Sunday, December 31, 2006

Principal's principles

I was at my candle light ceremony 6 years ago. With tears in my eyes, all I could think of, was how badly I was going to miss my teachers and friends. The school principal did not feature in the list then. She was just a figure of authority to lead us during prayers and on special functions like sports days and pageants. I remember all the teachers used to repeatedly warn us, as an extreme measure, that our naughtiness would be reported to Mrs. Manoharan (our school principal) if we did not mend our ways. That was enough for us to fall into line. I cannot recall even a single incident when Mrs. Manoharan scolded my class or me. Even when she should have been furious with us, I just saw her very sad at the prospect that her students were not up to the mark and standards she had set for us. Today I miss Ma’am the most.

Mrs Manoharan had called a special session with the whole 12th standard after our batch had conducted the farewell assembly for the entire school. At that time, I am very sorry to say, it had seemed like a boring lecture. But I thank the forces above that I had been one of the many students who had listened to Ma’am speak that day and one of those few students who had understood what ma’am wanted to teach. That day ma'am had spoken to us just as I imagine my mother will when I get married. With all the love in her heart she wanted to prepare us for what was to come and protect us from the evils that an experienced life had warned her about. She mapped out the way our lives were likely to take. She warned us about the people we would encounter. And as a true guide she even told us how we were not to lose our character and keep our morals high.

Over the last six years I have done three years of graduation from Delhi university in Geography (Hons), two years of post graduation in mass communication from MCRPV and worked as an assistant director in a couple of documentary films, as a lifestyle reporter for a couple of lifestyle magazines and now I am working as a sub-editor for a website called These six years have been the practicals for the theory that ma’am taught us in those 2 hours on 29th January 2001. The best and the most valuable lessons of my life.

  • We were told people will run blindly in the direction where money will pull them.
  • College will spell freedom but having a sensible head on the shoulders will be a blessing.
  • The access to vices would be abundant so would be the peer pressure and appeal but here is where our self restraint and morality were to come handy.
  • People we had known since childhood were going to develop personalities which would be shocking.
  • Relationships with the opposite sex were to be furthered for the correct reasons and taken seriously.
  • The education- academic and moral that we had been given at school would give us the foundation on which our personalities would develop and be recognized in the world.
  • She did not tell us only about the bad things. Her best teaching was that world is a beautiful place and it is up to us to find that beauty and enhance it.

These words stayed with me. Thank God they stayed with me. Over the years I have interacted with hundreds of people. Many have been examples of what I would have become if I had not paid heed to Mrs. Manoharan’s words. Thank God I paid heed to her.

Over the years I have missed school immensely. Missed my teachers, the camaraderie I shared with friends, the morning assemblies, hymn singing, the recess periods, mass PT and house scarves and batches. But most of all I have held very close to my heart the words of wisdom Mrs. Manoharan had given on the 29th of January 2001. Sadly it took me six years to express my gratitude to ma’am for the immense care she took and the motherly love she bestowed on me that day. I hope and pray that all the children of STS can be blessed enough to hear and understand the meaning of that special farewell session for years to come. Those words have often helped me choose the right path when I saw other friends going astray on the same crossroads. When in confusion I tend to ask two questions of myself:
Will my mother approve of this?
Will Mrs. Manoharan approve of this?

The answer to these questions is enough to guide me.

Principles that my principal gave me are a legacy that I would one day want my children to own and respect.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Quotable Quotes!

The quotes that made the year for me:

  • “It’s a man’s world.” Sabiha Ma’am
  • “A poet on a motorcycle is the perfect man.” RD
  • “If you had known better, you would have done better.” Oprah Winfrey.
  • “Do everything in the best way you can. Even when you brush your teeth, brush with the conviction that it is the most important thing in the world and give it you 100%.” SRK
  • “Never say life has finished after a failure or mistake. LIFE HAS ALTERED!” Oprah Winfrey.
  • “You were curious, now you know.” Richard Bach
  • “Choices we make define who we are.” Preity Zinta
  • “Ain’t no sunshine when she is gone.”….
  • “Mann ka ho toh achcha hai. Na ho toh aur bhi achcha hai. Kyunki fir woh hoga jo usne socha hai.” Amitabh Bachchan
  • “You are not your mistakes.” Oprah Winfrey
  • “No one has made character without making mistakes.” Oprah Winfrey
  • “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” Oprah Winfrey
  • “Opposing values are complementary to each other.” Art of living
  • “Accept people and situations as they are.” Art of living
  • “Don’t be a football for other people’s opinion.” Art of living
  • “Present moment is inevitable.” Art of living
  • “Don’t find intentions in other people’s mistakes.” Art of living
  • “LET GO!” Art of living
  • “Get well soon” Munna Bhai
  • “One person’s misery is another person’s entertainment.” That’s what I came up with while watching Bigg Boss
  • “Have fun! Misery is optional.”Jean Westcott

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 (part 2)!!! lessons learnt well

The lessons 2006 taught and mind you continues to teach even while it’s breathing the last breath and counting its days, are bound to stay with me for the rest of my life. Last time I had written till the beginning of June of the year. Now time to proceed.


  • Birthday party was a huge success. I loved every moment of it.
    23rd birthday was the first time I had spoken to him. Life had begun to change.
  • Exams. Aha! A mockery of the exams did I make. Did not study one word seriously. Lesson- to never do that again!!! NEVER!
  • Smiling suits my face cut. I look nice when I giggle and smile all the time.
    The feeling of love ain’t that bad.
  • FTII results came out. I was among the top 25 students of 10000 who had given the entrance from all over the country. Winning matters till you are winning.
    NRAI finished without much fanfare. No farewell party, no goodbyes. Sometimes bidding adieu without a word is good.
  • The month was all about partying with friends and enjoying the knowledge of clearing FTII written and giving the masters final exam. Pure bliss.
    Lots of giggles.
  • June was the month that was easily the peak of the year. With the documentary finished, loads of family and friends around, NRAI behind me, FTII result cheering me on and yes how could I forget me giving my heart a chance?


  • The cycle of life started to catch up. After the peak the lull was obvious. It was the beginning of the end of the happy times.
  • Sitting at home without much to do. I had started to loose it.
  • Started going for swimming coaching. Awesome fun! I love water. Swimming rocks as a stress buster. A must learning thing for everyone.
  • Online addiction happened.
  • All of friends had a complete night party. Stayed up all night. Made dinner together, watched the final soccer world cup and had a pillow fight. Oh what fun sneaking is hehehehe.
  • Life promised never to be the same again.
  • I saw a lot of films.
  • Went on my first date. It was fun. Something I had always imagined it would be.
  • Did not like Gurgaon too much then.
  • Went to Pune. Broke my own record. I was quiet for 28 hours. There was no one in the entire boggie. I kept listening to songs and reading.
  • Had an awesome time with Kanchan , Aashu, Kshiteej, Jayesh and Aditi.
  • Fell in love with Pune city. Wanted very badly to live there.
  • Did not clear the FTII interview. The sense of failure was all consuming.
  • Was betrayed by a friend and him. Thought at the time I could fight that. Well not really…


  • The job hunt started. So did depression and internet addiction.
  • Friends seemed to be too busy to meet. It hurt bad to be the only one around to have plenty of time in hand.
  • For the first time in my life I did not have any idea what was to happen next. Uncertainty not my battle.
  • Learned that friends are those who stick by you through that time.
  • Don’t judge people too fast.
  • Some rules are NOT meat to be broken.
  • Taking calculated risks is ok. But foolish ones… wrong idea.
  • Never trust a third person to comment or interfere in a relationship… foolishly enough I did not know this earlier.
  • Paid the phone bill. Phew burnt a hole in my pocket… 2000 bucks oof… now that I think of it calling people on roaming and taking their calls at odd hours is not too wise an idea.
    But guess you gotta do every stupid thing to learn the lesson.
  • Got my passport without paying a single penny as bribe.
  • Spoke with a lot of people for job prospects.
  • Was weighing my options. Said no to a lot of firms as well. It was difficult but I still say it was the correct decision.
  • Reading and writing to the front seat. Got back to what I loved most.
    Chickened out many times to have my first drink… hehehe.
  • Gurneet introduced me to the late night confys on yahoo. Had a great time.
    Sang songs. Hahahhahahaha
  • Made great friends.
  • Developed insomnia.
  • September
  • Ganpati puja was fun. Had friends and family around. Lonkar aaji was telling Garima and Gurneet stories about me when I was little. I was a pretty cute and smart child.
    I look great in black.
  • Finally met Deepti Kapoor. Started work with The Man.
  • Realized a job with no work, was not my cup of tea. Still hung around while continuing the job hunt.
  • Saw Khosla ka Ghosla at the special screening. Nice movie.
    With ‘The Man’ I witnessed a new kind of world within the industry. Decided it was not for me.
  • Realized what I did not want for sure.
  • Severed ties with him. Did not want to be hurt anymore.
  • I can be very diplomatic and cruel at the same time when time demands that of me.
  • Started reading World is Flat. Sabiha Ma’am was right as usual. It is an awesome book.
  • Blogged like crazy during this month. Enjoyed writing each piece.
  • Late night confys became a habit. Realized that you don’t need to meet people face to face to be friends. Friendship is an emotion that is to be shared and felt.


  • The brought with a whole lot of depression, disillusionment and loads of festivities as well.
  • Went for a radio audition. Weird audition since he just interviewed me nad just took an audio test for the other candidate.
  • Got my mark sheet for the final semester of masters of mass communication.
  • Was getting the hang of passing time in the office.
  • Working from home is not my thing. Not at this age and stage in life.
  • Diwali was festive. Aaji was here. I wore a saari.
  • Had a friends’ get-together on bhai dooj, when mom was in Jaipur.
  • I am good at giving lengthy lectures. Poor Ashish, I lectured him bad that day. But I think I had a positive effect on him.


  • The starting of the month saw me traveling to Jaipur. I can talk to even strangers for a long time.
  • Mama’s house warming party was great. I was looking great and feeling even better. Everyone is very proud of mama.
  • Went to Gurgaon for a couple of interviews. This time I was exploring the place on a cycle rickshaw by myself. Liked it a lot.
  • Can’t trust anyone when it comes to official matters. Always remember you don’t have the job till you have the offer letter in your hand.
  • Decided to leave the magazine. The best decision I ever took.
  • It is very important to go through the phase of desperation when chartering your career to make you a complete human being.
  • We went to Vaneet’s house for lunch on his birthday. Loads of leg-pulling, laughter, great food marked the day. He loved the sweat-shirt we had got him.
  • Giving gifts is good when the receiver appreciates the thought.
  • Going to trade fare with Medhekar Aaji was a lot of fun. Her enthusiasm is something contagious. If it could be possible I would make it compulsory for everyone to meet her once during their lifetime.


  • The first half of the month was a mixed bag.
  • Puja at my place went very well. Everyone was very happy with the preparations. I had handled a lot of responsibilities in the kitchen this time around.
  • I met some friends from orkut and yahoo confys. Did not feel like the first meet or like the last one. I m hope one day all of us from the various cities and countries will meet at one place and have a ball.
  • Finally resigned from ‘The Man’.
  • Anita aunty had come to spend the day. I made lunch. She liked the rajma. So I was happy.
  • Things seemed dismal on the career front.
  • He made an appearance again. But this time it was ok. I was normal. The old feelings had subsided. I can be socially and politically correct with him now.
  • Went to Noida. Damn far. Again I am the best judge of my capacity and capability. Content writing was not the job for me.
  • By the 17th of the month I had developed suicidal tendencies. I am ashamed of myself to admit it.
  • I was unable to see myself in 2007. The next year did not promise any prospects for me.
  • Faith was re-instated in the song “I believe in angels when the time is right for me”
  • Two awesome angels came to my rescue. One, a friend who I had met only once and the other, I had just spoken to over yahoo confys and on phone a couple of times.
  • They showed so much concern and care that it became my moral duty to take care of myself.
  • Once I started to believe in myself things took the right direction. The very next day I went for a test and an interview. Cleared both. Got an offer letter the same day.
  • The job is perfect for someone like me who has done graduation in Geography and masters in mass communication. I get to utilize both my specializations.
  • The end of the year again taught me that keeping faith in me and believing in angels always works.

I would like to thank all the people who taught me so much during this year. I hope I can find a heart big enough to forgive those who hurt me. I wish the lessons I learnt this year stay with me through the rest of my life.

*For those who read the whole thing and at the end were thinking the reason for me to put this post up. Well it’s just a reminder for myself to remember the most eventful and crucial year of my life so far. It would be great if some of you can remember and relive some moments of the year gone by through this blog.

** All those of you who still do not get why the blog was posted, well u read something trivial. Now stop complaining and move on.


Thursday, December 07, 2006


I have lost in reality…
His feel
The touch
The sound of his breathing
The look of approval
The stare when he was angry

In memory I have…
His feel
The touch
The sound of his breathing
The look of approval
The stare when he was angry

I have lost in reality…
His words
The expressions
The love in his voice
The meaning of songs he sang
The wisdom when he scolded

In memory I have…
His words
The expressions
The love in his voice
The meaning of songs he sang
The wisdom when he scolded

I have lost in reality…
His walk
The stride
The pace of his steps
The long endless strolls
The discussions that ensued

In memory I have…
His walk
The stride
The pace of his steps
The long endless strolls
The discussions that ensued

I have lost in reality…
His music
The beats
The melody of his humming
The rhythm on the table
The perfection of reaching high notes

In memory I have…
His music
The beats
The melody of his humming
The rhythm on the table
The perfection of reaching high notes

I have lost in reality…
His jokes
The wit
The poker face when he joked
The intelligence in the humour
The glint in the eye when the joke hit the mark

In memory I have…
His jokes
The wit
The poker face when he joked
The intelligence in the humour
The glint in the eye when the joke hit the mark

I have lost in reality…
His being
The life
The emotions behind the photographs
The movement behind the moment
The soul that made the man

In memory I have…
His being
The life
The emotions behind the photographs
The movement behind the moment
The soul that made the man

The memories remain
Threaten to fade
Leaving me with that
Which I have lost in reality
But in memory I have.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Punctuality Curse!!!

‘Be punctual’ was one of the many mantras that my father, may he rest in peace, had taught me. He had practiced religiously what he preached so profoundly. One of the memories that I hold dear to my heart is of my dad standing near the school gate waiting for my school bus to return from the ten day trip to Mussoorie. This was the first trip I had taken without my parents. I was in 8th standard then, so I am talking of something that happened almost 11 years ago. The reunion with my parents was to be a dramatic one and the emotional heaviness was palpable. My dad the sentimentalist that he was (I get the tag of being an emotional fool from him as a legacy as well) was standing there with a beautiful red rose in his hands. After a decade I have no idea where that rose withered too or where the smell vanished away… but the memory stays and today by writing about it I make it immortal!

Well this write-up is not about roses or re-unions. It is about the curse of punctuality. So the main point of the story that I was narrating earlier on was that the first thing my dad told me was “your mom n I have been waiting here for the past 2 hours!” that to me seemed odd considering we had driven back in good time and were at school only half hour late than the scheduled time. When I was alone with mom I asked her in a whisper, “why 2 hours?” My dad heard this and that was the first time I remember being given the decree that was to prove a curse over the years. “Always! Remember always reach before time. Its better to be 5 minutes early than even 1 minute late.”

This was just not a piece of advice that was given to me. I believe with all my heart that it was a moment when the celestial powers had said in chorus--- so it shall be! Till this date no one who has met me will ever tell you that I was late for an appointment. I reach at weddings before the venue is fully decorated, the relatives and the hosts have arrived or even the waiters are in proper dresses. This is my plight. My friends have been teasing me about reaching earlier than the scheduled time for ages. But the event that pushed me to blog about this curse is the realization that dawned on me in the past two days. The effect state borders have.

For the last two days I have had to go to Gurgaon for some work. Unfamiliar with the place I had called up friends and asked for directions, best route to take, and the estimated time that these frequent travelers would know it takes to reach Gurgaon which is practically another city for someone like me living in Central Delhi. The wise souls left no stone unturned to scare the hell out of me and telling me to move out of my house atleast 2 n ½ hours before the scheduled meeting time. I took the five minute margin into consideration as usual. Just as my luck would have it, the traffic to Gurgaon was not only smooth it was unfashionably fast to the point that the DTC bus commuted me to Gurgaon in 25 minutes flat. The cycle rikshaw driver who I had instructed to go at the slowest speed humanly possible was in a mood to pay no heed to me and compete with the British Airways jet flying overhead. So he managed to cover the distance in 10 minutes flat. Adding the total time of walking upto the bus-stop and then signing in the visitor’s book came to a grand total of one hour. Hola!!! I was 1 and ½ hours earlier for an appointment. A record for me as well!

When asked by my dear friend Gurneet as to what in my opinion was the reason for this extra-ordinary phenomenon I candidly replied, “Crossing the state border between Delhi and Haryana has an enhancing effect of my punctuality curse.”

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bond Bollywood Ishtyle

With my last blog I had many friends shedding a tear with me. They say making anybody sad is an easy task, making someone laugh is tremendously difficult. But what’s a challenge if it’s not conquered or at least an attempt is made to conquer it. So ladies and gentlemen as I have often said and will be saying it again and again over the days, months and years--- I am filmy to the core.

Hindi films and icons are very dear to my heart. So any global phenomena I choose to see from Bollywood colored glasses. With the release of Casino Royale releasing world-wide today I thought who all from our own Mumbai film industry could vie for the role and how would they portray it without loosing their essentially trademarked qualities that have come to be associated with them over the period of their careers.***

Seniority wise I should be starting with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. But my affinity and almost bhakti bhav towards SRK forces me to break the seniority rule this once.

The Bond played by SRK will have to change his Christian name from James to ever popular Rahul or Raj with the due blessings of Yash Chopra and happy and gay consent of Karan Johar. Hamming away to glory Rahul Bond will have no problems in dishing out quality one-liners and double meaning jokes with suave innocence. The only clause that this Badshah of Bollywood will highlight (in bold) in the contract with MGM and Columbia Pictures will be- “no kissing the Bond girl because I love my wife too much.”

Amitabh Bachchan
Men and wine better with age. Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan has the voice and the personality to match and even as many would agree the persona larger than any lalu panjoo Daneil Craig. Romancing twenty year old sexy bomb-shells is no trouble for this charismatic legend, a mandatory requirement for an eligible Bond. Health of Mr. Bachchan or Babuji as me and my friends like to call him is not too well. On this account a special weapon shall be created by hiring Siddharth Basu to tackle the lack of physical stamina. The villains will have to answer questions which will have four options to choose from. Now isn’t that the great marriage of TV and films. The only question that the producers of Bond have to ask is “bol Bachchan Bond banega?”

Salman Khan
Bond or no Bond, license or no license, this dude with the firang accent without doubt knows how to kill. With his killer looks the Bond beauties will surely be mesmerized. With so many court cases against Salman Bhai, a permission to shoot (pun intended) will have to be attained. And a sidekick of Bond will have to be introduced because Salman for sure will not be able to drive the Ashton Martin the world is talking about.

Hrithik Roshan
With Greek God looks, the muscles that have women of all age swooning over him with every flex, the looks, and the charm to carry off Bond with panache. Not too bad an actor, Hrithik's safety clause will want papa Rakesh Roshan directing the action flick starring Jadoo in a special role to create Jadoo…oopsie daisies I mean magic at the box office.

John Abraham
He has the looks and the locks. Won’t mind bearing all, yes girls all, but only if the script demands. Most importantly Bond girls will for sure not mind getting a piece of what Bipasha has. The only problem is that when John mouths a dialogue I can bet everything I own that a tree trunk could do a better job. Making a silent sci-fi movie where the Bond of future is shown. An era when humans are extinct and robots rule the planet well that’s a script that suits this yum to look at non-actor.

Abhishek Bachchan
He is the perfect nomination from the industry. He has good looks as a vardaan, abundant talent and the vote of all the ladies I know. But alas the Baby of AB is busy maaroing Aish with the Bollywood films he has lined up for the next couple of years. He has no time for Bond babes… and Bond films as well.

***This is an attempt to laugh at myself and my extreme devotion to Indian film stars. Nothing said in this article should be taken too seriously or as my real feelings towards the honored stars. I sincerely believe that the role of Bond is not interesting enough or masaledar enough for the Bollywood stars to waste their time on.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Knocking on heaven's door

Yesterday I got news that really saddened me. No it was not India losing to the mighty Ausies. It wasn’t even the fact that my kaam wali bai was on a leave the whole of the next week and I was to help my mom with household chores. It was news that put things into perspective for me. After the out and out Diwali celebrations life seemed to be full of dry fruits, nankeen of 10,000 varieties, sweets that looked great and tasted even better, clothes that made all of us mundane people look like royalty for a whole week.

The name of Shailesh Pisalkar, a NGO worker in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, whom I had met this January while on the shoot of my first documentary film, on my cell-phones LCD made me nostalgic instantly. I remembered the jungles; the long unending rides in Sumos, the beautiful sunrises and the sunsets that did justice to what Hindi film writers have been trying to say in numerous songs for decades now.

I remembered the meal that I had so craved for that day while we were shooting since morning and living it up in style on budgeted water because loo facility was not a necessity but a luxury in the remote interiors of Maharashtra where ladies told us that they had to wait for nightfall to do the natural business. The food that we ate that day while the sun was setting on the world in a humble hut of a farmer who had persisted that we lunch at his home was the best meal I have had till date. And I have dined at the best of the best restaurants in Delhi believe you me. The simple meal of bhaat, aaloo subzi and zunka was much more delicious because of the sentiment and the love that it contained. I was later told that they persisted on the whole crew eating at their place because according to Vidarbh tradition if a Khot eats at your place you go to heaven. This was news to me and somewhat embarrassing and a little disconcerting as living in urban India I had never been burdened with such an expectation.

All this and more came to me in a matter of seconds as the phone began to vibrate and gyrate to the tune of Oye bubbly, the Pepsi anthem that sees SRK drinking and endorsing the brand. I picked up the phone with the usual enthusiasm that people have started to associate with me. Shailesh as usual started to speak in Marathi assuming that I had improved my hold on the language by many folds in the past 10 months. I disappointed him and began answering his queries in Hindi. After the usual banter, the lack of food in my tummy since morning reminded me of the sumptuous meal I had had at the house of the humble farmer Rambhau at Karanji village and I asked Shailesh very casually how he and the family were doing, expecting the casual answer that all was well.

Shailesh’s answer brought tears to my eyes. The suicide of farmers in Vidarbh so far had just been a piece of news. It was an issue that I could debate with friends in air-conditioned coffeehouses or be agitated over while heated arguments at office with colleagues ensued. Rambhau’s death was not something I had expected. He had been so generous to us. Had fed us with the best he had to offer. His old aunt had blessed me abundantly and was genuinely worried about my nuptial prospects. I had managed to receive so much of love from complete strangers in a matter of a couple of hours for the first time in my life and presumably the only time. I had begun to associate them with the term abundance. Scarcity was not something that they displayed. They were not flamboyant in terms of resources but the family was the wealthiest of the richest I have interacted with in terms of gestures.

The love that they bestowed upon was all their goodness and did not reflect on me as a person at all. I was just an urban soul who was having one of the best and most enriching trips of my life touring from one village to the other. Suddenly the issue of farmers’ death in Vidarbh became very near to my world.

A person I had met and had eaten food with, a person whose daughter had served me food and very shyly and coyly had complemented my bag, a person whose wife was very proud and mesmerized to see two women in this man’s world doing a job that she did not even imagine could be done, a person who taught me the true sense of the term generosity and abundance. I had received the sad news yesterday that this man was dead.

I pray today, not just by the virtue of being born a Khot, that the man goes to heaven. He had been God sent when he had offered me and the crew food and water when we most needed it. But today i do wonder, maybe he and his family had forgone a weeks meal thence so that we guests at his place could have a stomach full of meal...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

2006--- A year of learning!

The year taught me a lot. I think I have grown the most in this span of past ten months. I started to account for the year so early because it has been one of the most eventful years of my life. I want to start making a list right away so that I don’t miss out on any of the lessons I learnt.
In no way am I suggesting that I am done for the year as far as events go. The next 2 months I am sure will live up to the expectations of family and friends who ALWAYS call my life a mixture of MB novels and Ekta Kapoor serials.

Getting back to the lessons I learnt from 2006:

 Oprah gave me the best lesson on one of her shows--- YOU WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER HAD YOU KNOWN BETTER

 Her pearl of wisdom was also--- LUCK IS PREPARATION MEETING OPPORTUNITY

 I learned work is difficult.

 I love doing difficult things. Nothing challenges, stimulates and excites me more.

 I should be a little more patient while judging people.

 My instincts work.

 I generally manage to get what I wish for. I had truly wished for a teacher who could change my life in a way I most needed. I got Sabiha Ma’am. She showed so much faith in me without ever and I mean ever praising me :). Without a word she made me feel worthy of her just by the gesture of taking me with her on the documentary shoot as an AD. That said a lot!

 I have to be a Sabiha ma’am for a deserving person one day!

 There are a 1000 and more books that I have to read.

 People at the grass-root level are so pure. Their love for us, the crew members was overwhelming.

 Being revered just for your surname, something you inherited because of your birth is a humbling experience.

 I learned it is still a MAN’S WORLD. But I am capable of taking small steps towards making a difference in the situation.

 I can be adventurous when I want to be.

 I love the grind of traveling.

 I am deeply passionate about learning more about film-making.

 There are as many valid viewpoints as there are people. I can have my views. But I should not be sad/mad at others when they do not agree with me!

 India is a vast nation. I understood for the first time what diversity and vastness mean in real terms.

 India is beautiful.

 Indians are very very nice people.

 India is beautiful.

 Indians are very very nice people.

After finishing the documentary, I got a lot of time to spend with Gurneet n the gang that includes Ashish, Vaneet, Angad and Harpreet! Even Garima n I hung out a lot.

 I love my friends! Nothing new in that. No big secret. Ha ha ha ha!!!

 Friends are truly a part of the cosmic family.

 Watching films is fun.

 I would want these days that I have lived on celluloid one day.

 Friendship does not understand international boundaries. Barbara from Germany became a friend in matter of hours.

 Never encourage 2 friends to go around. Not even as a joke. BAD IDEA!

 KANCHAN, GARIMA, GURNEET, VARUN AND RAHUL are no more my friends. They are beyond defined relations. A new term has to be coined to explain what they mean to me. A part of my life for ever more. I am so sure!

Art of Living classes which we pushed into joining by Vaneet proved just the thing I needed!
 I love interacting with strangers. Gives a nice break!

 Opposing values are complementary to each other.

 Accept people and situations as they are.

 Don’t be a football for other people’s opinion.

 Present moment is inevitable.

 Don’t find intentions in other people’s mistakes.


My 23rd birthday! Phew! I really grew up in matter of a day. Really!

 My family and friends are themselves guilty of the charge they always charge me with---- they are very FILMY! Ha hahhhaahhahah!

 Surprise birthday parties are a lot of fun!

 I am loved by my family and friends too much to the extent of being spoiled by them! I am not complaining. Bring it on :)


 Birthdays are supposed to be fun! This was one birthday I enjoyed thoroughly from the word go!

To be continued… u’ll be reading lot more! Hehehe…

Sunday, September 17, 2006

How you doing?

A phrase that Joey Tribiani from the American sitcom Friends, a serial which was a lifeline and an inspiration for us modern day youths world over to live our lives, made famous was ‘how u doing’? A recent discovery in my life has been Within this portal there are various communities. ‘How you doing’ with a picture of Matt la Blanc adorning the profile of the community, is one such community, of which I am a part. A friend very generously introduced me to this community saying that it is a great time pass. Initially I was vary, did join it but well frankly thought that the people who were a part of the community did not talk sense….SORRY guys I know most of you giving this a read are priory members of the community. Trust me I will be showering you with praises later during the article.

Gurneet kept talking about the community members---this new found support group that made her forget all her troubles and at the same time she had loads of fun singing all through the night amidst strangers who all praised her so much. I have known Gurneet. I love her; she is one of my best friends. But hey she does not sing that well.

It was pure curiosity that made me want to participate in this world where a guy named ‘G’ yes u read right ‘G’ was a star, girls swooned over him and guys well were jealous of him though I am sure they will beg to differ. I must confess that I had joined the community to check out the voice of the G man who had managed to floor Gurneet. I must say he acted like a true superstar. Did not speak at all the first time I joined this conference of the members of How You Doing? How do I put it…? “woh bhav kha raha tha”. Over the days, I have managed to blackmail him into singing a few times, saying that I will write about him on the blog! Mean I know… I love myself for being mean!

In this conference I had found a group of people so different from me. They would sing songs, tease each other, and pull each others legs by making pairs of girls with boys, all in good and innocent fun. I presume that none of them knew each other I mean in the real world. But virtually they all seemed like a gang of friends hanging around in CCD or on a night out pyjama party. My singing in the bathroom is also not appreciated by the street dogs that lay around the passage of our building. But on yahoo on a September night I chanced upon this group of ultra friendly people who have over the weeks christened me with names such as Priyanka Lopez and Aashay even made a jingle…where every time he welcomes me with a Pri ding dong sing a song! Even I don’t mind singing my heart out in front of these guys and gals. Listening to Faraz play Beethoven is awesome. And then comes Faraz with Metallica which, though I am not a fan, is appreciated with applause by all.

Divs and Harpreet (phodusurdy as he calls himself) have a great sense of humour. They make everyone feel as if they have known you for ages. Divs is the host generally of all the confies. Where he invites all of us and like an awesome host makes sure that no one leaves the party mid way and un-entertained. Divs was the first one among the confy friends with whom I chatted. Raghav and Divs are regulars on my blog page and I really appreciate getting their comments on my posts! Thanx guys!
The confy has given me a lot. Something to look forward to in these days of unemployment, a platform to interact with people my age-group without actually taking the pain of leaving my computer room. And I even have a son now… friends and family members please don’t be scandalized. PLEASE!!! My bachcha as I call him is a nineteen year old guy studying engineering from Goa. He is such a sweetheart that he calls me Maaaa….ha ha ha ha ha!!! Giving me a superstar feeling of being somewhere near to Sushmita Sen--- She adopted a daughter and I have an adopted cyber son!

I had always known that Friends the sitcom was important in my life. But the phrase ‘how you doin?’ Would become so much a part of my day…oops sorry nights, we have the confies in the night, who would have thought!!!

So next time anyone asks ‘How You Doing?’ take them seriously. A series of beautiful cyber relations might just be awaiting your destiny.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mind boggling blogging

Journalism is literature in hurry. Richard Gere my all time favorite Hollywood leading man said this in Runaway Bride. A profound statement I must stay. Especially in a movie which was all about mush. As you must have realized from going through my previous posts I have a tendency to equate films with real life. How do I relate Runaway Bride to my life… well hey I am not running and definitely not getting married. I am reading a book highly recommended by my teacher--- ‘The World is Flat’ by Thomas Friedman. It’s a historical overview of the twentieth century. Its non-fiction, which is something I generally do not enjoy. But this book is an exception. It has made me toss and turn in bed for hours, awake for a better part of the night struggling to comprehend and trying to analyze what certain contemporary world phenomenon might result into in the near future.
Blogging has become a very important part of my daily routine during these times of job hunting. Only space I get to let my creative juices flow. The statement “Journalism is literature in hurry” made me think if journalism was hurried literature what would blogging be defined as. As Friedman puts it--- blogging is a globe flattener. News, views, stories travel and I believe even touch people at the speed unfathomable. But is every word that is written on blog literature? Is every scribble that a mom makes about her children so as to tell relatives about the growing babies without boring them, a great literal archive? More importantly will generations beyond us be able to realize the kinds of lives we lived, the people we are, the wars we fight, the trials we face, the movies we watch and make? People try to blog each minute they live yet will these lives be recaptured by generations who will follow our suit.
My idea of a perfect rainy day is a cup of hot steaming cup of coffee with a good book; maybe a classic which my mom might have read before me. Something which even I might have read numerous times before; a book that makes me go back in a time before I existed; the pages of the book remind me of the times my mom read the book to me or the times when I had animated discussions about the particular book. Will the generations be able to relive past through words. They might relive the era which we have relived too. But what about this time which we are marking by our innovations, our lives and well my numerous questions?
If journalism was hurried literature in the 90s what is blogging in the 2000s? It’s a mind boggling exercise for the writers as well as the readers. It’s intimate and personal. Connects two people who might not know each other at all and chances are might never meet ever. How come the easier and more reachable the ways and means of communicating are becoming the more we as a societal group are disconnecting and inclining towards individualism? Blogging is mind boggling!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cannot Cry Forever…

I remember the violent riots
When Hindus and Muslims killed each other
And only orphans, widows survived
Tears swell up…
I remember…
But I cannot cry forever.

I remember the tragic earthquakes
When nature pinned down the human spirit
And only ruined habitations stood standing
Tears swell up…
I remember…
But I cannot cry forever.

I remember the floods
When excess of water brought devastation
And the life giving water became a curse
Tears swell up…
I remember…
But I cannot cry forever

I remember the droughts
When water was scarce, every drop was valued
And every water drop meant a life for someone
Tears swell up…
I remember…
But I cannot cry forever

I remember the deaths of dear ones
When life without them seemed impossible
And laughing again, a distant dream
Tears swell up…
I remember…
But I cannot cry forever

I remember even today those tragedies
Even today tears swell up
And then I hear a child’s laugh
And I join the merriment
I still do remember
But I cannot cry forever…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Will never forgive you

For every hug that I crave and need
For every pat on my back that I deserve
For all the gifts of love I desire
For all the tears I want you to wipe away
I will never forgive you…
For leaving me alone.

For the accolades I win
For the degrees I graduate
For the time when my heart is broken
For the time when I want to share my joy
I will never forgive you…
For leaving me alone.

For the future untold
For the years ahead
For the respect of my husband still unknown
For the love of my children unborn
I will never forgive you…
For leaving me alone.

For giving me this sadness
For taking away my security
For the vulnerability I feel
For the loneliness that haunts me
I will never forgive you…
For leaving me alone.

Dad I love you for the life you gave me
Dad I love you for the name people call me
Dad I love you for my mother so good
Dad I love you for my brother so little and pure
I will never forgive you…
For leaving me alone.
For dying, will never forgive you.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Get Well Soon!!!

Remember a few days back I had written about the RDB effect to inspire me to join the anti reservation protests. My friends and other readers thought I was too filmy. They are right I am. I do believe that the films are a mirror to the society a cliché maybe but true. RDB brought out a radical side of my personality out. Well today was a great day when I received an anti-dote of Rang De Basanti in form of Lage Raho Munna Bhai; A movie that reinstated my faith in the philosophies of Gandhi without preaching too much; Telling me that violence is not the way or perhaps not the correct way to achieve change. In fact the pointers that Hirani managed to give seemed applicable and I tested the applicability as well immediately. It works.

A movie buff I was morning the demise of veteran Hrishikesh Mukherjee and the death of the cinema that he had invented and managed to take to great heights at the same time seep into the depths of our hearts. Lage Raho showed a ray of hope. Normal people in normal costumes not designer garb that distracts the attention from the plot of the story; talking sense and still breaking the mould and doing something different and inspiring me to do my bit. Redefining cinema as a friend put it.

Be it tackling corruption, or selecting a groom Munna has a solution to all the modern day woes. A helping hand in the form of Gandhi is a bonus. A subtle message that all of us have a Gandhi in us. We just have to muster the courage.

The direction was fantabulous. The acting par excellence. The tale of friendship moved a notch further. Circuit proved his loyalty every time he saw Gandhi when Munna saw Bapu. Vidya was beautiful, innocent almost angelic and still real. Someone I or you could be or at least hope to meet down the road. Sanjay Dutt was at his career best. Sorry I am not a big fan of his don roles. His comic timing and mush romanticism bowled me over. But the star was Boman Irani. For me he was spectacular as Lucky Singh. Not once did I feel that a Parsi was playing the role of a Sardar. He was a builder I might run into in Delhi. He was awesome! Kudos to the master actor!!!

The music of the film was good so was the dance routine that complemented Sanjay’s style or lack of it. The best song some might say was Har pal…but I beg to differ; the best song was vande matram bande mein tha dum. Specially, because of the contemporary political significance of this song. So ironical that when all the politicians of India are busy raking up a controversy over the national song a main stream Hindi film not only uses the song but also links it to the father of the nation. So what next, the politicians are going to decide that Gandhi is no more the father of nation and a certain community can decide upon whom to choose as their father of the nation. Only one message for our politicians--- GET WELL SOON!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Finding a groom is fun!

Finding a groom is fun! I declare this with full confidence and especially till the time the needle is not pointed at my direction. I know my best friend is going to kill me for writing this but I have pre warned her about my itch to write about my experience and involvement in finding a suitable match for her. Well I am not playing a very important role though. I drafted a matrimonial advertisement for her on the behest of her mother. Cannot refuse aunty and the wonderful opportunity to well, shamelessly and blatantly enjoy at my friends misery. That’s what best friends are meant to do as I often tell her.

Writing that matrimonial was a revelation to me. Firstly, I just realized that well she is going to be married soon. The relation that we share---its shape, configuration, depth, volume everything is bound to change. I know I have a way of making everything about myself! But hey when a person has been a part of your life for as long as I have known her you will be rattled too. And I realized I want to make sure that I am involved even more in the whole process so that I can be a part of her life after hr marriage too. She is too special for me to let go.

One more thing I learned is that I can actually manage to write a decent matrimonial. Describing her in a limited number of letters, mind you not words but letters, was a challenge. Taking reference from the newspaper I believe I did a decent job! But it was a challenge to describe someone I have grown up with in a few letters to possibly a person she might spend the rest of her life and me and my future husband will spend hours partying with. I have so many more things to tell, so many things he should know. And I have a long list of things I expect him to do and be for my best friend. Things like she loves sabudana khichadi, sings without making a sound, becomes a hallmark card when you want her to, is a pillar of strength when I know I cannot stand by myself. I want him to be too good to her, make sure that she is loved and treasured and cherished more than she deserves. There are just so many things I wish for her.

Her marriage also is an occasion for me to dress up. Wearing a sari to her wedding, checking out the guys from the groom’s side, eating goodies, later helping aunty and her sister after the wedding party has left for her new home… so many other things I can see being a part of.

Garima I wish you the best in life…love ya loads!!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Love is just like life… awesomely beautiful when it happens and really sad when the feeling subsides just like death tends to somber the mood. Wise men have said you do not stop living because of fear of death then why stop loving… makes sense.

But in this age when love is neither eternal nor is it an emotion of everlasting season, living a fulfilled life full of monetary and superficial comforts seems the best option available.

In this age of IT boom where the world is just a mouse click away, so is love. One teaser in your inbox or a flattering mail, a nice and sentimental text message, few phone calls and love happens. It is instant and fast just like the food we eat. And it is not healthy just as the food we eat!

Just like you cannot escape globalization so too you cannot escape the woes of instant love as I like to put it, in this net-age. Mothers tend to see as the best venue for searching a suitable spouse for their wards; single youth can be found hanging around in dating sites or chat rooms; and even married men n women looking for ways to stray find net a valuable escape. Hmmm so is the net all that bad??? Well not for guys n gals who boast of finding their perfect match on the web… ask someone who got entangled in this web and the true picture of the wide world may set in.

Hey at this point during the read if you infer that I am against chatting or networking…well no!!! You will find me as a compulsive addict on as well as on yahoo messenger. But yes recent talk about love everywhere really has started to, well get to me. And then this high dependency I see around in friends over the internet to find the love of their life raises the question of the utility of the medium in this context!
I personally sadly have not found the ideal match on the net so far, not that I am looking for someone…hahahaha! But if you have, do let me know and reinstate my faith!!! Cause I will have to find someone on the web and create a home in the wide world web itself. Because since my addiction to the virtual reality I have virtually forgotten the norms of real world!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Secret Admirer!

He stared at me for a good part of the six hours bus journey from Jaipur to Kota. He kept smiling as though he had seen a girl for the first time. At first, well I felt very flattered being stared at like that, but soon flattery gave way to my being very conscious about every move I made. He kept staring. He kept smiling.
He giggled out loud and when I looked at him with a natural reflex he bowed down his head. He blushed. I decided enough was enough; he should talk to me outright rather than making me so uncomfortable with his staring looks. He did not agree, his mischievous smile and the glint in his eyes told me so. He wanted to continue the game. He kept staring. He kept smiling.
The bus was crowded as there were many people on board. I was the only one who caught his imagination though. I exulted in the glory of this new found secret admirer. Even whispered into my mother’s ears “maa look he’s been observing every move I make.” Surprisingly my mom did not object to the guy’s staring or his sly smile. She started to tease me. While he kept staring. He kept smiling.
The route was beautiful. Rajasthan blossomed yellow with mustard fields. Here and there and almost everywhere we spotted many small yet extravagant forts. I was enjoying the traveling escapade as well as the attention bestowed so generously by my secret admirer. The journey was coming to an end, our destination was approaching fast. I just could not take leave without the exchange of words. I mustered all the courage I possessed. Giving my sweetest smile possible I asked, “What is your name?” He looked at me, a bit surprised and I think a bit shocked too. I knew at once he was at a loss of words. He did not reply, turned his head away. His brother came to the rescue, gave me my secret admirer’s name— Vaibhav. But Vaibhav, he kept staring. He kept smiling.
We reached Kota exactly on time. I helped my mother haul down the heavy suitcase. We were waiting for a cabdriver. Vaibhav came down and shyly he said, “Pleeyanka didi, your shoes are very nice.” And again he started to smile.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Faith Shattered!

Karan Johar has failed me as a faithful audience. Shah Rukh has wronged me as a fan who believed he or any character he played could do no wrong! Bingo! Karan brilliant direction I came out all baffled and thinking Huh? How? Why? What? You wanted the audience to think…well now you have me thinking!
Well you have managed to portray reality in terms which we do not expect from you. Agreed it was real…that’s how people behave. But do you think I want to spend 150 bucks that I have begged for from my mom and you to spend 60 crores to make reality cinema? No. I see a lot of reality in real life. I expect karva chauths, beautiful heroines, perfect heroes (read Rahul, Raj, Rohit, Aman), great locations, adarshvadi dads and extremely happy and conventional endings from you. As SRK himself put it…why did you kill Rahul for us… why?
Technically and as a story the movie is fantabulous and more. But hey that’s not the kind of movie I a die hard SRK and Karan fan want to see next time.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Weird beginning of a lifelong friendship!

Keeping the promises I make to myself is not my best quality. More often than not I tend to break my own sweet little heart. As usual I had broken the rule I had setup previous night when I had promised my mom, “I’ll be on time for everything from tomorrow, you will see.” My mom had sweetly smiled and said, “If tomorrow comes…” Flabbergasted and dismally handling my project file which was too bulky for my small frame I boarded my usual bus no. 500 from Krishi Bhawan. There was this awesomely cute guy in my declared all time favourite ensemble for guys--- faded jeans and white shirt. And off went my MB fantasies. He would be a thorough gentleman, offer his seat to me and I would coyly (very unlike my true self…hehehe) take up his offer.

At the same time a girl who would be called by us next door intellectual type girls as well a B***H and by guys as a BOMBSHELL boarded the bus too. And I am sure you must have guessed all my dreams were shattered when my possible hero, the prince charming in blue denims offered his seat to the B (girls and boys read accordingly). He stood up and was standing next to me. In some other day and time I would have enjoyed it better but hey I was heavily burdened with my project file and the driver who was driving like a maniac did not help my situation a bit.

I was so annoyed with the guy, not only cause he did not give me his seat and nor did he show his chivalry and helped me with my cumbersome load, but because he was STINKING! That’s right all my romantic endeavors had fallen flat on the face. We were at the South-ex stop. I could not bear the stench anymore…I have smell issues…will elaborate on them some other time. And I badly wanted to avenge my wounded pride. So pat I opened my mouth… “Excuse me, could you please put your hand down?”
He was puzzled…well where else was he to gain support to maintain the balance? “Why?” he asked in complete confusion written all over his face.
“Cause you are stinking…and I really can’t bear it anymore.” Rude I know but hey he had it coming...looking all cute and all and not showing any interest in me whatsoever…the poor chap not only put his arm down he even got down the bus too and EMBARRESSED as hell all thanks to me.

More than two months had passed since the incident. All my friends and family had heard the story several times, many times on demand, and laughed their heads off. Even I had developed a routine giving appropriate pause at the correct time for the audiences to grasp, ooo aahh, and to well laugh hysterically in the end.
Well on the chilly morning of 2nd November 2002, as I was just getting down my deserted college bus stop cause I was a bit late…not my fault yaar the cable wala was showing a SRK movie… neway to be back on the story line… hmmm so this dude gets down after me and says “Hi!” I rattle up my brains trying to put this guy’s face to a name. Ah! But no success. “Sorry! Do I know you?” I ask cautiously and still happy for the early morning rendezvous because it could make for interesting conversation during the lunch time (wink).
He just smiled “I am Rahul, and I am not stinking today!”
He boarded the next bus and vanished… I stood their gasping and wishing I had someone to share the moment with.

Its been four years. We have relived the moment again and again laughed till we had tears in our eyes. Sometimes we remembered our first meet when we were crying so that the tears would vanish. Rahul and I are best friends today. We have seen each other through so much---our graduations, his marriage, our first jobs, his adoption of two girls, my first documentary and now his going to Australia to settle there with family. Life has been good. I love my stinky!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mediocrity the new thumb rule…

‘United colors of Benetton’ announces discounts for those who don’t work hard enough in exams… the Indian government and the people at the helm of deciding the education policy have also decided to ruin the education system by introducing means and ways of pushing mediocre people at top positions. Such is the state of affairs that the people who have the natural potential are not encouraged and those who shy away from hard work are being celebrated… what good will come from it? Any person in the right state mind is bound to ask, but will our politicians wake up from their slumber and take steps to mend their decisions…

I guess not mediocre brains at helm of things means less and less opposition, which in turn means even lesser application of funds in the right direction and thus by the law of inverse proportion means more and more funds in the minister’s pockets. What does the citizen of India do…well he celebrates the fact that his son or daughter will have to work less hard than he did… “After all I have earned to provide them with maximum facilities.” But is this the only responsibility of parents? What has happened to the values that made us Indians—of hard work, of loyalty, perseverance, fighting for justice…where did our parents’ generation go wrong???

The idea of excellence has taken a back seat. Why is a student who knows his hydro-carbons to the ‘T’ considered a looser in comparison to say a school dropout who has managed to mint a lot of money as an actor. Will the nation raise its technological standards by facilitating the actor or by encouraging the chemistry genius? Well in the present scenario the honor of a politician’s child who has been caught red-handed using drugs is more likely than honoring academic excellence or creative brilliance.

The media is to be blamed to a large extent. Giving limelight to all the wrong kinds of people has become a passion. Even in reality shows the true talent seldom wins. Sympathy for the least talented person is generated. Votes rather money is collected and any one who shows remote nearness to a talent is selected. News coverage is concentrated upon those who have gained excellence in breaking the law of the land or breaking the moral codes of conduct. Debates over reducing age of legal drinking are the sole purpose of one of the national dailies…in this scenario if the younger generation cannot figure out the definition of success…they are not to be blamed. Are they???

Monday, May 22, 2006

Why I protested?

Friends and family alike asked me why I so wanted to attend the mass rally that was held to oppose the reservation quota on 20th May 2006. Was it the ‘Rang De Basanti’ effect? Glamour and the romance of the situation nudging me? Or just my juvenile dream to take part in a rally and fulfill the filmi dream of protesting against unmerited?

The answer is none of the above. With the passing years I must confess that my brain has become more analytical than ever before. Reading the newspapers analyzing the news and putting 2 and 2 together is an art that I have learned to appreciate and apply.

Well for starters…the obviousness of it all. Reservations are nothing but a calculated political move to extract the maximum by churning the issue of caste based reservation in a nation divided on the caste and religion lines. The reason for this sudden and out of nowhere proposal…simple again the elections in UP where Rahul Gandhi or Rahul baba (as he is called in the Congress Party circles) has to prove his metal and has to ostensibly command the throne rather than demand it. In the heartland of backward classes where Mulayam Singh Yadav is the man currently at the helm of the things this is a brilliant move by the Congress Party thinkers if their goal is considered in isolation. What will be the ramifications of all this on the nation…well only time will tell!

Why are the reservations an option to be considered in totality? Is the main motive behind the reservation tactic only political? NO. There are economic reasons as well. The most powerful and the developed economies of the world bank on education for a huge portion of their GDP. India has a great potential to tap this market. The opening up of the education market will lead to various private universities who will in turn have to pay tax to the government. This tax would be extracted from the students in form of exorbitant fees. In order to comply with these fee structures the students (in most cases their parents as well) will be forced to take loans from the banks. Thus the movement of money will accelerate giving an impetus to the economy. A government under the prime-ministership of the former finance minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is expected to usher in another era of economic reforms like the one in the 1990s. The possibilities that the prospect of reservation opens are huge. With reservations in government institutes hiked to almost or more than 50% will ensure the forced diversion of deserving students towards the private institutes. Thus forming a complete circle of economic growth.

The reservation issue is considered to be an internal affair of the nation. The involvement of the international community seems distant. But there is a twist in the tale. Though not proven till date it is a theory in its nascent stage. India is aiming to achieve the status of a developed nation by the year 2020. This poses a severe threat to the position of the already developed nations which also face the danger from the great market potential that India possesses. In a volatile situation like this it is not a far fetched assumption that the lobbies around the world are exerting a pressure to create a situation whereby the brains of India are forced to migrate and serve their purpose and their nation. The international educational universities also see this as a chance of opening their branches in India to provide education, train the Indian minds according to their requirements and harness their potential to further the cause of their own countries and thus robbing India of its ultimate strength---manpower and brainpower.

I was able to analyze this and know the various reasons that Arjun Singh, the HRD minister of India proposed the reservation. Then what was the reason that pushed me join fellow professionals from varied fields to protest the proposal? To begin with I believe that life has given me a chance to fight for something I truly believe in i.e MERIT. Secondly, it might sound filmily clichéd but I did it for two reasons (i) for myself…I would not be able to live with myself after living through the injustice of it all and not even protesting the wrong; and (ii) for the generation that will come after me…when they will be disheartened and look at me with tear filled eyes because of the fact that someone less meritorious than them got a seat at the medical college, or a job at a prestigious post at least I will be able to tell them I tried my best!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Reservation in Education, options & alternatives

Believe it or not the Mandal commission has failed miserably as a socio-economic attempt to raise the living standards of the backward classes of the society as well as a political tactic. How many times was V.P Singh re-elected after he introduced and endorsed the Mandal Commission recommendations of reservations in the educational institutions and government sector offices? Never. This thus is evidence enough that such tactics do not result in ANY good for anyone not the public which is now divided in new segments--- reserved and non-reserved classes and neither the politicians who make a futile attempt to appease the vote-bank with such gimmicks. To strengthen the education system of India other things are required, options and alternatives have to be tried and tested for the ultimate overall development of the nation and propelling India to its rightful place on the global map.
The Mandal Commission had made several other recommendations other than the reservation of seats. Why they were never pursued no one knows. There are many steps that can be taken in order to strengthen the Indian education system and equally extend the benefits of higher education to all the sections of Indian society.

Progressive land reforms should be implemented in an effort to radically alter the production relations at the village levels so that the discrimination at the rural level can be fought with, at the grass-root level itself. Equality at that level will promote a culture wherein education at that level would be provided equally to the children of the village sardar and the kisan.
Providing special facilities to upgrade the educational and cultural environment of the children belonging to the social class, who might not belong to the SC-ST bracket necessarily but are economically and culturally at a back foot when compared to their urban city residing counter-parts, should be made a priority by the government at this point in time.
Encouraging vocational studies at the district level will provide ample opportunity to the kids and at the same time will result in reducing the migration to urban cities and creating a bottleneck situation where needs are excessive and supplies are nominal. The cost of migration and the burden of living in the cities will also be greatly reduced thus. Educational centers at the district or block level will hence result in cultivating talent from all the parts of the country and will not be marginalized to only those who have access to towns and funds to support a life in the cities.
Premium institutions like IITs and IIms require a lot of hard work when it comes to academics and some more initiative when it comes to extra-curricular activities. Studies have shown that students who are entering the institutes under the present reservation schemes tend to face a lot of difficulty while coping with the stress of these premium institutes’ curriculum. To help these students, firstly, separate training and coaching institutes should be arranged so that they can compete at the same footing with their counter parts. Secondly, the number of institutes at the premium level should be increased in order to accommodate the rising number of students and the ever increasing population of the country. Burdening the existing institutes with more students or lessening the general quota seats will result only in increasing more dissent between the students of the general quota and the reserved quota.
With government downsizing posts in the government offices every year, the reservations will only result in uprooting the people of the backward classes from their traditional occupations in hope of getting a government job which will not be available to them going by the current trends of down cutting of jobs. Thus a void will be created which will ultimately result in a national loss of traditional arts and creating a section of unemployed qualified persons. In an ideal situation basic education till the high school should be provided by the state government and at the same time the traditional family occupation should be encouraged. Thus if educated individuals go back to their occupations they will be able to contribute more to the business thus helping in expanding it.
Setting up of separate chain of financial and technical bodies to assist OBC s would help to initiate a process whereby special schools of training and coaching can be opened to facilitate the deserving students among this vast populace.

India does not need 49.9% reservation at the graduation and post graduation level rather what is required is the creation of a strong foundation at the primary school level and a simultaneous exercise to educate the masses of the irrelevance of caste systems in this day and age of globalization, where professional standings demarcate class rather than the name of the family in which you are born.

The past decade saw many a people using the reservations in India to attain high posts… their sons and daughters also availed this opportunity. The provision of reservations in the constitution was made with the intention of providing a head start to those sections of society who had faced discrimination and exploitation at the hands of the upper rich class for centuries. But the reservations were a provision that was to be implemented for ten years and were then to be slowly and gradually withdrawn after the backward classes had availed its use. Reservations have become a hierarchical legacy that a SC father seems to be handing over to his sons or daughters. What the government can at least do is make the provision of reserving seats for only one member of a family; thus giving equal opportunity to those who are unable to make optimum use of this scheme.

But the people who were unfamiliar to the reservation norms last time they were introduced by the V.P Singh’s government remained so. There was not much that the reservations changed then. How and what will they change now? Reservation of certain castes is being recommended, does that mean that all SCs and STs comprising 52% of the population are living below the poverty line? Certainly not. Does it mean that all the Brahmins who constitute the 5% of population are living luxurious lives? No again!

Well if the government deems it necessary to introduce reservation in order to provide equal opportunities to all then why not reserve seats for the economically backwards without attaching the tag of castes to them. The reason is simple that the vote-bank formulae so successfully cultivated and exploited by Laloos of India will not work if the poor alone are targeted and the castes are not mentioned at all. Is the development of India essential to them….or their vote banks???

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Reservation Politics

The HRD Minister of India has spoken....and as usual any thing a minister says tends to bring about havoc amidst the socio-economic status of our nation of much diversity. India a nation which boasts of its diversity as a strength has unfortunately fallen in a political trap wherein this diversity is being used by scavenger like politicians to optimize their gains in the 5 yearly extravaganza we call elections. With the commencement of elections in Assam and soon to be held in other states the central government has very conveniently breached the code of conduct prescribed by the Election Commission (EC). Are we against reservation? Well no. what we are against is rampant reservation and at the cost of deserving candidates.
The atrocities that our ancestors committed on the weaker sections do not reflect on us in any way…and frankly should not. In this day and age of equality if the weaker sections, as the law suggests, should not be judged by birth why indulge in hypocrisy and judge the Brahmins because of their birth. BE EQUAL in all the senses of the term. Provide equal rights to all and the best one of the species will triumph. This is the law of the jungle since forever messing around it will not solve any thing it will only increase further disillusionment and discontent among the youth. If the HRD minister would take real and active steps to provide elementary education at the village levels he would be able to cultivate talent that can stand on their own merit rather than those who will step on the foot of the deserving candidates, ultimately proving to be a burden to the state than an asset to the nation.
In the current situation the reservation has become a bone in the food-pipe…pardon the translation from Hindi… which can neither be swallowed nor be spit-out. The minister by announcing that he is planning to introduce reservation has managed to arouse a debate over reservation and has created a divide among the society into two. One section who support the reservation and one who are against it. Actually three groups, one group that has found another opportunity to attack the government and rightly so on the basis of the fact that the government is not doing enough to improve the status of education specially at the primary level and at the premier level.
One more reason that reservation has become a demon is because it has an unsettling power behind it without any deterrent to actually make it possible to announce reservations only in situations when it is absolutely desired and not only to maximize political gain and expand vote-banks. If the parliament was full of noble men who thought of the junta, a law could be passed which made reservation an exclusive subject under the domain of the President and the Prime-Minister of the country…not the Super Prime-Minister.