Monday, November 21, 2011

Reasons why I think I had an awesome childhood

1. In all the different schools that I studied, there was no holiday homework given which meant I could actually enjoy my summer holidays and not have to worry about writing one page of essay everyday or solving the recap exercises of my Maths book. Every summers mother, sister and I used to go and visit our Nana-Nani, accompanied by cousins of our age, playing hide and seek in our maternal house.

2. Going to my hometown every Diwali. Jains celebrate Diwali as an occasion when Mahavir attained Nirvana. On the morning of Diwali, everyone in the family (actually all the Jains in that town) used to go out to offer Coconut Laddus in the different temples (there are 6-7 of them). And on the next day - Rama Shama - my grandfather, father, sister and I used to visit different acquaintances. Those were the days when my sister and I used to judge a household by the sweets that they serve. There were brownie points for those serving chocolates. We use to sleep on the roof every night, sometimes counting stars, wishing for the tall neem tree in the next house to sway and waking up in the mornings to see other people sleeping on their roofs. Sometime, we my grandfather used to give a glass of wheat to me and my sister which we then used to feed to the pigeons wishing they would come in numbers and getting disappointed when they didn't.

3. There were play grounds near the houses that I lived in. This may not sound as a reason for which I should actually go to lengths as writing a post. But when I see our metros, I see apartments, offices, club houses, community centers, malls but never a play ground. A place where you can go along with your friends, play some sport, engage in some petty quarrels and come back home, all sweaty. I still remember the days when I use to go to the playground every evening and play football or cricket.

4. I never went to tuitions. Thus at home, I could read those lessons of  History or Geography which were, as told by our teachers, not in the course. Or could read those stories of Hindi and English textbooks that I really enjoyed reading. It also meant that I didn't have to read Physics, Chemistry or Maths everyday - one reason which helped preserved my interest for these subjects.

5. I didn't have mobile phones and internet as companions. Thus, I had all the time in the world to myself. It also meant that to complete an assignment of General Knowledge, I had to actually take out old newspapers and read through the news.

6. I got a chance to travel across India - an advantage that you enjoy when your father is working for a PSU. Those trips really make for some of the most vivid and vibrant memories that I have of my childhood. Whether it was walking through a wooden house in Shilong, or standing at Kanyakumari and watching the water in different colours,  or sitting on a beach in Trivandrum and watching a sunset or walking through the Cellular Jail in Port Blair or playing in pristine, untouched shallow waters of Andaman or standing in front of a giant Golden statue of Buddha at Rajgiri, I remember it all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Contradictions of India

Read this news in The Times of India - National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has recommended to raise the income limit of "creamy layer" for OBCs from 4.5L to 9L per annum.

In a country where poverty level has been set at an individual income of Rs 32 per day, a family income of 4.5 lakh was not considered sufficient for defining who should be considered "backward" enough to be eligible for the quota benefits.

What is it ? A new attack on our sensibilities !

Saturday, November 12, 2011

If disaster strikes..

I am watching Day After Tomorrow, one of those disaster movies in which earth has been struck by one of those disasters which has wiped much of the mankind. And suddenly a thought comes to my mind. If something like that really happens and few among the mankind needs to be evacuated to start a civilization again, then who will be the ones who would be saved.

Scientists would definitely make the cut. Then there would be some doctors and engineers. There might be some lawyers and philosophers to establish a rule of law. There could be some bankers, accountant and economists to establish a monetary system and enable the exchange of goods and services. There might also be some farmers - growing a vegetation is not all that an easy task. There could also be some athletes to produce genetically resistive species. There would certainly be some politicians and that to for two reasons. Firstly, people might think that they would need a leader for a new start. And secondly and more importantly, these would actually be the people calling the shots for this evacuation mission.

But would there be a consultant? Probably. To ensure that best practices are followed :P

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Rangoli

It started in 4th year of my college when I participated in a Rangoli competition for the first time. And since then I have been participating in a Rangoli competition once every year. I participated in my fifth year and have done so after coming in Gurgaon.

My company organizes a Diwali party every year few days before Diwali. As a part of celebration the entire staff is divided into different teams and each team is then given a space in the office which they have to decorate. Side by side few members of the team work on Rangoli. A winner is then declared in the end based on the points earned in Rangoli making and pod decoration. This year and also the last year, I participated in Rangoli competition. This is the rangoli that my 3 colleagues and I made this year.

The theme that my team chose this year was "Angry Birds". For those of you don't know what it is its a (pretty addictive) video game played on touch screen devices. The story of the game is that the pigs have stolen the eggs from the birds and the 'angry' birds then take their revenge by breaking the homes of the pig. By the way, does any of the birds actually look angry?

Anyways, we did win the first prize in rangoli this year and I hope this streak of participating in rangoli competition doesn't break. It really feels nice to just stand back and look at what you have made once you are done.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gurgaon - Really the millennium city ?

Before I was moving to Gurgaon, a relative of mine said Gurgaon is India's America. To be fair to that relative, one can be misled to think that if he/she is going from Delhi to Jaipur passing through National Highway 8 where all the fancy buildings lie. But after having lived here, the only comparison (which is admittedly exaggerated) that I would make is with the America before Columbus discovered it. And I am sure the native Americans with their arrows, spears and feather dress (pardon the stereotype) would still be more civilized than a typical coarse, uncouth native of Gurgaon. All it takes to uncover this is a left right turn into the city from one of the exits.

I am super miffed these days. Gurgaon -the city with countless malls, out of place residential buildings with inexplicable Mughal domes and names taken from American counties, depleting green belts, expensive autos driven by people with no respect for the traffic rules(which I am sorry to say is something that reflects the behaviour of most of the natives), a virtually non-existent public transport system.

But none of them is the cause for this burst of frustration. What is irking me these days is the state of roads, which I can safely say is the most pathetic among all the cities that I have lived in. With literally no drainage facility, many of the roads have been converted into puddles in this monsoon season. This in turn causes traffic jams on the crossroads. Given the fact that Gurgaon generates a large chunk of revenue for the Haryana government, what surprises me is the government's apathy to this most basic infrastructure support that they are supposed to provide.

The differences between a city that has grown over many decades and the city that has grown over the past 5-6 years become very clear here. New sectors are being planned on the land which until few years back was used for agriculture.  But the city authorities have failed to catch up with the private builders when it comes to development. I am not sure how much revenue they make from such land deals but somebody has to be made accountable for this. Either the authorities or the developers who have been making unlimited profits from these deals.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finally Parents Met

The parents finally met. She, her parents and her sister came to my house and met my parents and my sister. She was looking gorgeous as she always does when she wears a sari. 

And probably for the first time, I saw her shying. That was not something which she forced upon herself (given the facts that Indian brides are expected to act shy in front of their in-laws). It was spontaneous and something which looked out of her control. No matter how much I like her for her forthrightness, it felt so good to see her in that avatar – the one of an obedient and abiding daughter-in-law.

There are 2 occasions of that day which I remember very distinctly. Not long after she and her family had come and settled, I looked at her and I found her looking downwards, attentively listening to the ongoing conversations, and for a change not saying anything. The expressions on her face were just plain simple. She was just nodding her head after every statement. It was closest to how I would describe innocence if asked by someone.

Later in the evening, she, my sister and I went to the Bandstand in Bandra (our parents had suggested that place so that we can spend some time out). We 3 were sitting on a wall when she spotted some birds in the sky. She then said how she wished she could be like them. While saying this, she was swaying her legs. She looked like a kid. A kid draped in a sari or rather caged in a sari – puerile and pristine.

Anyways, things went okay. Parents have approved of us being together and have given us time to pursue things we want before we decide to settle down and marry. I could not have expected for anything more or better and can only thank our parents for gifting us this life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Observational power in girls

I might not be the most suitable person to write a post on girls and their observational powers but I still feel I have seen enough of it to actually turn my own observations into a post.

Girls in general have an immense power to notice and remember even the most minute details. This I think is the outcome of the heightened awareness of the surroundings which itself arises from the need to remain alert at all times. They notice everything from your unconscious habits to the kind of dress that you wear. They notice the way you walk, the way you talk and even the way you avoid talks.

They observe, ruminate and remember.Ask a girl that you know well, to tell 5 things unique to you. And I am sure that she would. She might even tell some things which you didn't even know about yourself and which you would start noticing from that point onwards. But ask the same thing to a boy and you would find him clueless (the later situation can particularly lend you some trouble if the asker is a girl).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rabbits are hungry

Just stop here for a moment. What does the heading suggest you? What things would come in your mind if I write nothing and just stop here? Does the heading have any philosophical interpretations? Does it look like that Nirvana song which doesn't seem to make any sense when you read the lyrics but nonetheless create an enigma because of the very fact that someone somewhere spent some valuable write creating them and thus should be something meaningful and significant? In any case, just give your imagination a rest. Its not something philosophical.

While I was away from my city for two weeks, my flatmates brought home 2 rabbits. Now one of the things that I don't like at my home is animals littering around (yes, even the rabbits). I admire animals but only from a distance. And I dislike it when the get touchy.

From the day that I came back till today, these rabbits just run around from the mere sight of me which is very much to my liking. But today, as the fate would have it, all other flatmates were out of the house leaving me alone with them. At night came a call from one of them asking me to feed them carrots that they have purchased for the rabbits.

So I went into the kitchen, took some carrots and approached the baskets in which they are kept. When I opened the basket, one of them just jumped out and ran while the other one stayed. I gave few pieces of the carrot to the one in the basket and chased the other one to give him some pieces. But he kept running. To cut this long (and apparently boring) description short, at the end of the entire ordeal, I fed both of them, return back to my room and closed the door.

After few minutes, I came out again to find the rabbits waiting for me. They came near me to smell me, to tickle me with my whiskers and their hair.

So the point behind writing all this - even the animals appreciate the gestures. Not that it is something new but still reading it in the books and witnessing it in person is a different thing altogether. And while it still hasn't made me any more animal friendly, I for a starter have started appreciating the bond that can exist between the humans and the animals.

This blog is active again

This end of the month, I will complete 10 months in my job - my first job. A general laziness has set in once I entered this phase. It is so much more convenient to come home and not do anything but watch TV and occasionally read a book. Off late, even the weekends have been passing just like that. And in between all this, I just abandoned my beloved blog.

But not anymore. This blog is going to be active again. I am not going to be lazy now(at least not in this regard). While in college there were so many things to write about. These days, even with supposedly more happening and vibrant life, I write nothing. All those hours in the office in front of laptop can cumulatively make your mind numb.

But not anymore. No matter what my engagements are, I will again indulge in the things that I like, the things that make me happy, the things that give me a sense of completion.

So do watch this space for some regular posts from now on.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Understanding love

The whole world seems to be running behind love. But do we understand what actually is it ? Many times, we confuse it with infatuation or in some other cases, very strong attraction.

'I Love You'. These are some of the most overused words. And more often than not, they seem vague, unsubstantiated by the feelings. And even when there are feelings, they lack depth or concrete meaning. They seem to be borne of that one instant when emotions take control of the thinking brain.

So what is love? When can you say that you are in love? A simple test that I can think of is when you value the happiness of the other person more than yours, then you can say that you are in love. Thus, love is the perfect antonym of selfishness. Love is unselfishness.

Every relationship plays a different role in completing you as a person. The father provides you the comfort and security. The mother cares for you, teaches you the meaning of love. The sibling shares with you that joyful experience of growing up.

And then there is a lover, with whom you share things that you can't share with anyone else. She is the person who is privy to your most intimate secrets. She is the person whom you want to talk to when you don't want to talk to anyone else. She is the one who makes you feel empowered by giving you control over her life. She is the one to whom you want to surrender. She is the one to whom you make love, a moment as intimate or private as there can be. She is the one who completes you as a man.

Do I have a lover? No. But I do have love. I love my mother, my father and my sister beyond measures. And I can't think of any other person right now whom I can love as much as I love them. But I do hope to find the lover in my life. I need that lover in my life. And I would preserve those 3 words till the day I realize I have passed that test.