. So much for cats. But the dogs are not being spared in some states, the stray ones. Man can stray but not a dog. The dog is a faithful breed but faces culling and killing. Man is after canine blood!
Surrogacy in India
To hold the reins over surrogacy by the government, is a healthy step to check wayward procreations on ethical grounds. Belonging to the older school of thought, a country like India, where the youth wish to free themselves from the shackles of familial burdens, check eligibility on multiple grounds but restrain emotional chords. Accountability these days is on a corroding path but demographically you are countable. Mind that!