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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8 things you get to eat only in Mumbai

Okay, first, the title is misleading - when I say ONLY in Mumbai, I mean the good stuff is in Mumbai. Like - in my Bschool at Gurgaon, they served a mis-mash of potatoes and oversized buns (which for some reason had a sweet aftertaste) which the mess would lovingly call - bhaji pao! First, it is not bhaji pao - it is Pav Bhaji and Second - just because you overbought potatoes last week and mashed them with whatever was left in the kitchen, doesnt make it pav bhaji! But what pissed me off was that my north Indian colleagues, perfectly sane 99 percentilers, loved this mixed vegetable masquerading as pav bhaji.

So you see, you can get bhaji pav etc in Delhi too, but it cant be counted as pav bhaji. The real pav bhaji, you get only in Mumbai. Based on this and many other such experiences, here is a list of 8 things you get to eat only in Mumbai


1. Pav Bhaji.

Delicious, melt in your mouth pav, and right amount of cauliflower, peas and potatoes, made to cook on a flat tava consistently mashing the ingredients together makes the bhaji. Amul butter makes 17% of its revenues from the pav bhaji stalls in Mumbai. (Fun trivia - Sanjay dutt played a pav bhaji wala in Vastav in the first 20 mins of the film after which he played himself)


2. Medu Vada Sambhaar

The first Shetty sailed from Udipi to Mumbai, then Bombay, in 1890. He then brought in 100 other shettys (or is it Shetties?) with him to serve the Parsi/Irani population with real breakfast, something that did not involve just maida and butter (80% of Parsi person is made of these ingredients.). Then he came up with an idea- a Vada with the hole - Medu Vada (which Maharastrians wrongly refer to as  Mendu Vada. Mendu is brain in marathi, which makes no sense)

Thanks to Shetty population in Mumbai, the bachelors have learnt to have breakfast. This dish alone is responsible for mass migration of Shettys from Udipi to Mumbai. This also includes Suniel Shetty and Shilpa Shetty.
Today, you find better Medu Vada in Mumbai than what you find in Udipi. (Tasted and compared on multiple occasions)


3.Vada Pav
It is a shame that I have mentioned it 3rd. It should be mentioned first on every list. Even the list of who should be the next PM candidate of India. It should be this dish. Enough has been said about it and I dont intend to say anything more. It is the king of the world. Bas. Khup said.


4.Peppy cheese ball

This is not available north of the Tropic of Cancer. The frequency of their availabilty is what I am referring to when I say you can get it only in Mumbai.
It can make you free of your worries for those blissful 20 mins when you are tossing, light cheese ball after cheese ball in your mouth.(That line sounded much better in my head).
If you are in India and are wondering what is this Peppy cheese balls I talk about - search for it and buy it online (obviously it has a fan club)


5. Misal Pav

Punekars take huge pride in their Misal Pavs but the best misal pav place here would find it difficult to find takers in Mumbai. Here is the Misal pav formula -
Misal pav = Fluffy pav + Farsan (100% besan) + Sprouted peas (and not moong as Punekars use)
If you can follow this formula, you make the best misal pav in Mumbai, ipso facto, the world. Mumbaikars around the world would remind each other of the goodness of your Misal pav, and want to come back - It would be their Swades and you would be their Ashutosh. Your kids would proudly tell their friends - Mera baap misal pav banata hai. All that.


6. Pani puri
What you get in other parts of India is not Pani puri - it is either gol-gappe, or gupchup or some other acoustic name, but it is not Pani-puri. You get Pani puri only here. Its not the taste that I am a fan of - It is the pseudo safety feeling these guys give me when they say "Pani puri made with bisleri water". Some of them have gone ahead and even got the ice that is used to cool the pani too, made with bisleri water.


7. Sugar cane juice
By now you must have realised where this list is going. You get Sugar cane juice almost throughout India's sugar belt, but not in Plastic glasses with a dash of lemon and pepper. Have a glass when you are down. It is India's answer to red bull.


8. Butta

No, not corn but butta. The roasting system is the same across India but what differs is the spicing. Down south, a wet mix of chilli and what might be nuclear waste is used to spice the corn. Up north, they have the hardest corn of all world. Your jaw gives up after three bites. The spicing doesnt matter when you are eating steel bearings.
In Mumbai however, the right spicing and roasting technique is used. Also, now this American corn has swept the market which is just as shitty as other American products, Cheverlot, I am looking at you. It is sweet and soft, like too soft. I want a option between soft as a Katrina Kaif and hard as Rahul Gandhi's luck.

I am sure I have missed a few things, feel free to add stuff to the list.

I am so hungry now. Peace.
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The weight of the soul and sand....

I thought of this today. I think of so many amazxing things but since I have a job that takes up much of my time and creativity I don’t get to share the gems with you guys.



Everytime I get some brainwave, I want it to be like a story – you know start, middle and end – something that would enthrall you. But very recently, I have decided that I am going to share my half baked ideas with you and share the real gems with the guys who buy my books – the paying customers, you know! :P

I know what you be thinking – he writes once in abluemoon and acts like a turd, I am going to ctrl+w his shit. But wait – The wait has been worth it for this idea will change the way you look at life, well, not quite, but it’s a good idea, hold on –
So, you know how kids ask what happens when we die and what is a soul and what is its nature? I think I know.

I think every man has a soul – wait – let me scientify it. A soul is not a single entity. Think of it like a pouch of grey sand (found on the bank of Yamuna). There is say 100 gms of such sand dissolved in you. These 100gms is unique to you. Not everybody has 100gms and not everybody has the same shade of grey.
I already have a feeling I should stop here and share this with my paying customers, but anywho –

So, all living things have souls, right? That includes trees, and dogs and cockroaches, sure the cockroach might have only 3 gms of red coloured sand, but it has a soul alright.

Now as a rule, soul can neither be created nor be destroyed, it can be only moved from one living being to another. You know how they say at the beginning there was God – well, that might be true, he had a million gazillion gms of sand type soul which he later dispersed in living beings – also known as the big bang – into small bacteria like life forms, gazillion of them probably, each having 0.0001 gms of sand as the soul.

Oh, we have gotten the deep end of the pool. Let us go now to the much more enjoyable shallow end – How do babies get their soul and when?

I think as soon as the sperm and the egg mate, the baby gets a soul – a teeny tiny 0.001 gms of soul maybe, but a soul nevertheless. As it grows in the womb, the growth of the soul remains stagnant. Let me clarify at this point that just because something is growing doesn’t mean its soul is growing too, also the weightage of the soul isn’t directly proportional to its weight. For eg – an elephant might have less of a soul than a man or a dog for that matter. Also the soul grammage differs from elephant to elephant.

Once the baby is born, when it starts crying, it is for a few seconds just surviving on the 0.001 gms of soul that it had for the 9 months of its inception, its only when it gains awareness does it get its entire soul. For babies that are stillborn, there is only 0.001 gm of soul that nature has to recycle which I am assuming is easier. Sorry for being so morbid and insensitive at the same time, but bear with me.

When a human dies, their soul is no longer of use to them and is recycled by nature. It need not be immediately recycled though. The babies yet to be born in the particular humans’ family, I think, have first dib’s, to get a part of that soul. That is why, so many kids have the peculiar habits that their great grandparents had.

Some characterstics are pre-coded into your soul, just like some people have blue eyes, some have a dark soul, they don’t wanna help others, are jealous, cranky.. while others might be more helpful, polite, loyal…

Nature vs Nurture

I strongly believe Nature wins over nurture big time. The fact that most souls remain in a family getting passed from great grandpa/ma to great grandson/daughter, a bad souled grandpa would lead to a bad family. I might be over simplifying but what I basically wanna say is this – If the parents didn’t do a good job of nurturing a kid, maybe the kid wasn’t worth it. Do I hear the knives being drawn?

I have no way to justify it, but I think, a good kid would do well, irrespective of what the parents’ report card says. Also, I am saying that parents do less for the kids who they know aren’t good seed.

Hmm…Maybe is this is why I don’t publish half baked ideas. But this one has taken quite a bit of time to write and it would be a shame to hide it in my documents folder – So here I click the publish button – Swish!

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She's the one...

A large part of our growing up years are spent wondering who will we finally end up with... I think girls spend more time manufacturing in their hearts, an image of the perfect one, based on Mills & Boons, SRK and Grey's Anatomy. Men, however, I think, have a vaguer idea of who that girl would be like. Because men dont have to move into a new house, or play to the whims and fancies of their in-laws, they tend to spend less time on this.

Less has been written about the right woman than it deserves. The market is full of books teaching men to get the girls they like, but nothing tells the women what is to be done to catch that catch. I am not the one who is going to tell them. I don't think I have enough authority over the subject. I havent given the topic, as I like to call it - enough 'brain hours' for me to know what women should do to get that one.

But what I CAN tell you is how a guys mind works and how, slowly but surely, she becomes the one! The one, he could fight for against the world. Love might be a beautiful word, but its manifestation is only through the fight you are going to put up for it.

So why is she the one? The one you would put up a fight for. Agaisnt the world. Against God, if the need be. What does she do? And why?


She reads up about the Game of Thrones, just to because you are having sleepless nights,
watching season 1 & 2 back to back. She gets excited, when you get excited, a silly show about flying Dragaons, maybe. But you like it, so she likes it. And winter is coming.

She learns to cook that one dish you tasted on your last business trip away. She doesnt like too much spice, but she knows that you like it, so she learns it anyway.

She forgets the mistakes, that late bill payment, not getting the car fixed before a road trip, she focuses on the good things, the choice of the flat screen TV, the tightened screws on the handle grip.

She thinks about you when she sees something that you might like, remembers your dates for you, your aunt and uncle'sbirthdays, and that teething nephew who now bites. 

She's grateful about the things she has in her life. Never jealous of other women. For she knows, their journey might have been different. Different weather. 

Your friends call you for advice....her, when they know they have screwed up. For you will tell them exactly that, but she will tell them that it will be alright. Then you wonder whose friends they really are. If you are the mind but she's the heart.

You are the ideal son, but deep inside your parents know that she is even better. They are happy that you are happy, happy for a skewd barter.

Bad days come and go, her smile always stays. She might be troubled inside, but you cant get through that maze. Her smile is a sight for sore eyes, the day has been tough, but she is still happy to see you. There's so much to say, but you just gaze.

Her honesty amazes you, sometimes confuses you. For your idea of honesty is more convenience and less virtue, you try to corrupt her too.

If such a girl you find, men harder than steel, cant keep from falling in love with her. I wouldnt think such a girl would exist, but I do, for I have known her. And I might be harder than most, but cant keep from falling in love with her.

I have said enough! :)







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This is Kurlaaaaa....

Note: Every time I travel by a local train, I think about how getting in and out of a crowded train is similar to the movie 300. Here I write an overindulgent post, which might not be funny. But I need to get it out of my system to stop smiling everytime I get down at Kurla. People who have travelled in a local train in Mumbai might enjoy the post more than people who havent.



When the train reached the platform, like all trains, it was inspected...
inspected for an empty seat...
preferably window seat, a place to stand, on one foot if the need be...

From the time a mumbaikar could stand, he was baptised in the fire of entering a crowded train. Usually from Mulund, Bhandup or worse Kanjurmarg.

No mumbaikar got down at Kanjurmarg, a single platform station, but more than a million entered an already full 12 car rake.

The only respite would come at Kurla. If they could push the ones getting in out of the way, for a breath of air, that wasnt second hand. It was in its essence the base of life.

By the time a mumbaikar is 17, he is forced to take a train. To his college, coaching class, or worse, to meet his girlfriend. It has been 30 years since. Our king, Gaitonde!

Gaitonde, gets into the train at Badlapur 9.15 slow. A beast approaches, not now, but 28 kms away in Kurla. A team led by a slave army, vast beyond imagining, an army of garment traders, diamond polishers, fruit vendors. Their king, Mirchi Maulvi, stands behind them, all of 7 feet. Legend has it, he gets his name from his henna coloured beard.

Mirchi calls Gaitonde
Gaitonde: Why do you call for, O Mirchi seth?
Mirchi: Seats and aisle?
Gaitonde: Dont be stupid or coy, Kurla king, you can afford neither in the 9.15 Badlapur slow
Mirchi: Listen carefully, Gaitonde. I lead an army so vast, it rattles the compartment doors when it enters the train. Submission!
Gaitonde: Submission? See, that is a problem.

Gaitonde puts Mirchi on hold to play temple run.

Mirchi: You are a mad man. This is madness.
Gaitonde: This is Kurlaaaaaa....

The station approaches.

Gaitonde: By the end of the war, I swear, they will see their king bleed, by which I mean he wont be able to enter the compartment. And all will know that 300 Badlapurians...gave their last breath to defend the seats.

Gaitonde, I have brought 820 men from Ghatkopar - said Shaileshbhai Shah. How many do you have?

300.

Only?

Gaitonde pulls the collar of one Ghatkoparian -

What are you? Ans:IT engg
Pulls other guy
And you? Ans: Stock Broker

Badlapurians, who are you?
Chorus: HOO HAA

See, Saileshbhai Shah? I brought more men than you did.

Kurla station approaches. Gaitonde sees Mirchi, all of 8 feet height, red beard, standing behind his army.

The train grinds to a halt - YAAA... Kurlains try to enter the first class compartment.

Badlapurians, stand with their sheilds (laptop bags) to the doors. HAA HOO...

Fighters take out their umbrellas, swing them left-right, throwing the slave army soldiers off. This is Kurlaaaaa

When the slaves couldnt get it, it was Mirchi Seth who moved forward. The ground shook under his weight. King Gaitonde moves slowly, very slowly towards the door.

The train starts to move. Mirchi starts running towards the compartment. Gaitonde removes his water bottle from his Samsonite bagpack and swings it at Mirchi's beard. Drops from the leaking bottle fall on Mirchi's beard, making it wet.

The king fell back. He would get into a train,  but not this one. Not today.

Should any free soul  come across that place...... in all the countless centuries yet to be.... may all our voices...... whisper to you from the ageless stones.

This is Kurlaaaaaa.....


Dedicated to everyone who has travelled in a local train during rush hour.


  




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Note: Annoying and preachy post.

"There should be a semi-colon here," she said pointing her finger against my laptop screen. I looked in her sky blue eyes, a shade darker than the sky blue on a clear summer day. We were working on a report that we had to submit in a hour's time. Frankly, I would have liked get the thing over with in 15 minutes and then just relax with a cup of coffee in the cafeteria for the rest 45 minutes day-dreaming. I was in Germany. One could keep staring at the fallen snow - snow can make you think.

"It is not important." I said. Yes, it wasnt. What importance does a semi colon have in a report that is 16 pages long! At first, I thought it was my male ego rejecting an improvement by a girl (who might be a couple of times more intelligent than me), but then when I thought about it objectively - Did the the absence of a semi-colon reduce the quality of the content in any way? - I thought I was correct, the semi-colon isnt important.

"It is important. It might not change the meaning, but it should be there. Also, you have two spaces here instead of one, that has to go too.." she said pointing to the double space between two words.

"If that is a problem, then you can go ahead correct all of this." I am not very accepting to criticism as you can tell. I walked up to the coffee machine and pressed the buttons angrily. She tucked a strand of her blonde hair behind her ear and started working.

After she was done, I was still a little miffed, but she was happy. We just managed to upload the file in time, instead of being 45 minutes early and having all that time to day-dream.

"But see? Now we submitted a report that is perfect in all aspects." she said.

"It was perfect when I wrote it." I can be quite a kid about my work. If I did it, it must be awesome!

She smiled. "Sure, it was." She ruffled my hair. "Now take me out for lunch, Mr.Perfect."

I didnt give up easy, while lunching (is that a word?) I asked her all sorts of questions, the most important being - Why does a missing semi-colon matter? Who cares? Does it help us get a better grade? Does it reduce the quality in any way?

"Not everything should be done for something." She said.

Wow.

"Somethings should be done because they have to be done - to make everything better."

Huh?

It took me 3 years to understand what she meant.

***

India is in a terrible state. In most of our cities the infrastructure is crumbling. One trip to Andheri-Kurla road (or Andheri or Kurla for that matter) in Mumbai and it will make you question your love for Mumbai. One trip to East Delhi and all your beliefs of smooth and wide Delhi roads will disappear. I just name two cities here, but if I start writitng the things wrong with our country, I might end up writing a book (Also if I start writing about the things that I like about India, I might end up writing two books. But that is not the point. The aim is to point out the things we suck at and get that in place)

We love mediocrity. Think about all the times you were told - "Chalega, yaar"  and it made you feel warm comfort, instead of feeling terrible that you were now dependent on someone else's assessment of whatever you have done.

We love mediocrity.Think of all the Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Rohit Shetty movies that we watch. Jawani Deewani made 100 Cr? Where is your intelligence? What about our TV shows? Name 3 good shows on Indian TV?

We love mediocrity. Look at our Politicians. We choose them. Based on caste, mostly. Now some of you who are still reading this, good educated people think that they dont choose on the basis of caste. Well, you do. Maybe not caste, but friendship. If there was a election tomorrow in your office or college, and a friend, not a close friend, but the kind you smile and wave at, is standing in the election, versus a guy who actually has a plan to make the office/college(canteen) a better place, you would choose the guy you smile and wave at. He/she is known, hence safer. That is exactly what the uneducated do.

We love mediocrity. While choosing an umbrella, we choose the cheapest one, not the one built to last. Nothing today is built to last.

But we were not always like this. Did you hear about the floods in Uttarakhand? How all the houses were washed away but a temple built 1300 years ago stood intact? What are we constructing that will stay standing in 3313 AD? The Bandra-Worli sea link? Cuffe Parade? Lutyens, Delhi? The airports? They cant even handle a couple of rainshowers.

If you get time, have a look at the old buildings, british buildings, no, not necessarily british buildings. We unnecessarily put them on a pedestal. Go have a look at the buildings Maharajas built. They lost their kingdoms, in 1800s, had money, but not as much as they did pre 1800s, still, when you have a look at what they built - it was built to last! They were Indians just like you and me! They didnt have blue eyes or blonde hair. They spoke the same language as we do. They had access to the same literature and values as we did.

So what has changed? The power shifted to the people's hands. Now 70% of India's uneducated population took control (It is convenient to blame the British for all our problems, but this problem was particularly caused by them over 150 years of their rule. Sure they introduced school and there were more people who could read and write now, but as you know literacy and education arent synonms.Case in point - Australia ) Now they chose who will rule us. As time passed, India's uneducated population increased. And today it must be close to 90% (again, literacy and education have no relation. See that Goswami guy on TV and you will know what I mean)

Solution?

No immidiate solution. But if this happens - A dynamic leader comes along, well meaning leader, and by some marketing genius manages to sell his idea across states and castes, and sits on the throne - and rules it for the next 5 years, like a king, and not like a minister, things will start changing.

***

I am an eternal optimist. I have faith in the country and its people. But each of us will have to identify where we are missing the semi-colons. Are we submitting our reports too early. Are we doing everything we are supposed to do to make things perfect?

"Somethings should be done because they have to be done - to make everything better." Will we remember that?


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WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere

I dont normally participate in contests, but recently I have been lacking any drive to write. Plus I have no inspiration - I sincerely believe that there has to be a certain degree of velapanti in your life to have inspiration.

So, the other day I was reading about this WeChat contest- Now this is pretty cool - If I could chat with 5 people on WeChat, living, dead, or (most importantly) fictional, who would they be? (Have a look here http://www.youtube.com/user/WeChatIndia?feature=chclk)

This got me thinking. If I could have 5 people, anyone whom I adore, and love, or have naughty dreams about - How awesome would it be, to be able to chat with them (not to mention - for free - heh heh, I'm cheap)

So after a lot of thinking and mulling over, I have decided who it should be.

M.S.Dhoni :


 I have always been amazed by his coolness on the field. Nothing seems to faze him. I see the world through my point of view, and I can't imagine being as relaxed as he is in pressure situations. My favourite Dhoni moment (and there are quite a few of those) has to be the six of the last ball in the World Cup finals. Some might say he does it to hog the limelight, but my point is, if it goes wrong, the Indian fans, fickle as they are, would want his head. Things seldom go wrong. And there is a very sage concept behind it. So wise is this concept that MSD once mentioned it in passing and nobody has made a note of it. This is what he said after winning a really tight match (I don't remember which game, sorry!)-

"I told him (the non-striker) that we should bat for another 5 overs, then as the pressure builds up, their (the opponent's) heartbeats will become faster and they will make mistakes."

Ah! Genius. Such a simple funda! And trust me, this can be applied to any situation (even huge corporate real estate deals, as I do on a daily basis). I would want him to talk more on such strategies (more like life hacks!)

Eminem:

"You better Loooose yourrrrself, In the muuuu.... usic the moo.. ment you own it.. you better never let it go..go..go"
This guy, for the lack of a better word, is brilliant. Poets will be born, and Poets will die. Wordsworth was born, Wordsworth died. Coleridge was born, Coleridge died. Sure, we read their stuff in textbooks, they were incredible, and yet not half as incredible as Eminem is. Yes, I compared those greats with this great.
Eminem entered an industry that wasnt very friendly to whites and made it his own. Other rappers during his time might have been socially more relevant, but one day, they wouldnt be. Eminem however raps about the unfailing human spirit. That is why I feel, one day my son will be as big a fan of him, as I am and then, his son.

I would want to know from him, how the hell did he manage to rhyme Orange. You know they say nothing rhymes with Orange? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRX8sXdCkfo

Hrishitaa bhat:

This is the part about the naughty dreams. Wink. Wink. Subtlty is not my strength as you can see.
I remember watching her face light the screen in that dingy one-screen hall, that turned off the AC after the first 15 minutes of the movie and fans creaking formed the background score. Khaitan fans and not AR Rahman is India's best music director. Anyway, the movie was called Asoka and Hrishita Bhat had a small role. She shared the screen with SRK and Kareena, but I couldnt keep my eyes off her. I dont think I ever wanted to marrry her, but it would be nice to know her. WeChat allows voice chat too as I understand. It would be nice to talk to her (for free.. heh heh... sheesh)


Ronald McDonald:

I find this guy very interesting. His mannequin (or whatever that guy sitting on the bench outside every McDonald's is called) must be the most photographed figure in the world! Kids (and the kids at heart) all around the world sit next to him and click pictures. I dont see the point - It's not like that you are clicking a picture against the Taj Mahal. Here is only the world's best known clown!

I dont think I have ever heard him talk - But I want to. I want to know what all cities he has been to. And what McDonalds serves what. He must have tons of stories I am sure. I want to know if they serve wine in the McDonalds at Paris and do they serve Squid in Tokyo. What McDonalds are the noisest and where are the people the most polite. Yes, I want to know.


My Grandfather: 

Or Baba, as I called him. I was 10 years old when he passed away. He owned some land in the village and he liked staying there. So we would meet only during summer vacations. I have spent some lovely summers with him. He would take me fruit plucking. I found it fascinating that he knew so much about plants and valued all living things around him. When he would wake up in the morning, before putting his feet on the ground, he would do a formal namaskar to the ground. The ground, earth, he said was the mother. She gives us foodgrains to eat and fruits and vegetables. While I dont personally thank the earth every morning before I wake up, I do keep this in mind. Apart from the things we learn in school, history, math, science, there are somethings only a grandfather can teach you. I wish a I get a chance to talk to him at least once, even if it is through WeChat, for as low as 20 minutes, there are so many things I want to ask him, I want to validate so many things that I have learnt over my adult life. I want to tell him about my love for plants which clearly is his gift to me. I want to tell him how some of his teachings have made me a better person. I want him to tell me stories, scold me for the things he finds wrong, pat my back if he feels I have accomplished something, all this in 20 minutes.

If only this wasnt a contest. If only instead of giving me a prize, they could give me this.



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