Letter to my unborn child...

Dear child,

You will be here in a few days and I feel completely unprepared. I was, what I like to call "baby ready" right out of engineering college. I had begun liking kids and couldnt wait to have my own. I waited 8 years for you to come in my life. And now that you are almost here, I feel completely unprepared.

I have no idea if I would make a good father. I was lucky to have a really great set of parents. They let me take my own decisions, let me make mistakes occasionally, form my own opinions, in short, they let me be, well, me. What else are good parents supposed to do if not this? There is no set Key Result Areas for parents. There are no finishing schools, no second chances (per kid). My parents I think did a good job. And still, there were times when I was really mad at them. Maybe it is a sign of growing up or something. Maybe there comes a time when you realise that for the halo our society creates around one's parents, they are after all human and they are susceptible to mistakes too.

I guess, this is the reason why I am writing to you even before you are born. I hope that when you read this at 13, this letter will be still written by your 29 year old father. And maybe he might be more understanding than your 42 year old father who has salt and pepper hair and who your girlfriends think looks like George Clooney.

I am also writing to apologise in advance. I am going to push my dreams onto your shoulder. No matter how good a father I try to be, I might sneak in a few words about IIT and how you should try and get into engineering and how MIT has the best labs and you should work there etc. I am telling you now - I will love you no matter what college you go to or what you decide to be in life.

Interesting people, I have found, do only two things - They either create something or solve problems. The really interesting ones do both. If you are doing this, you are doing life right. Your looks wont matter, what car you drive or where you live wont matter. It doesnt matter what your friends say, or your relatives or even what I say. Being happy matters. Being happy is an art and like every art form, it get better with practice.

Your mother and I love you very much. We already love you, even before you are born. We loved you even before you were conceived. You know what? I was 14 when I first met your mother. And she was just 13. It must be funny imagining you parents to be little, no? I remember saying to myself that she had the prettiest brown eyes I had ever seen. I also remember thinking that she would make a good mother. Amazing no? That the 14 year old me would feel that a 13 year old girl will make a good mother? But tell you what, in all the years that I have known her, my belief in her has only strengthened.

I wish I could insulate you from all that is wrong in this world. But I wont be able to do that. Come to think of it, maybe that is not a father's job. A father's job is to guide, I think, not cajole. If you find this to be incorrect, please let me know. There are going to be times in your life when you wouldnt know what you are doing with your life and where is your life going. Everybody will tell you to do what you love. But no one will tell you how to find what you love. I am sorry I cant tell you that either. Only you can find love, in work and otherwise. One trick that I have found is to listen to your heart more than your mind. Your mind is plagued with what they show on TV and what they write in the papers. Listen to what your elders say, including myself. But dont buy everything we say. Most 30 year olds I know dont know what the hell are they talking about. Extrapolate that to all other age groups. But do listen to elders and ask them questions. This is the only way to gain experience without experience.

We are people pleasers, your mom and I. There are very few who dont like me and I dont think any person in their right frame of mind would dislike your mom. Being likeable is not the same as people pleasing. Refrain from picking up that habit from your parents.

Make mistakes. It's very important.It's okay to fail at things. It is not okay however to not give your best. Think about it, if everyone halfassed everything what would the world be like?

Those who say luck doesnt matter are lying. But over time, I have found, luck evens out. Once luck evens out, only hard work stands tall. There is no substitute to hard work. At the same time, not everyone, no matter how hard working succeeds at everything. Faraday, found out the relationship between Electricity, Magnetism and light. One has to have some divine intervention to find that, I feel. But when Faraday was made to work in a glass manufacturing lab by his jealous boss, he failed miserably for 4 years! You might not succeed at everything. But succeeding at everything is not the aim of life.

Some of your friends are going to have better parents, maybe more educated or who earn more than us or they have better toys or have a good looking boyfriend/girlfriend. You dont know their story. You havent walked in their shoes. Dont be jealous. If you learn to do that, teach me how.

In closing, all I want for you if good health and a good life. Happiness and joy. Experiences and lots of trials and errors. Lots of love and an honest heart, my child, will lead you a long way.

Lovingly,
Daddy.



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Sri Lanka, amaze me!

If the aim of travel is enriching oneself, I had the most enriching trip in my life very recently. This was to Sri Lanka. And I say this after travelling to 14 countries round the world. Travellers always want to see places different from their home, and I dont blame them. It does seem like the best value for money.



So, please note that I say, SL was the most enriching of my trips, it wasnt the biggest bang for my buck. That, probably would be Hungary.

Anywho, when I got married, I, in all my naivety made a promise of at least one-vacation-a-year to the wife. She very subtly reminded me in August that we  hadnt made any plans and it was already past the half year mark. So we decided to go some place most Indians never visit (we were wrong about that) - Sri Lanka.

In my head SL would just be a poorer copy of Kerala. I was partly correct about that. As our plane swooped in to land, as far as our eyes could see on either sides, were coconut trees. Vast, literally forests of Coconut trees. So much like Kerala, but definitely not a poor copy.

Private transport across SL is super expensive. This in spite of fuel and vehicles costing exactly the same as in India. Heck, even their oil provider is Indian Oil (which is renamed IOL Sri Lanka, yeah, smart). On our way from the airport, as we entered the city, we did get caught up in traffic. Ah, good old third world country, I thought. Only, there was no honking, no rash driving and almost no motorbikes on the road (Could a SLankan answer why this is?)

Now the enriching part - The roads, barely felt a bump on the roads. The traffic! I have never had cars stop for me while crossing the road in India. There are just too many cars and too many people in India, I thought as I crossed that road in Colombo. I am like the mother of that naughty kid in school. Everyone says he a menace, but the soft hearted mother I am, I cant find faults with the kid. My attitude towards India is the same.

The beaches, they are beautiful! The heritage buildings, the monuments are all well kept. They all seemed Indian or British, which is obvious considering it was Tamil kings who ruled SL for most of its history apart from the British who came in during the 19th century.

My point being, this country, a small island, war ravaged for 25 years, a part of the Indian subcontient, was more European than Indian. Again, I love India. But Sri Lanka probably has all the beauty of India and its people minus the filth, the honking, the dirty and encroached footpaths and the deafening noise of loud speakers.

So, what are the Sri Lankans doing right?

1. They controlled their population.The population of SL, the entire island is less than one such island in India that is hundred times smaller than SL - Mumbai. The population density of Colombo and Berlin (one of the lesser populated cities of the west) is almost the same!

2. They made education compulsory. SL has amongst highest in 3rd world countries (98%!)

3. They made cheap medical care available for its rural folk.

4. Resulting higher value of human life and better pay for even menial jobs. In a country full of Coconut trees, coconut is still costlier than in Mumbai. The reason - the wage of the person who climbs up the tree in SL is much higher than in India.

On our way back to India, we stopped at Chennai. We went around a little bit. Chennai looks a lot like Colombo. Only it's not. It took us a few hours adjusting to that fact. Less than 1000 kms away is a city that is so much cleaner. How? While sitting on the beach, looking far out in the Indian Ocean, the same ocean that is shared by both cities, we thought what should be done to make our cities that pretty.

1. We cant reverse our population. But we can try to diffuse the population to other cities. We have to come up with newer better planned cities. We need at least 100 cities of the same tier as Ahmedabad and Mysore. At least 100.

2. We have to make 2 types of education available. We dont want everybody to become an engineer. But we want everyone to read and write and think for themselves. Most engineers from India cant.

3. Improve the quality of cheap medical care in India. Govt hospitals have to be run better.

4. Improve quality of 3 things in the public domain - Potholes free Roads. 24/7 Electricity. Potable water supply. That is it. It is not that difficult.

Or maybe it is. Either way, we cant stop trying. It makes no sense to be a superpower if we cant even have 24/7 electricty. in 2015!

We had to catch a flight back to Mumbai from Chennai. We were crossing the road at the slow lazy pace only a tourist can manage when a Tata Indica, honked at us and woke us from our slumber-like state. We were truly home.

Note: Every morning I wake up and open my window I feel great. I am proud of my country. It took me 3 months of contemplation to write this post, call my naughty kid, well, naughty.

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Daal Fry, bitch!

There’s a holiday in Germany when people eat goose, you know the bird we used to shoot at while playing Duck hunt? What is duck hunt you ask? Don’t you remember that awesome game on 8 bit Sega? What is 8 bit Sega you ask? When were you born I ask! And pity you.

 Anyway, that is not a good day to be a goose, I bet you. So we were at a party and everybody was served goose except yours truly of course.

You are a vegetarian? So where do you get your protein from? Asked a British friend of mine.

Daal fry. Bitch.

Daal fry. The most underrated dish on the menu card, bought only in conjunction with Jeera rice. I am a daal fan. I think to really rate a restaurant you have to taste the daal fry there. It is so simple, it doesn’t have the taste or texture of Paneer or mushroom, which I think is vegetarians’ way of understanding why the world goes crazy after meat. Daal fry, and not daal Tadka (yes there is a difference) is what I am talking about here. Daal Tadka has too much oil in it and is sometimes used to hide shoddy workmanship in the kitchen.

I have been trying since ages to perfect the Daal fry. There are no authentic recipes online which give the same dhaba/restaurant taste. I, with the audacity of a researcher, kept trying to perfect the Daal fry and this time, I think I tasted the daal closest to dhaba/restaurant daal.

So for the benefit for all you readers, and humanity, I present to you the most authentic dhaba style daal fry


Daal prep
Take 3 parts of tur daal (arhad) & 1 part of masoor without the skin. The reason we use masoor is that is offers a good balance against the extra starchy tur daal. Soak in water for some time, then put it in a cooker. Note that I am a guy and this is an art, so we are not going to go by grammage and such. Use any amount.

Cut a tomato in fours and put in the cooker. Put in some turmeric powder. Cook for 3-4 whistles. 

Open the lid. Use a whisker to whisk the daal into a smooth constant consistency soup.
Now starts the kickass part of the daal. The tempering.


Tempering prep.
Mince a handful of ginger and garlic.

Heat a pan. Put in a dollop of ghee in. Let it get hot. Unlike oil, ghee has a high oxidation point. So let it get really hot. Throw in some mustard seeds and cumin. Let it splutter. 

Now this is IMPORTANT. 

Put in ginger and cook it. Yes. Cook the bloody ginger. This is make or break.

Now put in some hing (Asofedita something). Smell the awesome smell. Now put in some curry leaves if you have been brought up south of the Tropic of Cancer. Let them splutter with a vengeance. Some green chillies to taste.

Now put in Garlic. This is practically the last step and the shortest one. Don’t burn the garlic. Once you smell garlic, you know its done.

Stand back and pour the daal from the cooker into the mix. Be careful. Let the mixture simmer for 5 mintues.

You are done. Get ready to enjoy the best daal fry you have ever had.



Chaudhary out.
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If there was a way I could go back to the July of 2004 when I had just turned 19, in my second year of engineering, which till date remains my toughest year, what would I tell him? He’s at a tough time in his life already with over 4 hours of travelling to and fro to college and for the first time he’s not in the top 10% of his very intelligent class. And things are about to get worse from here on. I wish somehow I could go back and just, you know, tell him stuff that would make him believe that all of this will be alright.


1. The older you get, the wiser you will get. I know you think you know everything, and yes you do know quite a lot, but you will know more things when you are 25 and even more by you are 29. 

2. Money can buy most things in life. But there are 3 things money cant buy. Good food, Good weather and Good women

3. Good food is fresh fruits, vegetables, there are very few countries in the world that have access to such food, yours is one of them. Good weather is rarer than good food. Good women are the rarest of the three.

4. I know how much you have heard about Germany and how much you want to visit. You will work for a German firm right out of Engineering college. And yes, you will end up living in Berlin. It is an amazing city.

5. You know that girl you liked in the 11th Standard but didn’t have the stomach to approach? She got fat. Not that weight is the right way to judge a girl, but it wasn’t exactly her personality you were after.

6. I know you don’t drink and you shouldn’t, not such a good habit. But you will learn to love and respect good Beer and Wine as a form of art that it is.

7. For as much as you hate Mumbai right now, the more you go around the world, the more you will come to love the place. 

8. You will fall in love with Sour bread and Gouda cheese.

9. This year will be your life’s toughest year yet. I am 29 and I haven’t had a worse year that what the 19th would be.

10. But that’s alright. You know, easy years make for good memories, tough years make for good character

11. The older you get, fewer people will impress you, which is great, ‘cause that means you must be getting better

12. Remember how you wanted to buy a Skoda by the time you hit 28? Well, you didn’t buy a Skoda, but an even better car last year. And yes, it’s a German car.

13. You should exercise more, not to build biceps or anything, just to, generally keep fit. And anyway, I have found only 19 year old girls dig biceps. The rest you can charm with your stories.

14. Yeah, we write stories now. You will publish a novel, actually two. (Buy the second novel here)

15. You remember the World Cup last year? 2003? How sad that made you. Well, let me tell you this – We win the World Cup soon and that last ball six, I cant even… You have to watch it dude. It gave me Goosebumps

16. You are not going to have a girlfriend. Not till you are out of Engineering.  Don’t feel bad, it’s mechanical Engineering dude! What did you think? Think of this time as batting on a crumbling pitch, if you can play this out, you will score on your day.

17. You will buy a lake-facing house. It’s beautiful.

18. You will lose some hair and some of the others will grow grey but with each passing year they would bother you less than they did the previous year.

19. The older you get the better you are going to get at charming women. You know that pretty girl in Computer Science you think is out of your league? You will manage to woo women way hotter than her, like wayyyy hotter.

20. You will fall in love with your parents with every passing year. You will come to see them more as human beings susceptible to making mistakes. You will realize they did the best job they could do.

21. You remember that girl from school you used to find cute? Well, she’s still out of your league.

22. And btw, you married her. It is awesome. But still, out of your league

23. Petrol will become three times as expensive in the next decade

24. I know how much you love the Reebok brand. You have so many Tshirts and shoes. The 29 year old you doesn’t own a single Reebok product. Sorry, I just grew out of it.

25. Enjoy your jeans and Tshirts. Casual Friday is a big deal when you start working.

26. You know how you wish you weren’t so shy? Well, you have made some amazing friends. Some of them would give their lives for you. The amazing part is, for all your selfishness, you would too.

27. If I told you my salary, you are gonna freak out. But don’t, remember what I told you about petrol? Everything’s more expensive in 2014.

28. You will visit more than 13 countries. 

29. No matter what you think about life right now, if you keep at it, earnestly, it would get better. Much better than you ever imagined. Life is tough, 19 is a good age to realize it. 

So thank you for everything you have done till now. Right now, I wouldn’t wanna be you but I wouldn’t be me, if at some point in my life I hadn’t been you. So, thank you.

29 things the 29 year old I want to tell the 19 year old meSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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Of Orkut, confidence and my girlfriend...



"Tu orkut pe hai?" asked Rahul Bhat or Bhatti as he was known. Puberty had hit him late and in his 2nd year of engineering this genius of the class was asking me if I was on Orkut.

I kid you not, I thought it was some sort of software, something related to mechanical design or analysis or something. The year was 2005 and I wasnt too much into anything those years so you could forgive me for not knowing what had already started to become a phenomena in India back then. I called it the #1 thing that changed India in the last 10 years. You can read that blog post here.

But this is not a nostalgic post highlighting the good old days of Orkut and superior privacy and how they didnt conduct experiments on its users. This is a post about how Orkut empowered guys like me. How it made us more confident among other things.

I was a shy guy. I would never be able to walk up to anyone and say hi. It always had to be the other guy. If it was a girl I had a crush on, she would never know till many years later by which she would have already changed two boyfriend and the newest one would have a CBZ (its a bike, kinda big deal back then)

There's this song by Boyzone, dont remember all the lyrics, but it goes - It's only words, and words is all I have to take your heart away. -- Those words could be spoken words, or thanks to Orkut, these words could now be written. Much simpler for guys like me, we could write things down, without having the fear of shot down or laughed at. You like a girl in your class? Or Computer Science class? (if you are an Mech Engineering student) Send her a friend request. If she accepts it could mean only 3 things -

1. She likes you back
2. She has no idea who the hell you are but shes nice so doesnt want to seem smug
3. She just wants to increase the number of friends.

It was usually the 3rd one. But that was okay. Boys like us were one inch closer to girls. Maybe the girls will say hi the next time they meet in the hallway. How could they not, we were "Orkut friends" after all. Even if they didnt, it was okay. We could always send them a scrap - You looked very nice at the freshers' party. 3 other boys would paste the exact same thing below. Demand supply mein problem hai actually...

I found myself on Orkut. Though a late adopter, I was hooked immediately. It was so much fun. You could form communities, troll your friends, scrap each other and the best part - Write testimonials. There were 3 types of testimonial writers -

1. Who write testis only for friends out of genuine respect for friendship
2.Who write testis expecting a testi in return
3. Who write testis only for girls, praising them, hoping they would notice them and talk to them, heck even go out with them.

Mostly 3rd type.

I am thankful to Orkut. It made me the cool guy that you see today and wonder how he can be so awesome. But seriously, I got my long time girlfriend and now wife on Orkut. No, no, I didnt send her a frandship request or anything. We were friends in school and then she moved to the United States. Somehow she found me on orkut and added me.

She was always out of my league. Today, for as awesome as I am, I still think I am striving to be better everyday so that I can deserve her. If I feel that when I am so full of myself today, had I met her in person back then, it would have been impossible for me to woo her. Orkut and the distance between us made sure we didnt meet face to face too much and I got my written words to do the talking for me.

Orkut gave me the confidence guys like me deserve. There are so many of us out there, ladies, its sad most of you would never manage to meet us, had it not been for Orkut. I feel the we live in a much better world now where most of us have a level playing field. And this is not just for romantic relationships.

Now that they are shutting it down, I feel sad. It seems like yesterday Bhatti had animatedly asked me to come on Orkut. I want to thank him for the idea. I havent logged on to the site in ages. But I didnt think they would turn it off. For me, it was something I would show my kids to -- this is where it all started. Maybe they would read this post one day and marvel at the times gone by.

But for this moment, all I wanna do is, save and read my testimonials again and again and again...

-Arshat Chaudhary
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Short story

STRANGERS:

"Oops"

She bumped into him. It was like bumping into a brick wall. She had almost forgotten how strong and fit he was. Well, maybe he wasnt all that fit. It had been quite some time she had been in a man's arms. Even a teddy bear the right size would do right now.

She wore a loose brown sweater, like the brown of her eyes he had said. It wasnt even that chilly. She hadnt worn this since a long time. Who would she dress up for now anyway?

He looked at her apologetically. Like it was his mistake she had bumped into him. Like it was his mistake that they had lost each other, like on a deserted island. He held plastic bags in both his hands. Bags full of tomatoes. He was going to make Pasta sauce at home. Cooking got his mind off her. And he was ready to do anything to get his mind off her. Known each other 7 years. 7 years! Now strangers.


LOVERS:

"What do you want for dinner?" he asked.
"Nothing with tomato in it" she said.
"What? Look at them" he said holding two medium sized tomatoes in his hands - "They are looking at you. They want to be eaten by you" He brought them close to her cheeks. "See? Your cheeks look just like them? Red Red"
"What? My cheeks look like tomatoes?" She hit him with a cushion. "What compliments you give! Wah!"
He pulled her close to him. She felt his strong arms engulf her in a strong embrace. She liked his strong arms. 5 years they had been together, 5 years! But every time he held her like that, she felt like it was the first time.


FRIENDS:

"Dont write like that, the professors going to know it wasnt my mom who wrote the letter." She said.
"Well, I cant write like a girl. I have man hands and a man's handwriting."

She had been bunking classes. He was in the athletics teams and there was a track and fields event. Professors single handedly try to kill every love story that has a chance of blooming in college. They probably share drinks and talk about how many love stories they foiled that day.

So one over zealous professor had seen her cheering her friend at the event. And he wanted her to get a note signed by her mom. That is what it was all about.

"If I get caught in this mister, I am going to kill you," she said punching him in the arm.
"Well, I didnt ask you to bunk classes, did I?"

The lack of chivalry in him made her wonder how did they become friends.

"Well, if it wasnt for my cheering, you would have never won."
"Oh really?"
"Yeah, Lady luck dude."
"Actually, I almost lost cause of you."
"And how is that?"
"I get very distracted" He said looking at her, not a blink.
"'Cause of me?" She said, a smile peeping out of her lips.
"Yeah. You are pretty. Didnt I ever tell you that."

Not a blink.

She looked away.

They had been together 2 years.. 2 years... And now the idiot makes the move.


STRANGERS

It was the first day of college. Uncannily chilly in that part of the city. Maybe it was too early. Or the anxiety of having to make new friends. She wore a brown sweater.

Trying hard to not get raged on her first day at college, she made sure she kept looking at the ground, not making eye contact with any of the seniors.

"Oops" He bumped into her. She was soft, like a pillow, for the lack of a better analogy. There werent many soft things he owned. No teddy bears and shit.

"Sorry," he said, quickly diverting his brain from the softness of things. "I didnt see you there"

'Such a terrible thing to hear from a guy. He didnt see you.' She thought.

There was a moment of awkwardness. Then he said, almost trying to fill the vaccuum in the timeline -
"You should wear brown, makes the brown in your eyes look even prettier"

She smiled.


END


I read a line somewhere - Strangers. Friends. Lovers. Strangers.
It made me kinda sad and I wanted to write on the topic. So I wrote in the reverse order, coz that be more challenging. 



Lovers. Strangers. Friends. In no particular orderSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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Why I will not vote this election!

You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain (From the Dark Knight)

I will tell you a couple of stories before I start making real points that have some chance of swaying your vote, let me tell you a few stories first, simply coz that is the only thing I am good at.

It was just after the commonwealth games had ended. I was half a globe away in Berlin, attending a conference on Effect of a drug on TB. The company I worked for had paid an American firm to conduct clinical trials on patients suffering from TB using our drug. They were awefully behind schedule - their reason - TB patients they had were usually poor Indians who didnt appearon time for their next dosage - The presentation was given by a lady with an American accent but who clearly had an Arabic name - She actually included pictures of Suresh Kalmadi and Commonwealth Games to show how corrupt and disorganised Indians are, unaware that I, sitting right in front of her was an Indian. While my blood boiled (We all have a bit of Sunny Deol in us, I guess) and I was about to give her a piece of my mind,  my Australian boss whispered in my ear - Let it go...

I let it go.

In another incident, a friend of mine, came late to college. It must be 2006 and I must be in the third year of Engineering. He told me a weird reason for him coming late to class - The brakes on his bus failed.

Okay. So, I wil let that sink in. How did he make it alive? As it turns out - The bus had no brake when it left the depot. It just fucking did! A public vehicle, meant to take people from one point to another, albeit only 5 kms, didnt have working brakes! How does one catch the bus then? The driver slows down, not by braking, coz there are no brakes but by taking the foot off the accelerator. People run and catch the bus. Why not take the next bus then? The next bus was after an hour. And while all of this might seem like a far off village, he stayed only 3 kms off the border of Mumbai!!!

How was this okay? I asked him. He's a resilient guy. Son of a tailor, he's now made it decently big. Ever smiling, he said - Let it go.

I let it go.

I was 18 when I got my learners' driving licence. It was tough work. They asked me all sorts of questions, made me run from counter to counter. I was 18. I was convinced that I dont want to pay any money to the If a man cant have ideals at that age, then really when can he? I got the licence and came home triumphant. When I had to convert the learners licence to Drivers' licence is however when they got me. They wouldnt pass me if I didnt pay a bribe. Of course, they didnt say that directly. I paid. Felt terribly, shared with a cousin. He told me how I dont have to renew my licence for the next 20 years! I could chill out. I should let it go.

I have been letting stuff go for years now. Life, especially a man's life, really is all about learning the rules of the game, play according to the system, and wheevr possible beat the system for good. Indians are good at walking in a herd. It's easy. And safe. We dont wanna be excellent or anything. We just wanna be above average. Imagine a country of a billion just wanting to be above average. 

When a man stood against well established parties with crores of funds, stepped into the public domain, some were amazed at his courage. He could obviously not win, could he. But he almost did. A party with years of combined governance experience emerged as a single largest party, and to everyone's surprise asked the new guy to make a government! Wow! 

Masterstroke, though. It exposed AAP's lack of experience in governance, lack of penetration in the lower ranks. Media crazy AAP MLAs obviously didnt know how to work. In the meanwhile, the BJP suporters (God bless them) who had been waiting to form a government for 10 years in the centre, could see a ray of light. 

Abki baar Modi Sarkar. Abki baar Modi Sarkar.Abki baar Modi Sarkar. Abki baar Modi Sarkar. Bas kar yaar.

So many of their ads are playing on prime time. I am like, let them win if they will shut up. They did their India Shining campaign in 2004, and we all know how that turned out. Someone remind them of that time.

I see Modi peering out of posters, giving serious look, like a few thousand died in Gujurat (Oh.. wait...) How many more months will I have to see the same orange posters with the same - Abki baar Modi Sarkar! - Slogan. Modi is like Mithun Chakrabothy. He can be a part of a shit movie and it will still be a hit. 

Just to make it clear, I am not a Modi hater. I once was, but not now. I meet HNI clients, most of them Gujurati, and all of them praise the efficiency of the babus in dhokla land. And one thing that I know is if a Mumbai guy says that theres a place better than Mumbai then its gotta be true. All my friends who hae visited Surat, Ahmadabad have been all gaga over their roads, 24/7 electricity, clean footpaths. And let me make it clear, if Modi stood from my constituency, I would definitely vote for him.

Also let me clear that I am not too impressed by Congress' ads either. Rahul Gandhi, in deep thought, showing his dimpled profile for the female voters, annoys me. His speeches are fun though. Anyway, Congress is not going to win, and should not win, so I will not waste any words.

You know, whose ads I have been impressed by? AAPs! Because I havent seen any. That is exactly how it should be. BJP is selling itself more than SRK sold Ra.One. And we all know when people oversell - when the goods are crap. 

When people call BJP govt - Modi sarkar, it pisses me off. It wont be Modi sarkar. It would be Modi - Rajnath- Jaitley- Swaraj sarkar. And none of these guys should impress you.

On the other hand, you have Kejriwal - Sanyal - Medha - Bhushan sarkar. And that sounds a lot better than the above. 

Imagine India's governance as a white bed sheet. There are numerous stains on this bed sheet. Poor Justice system, Poor roads, Public transport, poverty... They are stains of various sizes. They are chai stains, pickle stains, piss and blood stains. But the biggest stain of them all, or as ads call it - Ziddi daag - is Corruption. If we can get rid of this, we will be a super power. Kejriwal's party is the Tide we all are waiting for.

Read all three of my stories, Commonwealth made us a laughing stock because of corrupt officals. The driver could driver an unsafe bus because he knew he wouldnt be reprimanded. And why was the bus in such poor shape? It's one of India's richest districts!! I had to pay for the liscence because the RTO is corrupt, and so am I. I am not much better than all the others I am cribbing about here. 

But this guy - Kejriwal is. He might be attention hungry, he might not be a great Governor, he might be the B team of Congress or BJP or the CPM, but hes not corrupt. And that is what we need at this moment. Modi, even if I accept is not corrupt, his party is - Let us not forget Bangaru Laxman. And to be honest, if I had a party which grew as big as the BJP, I would have to be corrupt. I would be pushed by my peers to accept, Adani's offer of a Chopper and a lot more that I cant waste my time writing about. 

And that is why I wont vote this time. Not for AAP even. Because its just like buying a car. You spend time researching what car to buy, what fits the budget, what suits your personality, what would your friends think about you when you drive it to the office, and then you spend time convincing them what a great car it is coz you bought it. It might actually be a great car, but your friends wont buy it. My wife and my sister both tell me that when I like something, I sell the idea of owning it to everybody. The said thing might not be as excellent as I make it sound.

So I have decided I wont buy the car, but I would want you to buy it. It is a great car. It is an honest car. It might not have the comfortable seats, but it has a great engine. And that is what matters in the end. 

Abki baar, Ek aisi sarkar, jo kare Bharat ka udhaar!

Jai Hind!
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