Monthly Archives: August 2008

I am the Ignorant Indian

Exactly 2 weeks ago, we were all rejoicing in an overdose of India at 61 with the tricolors being flaunted everywhere, channels galore with a sudden surge of patriotism and newspapers featuring the history of our struggle for Independence.
When Bindra won a gold medal, like every other Indian I sensed the pride and excitement when I saw the footage of our national flag being hoisted and the national anthem being played during the presentation ceremony. Within hours after the historic achievement, every section of the society wanted to stake their claim in Bindra ‘s success. Like every other person, I chose to forget the men lay down their lives for our country. (courtesy : the common man)
When the Indian Olympic contingent marched out in splendor with a billion people’s hopes pinned on them, we were complaining on how our country is going to put up a dismal performance yet again. We need not think about the lack of training facilities and infrastructure for our sportsmen when we have crores of rupees to spend on IPL and redressing the underdressed cheerleaders.
Few weeks back we saw the familiar headlines of “Terror strikes again” and the usual drama that ensued. For every mishap, we conveniently shift the blame on- the Government. Though it may sound silly, sometimes I wonder if a government did not exist who would, we blame for the state of affairs? We shared our concerns and grief with our fellow citizens who were affected by the blasts. Our leaders openly proclaimed that we shall remain unfazed by these acts of terror. At the same time, I am fully aware that the very same ‘netas’ are behind the gruesome acts.
Jammu and Kashmir is something we have been taught to live with. It’s a state of terrorists where violence takes place every other day. It has become a part of our lives that, today we don’t even care to spare a thought for the victims of violence.
A year ago, we were basking in the glory of achieving a 9% GDP growth rate. It is a sad truth but we have to accept that only 20% of this GDP is accessible to 80% population and 20% of the population has access to 80% of the GDP. I am blinded by the increasing number of Indian billionaires, that the increasing number of farmer suicides makes no difference to me.
A government spearheaded by technocrats is trying to save its face, now that the GDP has fallen and yet the FM is still trying to justify ” its a near to 8% growth. “
We have loads of policies and plans to establish premier educational institutions with world-class facilities and state of the art system. Any idea from where are going to get world-class faculty to meet the standards? A profession which was most respected is now equally detested. We turn a blind eye on the number of primary schools, which are now mere buildings and marked by an absolute absence of teachers and students. When free primary education is still a namesake activity carried out by the government, we know the new facilities will be accessible only to the rich and the creamy layer fuelling further inequality.
When a chameleon oops politician voiced out against bandhs, we had a political party redefining our fundamental rights. Hypocrites big time. The reasons for the man changing his colors is pretty obvious and now again he’s taken his words back. Just when I thought, finally someone said something right even though it was for his momentary survival. Will our leaders ever learn to stick to their words?
Orissa is another burning issue at the moment. Today was a holiday for all Xian institutions as a protest against the violence. However, I don’t get the point. Being in a Xian institution myself, I’m pretty sure 75% of them didn’t know why this Friday was declared a holiday. 99% of the people were happy over the prospect of an extended weekend. Did it really make a difference? How exactly does this holiday as a mark of protest contribute to a solution for the problem?

We have a third rate politician newly listed in the 100 most powerful women in the world. With her tactics and use of communal and caste politics, harboring the dreams of becoming the next prime-minister of our country, is it something for us Indians to be proud of ?
The sky-scrapers, hi-fi malls, corporate-crowd,global brands entering the market, increasing sales of electronics and consumer goods, the lopsided increase in purchasing power are the illustrations of growth my country has achieved. But, when I see beggars, slums and other inconvenient truths right in front of my eyes, it unsettles me. Yet, I choose to ignore them and give a look of sympathy at the max.
Yes, I am the Ignorant Indian who was seen flaunting the tri-color and glorifying the spirit of Independence two weeks back.
When will my country be freed of wretched people for whom patriotism is symbolism? When will my country be freed of breeders of violence? When will my country be freed of people who are not ready to venture out of their comfort zones but keep complaining about the pathetic state of affairs? Maybe, even I am one among them.

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"QUOT"AGGED

Silverine who s recovering from a partial flash induced trauma tagged me with this one.

The rules are as follows:

Jot down 5 of your favorite quotes from the various books (like others I’m extending it to movies too) you’ve read. If you don’t have the books with you now, googling (Wikiquotes and the like) can be used to find them. Tag five people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

I’m not much of a quotes person and most of the philosophical , complicated language( rather misplacing the subjects and objects to pry upon your grey cells) or what you call brainy quotes go way above my head when I’m not in the mood to think. Sorry pals, time is a big constraint these days. I’m just posting few which are my personal favs and more or less relate to me.

1) “Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

2) I’m always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though. – J.D Salinger ‘Catcher in the Rye’

3) Hey dad, you wanna hear something funny? There was a man who was drowning, and a boat came, and the man on the boat said “Do you need help?” and the man said “God will save me”. Then another boat came and he tried to help him, but he said “God will save me”, then he drowned and went to Heaven. Then the man told God, “God, why didn’t you save me?” and God said “I sent you two boats, you dummy” – The Pursuit of Happyness

4) “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.” – Ayn Rand ( I can see this lady is a common factor in everyone’s list of quotes… she is the best)

5) I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep everyone’s expectations. – Calvin (this perfectly describes my mood at the moment)

I’m leaving this tag open!


The Q factor

Aching feet, test of patience to the limits, Craning your neck to see what’s in front of you, assessing the number of snail-steps you have taken forward, suspicion arising about people sneaking in front of you, wondering if your watch is working alright… all these are familiar tortures you got to bear with in a long queue. At some point of time in our lives we have all been victims of the Q factor.
I had a similar experience today. Had to go through all the trouble to get a bus-pass made.
I don’t understand… When people are given the chance to be important why do they tend to overdo it? Trivial tasks are coupled and completed with so many hassles. The man at the counter was one among the many “imporant” namoonas I had to encounter. Instead of merely copying my name as given in the application, he tried to be over-intelligent and murdered as well as conducted a post-mortem of my name. 5-6 corrections and inwardly cursing the moment he took the decision to be extra-efficient in his job, he gingerly handed over the receipt to me finally.

3 long hours of waiting of in a queue, in a basement void of air and sunlight, around 100 human beings desparate for fresh air and the most important one the PASS!!! It is extremely hilarious to see how from decent looking human beings, the Q factor can transform you into a total moron.

It’s true when you see womenfolk, it is non-stop entertainment for people around. Now I’m not a hardcore feminist or something, but what else would you say when a Jackass throws a paper-ball on you and then gives a silly excuse that he had aimed the dust-bin. I couldn’t find any dustbin within 100 metres radius of where I was standing. If only I could empty the contents of a dustbin over his dumbhead.

I was standing behind this giant man, whose abdominal cavity didn’t seem to give neither him nor us a comfortable time. Deprived of fresh air and breathing space my miseries multiplied by the minute. I was actually contemplating of pulling a damsel in distress act. Faint, * thud* . People crowding around me, begging for water and then the PASS. But, the thought of actually falling on the sparkling brown, wet floor cleaned by pests and rats let, reason overpower my imagination.
So, I had no choice but wait…. Wait , Wait and Wait

Crowd psychology has is that when you almost near your turn you feel the crowd is moving faster. I almost brushed up my kindergarten mathematics..counting over and over again.. 98 ….. 64 ….. 32 …… 15 , a mild sense of relief started building up. When I was number 12 or so, this wannabe Rajanikanth Uncle comes in front of me and asks some VERY IMPORTANT doubt to the giant. Lo! he gets stuck there. Pretending as if he was the only intelligent person on the face of this earth he was almost chipkofied on the giant’s posterior. How I wish the gut started disfunctioning again. I tried to grab the Uncle’s attention throwing daggers on him. ( if only I possessed some, had to strain my eyes instead). Rajani Mama just brushes it off like you chuck it kid, I’m not gonna move. None of the menfolk standing behind me had the nerve to throw this man outta that place. This was heights…
Me: Excuse me, I was standing here
Rajani Mama : Oh ok ma! You only go in front. It is ok… I understand you have classes and all that.
Me : Helllo!!!!!! I was standing here for hours together and you just sneak in as and when you like? And now you’re acting as if I’m the one who is trying to get into the queue?
He : Talks some rubbish in Kannada and finds his next bakhara.

Hardly a few minutes had passed after shooing him away, when this lady comes in. The trying to look sophisticated, dignified and smart woman of the 21st century stood right in front of me. Just because, I left a little longer than usual gap between the giant and myself so that my olfactory organs wouldn’t suffer a permanent damage coz of his disfunctional gut. I was sure the glare dagger effect wouldn’t work on this Bharatiya Nari …
Me : Excuse me, I was standing here
She : Oh! I thought there are two queues. * trying to hide her embarrassment *
First the dustbin, then double queue, were people actually losing their vision in that dungeon? Or were they blinded by desparation… the thought of long hours of waiting for a pass?
There were just 3-4 people in front of me when the person at the computer changed. The new dude was fishing through the key-board. Yes, the pass system is all hi-tech now. Technological advancement and labour inefficiency! Wasn’t it exactly the same thing that we discussed in class in the morning?
Finally…Finally… Finally it was my turn. Attracting the envious looks of people behind me, who had more hassles coming their way , I sat there bugging the typist who was trying to create a brand new address for me. At last, when I got the pass, new and fresh… all I could do was heave a huge sigh of relief which would have temporarily made up for the air shortage there. This is what 100 odd men and 3 long hours of Q factor can do to you.

I stepped out of the dungeon and it started raining cats and dogs. The shower that spread for a few metres, over a few minutes was a conspiracy of the weather gods to add to my misery.
Now I really didn’t need to pull a damsel in distress act, did I?