Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks Giving

Was going through the U.S list of holidays, when I came across “Thanks Giving Day”. I love the U.S Culture of exchanging gifts and presents for this day to say thanks to people. I do not how much importance would this day hold in India if added in the Indian Calendar, but I am sure of the popularity, at least among the youth.
We usually exchange gifts to our near and dear ones, friends, business alliances to thank them for their presence, for the times they helped, for their business partnership so to make the bonds stronger. Well, on the same note, India has many occasions for celebrations to make their bonds stronger. Even I would like to thank my friends and known ones for being a part of my life and for bringing smiles to my life and helping me in every possible manner.
But wandering in the lanes of my memories, I would not forget thanking those who made a big difference in my life, without having known me at all. Their presence affected me greatly and definitely made a huge impact on me. It would not be untrue if I said that had those unknown people not extended their helping hands to me, I wonder what would I have faced, or probably I would not have been what I am today.

I never forget the day of 15th July,2006 which brings tears to my eyes when I recall the harsh memories of the days. I was going through a tough time full of disappointments and failures. Every effort seemed to have gone down the drains and every door blocked which I had envisaged to bring success to me. The three years hard work which I put in for my career, did not work out. I lost hopes from all the colleges because of the poor circumstances then. My planning failed, my dreams shattered and I was all dull and sad. To add to the dismay was my mom’s ill health and the growing pressure on me, which I failed to resort to. I stopped eating, and spent sleepless nights. My health deteriorated with each passing day. Mental depression pulled me deeper inside and physically I was reduced to a skeleton. Breaking my own promise made to myself, I decided to join BPO again until the next academic year.

I was almost a bag of bones with no strength left in me. In  the warm summer month, I gathered all my courage and ventured out from Punjabi Bagh for a BPO interview to Greater Kailash. Without food since many days, without a bit of strength left in me, I was running high temperature that day and travelling in buses added to my fatigue. A tiring day at the interview, I was returning from the interview venue in the bus. My friends (who are my life lines) were waiting for me at my home whom I had stopped meeting in depression. My head was spinning and I could feel that everything blacked out in front of my eyes. I decided to de board the bus at ESI Hospital and take an auto to home. In a fragile voice I asked the auto wala to take me to Punjabi Bagh. He could barely hear me and I tried to speak again with the last drop of my strength, when suddenly nothing was visible to me. My strength gave up and I fainted. Just before my head hit the ground, a pair of hands held me to stop falling down. My feet and palms were ice cold. I felt a lady rubbing my palms while she lay my head on her shoulders. Another gentleman made me sip water. A group of people who seemed to be unskilled workers stood surrounding me trying to bring me back to consciousness. They were those whom I did not know, who helped a stranger without any reason. A gentleman asked me my family members’ name and number. In my half conscious state the only name I could remember was Abhishek. The gentleman dialed Abhi’s number from his own phone and asked him to immediately come to ESI bus stop explaining my emergency. MAPSA rushed to the spot and took me to the hospital. I recovered from the depression within few weeks and coped up with the pressures. A shudder passes through my body recalling this incident every time. Today on thanks giving day, I wish to thank those people from the bottom of my heart. Had they not helped me, I would been lying on the road shredded in pieces. I dint even see them or get to know their names, neither did I get a chance to thank them for their kindness. I do believe in God and after this incident I firmly believe that God exists in form of angles whom he sends in the hours of distress. I want to express my gratitude to those helpful whose timely help saved me and helped me in getting my life back which I had lost, well almost. God bless them. I can never repay them for what they did for me. Thank you are only two words I can say today.

The second incident runs back to August 2009, when I was serving an organization in the capacity of marketing executive. I was on business trip to Agra and was returning to my hometown Dehradun via bus at night. Since I was bold and daring enough, so travelling alone at night never scared me. The comfortable AC bus left from Agra Bus stop sharp at 8pm and was crossing the borders of U.P smoothly. The first stop over was at Aligarh bus stand around 11:15pm. The passengers got down for break and sip tea. I too was tempted to eat something and de boarded the bus to buy some tea and biscuits. I had tea in the bus and while all passengers were outside. I did not make a note of time and de boarded the bus again to go to the washroom. That was the biggest mistake I made. I hardly took few minutes inside the washroom. When I came out, my heart skipped a beat - The bus was not there!
One can imagine the condition of girl then. No matter how bold she may be, hawk eyes follow a lonely girl. I was haunted by the thought of the risk I ran in that isolated bus stop without even having the bus number with me. My luggage, my office files, even was passport was inside the bus which left me there! I wanted to kill the driver, or wanted to cry, I had no idea what to do. How could he leave me behind? How did he not count the number of passengers?  I blamed myself for being so foolish to de- board the bus again.

I had no number with me to call, nobody around to help me, nobody whom I could trust at time. My heart was sinking every single minute. “Rahul” was the first name which struck my thought while looking around for help. Rahul is my friend in Agra, who was there with me on the Agra business trip. Immediately I dialed his mobile phone number awaiting a response from him. But he dint receive my call. I was in distress! I had no clue what should me my next step? Should I raise a hue and cry or call my family? How would my family members help me at that time? Where would I spend the night now? I was so vulnerable then, I shook with fear.
I went up to a gentle man and asked him about the bus. He said that the bus had left 2 minutes ago. Looking at my condition, he offered me help. Since the bus would have been far away, we could catch it on the way, said the gentle man. My instincts asked me not to trust a stranger in the dark hours of night, that too in a place like Aligarh! But I had no choice. My need overpowered my fears and I accepted the lift on his motorbike. I was about to cry and my voice was heavy. The gentle man asked me to calm down and not worry. He said that in case we could not spot the bus, then we could go to the nearest police station. But poor me, I dint even know the bus number! That 5 minutes ride on the bike with my heart pounding loudly every second was the most terrible time of my life which I can never explain verbally. Was I doing the right thing to trust a stranger was ringing in my ears. Cold sweat on my forehead, a sinking heart, hundreds of apprehensive questions in my mind….. I can feel the goose bumps while writing this.

Few meters of race on the bike but the bus could not be spotted anywhere. I felt I was about to have a heart attack. The gentle man turned his bike around and speeded to police station at the bus stop. On the way he kept asking me to keep calm and be brave. My mind was buzzing and spinning heavily and kept thinking what to do. Tears were at the corner of my eyes. I was silently preparing myself for the worse questions the Police men would ask me and blame me for de boarding the bus at the wrong time. I was accusing myself and calling myself stupid. My situation was similar to Kareena’s railway station scene of JAB WE MET.

We reached the bus stop and there I saw a miracle- The bus had returned in search of me!! My tears of dismay turned to tears of rage and I had a big fight with the conductor for his carelessness. Half the people blamed me for being careless, while other half supported me. After the big scene created, I was asked to get inside the bus to resume the journey. Hastily I got inside and the bus speeded on the U.P roads.

I realized that in a hurry, I had not thanked the gentle man for his kind act. I don’t know his name, neither could see him clearly in the dark. But his presence was next to God’s presence for me.  Thank you uncle for your helpfulness. I wish I could meet you and thank you in person. Thanks giving day is a good occasion to express my heart felt gratitude to you for that day.

God bless you all.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ladies' Special

It’s a common place for students and working professionals. It’s a common place for Ladies to bind together. It’s a place to take refuge in each other’s comfort. It’s a place where the ladies shed their frustrations and kilos. 

Surprised? It’s my neighborhood ladies’ Gym, The Gym Fitness Factory. I am not a frequent visitor, nor do I hit the gym, however at times I drop in to collect the house key from my sister or take shelter from the rain.

A small place equipped with basic gym machines, only for ladies.  Steppers, swiss balls, treadmill and other machines whose names I am unaware of , are always occupied with ladies working out on them. FM radio playing in the background makes the gym a lively vibrant place accompanied by the chatting of the fairer sex. “I gained 2 kgs after consuming chocolates” sighed Arti while working out on the tread mill whereas Prerna’s happiness knew no bounds to see the weighing machine measuring her weight two kilos less.

The instructor Raju, popularly addressed as “Bhaiyya”, irrespective of the age of the ladies, in the gym is a friend-philosopher-guide for all. They can confide in him and believe him blindfolded. The diet chart becomes no less than LOC which they follow strictly, more than their religion. When nobody has time to listen to the stories of their fluctuating weight or a tempting dish which they resisted, its Bhaiyaa who lends his patient ears to the repeated emotions. Friendly advice, sweet motivation and a warm smile is what he showers like an angel. Bhaiyya definitely commands the place along with their respect.

Dr. Rekha, a practicing doctor in AIIIMS, Juhi, a college student, Mrs. Sharma, a mother of two kids, Nina, an engineer, Smita, an aspiring model and my sister Preeti, are few regular visitors of the Gym. Different age groups, different professions, different races, all dissolve in one mission- Loose weight and keep fit. The common mission binds them together. Nobody mocks at those are overweight, nobody laughs at those whose clothes are always bought oversize, its care and concern for each other hence giving them a much needed mental support.

This ladies gym is not a modern expensive  airconditioned gym, but definitely its class apart. After a hard day in college or work, the ladies socialize in this fitness factory. They vent out, speak their heart out and most important, share the experience of their bravery. Yeah, their stories of how bravely did they avoid ice cream at someone’s birthday or pitied themselves watching others hog Golgappa’s. Ladies in the factory do not have blood relations, but share a common goal, have a close support of each other. I found all eyes staring at me, once I had entered the gym to meet my sister for some work. I could sense the perplexed looks on their faces about my questionable presence there, since there was no extra fat which I had to lose. Amidst the eyes following me, slowly I grabbed a seat in the corner of the bench waiting for Preeti to finish her abs. Bhaiyya was busy helping Geetanjali, another plum lady, to do her sit ups. Preeti made me sit at Bhaiyya’s place and I played a fitness instructor for the first time. I enjoyed helping her do her sit ups and realized how much do these ladies go through each day! The social taboo of being tagged as Obese or “Tuntun” is actually tormentous. Social acceptance becomes a big issue for them which chases them in their nightmares too. Preeti ‘s goal is to keep fit rather than loose weight (She is not fat, by the way), which the ladies should follow.

The fitness factory is a religion, a mission, a common platform, a thread closely tying individuals towards the pain they share, the social acceptance and the social taboos.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I see you, do You see me?

Refer to Pringoo.com

Mr. India had sent ripples across the county by its innovative concepts. I refer to my friends as Mr. India who barely show up online or keep in touch. Be it Navjot or Prithvi, they have earned the proud title “Mr. India” from me pertaining to their “invisibility”. Years after the movie hit the box office, it still creates a fantasy. I still wonder, what life would be if I turn invisible. End number of times I have participated in school essay writing competitions about the same. Same nostalgia comes running to me through this bolgadda contest today.

It fills me with trill and leaves me goose bumped with the thought that I would be invisible! Mr. India’s gadget would me strapped to my wrist and people wouldn’t be able to see me! Imagine the excitement and the sunning things I can do! Often I have heard others saying that the invisible power would make them rich, would eradicate all their problems an all. But aren’t there so many things to do beyond getting rich? Isn’t there a world beyond greed, where one has all the capability to do anything, feel happy, and make the world a happy place? Ah! I know I am sounding philosophical, but that’s true I swear!
I don’t want to loot money from rich to help the poor, like Mr. India did, neither do I want to be an invisible Robin Hood . With such an incredible power I think of doing wonders! How about travelling across the world without paying airfare? Or the idea of visiting the Africa wild safari, the mesmerizing Egyptian pyramids, the Bermuda triangle, being invisible, just leaves me breathless! Considering, that travelling happens to be my passion, this power of invisibility would take me to places where I could not imagine going as visible. What a trip would be like, around the world in 80 days or in the eight wonders of the world? I can hear my heart pump with excitement…lub dub..lub dub…

I wouldn’t have had to bother about buying a costly ticket to witness the thrilling FIFA world cup or IPL matches, which set the adrenaline pumping high and the crowd roaring with every score! I’d love to be invisible. Ah! Hopefully some day!!

If this power is used positively, then sure Maoist attacks could be prevented and save the lives of the Indian soldiers. I wish I could detect the deadly plans and stop the attacks..Ok, my patriotism overpowers my fun factor here.

Wearing the gadget and becoming invisible any time certainly gives me an opportunity to spook my Hari sadu  boss. (Only if he doesn't use his red goggles to see me. hahaha!! ) Sneaking into an ice cream parlour to hog on my favourite flavours, travel free of cost on the Metro trains, be a part of hi–fi social event, the freedom of doing anything, going anywhere and the list continues..and so does the dream of being invisible one day!

I would walk on Ma’s favorite carpet with my slippers on, but  she would not yell at me! My sis will not question anybody when I’d wear her top which I like so much! I can imagine my brother bumping into me with a stunned look on his face. But not even once would he wonder that what did he bump into?  The cup rising in air and the coffee being sipped by the invisible me. My family being aware of my presence but definitely cannot see me with naked eyes. Feels good to be attend glamorous functions, and of visiting the wonders of the world free of cost. But what’s the point when I can’t get my pictures clicked? What’s the point socializing without having seen by people? The fun & excitement is a little short lived to be turned to reality.

Though it gives a feel good factor for some time, had blog adda not brought up this topic, the fun would have been lost in the pages of old essays without triggering that excitement or wandering of the mind in the lanes of creative thought! Mugambo Khush Hua..Ya true!!  :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The small wish list..


I picked up the folded paper from Tarun’s table and saw names of movies scribbled on it. I was about to trash it when he snatched the paper from my hand and thrust it in his pocket.

“What will you do with this stupid list”? I asked him, cleaning the mess on his table.

“It’s a list of those movies I wanna watch before I turn 25” replied Tarun seriously.

“Are you retiring post you turn 25?” I snapped back.

“There are so many things in life I wanna do. Its just a small wish list before 1/4th of my life, so that I don’t crib for things I missed”.

I wanted to tell him how I had also made a wish list couple of years back. The only difference was that my wish list consisted of books to read and places to visit. However I didn’t say anything and smiled back at him.
His simple words had depth and lot of meaning in them.
Preeti has always been cribbing about being overweight. God save me whenever she goes for a diet plan. Thanks to internet that she came to know about GMD, an easy way to lose weight without working out. More than her, it was tough for me… (to chop kilos of fruits and vegetables and cook a quantity meant for 5 people. Trust me, it’s horrible!).

“I want to lose weight through GMD because I don’t have time to hit the gym .I want a new job which would leave me with some time for myself”.
Few months later…………
New, better job..more time for self.. joined gym…but……….
“This is not a good gym. I want a better one”. I silently prayed she dosen’t resort to GMD again.
And her wish list continues till date.

Akash wished, God wouldn't have snatched his wife to leave their 5 year old son alone in his company.

Rohit wished, he could earn more and improve his family’s financial condition. He wished for a decent job.

I wanted to write more, but running short of time…may be I see this in a form of a book some day. (Ah, another wish !!)

Lord make everybody’s wish list come to an end, may be, some day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blindfolded


India..the land of peace? The land of tolerance? Is it because of its tolerance, that it took more than one year to prove KASAB, guilty? Somebody who was seen on national TV massacring people, needed no introduction. However Indian Law, as bound by its nature of its outdated Justice process, struggled to collect evidence against him! To add to the shame, we were stranded speechless and helpless when Pakistan refused to accept Kasab’s Pak origin! Besides this, Kasab had the guts to deny himself guilty.

Post the tedious job of proving him guilty, Kasab fell ill end number of times. To keep him alive was a costly affair. Shifting him from one location to another in full security, guarding on him 24X7, expenditure on his medicines and daily provisions etc costed the administration a fortune. Not even a part of this amount was compensated to the victims. Had the same amount been spent for the repairs to the damages, I would have called the Indian jurisdiction a well managed intelligent body. News channels are bustling with headlines that the President will ensure the speedy execution of his Capital punishment. That’s so kind of her lest another hijacked aircraft should be ransomed for his release. Ah!! My heart bleeds to that.

Not only the cost, but there are chances of his appealing to numerous apex courts for reduction in his punishment or pleading for sympathy.

Needless to mention, India definitely needs revision in its policies and laws. It took more than a year for the law to prove Kasab guilty! It is ridiculous. Not only Kasab, there are numerous infamous cases in India which testify the fact that it’s high time for India to gear up with its Law book. Jesicca Lal, Madhumita, Nithari, Nitish Kataria, are few cases to quote which proves the inefficiency of Indian Law to provide timely justice. Delayed justice is often equivalent to denied justice. The Victim’s family keeps waiting for years before they get the final verdict. And for those years, the guilty becomes a liability for the administration. Is it worth?

Indian administration should set up a strong mechanism which would provide timely justice without the prolonged delay in scrutinizing the facts/evidences. When situation was so obvious and explicit, with a heinous crime like this, I guess much time was wasted in proving his Pak origin. Kasab too knew that it wasn't easy to prove him guilty so easily, in spite of the witness present. So much is the confidence of others on our loose law system! Manjeet Singh aka Sarabjeet Singh who was of Indian soil, was detained by the Pak authorities accusing him of crossing the borders illegally and levelled charges against him of bomb blast in Karachi. Without a concrete proof or evidence how easily did Pakistan pass a death sentence for him, while Indian authorities went head over heels asking Pakistan to agree to his Pak origin. Can somebody imagine the amount of precious time and resources ,we were at loss? In that span of time, Kasab could have been exchanged for another hijacked plane! Pheewwwww!!!! God save us and the snail speed Indian Law system.

The citizens of India are ready to spur venom against the national symbol of hatred-Kasab, yet it is taking a good amount of time to execute his death sentence. Can somebody answer why, when it didn’t take seconds for Kasab to recklessly shoot people during his killing rampage?
Sunny Deol starrer “Damini’s” dialogue “taareekh pe taareekh” stands so relevant here!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Untamed

There was heavy blood shed. Brutal murder. My heart went out to those who lost their lives. My eyes were flooded with tears and I was a bundle of wreck. My heart was bleeding to see them die one by one. The bodies of the helpless men lied in pieces all over. Fire, dust, blood, weapons lay as an aftermath of the war. I couldn’t do anything but shed tears silently. The soldiers sacrificed their lives for their country. India must have been so proud of the brave hearts who didn’t think for a second to take the bullet in their chest and fight the enemies just for the country! Hats off to the brave soldiers. But loss of lives was definitely an irreparable loss. I felt helpless and so incapable of saving the heroes. It was sad, scary and a heart rendering view. The lights were switched on and the crowd started moving toward the exit. My cheeks were still wet after the super hit movie “BORDER” ended.

She was shattered. She was in tears. I hugged her and she cried like a baby in my arms. People around us stared at us. The man who was responsible for this, kept apologizing, but it was useless to say sorry post the great loss. The damage was already done.  She kept looking at what she had lost with swollen tearful eyes.  It was painful to part with the most loveable and precious possession. After all it had taken 6 tedious years to grow her beautiful hair waist long! The hair dresser felt like a criminal, ready to be blown apart by Preeti, to have her hair cut shorter than waist length. Tears kept rolling down her eyes the whole day.

It was Astami, the 8th day of Durga Puja in 2000. Mom, sis, my bro and I were heading towards the Pooja baari for the grand celebration, when suddenly my bro’s shoe broke and we returned home to get it changed. My Mom was struggling with Abhijit’s new pair of shoes while the door bell rang loud. I rushed to collect the telegram from the postman. Mom covered her face with her palms. Abhijit was too young to understand the reason behind the ladies of the family crying. I had been courageous and fought my tears back till I went to Dad’s shop to inform him of Naani’s demise. Mom was inconsolable. The telegram was clutched in her hand, and tears kept rolling down her eyes the whole day.

Divya returned to the hotel room while talking on the phone. She saw my red eyes and tear stained face. Instantly she came to know what was wrong. Disconnecting her phone immediately, she placed her hand on my shoulder and politely said “Don’t worry, I am there with you”. These consoling words of her made me feel weaker and lonelier. That day brings tears to my eyes even today. She tried to cheer me up and stayed with me the whole night. I felt alone probably for the first time. The thought, to live alone for the first time, had scared me. I touched dad’s feet to seek his blessings. The moment dad kept his hand on my head, my heart almost skipped a beat. I had to live away from my family, manage everything on my own and “grow up”. Dad left me in Divya’s company, my closest friend now and my favorite roommie. I returned to the hotel room and cried for hours missing my family and feeling lost. It was my first job in Delhi and the first moment when I had to be away from my family. Tears kept rolling down my cheeks till Divya came.

Tears….Untamed tears…!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

REALITY SHOWS


I have been  watching “FEMINA MISS INDIA -the making “ on Zoom. Couple of days back I was following DANCE INDIA DANCE on Zee Tv. Sony TV is busy showcasing INDIAN IDOL these days like each year. Colors channel gained good TRPs with KHATRON KE KHILAADI and India’s got talent.TV channels have been bustling with unlimited reality shows and surprisingly people watch it whole heartedly inspite knowing the reality behind the scenes. Ah! that holds true for me too!! I loved Dance India Dance . India’s got talent inspired me to learn contemporary dance. Every reality show holds a special importance in everybody’s life. My friend Sid participated in Indian Idol-1 but was shown the exit during the initial screening. Still he watches Indian Idol without fail! My ex-colleague Swati was a part of MTV Roadies who watches the series with equal enthusiasm till date despite being voted out so heartlessly. She definitely cherishes the moments of adventure and fun.

But what makes the reality shows so exciting for everybody? Why do people watch these with so much interest and charm? Why do people flock to the gates of the auditions when they know they are not well trained? Well, there could be many reasons. Everybody wants to be in limelight, famous and be in news for some reason. One never knows where does the luck factor works or who knows the judges might like somebody instantly. There are many testimonials to this fact in end number of reality shows.  Indian Idol, Fame Gurukul etc are few shows to begin with the list of examples.(Of course I don’t want to name the participants on this social networking site lest their fans should outburst against me and write venomous messages for me!!)

All the ideas are copied from the western reality shows, none of Indian origin… anyway who cares!! !!! Big Boss , was one pathetic  reality I ever watched and hate it from the bottom of my heart( Fans please don’t kill me!!) I hated “Is Jungle se Mujhey Bachao” where the participants were asked to consume mixture of animal spleen, liver, testicles, do all sorts of crazy things in a so called jungle and crown the winner for the jungle mania!! (By the way, what was Mankea Gandhi doing then? I shouldn’t be saying this..I am a member of People for animals after all. Ok , don’t jump to conclusions before I say anything. The animals were domesticated ones which are nor endangered and are consumed in daily lives.) Whatever, I simply hated this horrible reality show of the jungle mess, the celebrity tantrums and the loosely written script.

Ya…reality shows are scripted, don’t be surprised. Even the results are pre-decided. Public voting just occupies the public and huge income for the telecom giants. A participant from a particular community, caste or tribe attracts audience from the same social circle who pleads for votes. No wonders why do people glue to these reality shows to vote for their “favorite” participant. No offences meant, my mom does that each time! A Bengali participant occupies a special place in my mom’s heart always…be it a singing show or dance competition.
Want to see real footage? Switch to National geographic or discovery yaar!!At least they make some sense!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A lost friend

He would have been a grown up man today, probably working in an MNC or running his business. Or may be pursuing some professional course -of his choice, of something which he liked. But what did he like? What was he passionate about? Let me think….uh!! to hard to recollect..it was a long time back that I remember anything apart from his shy smile and dark eyes. And we were too young .  Students of second standard, Prashant and I were classmates and next door neighbours. I was a frequent visitor to his place to catch up on my missed class work or to play with him at times. His younger bro Ankush and a cute sister Gudiya were adorable siblings. Prashant was a quiet child and very shy, to such an extent that he refused to go to anybody’s place for school work or notes. His mom used to call me to their place and that’s how I became a regular visit at Prashant Singhal’s place. We became best childhood buddies , used to play often and do our home work together.

Singhals were a happy family. A happy go lucky family of our neighbourhood, as a child I had always seen them smiling and enjoying each moment of their lives till that unlucky day. I still don’t remember  the date..after all I was young. So was Prashant. I have the faded picture of his in my mind when I had saw him last evening. Well, actually the last evening of his life.

He loved cycling. That evening too, he went on his bicycle to enjoy the evening. (I think now I recollect one of his hobbies-Cycling. But how irrelevant is it now, I suppose). His grand mom felt quite restless when he did not return till late. His mom went crying to the police station with his dad to report Prashant’s missing from the place where he had gone cycling. The whole night saw a tensed Singhal family, probably for the first time. I remember my mom worrying about him and peeping into the Singhal house every fifteen minutes. Prashant’s father was frantically wandering on the streets with his scooter to search for his eldest son. It was a terrible night for everybody.

And the news arrived, the next morning..of what I guess most of them had anticipated. Prashant’s body was fished out from the manhole right outside the construction site of their new house. Time of death- late evening.Last remains- his slipper in the right foot and his cycle outside the house. What pushed him to his death was the reason that he was not accompanied by anybody to the construction site where the open manhole invited his death while he was jumping over it, all by himself. Days passed mourning and wailing in the Singhal house grieving over the irreparable loss of the eldest son of the family.

Soon, things started turning normal and Prashant started fading from the memories of everybody. Yesterday when I was talking to my brother Tarun (catch him at tarunisblogging.blogspot.com) he sounded upset. He too was grieving over the loss of his facebook friend whom he had befriended three days ago. Consoling him, suddenly Prashant’s thought struck me. Had he been alive, he would have been somebody like me.

I can’t say I miss Prashant, however I do feel that every human life is meant for something, lives for a purpose and creates a void after he leaves. I was too young to feel that void, but I do feel bad that he left the world much before he could see anything.
God bless your soul my friend.

This was an ode to Prashant Singhal.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A day in life of anybody

I like my boss, she is supportive, but my job profile sucks.
I love the job, but I have b#%@ colleagues.
My workplace is too far from my residence, which drains all my energy while commuting.
My job pays me well, but I hate the work.
Seems, people keep cribbing each day with new excuses yet they go to work. Why? Coz life has to move on. Simple! Sometimes its money which stops you from changing your job, at times u have no other job in hand. U hurl abuses at ur boss or ur job profile, u still come to work every morning to make a living for urself.

Even the fingers of our hands are not equal, so how can life be a smooth ride? Impulsive people like me leave their jobs without keeping an option in hand. Others create a job opportunity and then make a move. But atleast I don’t crib! Haha…I was at peace of mind for few days before I began job hunting again.

I remember I continued to work in a BPO unwillingly since I had to take care of my MBA course fee.I had the worst boss on this planet, I hated my work but thankfully I got colleagues who were angels for me. I could endure all the pain at work because of the good companions whom I had befriended at the workplace. Nidhi, Tarun, Vikram still continue to be my good friends long after we quit that organization.Its important to have supportive colleague at workplace I guess. Bless you guys.

We get good education to grow and earn in life, have a family to support, money keeps u running and perform the responsibilities. No what bogged down u feel at work, no matter how demotivated u feel, u still have a reason to keep going. Correct me if m wrong. U might be fighting at home and vent it in office and in return bring the frustration back home, the cycle still keeps going. U ought to think positive and move ahead.

God hate me, so he has piled up all problems for me only…….Love life screwed up. At office boss insults me, To add to the deep wounds I don’t get a conveyance to commute and miss my meals too. My appraisals are on hold, my colleagues mock at me and I vent it all at my child or family member.I had a fight with my best friend and fought with the autowala too. At night I shed tears and pray to god to help me.(Funny,nobody prays to God when one is happy). Anyway, that’s a typical diary of a common man whose level of frustration is getting high each day. Yet he dosen’t quit hopes and continues to struggle…..because there are no gains without pains.We should be thankful to god that we have the physical ability to work. Think of the ones who are visually or physically impaired. Think about those “special children” whose parents cry each day and leave no stone unturned to give them a normal life.
Life is not a cakewalk.U need to be tough and prove ur mettle in every step,lest one should overpower u. Be thankful be gratified and keep moving ahead gradually.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mayawati's Maya

Few years ago, my friend returned from South after a huge offering in a temple(What we call Chadhawaa, in Hindi).The occasion was her grandfather’s 80th birthday. The chadhawaa was worth lakhs of rupees asa donation to the temple authorities. I said, instead of this donation, if her family would have donated this amount to some needy or poor, god would have been happier. With due respect to the sentiments and the religious beliefs, I strongly believe that God would be happier with the donation made to AIDS or cancer patients who do not even have enough money to survive, let alone treatment.Service to mankind is service to God.

This incident struck my mind again when UP CM Mayawati celebrated her extravagant birthday while she was felicitated by a huge currency garland worth crores of rupees. Ah!! If ministers turn so spendthrift imagine the rate at which our economy will go down the drains.To add to it, one garland wasn’t enough, she was garlanded second time witha garland weighing little less than the first. I guess they couldn’t find more currency notes in reserve. Post the criticism of the pomp and show , the authorities claim that it was a gift from the collection made by the supporters of the party and their savior Behan.

How inconsiderate can somebody be !! UP government almost everytime has been pinpointed for its mismanagement and ineffective rule. Poverty and unemployment still are the major issues of the state. How can some body even think of being so ruthless and self centered? On one hand we avoid crackers on Diwali to keep a check on pollution, and look at this extreme case of extravaganza on minister’s birthday!And how calm can the Income Tax dept remain about this blatant show of money and power. Its the public money after all.

Our former President Dr. Kalam kept such a low profile on his birthday. Why can’t others learn something from such an iconic personality? Had she spend this amount on the welfare project for UP state, I am sure she would have been blessed a triple times!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reviving the relics of Hockey

It actually takes a lot of efforts to build a brand name for somebody or lets say gain a positive image in public. Pertaining to the image of Hockey in India, it was lot of hard work and concrete results to make it a popular game during those days. India consistently won Hockey championships and it was promoted nationwide on a massive scale. Players like Dhyan chand, Dhanraj Pillay, Udham Singh Did proud to our country end number of times. Cricket barged in later and caught attention like western culture. Factors which promoted hockey started deteriorating. Money which was spent on Hockey promotion was gradually directed to cricket.

Even our players agree that they are not well paid. True!!Cricket players when retire, have a good amount of property value with them, while hockey players are still struggling to live a decent life. There are no sponsors for hockey any more!! India has not shown consistency in winning hockey championships too…..I would like to state that the cause and consequence are inter related or depend on each other. Isnt it? Its formed a vicious cycle. To add to the fact, its wouldn't be wrong if I say that Hockey is not encouraged at the school level too. If the school authorities take some interest in the sport and encourage it at the grass root level, it would certainly produce some good players in future. Good players and supporters after-all take the league ahead!

N not only hockey, but over all, sports is not encouraged as a career by Indian parents. Bogged by society and class pressure, parents envisage their children to excel in academics rather than sports. Strange! Father and son enjoy cricket together, but father never encourages son to choose cricket as a career. However, cricket  has a good fan following than hockey has. There are no takers of our national game in our nation. What a shame.
BCCI has crores of INR to spend on cricket. But, Is hockey federation that broke? If even one third of the money which BCCI has, is spent on hockey ,then at least Hockey would not lie neglected the way its today. Players should be well treated, taken care of. They deserve some investment, don’t they?

Gradually Hockey vanished from the screens of the televisions and the fame faded in the fa├žade of time. Cricket has gripped the nation with its charm.Cricket brings the nation together.So why cant Hockey? Well, because hockey players are mostly from specific communities or castes only which leaves a fan following only from that section. People representation is missing I guess!!

Government should have taken some extra steps to promote hockey like they are doing now.It was only after CHAK DE that many people realized the actual situation of the players and the state of the game.We need more initiatives.
Sponsorship, a world cup victory and root level nurturing is what one needs to bring that passion for something, be it cricket or be our national game which has lost its shine now.

This was my 5th winning blog in indyarocks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My name is Khan

Friday,12th Feb'10 experienced a massive crowd towards the multiplexes for the awaited KHAN and KAJOL starrer 'My name is Khan'. The movie was given a five star rating by the leading dailies and media went crazy publicising the movie.Surprisingly my sis was able to e-book tickets for Sunday, so I watched it yesterday.
Frankly speaking,I dont think the movie deserves a 5- star. Infact I believe that it was over-rated. Undoubtedly the message which was conveyed was good and valuable.Characters portrayed the real incidents so well that I found 50 percent people sobbing.

The story was well woven around the plot of 9/11 and the strong consequences on the lives of the people with specially the Muslims being racially discriminated and abused. SRK has delivered a powerful performance as a autism patient.I am sure this message has been conveyed to all that an autistic is different from an abnormal and also has desires to fulfil,a life to live,a right to be well treated. Kajol, needless to say was remarkable again. The trauma,the fright, the anxiety post 9/11 was very well played by the actors. 'My name is khan and I am not a terrorist' was the theme of the movie.However the second half of the film was stronger than the first half. The first half seemed to be a fairy tale cum merry go round story. Music by Shankar, Ehsaan,Loy was good ,so was the cinematography.

I felt the movie was a little above average.If I had to rate it,i'd give it a three star or genoursouly a 3.5.  A five star was over publicity I guess. If there are SRK fans who read my blog,please don't kill me.I am rating the movie ,not SRK.

King Khan has done a great job. Karan Johar ,I think,had consulted some astrologist,so for the first time, the name of his movie doesn't begin with  K. But the title does have 'K'han in it,his lucky charm ....Hehe..

Monday, February 1, 2010

Miley sur mera tumhara- Magic recreated?

I think “Miley Sur mera Tumhara” was a superb effort for peace and harmony initiative undertaken years back in India. I grew p watching the video and still remember the lyrics in different vernacular languages.

Years later we see the magic again with new music directors, new actors, new video but with the same objective- to spread the message of peace, unity and harmony. I appreciate the initiative and salute the spirit of unity .The actors/artists spared time from their busy schedules to be a part of the prestigious video. Icons like Dr Abdul Kalaam and Sachin Tendulkar not being a part of the video, arouses controversies.

Well we must understand that this video was an effort to shrink the borders of the nations. If this contracts controversies, then what’s the point of taking such initiative? Agreed, they were missed out…but does this justify a reason to ban the video? This portrays a negative picture of the nation for all apparent reasons. There must have been unknown constraints. If this is the reason for which the video is getting negative publicity ten I think Common man should have been filmed instead of the known icons cum artists. Because it’s the common man who lives and goes through the rough patches of life. It’s the common man who needs to know the importance of the message. Missing somebody in the video makes more sense than getting into a controversy against a cause as noble as “Miley sur mera tumhara”

As far as the music is concerned, I vote for the old one…I mean the original version. It was much beyond melody. I’d like to say it was closer to heart. The new one has been given a good cinematography, however fails to recreate the same ripples of magic(Like Lata ji did in the original version-Remember “Sur ki nadiyan, har disha se” ?)
Mastero Bhimsen Joshi Ji was riveting and so was the presence of Ustad Zakhir Hussain and Pundit Ravi Sahnkar. The new video looks more of a remix. Original one was easy to comprehend in terms of music (The high and low tones). Shankar Ehsaan Loy have iven their best yet I prefer to hear the original ravishing one.

Every effort to bring in peace and love is a step towards better India, united India. The song is known to all Indians like our national Anthem. I salute the togetherness and the glorious years of ‘Miley sur’ post independence.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Formation of Indian Constitution:RE-PUBLIC

Feels good to breathe in independant air! Feels good to see an independant country! While 15th August saw the independance day for India,26th January empowered the country with its own constitution.Great achievement yeah? But have we made good use of this power given to us? More often the power has been misused or lets say has not been realised to its full potential. When the country has the power to choose its own leaders and Goverment , then why do we fail to see the promises being kept each year?We talk of economic growth and increase in the gross domestic income, why do we forget the illetracy and poverty trailing at more than 33% ?

Ofcourse there has been a substantial growth in the disposable income of the average Indian family .Agreed there has been a considerable rise in the education level.Yet the power we have has not helped us to achieve this dream for every Indian Family.Probably thats the reason that every now and then we see rebels demanding a separate state.Those who have been staying below poverty lines,have not seen electricity or schools in their villages,are frustrated with the lifestyles.And we call this a lifestyle! wow! hats off to the republic country.

As a citizen of this country,among the first three changes I would like to see in the constitution are these:
-Invest in the rural places and develop the basic amenities of lives. Atleast free health and hospitals to begin with. I appreciate the efforts taken by times of India ,the “Teach India” campaign which encourages the youth and veterans to spare few hours for the underprivileged. I wish that these kinds of initiatives should be taken on a larger scale by the government and provide free education to the ones who have never seen or known books/schools.

-A friend of mine from Muscat once said to me ” A country is known by the roads it has” .Definitely I feel the same.Besides concentrating only in the metro cities,our Government should take a look at the roads and infrastructure of three tier cities and rural /small towns.This not only provides employment but also encourages investment from private firms.I hope our UP chief minister shifts her focus from building her own statues to better things which needs her attention.

-Our judicial system should work faster so that its doesnt take a decade’s time to solve a case so evident and strong yet making the victime feel helpless.Thosands cases lie pending.While the ones reopened stirred the air for some time .However justice delyaed is justice denied as correctly said.To Name a few-Jessica Lal, Ruchika,Vikas Yadav, Sanjeev Nanda or the Mumbai attacks 2008,Bhopal Carbide gas plant are few names which have seen decades pass away before they got justice or are still awaiting justice. I wish I had a magic wand that did not need to go through the tedious judiciary jigsaw puzzle and depend on the evidences so clear yet not “adequate”…..
Happy republic day to all …..
Jan 28,2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Followed ur heart?

Like majority of Indian students, when I had a choice in school to opt between science and commerce, my mom went head over heals to convince me to choose science. I studied science till I graduated from high school. I hadn't followed my heart then. Though I scored well in science, I opted for Commerce in senior secondary which I enjoyed and excelled in, as against science which seemed dead and boring to me.

Came the time to choose a career, I again found myself entangled between my parents’ choice and mine. They wanted me to study Law or work in banking sector.

Crap!!! Who cared for my thoughts? I was the only one in my school and probably the only one in my peer group who chose ADVERTISING as my career. Late working hours, extremely non-conventional, hectic job, not good for girls…….and so on excuses were given to me to discourage me from taking this decision.

I had starry dreams and high ambitions to nurture. I never wanted to stick to a 9 to 5 job and waste my life. Travelling, dancing, photography have been my areas of interest which I could have pursued as career if little encouragement and motivation was present. Dance still happens to be one of my biggest passions. But there I followed my mind which said that dance as a career isn't too substantial. Today I learn new forms of dances but as a hobby only.

However, I followed my heart and horse blinded myself with the decision of choosing advertising as a career. Post I completed Bachelors, I frantically searched for good colleges of advertising in Delhi. My hard work paid and I got through the written exams. I felt like on top of the world. However couldn't clear the interview.

I lost that year trying to crack entrance exams in various colleges. Looking at my dedication and determination, my parents started supporting me; at least my Mom wasn't hostile any more.
Finally I got admission in a good MBA college. But the struggle wasn’t over there.
With MBA 2nd semester came the choice of steams i.e. Marketing, HR, IT, Finance. I was clear was about my goals-MARKETING.. But as expected there were hurdles in the way which came in the form of advices /suggestions from parents, friends, class mates; that MARKETING is not meant for Girls! My parents were extremely worried with this choice of mine. They used to have discussions about my career with relatives and friends over cup of tea each evening. HR is meant for girls, said my mom. Go for FINANCE, it has good scope -advised my classmates.

But I chose that non-conventional stream. I was among the few girls seated in marketing lectures amidst classrooms full of boys. Now I am happily working in a private firm post competing MBA as a marketing executive. Though the salary is not too attractive, yet the most important thing is that I enjoy my work. I don’t crib like others who are caught in wrong jobs. Why? Because one should follow what heart says and I was driven by my heart. Do hell with people!!! It’s my life after all and its my heart who will be most hurt; not the people. I am looking for an opportunity in the field of advertising. I won’t think for a second before changing my job because I believe in “Do what you love and love what you do”.

India is country where people think that a career selection depends on what feeds your family irrespective u enjoy it or not. That’s the reason why sports as a career isn’t encouraged, neither is a career in non conventional fields like photography, choreography, chef etc. Its high time people change this perspective. If we envisage India to stand out or excel in any field, we need to take initiative of changing the thought. May be its then when we would see a reduction in the suicide rates of students who succumb to parental or society pressure!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winding up..What stood out in 2009?

Time ticks without waiting. What remains are the trails of memories, some for good reasons and some as pricking thorns. It’s up to us weather we learn something from them or merely add them to the book of history like other pages. 2009 has been a year of mixed experiences for everyone. Have we learnt lessons from the mistakes committed in ’09 and wow not to repeat them? Or we sit blindfolded without letting us affect anything?
Kargil operation and IC- 814 hijack incident completed 10th year, Tsunami victims saw the 5th death anniversary of their lost ones in 2009. Have the conditions improved in 2009? Kargil Operation was a victory yet the deceased soldiers’ families are still waiting for compensation from the Government. Villagers who were devastated in Tsunami are still leading a nomadic life waiting for somebody to either help them relocate with a normal life or die with poverty.

The Hijacking was a slap across the face of the Indian Government for the inability to negotiate and let anybody walk in with guns hijacking people. 2009 marked the same history post 26/11/08 Mumbai Attack revealing the vulnerability of the System here. One year has passed by the cruel massacre and our Government is spending Crores of rupees on the terrorist Kasab in order to keep him alive who claims he was framed falsely! That’s where I feel that our system is amputated. However, setting up of NSG hubs in other metro cities by the government was a well appreciated welcoming decision.

Students like me who were ‘soon to be’ MBA graduates spent sleepless anxious nights worrying over the tight market conditions resulting in no vacancies. So I feel lucky to grab a job in an organization which has supported me a lot and given me a great learning platform while a number of my classmates are still unemployed. I wish they get a job for them selves in 2010.Year 2009 will also remain special to me because of the traveling opportunities I got during my tenure in this organization. I feel I am a traveler now :-)
2009 witnessed airlines industry rolling in dust and it was equally painful to see Indian students becoming victim of Racial Attacks abroad. India was bursting with outcry of separate states and a forced thakrey raaj while on the other hand, it gave me some relief to see nations come together for rising concerns of Global Warming. Swine flu was a major concern consistently.

Well, I would run out of pages to wind up 2009 in few words. According to me, the most appealing incident, or lets say the striking moment was the Gay rights support movement in India which came as good news for bisexuals. Activists against it said, that it was nothing but effect of western culture. I fail to understand this statement of theirs. Something which comes naturally to human beings is definitely not a modernized form of living. So far the Indian Government has been quiet on the legalization of the gay rights. I felt the plight of the bisexuals who were cornered by the society where bisexualism was a taboo. The High Court adhered to Constitutional Morality and gave the Homosexuals or the transgenders a reason to cheer. Atleast they would be able to live as part of the society now!

I pity the bisexuals who were prohibited to practice what they wanted. What did the law sing about freedom of choice and freedom to practice? This was one sect of the society who were ill treated even worse than the low castes. My heart went out for them since their discrimination was so unfair! People who married the same sexes whom they loved were either burnt to ashes or disowned by the civilized society. Only few empathized their pain that they were born with this. It wasn't a mere pleasure they gained by posing a “gay” rather they were send by god like this.

The priests and religious leaders left no stone unturned to prove them culprits of the society, misguides of culture. They were humiliated and I salute the spirit of the Indian Law who took a stand to make their lives better unlike our own so called cultural & regional boundations. For me this was something which stood out in 2009 and I wish that the Indian government wakes up on such issues on time.

My winning blog again from Indyarocks.

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