Monday, May 24, 2010

One Fine Morning

Adorning her night gown, as she sauntered through the cobbled walk that ran in the middle of a terraced garden, some drops of dew which until then had conveniently rested on the canopies of white bougainvillea fell on her hair.  One of the drops slid through her forehead and fell on her cheeks while brushing through her lashes and leaving its imprint. She raised her neck and the drop slithered over it, only to stop as the trail thinned.

She could feel the water on her skin. It tingled her and irritated her but she left it untouched despite an impulse to wipe it off her skin. She took few steps and sat on the steps after clearing them off the white flowers that had carpeted them. She then laid down on her back and closed her eyes. She wanted to lost into nothingness but found herself smelling the air.

A gentle breeze blew but its brevity left her wanting for more. She then opened her eyes,  gave the faintest of the smiles and got up to do her chores.

Friday, May 21, 2010

From Banaras To Jamshedpur

There is a visible pattern in the transfers my dad has had in past 10 years. We are just going eastwards. From Jodhpur to Kota to Meerut to Agra to Banaras and now to Jamshedpur. This time, he has been transferred in just 6 months. Damn, I hate it. But more than me, my family hates it. My sister was actually correct when she vented out her exasperation and said "You just have to change trains. We have to change homes."

Its pretty hard to leave one place and settle in another. For me actually its no more a problem. I have been a hosteller for last 5 years and would now go to Gurgaon for the job. But for my family, its always problematic. There is packing, moving and again settling in a new home. It takes us months to adjust to a new place. And it becomes more difficult when the new place has altogether different culture. For the first time we would be going to Jharkhand. Believe me, I had never expected that. The only consolation though is that Jamshedpur, as people say, is very planned and developed city. Apparently, there are no municipalities there. The city administration is taken care off by the Tata group.

My sister was to start her CA finals coaching from next week. Her studies are our only major concern. The coaching that she was to join has a branch in Jamshedpur also. I just hope that she has no problem in settling there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perils of multi-party democracy

There must be a God somewhere in this universe. Because I find no other way to explain how our beloved country is not only running but also growing at 7% per annum despite the corruption in legislature, in bureaucracy and in judiciary; bureaucratic red tape, the aristocratic mentality of our government machinery, the apathy of our people, the anachronous mentality of the society at large among other things. We may be a country of several hundred (or rather thousand) dialects, we may have people from all religions, we may have terrains as diverse as what mother earth can offer and we may go gaga about having a unity in diversity but the actual fact is that it is just a false hand that we have kept at our disposal whenever someone criticizes the state of this once a great nation. 

Over the past few weeks, we have been reading a lot about Naxalite violence in some of the states. There have been all kind of statements from different sections of the society. Some of them have called this an act of self preservation whereas some others have denounced them severely. Its true that tribals in Indian have been exploited for long and the fact that successive state and central governments have turned blind eye to it had make such an upsurge inevitable. But I am still sceptic about the ideologies leaders of these movements purport. Given the way the mass media plays into the hands of the governments  its difficult for an outsider to know which side is right and which is wrong. But in between all this mess, there is a certain truth that people from both sides are getting killed every day and that our government is doing nothing about it.

There are some perils of a multi-party democracy and a coalition government. Regional parties propagates policies that are essential for their survival but are sometimes contrary to the national interest. Also the fact that they are regional ensures that they can't be held accountable in the other parts of the country. Given that one of the alliances in the UPA has in past (and possibly even now) defended and supported such movements, it is difficult for the government to take a clear stand. It seems the impasse that has been created would continue for some time to come.

Another instance of a coalition government going wrong is that of the telecommunication minister A. Raja. He has been charged for allocating 2G spectrum to the telecom companies on a first come first serve basis at a throw away price. The fact that auction of 3G spectrum has earned government an amount of Rs. 70,000 crore, several times more than what was earned from selling of 2G spectrum has brought this topic to the fore. But the fact that Raja belongs to DMK, another one of UPA alliance would ensure that he would go unhurt despite the fact that the amount the government lost is almost equal to the health budget of the country.  Abdul Karim Telgi might have been jailed for a fraud of this much amount but Raja will not be. In fact, he might even flourish in all probability.

There are many other cases in which coalition government have crippled the country. But given the structure of our democracy, a coalition government looks inevitable. We will have to continue to bear with the likes of Lalu, Mulayam and Mayawati. What India desperately needs is a national party with a complete majority at the center and also in states. Otherwise the nation may never realize its full potential.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Time To Act

Wise thinks, wiser acts.

This is what a friend told me few months ago and now the time has really come to act. After passing through another phase of prolonged procrastination and realizing that I have again been wasting my time by literally doing nothing I feel an immediate need to work. I sometimes fear that this laziness which has always been my dominant characteristic is intruding all spheres of my life. I fear that if I don't work now, I would actually lose the desire to work at all. Thus, I would now curb my natural instincts and would do things that I have been hitherto avoiding out of indolence. The real push came today morning when I got a call from my thesis supervisor asking me about how much progress have I made in writing thesis. I have asked him for two more days to finish writing the problem statement and the algorithm. Once I am done with that, I would then proceed to literature survey to provide the context and importance of my work. And this time for a change, there won't be any procrastination. This is a promise that I have made to myself.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Cycle Trip

There are two images from the cycle trip which I took from my campus to the Ganga ghat at Bithoor which stand out among the rest. The first is of a narrow road which took off from the road on which we were cycling, for a place which I can only imagine. It was one of the few roads which shot off from this road. The two sides of that road were both lined by the trees. After a short distance that road turned right and got lost in the trees. It was the kind of road that gives you an impression of a village in a country side. Not the regular Indian villages with water on streets, open sewers and broken homes. But the ones with homes located at distance from each other on large sloppy grassy fields with some cattle grazing at some distances and dark woods up on the slopes. Did it remind you of the landscapes that you used to draw when you were a child ? The only thing that is missing from the scene is the river which passes passes through the village.

The second image is that of a home that I saw on my way. There was nothing particularly remarkable about this home. On a normal day I might have passed without even noticing it. But in the quietness of that cool early summer morning I did notice it. It was a modest house with an elevated facade, without a porch with windows opening directly on the road. From the door which was open I could see the interior of the house. There probably weren't any air conditioners or coolers but the home looked cozy enough. The shelves were open and there might have been a bed in the living room. There was something about the house that gave a very homely feeling. Its not possible for me to say what was it that evoked such feelings but I think we all have certain aesthetic notions and the things which are close to these notions appeal to us.

View of Ganga from a temple on the ghat

On a whole the 33 km trip was entirely worth the efforts that it took. Most part of our route passed through quiet and green neighborhood of Mandhana. Any change from the chaos of the city life is always welcome and refreshing. We will probably make another such trip. And this time I definitely intend to see where does that road go.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Disastrous Campaign

It was another day of mediocre and gutless cricket by the Indian team which has left its fans disappointed and has thrown it on the verge of exit from the T20 world cup which is being held at West Indies. The performance of the team is reminiscent of the last T20 world cup which was held in England ten months back. While the setting has changed the actors and their performances remain the same. It seems that the Indian team has learned nothing from its past mistakes. Players have again been caught off guard against the short pitched deliveries. The team which boasts of one of the most vibrant and explosive batting line up on paper has again failed to meet the standards of international cricket.

While the players are definitely to be blamed for this dismal lackluster performance of the team, the BCCI is equally to be blamed with biggest culprit being the IPL. Many people have argued that IPL has actually helped in the development of cricket in India. While the privy purses that it has to offer has certainly helped certain individuals, on the whole it has just given India more number of second-rate players who have been handy in the minor skirmishes that IPL has to offer but have failed to fight the battles of the international cricket. One can only feel anguish by looking at the performances of Murli Vijay and Ravindra Jadeja who were very successful in the different versions of the IPL but have looked thoroughly incompetent in the world cup. The one and a half month of continuous cricket has also left players like Sehwag injured. The same was the case last year when India was not able to play with its full bench strength.

While flat batsmen friendly pitches and short boundaries have helped produce some very high scoring matches and have helped sell the brand IPL, they have left the batsmen unprepared for the higher levels of cricket. Also these wicket provide almost no assistance to the bowlers and have pushed them on the back foot. There are no incentives for the bowlers to bend their backs and generate pace. They are rather forced to cut the pace and to rely on variations like slow back-of-the-hand deliveries. Over the years many fast bowlers who had initially emerged as a good prospect ended up cutting their pace.

Though India would be playing the 2011 World Cup matches at home grounds to its advantage, there is still a necessity to produce more bowler conducive pitches for the domestic level cricket to help players develop their game in the long run. Lets hope that BCCI makes the necessary changes in the future because it would be emotionally tormenting to see Indian team perform in a similar manner in the future tournaments.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A lonely moment

No matter how engaging the hostel life is with all the friends to chat with, internet to waste time on, books to read and occasional work to be done, there are times when I dearly miss my mother. Times like this when I am writing this post. I just so want to talk to her now but she must have gone to sleep by this time.

I sometimes miss those school days when she used to scold me for not studying. I miss her timely satires and sarcasms. I wish she could be around me to scold me when I am idling around. I wish she could be around pecking me when I am wasting myself. I wish she could be around me so that I could sleep with my head on her laps.