Monday, August 22, 2011

Anna's Oasis- A Mirage!!

 A TV news channel flashes the news proudly about some school children, somewhere in the age-group of  10-14 protesting and participating in the ongoing protests against corruption led by Anna Hazare and his team. The hysterical news seemed more ridiculous when a set of teachers from the same school applauded the protests by those schoolchildren. Another one showed women from a rural area naming their sons after Anna Hazare. There were many other pieces of news that were reported showing various people trying to grab the media attention in the process of which the news media definitely succeeded in grabbing our attention. It seemed everyone was following Rakhi Sawant’s footsteps to seek attention. And news media and reporters were following the ideology of an ongoing TV reality show, ‘Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’.

I then immediately switched the channel to HBO. But my mind kind of prolonged the effect of inertia. It was still grounded to the same news and didn’t seem to move ahead. After all I’m an Indian too and dream of ‘Shining India.

The current situation with boneless protests seems to share an analogy with the one where a person takes shelter under a plastic bag or a sheet when suddenly caught in an unprecedented thunderstorm.

 The point is that people’s enthusiasm and will to fight corruption is laudable. The unrest in the people is no longer swallowed by them to fill their stomachs. They seem to have realized that discontent within themselves is not going to fill their stomachs or fulfill their ambitions. It is time they are fed with something substantial and helpful. But then again they are fallen into trap  by getting misled that the Lokpal Bill and the road that they have taken will suffice their needs.
How many people participating in the protests actually know what Lokpal Bill constitutes.? How many of these people actually know about their constitution and various  provisions under it?
I was reading an article in The Indian Express, which centralized the ongoing protests around a famous idiom, i.e, prevention is better than cure. And that the Lokpal Bill will only help curing the disease of corruption to some extent and not really preventing it.

I was having a discussion over the ongoing protests with a wise (which is my perception) friend of mine during which I asked him that why the private sector in our country is more progressive than the public sector. Since liberalisation in 1991, our country has tasted a remarkable economic growth. And we ascribe this growth mainly to the private sector. May be the answer lies in the statement that mostly people working in private organisations work more sincerely than their counterparts in public sector. And so another question arose that why such difference is prevalent at all? And the answer was that may be the lack of timely appraisals and fixed appraisals(mostly with a minimum time range of 5 years) in public sectors lead to slipshod attitude towards work which gives rise to ‘chalta hai attitude’ which in turn gives rise to indifferent attitude towards their work which finally leads to unproductivity or inefficiency or corruption or all three of them.

We already have a fantastic constitution. Though one also requires proper functioning of it. And this is where the problem arises. We do not really need a separate statutory body to look into the grievances of all sorts prevalent in our society. We have an existent judiciary system and our constitution has the provisions of amendments. Most of the salient features constituting Lokpal Bill that is making it sell like hot cakes can actually be integrated in our current governing system. Our judiciary system can further me bolstered to check corruption in various sectors of our society. The criminal trials can be fastened. Let’s make better and more rampant the usage of RTI (Right to information act). We can try to better our education system by initiating ITS(Indian teaching services) as proclaimed in a movie named ‘Aarakshan’. There are so many other things that can be worked upon to attain fruitful(sweet and non-decaying) results.

The idealogies behind the bill are right but the methodology is wrong.
We are a democratic nation. But then what if one day we, the common people start marching in protest demanding right to decision-making in the Indian Army. I know the idea sounds ridiculous and is a perfect analogy to the current scenario.
How can we get a solution without identifying the problem. The solution to the problem definitely does not lie in shaving the problem everytime it rises. We have to pull it out with its roots. We know that population is the major hindrance in the development of our country. How many people participating in the protests believe in ‘Hum Do Humara Ek’  ('one child ') policy?
Issues like population control and adult literacy have to be looked upon more seriously. There are so many issues which have to be dealt with separately and effectively in a vast country of ours.
The mindset that youngsters today have towards government jobs has to be changed. Why is it that we relate government sector with dullness and private sector as a more happening thing?
The Anna Hazare campaign is trying to remind the unfairness which we have suffered for decades in the hands of corrupt officials. It is seemingly showing an oasis in a desert like situation. But the fact is that it is a mere mirage and we have fallen for it and have trodden our steps towards an unrewarding journey. At the end of it we’ll end up feeling more thirsty.
“Be practical..!!”, is a famous phrase that we youngsters use in our daily life. Many of us end up making it synonymous with the phrase“chalta hai” (“It’s OK”), which is certainly not being done by me right now. I really mean when I say, “Be practical”.
If one’s wish is to relish one’s eyes with ‘Shining India’ , then let us convert this protest into a more meaningful one with clear and deep rooted objectives which would automatically sweep the weeds off our fecund soil.
Let’s not use the childish toddler machinery in which children just throw a question mindlessly on their less dominating peers saying, “tu meri team mei hai ya uski?”(“are you in my team or in the other’s?”) which forces the innocuous tamer children into undesired polarised groups.
I’ve been getting many sad messages demanding(yet another demand by the people) to forward the same messages on the current protests to help Anna win his battle. Many of these messages are made mawkishly sentimental by concatenating the issue of Kasab’s pending death sentence!! They end with a notorious line saying, “I did my job…”
 Well my job is of a perennial nature which will go on to remain a responsible Indian citizen.
And I would rather end my post with “Jai Hind..!!”

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Commas in the Beautiful World,,,

First of all, to all those who have been reading my blog posts and might have mulled over the blog title, A Little of That in those commas, at some point of time or the other, perchance, I owe an explanation for the same….!!!
What are commas for?
What are these?
Well as per my perception, they are those beautiful curves which beg us to take short breaks or else bear the consequences. These are those little speed-breakers on streets, roads, and highways in the context of literature. Literature somehow has also been an area of high magnetic field in my life. Metaphors, personification and similes have always attracted me because you can compare anything with everything in this world and also out of this world.
And so I can compare our lives with paragraphs; our daily lives with lines; and those little breaks that we take in our daily lives to think from sensible things to absolute rubbish things, with commas.
Well, as I said earlier, commas are supposed to be short brakes, but I kind of enjoy them, and so for me, they last for a little longer durations (after all, I know, I am going to have a long life!!).
 Just like today, when I was supposed to work for a project, I rather chose to listen to cold play (my favorite music band) and it took to me to a different world.
 My favorite number from the band is a song titled beautiful world. There are other masterpieces that the band has gifted its fans, but this particularly is my favorite because it neither makes me happy nor makes me sad. It seems as if the band while composing the song thought of something like; let’s go to the outer space and mimic our lives in the form of music for two minutes. In two minutes it manages to touch all the chords of my senses as if finger-tipped all the moods that I can go through and all the emotions that I can feel, to make me aware of all of these. So basically in the end it makes all kind of forces act upon me and in the end I don’t know what the result is! All I know is that within the two minute frame, the time realized a change of momentum. And then I get pulled by the invincible force developed around me to relish all those moods and emotions again.
It is like a word that fills up blanks in any incomplete sentence. The song somehow just fits in each phase of my life.
And so every time I listen to it, it makes me realize this is how life is; it just goes on with no defined breaks or moods, but with commas. It goes on with intervened vicissitudes accentuated with low and high tempo or absence of it in the song. For instance, we usually follow a normal mundane daily routine but sometimes our days get highlighted with special moments or times when we could imagine a different instrument or a set of instruments being played in the background. But in the end does it leave you with an entirely different mood?
 At the end of the day, we neither feel high sense of elevation, nor do we feel terribly depressed. This is what happens most of the times. It just goes on…..nothing really changes…Time has got a unique property, i.e., at the end it neutralizes everything…

 I remember, in the second year of my college, when for the first time I started traveling long distances, on my own, I used to listen to the song again and again on my walkman (those were the times of technology backwardness). I used to keep rewinding it to understand what exactly the song was doing to me. All I knew then was that it seemed that the song was being played in the same rhythm of my life, of my journey.
And even today when I listen to it, it makes me hear my own life. And it does nothing else….
Have you ever come across such a song…let the music player of your mind play it now…!!

Watch the video of 'Beautiful World' ...(also named 'don't panic')..

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Birth of Inspiration(s)

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Do you remember, as children, we were told the so called educational stories of ants and spiders and other big and small animals time and again.

Those stories illustrated the importance and meaning of then mammoth like giant and weighty terms like perseverance, hard work, sincerity and largesse. As children, we were hardly bothered by those aspects (some of us still don't care for these things...!!). There were stories told revolving around a young poor child making big against all odds and others from various mythologies. All of us remember the famous saying, telling how a rope leaves marks on the inner walls of a well when used repeatedly, depicting the idea and extent of practice, hard work and sincerity.
These stories were narrated to inspire us.
Many of us love to read rags to riches stories. ‘Kaun banega Crorepati?’(based on ‘Who wants to become a Millionaire’) got success as it exploited the same unknown, involuntary desire to get inspired. ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ did the same. (There are obviously many other reasons as to why they drank the the glass full of success..!!)

I’m sure that most of us have been inspired by more than one aspects, things or living beings in our lives.
I myself was reading a heart wrenching inspirational story which compelled me to think of one; the Inspiration of my Life. And then I realized that it should rather be, ‘The Inspirations of my Life’!!..
There is a photo of mine framed, hanging on a wall in my room. I must be around ten month old child in that photo which my uncle clicked after I had got up in the morning on a just normal day. I’ve few strands of my hair falling on my forehead with a ‘bindi’ put on it by my mom and so I got photographed while sitting there wide-eyed as if cogitating on something, unperturbed, but not ignorant, looking at a journey to be undertaken………………….
Yes, that photo inspires me. It inspires me to live, to go onto the path I’ve treaded on for so long. As a child I must have got inspired by a motley of things and as a grown up now, I get inspired by that child, by my childhood....
I think that children, in general are the best inspirational subjects around us. The excitement, the enthusiasm, the vigor and the optimism with which they start and end a day is stirring.
 I remember, I went through a bad phase of my life while I was studying in high school. And so one day while I was heading towards my school in a disoriented way, I confronted a child held in its uncle’s arms smiling brightly at me dissipating the clouds of despair that had earlier enveloped me. I don’t remember its face; I never met that child again, but I remember, that child brought the most selfless smile on my face. It was as beautiful and precious as a flower blossoming in a grave-yard.
It roused me because it told me that one doesn’t always need materialistic success in one’s life to be happy. A little thing like an unknown child’s smile can bring that light needed in your darkest hours of your life. It again inspires me to  keep going as no matter what all and howsoever grotesque I might confront ahead, there will be something beautiful that will quench my thirst and rejuvenate me in my life to go on.

Even, nature can inspire us who is a great teacher and arbitrates in her own global language immutably without any discrimination on the basis of culture, caste, creed, country and anything that divides us otherwise.
And when we talk about the nature mother, how can we preclude speaking of our own mothers!! ( In this post, I can write about my mother only..!!!)
She’s not a very educated woman, nor is she the best person to take advices from, but still she’s definitely the most wonderful and greatest person in my life; and she inspires me immensely.

She taught me when she was a novice and I just a kid
She found me when I was lost; and when I was broken, by her I was fixed
She rebuked me and even now she can chastise me without rattling my ego
She removed the dirt from the surface of the picture of humanity,
When inhumanity beleaguered me and I gasped for breath due to the allergy
Little did I know it is for me that she smiles
And then I swore that I would always smile for her and keep the vile off my face
Little did I know that from her I learnt what it is to be inspired
And so I took the blindfold off my eyes, to see and feel the soft grace
So I walk farewelling sunsets behind, and welcoming the sunrises ahead
Treasuring and cherishing everything I can be inspired by…!!!

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