Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Call - The Blog Series 1


                                                  The Call-Chapter 1

It was a dream outside with the glistening white snow casting a spell with all its beauty. I was sleepless as if suffering from insomnia, but that was not the case. I was restless, but then I was totally pre-occupied with that task I was supposed to complete as a part of my job. What was haunting me? I was at a loss of words to describe what exactly my state of mind was at that moment. Far away from home in a strange place, I did not feel like exploring the city….the city of Dreams….which did have all the avenues for a great time. All I wanted was to be with someone at that time and place, someone I could connect to, someone I could trust, someone I could lean on, someone I could find peace with, someone I could warm up to, someone I could cuddle up to, someone I could share a laugh with; and most importantly, someone I could love in abandon….and :) be loved too.

While I was tossing and turning in my bed with these thoughts, came that one call…the one that changed my life, after which my life was never going to be the same. I thought I recognized the voice. It seemed to be that sweet guy from the hotel with the list of restaurants that prepared the cuisine I preferred. So I guessed his name….”Brando”, but the peppy voice on the other side uttered a phrase in Hindi…”Pehchaan Kaun”, meaning…”Identify who this is”. I could not guess immediately from the voice. While I was still struggling to identify who it was….there came the voice with a hint of naughtiness……Soham!!

I knew him from my past days…he was an acquaintance, made from a mutual friend. We did never have much time together earlier, except for a few talks based on courtesy. I always had an impression that he was haughty and high-headed. But the call seemed to be proving otherwise. He spoke sweetly with a hint of naughtiness, was courteous and witty…all the characteristics that I like in a person. Well, our talk continued and we reminisced some of our earlier acquaintances and chance meetings.

Our conversation continued for quite a while, and then I slipped into blissful sleep that night, without any hint of loneliness in me. Later was I to know that my sleepless nights would continue :) of course, sleeplessness due to immense sense of love and happiness, laced with the thought of feeling wanted and being loved.

These calls continued, daily, late into the nights, fresh in the morning, with no sense of any boredom or fear of repercussions. I was always excited and waiting for the night to end so that I could be in contact with my soul mate again.

There was never a single day that I slept for more than a couple of hours, but I never felt tired, weak or frustrated due to lack of sleep. All I wanted was for dawn to appear to reach into my beloved and his company—his talks, his voice, his face and his wit and love.
This was love with all the yearning, the longing, the freshness, the trust and the innocence of the kind first love is made of.

Did I find him handsome? Of course, he seemed the only one around!! Did I think he was my Hero? Can you bet!!!Did I laugh more when he spoke to me? The only thing that I felt was akin to that Carpenter’s song….”I AM ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD….”

And then…………!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Everyday in the morning, I wakeup not to the tunes of Suprabhatham, but to the news of some Minister’s hearing for bail plea in a Court; accusations of some Ministers involved in a scam; our money holed-up in the swiss bank; or in the more recent times—the hue and cry over Corruption, its rampant presence in our Country, Anna Hazare and his team, the Lopkpal , Team Anna Hazare’s trail and errors in trying to wipe out corruption from the face of India.

Well, all is well---but before we even start thinking of the various ways of eradicating this inevitable evil from our Country, let us try to understand what corruption is. U might be wondering why I am saying this—but I see that people equate corruption to just giving and receiving money in most cases—in cash or kind—but there is more to it than that. Only wen we diagnose a disease accurately, can we prescribe a medicine for cure

Here are a few cases and questions to be asked (taken from an excerpt of a letter by an IITan to Rahul Gandhi):

----Ask Sonia Gandhi , who is impeding the investigation against Hasan Ali—Ask her, who got 60% kickbacks in the 2G scam?
---Ask Praful Patel what he did to the India Airlines. You people cannot run an Airlines properly—How can we expect you to run the nation?
---Ask Pranab Mukharjee---why is he not divulging the names of the swiss bank account holders?
---Ask Sonia Gandhi--
YOUR SO CALLED SACRIFICE OF GIVING UP PRIME MINISTERSHIP in 2004. According to a Provision in the Citizenship Act, A Foreign National who becomes a Citizen of India, is bounded by the same restrictions, which an Indian would face, If he/she were to become a Citizen of Italy. (Condition based on principle of reciprocity) Now Since you can't become a PM in Italy, Unless you are born there. Likewise an Italian Citizen can't become Indian PM, unless He/She is born here!
Dr. SUBRAMANIYAM SWAMI (The Man who Exposed the 2G Scam) sent a letter to the PRESIDENT OF INDIA bringing the same to his Notice. PRESIDENT OF INDIA sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi to this effect, 3:30 PM, May 17th, 2004.
Swearing Ceremony was scheduled for 5 PM the same Day. Manmohan Singh was brought in the Picture at the last moment to Save Face!! Rest of the SACRIFICE DRAMA which she choreographed was an EYE WASH!!! In fact Sonia Gandhi had sent, 340 letters, each signed by different MP to the PRESIDENT KALAM, supporting her candidacy for PM. One of those letters read, "I Sonia Gandhi, elected Member from Rai Bareli, hereby propose Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister." So SHE was Pretty INTERESTED! Until She came to know the Facts! She didn't make any Sacrifice, It so happens that SONIA GANDHI couldn't have become the PM of INDIA that time.
---Ask Rahul Gandhi---You Fake your Educational Degree, Your Mother Fakes her Educational Degree. And then you go out saying, " We want Educated Youth into Politics!!
----Ask Digvijay Singh---Why is he maligning Kiran Bedi?

These few questions clearly indicate that corruption is not just about accepting or paying kickbacks but lying –lying at all levels and then trials to cover up those lies---lies of oneself, lies of kin, lies of friends, lies of those in power, lies of those so-called businessmen, lies of a common man, lies needed or unneeded. This is the root cause of all corruption and this is what needs to be treated.

Now, if we identify lies as the root cause of corruption—why do we tolerate the same? We tolerate it because we are ignorant; we tolerate it to cover up our own flaws and lies---so it goes on to become a vicious circle because everyone wants to save oneself. None has the integrity of character to question others—HENCE JOIN THE BAND!!!

It is wrong to say that Power corrupts---because Power does not corrupt MEN; fools however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. It is equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts only a few, while weakness corrupts many. And this current trend of everyone supporting Anna Hazare’ s movement-- I call it a trend because the resentment of the public (weak public) does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence.

Also, in our society, we instruct our children to respect those who think alike. This is one of the surest way of corrupting them. We should teach them to hold in higher esteem those who think rightly, if differently.

There was a conversation between two children that I overheard recently—
( ONE is accusing the OTHER of stealing the book)
The first one says : You have stolen my book
The other kid says: Prove it !!!!
Today one needs to drown under water to prove he does not know swimming.....difficult times ahead.

And this is what we are teaching our children—an accomplishment if u can get away with wrong deeds rather than confessing to the same.

So firstly, the lesson starts at home—we should teach our children the values of truth, honesty and integrity. When one does not have the value of integrity in oneself, how will he/she question others?

Secondly, it is a basic requirement to educate ourselves with the basic knowledge regarding the rules of society and various bodies of administration, at least those areas that affect our daily lives—for example, how many of us know that only a traffic inspector of the level of SI or above can give us a challan? And how many knew that Sonia Gandhi could not have become PM even if she wanted to?

Thirdly, everyone should be united in their struggle against corruption. Even if there are a few black sheep, corruption creeps in. Many people think that it is not their job. They suddenly pretend to wake up only when it comes knocking at their door.
If everyone resolved not to pay taxes to the Government till only the untainted ministers represent them; if everyone resolved not to vote till they knew all the details about the candidates standing for elections; if everyone questioned why there is no age limit for retirement to run a nation while a fully capable person is forced to retire at 60 in the Corporate world----IF ONLY EVERYONE STOPPED BEING SILENT…..that is the answer for eradication of corruption.

We have stopped questioning—we do not question why we have a boss who barely knows how to correspond in proper English; we do not question why we need to pay lakhs to get a kindergarten child admitted to school; we do not question how the reality price for a barely there few square yards is a crore; we do not question the request of an additional 10,000 rupees by the official if it is for the approval of our house plan layout; we do not even question why we need to pay the autowala”10 rupees more than the meter price”---wen we cannot question an autowala, how can we question corruption in general----We do not question when it is our need that gets fulfilled


Let us resolve ourselves to as Mahatma Gandhi said—“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Desi, Fashion, or Scare ?

For all the fashion-conscious out there -you must recently have been confronted by a scare----a scare for sure if you are not one of those who is afflicted by the 'in thing' or the 'go with the crowd, it cries fashion' syndrome.

I am refering to the master of ceremonies (MC) in the "Kurkure Desi Beats Rock On" show on MTV. It is about selecting the best desi rock band of India to represent it in the international rock contest. The kind of attire (thats the word I can use, as atleast I do not understand what to call what she wears on the show ) worn by the MC is neither desi, fashionable, nor at the least 'good to look at'. So what is this whole desipan and fashion about? Is the dress she is wearing on the show any indication of the desi quotient? I would be horrified if one had to represent India wearing that kind of attire. It is neither western nor desi nor anything else I would care to comment upon. Rather , it is an ugly fusion of different customs and styles.

I understand fashion to be the a synonym for glamour, beauty and goodness. Clothing changes based on the season, timing, economic or social change. It may be a custom or style prevalent for a short period of time, but still a part of the longer-enduring culture. But it is the styles such as mentioned above that lead to terms such as 'fads' and 'trends'.

It would be more sensible to design clothes, create fashion, or whatever term is used--to mean actually what they are created for. If a 'desi' fashion is created, let it be desi indeed, not an obnoxious combination of an Indian blouse (again some fusioned version) and a jeans, a maati on the forehead, and then call it a desi fashion. Guess it be right for the organizers of the show to pep-up their fashion-quotient. Lets rock on for the right reasons, not for anything and everything that is new and invites stares and scares!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moral Delusion---Practicality, Flexibility Vs. Commitment, Honesty

Hey, doesnt it seem like just yesterday that someone had lectured you on being practical, as it is the only sensible and the in-thing to do? Sensible, as it will work out for you only that way, and in-thing , as nobody finds any sense in being any other way, and therefore, just be a part of the herd, why should you be different and face hardships (So what if Robert Frost said otherwise about the difference in taking the road less traveled)?

Now, what are we mere mortals supposed to do? Be practical and hence sensible; or be true to oneself , idealistic and therefore be branded a moron? Well well, when did we ever find answering such questions easy? Till very recently, I had been very optimistic about listening to one's heart in a variety of matters, honesty, not cheating people , such kind of filmy stuff (O shoot, I am becoming cynical). Even though I believe in those qualities even now, its not easy being one of the few who believe so, and hence get hurt in the process, in a world, where the majority has no scruples in exploiting others in the garb of practicality and being flexible. Where is the commitment to relationships? Where is the commitment to values? Where is the commitment to their own selves? And most importantly, where is the effort towards any of the above? How much ever people might argue otherwise, a change in position, the flexibility, the change in hearts, the change in relationships, the so-called practicality and strategising is accompanied by a veritable deluge of high moral motives to justify it. All this happens not because a person has become more enlightened about the issue at hand and has decided to act accordingly (read "practically"). This change is in fact the evidence only of that gift of clairvoyance which warns the person and enables him/her to hop into another warm berth.

So, honestly, there cannot be any discussion/debate on Practicality Vs. Honesty as long as this term "practicality" is used by opportunists to escape accountability for their actions. Guess, life comes a full circle and everyone indeed gets an actual taste of their own practicality.

Practicality can only be lauded when optimal decisions are taken by the concerned parties without hurting anyone. In the absence of such a pre-requisite, what results is a moral delusion of the highest order.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Madras Cut

Today being a sunday, I was lazing on my couch and trying to get sense out of some of the programmes in certain tv channels. It was then I noticed that a tv channel was broadcasting some telugu movie dubbed into hindi under the name of " Madras Cut". Now this is what pissed me off real bad. This all started when I went to Delhi in 2003 for some academic purpose. To many north Indians, not the people who had never set their sight on a school building, but those who where preparing for the civil services examination and the other literate lot, everything in India to the south of Vindhyas is Madras and all the inhabitants there are " Madrasis". Well, well, I can modestly say that I am not a linguistic fanatic, neither am I one who believes in the narrow sense of regionalistic identitism, nevertheless I would prefer if people identify each other factually for what they are. I am not one of those who use identity for the purposes of violence, fanaticism and means of separation. But, in the global perspective, it is just similar to an Indian getting irritated if he/she is repeatedly identified to as a Bangladeshi, Chinese, Nepalese or a citizen of any other country, he/she does not belong to.

So, I hope that people get their geographies and their polities right, and that too, soon pleaseeeee.........!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Strategic Management of Love-Lesson 2: The Art of Negotiation

If one has to negotiate in a relationship, follow the golden rules :)

1) Always play the reluctant lover
2) Dont open up with all ur thoughts, i.e., dont place all ur cards on the table, keep the other person guessing
3) Be emotionally detatched, rather, dont get emotionally invloved
4) Do not feel the need for the other person---a want can be compromised, not a want/desire
5) Dont act desperate
6) Dont act too interested

Negotiation is an art, it has to be developed. And one can become good at it only with practice. So, all u people out there, practice this with as many :) to master this art.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not So Gay ?

The Delhi High Court ruling legalising or decriminalising homosexual acts amongst consenting adults has stirred a hornest's nest. The section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises consensual sexual acts between members of the same sex has been declared violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution. However, the reactions that have erupted quite vociferously against the Delhi HC ruling are regressive in nature.

An astrologer, Suresh Kaushal who was amonst the first to raise the objection, has said that even animals do not act in such unnatural ways. The SC would be hearing the merit in his stand, along with the voice of Naz, a gay rights activist group. There are also certain religious heads belonging to the Sikh, Muslim and the Christian communities who have been very explicit and overtly expressive in their objection on the same. There have also been a few health experts who have said that this legalisation would perpetuate unsafe sex and consequently the HIV virus.

Now, there are a few not so comfortable questions these objectionists need to answer:

1) Isn't the criminalisation of homosexual activity amongst consenting adults not against the articles 21 , 14 and 15 of our Constitution? Article 21 talks about the Right to life and liberty, which infers the right of an individual to choose one's partner. Article 14 talks about the Right to Equality and the Equal protection of laws, and the Article 15 talks about non-discrimination on the basis of caste, religion ,race, creed, sex, and here sex should not be merely referred to the gender but also to mean sexual orientation. This rests on the same principle of protecting the minorities like women, muslims, sikhs etc.

2) When certain communities/religions have their own personal laws to determine their way of life as against the law of the land, now suddenly why start harping that it is against any sacred book/religion and that India should not legalise such an act? Since when did the law of the Land start affecting them?

3) There are still many unexplained reasons (environmental and genetic) for the behaviour and the sexual oreintations of the gays/homosexuals. Who is anybody to talk about the naturality or the unnaturality of this act till the reasons are well researched and the results known?

4) How can we explain the double standards of people who invite the enuchs to bless a new born baby, while scorning at homosexuals?

5) Instead of fearing an increase in unsafe sex, is it unthinkable that the legalisation of consensual adult homosexual act would result in more of such people asserting their sexual right and coming out into the open? Is it not more feasible to educate them on safe sex and the HIV virus in such a scenario?

Instead of introspecting the above, many are just harping on the decline in moral values that the Delhi HC ruling would encourage. It would do more good to be informed about homosexuals than criticising them. (In fact I have been thinking of the widening in the scope of rape to include homosexuals:))

The term 'Gay' was originally meant to mean ' carefree, happy and uninhibited', also used loosely to comment on the morality of an individual. And during the 20th century, it attained the meaning now widely used for similar kind of reasons. There are arguments as to the environmental and genetic basis or such sexual orientations. There has been no authentic conclusion so far. However, there have been some studies on the fruit flies, where a DNA transplant made the male fruit flies move away from the females and get attracted to the male fruit flies. Also, there have been studies on the physiological and cognitive similarities between straight men and gay women, and similarly between gay men and straight women.

So, the crucification of personal choice of sexual orientation and partners need not be so malicious as has been expressed from various quarters. It is after all a matter of personal choice, and morever, what about heterosexuals who indulge in homosexual acts, or are bisexual? In which ambit would such individuals fall?

Let us all believe in the policy of 'live and let live' There is nothing wrong in disliking or not prescribing to a thought or an action which may be morally debatable in one's eyes. The strength of an individual lies more in the continous strive in learning to cohabitate peacefully with people holding such thoughts or values. Now, if that is not being GAY---GOOD AS YOU, what is?????