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.