Friday, October 3, 2008

Beyond mere existence

A series of events ...

Kids flocking my door for Ganesha festival's donation (most of which I know will land up in their parents/ uncle's pocket); me buying a cycle I know I would seldom use; my bai asking for increase in pay after 3 years; me seeing a poor lady buying a packet of chips for her kid when her second child starts asking for another one; my inability to do something about the flood situation... makes me realise how helpless I am. How ill-managed and selfish all my decisions are. How all I do is crib. How all I have done in these years is earning a living for myself, except a few of those times when I give away small donations. My quest and jest for life has been left to make a career and munny for myself. My definition of patriotism has been reduced to standing up when the national anthem is played, calling myself Indian at every opportunity and paying taxes regularly. What I want, you may ask. I want to think before spending that munny if it can be better utilised. I want to align my achievements with that of the society. I want to see every project end not on the computer screen or an e-mail but on the expression it creates on people. All this may seem absurd and disoriented. But honestly, every time I read stories of people who have made this a reality for themselves, my heart aches. I do not say what I do is not needed. It's needed for the greater good and the bigger picture of our country's growth. But whenever I look around, all I can see is my effort, the so called taxes, are not helping or making big difference to the life of the needy. Instead, the rising salary of mine and many others increases the gap between the poor and the rich, and making a living in cities costlier.

This post may seem impulsive and raw or even immature but I needed to vent it out. What can be a better place than my blog :-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Let me LIVE !

Procastination has been my recent mantra. I have been procastinating almost everything. Delaying almost all my tasks right from the search of a plumber to caliming my munny @ office. I have been delaying or rather avioding writing blog too, inspite of the fact that I had the urgent desire to write on things like :
The guy Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s comment that Kashmiri's belong to pakistan because they are muslims. 
I wanted to voice my comments on a popular blog I read recently on Indian startups. 
I wanted to share about my friend who was victimised recently and his courage under fire. 
I wanted to publish my previously written blog and now lost on Indian soaps. 
I wanted to admire and appreciate the recent article in sunday times on the Reality show. 
I wanted to write about my recent attack insecurity while working with my supermen colleagues.
I wanted to create a a cyber memorial of my recently deceased pet Sonu.
But all I could do in my  recent past was pass my time in coffee, lunches and playing games on nintendo. 
Wish the encouragement of my friends and jealousy of my foes will help me start. Till then adieu !

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Let’s get united again

Many a times, I feel that our country is better defined as a collection of un-united states than one with unity in diversity. The demands for new states everyday and the politics for the heck of it are nothing new. Every time I feel convinced that we are the next super power, something that our policy makers do throws us 50 yrs back. Today I am scribbling (read cribbing) on something our leaders are not doing. I am cribbing because the government is unable to sign the nuclear deal. I don’t understand that if a layman like me can understand its importance, how can the great leaders miss it? When Vajpayee’s dream can be the six lane national highway, how can he miss this dream of nuclear power for energy needs? I don’t even understand how my heart breaker CPM reads USA in the whole deal? For a moment every time, I wonder if any country has been happy with communism and socialism. Isn’t it sham for dictatorship? May be it’s just a pseudo representation of China, our not so friendly neighbour.

Well here goes a silent prayer hoping against hope that our dear leaders find unity in this one.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The thought first struck me when I had moved with my parents to Rajasthan, and every new classmate of mine wanted to know “Where are you from?” The history repeated it self after I joined college, job…

After so many years in this state where I did my graduation, PG diploma, and now working for last five years, still people call me outsider. It puzzles me that even after eight years if I still don’t belong to this state, then where do I belong? I have my immovable house, and my movable bike and friends here. I have my “little sansar” started and built on this land. The popular reason given to me often is “You don’t know the local language!”. All I can say to my defense is that “I am not good in languages!”, and if it’s any excuse, I don’t know any of the 13 dialects of my so called “native state”.

I am not worried about being called outsider after so many years of being here and there, ton thanks to my father’s transferable government job, I can live with it. I can understand the humor, hence the smile, the security concern, etc which the people show after learning my “native state”. I to some extent can understand the indifference and the uncomforting cold attitude people show towards me, after the question. What bothers me is that they feel I am polluting their society and their culture. I wonder who is to blame, whether it was my parent who instead of making me a “Bihari/Jharkhandi” aspired me to be just Indian. Just for the record I am proud of my “native state”, I am informed of what brings a bad name to it, but at the same time I know what brings pride to it. I may not wear the “state flag” on my sleeves for the one reason that I love to be just part of the country than being part of any state. It seems ironical that whenever abroad we try to connect to other people, with things like “we both are foreigners”, or “we belong to same part of the continent”.

Regionalism is like a virus that doesn’t stop at dividing the state. It further breaks down the state to the N/E/W/S part of state, each part to district and so on…

The daily news tells me that my friends haven’t stopped at just calling me “the outsider”. Now they want me out of this state, and to top it all so do fellow countrymen in Maharashtra, Orissa, Delhi and still counting.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Spider Man/Woman

Have said this before, on a dais in front of a hundred people, and I will do the same today. My inspiration is not Gandhi or Nehru, nor the Tata or the Birla or the Ambani, though I respect them. My role models are my friends and my relatives. In a friend’s blog, I read about one of my closest friend’s tall act. For me, inspiration comes from the people I can relate to, the ones whom I have seen rise.

My role model is that friend of mine who chose to leave his envious high paying, comfortable job to chase the dreams he believed in. I salute the friend who left her well performing career in an MNC to give her childhood dream a try. I am inspired by the friend who, against all odds, never gave up his dream to start his own adventure firm, even though he had to take up many stop gap jobs to sustain himself. Most of us (at least I can say this about myself) are like satellites, using the little fuel in us, that is, our courage, to get back ourselves on the orbit, whenever we divert. For various reasons, we tend to compromise with and accept what we have, with exceptions to small changes that we make in our existing environment. We all seek job security; we would love to know when and from where the next pay check is coming. The most drastic step may be changing our job, with fingers crossed, praying that the unknown future be better than the present. We grew up with some dreams of what we wanted to with our lives, at least, we started with them. The million dollar question is, are we doing what we wanted to? My answer is …

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Indian Holocaust

I am addicted to refreshing the news channel site every third minute. Recently quite a number of news has been very disturbing, and I am sure that I am not being the sensitive one here. The event that stands out is the dirty politics of quota. Every time I try to ignore this news (read problem), it presents itself in a new way. Crying out loud “I am here to stay and bother you“. My head reels with the questions like, why is it still needed after 60 years of independence? I for one wonder how can 60 years of progress can lead to implementation of new quota system than on the contrary removing them? Wasn't eradication of caste system and having a uniform society the first step of the freedom fight?

For once even if I accept that this is the best method for a better future. Then is the description of backward classes after so many years still remain the castes? Isn’t it that all these castes are basically the result of the jobs our great-grand father’s ancestors did hundreds of years ago? Are those candidates whose fathers got good education and extra opportunities because of the existing age-old reservation, still backward? What about the people who converted their religion, why are they not considered part of the backward classes. Isn’t the fact that the government pushing for the reservation for creamy layer not an indication of what this govt actually wants? VOTES!!! Neither the fact that the data used for quota is disputed nor the fact that creamy layer definition doesn’t include people earning up to Rs 2.5 Lac per annum, seems surprising. Or does it? I am sure it would include lot of my friends in non-IT job. Great news to the lobby of self styled businessmen and agents who declare the income tax as less as they can.

What is more bothering than most is that 60 year old reservation has not been revisited ever? And that nobody even mention about it? Why can’t those be given to the new OBC quota? Why is everybody running the show of Indian politics more concerned about cutting into the general quota and giving out the share? Why no one is interested in verifying whether all the quotas implemented earlier are still needed. What has happened to the notion of equal opportunity for the general class people?

All these questions make me feel that govt thinks that the earlier quota system hasn’t helped much enough either the needy people or the needy politicians. If the later is the real reason, then god save the state of Tamil Naidu where 69% reservation is already in place. As for my logical mind, any sane soul would vote or vouch for the quota system if and only if this system had proved results before. And if I m not misreading the new system is proposed because earlier one didn’t have desired results. It’s not very comforting to learn that that our HRD minister and his able bureaucrats can only think of one solution. Are we all are trying to ignore the implicit, rather are we trying hard to accept the self contradicting logic? It’s not only the quota that sends a shiver down my spine, it is the fact that most of us stand mum accepting it, me included. The thought even scares me that this is not going to end here its just the beginning, next would be the quota on state basis, then on religion and god knows what else.

Let me say this that since our country cannot afford unemployment stipend or stipend for below-poverty-line, I can accept quota but not on present terms. I can accept quota which is for economically backward basis and not on what my great-grandfather did. I can accept extra privileges for the kids of poor may be state run competitive schools paid by me and other tax payers’ money, may be even scholarships for deserving. I am ready to accept quota which is based on opportunities available to one and not based on religion and caste.

Since we already have bowed down to this system, I just hope the rest of the country doesn’t end up like Rajasthan is today. A silent prayer to god to please help my country to chose its next leaders, engineers, doctors and all those who build this country on their certificate of merit and not caste.

My heart says we need a new start, but my head reminds me that life gives no second chance.