Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vision 2020, really?

For the last few days i have been reading a lot. The exams are over and finally I got time to instil some oxygen in my inactive blog. I was a bit confused about what to write. Lots and lots of things were going through my mind, particularly about India and the global scenario. But before i reach there, there has been a thing that has been bugging me a lot. Recently i happened to watch this documentary Enron: the smartest guys in the room. It was a very intriguing experience and at the end of it I was left a bit numb. The magnitude of the accounting scandal and the way it was executed was shocking. Right from the point where SEC granted Enron the right to use “mark to market” practises in its accounting, to the trial where top executives said that they were unaware of what was going on in the company was too much to digest. The worst thing was that top executives earned hundreds of millions out of it and the hardworking employees lost more than a billion dollar worth of pension funds. It was the biggest bankruptcy ever declared in corporate America and was soon overtaken by the bankruptcy declared by Worldcom, which was recently toppled by Washington mutual’s bankruptcy. Although in the aftermath of the Enron scandal the Sarbanes-Oxley act came into existence. But scandals like Enron continue to occur. It left me in a sense of a bad feeling that soon I will be part of this world, where greed continue to exist and is ever increasing. It’s not only limited to the US, India has also seen its fair share of corporate scandals, Satyam being the name that crops up first in everyone’s mind. Although these have been far smaller and too less in frequency compared to the scale of corruption our government engages in. And this is where my apprehensions start. Last night i was reading this article in ET by Swaminathan Aiyar. The article’s name was “India to overtake China in 2020”. A very well written article I must say and he aptly describes why he believes that. He gave many reasons like China’s mean population age will be on the decline, whereas India will have a large young English speaking population. The export based economy of China will not sustain and will suffer the same fate as Japan suffered in the 90’s. He also gives some of the problems India will face like terrorism will increase; tensions with the red dragon will also increase. Demand for smaller states in India will also increase. Well along with all these he forgot a very pressing problem and maybe the most important one prevalent today, its corruption and the corporate world scandals. It was once widespread only in the government run institutions and India’s corporate elite seemed to be saner compared to their western counterparts. The Tatas, the Birlas had built an impeccable reputation. Although Reliance was always seen as someone taking advantage of the loopholes, but it was not up to the extent it occurred in US. But now with the Satyam scandal, LIC housing scandal and many more getting uncovered, it seems like those days are long gone. And then there were other scandals like the 2G scandal, the CWG scandal, the Karnataka Land scam and many more. It can so easily be said that year 2010 was the year of scandals, one after the other kept coming out. And there is a general feeling that many more skeletons might come out of the closet in the near future. Sensex which was supposed to reach new highs has been showing growth signs but every now and then a new scandal hits killing the investor confidence and the ruining the growth. India has got everything it needs to be the next superpower but along with it, it also has everything which can shatter this dream. The billion dollar question “will India become what it is touted to be?” will always remain until we reach that point in the future where we see it fall or rise up to the occasion and prove it to the world. All said and done the disease of corruption is killing India presently and the world thing is, it has infected the very innermost parts of her and is slowly paralysing its economy. For India to rise we need to kill this disease right of its roots, the corporate world needs to be more sensible and so should be the government and regulatory agencies. The need of the hour is strict laws which curb such occurrences and increase investor confidence as well as win the confidence of the common man. Once my economist teacher told us in the class that in America the least trusted institute used of to be the congress and now it’s the corporate world. I fear India might be moving in a same direction. But one must not forget that India’s growth is a story of private players not waiting for government but doing things on their own and getting success and for India to be a superpower that is the way forward. A very happy new year to all who are reading this and to them also who are not. I hope we all step in the New Year with new hopes, new dreams in our eyes and a new found willpower to fulfil them all.

India to overtake China in 2020: Swaminathan Aiyar-

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just my opinion

I had an operations management chapter to read. Well i started reading it and somewhere down the line i found it too boring to continue. And i know most of you guys reading this would agree. So i decided to scribble down few words. Well considering the fact i was just through one of the most fascinating experiences of my life, this post is certainly going to be tilted in its favour. Let me draw the curtains and reveal, though literally i do not mean to reveal in that sense. Ok enough, i just happened to watch the movie “The Social Network”. And this is addressed to people who have no idea what that movie is. It actually goes through the story of how Facebook was founded or as Mark Zukerberg repeatedly says was invented. Well it touched two topics that are very close to my heart, entrepreneurship and social networking. So i guess it was not a big deal when it left a profound effect on me and also brought with it several moments that gave me goose bumps and eventually left me in tears when the movie ended. Truly I have to agree it is one of the finest movies i have seen in the last few years and certainly the best this year along with Inception. And i do believe Inception and the social network are really that good, that it is really impossible to pick the better one. It is like when Joey in one of the Friends episode was asked to pick between food and sex and never comes up with a decision. Moving forward I think the movie really gives a big insight how much motivated a person is when he or she is going for one’s idea. Mark forgets everything and it’s not the money that drives him. It is something else and that something else really makes all the difference and I think one can only understand that something else only if one has gone through what Mark goes through and truly treating his venture as his baby. The Winklevoss brothers according to me lacked that something else. They just didn’t had it or they would have went on to start another new thing or they would have never waited 52 emails to take actions. Another thing that struck me was when Sean (The Napster guy) wakes up and the girl asks who are you? Sean replies "I am an entrepreneur". To which she replies"so you are unemployed". Well it tells me how normal people look at entrepreneurs. Well I believe entrepreneurs are just a separate breed of people altogether. They just breathe differently, they walk differently, and they will talk differently. But normal just happen to not notice the difference. And me, I just have lots and lots of respect for entrepreneurship and people who make is respectful. We owe everything today to some or other entrepreneur who decided this is not how things happen and decided to take a new course and change things altogether. I just happen to remember an Ayn rand quote from her book Atlas shrugged

“All though the decades unknown faces have walked on new roads armed with nothing but their ideas to became known men”

This truly defines entrepreneurship for me. And for me, i think Facebook was the greatest things that ever happened on this earth, until it gets surpassed by another revolutionary idea. And the story continues.....................

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let me be me for once.

Let me hold your hand for once,
Let me be in love for once.
Let me have that feeling for once,
Let me share that feeling for once.
Let me wipe my tears and
turn them into happiness for once.
Let me be stable once again and
come out of my lost world for once.
Let me tell me how much you mean to me,
Let me have that moment for once.
Let me create those memories for once,
Let me be in love with you for once.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I thought I can sacrifice,
But deep down I knew it won't suffice.

You rekindled it all,
But I fear its all going to fall.

Unable to hide them, conceal them,
I try to run.

When questions are asked,
I keep mum.

I fear running that last mile,
I know will take me there.
I lie to you, I put on faces,
I try to walk, but I sway.

I push myself away, away from you.
But its all gone, when I see you.

I don't want my destiny this way.
I don't want to feel it this way.

But its too good, too lovely, too beautiful to lose.
Its so much harder than it seems.
But somehow I got caught in between.

I can't show, I can't explain.
But I hope you understand.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Delhi as I saw

There is a very peculiar thing about criticism. It tends to strike our mind pretty fast and sometimes can even have a prolonged effect which can erode our sense of rational judgment. While writing this I kept one simple thing in my mind, I won’t subject my writing to any kind of bias. I would simply narrate things as I saw and would give my honest perspective of the events in the past few weeks. The run up to the Commonwealth Games was very disturbing to the common man. The common man, who honestly pays his taxes, listens to news channels and castes his vote to select a privileged few to run our country was deeply in pain as one after the other frauds unfolded and a serious question mark stayed on whether we would even be able to conduct the games. Adding to this was the media, who constantly focused on what went wrong and why and how. Not that I am blaming they were wrong. They easily justified their role by saying that media as the fourth estate has a big responsibility to protect the interest of the common man by exposing government and bureaucratic failures and scandals. Deadlines lingered on and on. Collapses occurred, budgets increased and many more things I came to know because of the 24*7 news. The government was also baffled and in a bid to save its already tarnished image, it went into emergency mode. Leaving all that aside, there was another picture which I saw with my friends. Thanks to my college giving me a few days off, I got an opportunity to explore what lied beyond Noida sector 37. So I with couple of my friends decided to explore what is really going on in Delhi. Normally one would have preferred to see the grand sports extravaganza, but I decided to take a different course. I landed up in Connaught place, one of the busiest places in Delhi and surely the digging up of which must have hurt the Delhiites most. But to good surprise everything was fixed. Another surprise awaited us at the Baba Kharak Singh Marg. The Incredible India festival was going on. Food stalls from all the country were there. There were handicrafts, paintings and many other pieces of art all together at one place, right in the heart of Delhi. The place was so full of energy with cheerful and laughing people around and there was really a sense of celebration in the air. And how can I forget to mention that free coke, yup chilled cold drink was also being distributed, although it would have certainly cropped up in the comments section. The roads were not so crowded for a change, the pollution was also not there and walking on the sideways was an exercise one could enjoy without having to cough or cover one’s mouth. From there on we headed to be a spectator to Jashn-e-Dilli or more known as Delhi celebrates. From riveting dance performances like mohiniyattam to spectacular music performances, it surely is one of the most beautiful memories I have captured over a period of time. We enjoyed a lot the Commonwealth games, although we saw none of the games. One of my friends even said, it doesn’t feel like Delhi, so much big was the transition. But how can one insulate oneself from media. Although the resounding success of the Indian athletes notching up second highest number of gold medals did bring the smile back on our faces, the games truly belonged to the common man, who volunteered to make it a grand success, who paid taxes to construct the village. It is the common man because of whom metro is possible. Undoubtedly the hero of the Commonwealth games has been the common man, who cheered for each and every athlete irrespectively of which state he or she came from. The medals also proved that sports, which was once restricted to the elite few is now in the hands of the strong Indian middle class from small towns. But India’s success has given fuel to a very disturbing discussion. Is the success of an Indian Athlete an individual’s success or is it really the success of the sports bodies and the government. Leaving that debate aside which in future might be the basis of another one of my writings, I was lucky enough to have enough free time to witness the opening and the closing ceremonies and just watching those two would have silenced any critic who ever doubted India’s ability to accomplish any feat. But all said and done, India finishing second, the games gone without any terrorist attack, the black spot of the corruption and irresponsible handling would never be gone. A friend of mine told me, we are experts at getting things done in the 11th hour, I think this mindset seriously need to change if anything long lasting and concrete has to be achieved. We are getting another chance by getting to host the cricket world cup. Although nothing as compared to the CWG, it is still a good opportunity to show that we have changed and not merely moved on from the CWG debacle.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Term to Remember

I decided just to sit down, let some words flow and write something, but an idea stuck me. Read through the lines and see for yourself the idea and the writing. I don’t know how many times I will feel nostalgic writing this piece but I will relive all those moments for sure and for countless times .When I came to IWSB I came with a feeling that somewhere I belong. But now after the first term has been done with I think I do belong here. It was the larger than life seminar delivered by Sreeni at CL Jalandhar which played a key role in me coming here. Fast forwarding to 20th of June when we all a bunch of anxious, apprehensive strangers came together for the first time, sat together under one roof for the first time. It was a good session, and it did eased the butterflies in the stomachs a lot. Then came the classes, but it was the outbound that all waited for anxiously and the wait attached to it was really killing me softly. In the End it came but also went like speed of sound. And it was time to quit playing games and do some serious work and with Veeresh waiting for us, it was all serious business. The pre- term went away with some sleepless nights and with one last breath we sat for our first exam of the b-school journey. We welcomed the first term with stars in our eyes and laptops in our hands to finish the outbound experience article. Nevertheless it all began on very positive note for me at least. The classes went on and so did the assignments. Most the times we were crawling back to our beds at night with finished assignments and reading. But then there were times where we had to wake up early and make a move. All these had an effect on us as many of our esteemed batch mates dozed off frequently in the classes and some became vegetables in the process. We were then swept away with a flurry of infections. Many of us went home, for some it was the last train home before the term end and for many it was a regular routine after that. The classes and the assignments still continued. Srijan came and all were engaged in displaying their artistic and business minds. The classes still went on. New leaders emerged and confidence in the class grew especially of the battalion as Raju sir handed over the baton to Joshi sir to teach financial accounting. Somewhere down the line there was furore about too many assignments, too much work being given. But it was all resolved in a way which can be at best described as laissez faire. On came many other celebrations like Freshers party, Janmashtami, teacher day. But who can forget the day when their birthday was celebrated in the hostel. These are just the memories that just never fade away. But during all these white things, there was black also. In came a smooth criminal, dropped a bomb with just writing a few lines. Many parts of my life of the past three months still look like a dream to me. I still cannot believe the faces I knew on Facebook three months ago are so close to me that I trusted them with my life. I knew Vicky, Shweta, Prateek, Padmaja all on facebook but today these are not just faces they are my pillars. My friends Uns, Shweta, Vipin, Shubhangi, Aakhansha, Niharika gave me so much that I was overwhelmed with emotions. You guys you are just the best. If I were to spend my whole life here, I would prefer to spend it with you guys and Leave out all the rest. All those moments of joy we had are still a mystery to me, but have made me change and I guess change for the better. I was blessed to have a person who could guide me in mudassir and I could go to him when all other ways were blocked. Towards the end I found a new kind of bonding with Rishab, maybe out of competition, but man you are good. IWSB gave me a gift in Raju sir. Sir thanks to you I could face many things I could not have thought of. All these things finally converged to the last week of the term, where sleepless nights went to their peak. It was time to smack the exams to get smacked. Thankfully they went without much of a big incident, and all I can say after all this is good riddance.

How did I lose my creativity?

Its 1.00 am, but its ok, the deadline is by 5.00 am. I know I can afford to wait for some ideas to come up. And the very next moment I see its 3.00 am, oh man the time is going too fast and I haven’t written a word of my assignment. I switch on my laptop and sit down trying to jot down something. I type in some words which at best can be used to describe my confused state of mind. I wait for some time, delete the whole line and try to get more ideas. Then I turn to professor Google seeking some inspiration, but as soon as a result pops up I was doing Ctrl+A and suddenly was taken aback by the very realization, it’s going to be termed plagiarism. Time seems running out on me. I leave my room for a short walk. Then I come back, time is already past 4.00 am. Now it’s the time where I am willing to write whatever comes to my mind and then after a short pause, I feel it’s all blank and the sound of an ECG losing the heartbeat of a person go through my mind. Suddenly I get an idea and I start typing it. Just to be on a safer side I turn my head to look at the deadly wall clock which said 4.50 am. The rest is better left unsaid.
What I wanted to convey here was my feeling how deadlines eventually end up killing a person’s creativity. There is a big trade off between time and creativity. You want to sit in a quiet place, observe nature and seek inspiration to create something. But if you have a deadline to meet invariably you will end up sitting in front of some liquid crystals and stare at brick, mortar or at best some plastics for inspiration. However I do agree most of the things in this world would not have been done if somebody did not put a date in front of them. What I felt was a big transition, coming to a b-school, going through the rigmarole of learning the ways of the corporate world. But eventually it’s the work that wins and makes you happy. But is this happiness worth losing my creativity?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Last Dream

I jump without knowing where will i land,
To look for land, I push away like sand.

As I go closer and closer, I look where will I be,
But then I find, this is not where I destined to be.

Now I feel like drowning, I am out of breath,
Is this the closest I can get to my death.

And then with a quick sound, it all just snaps.
It feels like a rebirth, but its just a trap.

I wash my face, I clear my thoughts.
But to me its all your separation has brought.

I walk down the street, which goes somewhere.
I hope to find you, but you are nowhere.

Till I come to a point, where I no more dream,
I no more live and I no more exist.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just wrote

I thought of writing something funny,
But it isn't a bit like pulling out a bunny.

I thought of hitting the bulls eye with a dart,
But then as you came,I smelled a fart.

I laughed and started to hop,
Then mom came and struck me with a mop.

And i looked at the clock which struck nine,
I thought it will be all fine.

And then she suddenly came through the door,
It was time to get on the dance floor.

All said and done with a quick leap,
I went to sleep.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I know not the limitations,
I am tied to.

I know not the goals,
I want to.

I know not the people,
I live with.

I know not the emotions,
I have gone through.

I know no time, no religion, no country,
no ethnicity, no race or any relation.

All I know is I was born, I live and I will die.
But I will never be extinct.

Still we ask why?

Last weekend i went to Delhi. I was on my way to Deer park to be a part of drum circle. Drum circle is one of the best things that has happened to me in the past two months as part of my life@IWSB. But this article is not about drum circle nor it is about my life at IWSB. Its about Delhi and the commonwealth games. You might say not again, another article to bash our government. But here i want to push it a bit further. I went to Cannaught Place and all i could witness was digged up road, mud and puzzled people. All the glam and beauty of CP was nowhere to be find, or perhaps it was overshadowed by the so called preparations for the Commonwealth Games. I find it really hard to believe that we a nation of more than one billion people can't prepare one city to host an international event. But then where does the problem lies? Oh i know politics, bureaucracy, corruption, greed etc etc. But does that mean we should leave hopes that one day our country will be ahead of the likes of US, UK or China. One day our cities will compete with the likes of New york, Tokyo or Beijing. Should we stop saying we will be a super power. I ask, was it necessary to beautify Delhi on the pretext of games, when all they managed to do is uglify Delhi. It would have been a lot better if we just would have just considered making the stadiums and necessary arrangements for the games. Was it so necessary to dig up CP and all those other places? What effect will this have on the morale of Indian athletes who are participating in the games. Now whatever we do, the world has seen what India is and what is going on. Its a sham what these people are doing in the name of development. They are just accumulating wealth for themselves. Its high time we stand up and say its enough. We as common people do so much of hard work which gets reflected when people say INDIA SHINNING and these people just undo all that. We as a nation had a big opportunity to tell the world who we are and what we are capable of. But now as more and more time passes, i feel it would have been a lot better if that opportunity could have been avoided so that the world doesn't come to know what we really are. I did not write this just to criticise. I think enough criticism has been done. I wrote this so that some people really feel that the need of the hour is not criticism but to rise up to the occasion and take the control of our nation. Its our job to make it a super power, nobody else will do it. No neta or affsar will do it unless we do it or make them do it.
Sometime ago we have a small chat in our class regarding why even small countries are beating my India when it comes to medals in international competitions. I guess the answer lies infront of us and STILL WE ASK WHY?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Moving through the woods, I came across it.
They told me not to see it, not to touch it.
But I just could’t resist, for I a mere mortal
Broken down by my own manifestation of it,
Drenched in the pain of losing it, I hide it.
But i still abide by it, hold it
Knowing but not believing, one day i will lose it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Satisfied are you?

Last weekend i was sitting with some of my friends at barista having a casual discussion. Suddenly the word cropped up “Satisfaction”. One of my friend was arguing that one should be satisfied or atleast look for satisfaction. But honestly i don't believe in being satisfied, or to put it i don't want to be satisfied. Think about it, all the things we enjoy, all the world we know is because somewhere somebody was not satisfied with what he had. Starting from the two of the most important inventions mankind did, fire and wheel. Why did they came? Somebody was not satisfied by living in dark or having to walk always. The biggest invention which i consider and what changed everything and made way for many more was electricity. Again micheal faraday wanted something more. Thomas alva edison wanted more than just light. He wanted to create a legacy by giving light to all. Henry ford changed his design so many times until he got to model T. Even today the most enjoyed luxuries and the small things we enjoy are there because someone was not satisfied. He did not adhere to the line “be satisfied with what you have”. We got independence simple because some people were not satisfied with the british rule. It is very easy to say one should be satisfied and i have hearing this thing for the last 21 years of my life. You should be content with what you have. Just once think about a world where everyone is satisfied. Sachin is not breaking records everyday, nokia is not releasing new cellphones here and there and you don't want to do anything because you are satisfied. Life would become so dull and boring that eventually the end of creating anything new will lead to just one thing. So think about it guys do you want to be satisfied?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I have always had a lot of friends. I have been through a lot of institutions. There have been a lot of good friends. But because i changed so many institutions, i could never take a person's name and say we grew up together, are from the same street or have been to same school. So when any one would ask who is your best friend? I would simply say there are a lot of people who are my friends and would never take a single name. Some might argue i was being politically correct, but that really was the case with me. But then it happened. I was sitting in the class not alone but in a bunch of friends and suddenly you came to my mind. A flood of memories came to my mind of all the time we spent together, our laughs, our hangouts. I was engulfed in a sea of emotions. I still can't figure out why that happened. I couldn't stop my emotions, could hide my tears as they came out. I was wondering why it was happening. I haven't missed my home, my parents, my city so much so. But at that moments i was completely cut off from reality. I forgot i was sitting in a class with people all around me. I guess you once told me cancerians are very emotional finally came out in the open. We have been together for only 4 years but from those 4 years, the time we spent together was most memorable. You were not only a friend for me, you were like a brother, many a times a mentor. I learned so much from you. We argued, we debated, we clashed at many points but we always inseparable. It is a big truth and i learned it today “Sometimes you learn the value of something when that thing is away from you”. At that moment i was thinking if there is one thing i could change would you sitting beside me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thrift and thriving 1

2007 was a very important year for everyone's finances. It told us why we need to have solid financial plannings and gave us ample reasons to fall back to a policy which many of the new generation considered outdated, that is being thrifty. That year and thereafter we saw unprecedented number of bankruptciesand many people losing their jobs and with that many other things which they owned on credit. In the midst of all one thing stood pretty clear Indian banks and Indians somehow and for some reasons still thrived. People were perplexed and were asking how and why.

But the answer was simple Indians have thriftiness deeply rooted into them. Right from the big corporate banks to my father everyone believes in the phrase

“A penny saved is a penny earned” or “A bird in hand is better than two in the bush”

While many in the western world were being affected with affluenza, we on the other hand still upholded virtues like frugality. No wonder RBI has one of the stringent guidelines when it comes to operations relating to credit for the banks. We have one of the highest Cash reserve ratios and Statutory liquidity ratios. We can see it this way, being thrifty was a big reason why indian business and banks did survive and continue to do better than just surviving despite behemoths like Bank of America and Morgan Stanley feeling the pinch. But the real understanding of the concept of thrift and thriving comes when we look at average Indian and an average American. While many Americans during the subprime mortgage crises came to streets, Indians mostly survived and some managed to do well as most of them had their own homes, had savings in the bank and still had other assets like gold to fall to.

If we look closely we can find that word “thrift” is cognate to the verb “thrive”. In the view of Theodore Roosevelt malloch chairman and CEO of The Rooservelt group "Thrift if if properly understood should be joined with constellation of other characteristics that make society more just and ultimately more prosperous". Infact being thrifty does not make a person a miser, but opposite to that by not being thrift one becomes a person who wastes. Mahatma Gandhi's one of the strongest beliefs were to refrain oneself from wasting. It is for that very reason that thrift inevitably leads to thriving.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

IPL Saga: Survival of the richest,is it?

Mr Charles Darvin must have been rolling in his grave if he had a glimpse of the title. Heads have been rolling and many skeletons have been coming out of the closets. The latest one tasting the curry seems to be honourable Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution(phew that one was long) Mr. Sharad Pawar.Although Mr Pawar with his partially disfigured face and completely dysfunctional mind for his ministerial duties (Though 100 percent functional when it comes to amassing Paisa) would have seen this coming long time. This is in no way just to lambaste Mr Pawar. The IPL is getting murkier with everyday passing and would have definitely put some bollywood masala movies to shame when it comes to twists and turns. Well to their defence i am mostly snoring just 30 minutes into the most of the movies.

What started as a well thought thought and a scripted event has turned out to be the most unpredicted one, to the predicament of Lalit modi. Heads had started rolling in the previous year with Kunal dasgupta who was part of the initial ensemble cast of the IPL saga leaving MSM. But like there was a lull before the storm and then all of a sudden it was IPL making more headlines than any other national news. Controversy after controversy appeared with an unperplexed Lalit modi at the centre of it all. Surprisingly IPL has made more headlines than India's recent string of losses at the hands of Zimbabwe. Looks like cricket on the fields stands no chance of competing with the one being played off it.

But there are still so many questions no one can answer, some obvious ones being what would be the fate of Lalit modi, or what about the future of IPL. But one thing for sure, all this has undermined the strong foundations cricket once held in my country and the popular belief rich always get away.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's all in the (Sur)name.

Knowing me many of my friends might be surprised that i wrote this, some might be shocked and many would surely frown upon this post. But i have been waiting for a long time to write this article. Finally the moment came when i was sitting in this office and this guy came to me (Better to keep the details anonymous). He asked me my name, i gave my first name and he asked me for my surname. As i told him my surname, a smile appeared on his face, and he was very happy to know i was a jatt. By this point i also came to know he was jatt too so a new conversation starting about our villages and from where my folks came from. Nothing striking came to my mind at that time, but it was when he left, it came to my mind, would i have been treated the same way if i was not a jatt, or say a dalit or a SC.

India as we all know is a very diverse country in every aspect. Religion is the most sensitive issue here and maybe followed by language conflicts. If we see the conflicts

there are

Hindus vs Muslims, Hindus vs Sikhs, Hindus vs Christians(Down south)

Sikhs vs dalit Sikhs, Hindus vs Dalit hindus, Dalits of one cast vs Dalits of other casts and many more my mind ran out of count.

In the midst of all these, Indian government is trying to resolve differences by introducing caste based bills, enhancing quotas based on castes and encouraging people to know each other's castes (census issue).

We live in such an environment today that caste should have been the least important of issues when we have Maoist terrorism, Pakistan sponsored terrorism, internal security problems(so called hindu terrorism), farmer suicides, famines, floods, illiteracy and many more problems up our sleeves. We have advanced to the 21st century and going towards space age but still the social stigma attached to being a dalit or a muslim still continues.

I have no idea when the caste system was invented, but surely the person or maharishi who did it must have been one hell of a genius. It has stood so much and surely has passed the test of time. Hats off to the person who devised it, its surely more rugged than Dr Stephen hawking's theories or for instance good old woodland shoes.

When i was born i had no idea what sandhu is or for instance what kumar, verma or sharma meant. But last 22 years have been really tough for me learning about the cast system and deciphering it all along my school and college days and still going on.

Once a very learned man said

I am neither a child, a young man, nor an ancient; nor am I of any caste”

I for one know that who helps me is my friend and who doesn't can be a friend in the future.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Drive........................................

As I was cruising down the NH-1, I looked out of my car's window. Although i was completely in trance due to the mesmerising way in which the car glided on tarmac. I saw something, something that on most days nobody would have even noticed, let alone give a second look. But then it was no ordinary day and believe me no ordinary sight was that.

Probably most of you have seen it and some would have seen it more than once and at different places and through virtual sight as well. But that day it was different, it was more vivid than anything else there on the road. I stopped but I did not look at her (yes it’s a woman and stop your thoughts right here, it’s not what you are thinking it is) instead I thought about her and thoughts just flowed. She was the one thing that made me come out of my trance and yet it was nothing more that what I had known or seen before. She was the one thing most of the foreigners knew about India and how to represent it when picturising it although how much in an illusion they might be.

She was brown, maybe a bit dark, clad in a sari. She had an earthen pot on her head and was moving slowly. She looked at me and even at more than 100 km/h I couldn’t miss that glance of simplicity. She was in a way the perfect way to describe Indian simplicity. I fell short of words describing her and that one moment of simplicity one hardly finds and if found hardly cares about. I felt for one of those rarest moments that life still has many simple things to relish without being regretful after the moment.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Is that a Fair Price?

Well the story goes like this. Some time ago, a company acquired some acres of land on the outskirts of our beloved Dilli and decided to build our nation’s future and it did. The land belonged to farmers, some with less than 5 acres of it, and that being their only source of income. The government acquired the land under the Land Act and compensated the farmers and the company provided job assurances that sounded lucrative to the young.

Three years later, I pick a copy of my newspaper and the front page shows the Q1 profits made by the company, the news continues on to the business page. But while I am on my way to the business page, I stumble across another news some pages down the line. It says three farmers commit suicide because of their inability to provide livelihood to their family; and I read on. I searched further and found they are just one of the many farmers whose land was acquired by the same company. It turned out as they had no land, they started looking for alternate means of earning bread. First the company rejected them saying they are not skilled or educated thus not required. Then the money they had was used to setup a local shop which drastically failed and whatever money was left was used over the next two years for food and other essentials. After they ran out of all money, they could see no future and decided to take the dreaded step.

It’s ironical to see the farmer, who first provided us with food and gave his land for our future, die in such a way. Their children are jobless because they also like their father only possessed agricultural skills and couldn’t pursue education because of lack of funds. The sad part is that it’s not the end; the story goes on and on in many parts of our Bharat. Our shinning India is facing perhaps the worst crisis since Independence and it’s being totally ignored. We have frog-jumped our way from being an agricultural economy to emerge as a strong services-based economy, skipping a lot of things that needed to be done and implemented.

They say the night is darkest before the dawn and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. But what good is that light or that dawn for that person who couldn’t survive to see it.

I have just one question for the rising and shining India: Is this a fair price we need to pay ?

Rustam Singh Sandhu

P.S- Thanks a ton to Vasu who led me into this direction and also helped me by editing this piece for me.