Subscribe To My Podcast

Nov 7, 2010

Bright Orange on a Grey Sky

  • Arrived Safely in Chennai. (I hate air travel, for that matter any kind of travel. Thought I was cool and calm during take off, but the kid was rolling with laughter and now does an imitation of me being scared during take off, which involves staring straight ahead, breathing heavily and eyebrows furrowed.) (Now I spend around 10 minutes a day on how I will make the trip back home and the weather and turbulations).
  • Diwali finally over (I hate festivals, wrote a post long time back on appointment with happiness or something like that on that. And Diwali is definitely the festival I dislike the most. I have never understood the hype especially amongst NRIs on Diwali back home, everytime someone gets nostalgic I want to tell them, hey now people just watch TV on Diwali and bigger the family more the number of channels to fight over. Sweets and Dresses are not just reserved for festivals. And the fireworks are more about ego and pollution than fun. But the cynic in me still liked to wish people, especially the auto drivers, sales personnel etc.) 
  • Got Vijayadasami admission for kid. (And thankfully found a school which didn't give a fancy brochure on the skills they will teach. But the kid got unwell and hasn't spent much days at school).
  • Saw Endhiran finally. (Those of you who follow me on twitter would have known I gave up my friday (release day) tickets to my friends because I didn't want to see an important movie without reading the  review first and choose to see Anjaana Anjani, since it was just time pass movie. Saw couple of moives too. And had to seen Endhiran again. And I liked it more the 2nd time. A Satyam loyalist, never thought I would like Kamala. But they have improved drastically. )
  • No time to read the newspapers or catch up with the news. But ignorance is bliss. (One day I picked up the paper and read about tsunami in Indonesia and a flower vendor's boy being crushed to death in elevator. Enough of news for the moment. Btw newspapers seem to be more about offers and promotions than news and analysis.
  • No time for TV too. Saw Neeya Nana celebrations discussion. What sort of research do they do? Why did no one mention, the woman who was behind Mother's Day spent the rest of her life fighting AGAINST it?
  • Read few books. Now want to finish the post to get back to the 2 books I have started reading today.
  • 10 more days to go before I travel and still 100 things to do. My excel list just keeps getting long and longer.
  • I hate change and lack of control. And vacation is in a way my nightmare. But if my life remained stagnant perhaps I wouldn't grow and become wiser. So instead of resisting what I can't change, trying my best to be cool and calm but ending up many times as a dragon. And its not fun being a dragon-donkee.

I was in a dark mood, lightened up after catching the comment and email of 2 bloggers. Thank You so much. The past couple of months have been tough for me. And only I know the difference the bloggers who dropped in to enquire made to me. Reading a book about a serial killer and was thinking how naive I was when I let people into my online life few years back. While the unpleasant experiences helped me grow wiser as a person, the kindness I received in the last few months has comforted me and honestly I can't find words to convey how I feel. Its just been a bright orange on a grey sky.

Sep 27, 2010

TV Thoughts

They didn't want to watch the match with us, because we might not use the projector and the big screen. Then they will have to see it on a small TV, brand unknown. Not even a LCD or a flat screen, forget LED, or 42inch. What in the world were we thinking?

Decades ago, it was okat to watch TV with friends at the neighbours. Today, the neighbours decide if we are worthy of their friendship based on what TV we own.

DD was not fun but today's DD (Disappointing Distance) is more horrible. Its not just adults who judge you based on
1.The locality and number of bedrooms in your house
2.The car
3.The TV you own.
Its kids too.

I haven't forgotten the fun in waiting for some fun on DD. Watching "Aamchi Mathi Aamchi Manoos" or "Apan yaana Pahila Ka?" and thinking an interview would end, if they showed the long shot (in a neighbour's house of course). Being amazed as a teen, when a friend's sister had TWO channels and could watch a match without being at the mercy of a cable operator who rotated channels.

I have the money to buy a great TV for my kid but how will I give my kid, the fun I had with TV, as a kid?

Why is it so tough to convince my friends and neighbours its not about Price but about Value. Fun is not just about what you see, but how and with whom you see it:)

PS : They are still my friends. I do feel bad when they don't get my point of view but as DD has thought me, Life isn't What you want it to be:) And I accept and love my friends inspite of their "snobbish values".

PPS : And who am I kidding, when the ribbing gets too bad, I am glad I have the projector:)


I don't think Bikram's Blog needs directions from this blog, but instead of writing a post I thought I could mention his post Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh.

Shameful Sanitation

In the sea of humanity, some fishes are more equal than others
If the toilets offered to visitors were not hygienic I wonder about the toilets offered to 400000 CWG workers. But in an image obsessed nation, these Indian workers don't matter. 

UN estimates 55 percent of Indians still defecate outside.The media conveniently sleeps to the fact that more Indians have access to mobile phones than improved sanitation and wakes up only to criticize Kalmadi. 

I am not saying unclean toilets are okay. Just saying Clean Sanitation options should not be a luxury and should be a right of every Indian.

2 articles which didn't say the usual

I am sick of writing about CWG, but sanitation is not a silly cause to support. Would like to recycle 180 feet and  Waste.

PS : Clicked the Pic on the latest trip. 

Sep 22, 2010


My brain is brimming with blog posts but I have to deal with this 2 and half year old.

I prefer to keep my offline life, offline, but thought I would make an exception and talk about whats been happening to me lately.

Saw Inception , after being depressed about the ending for couple of days, decided Cobb's guilt would have got him out of the dream. Guilt is more powerful than Love.

Read few days back, the three books in the Millennium series, by Stieg Larsson. Felt the original title of the first book "Men who hate women" was more apt than "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". There are not just men who hate women, but even women who hate women. My most recent encounter, a maths teacher who said, women can't compete with men when it comes to cooking. (I couldn't resist pointing out, that perhaps, men focussed on taste and were more liberal with oil salt etc, while many women who cook regularly think of their husband's cholestrol bp and are moderate in its usage.) Five minutes later, she said, girls were stupids who had to slog and study everyday but boys could study at the last minute and still be brilliant. And continued to admire boys. I didn't argue on this one. Even if I had pointed out few girls who studied at the last minute and came up with good marks, she wouldn't have admired them.  I just pitied and prayed for the girls in her maths class. I simply gave up on the conversation. And for the record, I think its stupid to generalise that one gender can cook better than the other. On maths, even if the brains are different, the ALL boys and ALL girls is a bit too much. After reading the book, I thought about her and others like her (men and women) who hate women. And wondered if there were men and women who hated men. And for a whole day I was stumped. There are different standards for men and women. If Hilary Clinton behaved liked Bill, she wouldn't have got away with it so easily.

I tried to think of atleast one woman or one man whom I have met, who hated men. And I couldn't come up with the above teacher's equivalent. Till I thought, under what circumstances will the above teacher hate men? And the answer is so simple. I have a feeling she would hate a man who decides to be a homemaker or a man who wears skirts and lipsticks occasionally. I don't know if its true. But in my mind, I have restored the gender neutral balance.

I lost few files. One of the files was an excel file a daily planner which mentions what each member of the family had and will be having for the next month, for breakfast lunch dinner and snack. What me and my kid wore, the anniversaries and the expenses and whether I walked or had fruit. And the chores I did. And a 2do list. No I am not an organised person. I have that file, precisely because I am not organised. I have shopping lists, packing lists, 2do lists because I know I am stupid and liable to make mistakes. I believe in being a wise donkey even in real life.
Now I am busy typing in all the databanks. (The Shopping list, The Packing List, The Dinner Menu List, The Dress List etc and of course the Daily Planner till December.) So that I rotate all the clothes, and recipes and don't spend too much time on trying to remember if I have forgotten something.

Unknown, if you are reading this, I didn't win or get a mention in the Freedom Contest. Didn't pout this time, just shrugged and moved on.

It might not be a coherent blog post, but just wanted to update. Rachna's comment acted as the Kick. And I have been back to mention I will have to go back for 3 more days on a short trip. Then I hope to blog till October 10th before leaving on a one month trip. And somewhere in between I have to shift my house.

I have kicked myself many times over choosing the online Identity wise donkey. (Try to tell that name to a group of bloggers in a blog meet). But now I am think thats better than Parents who think their children's kindergarden and primary school marks are a reflection of their Identity.

I have to catch up with many blog posts. Hope to catch up with them by Tuesday.

On Ayodhya, Would like to recycle Path of Ram

Sep 6, 2010


My tweets on #LegendofRajni started by @PritishNandy yesterday. Sorry followers for filling your timeline. Perhaps I owe an apology to Mr.Nandy too, but I was inspired and out of control.
For those who  think he is just a regional superstar, well he has fans not just in Japan. A Superstar is not a Planetary Thing.
He is the only celebrity who doesn't mind being photographed without Makeup, in the Entire Universe! How many times has Ash, his Robot co star and former Miss World , come out without make up? (Thanks $#23ror3fero from Neptune for pointing it out). So without wasting more time, lets start with the Legend of Rajni.

  • In the Real #Hitchhiker'sguide2galaxy Earth is known as the cave where Rajnikanth meditates #LegendsofRajni
  • 743825 telescopes across the universe are tracking Rajnikanth Live #LegendsofRajni
  • #Stephen Hawking has changed his statement to Rajnikanth created & sustains Universe #LegendofRajni 
  • #StephenHawking discovered today, the universe revolves around Rajnikanth #LegendsofRajni
  • You may run to the end of Universe to hide from Him, but He would have strolled there b4 you #LegendsofRajni
  • Stars are flashbulbs of aliens clicking pics of #Rajnikanth #LegendsofRajni
  • Aliens landed on earth yesterday.Visited Universal Idol #Rajnikanth  & went back screaming He really Exists. #LegendofRajni 
  • Eclipses are caused by #Rajnikanth's shadows #LegendsofRajni
  • #Rajnikanth fights evil in 89283027346 planets, simultaneously  #LegendsofRajni 
  • Rajnikanth's birthday is celebrated as a festival in 830239201 planets #LegendsofRajni
  • Rajnikanth's birthday is a holiday in 74356454 planets 

  • When Rajnikanth stares at the sun, it hides behind the clouds & it rains (Yipee! it was RT by PritishNandy)
  • Rajnikanth stared at the lightning, Lightning Blinked & Closed its Eyes #LegendsofRajni

  • Is it a bird,Is it a Plane? Oh its Bal Rajnikanth skydiving again! #LegendsofRajni
  • #BalRajnikanth thought Volcanoes were just hot fountains #LegendsofRajni

  • Rajni never gets credit card calls.A marketeer swears Rajni's hand appeared thru phone & tweaked his ear #LegendofRajni
  • Rajnikanth can see through You even if you are on the other side of the Earth #LegendsofRajni 
  • #Rajnikanth can find a needle in an ocean 
  • When Rajnikanth wants diamonds, his hand scoops stones from volcanoes & cuts them with his stares #LegendsofRajni
  • His statue at Tussads spins zooms & flies #LegendofRajni
  • Once Rajnikanth reached upto the sky to save a crashing plane while retrieving a sinking ship with other hand #LegendsofRajnI
  • #Rajnikanth can make #NarasimhaRao laugh. #LegendsofRajni
  • #Osama cannot be found because #Rajnikanth kicked him out of Earth #LegendsofRajni
  • #LegendsofRajni can never be publishd on Earth. All the Trees on Earth can't produce enough paper for even 1 Chapter
  • #ThegreatRajnidiet Breakfast Bullets & Grenades shake, Lunch Knives which have crunch. Dinner Spears & Arrows. #LegendsofRajni
  • He can converse in 543194 languages while sleeping (Can't tweet the languages he can speak while awake due to Twitlimit #LegendsofRajni 
  • While shooting for a song in Switzerland, he held up an avalanche with his little finger #LegendsofRajni

  • James #Bond may have license to kill #Rajnikanth has license to Thrill #LegendsofRajni 
  • Hollywood has not made #LegendsofRajni movie coze it can't find technology to showcase his Powers
  • Indian version of #Expendables stars Rajnkanth with 10 other Rajnikanths #LegendsofRajni 
  • #Superman, #Batman & #Spiderman complained, How can we do all this! What are we #Rajnikanth! #LegendofRajni

  • #Rajnikanth styles Giorgio #Armani #LegendsofRajni
  • Beauty queens ape him when it comes to hair tossing

  • If #Rajnikanth kicks a football once, the ball spins around the stadium & becomes a goal, 200 times over #LegendsofRajni
  • When #Rajnikanth is made a goalkeeper he kicks 839475 goals #LegendsofRajni
  • #106yearoldvirgin vowed she will mate someone like #Rajnikanth only #LegendsofRajni 
  • For his honeymoon, Rajnikanth took his wife for a stroll on Jupiter's moon #LegendsofRajnI
  • #SalmanKhanisShirtless coze if he meets #Rajnikanth he can get #Rajni's autograph near his heart #LegendsofRajni 
  • Harry Potter is actually the story of younger Rajnikanth #LegendsofRajnI
  • Rajnikanth is not on Twitter. Who needs followers when you have infinite worshipers #LegendsofRajni

  • #mychemicalromance is the story of Japanese Robots pining for #Shankar 's #Robot #LegendofRajni 
  • #1billionrajnikanthers can easily defeat #5millionbeliiebers #LegendsofRajni 
  • #biggestliethatworked Rajnikanth is merely a superstar #LegendsofRajni 
  • Beyonce is not celebrating her bday. Rajnikanth forgot to wish her. #LegendsofRajni #happybdaybeyonce 

Eyes lights candles, Smiles melts hearts, Wth Finger Flicks Evil Fought. WhoisHe,she thght.Thats #LegendofRajni Sweetheart

Sep 4, 2010

Audacity of Art

The giant display case on the wall, still had the newspaper cutout. It mentioned she was a Child Prodigy, and carried a picture of her with her teachers. Near it, the trophy she had won the school last year, glistened. But today, when she whispered wishes, none of the teachers, listened..She stood head bowed, outside the Principal's Office.

This year, she hadn't won the Prestigious Painting Competition, yesterday. Her Art Teacher was disgusted with her. While her parents were furious and ashamed of her. She was scared, of the Principal, but tried to console herself with, it can't be worse, I will get used to it in couple of days.

Yesterday night, she had painted on the topic again, and had taken it to the Art Teacher today morning. It was a gesture meant to convey, I get it, I can do it. But that just infuriated the Teacher more."You knew what was required, and yet had the audacity to paint, something else yesterday!" she had screamed, flinging away the painting in disgust. The seven year old girl, wondered if that was the reason she was being called to the principal's office.

Summoned, she went meekly in, scared. Not daring to look at the principal in the eye. "I heard you didn't win this time" He said. She managed to mumble, she realised what was required and that the entrance fee was big and she was sorry to disappoint all those who supported her...

He interuptted her with "Did you give it your best?"

She looked up suprised, eyes brimmed with tears, blinking. She bit her lower lip, to stop it from quivering. Choked with emotions, she managed to nod furiously.

"Well, then, well done." came the reply and she stood in a daze, and stared, amazed.

"I am not an expert on Art, but the essence of Creativity is not Popularity but Integrity. Be true to Yourself and Express Yourself. I am told, Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime, yet today his paintings are worth millions. Not just in art, whatever you do, as long as you are not harming others, be Yourself, thats why You were created. You are unique, just like everyone around You."

"Now, have they given back, your painting?" She nodded and dug out the Dud Painting from her school bag. She summoned up courage and dared to ask "Do you like it?". He smiled and said, no, I won't pretend to like it. But as long as you like it, its Priceless not Worthless."

"But my parents are upset that I wasted their money and painted a Dud" she said through sobs.

"I will talk to your parents" he said. "Artists are not like fixed deposits, which churns out safe returns, but like equities. Sometimes Superlative,and brilliant  returns and at times shocking " he paused,  "Duds". If we start expecting artists to deliver safe bets, we will only produce mediocre artists, who are scared to experiment and take risks."

Passing back the painting, the Principal said she could leave, the little girl still dazed thanked the principal and with a twinkle in his eye the Principal probably said "Welcome". But why did she hear it as "Swagatham"?

Outside, the girl leaned on the wall and murmered, I am probably day dreaming again.

Dedicated to Ms.Khan, Madhavrao Bhagwat High School, Vile Parle, Mumbai. 
Mam, decades ago, I argued with you and turned out to be wrong. You didn't take me to task, for my audacity. But appreciated it with "Its good to have Its good to have confidence like this, keep it up". A passing remark, it might have been to you. But not for me. I only vaguely remember the lesson in History I argued about, but your response, when I felt humiliated, has made you an integral part of my history. Teachers like you are the true artists, who shape our nation's future. You mould us, not with just knowledge but your attitude and affection. Happy Teacher's Day.

Sep 2, 2010

Shades of Saffron

Dear Mr.Chidambaram (or Chidu),
Sometimes, you ask for the impossible. You want to use the word "Saffron Terror" and still get the support from All of "Us" against those XYZ terrorists. Perhaps you thought, people didn't see red, when I use Red Terror for Maoists. But excuse me, do you see Red in our National Flag? Besides, saffron has many Shades, its not just in our national flag but its also sacred to the Hindus and all right minded humans, including Julia Roberts. So if you thought by using the term, Saffron Terror, you would be alienating those XYZ terrorists from mainstream Hindus, and majority of Indians, you are WRONG. Whats your hidden agenda? You want to be called "Buddhu Chiddu"?

Being an Indian, you should have realised that we have a process for everything, so please follow the due process, and then use the term Saffron Terror, as many times as you please.

Follow the masters, the Fairness Cream Makers. They don't say black or wheatish is ugly, just say fairness is beautiful and associated with success and desired by all.  So sponsor a meet of Hindu leaders and ask them to wear Orange. And coin a phrase "Future of Hinduism, Orange and Bright". See we are not saying anything negative about Saffron, just saying Orange is brighter and better.

Make Orange the National Fruit. Point out India is the Diabetes Capital of the World. And point out with charts and cartoons, the glycemic index of Mango is higher than that of Orange. The government cares for the health of its citizen and so we would like to make Orange the new national fruit. And have an Orange India Campaign. Point out Orange is a Pavitra Phal, while Ripe Mangoes is filled with Rich Chemicals. If the Mango growers object, threaten them quietly with "I will not let you export our national fruit".
If you are very scared of controversy, add an Orange colored National Vegetable (Pumpkin or Carrot). Follow the Beta-carotene routine instead of diabetic routine. Specifically point out that Beta carotene is great for eyes and you want Indians to be Visionaries.

When Karunanidhi (Karuna to northies) wanted to encourage Tamil names for Tamil movies, he simply removed the entertainment tax. (50 crores loss is worth the pleasure of an aam admi, not consulting a dictonary to check the meaning of the movie.)
Subsidise all products which use the orange color. If you don't want to actually give the subsidy, just add some loopholes, even accountants won't protest, since they will be making more money. But the important point remains, you will seen as Pro Hindu, Pro Growth not Anti-Saffron. If those from other religions protest and ask for subsidies of Green White or Whatever, point out Orange is not religious but National and Neutral.

The communists would probably get outraged over the dynastic influence of Dutch over the color propaganda. And the BJP might join them. So get few Swamis (wearing orange) to point out on TV, for centuries, we worshiped Orange since its closer to our fire God Agnidev. And since Orange was targeted by our Invaders, our ancestors used a duller color Saffron, to camouflage themselves. There you go, Two Birds One Stone. Orange is associated with Resistance and History and Fire Power. And Saffron  associated with fear and perhaps cowardice. Which color do you think our Hindus would opt?
Start a rumour, Saffron flower is the symbol of the Stone Throwers of Kashmir.

Indian Public has lost faith in Police, Politicians, Media & Judiciary. We believe only in advertisements, especially those endorsed by Celebrities.

  • Get Deepika to wear Orange at Cannes, Suggest to Julia's Stylist, Orange is in,
  • Mention to Mukesh Ambani, Mumbai Indians, and therefore Sachin should wear Orange,
  • Pressurise Pawar  to change Men in Blue to Warrriors in Orange (hey the team might lose but Shewag,Dhoni Sachin still sell),
  • Hint to Raj Thackeray, Marathi manoos prefers Oranges to Mangoes.
  • And ask Bappida to sing a tribute to Tagore wearing Orange colors, since "Tagore meditated among orange groves and conceived of a new type of university, desiring to "make Shantiniketan the connecting thread between India and the world." (It will become a hit on Youtube & Internet Hindus will be more benevolent towards Orange.)
  • And get TeleShopping Network to suggest Orange colored Yantra makes the future bright and succesful. (Actually they will probably do it automatically, you don't have to suggest to them.)

6.Proxy Criticise
Next time a Godman is caught in a scandal, get a Godman wearing Orange to say its now a Saffron Shame. If someone objects, let the Orange Godman retaliate with "Sex Swami" is not Shameful?
Make sure SoniaG, BurkhaD and Arundathi don't wear Orange and get few bloggers to wonder why they haven't worn Orange yet.

Thus, after throughly ruining the Significance of Saffron, you can use the term Saffron Terror, Saffron Monster or Saffron Sadists. And you will have an Orange Outrage against those xyz terrorists.  

But then, those xyz terrorists might object to you, for associating them with Saffron.

Aug 31, 2010

Mr.Fevicol fixed

Kalmadiji has claimed the unaccounted crores in the CWG account books were in fact the crores paid to bookies and Pakistani cricketers to tarnish the reputation of cricket. He pointed out that he had hit two birds with one stone. "We are doing a service to the nation, when we disgrace cricket and revive interests in non-cricketing sports. And Pakistan which had been milking international sympathy with its flood victims, had been put in its place as the International Evil, with this expose", rejoiced Mr.Kalmadi. Getting misty eyed his assistant said "The PR propoganda, of Million victims in Pakistan, has been replaced by The Millions Pakistan cricketers make. Successfully the public memory has been erased and perspective not displaced."

Kalmadiji was full of praises for the Swiss Management Consultant Mr.Fevicol, who is known to fix any problem. "I approached him a fortnight back and he was able to fix the problem on the spot!" effused Mr.Kalmadi. When a smart journalist pointed out that, India would have to pay few more crores in the form of consultation fee, Mr.Kalmadi rubbished it with. "We are hosting a world class event. And we need world class consultants. To suggest otherwise is unpatriotic."

Meanwhile a paid journalist munching Swiss made Samosa enquired if the "Allegations of Corruption in CWG, could have been a paid news by BCCI to distract attention from the IPL saga."

Mr.Kalmadi magnanimously refused to target Mr.Pawar. But admitted, "We are exploring if those allegations had come from a section within BCCI which wanted to ruin the aam admi's interests in other sports, to further the commercial interests of IPL."

When asked if Mr.Fevicol had made any suggestions for making ARR's theme song more inspiring, Kalmadi shook his head and said, "When we approached Mr.Fevicol we didn't know realise a desi talent was available. We have now approached Rakhi Sawant, and she has promised not just Insaaf but also Inspiration."

Informed sources however claim, Rakhi is an eyewash, on Mr.Fevicol's advice, Anu Malik has been hired to remix Waca Waca and it will be sung and performed by Bappi Lahiri (in Na'vi costume and an extra kilo of gold).

Update : Stampedes have been witnessed all over the world, with NRIs clamouring to watch the opening ceremony of CWG. More sources have confirmed that Bappida, indeed would be performing dressed in a Na'vi costume with an extra kilo of gold and will be singing Khelo, GaOO, Khudo, Nacho, Khaa-OO.
And with soaring ticket sales, Kalmadi has been seen thundering, Avatar Jake style "WE DON'T NEED THEM, WE HAVE, US!!!"

Aug 29, 2010

A Flame named Freedom

In humiliation, how brightly I burn.
Consequences? I have no concern!
I am the Mighty Dragon, breathing Fire,
Revenge is all, I now thirst and desire.
My Freedom, you are a wonderful flower.
Borne from you, the delicious fruit, Power.
When Retribution I can certainly elude,
Why suddenly has my rage subdued?

Oh Freedom, you gave me Power
But Power is also true test of Character, I learn.
By Humuliation and Character
My poor dear ego, you have now been, twice, burned.

Freedom, its unfair, you fight fire with your light
My rage has been controlled and caged by your light!

I thought I was truly free,
And could go on any spree, carefree!

But, Freedom is a flame within and it ignites
A guiding light, to do the right.
Not a weapon for the might,
To be used in any and every spite.

So, Freedom, I want to be Free from You
Without you I could float in self pity and rue.
For what is the use of being free if, I,
Can but Don't, get an eye for an eye?

Freedom, you might take me to great heights
But I am just as free as a kite.
The string of integrity, chains my flight
With Wind or String, whom I should fight?

Oh please me don't tell me, I am not Ego
I am Character and Ego, I must forgo.
Thought Freedom was a frame of mind,
Why should it be a flame in my mind?

Yet, I wonder if this flame will propel Me to Rise
Like a Phoenix, from ashes of my ego's demise.
Then Freedom, from my ego, you have set me free
Perhaps to happiness, you are after all the key.

An entry for Blogadda's Frames of Freedom Contest

Note : My twitter followers would have been aware of my anger and anguish the last couple of days. Towards the end of the journey called rage, these emotions and thoughts, fell into place. Since real life is hardly poetic, my Id Ego, has only been partially burnt and blackmails me more with its scars. Nevertheless, I am at a better place and at least in partial peace.Wrote the poem and then clicked these pictures (In the dark, a candle (including the first picture), a Silverish Shell articraft for the wing effect, & a helpage calender for Mahatma Gandhi's picture (in the last image). Never thought the toughest part of the journey would be in choosing amongst all the pictures I clicked . Well freedom is definitely fun, if we don't mind the tiny burdens. The line "Power is the True Test of Character" is my favourite quote, and it explains, the source of many a problems. From littering, taking an office pencil, or crores in scam. Gandhi never advocated non-violence as a weapon for the weak,(he asked them to be brave and fight back), but asked the strong to follow non-violence to prove the strength in their soul too. Forgiveness isn't about saying its OK but choosing to Respond instead of React.
Even when you can get away with it,
Ask yourself, what you would Not Do.
Well, thats the Real You, a sum of your Values.

Aug 26, 2010

Rahul, Dimpy aur Insaaf

If Rakhi Sawant can deliver Insaaf better than Raj Thackeray on NDTV Imagine, Rahul and Dimpy can deliver better justice than Rakhi at a rival entertainment channel, titled "Rampy aur Insaaf ." 

Its a Royal Court with attendants in garish costumes. Trumpets blow, Shehnais and Sitars are re-mixed, as Rahul and Dimpy enter, dressed in the Latest Authentic Ethnic Finery (LAEF) and sit on a throne, from the Ramayan set.

The Host also dressed in LAEF introduces the first complainant.

A woman cries "There are more mobiles than toilets in India! We have corruption cases like Koda and Kalmadi's and their crores. And renovation cases like Yeddyurappa who spend Ten Lakhs on their toilet. What can you do to ensure every Indian gets a Toilet?"

Dimpy smiles demurely and says "I think Rahulji is better suited to answer this case since his father had groomed him to be a future PM and he is an expert on politics." Dimpy and Rahul smile at each other.(Background violin "Tujhe dekha to yeh jana sanam").

Host "Rahulji, when will you enter active politics? We know you spend lots of time doing social service."
Rahul chukles and chides the Host "My Social Service is supposed to be a Secret, otherwise my Service will be viewed as just a publicity stunt. When the time comes, I will talk about other plans. But right now, lets talk about this person's problem." Rahul turns smiles at the woman and brings a finger to the chin.
The host thunders "Ek chote se break ke baad, aapko milega Rahulji ka Jawab aur Insaaf".
After mere 6 minutes of advertisements,

Rahul with serious expression (Eyebrows knitted).
"Legal angle is a waste because it takes time," "unlike our show" jibes the Host, Audience Laughs and cheers for 3 minutes."Sorry Rahulji please continue" apologises the Host.
"And government has to spend so much money on prosecution and financing all the Swiss trips for CBI officers. Lets introduce a fine system. The accused will have to pay 25% of the scam amount as fine. Government will have more money for spending on sanitation and all will be Fine. On renovation of bathrooms, please understand, unless we give the best to our ministers they won't be able to give their best. " (Background music "All is Well").

Dimpy "Rahulji with so much of our money in Swiss Bank accounts, didn't you think we should nationalise Swiss banks and bring back the money to India?" Studio audience breaks into applause. Rahul nods, takes Dimpy's hands, looks into her eyes and vows, that it would be his first move after becoming Prime Minister, but she shouldn't spill out his secrets in public." Dimpy blushes and apologises.

Studio Audience claps while Host gets ecstatic and hands over to the complainant, a gift voucher from a sponsor, for an elite bath set and mentions a tiny break.

After 8 minutes of advertisements, the Host introduces a poor man (wearing only a dhothi) from Rajasthan, who wails, for 11 days of physical work in hot sun I got Rs.11 but MPs earn in thousands and get hikes, even if they disrupt Parliament.

Dimpy smiles at Rahul and asks permission to answer the question. Rahul, gives her an indulgent smile and nods. Dimpy in a choked voice "Sir, you got Rs.11 for 11 days but what about your wife, who has worked for your family, how much has she got? This is life, it has ups and downs." A close up shot reveals a tear flowing down Rahul's face (background sad sitar sound).

Dimpy continues "How much do you think your mother struggled to give birth to you, do you think you can pay her adequte compensation? We work for the love of our nation. MPs may earn in thousands but what about cricketers and film stars who earn in crores? Please do not confuse work, love, respect, value and money."

Turns in slow motion to Rahul and looks at him for approval. Rahul gives her a you make me feel so proud of you look (gazes with smile without blinking). (Background violin Kabhie Kabhie mere Dil Mein).

Audience claps, Host Wah Wahs and gives the Man a Chocolate Gift Hamper and the latest Fairness Cream with anti-darkening RE3 agent, specially made, for those who are out in the sun for a longtime. The complainant gives a deep bow and goes away with the hampers and a smile on his face.

After a 5 minute ad break, the Host introduces us to the final complainant. A young guy is checking his mobile, realises the camera is on him and complains tearfully,"No one reads my blog or my tweets. I have 641 followers on my twitter not a single one of them respond to my tweets."

Rahul gets down from his throne and walks up to the guy and puts his arm around him. "Life is very cruel. But instead of Twitter and Blogger if you spend your time on TV, you will feel significant, because in TV TRP is everything. And you can participate and make a difference, especially if you watch and vote with Reality TV.

The Tweeter breaks down more and cries more and while hugging Rahul tweets "Hugging Rahul Mahajan" and updates his Facebook Wall, with "Rahul thinks I Rock". Dimpy also joins them and cries, and says "I know how tough, it is to feel insignificant, and I will pray for you. And the three of them go and pray in front of the Ganesh Idol near the throne. Dimpy sings Jai Ganesh Aarthi and offers the prasad to Rahul, Host and Tweeter (who is tweeting and posting with one hand).

Rahul and Dimpy handover the latest mobile with twitwofour technology to the Tweeter and offers one final advise. "Please don't confuse Online Readers, Followers and Friends with family. The only important people exist in real life, spend more time watching TV with your family members." Audience Applauds. Background music "Insaaf ka Mandir hai yeh".

Dimpy's puppy runs to her and licks her face. Audience coo. Dimpy tells the Host they have to take leave to spend quality family time together and promise to come back to resolve more problems. Rahul thanks the sponsors and the producers. And they leave in a chariot, with two white horses, waving to the crowd, as the onlookers cheers.

Host looks directly at the camera and says "We are family, we are here to advise and suggest. Come,Share your problems with Us".

According to some sources, Dimpy gave the Tweeter, a printout of Blogadda's How to get More Readers Traffic for your blog and said, "Bhaiya, I wish they had Tips for Twitter too". Rahul got suspicious and snatched the printout and shredded it to pieces. The Director Yelled Cut! and screamed "Why mention Blogadda! They haven't sponsored us!"

If you liked this post try, The Patriot - The Celebrity with Duty
If you hated this post try, Simple Substitute for Sleeping Pill

Aug 22, 2010

What You Want

Spirituality, Marriage, Children, and Blogging are all like Bungee Jumping. Exhilarating for Some, but definitely Not for EveryoneIts all about the journey and not about the destination.

Don't get into them if you think it would help you become famous or make more money or because others are doing it.

Get into them for the simple reason of You wanting to do it. And you will know its what You Want, when you will accept responsibility, if something goes wrong in the process.

And all are mutually exclusive, including marriage and children.

If you agree with this you might like
Perplexed about Premarital Sex
Lonely? Get a Pet not a Spouse
Single and Still Complete
Before Walking off Into the Sunset
Dumped and Down in the Dumps
Van Gogh on Valentine
Do You Need Him to be Happy?

If you disagree you probably would have moved on before this line.

Aug 16, 2010

Shoe-maar's Throw Shoes Syndrome

Breaking News. Other politicians are catching up with Shoe-mar's Philosophy. Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers M.K.Azhagiri has requested the opposition to Throw Shoes, but not Questions. His colleague Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has specified Throw Shoes but not those of Red Hue. Home Minister P.Chidambaram has pointed out that a shoe had been thrown at him earlier, so if someone wanted to Throw Shoes, Just throw the other Pair. Not to be outdone Digvijay Singh has said "Throw shoes, but only on High Command's instruction."

Meanwhile, Mayawati has now instructed her administration to, Throw Shoes but only Golden ones. Kalmadi by the way, has placed an order with an Italian firm to deliver 50,000 pairs, priced at a lakh each, to be delivered during the Closing Ceremony. He has requested everyone "Throw Shoes, but only those ordered by me".

BJP and the Communists have joined hands to launch an agitation against the ProThrowShoe attitude of the government, since Throwing Shoes is against our Culture. They also pointed out that, the inflation has affected the price of shoes and now the aam aadmi couldn't afford to buy shoes.They hope their mass agitation will throw the Government out of Power. But quickly, Kapil Sibal has shooed away the agitation with a 35 Paise Shoe Scheme.

MNS meanwhile, has launched its own campaign "Throw Shoes, but only those made by Marathi Manoos." 

Since Rahul Mahajan has been hospitalised with chest pains, NDTV Imagine has announced a new reality show with Rakhi Sawant titled "Rakhi ka Shoeciever". The object of the contest is to win the heart and receive the shoes from Rakhi Sawant.

Bollywood stars (minus Shahrukh) have started their own mass agitation. They stood, arm in arm outside Aamir Khan's House chanting "Throw Shoes, Please don't be Coy, You are after all our Midas Touch Boy!"  Kareena has signed an endorsement deal for Size Zero shoes while Katrina has tweeted about her New Mystery Shoe. 

Since the title of Bobby Deol's horror thriller "Help" has not helped in making it a blockbuster, the producers have decided to rename it "Shoe" and hoping to woo and shoo in some audience. A small controversy has been created with the title, as Sanjay Leela Bhansali has just launched a new movie "Hum Shoe Throw Chuke Sanam". And RGV has decided to rename Phoonk 3 as Ssssshhh-Whhoooooo

Baba Sehgal, by the way, has remixed "I am too Sexy for my shoes" with "I am Sexy throwing Shoes" to relaunch his career.

Admist all these Shoe news, Lalit Modi has announced an Indian Shoe Throwing Show. He has promised he will take Shoe Throwing to a new entertainment level, with Cheerleaders, Designer Shoes, Foreign Players and lots of pre-match and post-match parties thrown in between. And has even roped in the sponsor, Jimmy Choo. While Modi has tweeted it will be a "ShowStopper", Shashi Tharoor has simply tweeted "Sho(ow) Shoepid".

In an unrelated development, four new Chinese factories have been setup to manufacture shoes. A leading multinational bank has launched a new Credit Card, exclusively for  purchasing your Dream Shoes. And has launched an internet campaign titled Shoe Shop with Bipasha Basu. I have received 32 junk smses about products which will help me throw shoes accurately. I will delete them after smsing my replies to NDTV Times Now & IBN on their Shoe Polls

Then I will be off, to get the blessings of Shoe Swami who has arrived from the Himalayas. My friend assures me, for a four figure fee, he will throw a shoe at me and I will become a very Popular Blogger. But I am a very scientific person, the Shoe Swami is just a back up plan, I have already bought Fair and Shiny Shoe Whitening Cream. Don't I know a person can be successful, only by being fair and having a fairer Shoe?
If you have a short fuse,
Or if you want to blow away your blues,
Or simply want to be on the News,
Throw Shoes, Throw Shoes.

Wake up, those who mentally snooze
Hey, Use any excuse
Only a shoe you are going to lose
Throw shoes, Throw Shoes.

Target those who disagrees with your views.
But Watch out though, some might reuse.
Do it before it fades away with overuse.
Throw Shoes Throw Shoes.

Hmmm, you think, this post has no use
If you don't mind standing in a long queue
Hey at me, you can always throw shoes!
But smelly socks, sorry I will refuse.

with sincere apologies to those mentioned above.

PS : If you have heard a constant buzz behind you ear "Shoemaar, shoemaar" and you have not been drinking, doing drugs etc, than it could be the voice of our own sweet Ketangel. Just throw a shoe, towards the sky. Aargh angel will make sure you hit Ketangel. And you will be featured in Times of Angels, Anglie (not Jolie) Times. 

PPS : If you are wondering , who the #@$ $# is Ketangel, you should read Divine Justice T20 Style- 2

PPPS : If you have read the post and want to become Angelised in my post like Ketan, then you would have to be a regular top commentator. And thats not just typing a" nice post" comment. He reads the entire post and faces my cross examination. The logic being, you have to face a death equivalent to become an angel. And there are many bloggers who would choose death, over reading my blog.

Aug 14, 2010

People Land and Sky

Mother vs Motherland
So this is death, the dying soldier thought.
To avoid this, how my mother had fought!
As she felt her spirit soar,
She faintly heard, her mother's roar.
"You won't live for me, your mother!
But don't mind dying for your motherland! "
"Not everyone dies mom, and life has no guarantees."
she had coolly retorted and even now, she didn't rue her stand.

Owning Land
"Dadi, is the mango from the tree in the Big House really verry tasty?" the ten year old girl asked her grandmother. "Yes." replied the sleepy grandmother.
"How do you know?" asked the girl, unwilling to sleep. "My dadi told me" replied the tired woman.
"How did your dadi, know ?"whispered the persistent girl. "She lived there" her dadi said sadly. "Ma!" the girl's father warned.

Excited the girl asked "She lived in the Big House?"
"No." replied the tired granny."She lived in a small house on that land, but her father had planted those mango trees. Then one day, men came with sticks and knives and told them to leave. And then later those men, sold the land to some other people and then the Big House came up with those Big Gates and Walls."
"Enough. Now go to sleep." chided her mother.
"So the Mangoes are ours?" she asked excited, ignoring her mother.

"No" mourned her granny "Those trees have died, and now, its their fruits that have become trees, and anyway we don't own the land."

"So how can I own a land?" the girl asked after few minutes.

Her granny pretended to snore. But she shook her and repeated the question. "You buy with money" came the curt reply from her father.

"But did the men with sticks give money to your dadi's father, dadi?"
"No but those were different times" sighed the granny and turned the other way and faked sleep.
The girl stared into the darkness,  unable to sleep, inspite of the suggestive snores.

She snaked her arm around her grandmother's waist. Then whispered "Tomorrow I will go with sticks and own the land near the river. Then I will sell it and make money and buy lots of lands. And then we will plant lots and lots of mango trees. And then my grandchildren and their grandchildren will taste the sweetest mango ever."

She expected applause but just got few giggles.

Hiding on the Land
She watched her mother anxiously touch her little brother's forehead and shake her head at her father.
Agitated, he said "I will take her to the doctor". But her mother said it would be risky in the middle of the night. "They might stop you and ask for papers." And continued to sponge her brother with a wet towel.

She stared at them anxiously, hoping she could provide a solution. Her mother had told her, to not talk too much about her father, because he was an illegal immigrant. She wondered if they would allow her to take her little brother to the doctor. She was not sure if she was also illegal but didn't dare to ask her mother that, and add to her distress. She stared at the line of ants, on the wall, and whispered, "How do you find out if you are illegal?"

Territory, Entity and Identity
"I won't tell you, even if you cause me pain." she said defiantly.
Her captor sneered,"Aaah a fighter, lets find out how much pain you can withstand..."
Later, he casually asked, "So how, is the pain?"
She managed to gasp, "Not greater than the pain, of not having a motherland"

"Oh, you will have one, if you stopped resisting and started accepting"  he said, as he searched his tool box.

"Accept!! Accept that your people can do anything to us, because you have firepower? Accept you are mighty and you can strip us of our Identity?" she snarled, before blacking out with pain, from his latest tool.

Free Sky
"Was it me, in all those short stories? "
the soldier's soul wondered,
as towards the sky, it soared.
Did everything happen, to me, in this birth,
or were some from before?"

Aug 12, 2010

The Patriot - The Celebrity with Duty

Beaming Bollywood Producer (BBP) "Our astrologer has suggested a Patriotic movie to launch my son".
Superhit Scriptwriter (SS) "Excellent! An Angry Hero is upset with the corrupt government.."
BBP "No No they might mistake him for a Naxalite, nothing anti-government."
SS "Hero is a soldier.."
Son of Rich Producer (SORP) "No that would make the movie boring and drab"

SS "A non-violent journalist,"
BBP "Again boring character. Make it a romantic patriotic movie"

SS "Hero falls in love with a girl from another country.."
BBP "No Way! Look what happened to Sania!"

SS "Hero is a pop star, who has made it big through a reality contest."
BBP "Excellent, we can show off His dancing skills"

SS "We open with Hero on stage, head down, hearing in his mind, the comments of the Reality Show Judge (some old star who wants to make a comeback) berating him for being a poor orphan with just hopes, going up against his classy prodigy. Someone shouts Action and the spotlight turns on him. He faces the camera and comes up with a mix of rap and soul number, with Vande Mataram, Mera Bharat Mahan and ends with Jai Hind". The audience and the other judges give him a standing ovation. While the Reality Judge reluctantly applauds him. Later this Judge tellsHero, its not easy to get voted as the winner since, smses costs money. Few days later, he becomes the winner closely beating his rich competitor.

SS "While flying abroad for a tour, terrorists take over his aeroplane. Since he is popular they want to hold him hostage to get their colleagues released. (They explain Indians might not care much for a minister's life, but will care for him since he has got the maximum votes amongst all reality stars and reality shows reflect the real India) The heroine is a flight attendant who initially pretends to hate him, but is actually his biggest fan, who is extremely rich and got a job as an airhostess, simply to meet him. Hero fights back with small help from heroine. We can have a parachute, sky diving chase scene, rescues everyone and hands the terrorists to the police.

He sings a duet with the heroine and goes to New Zealand for his concert." We can have a fast catchy number for the concert.

To avenge their colleagues arrest, terrorists plant a bomb during his concert and blast occurs at the end of the concert.  The Hero looks at the death and destruction all around him and becomes distraught. And we go for the intermission."

Gets approving nods from BBP and SORP.

SS continues "The only survivor is a small girl holding a teddy bear who has seen the terrorist who planted the bombs. She has lost her family, and the Hero decides to take care of her and sings a bubbly kids song to cheer her up since, next day is her birthday. "

"Great that will make it a wholesome family entertainer" booms BBP.

SS continues, "The heroine is actually a painter. So she paints the picture of the terrorist, after getting the description from the girl."

BBP "Excellent! Since the heroine has a role of substance, we can get any star we need."

SS,  "Hero realises he has seen this person at a hotel and goes to the hotel, just when this guy is checking out. Here we can have a Hot Car Chase. Hero catches the guy and thrashes him and makes inquiries. The guy says his Boss is hiding in the jungles of Brazil and is planning to attack India with missiles, after getting his colleagues released. If missile concept is outdated, we can have a virus with no cure."

"Hero hands over this guy to the authorities in New Zealand. But when they say their hands are tied, they can't extradiate the terrorists, he decides to take matter in his own hands and goes to Brazil, with his girlfriend and the sweet kid with the teddybear. He explains to them, he has a facebook friend in Brazil who has herself been a victim of terror and thirsting for revenge. He arrives in a nightclub and we can have an item number by a Brazilian Babe. She agrees to help him and points out a local thug who might know the location of the terrorist. After a beach brawl with knives, the Hero finds out the exact location. And makes a plan with the Brazilian Babe. The heroine gets jealous and we can have a melody number at this point, as he tries to convince her, he loves only her.

With Brazilian Babe's help he goes into the jungle. Fights crocodiles and giant snakes. Then after a high speed boat chase with water skis etc in the Amazon river, catches all the terrorists and packs them for justice in India. The heartbroken Brazilian Babe requests him to let at least the Saccharin kid stay with her. The kid too wants to stay with the aunty, so he relents with tears and promises to visit them frequently." 

Back home he gets a hero's welcome. A TV journalist explains, "One of the terrorist captured, is the 2nd Deadliest Terrorist according to USA and now USA is begging India to have access to this terrorist." A huge cheer goes up when he lands and journalists scramble for sound bytes. A female with blond hair from CNN asks in accented Hindi "You are a celebrity. Why did you take so much risks?."
He says "When I think of my motherland, Its Duty first, even if I am a Celebrity!".
And everyone claps. Even the Reality Judge who is watching the interview at home. He stands and salutes the TV screen, and we finish with our Hero, with pumped fist in the air, shouting "Jaaaaaai        Hind" We can name it The Patriot  (A celebrity with Duty)".

SS pauses. BBP is thrilled  and hugs SS with tears in his eyes, while SORP is on the phone with someone.

BBP explains "The story sounds good, but my son is not old fashioned like me. He is running it through his Tarot Card Consultant, before okaying the Project".

If you liked this you might like  Kribs and Kit Kits (Kompassion ya Kruelty)
If you hated this you might like Simple Substitute for Sleeping Pill

Aug 9, 2010

Kalmadi's Top Ten

Suresh Kalmadi is outraged at the suggestion of incompetence and corruption. "CWG's not a Calamity !" shrieked Kalmadi. But he didn't get to this position without realising the importance of a backup plan. To scorn the critics, he has lined up new responses to those silly allegations. Here are the Top Ten of them.

1. Even iPhone couldn't live up to expectations. Stop having unrealistic expectations. And Jobs didn't resign, did he?

2. Even Obama has Teaching Moments. And don't forget we are a developing nation.

3. China got envious and decided to sabotage the structures by doing an underground nuclear test.

4. The new rupee symbol created a currency confusion. Don't worry every new and old rupee will accounted and tracked after a committee looks into it.

5. The structure seems unsafe, hey thats a cultural reflection of our karma philosophy, Ask Julia. And for your information, she is so inspired by us, she has agreed to the sequel "Cheat, Smirk and Pray".

6. Naxals are firing, Kashmir is burning, North East is burning, Inflation is burning a bigger hole and you want to talk about CWG and few crores? How petty and unpatriotic can you get?

7. We knew you would criticise, thats why we spent 2 crores on getting goras to say they enjoyed CWG.

8. We were advised by the police to not make it a success, since success attracts security concerns.

9. We will answer all your queries, but would you first like to savour samosas from Switzerland, just one lakh a piece.

10. Our hands were tied, we couldn't rename it KommenWealth Games and make it a success.

Aug 6, 2010

Simple Substitute for Sleeping Pill

Tsunami hit India on 26th December 2004. A distraught NRI Indian blogger felt helpless yet wanted to help and so sent emails, that evening, to a leading bank, PM's office & TN government and an official from TN government (who had earlier helped her via email on information on driving license renewal.) And was amazed to receive the response the NEXT DAY, from TN government. A day later from PMO, and the official who had helped with traffic queries. All the 3 emails were informative and complete. With the bank it took 10 days and 4 emails. So cribbers out there who think government doesn't work. Sorry, it works, even for ordinary citizens. Aah, to see government use technology so effectively and communicating back, Mera Bharat Mahan!

But Mera Bharat was not Mahan for Sitadevi in Uttar Pradesh who bled to death while delivering her child, because, the dai didn't have her FOUR Rupees kit of sterilised blade, suture, a needle and other equipment that helps in a delivery. The reason why Sitawati had not received a dai kit was a tussle between secretary of the DHFW and family welfare minister. I read this few years ago, yet it continues to haunt me, that Indians have to lose their lives, because of the way the babus and netas function. Four Rupee for a Life, are we in touch with real India?

In India, I would like to change or atleast influence the following :-
2.Legal System
3.Media Apathy
4.Middle class Morals
5.Social Integration

Within each, I would like to discuss :-
A. The Scenario
B. Self: What I do and what more you & I could do
C. Suggestions to government
D. Stories of change related to it.

The post is lengthy, you can choose this as a sleeping pill and allow it close your Eyes, or decide, whatever the adversity, I will do my bit, and ARISE.


Every 8 minutes an Indian women dies due to childbirth. Motherhood is supposed to be about life, but in India where we revere our mothers, its about death. Before we dismiss this as yet another statistic belonging to developing nations with less resources, just do a regional comparision. In our region, Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) varies between 0.92 per thousand births in Sri Lanka and 7.4 in Nepal; it is 5.4 in India, 5.0 in Pakistan and 3.8 in Bangladesh. This translates into 140,000 mothers dying each year in India due to childbirth. This figure would reduce to 24,000 if our MMR were to drop to the Sri Lankan level, a saving of more than 100,000 lives Each Year.

And if mothers don't do well, what about the children? 26 million children are born each year in India. Of these, nearly 1.64 million children will die before they reach the age of one. If our IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) were 46 (the number in Bangladesh) instead of 63, then the number of deaths would reduce to about 1.2 million. In other words 450,000 lives would be saved each year if we could achieve the status of Bangladesh in the Infant Mortality Rate. And what about those who survive? Approximately 47% of India’s under-five population is underweight. (There are more undernourished children in India than in the African Continent). Health is Wealth, if we want to become a Super Power our citizens need not be Superhumans but at least have a system that is humane.

So what do I do? Would I use a government hospital? If I had a choice, no. I used it but not now. Well I try to talk and blog about it (Do U Know series and some other posts indirectly).

Because I believe lets at least get the information out there,
Maybe a few of them would Care.
With Sri Lanka & Bangladesh lets compare,
And make our healthcare more accountable and fair.

Suggestions to Government
What I would like government to change? Well how about a rule that every babu and neta who gets sick has to get treated at the local government hospital in their constituency. Even if they get a special treatment, let them at least realize how much of the basic amenities are missing in these hospitals.

Stories of Change
Child In Need Institute, tackling Child Malnutrition, established by Dr Samir Chaudhuri
Dr Prakash Bhandari's Snehdeep Jankalyan Foundation (SJF). Amongst other things, to arrest malnutrition among slum children' it has developed inexpensive protein supplements using groundnut' jaggery' gram and soya' which helped bring down malnutrition in Pune's worst slums from 15 per cent to 2 per cent.

The sparks exists, we just need a lot more of them.

From the depressing world of healthcare lets go to Bollywood. If a Bollywood film changed the lyrics of our national anthem or changed the color of our flag for artistic reasons, would we put up with it? Of course Not! Then why do we accept the misrepresentation of our legal system in the movies. From the way they depict Procedure, Evidence to the time frame, Everything is a kids play, in Every movie involving our Laws and Legal system, with drastic differences. And unless we face the reality of the legal system in the movies, we are not going to change it or worry about it. Pathetic but isn't it true?

The High Court in New Delhi is behind in its work that it could take up to 466 years to clear the enormous backlog. Amongst reasons for the delay, there aren't enough sitting judges. India — a country of 1.1 billion people — has approximately 11 judges for every million people.

Our justice system should reflect our values, but when its denied, where are our values? Ignorance of Law is not an excuse. But when 50% of Indian children aged 6-18 do not go to school, I don't know how many of them will understand the broad aspects, forget the finer points of our legal system.

So what do I do? Again, I just read,blog and talk about it. Could I do more? Perhaps I could focus on just a few areas in law, and generate opinion to make some difference to it. Its not just enough to make our laws simple, we have to make the system more efficient. And perhaps if more joined, we could make a difference.

Suggestions to the Government
The Prime Minister did launch National Legal Literacy Mission, few years back. But no points for guessing what it achieved. Let the government, fill the judicial vacancies, make the law simpler and follow the recommendations of the Committees it sets up, for starters.

Stories of Change

I am an oldie who grew up with DD (in the neighbour's house) and so when I first heard about the concept of a 24x7 News Channel, I jumped with joy, really. The quantity of News channels on TV might have increased, but not the quality. Its not that we don't have capable journalists. But instead of focus and perspective, they prefer frivilousness and popularity. What would get more attention from the main stream media; a four run loss in an important match by the men's cricket team or an Indian women who loses her life for lack of a four rupee kit? A loss against Sri Lanka or Bangladesh by our men's cricket team or a healthcare system worse than these countries?

Every channel, that I watch has a website, and I do comment on their websites. Even if they remain in the clutches of sponsors, Consumer is still the King. Its not that I hate fun, but I just don't think one needs to throw away ones responsiblities. Lets click and comment, people. And show the media, we care about few issues too. What I should do? Watch more of Lok Sabha TV. After all, the government is supposed to work for me, and if I don't watch and object, how can I expect them to perform reasonably.

Suggestions to government
Work. Disruptions in the first week of the monsoon session of Parliament has cost the the tax payers Rs 40 crore. Every day, Rs 1.23 crore is spent on the Parliament, which means every minute in Parliament costs Rs 23,000. Let Political Parties pay for the amount lost when they hold up the Parliament. Then we will perhaps see a functioning Parliament.

And instead of being just a culture vulture with the media, regulate the advertisements, and take action against corporates which make tall claims and escape with a fine print.

Stories of Change
Thanks to the internet, its easier for us to follow not just the mainstream media. Two of my favourite sites are and and the best part they are free. (Though you can choose to support Indiatogether)
The Ministry of External Affairs is on Twitter. How wonderful it would be, if other ministries use social media, to interact with its citizens.

Many amongst the middle class moan,
the Politicians take Votes from the Poor
and Money from the Rich,
promising to protect one from the other.
Surely we we deserve better!
But do we? How many amongst us thought, lets handover the Commonwealth Games organization to Lalit Modi? Never mind if he could have been corrupt, whats important is the Image of India. How many amongst us don't think its wrong to watch a pirated movie, or buy a question paper or a college seat? We feel outraged, when we hear about caste based quotas for college seats, but never question the other quotas like NRI and management quotas. Even with the wrong percentage, today its easy to get even a medical seat for the right price.
When the IPL scandal hit the media, another corruption scandal, was uncovered. Medical Council of India's chief Ketan Desai was arrested on corruption charges, but did the country even Blink? We live in glass houses and hence don't throw stones at the babus and netas.

And how many marriages have we attended where the bride is accepted for who she is, and not for what she brings and the bridegroom's parents treat the bride's parents as their equal? Rare.

Whether its education or marriage, when it suits us, we keep quiet about corruption.

Many don't frown, when someone helps themselves to office stationary, well guess what, the amount might be different, but the attitude no different from the babus and netas we crib and complain, about.

Many choose to turn a blind eye to molestation on a bus or think its ok to watch the latest sex tape even if one of the parties involved is a victim, just because the technology allows us. Isn't that the latest blackmail, get a sex tape of a girl and then blackmail her with the mms /upload threat? How many Indians shamelessly google out the sex tape when a tragedy suffers?

Finally I do something else on the issue of Middle Class Morality. I don't watch pirated movies. Agree, its making virtue out of necessity. But I live in a place where, we get to see the movies only on pirated cds and it has affected my popularity with friends. But 7000 Indians die EVERYDAY due to hunger,but while they haven't created a revolution, and put up with even Rotten Rice from Ration shop,it amazes me when people don't give care about piracy. We can live without pirated stuff people. I still don't get it, why do I even have to say this? (By the way the 7000 was not a Typo, I hope you checked out the link.)

And heres something you may not believe, but still true. I don't pay bribes. And I have liasoned with various government agencies officially and personally. I have a formula for it. I allocate one extra day for finding out the procedure, preferably from someone as high as I can meet. Then follow the rules. And don't mind waiting and a silly superstitious point, dress modestly. And it has worked! And I don't spend even on their tea. I don't know if it will work all the time in the future. But I just don't make it easier. As citizens we can say no, and its not as tough as everyone imagines it to be. Lets make some use of the RTI or threathen with its usage, even if we don't become RTI activists.

Corruption is definitely a big problem in India and it bothers me more when there is corruption while buying equipment for our soldiers and the police. They sacrifice their lives, Patriots who put lives in the line for us, surely they deserve better. But corruption would be less, if the middle class practiced what it preaches.

Suggestions to Government
Move against Tax Havens, Make it easier for citizens to complain against corruption and simplify the rules. And just in case you will listen to me, minimize corruption.

Stories of Change
The RTI Act,
(When my father lived in outside the Chennai Corporation limits, but died in a hospital, which is within the Corporation limits. Initially when I approached the Town Panchayat I was given a list of things to do and was told how difficult it would be to get duplicate attested copies. Later when I went to the Chennai Corporation office, I was told I had to do nothing, the hospital submitted their list and within 10 days, the Death Certificate would be available online, automatically and I could take as many copies as I wanted since it was digital. A simple step, yet I am sure it avoids corruption, so easily).

There are amongst us many Indians like Bapi Sen, who stood up to the men, who were molesting a girl on New Years eve. Tragically, he had to pay with his life, for his convictions.

Whats Patriotism? Caring for the land or the people in it. We want Kashmir and the Northeast, but how much do we care about what happens to the people who live or lived there. We might be politically integrated, but socially we aren't. And we divide ourselves not just by region and religion but by class and caste. And how utterly incomplete we become, when nearly 1,600 girls a day and 6 lakh a year are missing at birth in the country owing to pre-natal sex-selection?

What can I do, other than the usual? Avoid generalisations on the net and in real life , mingle more with "outsiders" and if my child or someone I know, decides to marry someone an "outsiders", be supportive. True Unity in Diversity comes when Indians stop mentioning the caste and religion in the matrimonial ads. (And bliss comes when they stop asking for fair spouses.)

While at it, it would be nice if the Hindi speaking Indians learn another Indian language (excluding English), even if its sign language. And even a few phrases would be wonderful. Why? Why not?

Suggestions to Government
Have a category called Just Indian. And give us the option to change to that category. Just Indians need not be given any privileges. But the Just Indians would not have to mention their caste,creed, community or religion in any official form. Let it be an option available to all Indians when they turn 18. And see how many of us become Just Indians, comfortable with just that identity.
And instead of a holiday on Gandhi Jayanthi, make it a day when Indians do community service like the Nelson Mandela International Day in South Africa, where people spend 67 minutes to improve their nation.

Or make working for other Indians, a culture. Every Month, for One Hour, let all Indians work for other Indians. Have an INDIA HOUR Every Month. When the media focuses on different proactive initiatives, there is going to be a shift in perception of Indians, from thinking, I pay taxes, its others duty to work for India to I am part of India, I have to do something for it and I can do something for it. We can even have a theme for each one month like

  1. Blood donation,
  2. Cleaning streets/beaches
  3. Going to a village or slum and helping people there or assessing their needs,
  4. Food donation
  5. Visiting orphanage or elderly homes
  6. Checking cleaning neighborhood sanitation needs
  7. Teaching, even if its for one hour, for someone who can't afford tution or basics
  8. Interacting with the police and getting to know their problems
  9. Using less of the scarce resources like water, electricity (Eg Earth Hour)
  10. Helping the women at home
  11. Having a discussion on laws that need to be changed
  12. Interacting with someone who doesn't share your background.
Just imagine, Politicians, Celebrities, Media, Sports personalities, and the "commoner" taking action together. Won't it fill us with pride to participate? To feel we are taking a step for India however small, Together. The theme need not be what I mentioned above, but still, instead of thinking of India on Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanthi, why not Every Month for One Hour at least?

Stories of Change
Instead of Stories of Change only on Social Integration, I would like to talk about a set of people whom I would term Social Warriors. Just like millions of Indians gave us Independence by sacrificing their lives and lifestyle, there are amongst us people who make a difference without getting intimidated by the system or the circumstances and in my opinion, truly make Mera Bharat Mahaan.
The sky might be dark, but there are innumerable stars in the sky who bring a spark in the lives of other Indians. They guide me and others who feel like they are lost in a desert on a new moon day.

I would like to mention few of them to illustrate my point. Some are private citizens while some are the result of initiatives by those in the government. I am just an ordinary Indian, and while there might be better resources out there, time doesn't permit me to do complete justice to it. Click what interests you and I am sure it will inspire you too. We may not be able to do what these Social Warriors do, but we can support them and take one more step towards making our Bharat Mahaan.
  1. A high school dropout, A Muruganantham's Jayashree Industries, supplies machines and raw material for making low cost sanitary napkins. These machines go only to poor women in the rural areas.Winner of the Fifth National Grassroots Technological Innovations and Traditional Knowledge Award,his machine was chosen by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be deployed in Africa.
  2. The Disability Law Unit, an organisation fighting for the rights of disabled people,
  3. The Shanti Bhavan which gives education to students from extremely poor background
  4. Drishti, devoted to helping the needy with special focus on the rehabilitation of both physically and mentally challenged children has helped 1'000 boys and girls start a new life.
  5. Megh Pyne Abhiyan (cloud water campaign) A group initiative launched by four NGOs'Samta' Kosi Seva Sadan' Gramyasheel and the Gogardiha Prakhand Swarajya Vikas Sangh brought together by Eklavya Prasad for rooftop rainwater harvesting to access safe drinking water during floods.
  6. Lalitha Ubhayaker's Ashvasan that helps the aged in different classes of society
  7. Akshara Mahila'by UNESCO as one of the top nine effective literacy models in the world.
  8. Integrated Women's Empowerment Programme in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district.(Now they lend money to the moneylender)
  9. Aminaben Noorabhai Bohra the leading force behind the mahila pani committee in Rupal
  10. Kali, a women's group fighting sexual harassment in Kanpur
  11. Solar water pumping system in four Jharkhand villages
  12. Sangham Radio, first all-women community radio in Asia run by two Dalit women
  13. Environment technologist-couple Dr Sandip and Sayli Joshi through their simple, low-cost technology for ecological restoration of highly polluted water bodies like nallahs, streams, tanks, rivulets, etc through their organisation Shrishti Eco-Research Institute (SERI)
  14. MILLEE, a non-profit organization focusing on spreading literacy to under-privileged children using mobile phone games.
  15. Nidhi Kaila's Esha which helps the visually challenged by not just providing audio tapes but helping others get braille done on their visiting cards.
These warriors don't get intimidated by the data
or sitback and blame the corrupt neta.
Like a lamp, for others they are brightly burning,
and, bring meaning to the term India Shining.

I am definitely not a Social Warrior, but I do want to do something. Some years back I had written a personal agenda for myself to improve India. I would like to share it here. Instead of asking the readers to follow them, I would prefer if the readers added to them. Because there is only one thing I can definitely change in this world and thats me.

The Ideas of an Insignificant Indian
  • Vote, in Every Election including the Councillor election. (People died to give you this right)
  • Donate Blood, Eyes and Organs.
  • Say no to Piracy. (It sponsors terrorists/you can live without it/ hmmm its not ethical)
  • Do something for your village. (Majority of India still lives in villages. So make a start with atleast your own)
  • Promote real news. (Real news is not just cribs about the system but involves stories of change as well)
  • Stop generalizations. (Its stupid and leads to unnecessary culture conflicts)
  • Praise austerity in marriages. (The biggest wasteful expenditure in an Indian's life for sake of ego)
  • Educate at least one. (Increases confidence, decreases corruption)
  • Be aware of the state of public toilets. (Tragically there are more mobiles than toilets in India and the existing ones aren't well maintained.)
  • Be good and allocate an amount annually for charities. (Money has its uses.)
  • Help others, even if its just a gesture. For starters, lets keep a list of the phone numbers of local authorities to help others. Just google it, its out on the net. And officers do email back. It can start with a problem of a housemaid you know or a road you walk through. Write, email, the media, officers concerned. It won't take much of your time or money, but you will make a Difference.
  • Celebrate with a Cause. Instead of just material gifts, I also include gifts to charities, when it comes to family birthdays or anniversaries.( has a feedback system, that many have appreciated.)
From the above, I haven't done anything big for my village and haven't educated anyone directly and haven't recently done anything for improving India's sanitation and yet to sign the organ donation card, though my family knows my wishes.

I don't need to be Someone
I don't need the help of Anyone
To improve the life of at least One Indian
Thats way better, than just blaming Everyone.

To Conclude
One can crib about the lack of escalators & elevators,
or even if its difficult and tough, use the steps.
Results may not instantaneous, & to our ego cater
But lets not give up making India greater, step by step.

This is an entry for Blogadda's Proud to be an Indian Contest . "There is a little bit of India in all of us. We are aware of so many good and a few bad things that happen in India. Most of the people, like us, rant about so many things that the government does not do or support – and we know by executing those things correctly, we would be able to achieve so much more. We would like to believe that constructive suggestions and thoughts lead to action, in this case, corrective action, to things that we would like to see, to feel, to experience. Let’s all collectively share about the things that bother you, what can YOU do individually and what SUPPORT you would require from others to make that happen. Remember, the actions has to benefit not only to you, but the society in general, thereby leading to a small awakening, if we can say so. And this awakening will then lead to many more and give us enough reasons to be proud about our motherland, INDIA. Let us awaken now and profess our love to our nation. Let us rise and show the power of community. Here is the chance."

 (I didn't win it.Please read the winning entries here)