Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Protest seems to be the buzzword this year. First the Jessica Lall murder case, Priyadarshini case, then the Narmada Bachao protests, the protests over a demolition of a dargah leading to riots in Baroda, and now, protests of over Quota reservations. Just tonight, I saw a discussion on CNN-IBN on whether the protests in Modern-day India have come of age? It involved some student group representatives, Rony Screwwala and such participants. They discussed several things like The “RDB” effect, middle class angst etc. But after the show ended I felt that half an hour time was not enough, and somehow I was not contended.
For last couple of days the visual media had been agog with the news and visuals of the Mumbai lathi charge on the agitating doctors. I was concerned for the young men and women in whites because they were having a peaceful protest and the way they were beaten up was simply brutal. I mean, is this the way democracy functions, and do we, quintessential modern and educated people do really have a right to have our say. It does not appear so rather. I personally have got serious reservations against this reservation system. We are well into the 21st century and still the government wants the whole nation to adhere to a crappy system of the past that is the caste system. I would not record my personal losses due to this system, but rather would like to think about the deserving students who miss the seats because of this outdated system. Through this entire episode I felt that there should be a system in place where such so-called underprivileged castes, the SC/STs should be brought on par with other castes, and classes by giving them proper training, employment and education so that they can upgrade themselves to a level where the competition is equal. It’s high time that the judiciary curbs the flourishing business of making fake caste certificates. After all, we keep on saying that ours is a booming economy and we are the second largest growing economy in this world, that’s just what we keep on saying. If we really want to become one, we need to throw such issues and controversies to dogs.
I remember one such story from one of Shashi Tharoor’s book, “India-midnight to millennium”. When the author was a child he would often visit his village during the vacations. Being from a big city and from a convent school, he was not aware of the stigma that the caste system was. His relatives would conspicuously avoid a diminutive, dark, lean boy called Charlis. The author was scolded many a times for playing with that boy, but somehow author had developed a liking for this boy. Then years passed, the author grew into a very knowledgeable young man, and around the same time his relatives were in a desperate situation due to some governmental policy. That’s when they go to take the help of their district collector, and this turns out to be that diminutive boy “ Charlis”, and he as expected helps them out. I am sure in this case, this backward caste boy, reached to those heights solely on his merits. But these days, such people get into these positions just to mint money, or rather plunder a nation!

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Few Good Men!

Possibly there could be different interpretations of life for everybody; here are some of my own. As for me I live life in the slow lane. And in this entire journey of experiences and emotions we come across so many different people, different characters as such. Some times you feel completely bowled over by certain person’s spontaneity and sense of humor, while sometimes, you meet some irritatingly made up individuals. You get disgusted at the sight of somebody who is extremely show-offish, while sometimes you enjoy somebody’s company though he or she may not be special in any apparent way. This one account could sum up as my study of few characters, fictional as well as real, until now.

Today I watched “Being Cyrus”, the lead role enacted by none other than “New, Improved” Saif Ali Khan. It is a story about a young man, who has had a traumatic childhood, and after he grows up lands up with a family very much associated with his distant memories. I didn’t entirely understand the story but yes it was a reasonably well told one. May be after watching it a couple of times more, I would be able to elaborate it further well, to myself. Cyrus is the first character that I would like to talk about. At the end of the story, he parts his way from his previous life, I mean, he regrets his mistakes and his associations and starts all over again. That was his positive trait. I know even many of us do this, starting all over again. I have done it, when I would get unnecessarily involved with people, who should just have been people and nothing else. The first and the last scene of the movie is like, he is lying on an edge of a hill, from where he could see a new morning lighting up this rather mediocre world. In between this scene lies his story of growing up in trauma and subsequent his acts of Vendetta. He always knew what he is upto, and still he is happy with what he is doing.

Another fictional character worth a mention is “Meethi”, a schizophrenic girl from the flick, “15 park avenue”. Enacted impeccably by the enormously talented and beautiful, Konkona Sen Sharma. Hers is a similar story and a very enigmatic character. She is presumably schizophrenic since her childhood. She would think of a world to which we all are strangers. She would hallucinate, hear sounds we won’t, and do strange and painful things, which rather we won’t. When she is out of her schizophrenic being, she is a perfectly endearing, good looking, well mannered, soft spoken pretty lady. She has friends and is very much fond of her Jojo, aka Joydeep Sengupta. They were supposed to marry soon; but as it is her delirious world is jolted when she gets raped on one of her visits as a Journalist. This further multiplies her trauma. Jojo abandons her as he knows he is not that strong a person, and accidentally meets her almost 15 years later. Now she is completely lost in her unknown world, and Jojo somehow feels guilty about it. All through the tale Meethi keeps talking about a place called “15 Park Avenue” her home, where she, jojo and her 5 kids actually stay. Jojo decides to take her there and once she finds that place, she disappears, leaving us to think about where she went! Aren’t we a bit like Meethi sometimes, don’t we dream of some utopic world where every thing is hunky dory, where relationships don’t go sour, and everything seems picture perfect. Difficult to accept, but such islands do not exist.

Indu, one of the several co-learners I have had while learning. I used to sit in the first row in the lecture hall in the University, with my group. This thoughtful girl would attract me every time I would see her. For a couple of months, no messages could be transmitted. Then one fine morning I dared to barge-in into her personal territory.
“Indu”- interesting name haa!
Thanks Amit, this is the first time we are talking!
Yes, I know. Hey, but why do you look so lost?
A haa, sweet mysteries of life!
Hey Amit, the other day I heard you sing my favoritest song, you know!
Yaa, which one?
Jab koi baat bighad jaae…….
Hey you do sing pretty well too….

This was the first ever interaction with that enigmatic woman. Then we would mostly travel together on buses and local trains. But slowly as I got to know her, I thought she was being painstakingly expressive and so very girlish! That song was her “favoritest” song because here ex-boyfriend and she had sung it once together when they were all alone. And when she told me to sing it, she visibly shed a tear too. I mean are emotions so easy to come by? She would giggle when there would be no reason at all, and would get serious when the entire bunch was making merry. By the end of the year, I would actually fool her when we were supposed to meet after the lectures. She would always reiterate that she had “suicidal” tendencies in her past, and was seemingly perturbed when we were over with our lecture on “suicides” in behavioral studies. Once I felt the earth move from under my feet, when she declared, “ Amit, you remind me of abhi very much” I was ecstatic at being likened to The most eligible bachelor in the country, but then came the revelation. “ who abhi, Indu?” “My ex-boyfriend, remember jab koi baat bighad jaae…..”

Another such person worth mentioning is my Father. All through these years I have grown up, I could never sum up what was in his heart. He always appeared to us a serious looking man, always thoughtful but never discussing kind. Its only now, that we talk out several issues like finances, relations etc at home. But I admit in past many a times he would instill a certain degree of fear in us. But I also remember he would not mind to break into a jig, every time one of his favourite songs would be playing, the most recent one, ek baar aaja aaja, of course. Now what I make out of his tough exterior is that there lies a very lovable and emotional being inside. Now that I understand what it takes to be a father, he is the most valuable person to me in this world.

Sorry, because this blog has taken such a long time for me to write, I would end it here, because I don’t want to trash it even, and may be continue with a similar one later.

My Enigmatic Cousin

This is a story about my relationship with my cousin. May be it was destiny that though being kids of real sisters, we were not meant to know each other as well as other siblings do know.In the course of couple of drinks, I came to know what gem of a person, he is. Being an elder brother, I tend to think that all these years might have been pretty tough on him and his even younger sister. Their parents separated when they were not even in their teens, and thus they hardly know how relations actually go sour. Last year our grandmother passed away, and that brought us all together, after so many years. Many years ago, when grandma and grandpa would host a Ganpati pooja of one and a half day we would all meet at least once a year, but since they discontinued this practice there was hardly any reason left. These ganesh poojas would become special because of this young kid, who could go on dancing effortlessly literally for hours together. He was so good at it that we were almost certain that he would make it big in dancing, but destiny had some other plans. With the relationship of his parents on the rocks, his study took the onslaught, and he is still trying to make for the loss. Meanwhile I got busy with my studies and could never even think of them, until last year, when I met my grown up “enigmatic” cousin, we would fondly call him “tinku” when he was a kid.

It’s been a year since grandma has passed away; it was her “varsha shraaddha” on 5th may. We ran for helping in whatever ways we could and the day went by. We were all tired by the night. The next day we both decided to go for a trek at Trimbakeshwar, on the steepest route. We started late and reached there when it was already scorching hot. During this trek we talked over many different issues, cricket, girls, movies, music, alcohol, food and what not. I felt he had a lot to talk about, and knew pretty much than I had expected him to know. I found him quite in tune with the songs; I mean he would sing reasonably well, and also he had a good sense of humor. He also talked about the agony of staying with just one parent and other problems. I really felt sorry for him. In the evening, we had a couple of drinks and the next morning we set out on our respective ways. And now I am pondering over this thought, “why do kids have to suffer when actually there parents are not fit enough to survive the relations?”