Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Which is when the world stopped turning.
Which is when the birds fell silent.
Which is when the clouds all breathed in at the same time.
Which is when lies became truth.
Which is when pain became love.
Which is when fires burned blue.
Which is when red flowers bloomed.
Which is when snow fell.
Which is when ice became water.
Which is when the universe smiled.
Which is when the sunshine and the moonlight met.
Which is when gravity gave up the ghost.
Which is when the air became thick.
Which is when people screamed on the edges of cliffs.
Which is when every guitar in the world strummed the same three chords over and over.
Which is when the dead rolled over and wished to live again.
Which is when the song turned itself up.
Which is when aliens on other worlds looked up into the heavens and gasped.
When is when hurricanes and storms and floods swept through us.
Which is when tears fell from willows at the beauty of it all.
Which is when riots and madness chased themselves through the streets.
Which is when millions of glasses committed suicide, throwing themselves from kitchen cupboards.
Which is when angels were filled with envy.
Which is when vampires threw back their heads and howled.
Which is when skin crawled.
Which is when we were watching TV on a couch.
Which is when you were in my arms and I was in your mouth
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
A real story ...A conversation between a man and software engg in Shatabdi Train .... Vivek Pradhan was not a happy man.. He was the Project Manager and still Not entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought, he had tried to reason with the admin Person, it was the savings in time. He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to Some good use. 'Are you from the software industry sir,' the man beside him was staring Appreciatively at the laptop.
Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now With exaggerated care And importance as if it were an expensive car. 'You people have brought so much advancement to the country, Sir. Today Everything is getting computerized.' '
Thanks,' smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look. He always Found it difficult to resist appreciation. '
You people always amaze me,' the man continued, 'You sit in an office and Write something on a computer And it does so many big things outside.'
Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naiveness demanded reasoning not anger. 'It is Not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few lines. There is a lot of Process That goes behind it.' '
It is complex, very complex.' 'It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid,' came the reply.
This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence Crept Into his so far affable, persuasive tone. ' Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in. .. 'Let me give you an example. Take this train. The entire railway Reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the Hundreds of computerized booking Centres across the country. Thousands of transactions accessing a single database, at a time Concurrently; data integrity, locking, data security.
Do you understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?' The man was awestruck; quite like a child at a planetarium. 'You design and code such things.' 'I used to,' Vivek paused for effect, 'but now I am the Project Manager.' 'Oh!' sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, 'so your life is easy now.'
This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, 'Oh come on, does Life Ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding! That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am Responsible for it and believe me, That is far more stressful. My job is to get the work done in time and With The highest quality. To tell you about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always Changing his requirements, The user at the other, wanting something else, and your boss, always Expecting you to have finished it yesterday.' 'My friend,' he concluded triumphantly, 'you don't know what it is to be In The Line of Fire'.
The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization. When He spoke after sometime, it was with A calm certainty that surprised Vivek. 'I know sir,...... I know what it is to be in the Line of Fire.......' He was staring blankly, as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast Expanse of time. 'There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the Cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for Whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolour at the top only 4 of Us were alive.' 'You are a...?' 'I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil..
They tell me I have completed My term and can opt for a soft assignment.
But, tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues lay injured in the snow, Open to enemy fire while We were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to safety. But my captain sahib refused me permission and went ahead himself.
He said that the first pledge he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put The safety and welfare of The nation foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men he Commanded... ....his own personal safety came last, always and every time.' 'He was killed as he shielded and brought that injured soldier into the Bunker.
Every morning thereafter, As we stood guard, I could see him taking all those bullets, which were Actually meant for me. I know sir....I know, what it is to be in the Line of Fire.' Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of how to respond.
Abruptly, he Switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting, to edit a Word document in the presence Of a man for whom Valour and duty was a daily part of life; valour and sense of duty which He Had so far attributed only to epical heroes.
The train slowed down as it Pulled into the station, and Subedar Sushant picked up his bags to alight.. 'It was nice meeting you sir.' Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This hand... had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger, and hoisted the Tricolour. Suddenly, as if by impulse, he stood up at attention and his right hand Went up in an impromptu salute. It was the least he felt he could do for the country.
PS: The incident narrated was during the capture of Peak 4875 is a True-life incident during the Kargil war. Capt. Batra sacrificed his life while trying to save one of the men he Commanded, as victory was within sight. For this and various other acts of bravery, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, The nation's highest military award.
Monday, July 6, 2009
"25 per cent discount on metered fare for the handicapped. Free rides for blind passengers up to Rs50".
He also said that his auto was mentioned on Radio Mirchi twice by the station RJs. The Marathi press in Mumbai knows about him and has written a few pieces on him and his vehicle. My wife and I were struck with awe. The man was a HERO! A hero who deserves all our respect. I know that my son, once he grows up, will realise that we have met a genuine hero. He has put questions to me such as why should we help other people? I will try to keep this incident alive in his memory.Our journey came to an end; 45 minutes of a lesson in humility, selflessness and of a hero-worshipping Mumbai - my temporary home. We disembarked, and all I could do was to pay him a tip that would hardly cover a free ride for a blind man. I hope, one day, you too have a chance to meet Mr. Sandeep Bachhe in his auto rickshaw - MH-02-Z-8508.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Every relationship has a cycle...In the beginning, you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love.
People in love sometimes say, "I was swept of my feet." Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU. Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It's a natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage. At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, "Am I with the right person?" And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown.
The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it's learning to love the person you found.
People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfilment. Extramarital fulfilment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it. I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this): The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it's learning to love the person you found.
SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner). Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know and apply these laws, the results are predictable. You can "make" love. Love is therefore a "decision". Not just a feeling.
Remember this always God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO
Thanks & Regards
Friday, May 29, 2009
And i open up my eyes
I feel an aching in my heart
That's when i realise
How much i really miss you
and long to have you near
My heart is filled with sadness
My eyes are filled with tears
At different times throughout the day
I find i'm missing you
And i wonder if, perhaps a bit
Maybe you miss me too
I miss you in the shower
When i'm in there all alone
And when i want to hear your voice
and call you on the phone
When i check my email
and find there's nothing there
I can't help that i worry
and i put you in my prayers
I think by now it's safe to say
That i miss you very much
And my heart will never be the same
Since it suffered Cupid's touch
Recently i came across this wonderful mail...
Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay......
People call me "Tree". I had dated 5 girls when I was in Pre-U. There is one girl who I love a lot but never dared to go after. She didn't have a pretty face, good figure or an outstanding charm. She was just a very ordinary girl. I liked her. I really liked her. I liked her innocence, her frankness, her intelligence and her fragility. Reason for not going after her was that I felt somebody so ordinary like her was not a good match for me. I was also afraid that after we were together all the feelings would vanish. I was also afraid other's gossip would hurt her. I felt that if she were my girl, she'd be mine ultimately & I didn't have to give up anything just for her. The last reason, made her accompany me for 3 years. She watched me chase other girls, and I have made her heart cry for 3 years. She was a good actor, and me a demanding director. When I kissed my second girlfriend, she bumped into us. She was embarrassed but smiled & said, "Go on!" before running off. The next day, her eyes were swollen like a walnut. I did not want to know what caused her to cry. Later that day, I returned from soccer training to get something & watched her cry in the classroom for an hour or so. My fourth girlfriend did not like her. There was once when both of them quarreled. I know that based on her character she is not the type that will start the quarrel. However, I still sided my girlfriend. I shouted at her & ignored her feelings and walked off with my girlfriend. The next day, she was laughing & joking with me like nothing happened. I know she was hurt but she did not know deep down inside I was hurt too. When I broke up with my fifth girlfriend, I asked her out. Later that day, I told her I had something to tell her. I told her about my break up. Coincidentally, she has something to tell me too, about her getting together. I knew who the person was. His pursuit for her had been the talk of the School. I did not show her my heartache, just smiled & gave my best wishes. Once I reached home, I could not breathe. Tears rolled & I broke down. How many times have I seen her cry for the man who did not acknowledge her presence?
During graduation, I read a SMS in my hp. It said, "Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay"
People call me Leaf. During the 3 years of Pre-U, I was on very close terms with a guy as buddy kind. However, when he had his first girlfriend, I learnt a feeling I never should have learnt - Jealousy. Sourness to the extreme limit. They were only together for 2 months. When they broke up, I hid my happiness. But after a month, he got together with another girl. I liked him & I know he liked me. But why wouldn't he pursue me? Since he loves me why didn't he make the first move? Whenever he had a new girlfriend,my heart would hurt. After some time, I began to suspect that this was one-sided love. If he didn't like me, why did he treat me so well? It's beyond what you will normally do for a friend. I know his likes, hishabits. But his feelings towards me I can never figure out. You can't expectme a girl, to ask him. Despite that, I still wanted to be by his side. Care for him, accompany him, and love him. Hoping that one day, he will come to love me. Because of this, I waited for him. Sometimes, I wondered if I should continue waiting. The pain, the dilemma accompanied me for 3 years. At the end of my 3rd year, a junior pursued me. Everyday he pursued me. He's like the cool & gentle wind, trying to blow off a leaf from a tree. In the end, I realized that I wanted to give this wind a small footing in my heart. I know the wind will bring the leaf to a better land. Finally, the leaf left the tree, but the tree only smiled & didn't ask me to stay.
Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or cause Tree didn't ask her to stay.
Because I like a girl called leaf. Because she's so dependent on tree, so I have to be a gust of wind. A wind that will blow her away. When I first met her, it was 1 month after I was transferred to this new school. I saw a petite person look ing at my seniors & me playing soccer. During ECA time, she will always be sitting there. Be it alone or with her friends, looking at him. When he talks with girls, there's jealousy in her eyes. When he looked at her, there's a smile in her eyes. Looking at her became my habit. Just like, she likes to look at him. One day, she didn't appear. I felt something missing. I can't explain the feeling except it's a kind of uneasiness. The senior was also not there as well. I went to their classroom, hid outside and saw my senior scoldingher. Tears were there in her eyes as he left. The next day, I saw her at her usual place, looking at him. I walked over and smiled to her. Took out a note & gave it to her. She was surprised. She looked at me, smiled & accepted the note. The next day, she appeared & passed me a note and left. It read, "Leaf's heart is too heavy and wind couldn't blow her away." "It's not that the leaf's heart is too heavy. Its because leaf never wants to leave tree." I replied to her note with this statement and slowly she started to talk to me & accept my presents & phone calls. I know that the person she lovesis not me. But I have this perseverance that one day I will make her like me. Within 4 months, I have declared my love for her no less than 20 times.Every time, she will divert away from the topic. But I never give up. If I decide I want her to be mine, I will definitely use all means to win her over. I can't remember how many times I have declared my love to her. Although I know, she will try to divert but I still bear a small ray of hope. One day,hoping that she will agree to be my girlfriend,I gave her a call. I didn't hear any reply from her over the phone. I asked, "What are you doing? How come you didn't want to reply?" She said, "I'm nodding my head". "Ah?" I could n't believe my ears. "I'm nodding my head" She replied loudly. I hang up the phone, quickly changed and took a taxi and rushed to her place & pressed her doorbell. During the moment when she opened the door, I hugged her tightly.
Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay...
In love, we win very rarely, but when love is true, even if you lose, you still win just for having the tingle of loving someone more than you love yourself.
There comes a time when we stop loving someone, not because that person has stopped loving us but because we have found out that, they'd be happier if we let go....
Why do we close our eyes when we sleep? When we cry? When we imagine? When we kiss?
This is because THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN THE WORLD ARE UNSEEN.
A great love? It's when you shed tears and still you care for them, it's when they ignore you and still you long for them. It's when they begin to love another and yet you smile and say, "I'm happy for you." If love fails, set yourself free, let your heart spread its wings and fly again. Remember you may find love and lose it, but when love dies, you never have to die with it.
The strongest people are not those who always win but those who stand back up when they fall. Somehow, along the course of life, you learn about yourself and realize that there should never be regrets, only a lifelong appreciation of the choices you've made.
It's best to wait for the one you want than settle for one that's available. It's best to wait for the right one because life is too short to waste on just someone.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Most modern Indian cities strive to rise above ethnicity. Tell anybody who lives in Bombay that he lives in a Maharashtrian city and (unless of course, you are speaking to Bal Thackeray) he will take immediate offence. We are cosmopolitan, he will say indigenously. Tell a Delhiwalla that his is a Punjabi city (which, in many ways, it is) and he will respond with much self-righteous nonsense about being the nation's capital, about the international composition of the city's elite etc. And tell a Bangalorean that he lives in a Kannadiga city and you'll get lots of techno-gaff about the internet revolution and about how Bangalore is even more cosmopolitan than Bombay. But, the only way to understand what Calcutta is about is recognize that the city is essentially Bengali. What's more, no Bengali minds you saying that. Rather, he is proud of the fact. Calcutta's strengths and weaknesses mirror those of the Bengali character. It has the drawbacks: the sudden passions, the cheerful chaos, the utter contempt for mere commerce, the fiery response to the smallest provocation. And it has the strengths (actually, I think of the drawbacks as strengths in their own way). Calcutta embodies the Bengali love of culture; the triumph of intellectualism over greed; the complete transparency of all emotions, the disdain with which hypocrisy and insincerity are treated; the warmth of genuine humanity; and the supremacy of emotion over all other aspects of human existence.
That's why Calcutta is not for everyone.. You want your cities clean and green; stick to Delhi. You want your cities, rich and impersonal; go to Bombay. You want them high-tech and full of draught beer; Bangalore's your place. But if you want a city with a soul: come to Calcutta. Now that i live in Bangalore, whenever I look back on the years I've spent in Calcutta - and I come back so many times each year that I often feel I've never been away - I don't remember the things that people remember about cities. When I think of Calcutta, I never think of any one place. I don't focus on the greenery of the maidan, the beauty of the Victoria Memorial, the bustle of Burra Bazar or the splendour of the newHowrah 'Bridge'. I think of people. Because, finally, a city is more than bricks and mortars, street lights and tarred roads. A city is the sum of its people. And who can ever forget - or replicate - the people of Calcutta?
When I first came to live in Bangalore, I use to tell everyone that the city would grow on them once they start living there. It teaches you about true warmth; about simple human decency; about love and friendship; about emotions and caring; about truth and honesty. Here people judge each other on the things that really mattered; where they recognized that being rich did not make you a better person - in fact, it might have the opposite effect. I learnt also that if life is about more than just money, it is about the thingsthat other cities ignore; about culture, about ideas, about art, and about passion. In Bombay, a man with a relatively low income will salt some of it away for the day when he gets a stock market tip. In Calcutta, a man with exactly the same income will not know the difference between a debenture and a dividend. But he will spend his money on the things that matter. Each morning, he will read at least two newspapers and develop sharply etched views on the state of the world.
Each evening, there will be fresh (ideally, fresh-water or river) fish on his table. His children will be encouraged to learn to dance or sing. His family will appreciate the power of poetry.. And for him, religion and culture will be in inextricably bound together.
Ah religion! Tell outsiders about the importance of Puja in Calcutta and they'll scoff. Don't be silly, they'll say. Puja is a religious festival. And Bengal has voted for the Communist Party of India (Marx) since 1977. How can godless Bengal be so hung up on a religions festival? I never know how to explain them that to a Bengali, religion consists of much more than shouting Jai Shri Ram or pulling down somebody's mosque. It has little to do with meaningless ritual or sinister political activity.
The essence of Puja is that all the passions of Bengal converge: emotion, culture, the love of life, the warmth of being together, the joy of celebration, the pride in artistic ex-pression and yes, the cult of the goddess. It may be about religion. But is about much more than just worship. In which other part of India would small, not particularly well-off localities, vie with each other to produce the best pandals? Where else could puja pandals go beyond religion to draw inspiration from everything else? In the years I lived in Calcutta, the pandals featured Amitabh Bachchan , Princes Diana and even Saddam Hussain! Where else would children cry with the sheer emotional power of Dashimi, upset that the Goddess had left their homes? Where else would the whole city gooseflesh when the dhakis first begin to beat their drums? Which other Indian festival - in any part of the country - is so much about food, about going from one roadside stall to another, following your nose as it trails the smells of cooking?
To understand Puja, you must understand Calcutta. And to understand Calcutta, you must understand the Bengali. It's not easy. Certainly, you can't do it till you come and live here, till you let Calcutta suffuse your being, invade your bloodstream and steal your soul. But once you have, you'll love Calcutta forever. Wherever you go, a bit of Calcutta will go with you.. I know, because it's happened to me. And every Puja, I am overcome by the magic of Bengal.
It's a feeling that'll never go away.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Sadly, this is a true story. Here’re the links to the press coverage of this utterly shameful incident.
Yes, everything changes. The fantastic invisible sweep of time rushes and roars past us every dull and intense second that ticks relentlessly away every day, and all around us things constantly morph. Twin towers crumble, good people die, the good earth turns brown and bare, and old love fades.And what precisely is your role in the incredible kaleidoscope of change? A slack-jaw by-stander who barely registers the impact and implications? A commentator spectator who freely critiques but somehow rises above being affected by it all? A fatalist loser who bemoans everything and blames it all on circumstances and other people? Look around you, you who reside in the so-called mind and knowledge capital of the shining new India. This is Bangalore. Many of the quiet avenues that used to snake through the wooded shades and fragrant flower-scatters of a thousand gulmohars, flames of the forest, bougenvillias and silver oaks are now shorn of even a single blade of grass, their tar guts upturned by mammoth earth moving equipment, tortured sites full of grime, steel and concrete through which an endless procession of loud vehicles crawl back and forth, utterly indisciplined, frothing with impotent anger and frustration, from the early dusty dawns to the midnight hours, every single day.We are the victims, you say? The civic governance of Bangalore is sub standard, you claim? Well, you may be right, but does that mean that even as an individual citizen whose real powers to influence matters is way less than what it theoretically should be, we have absolutely nothing to do?I am re-thinking this premise, my friend. Unfortunately not a self realization case, but prompted by a black incident last Friday, 6th February, 2009. And this time it was not about aspects that affect your life and mine indirectly. It wasn't the death of yet another 100+ year old tree. It wasn't another instance of criminal neglect of any civic infrastructure. It wasn't road rage. It was a kick in the groin. Literally. And it woke me up all right. So, in brief, this is how the drama unfolded:A few of my friends and I were just paying our bills and coming out of our regular Friday night watering hole and dinner place in Rest House Road, just off Brigade Road, and most of the women in the company were already standing outside. Some of us outside were smoking, people were happy, there was laughter and jokes, as there were many other people in the street, all coming out, satiated, in the closing hour of the various pubs and restaurants around. Suddenly from up the street a massive SUV comes revving and speeding, hurtling down, and stops in a scream of brakes and swirling dust, millimeters away from this group of 4 women, barely missing one of their legs. A white Audi, imported, still under transfer, with the registration plate of KA-51 TR-2767. Some millionaire's toy thing, that in the wrong hands can kill.Naturally the women are in shock. And quickly following the shock comes indignation. These are self made women running their own businesses, managing state responsibilities for global NGO firms, successful doctors. They are not used to being bullied. So they turn around, instead of shrinking back in fear. They protest. And as soon as they turn around in protest, the car doors are flung open, and a stream of 4-5 rabid men run out towards these women, screaming obscenities in Hindi and Kannada against women in general, fists flailing. Some of us who came in running at the sound of the screaming brakes now stand in the middle in defense of our women, and then blows start raining down. One of the goons make a couple of calls over the cellphone, and in seconds a stream of other equally rabid goondas land up. They gun straight for the women, and everyone – a few well-meaning bystanders, acquaintances who know us from the restaurant, basically everyone who tries to help the women – starts getting thoroughly beaten up. Women are kicked in the groin, punched in the stomach, slapped across the face, grabbed everywhere, abused constantly. Men are smashed up professionally, blows aimed at livers, groins, kidneys and nose. A friend is hit repeatedly on the head by a stone until he passes out in a flood of blood. A plain-clothes policeman (Vittal Kumar) who saunters in late stands by watching and urging people to stop, but doing absolutely nothing else. A 'cheetah' biker cop comes in, with our women pleading him to stop this madness, but he refuses action, saying a police van will come in soon and he cannot do anything. Everyone keeps getting hammered. Relentlessly. The carnage continues for over 20 minutes. Finally when the police van does come in it is this vandals who are raging and ranting, claiming to be true "sons of the Kannadiga soil", and we are positioned to be the villainous outsiders, bleeding, outraged. How do the cops believe them, especially seeing the bloody faces of our men and the violated rage of our women, while they carry nary a scratch on their bodies? Don't ask me! Yet, it is us who these goondas urge the newly arrived law-keepers to arrest, and the police promptly comply, and we are bundled into the van, some still being beaten as we are pushed in. Some blessed relief from pain inside the police van at least, even if we are inside and the real goons outside, driving alongside in their spanking white Audi. The guy who was hit by the stone is taken separately by the women to Mallya hospital. Inside the police station at Cubbon Park it becomes clear that these goons and the police know each other by their first names. The policeman in charge (Thimmappa) initially refuses to even register any complaint from me, on the purported grounds that I am not fluent in Kannada and I have taken a few drinks (3 Kingfisher pints, to be precise) over the evening. No, it doesn't matter that I didn't have my car and was not driving, and no, it doesn't mater that the complaint will be written in English. We watch them and the goons exchange smiles and nods with our our bloodied and swelling eyes and realize in our pain-clouded still-in-shock brains the extent of truth in the claim of one of the main goons when he claimed earlier in the evening in virulent aggression: we own this town, this car belongs to an MLA, we will see how you return to this street!!This was the turning point of the saga, I guess. For we refused to lie down quietly and be victims.One of our girls, a vintage and proud Bangalorean who is running one of the town's most successful organic farming initiatives, took upon herself to write the complaint, when I was not allowed to write the same. Another Bangalore girl, a state director of a global NGO firm, wrote the other molestation complaint separately on behalf of all the girls. Some of us called our friends in the media and corporate world. Everyone stepped up. And even when the odds were down and we were out, we did not give up, and as a singular body of violated citizens we spoke in one voice of courage and indomitable spirit. That voice had no limitation of language, not Kannada, nor English, or Hindi. It was the voice of human spirit that cannot be broken. And in the face of that spirit, for the first time, we saw the ugly visage of vandalism, hiding behind the thin and inadequate veil of political corrupt power, narrow-vision regionalism and self-serving morality, start to wilt. We spent 6 hours next day in the police station. The sub-inspector of police who filed our FIR, Ajay R M, seemed a breath of fresh air inasmuch that he did not appear a-priori biased like others, even though the hand of corruption and politico-criminal power backing these goons was still manifest in many ways: a starched, white-linen power-broker walked in handing over his card to the sub-inspector in support of the goons; the goons got an audience with the Inspector because of this intervention, while we had to interact one level lower down in the hierarchy; the plains cloth policeman of last night, even though he had arrived far too late in the crime scene, gave a warped statement, passing it off as a “neutral” point of view, repeatedly stressing that we came out of a pub and hence were drinking, positioning this as a ‘drunken brawl’, while completely forgetting to mention the unprovoked attack against the women and the one-sided vandalism and violence that ensued. I guess one cannot blame the low ranked police officer – the criminal connections of these goons must be pervasive enough for him to be careful.Thanks however to the impartial handling of the situation by Ajay, soon the goons were all identified. The lead actor was one Ravi Mallaya (38), a real estate honcho and owner of a small property off Brigade Road which he has converted into a "gaming" (you know what that means, don't you?) adda. The others identified are Mohan Basava (22) of Chamarajapet 12th Cross, R. Vijay Kumar Ramalingaraju (25) and Shivu Rajashekar (20). All are residents of 12th & 13th Cross in Vyalikaval. Their bravado and machismo were by that time evaporated. It was good to see their faces then. Of course nothing much happened to them, nor did we expect it. They were supposed to be in lock up for at least the weekend till they were produced in court, but we understand that they were quickly released on (anticipatory?) bail. The car, purportedly belonging to an MLA, also does not figure in the FIR, apparently for reasons of “irrelevance to the case”.The media also have given us fantastic coverage and support so far, strengthening the cause. The goons meanwhile, as an after thought, also filed the customary reverse complaint on the morning after we filed our own complaint: the women have apparently scratched the car! (Why did they not file the complaint the same night, considering they came to the Police Station in the same car? Why was the car allowed to be taken off police custody? Why is the car still irrelevant to the case and not in the FIR? Questions.. questions..).Is this the end of this saga? Probably not. Are these women, more precious to us as friends and wives than most things in our lives, safe to walk or drive down Brigade Road from now on or are the goonda elements, slighted by this arrest and disgrace, are lying in ambush, waiting, biding their time to cause some of us more grievous harm? We don't know. Is there reason for us to remain apprehensive of future attacks and victimization? Perhaps. But here is the point. We stood up. We believed in the power of individual citizens even in the face of hooliganism, intolerance, corruption and power mongering. Even though many of us have the option of leveraging political or government connections, we deliberately chose to fight this battle as individuals. Sure, these connections have been activated and they have been kept informed, should the worst case scenario unfold tomorrow. But we have chosen to not leverage them. And in every small win we register as a group of individual outraged citizens of Bangalore and India, however insignificant these milestones may be in the larger scheme of things, there is one small notch adding up in favor of what is right, one small notch against what is wrong. And we believe that every such small notch counts, each such mark is absolutely invaluable. It is the people who make this city, this country, this world. It is you and I, as much as the terrorists inside and outside. And in our small insignificant little ways, it is my responsibility and yours to not shirk from investing effort – not just lip service or any token attempt, but real effort – in backing up what we ourselves believe in. It is so easy to logically argue that everything is corrupt, nothing is worth it, there are so many risks involved. We must not fall trap to this escapist trend. We must not fail to try. Next time you feel outraged, violated, abused, don't let it go by and add up to your list of litanies and complaints. Stand up and take it to the limit - at least your own limit. Not in the same way as they wrong you, but in the way that every citizen, at least in theory, is entitled to complain and protest. Do not let the hooligans power rant scare you or prompt you into submission. Do not allow the corrupt cop make you give up trying. Carry the flame forward. Try harder. If are up to it, start right now. Forward this note to everyone you want to be made aware of this. Post it in your own blogs. Talk about it amongst your circles. And if anyone of you should like to step forward with a word of empathy or advise, talk to me. Comment. It is not Bangalore that is going to the dogs. It is us. We have far too long become accustomed to let everything go. And the more we let things go without any protest or fight, the dormant criminal and dark elements of the society get that much more encouraged. Every time we turn the other way, the hooligan next street gets incentivized to push the boundary a little further, provoke a little more, try something a little more atrocious. It is time for us to refuse to let this go on. We are responsible for making ourselves proud. Lets believe in ourselves. We can do this.
I am standing up.I refuse to let Bangalore go to the hooligan dogs of war, even if some of them are pets of corrupt power millionaires.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
- It is advisable to wear Full sleeve clothes to avoid the sun burn and carry hats, sunscreen and enough drinking water
- The town is very small with no decent restaurants, hence carrying food with you is the best option
- The place is most beautiful in the monsoon when the water overflows through all sides, but then the coracle rides are not permissible
- To enjoy coracle ride, it is advisable to go in any season except the monsoon, but try and reach the place by 3-4 pm, by then the heat reduces considerably and the water becomes even more enjoyable
- The coracle ride remains open till 6pm in the evening
The description of the beauty of the place would be incomplete without some pictures. Those are also attached.
Friday, February 20, 2009
And as i was contemplating what to write and how, a very thought provoking thought came to my mind... why do we actually feel sleepy after a heavy and hearty meal??? actually in my case its after every meal heavy or not :).... one of my frend gave me a very heavy and hearty answer to this.... she said that after a heavy meal the body requires more amount of energy to digest the food, since energy is used up by the body, we feel tired and hence sleepy.... though this is an answer with a twist of science in it, my "impossible to satisfy mind" refuses to take this as the only reason.... i mean if this explains our sleepiness after heavy meal, then what happens after a light meal? since we are advised to eat our dinner like a popper, that is very light, so how do we et sleep at night?? or is it that the body has different activity for sleep at different times???
Monday, February 9, 2009
Recession is the most popular and widely used word which is being used by all and sundry today. But before the recession had hit our economy, it had hit our life, our being, our relation. A friend of mine has quite rightly pointed out in her wedding invite, that in these turbulent days of relation recession, she is going for a life long mergerJ.
This can be traced back to the time when we started getting exposed to CHOICE everywhere. Plastic money (credit cards), cell phones, latest garments, shoes, accessories, vehicle, coffee, tea, options were everywhere… one just need to choose and pick…
It reflected in our relations as well. Options were open in the chats rooms, at office, in the coffee shop. Suddenly words like commitments and true love became clichéd. Everybody was referred to as friends even if we have met them over popular electronic chat rooms for as little as 5minutes and even if there was no surety neither a longing for a next time. Being in a relationship suddenly became old fashioned. And if you do not have at least a couple of broken or semi broken relation, you were just not considered to be in the league.
This is even more prominent in cities like Bangalore where the crowd is young and working. We do not belong to this place and we do not care. All are here to work, get a career and in course of that, one or two “Friends” comes your way and you spend time and comfortably forget them. I personally know a person who was in a very intimate relationship (according to me) with someone for two years and suddenly decided that they are not meant for each other, there is apparently no reason, none that can be thought about (by me certainly). This couple has now decided to move on in life and probably get married to someone else. When asked what went wrong, both were quite upfront in informing that they are not CONVINCED that they can stay together for the rest of their life. There was no hard feeling and it’s a mutually satisfying decision and both are in agreement with this.
In older times our mommies and grannies (in spite of the fact that there is a generation gap) were so smart that they required only a couple of minutes or a couple of meetings to decide on the perfect match or not so perfect match. But we need years of courtship, hours on phone, innumerable meetings at coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, discos, weekend getaways and any other option that is available to decide. And then if we marry finally, there is no compulsion to stay in that relation life long and at the slightest of problem, we thought of calling it off. No wonder words like single parent, single mom is getting popularity. On one hand it shows liberation of a society, acceptance and on the other its scary, considering that there could come a day when from a nuclear family we can graduate to atomic families.
While economists / finance professionals / governments all over the world are going absolutely crazy trying to fix up this recession thingy. Companies are cutting costs vehemently, laying off people.
But who will fix up our relations in such difficult times???? Do we need experts for that too?