Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who the Hell Cares About it??

Over the last week when I looked at the newspapers I felt like being in the year 1947. The reason was Jaswant Singh. He is not to be blamed. Of course having lost the election so badly, he and his party had nothing to make news about. So Jaswant wrote a book for which he had expected even more fracas. It has become a practice of people writing the books after their retirement. Ironically in case of Jaswant Singh, his book caused his retirement! With his book he has opened a bottle of worms that stirred up some of the old historians to dust off their memories of Indian Independence and Partition. People have started debates of whether Jinnah was the real villain in the partition or whether Nehru and Patel were his accomplices. What are the voters going to benefit from raking issues that are already dead and buried? The news channels were spot on making a mountain out of a mole trying to magnify everything they get out of some 70 plus gentlemen. They are happy that they have something in store for the coming month. Otherwise they’ll go back to the swine flu death countdown or Rakhi Sawant ki Swayamvar. Even if this partition row gets over, we have another entertainment sponsored by our BJP comedians which shows no signs of getting over in the near future. This has got enough potential to become the next big blockbuster. May be RGV is itching to make one. He doesn’t even have to wait long for actors’ call sheet. Sooner or later all BJP leaders are going to be suspended and RGV can make use of them. Oh my God, how does it feel like being in a party where all its party followers are against it, calling their leaders all the names under the sun, a party having number of factions larger than the number of states in the country, a party having opposition within itself. There are people who are in pursuit of a second earth, water in Mars, et cetera but back in India we are still talking of Partition, Independence, Nehru and Jinnah. When will Indians wake up from dreaming about the past? India is not going to attain 9% GDP if Nehru is proved to be a hero and not an alleged anti-hero and Pakistan is not going to stop asking for the next dossier if Jinnah is accepted as hero! There are lots of things that India should not learn from US. But India should treat history like an American woman who doesn’t even care to look at her divorced husband who comes walking opposite her! May be that is why they are a superpower!

...ceedee... in the news

August 27, 2009, The New Indian Express

May 18, 2008, The Times of India

Friday, August 21, 2009

Disposable Gods!!

This Sunday is gonna be Ganesh Chathurthi. Our Ganesh who was happily having milk abhishekaas (sometimes literally had milk) at temple has to come out to have sweat abhishekaas. Of course this suffering is very minor when compared to the immersion in the water, where he has to suffer for breath and die of asphyxiation. Ganesh Chathurthi is a day when Ganesh will be brought to streets to toil in the heat and people gulping sweets sitting at home in the name of Ganesh. Do you know something? Lord Ganesh was created, sorry born in a jiffy. The story goes like this. One day Lord Shiva was out to a war. His wife Parvati wanted to bathe. As his hubby was out of station, she had the thought of having a bodyguard and created Ganesh with the sandalwood paste. May be Britney Spears knew about Parvati earlier and wanted bodyguards for her. Parvati wanted them only when her husband was out. In case of Britney regardless of whether her husband (sorry I did not know who her hubby was when I wrote this post) was with her or not, bodyguards were there. Like her shadows they protected her from paparazzi and fans, sometimes from her past, present and future hubbies too. I think this post is turning out to be Britney’s special.

On Her Guard

Let’s turn our attention to Ganesh. So, Ganesh was created in jiffy. Another interesting story is that Lord Shiva himself did not know that he had a son called Ganesh. As Ganesh was born when he was out of station on war duty, he didn’t know that he became a father. When he returned home after battle and tried to enter into Parvati’s chamber, he was stopped by his son. Enraged by this Shiva cut off his son’s head. Please don’t ask for how long Parvati was bathing. Parvati was raged by his hubby’s foolish act and told her that he was his son Ganesh. This is the turning point of the story. Here is where SA Rajkumar does his ‘lala laa la la laaa’ in the BGM. She explained him that he was protecting her. And when Parvati was all set to destroy the whole world, Shiva ordered his commandoes to bring the head of a child that was sleeping with its head placed in the north direction. The commandoes of Shiva were too intelligent than their boss. They brought the head of an elephant that was sleeping with its head placed in the north and Parvati gave elephant-headed Ganesh life.

On a Normal Day

Ganesh Chathurthi is considered to be Ganesh’s birthday. The person who popularised the idea of making Ganesh idols and submerging them in the sea was none other than the person who said ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it’. Yeah it was Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Incidentally when I was reading about him I came to know that BGT and I shared the same birthday! And he brought about his idea to bring people from upper and lower castes together in a show of unity to the British. Earlier days Ganesh idols were made of clay and they were submerged in nearby water body. But nowadays ‘yeh dil maange more’ attitude resulted in making huge Ganesh idols of Plaster of Paris. The problem with plaster of Paris is that it takes more time to dissolve and also release toxic substances that pose a threat to sea life. It’s a common sight to see shoals of dead fish the next day on the shore. It’s only now plastics have been banned in the world’s second longest beach, the Marina, Ganesh Chathurthi only going to bring these waters tonnes of plastics and gallons of toxics.

On his birthday, waiting to swim!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Independence Day!!

Headlines of some famous newspapers on August 15, 1947

The Constittution of India

Tryst with Mediocrity??

Every time I complete watching a movie based on Indian independence I feel very proud. But unfortunately that feeling lasts only till I switch on the news to see our self-centered, selfish politicians. Even after 60 + years of independence, India has lost all of its chances to be one of the global powers, whereas China has exploited each and every chance to make its stand firm in the global stage. The Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony made US and other superpowers run for a cover. It was how the world peeped through the iron curtain to get a ballpark figure of China’s strength and power. To be true it was how China flexed its muscles to the world. India too has a chance to showcase its might at Commonwealth Games in 2010. With only 415 days to go all we could see is some haphazard caused by deadline driven projects. When we cannot even infuse confidence into a meager group of badminton players how can we expect India to become a super power in 2020. They say the players overreacted, but we should have done something that neutralizes their doubts over the security.
Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest), China

Beijing National Stadium
Jawaharlal National Stadium, New Delhi

One major fear lingering in the minds of the first world countries is the way India and China had fought back the global recession still maintaining their growth rate only with a slight fall. When it was a recession everywhere, it was just a slowdown in India. Every other country tout that India has a potential of becoming a superpower but all we do is bask happily in the past glory and achievements. De-politicization of developmental process is the first and major step; if at all our country likes to stand tall in the world stage. Why does a politician or a political party take a ownership in building a flyover or a bridge or something with taxpayers’ money? It is only their duty to fulfill the promises for which they have been voted for. Government officials must be insulated from the authority of politicians. Red tape is the major hurdle in the way of the development of the country. In India development could be seen only in the families of politicians, their accounts, their assets and in some cases, development in the number of families of a politician. Why is there a manifold increase in the assets quoted by them in the successive election nominations? To whom are these people accountable to? When government urges the citizens to pay their taxes, aren’t they the citizens of this country too? Why do their Swiss bank accounts swell when they are in power? Why there are so many prime ministerial candidates? Why do they need to be in power to serve people? Why development means erecting statues? Why sports in India means only cricket? Why only 17 medals in the last 88 years of Olympics? Why are quotas based on caste? Why a government machinery not dependable in the minds of youth of this country? Why government projects carry on at snail’s pace? Why bad roads even when crores of money is allotted in every financial budget? Why do we get floods in every monsoon? And this year we did not even get monsoon rains! May be because to avoid us from experiencing miseries caused by floods. For how long should India remain as a ‘developing’ country? When is India going to cease to seem to be a threat to superpowers and become one? When are all Indians going to be proud about the country without any compromises? When will all the Indians take pride in celebrating our independence day? When will August 15th be more than just a national holiday?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When Pigs Flew!!

It seems that the Chennaiites are gripped with the fear of H1N1 virus spreading all over the city. Today when I went to Velachery MRTS railway station to drop my father, I saw a large group of people wearing masks following the precautions set down by the government. School children were seen wearing masks when they were taken to the school by the parents. Most school children are expecting an extended summer vacations. Middle aged office goers seem to take no chances with the global pandemic. They were seen sporting a handkerchief tied around their mouth. Elderly people were not so much threatened by the virus. The death of a 4 year boy at Velachery has really made the residents of that area panic. This H1N1 virus seems to spare not even doctors trying to cure the patients. I wish India doesn’t have as many casualties as in other parts of the world. I wish our state governments work in tandem with the central government and tackle the consequences of the virus. I wish our politicians do not rake up this issue for political gains. I wish you to read the directions given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are a procrastinator, click here.

Chennai Rocked!!

Every night I set my alarm to 4.00am, wishing to get up without disturbing anyone. But what actually happens is everyone wakes up to the alarm, except me. During my school days I made it a habit of getting up at 4 o clock even on Sundays. But now I could hardly get up at six. Getting up early is one of the best habits that was not only preached but also practiced by my parents. When I wake up early I feel so proud as if I’ve achieved something overnight. In the last four years I just could not wake up as I wished. I keep snoozing on the alarm till morning, and then turn it off and continue to sleep till I get kick from my father. I became so lethargic during my college days. May be I lost interest in waking up early. But yesterday night I made up my mind to get up as planned. I even gave up the habit of hearing songs yesterday night. Still I had a very disturbed sleep. I was not sure whether I’ll wake up to the alarm or make others lose their sleep. To mark the disturbed sleep I had lots of dreams which kept me busy in the night, trying to figure out the characters. I like dreaming because in a dream everything you wish happens. Sometimes beautiful dreams where I would be walking along Swiss Alps, sometimes very awkward, disturbing the sleep. Yesterday was one such night. There were some blurred images very difficult to figure out what it was. I another dream I saw Super Star moonwalking in his upcoming movie Enthiran. Suddenly the scene changed into a climax of a tamil movie where enemies express their regret for their wrong-doings and become good men. The background music was so very soothing. The images were gone and everything became blank. But the music was still going on. I woke up only to know that it was the music I had set for the alarm. I turned it off. I saw some late night junk messages. Stuck in between them was a message that made me wide awake. It was a message from Godse saying that there was an earthquake in Chennai last night. The message was sent at two o clock. I switched on the news channels and there was a news flash saying that there was 8th death in India because of swine flu and some discussions about size zero and lip-locks. Then I switched to Sun News. There I saw the expected headline. One of the headline even said that our area also experienced the tremors. If it was not for Godse’s message it would have been just another day. After that I could not sleep, so started writing this post. In the morning when I stepped out of the house to see the reaction of the people after the late night aftershocks there was not even a single soul talking about it. May be this time the quake had bad timing. Even most of the the newspapers did not carry the news as it was in the early morning hours. Very bad timing indeed. In DeepSun’s words, "next time better'a try pannu"!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

India, A Country of Countries

One of my college friends is leaving to Sweden for his Masters. He made all his arrangements to spend his next two years of life in Sweden. Only thing he has to do on landing there is to get a part-time job and to get a job he has to learn Swedish. The university provides all its international students Swedish language courses for free. Now imagine what if a student from Sweden comes to India (in worst cases) to pursue his higher education? How many languages he has to learn? There are 22 official languages apart from a lot of unofficial languages. For god’s sake let the count remain 22, because carrying an A4 sized 10 rupee note becomes even more difficult than earning it.
Language is only one of the many attributes of our country’s diversity. Living in the bottom of our country in a place called Chennai, it requires even me to dust off my Hindi speaking skills, at least to manage, when I go to northern part of the country. India is a country of countries. A person from one state is a foreigner in another state. Everything is different; language, clothes, customs, beliefs, gods, politicians, soap operas, newspapers, superstars and recently, their IPL team. If you think racism is only between two different countries you are completely wrong. It exists even between two states of this country. A person from Andhra Pradesh is called a ‘Golti’ (for both genders), but if a person from Kerala is a man he is called a ‘Nair’ and in case of a lady the name by which they are being called is worth not mentioning, if he is from Tamil Nadu he’s called a ‘Madrasi’ no matter what part of Tamil Nadu he is from. At the national level Indians cannot accept a foreigner as their Prime Minister. At the state level people are so intolerant that they don’t even allow inauguration of the statue of a poet from a different state in their soil. They are dead set against people from other state being employed in their state governments. Of course it’s a natural behaviour to expect from people who don’t even allow the river flow to its neighbouring state. During the times of unrest between two states, vehicles with registration number of a different state are smashed, movies made in the enemy state are not allowed to screen, and film fraternities from the respective cinema industries flock together to stage protests only to rehearse their punch dialogues in the upcoming movie. Anybody making a loose talk during such protests becomes the next national issue forcing the actor to apologise to the people in the regional languages of both the states.

After all of this have you started thinking that there is nothing common in all these states? In this country of so much diversities and adversities there are also certain things common – bad roads, jam-packed trains and buses, traffic jams, long queues, price rise, power cuts, terrorist attacks, quotas, statues, piracy, summer heat, floods, Gandhi Jayanthi, and recently Swine Flu!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

WADA Podaa!! The Curious Case of Indian Cricketers

This paragraph in the World Anti-Doping Code has made Indian cricketers to keep away from signing the Anti-Doping Agreement. This has divided the Indian sporting community into two; lone cricketers on one side and all the remaining athletes on the other side trying to mollify the cricketers’ stand on WADA. I wonder why (only Indian) cricketers alone feel this ‘whereabouts’ clause is going to infringe upon their privacy when all the tennis stars and players of the world’s most followed game, Football is completely WADA compliant. Earlier FIFA and UEFA tried to dilute the whereabouts clause but in vain. Indian Cricketers are surely a different league of sportsmen. They are demi-gods (at least when we win). Top cricket players have a Z plus security cover, equivalent to top politicians of our country. They are one among the groups of people in India who’ll be mobbed when they walk on the streets. When compared to that of footballers, they are nowhere near. When Yuvraj represented India in Euro 2008 and awarded the man of the match to Swiss player Hakan Yakin, people called it only an honour for him to be spotted at Euro 2008 and not for the awardee. No wonder why he was seen sporting a headphone while receiving the award.

India is a country where Olympic culture is ignorant. It has a very poor Olympic record of just 17 medals in last 88 years. Countries like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England and even Caribbean islands have a strong culture of Olympic sports and find it natural to adhere to international sporting norms. This national ignorance has made the Indian cricketers feel odd about these anti-doping rules. I think it’s better for Indian players to abide by the global rules to avoid isolation by the sporting community.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Friendship Day!!

I wish all my blog friends and followers, a happy friendship day. If you want some nice quotes on friendship, you can get them by searching in Google (solution for everything), but to understand the meaning of it... friendship is a feeling that gives us confidence, joy almost everything that makes life beautiful. A friend is one of the best bonds between people. There’s nothing you cannot share with them. There is never a wall between us and our friends unless we ourselves try to build one. There are some persons in life whose worth is not known until it’s missed. A good friend is one such person. Having a true friend beside you will make you ready to face anything in this world. Friends are persons who do things least expected by you. I feel very difficult to explain through words about friendship. Friendship is like a wind, you don’t see it only feel it.

These are some of the quotes on friendship I liked.

v "In loneliness, in sickness, in confusion-the mere knowledge of friendship makes it possible to endure, even if the friend is powerless to help. It is enough that they exist. Friendship is not diminished by distance or time, by imprisonment or war, by suffering or silence. It is in these things that it roots most deeply. It is from these things that it flowers."
-Pam Brown

v "Life without a friend is like death without a witness."
- Spanish Proverb

v "The best mirror is an old friend."

v One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives."
- Euripides, Greek playwrite

v We've shared many smiles and many tears, but nothing beats the laughter."

v "The best of friendships are the ones where two friends can sit on a swing, not saying a word, but walk away feeling like u just had the best conversation ever."


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