These days if one watches television one cannot escape from one ad doing the rounds of a particular telecom company, the theme of which is “friendship” and one very catchy line of the ad goes on like “har ek friend jaroori hota hai” (each friend isnecessary). While I would be the first one to admit that the said line iscatchy and the music of the mentioned ad is wonderful to say the least, butthen that’s it. The relevance of the ad with the reality of life ends there.

It is very easy for all of us to think on the lines similar to what has been portrayed in the ad but thenwhat’s been showcased there very rarely happens in real life. I do admit that friends play in very important role in our lives especially when we are in our
formative years (i.e school/college). But as we grow and get ourselves entangled with the complexities (read responsibilities) of life, the seeds of friendship which each one of us sow during our formative years tend to dismantle. Thereafter comes a phase in life where one wonders that what appened to the scores of friends one used to hang out during college days and when the necessity really arises when you yearn for some ‘company’ it is the close knit group of family and some indeed special ‘friends’ who have stuck around your life essentially no matter what.

I guess clever corporate houses and big media barons have realised this difference in the concept of ‘friendship’ between the formative (school/college) years and the years one be in professional life (no matter whatever profession you belong to), and that is precisely the reason in the major ads which we get to see on the broad idea of ‘friendship’ it is this segment (school/college going students) that they target those ads
to, rarely you will find an ad directed at we boring working people.

One of the main reasons issimply the one which we have discussed before and the second reason is our so called grown up minds. Me and you having had been into some profession over years will dissect the pros and cons of buying something to its lowest limit. This is not something which we did when we were young. To understand this more precisely I would like to take all of us back to those days when we were so carefree and there was a certain degree of orderliness even amidst all the chaotic life we used to live back then. Talk of going for a movie and we knew that there would be someone say, “Ram” who was invariably very good at booking the tickets and taking all of us to the movie. All we had to do was to get ready (or even not do so) and be at the place of pick up point.

Similary, talk of arranging for a lunch/dinner which used to happen once a month (or at times in 2 months) where each one of us would secretly keep looking at that one girl who would otherwise never even let us be even stand close to 5 m her radius (so what if there would be 10 guys looking at one girl only). Even for these situations we had a certain “Joe” who was very proficient in arranging for these kinds of gatherings and always shared a good reputation in both boys and girls hostel.

 

Even for our assignments/notes there used to be a certain “Ramesh” whose work always used to be the final word. No questions asked, no issues raised and we all religiously used to copy whatever we got our hands to because we had faith “usne kiya hai toh thik hi kiya hoga” (if he has done it then it must be good). It was that herd mentality which ruled us at that time and the thing like “if one does everyone else follows” has been very well milked by the corporates time and again.

               

So we all know now that it is that essential element called ‘faith’ which now is missing in all of our respective
lives thanks to the ‘professionalism’ which have acquired. Those days we all were for each other partially due to the fact we always stayed together (either in hostel or used to be together in colleges’ hours) and also due to the reason that we all had pretty much nothing else to do as well.

 

Coming back to the topic of this post why I chose to call this term ‘overrated’ because these days even normal people like you and me try to milk the advantage of this otherwise very beautiful word “friendship”. One often hears from someone “you have forgotten out friendship, u never called/messaged”. For a moment even if I agree with that as a mistake from my side then it should also hold true for the person who is asking me the question. “If I did not reach out to what was it that stopped ‘you’ from doing so in the first place?” It is this abuse of this term which I think
has converted it into a very overrated thing.

               

Well from certain personal experiences and also seeing the things happening around me I would like to say only one thing that those who indeed are your friends and should the necessity arise ever, they will come to you even at the drop of a hat (even if you have never been in ‘touch’ in the interim). Those who always chant the rhymes of “friendship” but rarely turnout when you really need them are well … do I even need to say
what should be done ?

 

 To sum up “har ek friend jaroori nahii hota” (each friend is not necessary).

 

P.S: I wish the “Ram”, “Joe” and “Ramesh” of my life to be with me always.

 

Signing off:

                                                                         These days if you live in India and are a slightly ‘aware’ type of a person you cannot help yourself escaping from the news (in fact there are many of them which require immediate attention) which relates to the ensuing ‘Commonwealth Games 2010’ which India is slated to organize from Oct 4, 2010. To me the concept of thoughts being ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ have always been very vague or in other words to put it simply I don’t believe in categorizing thoughts either as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. But here at the risk of being labeled as someone who backtracks on one’s own stand I have no qualms in admitting that from whatever I am seeing in media (print/electronic) about the games, my thoughts are turning ‘negative’ and so are the vibes being felt by me.

                                           I am feeling sad, I m feeling betrayed, I am feeling helpless, and above all I am feeling like a ‘looser’ (the types who ‘loose’ it even before putting a fight/struggle).

                                           The sense of ‘sadness’ is there because I am terrified at the thought of India being mocked at if the games are not conducted up to the standards. The fame/notoriety (whichever applicable at that time) would be worldwide at that time and the laurels/britbacks at that that time would be final and recorded in history books.

                                          The sense of feeling ‘helpless’ emerges from the apparent feeling that as a individual we can do nothing but see/hear whatever is emerging out day after day and wait astonishingly if things could get more worse (which unfortunately is turning out to be true). Everyday we hear/see something new, one day we hear the stadia being built for the occasion leaking, then another day we hear the tracks being not up to the standard, 70% of the projects running 50% behind schedule even when the games are less than 60 days ahead, if all these were not enough then we got to hear that almost all of the infrastructural projects were carried out on fake ‘security certificates’. Now that is a serious issue, because as a nation we are very impatient and there have been cases even in past when the mere ‘allegation’ in media is considered as good as ‘conviction’. With this ‘security concerns’ in and around stadia the organizers indeed are going to have very tough time to persuade the crowd to come into the stadiums.

                                                     The sense of feeling ‘betrayed’ is because of the allegation of the cost of these games being already overshooting 17 times the allotted budget(they stand at a staggering 11000 plus crores rupees as of now) and the result is the required basic infrastructure (stadia, hotels, roads leading to the games village) is yet to be completed. This money was the taxpayer’s money, which now we all feel has been siphoned off for no cause.

                                                    The feeling of being a ‘looser’ is because of the fact we all have resigned ourselves to the fate and seem to be waiting for this impending disaster to just pass so that we could live along as we have been living before. There is a large scale hue and cry raised for the demand of sacking the people who are involved directly in organizing the games. My question is will that solve the current dilemma? I guess not. Now it is not the time to look and ask for scapegoats, at this moment our top priority should be to fix things up (whatever little is there in order is a bonus at the moment) and put up a great and spectacular games in front of the world. To me (and in that case to most of us average Indians) this is an opportunity in itself to showcase our ‘rise’ to the world. And what are we all doing, we are busy throwing stones at each other, we are busy pulling down everyone involved here, we are busy doing everything else but making sure that the games go on smoothly.

                                                             The current dilemma over the games is very similar to a function which we organize in our average middle class households. The hue and cry is like some members of the family opposing to the very idea of organizing the function, or it can be some members of family not happy with the alliance (in case the function is a marriage). Whatever the case is, now that we have decided to organize the function and invited whole society over it, there should be no looking back and we should see to it that the function is organized smoothly. Like every family of ours wherein we find and look up to that one elder member who stands and sails us through the ordeal smoothly, we India as a nation need one elder member of that stature who will step in right time (I guess there cannot be more right time than what it is now). It can be Mr. Manmohan Singh or Mrs. Gandhi or anyone (we just want the games to be organized effectively).

                                                  Like everyone else I am hoping the things would finally settle and we would have something good to show to the world. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the ‘Sheru’ would roar and announce our arrival at the world stage.

                                                                       Hi friends here at the outset I would like to say the word SOS means Save Our Soul or Save Our Ship (typically a distress signal sent during world war days from a sinking ship to others asking for help). Also here by sending out SOS I do not mean that I have a ship/business or anything of that proportions which is going down and I intend to have any professional help, No none at all. To know more just read on.

                                                                      This weekend on Sunday I was surfing TV Channels (usually we do that when we have nothing better to do don’t we?) and here I came across one programme in which a couple were ‘dating’ (or to be more correct trying to be a perfect date for each other). Everything was going perfect (at least it seemed to me and my roomies so), that guy made that girl laugh, presented her with a gift, danced for her, interacted with the girl’s friends, even ‘acted’ for the girl at her request in front of her friends (poor soul), took her to a nice place in the evening. In short he did everything right and from what we could see the girl was enjoying it all, she was laughing, cheering, and to us (me and my roomies) it appeared that this would be one ‘date’ which would have a happy ending. But alas when the VJ came and asked each of them if they would like to continue in future the girl’s answer was NO. Amused were all 3 of us (not because our prediction came out to be wrong, we 3 are anyways useless as far as predicting on matters like these is concerned). Also subsequently came the explanation from the girl, “he is a good friend to be with, but he is not of my type”, she said one more sentence which caught our attention “he did not swept me off my feet”. Well this was it.

                                                                                   We 3 asked to each other just one question, how one does “sweeps a girl off her feet” and not surprisingly none of us had a definite clue. We sprang into action; we messaged our query to some of the girls we knew from office/college/school (anywhere) to get some firsthand ‘relevant’ information. (By now I think most of you would have made out that all 3 of us are equally fortunate/unfortunate to have no ‘girlfriend’ in our lives and hence the question). However the replies which we received landed us into more confusion and now I think we need more suggestions (especially from the other half of the population). One of the girls texted “it depends from person to person”, another one replied “I know it but will not tell you”, a girl replied, “I am not sure, may be you can start with being nice”, well is there anyone around here who can tell me how ‘nicer’ could that guy (mentioned before in the article here) have been with that girl in that programme? The guy in the programme was handsome to a fair extent (he appeared so to us), was reasonably well behaved with that girl, yet he could not “sweep that girl off her feet”. Well this is what our SOS is all about, can someone please help us discover that how does one sweep a girl off her feet?

                                                                                I guess this is the predicament of each guy out there. The never ending war between ‘Men from Mars’ and ‘Women from Venus’ ceases to end. We tend to do things properly (or at least we think so when we are doing things to please a girl) but suddenly something somewhere falls short of expectation and the verdict is out against us, some common reasons being “you are not of my type”, “I cannot think of you in that way” blah blah. I mean come on if I am not of your type then that should have had come out a lot earlier and not when I spend a lot of ‘quality’ time with you, it is heartbreaking then isn’t it friends? If you cannot think of me in ‘that way’ then why not bring it out in the earliest phase of friendship so that the guy stops dreaming of you in ‘that’ way.

                                                                         Well as far as my limited thought process is concerned between a guy and a girl it should not be tough for either of them to understand whether the other person thinks of him/her in a ‘friendly’ way or ‘that’ way(especially when one spends a certain amount of ‘quality’ time with each other). My point of concern is if you do not have any ‘feelings’ whatsoever for the guy at any stage of your ‘friendship’ then blurt it out ASAP. Why to wait till last to break this news out to the poor fellow and create one more devdas. (Life is not a Channel V’s programme where the suspense has to get out in the last.)

                                                                                Before signing off I would like to hear more comments from the ladies out there on this most sought after topic by us. Your points and suggestions are highly awaited. In fact I would suggest to compile out a list of Dos and Don’ts on our part to ‘sweep you off’ your feet’ similar on the lines of ‘Code of Ethics’ we have in corporate life. This would be of much help and guidance to the poor souls out here. Hope to hear from you all. Bye and take care.

                                                                I came to know this concept of BRIC somewhere reading about something. The acronym BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China respectively. Learned people around the world say that the above 4 mentioned countries are the fastest developing nations (right behind the ‘developed’ ones and way ahead of the ‘underdeveloped’ ones). The parameters which are benchmark to ascertain a country as ‘developed’, ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘developing’ are typical technical and economic jargons which are way beyond the comprehension of a common man. (they are Greek to me for sure). Well so what if I don’t understand the terminology used by our esteemed learned folks around the world, I have my own set of ‘parameters’ by which I tried to make an assessment of how ‘developed’ or ‘developing’ are we as a nation. As always you folks are welcome to view my ‘views’ and agree (or disagree) with me.

                                                  First things first we achieved independence in the year 1947, so from that day it is 60 + years that we have been free and independent. All along we have been ‘free’ to take our decisions, frame our policies, enhance our infrastructure, develop our military, building a sustainable (and probably one of the most competitive) educational infrastructure, health care services, public governance and the list goes on. The bottom line is that we have been ‘free’ to form a country of our own, the one which our forefathers dreamt of when they fought the freedom struggle.                                                 

                                                  Guess what our report card for these 60 years is not bad. We have so far ‘managed’ to ‘run’ this huge country successfully without any major hiccups. There was 1965, 1971, an urgency in 1984-85 and finally there was 1999 (Kargil). If one leaves aside the war of 1965 (when we were highly under prepared and the opponent was mighty Chinese Federation) we have done well in other wars coming out successfully defending our motherland. Then the great concept of Nehruvian era where in PSUs (navratnas) and the central universities of excellence were created haven’t fared bad in their respective fields, not at all. The perseverance and tactic with which Sardar Patel unified whole country then still stands (obviously here you have to ignore the formation of Gujarat, Uttranchal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and the sudden rise in demand for separate states of vindhyachal, telangana and others). The world calls us IT Superpower, the list of billionaires every years in this new millennium finds one or two (or may be more) ‘Indians’ or ‘People of Indian origin’ being added up. Every year our kids regularly top the Global Science and Mathematics Olympiads and bring the nation laurels. Our writers are critically acclaimed worldwide, and the ‘West’ is still fascinated by our film fraternity as to how in India are we able to include song and dance sequences in our mainstream movies and yet do substantial business worldwide. People in west no longer refer to India as ‘the land of magicians and snake charmers’. Well done to us all the people of India.

                                                  Yet past couples of weeks have been disturbing for me in ways more than one. I get disturbed when I see the news of our soldiers dying in the insurgency areas like Kashmir, Assam (they have been dying in the proxy war which has lasted for more than 2 decades now), also I m disturbed equally when the news of atrocities on local citizens allegedly by armed forces is being spread out. (Allegation is true or false is again a matter of ‘investigation’). I feel bad when I hear the news of infighting occurring in our armed forces because all along my life whether I was a kid or a college going youngster, I have always had held armed forces in the highest esteem. People say that all the infighting is due to excessive internal pressure added with frustration. Well I am really not interested in the reasoning because to me the best example one could give for ‘discipline’ was our armed forces. Has that really started crumbling or is it only me that is having unusual and baseless nightmares. (I wish I was wrong, my heart wishes me to be wrong, believe me).

                                                  I feel bad when I see our nation’s own ‘infighting’. Be it ultras in Assam, militancy in Kashmir Valley and yeah even naxals in the core of country are a menace. (Last heard already one third of country’s districts are under naxalite influence.) In past 2 months there have been more than 3 gruesome acts of mass murder were being carried out by naxals (or allegedly so). And what has been our response to these attacks. Well don’t worry our leaders are still ‘talking’ and trying to build a national ‘consensus’ on the issue, so what if it is taking a ‘little’ time eventually a ‘consensus’ would be reached at, may be we would have to see some more blasts in buses or trains and some more losses of human lives. (What a pity?)                                          

                                                  The issue of Kashmir is being kept dragging for decades now, yet we as a nation cannot take one firm decision on it. Well when I say a ‘firm’ decision I mean it to the core of the word. Forget about the casualties of our soldiers in wars, the actual casualty in ‘peace time’ aggregated is also no less daunting. I am worried about the brave soldiers’ souls who attained martyrdom safeguarding this land called Kashmir; even they might be thinking up there somewhere among starts “did we sacrifice our life for this messy Kashmir?” Well yes I strongly feel that this issue of Kashmir should be settled for once and all, let the people there decide where they want to go (there should not be a situation wherein they enjoy the administrative and infrastructural benefits from our country and side by side keep breeding anti national feelings). Yes I do agree that we might have failed in our duty to streamline Kashmir with the mainland to a certain extent, but along with it the ‘consistent’ manner in which the valley has been in the arms of armed militancy for past some decades is a cause of concern for sure. Let it be a case of ‘either this way’ or ‘that way’.

                                                  One person along with his gang comes in our economic capital and in the heart of it opens fire. Not only that they blasts bomb too and as a result the damage incurred is huge (financially as well as humanely). Again thanks to our brave soldiers all but one are killed and we as a nation what we do? We take more than a year to come to the ‘judgement’ about that person “he is guilty”. Now that he has been sentenced with the maximum punishment, when asked upon in a conference as to why the hanging of that person is taking time, our Mr. PM says that the “law will take its own course”. Give me a break have we not taken enough time already?

                                                  And yeah did I forget to mention that in the past decade and half all our major cities have witnessed at least one instance of bombings. The bigger (and assumingly safer) the city is, the more number of bombings it has witnessed, one temple was involved in bloodbath (Akshardhaam temple in GandhiNagar, Guajarat), and yeah the might of our republic has not been spared either (I hope all of us still remember the parliament attack). So does this mean that as a nation we take these attacks ‘easy’? Here again I would love to be proved wrong, but the facts say otherwise. I will put just one example, after 9/11 in U.S the security there has been so beefed up that there has been no major attack on that side of world (at least none which have been reported), but here our beloved motherland has faced attacks at an amazing regularity post parliament attacks (almost on a yearly basis)!! Does this mean that we are not aggressive enough to defend ourselves? A certain Mr Bush post 9/11 thundered to rest of the world “you are either with us or with them” and we what we do, after every attack we form a committee, initiate a secretary level talks, do round robin league of meetings, in the meantime another attack takes place and we stop everything stating that to initiate peace process the neighboring country should ‘act’ first. We fail to understand that they (or someone else) are already ‘acting’.We need to ‘act’ right and teach these people involved a lesson for once and all.

                                                  Not only that we need to deal with an iron fist with the supposing unarmed local outfits which of late has become a pain in the normal life of people in general. The like of Thackreys, Mutaliks, Singhals should be shown their true faces and more importantly their true faces should be shown to the people in general. These are the people who hunt 2 birds with one arrow. First they divide us on the basis of their fictitious theories and then highlighting that in media they attain the required political mileage (We folks at media are generally too eager to provide fodder for them for our TRPs). Just imagine friends what would happen to these fundamentalists when they shout and there is no one listening or seeing them. They would themselves die out, but then didn’t we read back in school in science classes that nothing in the world is ‘ideal’.

                                                  37% of us still live below poverty line (for one billion it is close to 37 million people) according to the last census. Though we produce highest number of qualified graduates every year, one study somewhere showed that the actual number of graduates who are ‘employable’ as per global standards is still dismal. The rising urban crime, the dark ages in which certain portion of our country still lives in, communal hatred crimes again children and women in particular are some of the issues which if not dealt with a severe hand immediately would become a problem of epidemic proportions.                                                   

                                                  I would like to clarify here that I am certainly not a person who always see the glass ‘half empty’. I do see ample opportunities for us as a nation and believe me I am as proud to be an Indian as anyone of you out there. But there are times when we need to carry out an honest ‘self assessment’. This is what exactly I have been trying here to do till now. We certainly have the resources and manpower to overcome these hardships which we are facing as a nation. May be we need more people participation, more pro activeness from we citizens, a sense of belonging to the nation and last but not the least a diligent and stubborn political will to set the things right. It is only after that we can really concentrate on the jargonic parameters of ‘developing’ and ‘developed’ or else the ‘fastest developing’ status achieved would be too shallow.

                                                               The weekend which just passed by was a nice one for me. Whether it was biking around the city with a friend or good news involving a couple of friends going great guns in their professional life, all the news which I received in this weekend sounded nice music to my ears. For a change it was nice to be back with goody news in and around me. Because past few weeks have been really stressful (reasons for ‘why’ and ‘how’ are not really important here). We all like and crave to be amongst some good news or at least pretend to be fine when something good is happening around isn’t it?

                                                 But the thing which touched me the most is something different (not to say that I m not ‘happy’ over getting good news mentioned above). This Sunday (again as always I am not sure if it was Saturday or Sunday, typical me) I was just surfing through the channels in TV and suddenly came to this one channel where they were airing this auditions of one reality show. This reality show was a dance contest aimed for kids and there something just caught my eye. There was this a 12 year old kid (his name was ‘Sunny’ I am sure about this here). Like many others he too was very excited, eager, anxious, dressed for the occasion, he performed to the perfection and expectedly he was selected for the next round. (Believe me selected or not most of these kids were awesome at dance and some were way really ahead of there age in terms of dancing). In a way one can say that it was quite a normal show with normal people (here kids escorted by their parents or some near-dear ones), then why and what was I so much impressed with. Well I was impressed with this kid ‘Sunny’ in particular. Again people would ask, what was the difference between this kid ‘sunny’ and numerous others which thronged that place? Well, folks there indeed was a ‘visible difference’. This kid Sunny did NOT had one hand !!!!!!

                                                 Well yeah I typed it correct and you have read it correct too. This kid Sunny did not have one hand and here he was actually dancing and he danced so well that he stormed into the next round. Also subsequently when asked upon if he was one handed by birth, he replied in negative and revealed that he lost his hand at the age of 7, and also both his legs broke at that time. He lost his hand but legs were fortunately cured. That MOVED me completely, I mean just look at this guy, he is without a hand and here he was dancing and in turn of events in dancing he actually did 2 somersaults (I hope I got the spelling right), for those of us who don’t know what this word is, I would say it is one body movement in which one rolls around oneself completely (360 degrees) in air. One of the mandatory requirements to perform this exercise apart from being physically very fit is that it requires proper body balance.(and yeah did I forget to tell that practicing for this is a must too to master this act) And here was this kid who did not have a hand and was performing it with ease and mind you there were no invisible wires turning him around (unlike what happens in our films, it was all real). This boy indeed deserved a place in the next round and he did achieve that, not out of compassion, he achieved it because he actually outperformed others (till the time I saw that show).

                                                 I don’t know about others but a needle in finger (even if it is for blood donation) keeps me paralyzed for a couple of hours, one headache and I would prefer to take the day off, a little bit of cough and sneeze and I start thinking “I should take a break” and the list goes on. But here is a kid only of 12 years who is not having one complete hand on his body and is raring to go and take the world head on and yeah the greatest part was that he wasn’t demanding a ‘reservation’. I thought at that time, this kid has taught me and for that matter all of us something. “Life could have been worse”, let’s be thankful to GOD, and that things are a lot better for most of us. Things could have been far bad than they are now (or at least to most of us appear bad).

                                                 The key here is for all of us to keep fighting and leaving the rest to ‘someone’ who ‘controls’ everything. Without preaching too much here I would like to sum up saying one line — “no one enjoys the struggle too much but we can at least try to enjoy the ‘process’ of struggle. And yeah last but not the least keep ‘Thanking your Stars’ for being born a ‘normal’ human being.

The Theatre called IPL

April 17, 2010

                                                                           Last week on 10th April 2010 yours truly got an opportunity to watch an IPL( a domestic cricket league called Indian Premier League). It was the match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR). It was a first for me, as in I was going to watch a match live in the stadium for the first time in my life. And I must say, I could not have chosen a better day or better venue for making my debut as a spectator at any cricketing stadium.

                                                                            For a match scheduled to start at 8 P.M we reached quite well in advance at around 6 P.M, the hurry was understandable as it was a first for me and also being a group of 15 odd people we wanted to make sure that we take a good place and enjoy our time there to the hilt. When we entered I could not believe what a beautiful the ground looked like, also the stadium and its majestic view mesmerised me (remember it was a first for me). Being there early we took one of the best available places(we stationed ourselves in the stand immediate next to one of the cheerleader squad of KKR).

                                                                       Finally around an hour before the scheduled start of match players started to come out at ground for net practice and there it was it. Saurav Ganguly of KKR was the first one to walk out to the pitch, Anil Kumble followed him shortly and the little crowd which was inside the stadium went hysterical. For me personally it was awesome, it was nice to watch so many national and international stars from so close. Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Ross Taylor, Robin Uthappa, Dale Steyn, Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, and there were all of them. I got to see them from as close as 10 feet (due to the proximity of our seats from the boundary of course).

                                                By the time match started the stadium was full to its capacity and the atmosphere was electric. The home team’s (RCB) stupendous bowling and batting performance led them to victory ultimately but what a crowd it was. Each catch was greeted by a big round of appreciative cheer from the crowd, as the boundary strokes were greeted by a loud roar. One could not help oneself but join the crowd’s fun. Adding to everything was the constant music being played by DJ it was like a carnival.

                                            In that match at IPL one thing which was clearly visible was consumerism at its best, but having said i thoroughly enjoyed that experience of mine and I am looking for more such opportunities in future.

There have been many occasions in our lives when we blame something (a person, place or even an object) for the sad state of affairs in our daily life. And strange it may appear still we all seem to have suffer from this dilemma at some point or other in our lives.

                                                      Firstly I used to think that it is something which is bothering me because may be I genuinely have a reason to feel so or at some other times I used to think that may be I am not blessed with enough of something what people call as “positive thinking”. Anyways reasons not withstanding I had somehow learnt to deal (read neglect) this dilemma  of mine and move ahead with the life as to me it appeared that was the only feasible solution until last month when I was at my home on vacation(did I forget to mention that I was there for a wedding 🙂).

                                                      Weddings in India can be a boon or bane depending on how you decide them to be on you. On a bane side I think following are the points:

1)    Your money outflow seems to be never ending and apparently that all is for a reason to showcase one’s financial and social might earned throughout one’s typical middle class lifetime (even though it would eventually lead to a big hole in the pocket)

2)    No matter how good you prepare or arrange the things there are bound to be last minute issues and hence the ensuing chaos.

                                                      But even with these ‘bane’ items our weddings provide us a unique opportunity which can become ‘boon’ and that is the unique opportunity of interaction with many people at one place. Other than a wedding the only places where you get crowds of such huge proportions are a bus or railway station, a shopping mall or a theatre where of course we cannot walk to anyone and interact as we like. But in weddings especially if it is organized in your household you have the liberty of “interacting” with anyone. 🙂

                                                      It is during one of these interactions that I found my inner “positive thinking” coming back to me. I realized that there are enough people around me (and all of us) who are even less ‘privileged’ than me. When I say ‘privileged’ it doesn’t necessarily mean in economic terms, it can be anything from physical disability to socio economic environment instability. Then it occurred to me how often do we crib upon something which we don’t even have control on.

                                                      The guys with whom I interacted had some genuine concerns like no job in hand, illness of their parents, etc. It was then I realized that by God’s grace I was in a relatively better state and hence I should have been thankful to things and people who so far in my life had made life better for me than so many other people. It was then that this idea of “Thanking my stars” crossed my mind, and I realized that quite often we crib on things we don’t have at our disposal instead of being thankful of things which we have with us (life would have been worse without them). Then I thought of noting down things for which I should have been “thanking my stars”.

                                                      Here are some points pertaining to me as to why I should be grateful for GOD and other people in my life for making things relatively better for me than most of my brethren.

  • I should be thankful that I have got some very good friends right from my school life till my present work life who have been with me thick and thin all along my life. (isn’t friendship the only relationship which we make after coming into life as they say rest all relationships are already pre decided before our birth and I have been lucky to have good and everlasting friends 🙂)
  • I should be thankful to my parents who have always been with me in my struggles throughout and the greatest virtue which they have imbibed in me, the said virtue being “to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat”.
  •  I should be thankful to my almamater (both my school and college) which accepted me and somehow got the best out of me to create a ‘responsible citizen’ out of this system (again here the idea of ‘responsible citizen’ in Indian middle class households is limited to a person getting a decent job after education….. any comments 🙂).
  • At last but not the least I should be thankful to the almighty who sent me in this world without any physical disability because when I see people with physical disability (of any sort) I respect them for their achievements and also dread the fact by imagining the sort of difficulty what they would be facing in their day to day life.
  • Also not to mention I should be “thanking my stars” for the mere fact that I could have been given with set of conditions far worse than what I have today and hence life would have been more difficult (but Thank GOD “aal is well” 🙂).

 

                                                      Now that we are at end of a year (2009) and waiting for a New Year (2010) one thing that I would try to inculcate in me is to get rid of this attitude of complaining (one more resolution hopefully going down the drainJ), because what I now realize is that we all succeed (or fail) under the given circumstances only and there is no point in crying foul over availability (or non availability) of anything.

                                                      Also I would like to apologize for being away from this page for so long as I had no access to stable net connection. With things improving at my end I hope to be more regular with my writings and here I am signing off by wishing you one and all a very happy and prosperous new year 2010 ahead. Please don’t forget to post your comments (if you consider this article worth it). 🙂

                                    I have been thinking and thinking a lot for the past 2 weeks and I have my reasons for that. At times I think whether I overreact or what but then I do feel even if it is my ‘overreaction’ at times it should be worth it.

 

                                    I have watched two very intense movies in past 2 weeks and it is that which has kept me on with my thinking caps on. Never in my life in past I have been so influenced by a movie or movies (we have 2 movies here remember). Well the 2 movies in question are ‘MUMBAI MERI JAAN’ and ‘A WEDNESDAY’. The former deals with the aftermath of lives of so many people affected after blasts in Mumbai in 2006 and also showcases the famous ‘spirit of apni Mumbai’ which is boasted routinely by politicians and the state machinery after every blast to HIDE their own failure in stopping the blasts to occur at the first place.

 

                                    Yes like after every blast anywhere in the country we (I mean politician, the administrative machinery and even common man like us everyone included here) resort to our favorite whipping boy and keep on chanting “forces from across the border are responsible for this blast”, the same is what I guess a routine affair after every blast for Mumbai. We always get to hear words like “Mumbai will rise from ashes and the famous spirit of Mumbai will stand tall”. Even I acknowledge the famed spirit of Mumbai, but then isn’t this more of a routine now. After all the tall talks during one blast what happens??? Everyone settles down and what we do is to simply wait for next blast which this year was at Bangalore and Ahmedabad within a span of 2 consecutive days. Hats off to the dedication and devotion of these anti socials (who are also referred to as ‘terrorists’) towards their ‘work’, if only wishes were horses I wish even we citizens and our administration was so dedicated….

 

                                    I was still juggling with the thoughts from MUMBAI MERI JAAN when next week I got to see A WEDNESDAY. Now according to me this movie is kind of a perfect foil for the previous one. I agree that ‘a Wednesday’ also has some typical ‘Bollywood character’ imbibed in it but then we can pardon this minor thing for the bigger picture it portrays (or at least tries to portray and don’t forget that this was the first movie for this particular director). What happens when a common man is time and again pushed to beyond his limit. Though purists might argue that as is seen in the movie (a single man showing his might against an entire police force of the Mumbai city) is something NOT possible but then I would like to say it isn’t entirely impossible either. Here I would like to quote one line said by the protagonist in the movie “rathore sahab aaj aap internet par sirf bomb type kijiye aur aapko bomb banane ke 300+ tareeke mil jaate hain..” (rathore sir you type ‘bomb’ on internet and you will get 300+ ways on how to prepare a bomb !!!). According to me this line says a lot than what is usually understood, it shows the immense power this IT ushered age has and also it implies so as to how this immense ‘resource’ can be put to ‘use’(good or bad depends on the person who is ‘using’). Again a wish comes to me if only we were so ‘resourceful’ in nabbing people responsible for these cowardly acts like bomb blasts and kidnappings of innocent people.

 

                                    After watching these 2 movies I was thinking that why is that movies like these are not promoted much???? Agreed that after a week’s hard work of slogging out at our offices we need sometime off during weekend and don’t want anything ‘serious’ to us during so called off hours for us (even if it is a movie) but then I personally feel that it is always better to watch some stuff like this rather than watching some silly masala movie and regretting later did someone say to me that Bollywood is the largest factory of films in the world). Maybe these movies don’t get much attention in terms of promotion because of less ‘star’ value associated with them. We know even ‘stars’ work on the dynamics of market and this bubbling, enthusiastic, young and happening population of the current lot our country doesn’t believe in getting ‘serious’ stuff. Though there are a few young people who do involve in ‘serious’ stuff but then their number is really minimal.

 

                                    It is this turbulence occurring within my mind that has kept me occupied. We as citizens of this country need to stand against and let ourselves be heard and counted. We need to send this strong message to the few notorious (who unfortunately are among us only) people who take our nation and its people for granted always. We really need to support what Mr. Rakesh Sharma said from moon ‘saare jahan se achha hindustan hamara’ by our deeds. But then as I said earlier if only wishes were horses!!!!!!

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

August 27, 2008

                 

The training for us was an experience to cherish, we got a first hand experience of how our life was going to be in once into the mainstream of the company. The tutorials, the modules, various deadlines to cover those modules, and above all these the tests at the end of each module were an indicator of how things would shape up when we would be formally done with the process of training. Nevertheless we were ready and looking forward to the experience which was looming in the horizon.

 

The training was supposed to go on for 2 months from our date of joining the company. Meanwhile it was nice experience to undergo the process of creating a salary account J (at last there was something which I could feel proud of in my otherwise uneventful life so far), I was quite thrilled and could not wait for the day when I would have received the ‘first salary’ of my life (after all the ‘firsts’ in our life have importance of their own, don’t they??).

 

One more thing about Bangalore captured my attention. It is the amazing capacity of this city to absorb people into it (may be as of now it doesn’t have much of choice in that regard). Everywhere you will find scores of professionals running around to and fro to their places of work and no wonder why these roads (the ones leading to official areas) wear a deserted look on weekends. At times I do feel everyone in this city is so closely knit with so called IT Culture that practically it would be impossible to imagine Bangalore without these IT companies.

 

Take the case of morning cab driver who takes you to the workplace of yours, he might not understand anything spoken in non-kannada but he knows each hook and corner of the city and all you need to do is to mention the place from where you need to be picked up and next morning you will find him with the cab to the nearest possible ‘motorable distance’, now isn’t this what we call as ‘pick and drop’. For innumerable shuttles of various companies running on the road you need to come to main road from your house but it is this concept of ‘pick and drop’ that looks nice to me.

 

And then take the case of brokers and contractors who are primarily responsible for accommodating each and every professional who throngs this city. It appears as if they have been practicing this art for generations and managing this huge influx of migrants from each part of the country comes naturally to them. Everyone seems to be working in unison so as to sustain the success of Bangalore as IT Hub of India and that is what is pleasing to me.

 

Life so far in Bangalore has been good and so has been my life post my college days. Now what lies ahead remains to be seen. Till then lets ROCK ON!!!! 

WELCOME TO BANGALORE

August 25, 2008

         

We all did reach Bangalore and we were more than happy to find some of the institute batch mates again which otherwise at the time of leaving institute we thought wud not be possible in otherwise near future. of our stay at Bangalore. (Meanwhile we had to find our own accommodation in these 10 days!!!!)

    Anyways we reached comfortably to the designated guest house provided to us by the company which was to be our ‘home’ for the initial 10 days

            Bangalore was pretty much same as we knew about it from the various sources of information (or at least it appeared to be so). It was only after physically being present in the city that I came to know why this city is being referred to as the IT capital of the nation, though of late “Hyderabad (also known as Cyberabad)” is one another city which is fast catching up but then for me individually, I am yet to visit Hyderabad so it really doesn’t matter.

 

            Right from the morning one can see scores of software professionals standing/waiting from the various hooks and corners of the city for their respective company’s shuttle/cab services. From the first 2 days of looking at these I was reminded of the good old school days when one would line up dressed in the morning for school buses lolz. At times I wondered how many IT professionals this city already had and how many more could it handle (but then that’s a different topic and will be taken up later). It all looked interesting and we as a group were quite excited for the fact that very soon we were going to be a part of this mad rush what is otherwise known as “IT Industry”.

 

            The day came and we finally ‘joined’ the company and suddenly we realized that we were into a ‘job’ J. 2 months back we were fighting it out in the institute for the usual end semesters, practical, viva-voces and submissions and all and here today we stood as ‘self dependent’ individuals. The feeling within was exhilarating to say the least.

 

            We were ready for everything which was going to be entrusted upon us in the coming days. We were told our training would be for 2 months and also we were told it was going to be one hell tough 2 months for us. Even that did not deter us from enjoying the moment because it was a ‘first’ for us. It was our ‘first’ job, very soon we were going to get our ‘first salary’, and similarly there were many ‘firsts’ going to come our way in the coming months and it is because of those anticipated ‘firsts’ that we were kind of unperturbed about the coming trying times for us.

 

             To put it in simple terms we were just soaking in the moment and simply refused to think about the possible apprehensive times which we were going to face. May be we deserved to be so ‘careless’ or may be the ‘college kid’ in us was still taking its time to move away to make room for a more responsible ‘professional’. But as I have been saying always “who cares!!!!!” J