Thursday, October 29, 2009

वो नई दुनिया

वो नई दुनिया जहाँ सभी जा रहे हैं
और संपन्नता का नया गीत गा रहे हैं
जहाँ का fixed हमारे fixed+variable से double होगा
जहाँ ज़्यादा न की कम पैसा जीवन का trouble होगा
जहाँ हम पा जायेंगे अपने millionaire मित्रों का साथ
जहाँ बढ़ा हुआ वेतन लायेगा जीवन में नई सौगात

जहाँ हमारा भी अपना एक सपनो का घर होगा
मकान मालिक को किराया देने का न डर होगा
जहाँ परियां होंगी हमारी दौलत पर फ़िदा
हम भी होंगे relationship की डोली में विदा
जहाँ हम भी बनेंगे Kingfisher के frequent flyer
दौडेंगे जहाँ सड़कों पर हमारी Merc। के टायर
जहाँ हम भी खड़ा कर लेंगे एक पैसो का पहाड़
रईस business men भी कापेंगे सुनकर हम नौकरी वालों की दहाड़

जहाँ हमारी भी 5 -10 lakh की FD खुल सकेगी
Official visit के नाम पर विदेश यात्रा सम्भव हो सकेगी
जहाँ हमारी भी होगी money matters पर टाइट ग्रिप
weekend पर लग सकेंगी New-Zealand/ऑस्ट्रेलिया की ट्रिप
जहाँ आम आदमी से ख़ास आदमी होने का सुख हम पा जायेंगे
उस नई दुनिया में नव जीवन का गाना गायेंगे

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boy friend who? no...he is my "Best Friend"

This post is dedicated to the species of males known as "Best Friends" in the female circles in india atleast. (I wont be surprised though if this practice turns out to be prevalent worldwide). These are plain looking creatures,their names sounding like any other male around us like anand, anant, prashant, vivek,vineet etc. but they have a distinct identity in addition to all this. They are 'Best Friends' of beautiful females or for those not having a strong predisposition for sophistication - 'hot babes'. As against males who make a pass at beautiful females at every opportunity these are sober people, always found loitering around with these females,lending their ears completely to them. They can often be spotted lending their shoulders too which is to help their 'Best Friend' the female that is, give vent to her "i feel like cryin..dunno y" emotion.

Many males happen to become friends with beautiful females at different points in thier lives thanks to their reasonably well established self esteem, an ego smaller than the 'Himalayas' and one of the following a) an urge to be at least friends with such females to trample egos of fellow males i.e psychological warfare b) an urge to woo a female c) an accidental transactional situation where verbal exchange with such females can not be avoided and which gives rise to friendship eg : writing assignments before submission d) a craving to feed their own ego by proving " i can befriend any girl outthr no matter how attractive she is".But what is exactly that which takes one from being just a friend to being the "Best Friend". I am told that an exceptional listener is perfectly qualified for the transition. But so many of the "friends" variety can claim to be good listeners but all of them don't make the cut. So to my educated mind 'a gud listening performance delivered year after year for atlest 3-5 years without expressing liking for the female in ways not in tune with her understanding of friendship' is the recipe for achieving the said transition.But to my rudimentary mind a male 'who wanted to sleep with the female right from the word go but could'nt because he was'nt as sexy as George Clooney or Johny Depp for no fault of his own and still hangs out with the female after having made peace with this fact' makes the ideal material for a 'Best Friend' of future.

Now once there, these so called "Best Friends" annoy other males no end.First of all they give the impression that the girl has a 'Boy Friend'.Second to woo a girl sometimes this pesky creature called the 'Best Friend' also has to be woo'ed.The first situation sometimes is devastating for some males who after assuming these friends to be female's Boy Friend opine " Yaar agar yeh chu**** itni sundar ladki ko girlfrnd bana sakta hai to mera jeena bekaar hai".These men then drown themselves in drugs which is harmful for the society at large.

Females use these 'Best Friends' obviously not only as an emotional drainage system but also as an appendage who accompanies them wherever they go, in whatever they do and irrespective of what they speak.They use these BFs as accessories to protect them from eve-teasers and as an exterior which helps them in checking out hot males in a flash.These males are also 'back-up' options for marriage in case the proverbial 'prince charming' failes to show up on time.But mind you this goes on only till the dreadful day when either the female finds her MAN or this seemingly innocuous fellow starts making advances.Females handle both these scenarios with great finesse.In the first one they say " hey..guess wat..this guy xyz has asked me out...i also like him..i think hez really cute...and will make an excellent boyfriend...u r d first one with whom i m sharing this...coz u knw...u r my best frnd".In the second one which is a bit dicey it goes like this " hey...u r very nice u knw...u r very sweet...i really like ur company...u v always been thr when i v needed u...bla bla bla..but we r best never saw u dat way". These females i tell you are ruthless creatures.

One of my philosopher friends once said that these "best friends" are like " Ramu Kaka" in the movie Sholay. He did his 'bit' sincerely in the movie which no one remembers was what. But he remains synonymous to 'a loser' in most of the (sick) conversations irrespective of the context.

Their fellow males might think that they are complete losers but let me caution the others by saying "Never underestimate the force". The "Best Friends" if smart can get all their assignments/work done in return for their ears and a shoulder.They also get the benefit of being there all this while in almost all the cases when the girl is in marriageable age with no "Prince Charming" in sight and there is a serious societal pressure for getting married. In such situations all females share the same thoughts" umm..i hv to get married is my best friend...i know him for so understanding with him stands better than neone else in this whole world...hence i will marry him". These occasions turn out to be the 'windfall gain' type in financial parlance as otherwise such beautiful females would never have married these bunch of "Best Friends".

I firmly believe my above observations could be used by my fellow countrymen not only to assess as to where they stand today in the freind, best-friend, Boy friend sequence but also to target one of these positions based on their own attributes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My love affair with Miss Alcohol

My relationship with Miss Alcohol started just like it does in such relationships ususally. It was in engineering first year,the winter of 2000 when i got introduced to her in a friend's party.Back then i was already in a relationship and just wanted to be 'kindaa' friends with her.I checked her out from a distance. She looked attractive. I had heard people say things like "iskey chakkar mein acchey acchey lut gaye....ghar ke ghar barbaad ho gaye" about her and was quite keen to meet this "vamp".Soon enough she was close to me sitting comfortably in front of me, me ogling at her and she keeping silent like a shy rustic girl.She wore a black t-shirt with " McDowell Rum" written on it.It looked cool. After a slow start i just got glued to her and she took me to a different world altogether wherein i saw hilarious streaks everywhere. One of us was kicking others very hard ,me included. Another one just escaped falling off the edge of the terrace with the help of others.I just kept laughing at all this.Life had become so much fun suddenly in her company. After some time things started looking blurred which i thought was the effect of my strong liking for her and then sadly i threw up. People labelled it a case of "Love at first sight".

For the next two years i kept meeting her once in a while at the parties thrown by my friends and surprisingly she always wore the same old "McDowell Rum" T-shirt.Sometimes it got really long before we could meet again.But with every meeting our closeness increased. I used to talk to her ignoring other filthy creatures around me and used to miss her big time once i was forcefully taken away from the party venue due to my obsessive and passionate liking for her.While driving back from such parties on my bike i used to make figures of 8 on the road remembering her companionship and even told people her name when they asked about the creative shapes i made on the road while driving. Oh i seriously liked her.

It was my junior amit who helped me see her new facet. He called me to this party where she had also come. She wore a white top saying "Bacardy White".Our meeting which had happened after a long time lasted about 4 hours and i realised she had become milder and more friendly in the meantime.I liked her new Avataar but now i had to go to the big parties which were rather infrequent, to see her like this.Just that her T-shirts read "Royal Challenge" or "Blenders Pride" sometimes but with extreame rarity. But like it is with true love our bond was getting stronger even in each other's absence.

When i left my college and joined a s/w developer job in pune i thought i had left my beautiful lady behind.But it was'nt destined to be like that. She followed me all the way to pune and with an all new vigour.We started meeting regularly now at pubs,bars and @my flat. She had acquired a much better shape now and wore blue clothing with "Fosters" labelled on it. Her company became a sure shot way of unwinding here. I cribbed ad infinitum about my boss and my job with her by my side. After the initial strong attraction and infatuation phases in indore now it was the time when our relationship was growing on the friendship front.

Soon it was time for me to leave pune for my MBA in mumbai. Like a true mate she stood by me. Her dresses had become expensive with the tags like "Antiquity" and "Chivas Regal" printed on them.But she was always there with me for those intellectual discussions. She always helped me prepare for them in advance.I even had a lot of such discussions with her sitting in my hostel room where she stayed with me long after the party was over.It was her company that made me realise a new found craving inside me for rock. Now that we were getting "high" together on the intellectual level i thought we were finally making Plato proud.

And here she is in front of me trying to entice/ensnare me with her charm,her beauty and the striking green attire reading "Carlsberg".We have seen each other in the highs and the lows. We have been together right from the specious attraction to the true intellectual stimulation.And now that she lives with me i can say in all my senses that i am madly and deeply in love with her.

PS: This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Do we need a 'Sanjay Gandhi' today ?

I have had many conversations with the auto rickshaw popularly known as "ric" drivers of mumbai mainly due to two reasons.One that i dont own a vehicle hence i need to take a ric everytime i decide to go to a place where i can't reach on foot and second that it takes such a long time to reach anywhere that i survive "an accidental death by boredom" only by striking a conversation either with the ric driver,myself if driver baiyya is not those expressive "ab kaa batai bhaiyya" types or "The Almighty" if i am not on talking terms with myself.All these times when i have talked to them i have found them to be extreamly interested in educating their children, sincere and well behaved in most of the cases. They are also infinitely more professional and informed than their counterparts in any other city i have taken a ric in, Bhopal, Indore, Delhi, Chennai and Pune being some of them.

~98 % of the Mumbai ric drivers i have encountered hail from one of the 3 cities/towns Pratapgarh, Allahabad or Jaunpur, all of them being in UP. So when i encountered a ric driver from Bengaluru two days back i was taken completely by surprise.I would'nt have known his roots if he had not asked me a question so different from what i had faced in such situations before. At a traffic signal he suddenly turned around and shot this question at me " Baaaisaab ..yeh elections ke liye paisa kidhar sey aata hai".I noticed his south indian accent while listening to the piognant question he had put across.I decided to give the "election spending" issue an immediate priority over "his land of origin" issue even though the second one had historically won over me in most of the previous cases due to the lack of mental appeal in the first questions. I answered " Bhai...election ke liye paisa bahut raston sey aata hai". "Business karney wala public kaafi paisa daalta hai. Uskey badley mein politicians sey kaam karwana aasaan ho jata hai". He responded "sab barbaad jaa raha hai...issey badhiya us paise sey ek hospital banwa dete kahin".I suddenly realized that asking such questions and giving suggestions was afterall not just a prerogative of the intellectual upper-middle/upper class of india. There are others also who are thinking on these issues and hence it does not absolve intelligentsia of their duties if they are merely contemplating over problems.Instead they have the onus of implementing a few solutions with thier intellect, superiority of which could be debated at length.

I registered my disappointment at the dismal ~50% voter turnout during recent assembly elections in mumbai by saying " chalo elections par paisa kharch ho bhi raha hai to atleast public vote karke elections ka purpose to poora honey dey...ab public hi vote nahi karney jayegi toh paisa poora hi waste ho jaayega". To this he had an instantaneous response as if he had anticipated it already. " do ya na do..jab sab ke sab chor hain to vote dalney ya nahi daalney ka koi farak nahi padta".Then came the next question which i had faced earlier during some intellectual discussions within the group called educated indians."accha aap batao aise kitney neta hain jo public ki sewa karne ke liye elect hona chahtey hain paise aur power ke liye nahin?". I had an answer with very limited arguments to support though. I said "mujhey lagta hai kashmir ka CM Omar Abdullah, MP ka CM Shivraj Singh Chauhaan and future PM Rahul baba aise type ke neta hain". He replied " arey saab agar desh mein 20000 neta hain total to 2-3 hi aise hongey". i could not afford to challenge this statistical guestimate as i would have lost in all probability.

He then went on "accha aap kahan key hain?".I said "Bhopal ..M.P". M.P had to be added as many people sometimes act as if this state does not simply exist untill i tell them that we are unfortunately and not at all intentionally one of the proud BIMARU states or that sometime back 425 trains passed through M.P daily with 175 passing through Bhopal alone establishing the fact that it exists somewhere in central india.Some have even answered "Indore" to a KG-II level GK question " What is the capital of M.P?". But thank heavens, the driver bhaiyya from the south knew M.P and asked if the CM of MP has done some good development work in the state. I said "yes he has" and he for that matter does not come from a usual political , gundagardi or filthy rich background into politics as far as i know. He fought his way hard right from the students union level to the top order of state BJP and is quite popular due to his honesty,sincerity and development 'focus' (if i can use this word loosely to mean just a tad above 'talk' ).

He finally delivered the lines that i could have never expected.He said "aapko ek baat boloon...ek hi aadmi aaj tak hua hai jo public ki sewa kar sakta tha aur desh ka bhala kar sakta tha...SANJAY GANDHI".He continued " Usney nasbandi ka plan chaalu kiya tha...abhi woh sahi sey ho jata tha to yeh sala population ka dikkat nahi rehta tha...sabke paas naukri rehta tha". All this he said with a perfect no non-sense expression on his face and i thought i was extreamly ill-advised to have taken it lightly.I asked myself if this was the same Sanjay Gandhi about whom i had read these lines somewhere on the web

"Considered as the architect of the 1975 emergency, he was feared and hated by many in Indira's cabinet.During the media clampdown, Sanjay was reportedly the one who decided to cut power supply to media organisations and shut courts. Also, he spearheaded the forced sterilisation campaign that earned him much notoreity.This was a draconian measure and it is said that Sanjay Gandhi was responsible for much of what went wrong with the Emergency.
Sanjay was the also one of the key figures behind secretly aiding Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his militants (in 1970s) with backing from the Indira-led government at Centre.It was a huge folly as Indira Gandhi was to realize later ".

But i must add here that even my parents have agreed to the fact many times that all govt. systems had started running efficiently during emergency which even to them was really surprising. People started showing up right on time in offices fearing a possible "memo" being handed over to them saying that they need not show up at all from that point on. But how much was it a contribution by Sanjay Gandhi i can't say.

And then driver ji went into a flashback. " main 10-12 saal ka tha gaanv mein jabhi usney woh kaam chalu kiyela tha". Then times changed. He then went to goa for a job, then came to mumbai for a job that he lost due to some unfortunate event and hence was driving this ric. I feel he might just be the only south indian ric driver in mumbai which i know is closer to being a hyperbole than truth.

But that coversation left me with atleast 3 questions to look answers for

1) How can we ascertain that the money coming in for elections does not get wasted by getting spent on activites not related to elections?

2) Is not voting a solution for the problem of having corrupt politicians in the country?. I for one don't think so.

3) Would a person like Sanjay Gandhi been really useful in implementing policies in the country today?

I am not sure if i will reach the exact answers to these questions but i shall definitely learn and understand something somewhere enroute.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

मेरी प्रथम हास्य- व्यंग्य कविता - "NITIE - धरती पर स्वर्ग"

I wrote this piece during my second year @ NITIE. The time was around dec. 2007. Placements were not too far off and the stay at such a beautiful place was also inching towards the close. One fine morning sitting on my bed in my hostel room i started penning down these lines based on my coming to NITIE after 2 years of work ex. as a s/w engineer in pune. I believe this piece represents "my type" of humour (if i may say so) as it has developed over the years. But at the same time i know that i am a novice in this art and hope to improve my writing with time. I wrote this down in just about an hour. The words kept flowing and stopped only after i had captured not just the last phase i.e placements but also the beautiful feeling of having spent 2 wonderful years in a " Heaven like" location called NITIE.

NITIE - धरती पर स्वर्ग

हम थे अपनी job में मगन
काम करने की न इच्छा थी न लगन
सोचते रहते थे कैसे यहाँ से पीछा छुडाये
जान छूटे तो गंगा नहा कर आयें

तभी CAT नामक वार्षिक महोत्सव आया
हम ने भी अपनी किस्मत का दांव लगाया
2-4 calls आए जीवन में पहली बार
लगा अब तो होने वाला है हमारा उद्धार
पर GD-PI की कला में था हमारा हाथ तंग
बस हार ही चुके थे हम एक और CAT की ज़ंग

प्यारे NITIE ने दिया बुलावा भेज
सपनो में आने लगा मिलने वाला तगड़ा दहेज़
कमर कस कर हम NITIE प्रांगन की ओर बढ़ गए
96 सीढियां "प्रगति की" पहली बार एक साँस में चढ़ गए
विश्वास यही था की बुरे समय के बादल अब सर से हट चुके हैं
तभी आकाशवाणी हुई -- WELCOME 2 NITIE -- आप एक बार फ़िर मूर्ख बन चुके हैं

जल्द ही top-10 B-school में पढने की खुमारी दिल में भर गई
NITIE की परम्परा "मक्कारी " पूरे व्यक्तित्व में घर कर गई

समय बिताने के लिए करना था कुछ काम
सोचा क्यों न किसी कन्या का हाथ लें हम थाम
पर चेहरा यह हमारा किसी को रास न आया
NITIE pond जैसी romantic location का चक्कर
सदा ही हमने अकेले लगाया

फ़िर जब आया जूनियर बैच
हमने सोचा अब तो मिल ही जाएगा एक suitable match
जूनियर परियों को भी यह सीनियर पसंद ना आया
friend तो दूर की बात साहब
किसी सुंदर बालिका का "Mentor" बनने का मौका भी हाथ न आया

अब आ गए हैं कुछ आखिरी दिन
बिता रहे हैं टाइम movies देख और दिन गिन गिन
placements अर्थात महायुद्ध निकट आ गया है
बढती expectations का फ़ोन भी घर से आ गया है
उम्मीद है की लड़का 15-20 Lakh का package पा जाएगा
एक ही झटके में जीवन रूपी भवसागर को पार कर जाएगा

हो जो भी भविष्य में पर , रहेगा याद हमें सदा सहर्ष
यह NITIE प्रांगन ,बीत जायें भले ही अनेकों वर्ष
तो भैय्या हों चाहे वो अपने UP के वाजपायी जी या दिल्ली के Mr. गर्ग
सभी एकमत इस बात पर की NITIE ही है धरती पर स्वर्ग !

My fav Hindi poems - 8

आर्य- मैथिलीशरण गुप्त

हम कौन थे, क्या हो गये हैं, और क्या होंगे अभी
आओ विचारें आज मिल कर, यह समस्याएं सभी

भू लोक का गौरव, प्रकृति का पुण्य लीला स्थल कहां
फैला मनोहर गिरि हिमालय, और गंगाजल कहां
संपूर्ण देशों से अधिक, किस देश का उत्कर्ष है
उसका कि जो ऋषि भूमि है, वह कौन, भारतवर्ष है

यह पुण्य भूमि प्रसिद्घ है, इसके निवासी आर्य हैं
विद्या कला कौशल्य सबके, जो प्रथम आचार्य हैं
संतान उनकी आज यद्यपि, हम अधोगति में पड़े
पर चिन्ह उनकी उच्चता के, आज भी कुछ हैं खड़े

वे आर्य ही थे जो कभी, अपने लिये जीते न थे
वे स्वार्थरत हो मोह की, मदिरा कभी पीते न थे
वे मंदिनी तल में, सुकृति के बीज बोते थे सदा
परदुःख देख दयालुता से, द्रवित होते थे सदा

संसार के उपकार हित, जब जन्म लेते थे सभी
निश्चेष्ट हो कर किस तरह से, बैठ सकते थे कभी
फैला यहीं से ज्ञान का, आलोक सब संसार में
जागी यहीं थी, जग रही जो ज्योति अब संसार में

वे मोह बंधन मुक्त थे, स्वच्छंद थे स्वाधीन थे
सम्पूर्ण सुख संयुक्त थे, वे शांति शिखरासीन थे
मन से, वचन से, कर्म से, वे प्रभु भजन में लीन थे
विख्यात ब्रह्मानंद नद के, वे मनोहर मीन थे

source -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My fav Hindi poems - 7

मापदण्ड बदलो- दुष्यन्त कुमार

मेरी प्रगति या अगति का ,

यह मापदण्ड बदलो तुम,

जुए के पत्ते सा

मैं अभी अनिश्चित हूँ ।

मुझ पर हर ओर से चोटें पड़ रही हैं,कोपलें उग रही हैं,पत्तियाँ झड़ रही हैं,

मैं नया बनने के लिए खराद पर चढ़ रहा हूँ,

लड़ता हुआ नयी राह गढ़ता हुआ आगे बढ़ रहा हूँ ।

अगर इस लड़ाई में मेरी साँसें उखड़ गईं,

मेरे बाज़ू टूट गए,मेरे चरणों में आँधियों के समूह ठहर गए,

मेरे अधरों पर तरंगाकुल संगीत जम गया,या मेरे माथे पर शर्म की लकीरें खिंच गईं,

तो मुझे पराजित मत मानना,

समझना –तब और भी बड़े पैमाने परमेरे हृदय में असन्तोष उबल रहा होगा,

मेरी उम्मीदों के सैनिकों की पराजित पंक्तियाँ

एक बार औरशक्ति आज़माने को

धूल में खो जाने या कुछ हो जाने कोमचल रही होंगी ।

एक और अवसर की प्रतीक्षा में

मन की क़न्दीलें जल रही होंगी ।

ये जो फफोले तलुओं मे दीख रहे हैं

ये मुझको उकसाते हैं ।

पिण्डलियों की उभरी हुई नसेंमुझ पर व्यंग्य करती हैं ।

मुँह पर पड़ी हुई यौवन की झुर्रियाँ क़सम देती हैं ।

कुछ हो अब, तय है –मुझको आशंकाओं पर क़ाबू पाना है,

पत्थरों के सीने में प्रतिध्वनि जगाते हुए

परिचित उन राहों में एक बार

विजय-गीत गाते हुए जाना है –जिनमें मैं हार चुका हूँ ।

मेरी प्रगति या अगति का

यह मापदण्ड बदलो तुम

मैं अभी अनिश्चित हूँ ।

source -

My fav Hindi poems - 6

विजयी के सदृश जियो रे- रामधारी सिंह दिनकर

वैराग्य छोड़ बाँहों की विभा संभालो
चट्टानों की छाती से दूध निकालो
है रुकी जहाँ भी धार शिलाएं तोड़ो
पीयूष चन्द्रमाओं का पकड़ निचोड़ो

चढ़ तुंग शैल शिखरों पर सोम पियो रे
योगियों नहीं विजयी के सदृश जियो रे

जब कुपित काल धीरता त्याग जलता है
चिनगी बन फूलों का पराग जलता है
सौन्दर्य बोध बन नयी आग जलता है
ऊँचा उठकर कामार्त्त राग जलता है

अम्बर पर अपनी विभा प्रबुद्ध करो रे
गरजे कृशानु तब कंचन शुद्ध करो रे

जिनकी बाँहें बलमयी ललाट अरुण है
भामिनी वही तरुणी नर वही तरुण है
है वही प्रेम जिसकी तरंग उच्छल है
वारुणी धार में मिश्रित जहाँ गरल है

उद्दाम प्रीति बलिदान बीज बोती है
तलवार प्रेम से और तेज होती है

छोड़ो मत अपनी आन, सीस कट जाये
मत झुको अनय पर भले व्योम फट जाये
दो बार नहीं यमराज कण्ठ धरता है
मरता है जो एक ही बार मरता है

तुम स्वयं मृत्यु के मुख पर चरण धरो रे
जीना हो तो मरने से नहीं डरो रे

स्वातंत्र्य जाति की लगन व्यक्ति की धुन है
बाहरी वस्तु यह नहीं भीतरी गुण है

वीरत्व छोड़ पर का मत चरण गहो रे
जो पड़े आन खुद ही सब आग सहो रे

जब कभी अहम पर नियति चोट देती है
कुछ चीज़ अहम से बड़ी जन्म लेती है
नर पर जब भी भीषण विपत्ति आती है
वह उसे और दुर्धुर्ष बना जाती है

चोटें खाकर बिफरो, कुछ अधिक तनो रे
धधको स्फुलिंग में बढ़ अंगार बनो रे

उद्देश्य जन्म का नहीं कीर्ति या धन है
सुख नहीं धर्म भी नहीं, न तो दर्शन है
विज्ञान ज्ञान बल नहीं, न तो चिंतन है
जीवन का अंतिम ध्येय स्वयं जीवन है

सबसे स्वतंत्र रस जो भी अनघ पियेगा
पूरा जीवन केवल वह वीर जियेगा!

source -
कोशिश करने वालों की- हरिवंशराय बच्चन

लहरों से डर कर नौका पार नहीं होती,
कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती।

नन्हीं चींटी जब दाना लेकर चलती है,
चढ़ती दीवारों पर, सौ बार फिसलती है।
मन का विश्वास रगों में साहस भरता है,
चढ़कर गिरना, गिरकर चढ़ना न अखरता है।
आख़िर उसकी मेहनत बेकार नहीं होती,
कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती।

डुबकियां सिंधु में गोताखोर लगाता है,
जा जा कर खाली हाथ लौटकर आता है।
मिलते नहीं सहज ही मोती गहरे पानी में,
बढ़ता दुगना उत्साह इसी हैरानी में।
मुट्ठी उसकी खाली हर बार नहीं होती,
कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती।

असफलता एक चुनौती है, इसे स्वीकार करो,
क्या कमी रह गई, देखो और सुधार करो।
जब तक न सफल हो, नींद चैन को त्यागो तुम,
संघर्ष का मैदान छोड़ कर मत भागो तुम।
कुछ किये बिना ही जय जय कार नहीं होती,
कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती।

source -

My fav Hindi poems - 5

तूफानों की ओर घुमा दो नाविक निज पतवार - शिवमंगल सिंह सुमन

तूफानों की ओर घुमा दो नाविक निज पतवार
आज सिन्धु ने विष उगला है
लहरों का यौवन मचला है
आज ह्रदय में और सिन्धु में
साथ उठा है ज्वार
तूफानों की ओर घुमा दो नाविक निज पतवार

लहरों के स्वर में कुछ बोलो
इस अंधड में साहस तोलो
कभी-कभी मिलता जीवन में
तूफानों का प्यार
तूफानों की ओर घुमा दो नाविक निज पतवार

यह असीम, निज सीमा जाने
सागर भी तो यह पहचाने
मिट्टी के पुतले मानव ने
कभी ना मानी हार
तूफानों की ओर घुमा दो नाविक निज पतवार

सागर की अपनी क्षमता है
पर माँझी भी कब थकता है
जब तक साँसों में स्पन्दन है
उसका हाथ नहीं रुकता है
इसके ही बल पर कर डाले
सातों सागर पार
तूफानों की ओर घुमा दो नाविक निज पतवार ।।

source -
एक भी आँसू न कर बेकार- रामावतार त्यागी

एक भी आँसू न कर बेकार
जाने कब समंदर मांगने आ जाए!

पास प्यासे के कुआँ आता नहीं है
यह कहावत है, अमरवाणी नहीं है
और जिस के पास देने को न कुछ भी
एक भी ऐसा यहाँ प्राणी नहीं है

कर स्वयं हर गीत का श्रृंगार
जाने देवता को कौनसा भा जाय!

चोट खाकर टूटते हैं सिर्फ दर्पण
किन्तु आकृतियाँ कभी टूटी नहीं हैं
आदमी से रूठ जाता है सभी कुछ
पर समस्यायें कभी रूठी नहीं हैं

हर छलकते अश्रु को कर प्यार
जाने आत्मा को कौन सा नहला जाय!

व्यर्थ है करना खुशामद रास्तों की
काम अपने पाँव ही आते सफर में
वह न ईश्वर के उठाए भी उठेगा
जो स्वयं गिर जाय अपनी ही नज़र में

हर लहर का कर प्रणय स्वीकार
जाने कौन तट के पास पहुँचा जाए!

source -

My fav Hindi poems - 4

मैं बढ़ा ही जा रहा हूँ- शिवमंगल सिंह सुमन

मैं बढ़ा ही जा रहा हूँ, पर तुम्हें भूला नहीं हूँ ।
चल रहा हूँ, क्योंकि चलने से थकावट दूर होती
जल रहा हूँ क्योंकि जलने से तमिस्त्रा चूर होती
गल रहा हूँ क्योंकि हल्का बोझ हो जाता हृदय का
ढल रहा हूँ क्योंकि ढलकर साथ पा जाता समय का ।

चाहता तो था कि रुक लूँ पार्श्व में क्षण-भर तुम्हारे
किन्तु अगणित स्वर बुलाते हैं मुझे बाँहे पसारे
अनसुनी करना उन्हें भारी प्रवंचन कापुरुषता
मुँह दिखाने योग्य रक्खेगी ना मुझको स्वार्थपरता ।

इसलिए ही आज युग की देहली को लाँघ कर मैं-
पथ नया अपना रहा हूँ पर तुम्हें भूला नहीं हूँ ।

ज्ञात है कब तक टिकेगी यह घड़ी भी संक्रमण की
और जीवन में अमर है भूख तन की, भूख मन की
विश्व-व्यापक-वेदना केवल कहानी ही नहीं है
एक जलता सत्य केवल आँख का पानी नहीं है ।

शान्ति कैसी, छा रही वातावरण में जब उदासी
तृप्ति कैसी, रो रही सारी धरा ही आज प्यासी
ध्यान तक विश्राम का पथ पर महान अनर्थ होगा
ऋण न युग का दे सका तो जन्म लेना व्यर्थ होगा ।

इसलिए ही आज युग की आग अपने राग में भर-
गीत नूतन गा रहा हूँ पर तुम्हें भूला नहीं हूँ ।

सोचता हूँ आदिकवि क्या दे गये हैं हमें थाती
क्रौञ्चिनी की वेदना से फट गई थी हाय छाती
जबकि पक्षी की व्यथा से आदिकवि का व्यथित अन्तर
प्रेरणा कैसे न दे कवि को मनुज कंकाल जर्जर ।

अन्य मानव और कवि में है बड़ा कोई ना अन्तर
मात्र मुखरित कर सके, मन की व्यथा, अनुभूति के स्वर
वेदना असहाय हृदयों में उमड़ती जो निरन्तर
कवि न यदि कह दे उसे तो व्यर्थ वाणी का मिला वर

इसलिए ही मूक हृदयों में घुमड़ती विवशता को-
मैं सुनाता जा रहा हूँपर तुम्हें भूला नहीं हूँ ।

आज शोषक-शोषितों में हो गया जग का विभाजन
अस्थियों की नींव पर अकड़ा खड़ा प्रासाद का तन
धातु के कुछ ठीकरों पर मानवी-संज्ञा-विसर्जन
मोल कंकड़-पत्थरों के बिक रहा है मनुज-जीवन ।

एक ही बीती कहानी जो युगों से कह रहे हैं
वज्र की छाती बनाए, सह रहे हैं, रह रहे हैं
अस्थि-मज्जा से जगत के सुख-सदन गढ़ते रहे जो
तीक्ष्णतर असिधार पर हँसते हुए बढ़ते रहे जो

अश्रु से उन धूलि-धूसर शूल जर्जर क्षत पगों को
-मैं भिगोता जा रहा हूँपर तुम्हें भूला नहीं हूँ ।

आज जो मैं इस तरह आवेश में हूँ अनमना हूँ
यह न समझो मैं किसी के रक्त का प्यासा बना हूँ
सत्य कहता हूँ पराए पैर का काँटा कसकता
भूल से चींटी कहीं दब जाय तो भी हाय करता

पर जिन्होंने स्वार्थवश जीवन विषाक्त बना दिया है
कोटि-कोटि बुभुक्षितों का कौर तलक छिना लिया है
'लाभ शुभ' लिख कर ज़माने का हृदय चूसा जिन्होंने
और कल बंगालवाली लाश पर थूका जिन्होंने ।

बिलखते शिशु की व्यथा पर दृष्टि तक जिनने न फेरी
यदि क्षमा कर दूँ उन्हें धिक्कार माँ की कोख मेरी
चाहता हूँ ध्वंस कर देना विषमता की कहानी
हो सुलभ सबको जगत में वस्त्र, भोजन, अन्न, पानी ।

नव भवन निर्माणहित मैं जर्जरित प्राचीनता का-गढ़ ढ़हाता जा रहा हूँ ।पर तुम्हें भूला नहीं हूँ ।।

source -

My fav Hindi poems - 3

मोको कहां ढूढे रे बन्दे- कबीर (Kabir)

मोको कहां ढूढे रे बन्दे , मैं तो तेरे पास में
ना तीर्थ मे ना मूर्त में ना एकान्त निवास में

ना मंदिर में ना मस्जिद में ना काबे कैलास में
मैं तो तेरे पास में बन्दे मैं तो तेरे पास में

ना मैं जप में,ना मैं तप में,ना मैं बरत उपास में

ना मैं किर्या कर्म में रहता,नहिं जोग सन्यास में

नहिं प्राण में,नहिं पिंड में,ना ब्रह्याण्ड आकाश में

ना मैं प्रकति प्रवार गुफा में,नहिं स्वांसों की स्वांस में

खोजि होए तुरत मिल जाउं,इक पल की तालाश में

कहत कबीर सुनो भई साधो,मैं तो हूँ विश्वास में

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आज फिर शुरू हुआ जीवन- रघुवीर सहाय

आज फिर शुरू हुआ जीवन

आज मैंने एक छोटी-सी सरल-सी कविता पढ़ी

आज मैंने सूरज को डूबते देर तक देखा
जी भर आज मैंने शीतल जल से स्नान किया

आज एक छोटी-सी बच्ची आयी, किलक मेरे कन्धे चढ़ी

आज मैंने आदि से अन्त तक पूरा गान किया
आज फिर जीवन शुरू हुआ।।

source -

My fav Hindi poems - 2

चलना हमारा काम है- शिवमंगल सिंह 'सुमन' (ShivMangal Singh Suman)

गति प्रबल पैरों में भरी , फ़िर क्यों रहूं दर दर खडा
जब आज मेरे सामने, है रास्ता इतना पडा

जब तक न मंजिल पा सकूँ,तब तक मुझे न विराम है,

चलना हमारा काम है ।

कुछ कह लिया, कुछ सुन लिया, कुछ बोझ अपना बँट गया

अच्छा हुआ, तुम मिल गई कुछ रास्ता ही कट गया

क्या राह में परिचय कहूँ,राही हमारा नाम है,

चलना हमारा काम है ।

जीवन अपूर्ण लिए हुए, पाता कभी खोता कभी

आशा निराशा से घिरा,हँसता कभी रोता कभी

गति-मति न हो अवरूद्ध,इसका ध्यान आठो याम है,

चलना हमारा काम है ।

इस विशद विश्व-प्रहार में, किसको नहीं बहना पडा

सुख-दुख हमारी ही तरह,किसको नहीं सहना पडा

फिर व्यर्थ क्यों कहता फिरूँ,मुझ पर विधाता वाम है,

चलना हमारा काम है ।

मैं पूर्णता की खोज में, दर-दर भटकता ही रहा

प्रत्येक पग पर कुछ न कुछ, रोडा अटकता ही रहा

निराशा क्यों मुझे, जीवन इसी का नाम है,

चलना हमारा काम है ।

साथ में चलते रहे, कुछ बीच ही से फिर गए

गति न जीवन की रूकी, जो गिर गए सो गिर गए

रहे हर दम,उसी की सफलता अभिराम है,

चलना हमारा काम है ।

फकत यह जानता, जो मिट गया वह जी गया

मूंदकर पलकें सहज, दो घूँट हँसकर पी गया

सुधा-मिक्ष्रित गरल,वह साकिया का जाम है,

चलना हमारा काम है ।

source -

My fav Hindi poems -1

है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा जलाना कब मना है- Harivansh Rai Bachchan

कल्पना के हाथ से कमनीय जो मंदिर बना था
भावना के हाथ ने जिसमें वितानों को तना था

स्वप्न ने अपने करों से था जिसे रुचि से सँवारा
स्वर्ग के दुष्प्राप्य रंगों से, रसों से जो सना था
ढह गया वह तो जुटाकर ईंट, पत्थर, कंकड़ों को
एक अपनी शांति की कुटिया बनाना कब मना है
है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा जलाना कब मना है

बादलों के अश्रु से धोया गया नभ-नील नीलम
का बनाया था गया मधुपात्र मनमोहक, मनोरम
प्रथम ऊषा की किरण की लालिमा-सी लाल मदिरा
थी उसी में चमचमाती नव घनों में चंचला सम
वह अगर टूटा मिलाकर हाथ की दोनों हथेली
एक निर्मल स्रोत से तृष्णा बुझाना कब मना है
है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा जलाना कब मना है

क्या घड़ी थी, एक भी चिंता नहीं थी पास आई
कालिमा तो दूर, छाया भी पलक पर थी न छाई
आँख से मस्ती झपकती, बात से मस्ती टपकती
थी हँसी ऐसी जिसे सुन बादलों ने शर्म खाई
वह गई तो ले गई उल्लास के आधार, माना
पर अथिरता पर समय की मुसकराना कब मना है
है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा जलाना कब मना है

हाय, वे उन्माद के झोंके कि जिनमें राग जागा
वैभवों से फेर आँखें गान का वरदान माँगा
एक अंतर से ध्वनित हों दूसरे में जो निरंतर
भर दिया अंबर-अवनि को मत्तता के गीत गा-गा
अंत उनका हो गया तो मन बहलने के लिए ही
ले अधूरी पंक्ति कोई गुनगुनाना कब मना है
है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा जलाना कब मना है

हाय, वे साथी कि चुंबक लौह-से जो पास आए
पास क्या आए, हृदय के बीच ही गोया समाए
दिन कटे ऐसे कि कोई तार वीणा के मिलाकर
एक मीठा और प्यारा ज़िन्दगी का गीत गाए
वे गए तो सोचकर यह लौटने वाले नहीं वे
खोज मन का मीत कोई लौ लगाना कब मना है
है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा जलाना कब मना है

क्या हवाएँ थीं कि उजड़ा प्यार का वह आशियाना
कुछ न आया काम तेरा शोर करना, गुल मचाना
नाश की उन शक्तियों के साथ चलता ज़ोर किसका
किंतु ऐ निर्माण के प्रतिनिधि, तुझे होगा बताना
जो बसे हैं वे उजड़ते हैं प्रकृति के जड़ नियम से
पर किसी उजड़े हुए को फिर बसाना कब मना है
है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा जलाना कब मना

source -

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The breed called Railway Ticket Agents

I consider myself an intelligent traveller who proclaims to be intelligent not because of his own use of mind but due to the umpteen travel and reservation options which make him feel like that. So i decided some time back that no matter which season it is, no matter which festival is on the cards, no matter what are the plans of a zillion indian families for "garmiyon ki chutti" i shall always get reservations done at the last minute. With this frame of mind i not only abhore the usage of word reservation or travel plan 5-6 days before the actual travel but i also reserve the right to ridicule people left, right and center who get their reservations done well in advance even calling them technologically challenged at times.Even though i thrive on the sadistic pleasure obtained through the abovementioned behaviour but i fail miserably most of the times in getting the reservations done for myself through the same options which just a few days back were working for traveller emancipation.

This behaviour pattern of mine more often than not takes me to an interesting variety of humans called "Railway Agents".There are 4 varieties of them whom i have encountered till date. Let me tell you how do you spot one when you see one.

Big Corporate Type - They have well constructed offices at not so posh locations with all embellishments inside so as to make up for the "not so posh" locality.These include 3-4 stools with cushion, a rotating fan for the customers in a small space outside the A/C office room where the agent presides.This small space is occupied mostly by the assistant of agent sahab,few other small fishes hoping to become like bada sahab someday and the lowly customer. The assistant makes statements which drive your expectations down regardless of the season by making statements like "bahut mushkil hai par try karenge" , "saari gaadiyan full chal rahi hain" and the like. The small fishes at the same time will add their pinch of gyan on the reservation status of a random train at every drop of the hat.Then the asst. informs his boss of the customer waiting with the target reservation.Silence ensues indicating that the boss is doing some top of the mind calculations.Suddenly you are called in giving you a ray of hope. The Boss once again asks you for all the details and makes faces as if our request reminded him of a constipated weekend.He tells you "We will call you" in a days time. The call comes and you collect your tickets from the office.

Secret Agent Type - These fellas come into play most often when there is a festival season in progress and only their sleight of hands can make a reservation happen. You come to know about these guys through your friends who tell you " there is this guy ramesh 08737822929...he gets it done even 2-3 hours before travel...n u knw wat...for me he got it done for rajdhaani...can u believe it...rajdhaani dude". Speaking of rajdhaani as if it was a concord and all country heads of the world were travelling on it. Then you call up this number. The Agent asks you to call back only 1 day before the actual travel and not pester him everyday till travel happens. One day before the travelling date when you call him he starts giving you the instructions -

1) payment will b made in advance

2)My acc. number is 83904739874

3) transfer money in the next 1 hour..the time starts now...tick tick tiiiiiiii..

4) money will not be refunded in any case

5) once money is tranfered send me an sms with reservation details

6) booking will be confirmed at 9:00 am tommorow.

You transfer d money and finally he calls up at 9 am the next day to tell you that tickets are done but not by the train you wanted instead in some "bla bla" train which reaches the destination at the most odd hour and that the ticket will be mailed shortly.All this while you never meet them, never go to their offices if there is one and hence can not confirm their existence whatsoever.

Supari Killer Type - These guys come in very handy when it comes to last minute travel due to some really unforeseen circumstances. They operate out of the railway stations and when you call them up they tell you that they are sitting at the right handside corner of the room facing the telefone booth on the left of the reservation counter.When you spot them they smile at you and approach you as if you are about to handover a photograph of the "to be assasinated" and "ek peti" as token. They take reservation details, ask for 250 Rs in advance and get lost somewhere in the vicinity to reappear in a shortwhile with the ticket having the expression on their face " Appka kaam ho gaya Mr. NARANG". "Really fast" you think and suddenly you realize that it has been booked under some dicey PQ, LM ...quota which you have never heard of before. He assures you that your name shall appear on the reservation list with absolute confidence. And appears it does on the list.

Aam Aadmi Type - They are simple people who just go about their work in a sober manner and without much hush. You call them up and give them the reservation details. Incase they can't get it done they tell you well in advance and in case they get it done they deliver it at your home charging 20 Rs for a normal ticket and 100 Rs for a tatkaal one.

So then will i encounter some more variants of this species ? or it will not happen as i might just slip out of my virtuous behaviour pattern inadvertantly. Only time will tell.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The art of not asking questions

Asking questions is something which to me every indian shies away from right from the very childhood.I remember my early school days when there were absolutely no questions on any topic, gyan on which was doled out or should i say dictated by the respected teachers based on the classwork/homework copies of yore. As a result of this i vomitted answers at times with grammatical errors in the exam as i had crammed them as per what was dictated in the class by madamji and i could have questioned authority only at my own peril.On occasions i dared to ask questions which proved to be so unhealthy that i cursed myself at my so called daring. I asked my hindi teacher in the 9th standard after i recieved the unit test answer copy that "how could i improve my performance in the forthcoming test?". She comprehensively reviewed my answers and serendipitously discovered that she had given me marks more than i actually deserved and reduced my score by a good 10 marks before i could register my protest with a silly smile on my face.That was a telling blow to my inquisitive self who wished to improve with the help of an innocuous question.

The trend of "not asking questions come what may" extended to the engineering college and from a mere behaviour pattern it started to turn into an absolute talent. Talent of looking so hopelessly lost in thinking or ignorant of the monologue that happened that the speaker or lecturer questioned himself if he/she had the capability in the first place to deliver a lecture on the subject.The pin drop silence in the class after the speaker requested students to ask questions was invariably followed by the proverbial "last laugh" by 60% of the class as the speaker picked up attendance register in gross disappointment. The remaining 40% woke up if at all when their names were called during attendance.

Then came my job in an IT setup of a foreign bank where i finally thought i shall encounter a breed of professionals different from the shy and low on confidence cowards i had been with till that point. But to my amazement indian professionals had such a tremendous capability of "keeping mum no matter what" that our CEO got a shock of his life when after his presentation (for which he had specially came down from the UK to apprise the indian "super-computers" of his vision/mission etc.) he suddenly found himself in a place where everyone had just been rendered unconscious due to the fatal missile -"Any questions?" fired at them.Here for the first time i encountered one of the most irritating arguments of all times which till date remains a must for any speaker who is pissed off at the audience for not aksing questions. It goes like this - " OK.If u guys dont have any questions then it means either you have understood everything or you dint understand anything". Only very recently at my present job i heard another variant of this which had an addendum " Or u simply dont care wats been said by the speaker".I think this latest addition might be closer to the actual mental state of the indian audience.

The art of not asking questions touched an all time high when after 2 years of asking absolutely no questions in my first job i landed up in a b-school for my MBA. A thought donned on me that may be finally this is where i shall find that intellectual middle class for which asking questions has been a staple for centuries.But here my skill got an altogether new dimension. "Not only you dont ask questions but you also declare the questions as foolish/nonsensical rightaway on the spot as well as hurl brickbats at whoever dared to ask the questions afterwards as per your own whims and fancies" was the thumb rule.This enhanced skillset was boasted as knowledge,intelligence,commonsense or just plain healthy attitude in different groups depending on their mental orientation.

By not raising enough questions early in life we expose ourselves to asking questions later that are either embarassing or suggest that we suffer from the classic 'foot in mouth' syndrome. Like for example a gentleman called my mom in relation to the matrimonial proposal of her daughter for me and sounded quite a sound person untill he thought it appropriate to ask a question which ruined his reputation - " kya aapka beta handsome hai ?"...whaatttt! one mother on the face of this earth who would concede that her son is not handsome due to some quirk of fate or otherwise. To every mother, her son is handsome of the " naa bhutho naa bhavishyati" order.Take another one where abc was having a conversation with xyz and shot a random question at xyz.
abc (randomly) - are you facing any issues with your sex life?
xyz - how do you know? ( it get more foolish than this? )
Having discussed the art of not asking questions and to some extent its perils i feel it is very important now to write a few words on the importance of asking the right questions in modern life to which i shall devote my next post.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

S'pore Visit - Observation 1

I recently went to s'pore and malaysia for a 5 day pleasure visit. Even though the time spent in these countries was very small by any measure i would still list down some glaring observations about them. I spent very little time in malaysia a major chunk of which was spent in Genting highlands which is far removed from the day to day city life of KL and hence i do not find myself in a position to comment on the life in malaysia in general. But i can list down a few observations on the life in s'pore to whatever extent i could observe as i spent a reasonably good amount of time roaming around in the city thanks to our local host there.

The place looked spic-and-span but inside me i felt it was awefully clean.i found it rather hard to get used to that level of cleanliness and an atmosphere free of filthy stink or stale breath of polluted air. I felt almost strangulated as i had to control my natural urge to spit and litter places at ease. I even thought that i was not able to excecise my freewill as they say. I am glad we acheived freedom in 1947, freedom of exactly what, could again be debated ad nauseum.

What also amazed me were the garbage bins lined up neatly on the roadsides which can not happen in india i suppose from what i understand from an incident which took place in Mumbai (where i reside presently) where some 1500 bins were placed on the roadsides in the night but were stolen before dawn.This is again based on an intellectual discourse with a few of my friends either of whom along with me are of no consequence whatsoever for this country apart from the fact that we are supposedly contributing to the progress of the country by working with an indian bank as against those who are contributing to the progress of MNC banks and could be held guilty of perpetuating Brain-Drain by some intellectuals of more consequence on their day.

Without digressing further, on the cleanliness front i was forced to think why is india not like s'pore. People tell me that population is a major bottleneck here which is an argument with some appeal based on my comparison of Bhopal (my hometown) with Mumbai. Bhopal has a much smaller population and is a lot greener and cleaner without rancid/stale smell but is by no means a contender for the cleanliness award if there is one.But the argument loses all its merit when we see china with a population bigger than us boasting of really world class cities which look infinitely closer to what i saw in s'pore than indian cities.

This takes us to the lack of wealth/prosperity which according to some is the reason we are not "cleanliness" people as not only we have a more important task of earning the daily bread for ourselves, the authorities also don't have the funds to enforce law.I really wonder if the lack of cleanliness has more to do with these or a general lack of civic sense in us.To quote Mahatma Gandhi in his speech at the Benaras Hindu University in 1916 -"I entirely agree with the president of the congress that before we think of self government, we shall have to do the necessary plodding. In every city there are two divisions, the contonment and the city proper.The city mostly is a stinking den. But we are people unused to city life. But if we want city life we can not produce an easy going hamlet life. It is not comforting to think that people walk about the streets of Indian Bombay under the perpetual fear of dwellers in the storeyed building spitting on them. I do a great deal of railway travelling. I observe the difficulty of third class passengers. But the railway administration is by no means to blame for all their hard lot.We do not know the elementary laws of cleanliness. We spit anywhere on the carriage floor, irrespective of the thoughts that it is often used as a sleeping space. We do not trouble ourselves as to how we use it; the result is indescribable filth in the compartment. The so-called better class passengers overawe their less fortunate brethren. Among them i have seen the student world also; sometimes they behave no better. They can speak English and they have worn Norfolk jackets and, therefore, claim the right to force their way in and command seating accomodation." We are in 2009 i.e more than 95 years after this speech and i dont think we can claim to have made much progress on the cleanliness front. Also only a few would disagree with me that we as a country and its people have made considerable progress in terms of wealth and prosperity since then. The above discription by the Mahatma of our cities and railway sounds like a description of the current times with a few if not less minor modifications. I for one think that not much has changed because our thinking patterns are the same.We as people still do not attach importance to cleanliness while we attach a lot of importance to education, respect for elders and the like.What could be the reason behind this is a subject for yet another debate.

I do not know if i have any right whatsoever of urging our countrymen of improving their standards of cleanliness and the underlying thought patterns to affect a permanent change in the present state of affairs as i have myself been guilty of perpetuating filthy conditions on atleast some occasions if not many. But i know that my thougt process has changed for the better after my visit to s'pore as i now keep reminding myself of my resolve not to litter places no matter what.Someday i believe we shall see our surroundings so clean as to make every foreigner envy not just cleanliness but also the resolve and execution capability with which we the people of India will achieve that state. How fast we do it is going to be a test of our character if not anything else.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Discover India - October 10. 2009

Watched the usual 9 pm feature on discovery channel "Discover India".Parents of a 2 yr old girl "Lakshmi" with a parasitic twin in her body decide to get her operated at "Sparsh" in bangalore.The girl has an unusual body structure with 8 limbs due to two bodies joined in the pelvic region at the spinal cord.The doctors perform an extraordinary task of separating the twins successfully after a 21 hour long operation to give a new lease of life to the girl. The highlight of the entire feature to me was not just the medical feat acheived but also some very important realizations that i had while watching the program. I realized that no matter what geography one resides in, what language one speaks,what caste/creed one belongs to ; we are all bound together with the language of love , care and compassion. The parents of lakshmi belonged to a remote village in Bihar,could hardly understand english and even hindi appeared to be like an alien language to them. They had not seen urban life ever,looked really tense and anxious both due to the medical condition of their daughter as well as the as the unknown that was staring at them. But just a polite and humble namastey from the smiling face of the doctor eased all of that. During the operation too the leading surgeon kept apprising them of the status in a manner so affectionate and caring that any parent would have felt assured of the well being of their child.I also realised that deep down under we are all the same just that we tend to forget this with years of accumulated wealth,stress and social conditioning.The parents visiting the temple just before the day of operation,lakshmi's mother putting a 'kumkum ka teeka' on her forehead once the operations is completed and she is declared healthy , highlight the basic emotions which under the same circumstances would have been felt by any other parent iresspective of their background , beliefs and social status.

The girl lakshmi is shown in ecstatic mood in the hospital just before the operation when she had no reason to be in such a state.She had 8 limbs, her parents were tense and anxious, she was going to get operated the next day and to top it all it was'nt even certain if she was to come back alive out of the medical ordeal that was to ensue in some time.But here she was so cheerful and joyous that scores of humans who even after accumulating immense wealth and with an above average health keep themselves crossed with something or someone at all points in time due to some reason or the other which can be proved with not so much difficulty, to be trivial at best as compared to the condition of the little girl, should be ashamed of their behaviour.This behaviour of lakshmi reminded me again that it is the basic nature of human beings to be happy come what may but we acquire a nature so opposite to this that happy moments become acheivements for us. Its a pity that a we would love to recall at the first opportunity, the happy moments of our lives and feel so overwhelmed by the sheer fact that we had so many happy moments which to my mind will be just a notch above handful while we had the whole lifetime till that point of recap to be happy and nothing else.

My last but not by any stretch of imagination the least realization was that the feature itself portrayed india in a very positive light which is very pleasing after having watched umpteen such features on india abundant with all negative stereotypes associated with our nation. That we have such skilled medical professionals,fortunately good human beings too who can perform such a complicated operation a first of its kind in the world, that even in the remotest of the villages infested with superstition logic still rules when it comes to the life of a girl with 8 limbs believed to be an avatar of goddess due to her physical condition makes me feel all the more strong as a human being, fortunate to have been born in this great country and thankful to god for having seen such times and lives as a human being.