Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My kids will do it differently...

Some years ago I was a kid and it was Christmas vacations for me and my friends from other schools. The day used to start with we cycling and jogging with out friends in the morning at about 7. Did it till we were hungry and came back home for a quick snack and off to play again. But now it is still Christmas and school children are nowhere to be seen but on Facebook. The essence of childhood lost; perhaps redefined!

Back then the only account I knew was a bank account and the word "mobile" was an adjective and not a noun. I first saw a mobile when I was in my 11th Std that to a Nokia 3310. Now people don't even know it existed and those who knew it know it is prehistoric now. Kids now have phone with GPRS and EGDE; almost 3G now!

Travelling from Mumbai to Pune used to take a gruelling 3hours without traffic that too. But now we have the expressway and it hardly take 2hours to cover those 195 Kms of best road in the country. Bandra-Worli sealink didnt even exist and we didnt know whats load shedding. Now we know what is load-shedding and its already history.

15 years back there we no private channels and only DD1/DD2; watching on TV sets that had no remote but a knob to change channels. I grew up watching Ramayan, Mahabharat and Mogli. Now we have at least 5 channels in each of the vernacular languages of India. Hockey and Cricket were the only games the country watched with great fervour. Dyan Chand, Dhanraj Pillai, Sachin and Ganguly were our Gods. Still the fervour has not subdued but we have taken new pride in following Saina Nehwal, Somdev, Narain Karthikeyan nad Force India. Petrol was 20Rs/Lit and call cost 15Rs/Min. Now petrol is 60Rs/Lit and STD call cost is 0.36Rs/Min. Inflation growing at a steady pace while cost of services falling. Has the harbinger of runaway-prices shown its face? No it has just indicated to us that we're living in a world where resources and we have been using things for our greed rather than need!

The time it took for the Radio to reach an audience of 50 Million was 38 years; TV 13 years; Internet 4 years; iPod 3 years and Facebook 2 years. More words have been added to the dictionary in the past 10 years than in the last 250 years. The amount of information a person comes across in a week of newspaper is more than what he would have come across  in 18th century. Times are changing really fast and so are the social norms. 20 years down the line Christmas trees will be there but will be made of holograms instead!! :P

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thru a journey called "Graduation"!

It started as a vague thought; never in the wildest of my dreams had I thought it would come true! But, here I was 1300Kms away 4m what I called home.

I still remember the baby steps I took towards my college, legs shivering with uncertainty and head spinning with the thought of being jailed up here for the next three years. As it was to happen the 1st three months were the toughest, both physically and mentally. The environment totally weird, the people alien, the food unappetising and the culture primitive. I had come to a place where things are seen from the narrowest of mindsets; where people seldom know more than a language; where movies are watched with more fervour than cricket and respect demanded rather than earned.

Time started to crawl; seconds seemed minutes; minutes seemed hours with a totally new world around me in totally unconducive surroundings. It was then that I realised that the best way to kill a person is to give all the time in the world and nothing to do! I still remember how I used to spend time calculating the RPM(rotations per minute) of the ceiling fan; noting the time it takes for the water to get filled in the overhead tank and watching the birds fly in and out of the room.

Then it started; my participation in the BARD Fest '08. Quiz, Debate and Speech were in which I represented my college. It was just the start of what was to become my solace and time-killer. I started spending more time in college culturals and less in hostel. Life seemed better; time seemed to fly. Roamed near and far for competitions and in a quest to prove that i could do something better with my time rather than kill it. In the meanwhile made friends dearer than I could ever make here. But, the real purpose of me coming to this place a.k.a studies was lost in the transition somewhere between Mumbai and Trichy.

After all this I see a silver lining. I've changed, for the better! Grown more mature and serious towards life. Got to know what family, friends and home mean. Met new people, learnt how to form new relations and the toughest part of keeping it together. Learnt the important lesson in life; to "Love people; use things" on the contrary to what most people do "Love things; use people"!

Two-n-half years and 5 semesters have passed since that fateful day and as I step in to the last semester of my graduation, I've come to realise that none of the analogies about this place have changed. Grown just a tad better. As I start rejoicing that my 3yr ordeal is about to get over in a matter of months, I take along with me some very beautiful memories of experiences, events and some special friends whom I was fortunate to make during my course of stay. The only regret being that I will be far away from them and will not be able to meet them as and when I wish. They had created for me a home away from home.

Overall a journey worth remembering with a few edits ofcourse :P

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paichan Kaun!

Sometimes I ponder and it makes me wonder,
why am i mad; why am i sad?
do i deserved to be this, am i really so bad?
I raise such queries, an attempt to end my worries!
I keep my ears open; but there are no words spoken,
the deathly silence is much harder to face than violence,
I've changed a lot, is this part of a secret plot?
I need to forge ahead and mourne,
Still sometimes i ask my self "Paichan Kaun...?"

Paichan Kaun myself I asked...
My heart started beating really fast,
Thoughts ceased to fly and i seemed to die,
Something told me I need to start and go,
I've people to who I owe,
Leaving behind me what does not matter,
Now is making me feel better.
The future seems bleak as I feel weak,
I need to forget my past so to not get lost,
I must make a move as I've go a lot to prove!
Now when I ask my self "Paichan kaun...?"
My heart instanly answers "Mein hoon Don...!!"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Death is not the end...

Time flies real quick. It just seems as if it was yesterday that I went to my school in small pants(the size of my undies now) playfully, my frequent trips to the temple, my playtime, my friends...

When these pangs of nostalgia grip me, the 1st thing that comes to my mind is "my Grandpa". He was always there, right from the day I could recognise people, always, always there.Be it waiting inside the school campus sitting under the tree near the school canteen or taking me to play grounds in the evenings and buying me all the small-small goodies I used to point at. I still vividly remember the times I used to nag him into telling me stories. His stories were my favourite pastime. The amount of patience he used to exhibit every time (I hated a repeat of stories). Now to think of it, those stories in a silent way described to me how the world really works. Mythology, Folklore, Shakespearean... you name it and there the story was. He always had a solution for every problem. Highly Intellectual.

The greatest "Test of Faith" comes when we are away from people whom we love and how often we think of them in our busy daily life and the way their influence changes our lives. Now to think that I cant re-live those moments with him makes me sad; to think that I wont be physically having him around me. Still cannot get over the fact that if at all I want to be with him now, it would be in my memory where he has a booked a special berth for himself for eternity.

I just comfort myself by saying - "Death is not the end, it just the beginning of a whole new kind of journey!".

<3 u

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back to basics

They say that the "Pen is mightier that the sword". But the problem India faces is that 31% of the population does not know how to use the pen. We have a literacy rate of 69%; well below the world average of 84%. The southern states fare better compared to north.

The education system in India has gone to the dogs, worse still; to the street dogs! The educational system in ancient India was Gurukula. There an individual learnt all the things necessary for his life contrary to the popular belief that only religious scriptures like the Vedas and Upanishads were taught. Although this my not be practical today considering the professional environment; the present education system in India was designed by the erstwhile British colony for clerks. Indians were supposed to do clerical jobs for the "White" back then. We have just improved on it. Theory based education with very little concentration on the practical system is the order of the day. BusinessWeek denigrates the Indian curriculum saying it revolves around rote learning and ExpressIndia suggests that students are focused on cramming.

The educational system which we have now lacks the goal of universal which requires constitutional directive which has become a distant dream, the gains we made in terms of enrollment are set to nil by the high drop out incidence. Hence the ultimate result it has brought is that the number of illiterates in the country continue to remain the same. The extreme inadequacy of infrastructure facilities; as few reports on education have shown the pathetic condition of many of the schools in the country, from which it is evident that the resources available are not enough as in the present scenario it is highly difficult to provide even the basic or minimum facilities to such schools, as the allocation made for education still remains the below recommended average of 6% of the GDP. The public expenditure on education has actually declined from around 3.23 percent of GDP in 2000-2001 to 2.88 percent in the recent times. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), India has the lowest public expenditure on higher education per student in the world.

The system needs a serious facelift. The problem lies in the grass root level. We live in the same country that boasts of premier institutes like IITs, IIMs, IIS on one hand and on the other has one the highest school dropout rates in the world. The graduates today dont know what to do after the completion of their education even if the manage to gather the knowledge required for their professional life. Apart from this the real problem we face is not that of unemployment, but of unemployability. Only one in ten young people have access to tertiary education Out of those who receive higher education, only a quarter of graduates are "employable".

The government on its part has been trying it best to educate the masses by implementing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan - (2001) and now the Right to Education Act - 2010. But do we have a judicial system competent enough to keep a tab on whether these initiatives are carried out as per law ? Now this is a point worth pondering. Even if those are implemented it wont be of much use as there still gender bias prevailing in the curriculum with the females generally being shown as weak and helpless,  and poor facilities in the schools. Also most of the technical education imparted is obsolete which is of no use in the present scenario. 

Education is not filling the brain but training the mind, for this the teachers play a very important role. The teachers must have the potential to invoke the interest in the minds of the students so that they are motivated to learn more and more in their quest of knowledge. For this the firstly the teachers must take interest in their profession and must update their knowledge on a regular basis. Until these happen I can assure that India will still be a developing country 100 years from now!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Impossible ?? LoL !!

It actually started off as a joke...
First lecture of the day and boring as usual; couldnt even take out the mobile to fiddle as I was sitting on the edge on the aisle in between rows.
I just told my friend lets have fun and start writing with our left hands. So it started. We all were in giggles by looking at our writing.

That lecture passed real quick. I was feeling bored and started doing it the next lecture also. It became a habit. I kept doing it for a week to the frustration of my friends who kept asking me what I wanted to prove. My handwriting started getting better with the left hand and now am on the road to becoming ambidextrous.

The point I would I like to bring out here is that the reason we fail is because we give up after a singe attempt does not fetch the desired result. How many times have we failed in life ?? 10 ? 20 ? 30 ? heh !! We must have failed for thousands of times in life, remember the time when we were learning to walk n talk ? we failed; but never gave up because we didnt know what is to give up. Now that we have grown up, we tend to become more conscious of the people around us and what they would say.

After this I've realised that when we say that we cant do a thing it is not our inability to do it but our lethargy. When we dont achieve a thing its because either we really didnt want it or we have bargained for its price. I've learnt the lesson that i would remember for a loooooong time to come; Impossible is nothing !!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I miss those days..

I miss those days of uniform, class test, unit test, semester, holidays, more class, more unit tests, one more semester and holidays only for the cycle to start again !!

I miss those days when I kept praying for some more holidays in a week, searching the calender on the 1st of every month to look at the number of holidays.

I miss those days when every person I met was a friend, in the building, outside the building, in the bus, in the train, in shop where ever i did a hop.

I miss those days of singing "happy birthday to u, may god bless u..." in chorus every single time a classmate has his birthday.

I miss those days waiting for the recess bell to ring and rush out of the class to the canteen and jostling there to get the first piece of the snack.

I miss those days of fighting whether the ball hit the stump or missed it only to be chased down by the PT sir saying that the break time was over.

I miss those days of eating bhel for Rs 2/- outside the school gate oblivious of the dirty water that guy used to make bhel in.

I miss those days of waiting for the sun to down to come out of the house to play with friends, a gang of 20 roughly.

I miss those days of "Hide-n-Seek", "Lock-n-Key", "Kho-Kho", "Cycle Chor-Police"...

I miss those days of carefree life where I never thought about the past or the future, just living in the present and hellbent on enjoying it out like there was no other.

I miss those days of innocence when there were no hidden motives behind any of the work I did, those days where I never had to bother looking around if anyone was watching me.

Those days are gone, gone forever never to come back. But what still remains vivid, is the beautiful memories of THOSE DAYS called CHILDHOOD!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Guts I say...

Generally we humans, specially in this part of the world have the tendency to accept things as they are. We probably mask it behind the excuse that we are very flexible and adapt very easily (remember the Theory of Evolution?).

Even when we feel that something is wrong, we pacify ourself by saying that its just a matter of time before we GET USED TO IT. Sometimes we feel the injustice around us but are passive in thinking the someone else will fix the issue and go around with "lets save our A** till then" attitude. And once in a blue moon when our conscience is awakened and we really are burning with the desire to fight (read: fighting with the back against the wall), we suddenly find the whole world turned against us, because all the others are just like what we have been till now.

Then we require a commodity that is in great paucity 'GUTS'. Guts is when we stick to a thing we do even when he world is against us. Now here is an example of guts.

I have no words to explain his guts. Think the PM can act? He would not be allowed to act. The country has already gone to dogs. I don't think we have anything else to lose.


Dear Mr Prime minister,

I am a typical mouse from Mumbai. In the local train compartment which has capacity of 100 persons, I travel with 500 more mouse. Mouse at least squeak but we don't even do that.
Today I heard your speech. In which you said 'NO BODY WOULD BE SPARED'. I would like to remind you that fourteen years have passed since serial bomb blast in Mumbai took place. Dawood was the main conspirator. Till today he is not caught. All our bolywood actors, our builders, our Gutka king meet him but your Government can not catch him. Reason is simple; all your ministers are hand in glove with him. If any attempt is made to catch him everybody will be exposed. Your statement 'NOBODY WOULD BE SPARED' is nothing but a cruel joke on this unfortunate people of India.

Enough is enough. As such after seeing terrorist attack carried out by about a dozen young boys I realize that if same thing continues days are not away when terrorist will attack by air, destroy our nuclear reactor and there will be one more Hiroshima.

We the people are left with only one mantra. Womb to Bomb to Tomb. You promised Mumbaikar Shanghai - what you have given us is Jalianwala Baug.

Today only your home minister resigned. What took you so long to kick out this joker? Only reason was that he was loyal to Gandhi family. Loyalty to Gandhi family is more important than blood of innocent people, isn't it?

I am born and bought up in Mumbai for last fifty eight years. Believe me corruption in Maharashtra is worse than that in Bihar. Look at all the politicians, Sharad Pawar, Chagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane, Bal Thackray, Gopinath Munde, Raj Thackray, Vilasrao Deshmukh all are rolling in money. Vilasrao Deshmukh is one of the worst Chief minister I have seen. His only business is to increase the FSI every other day, make money and send it to Delhi so Congress can fight next election. Now the clown has found new way and will increase FSI for fisherman so they can build concrete house right on sea shore. Next time terrorists can comfortably live in those house, enjoy the beauty of sea and then attack the Mumbai at their will.Recently I had to purchase house in Mumbai. I met about two dozen builders. Everybody wanted about 30% in black. A common person like me knows this and with all your intelligent agency & CBI you and your finance minister are not aware of it. Where all the black money goes? To the underworld isn't it? Our politicians take help of these goondas to vacate people by force. I myself was victim of it. If you have time please come to me, I will tell you everything.

If this has been land of fools, idiots then I would not have ever cared to write you this letter. Just see the tragedy, on one side we are reaching moon, people are so intelligent and on other side you politicians have converted nectar into deadly poison. I am everything Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Schedule caste, OBC, Muslim OBC, Christian Schedule caste, Creamy Schedule caste *only what I am not is INDIAN.* You */_politicians have raped every part of mother India by your policy of divide and rule._/*

Take example of former president Abdul Kalam. Such an intelligent person, such a fine human being. You politicians didn't even spare him. Your party along with opposition joined the hands, because politicians feel they are supreme and there is no place for good person.

Dear Mr Prime minister you are one of the most intelligent persons, most learned person.. Just wake up, be a real SARDAR. First and foremost expose all selfish politicians. Ask Swiss bank to give names of all Indian account holders. Give reins of CBI to independent agency. Let them find wolf among us. There will be political upheaval but that will be better than dance of death which we are witnessing every day. Just give us ambient where we can work honestly and without fear. Let there be rule of law. Everything else will be taken care of.

Choice is yours Mr Prime Minister. Do you want to be led by one person or you want to lead the nation of 100 Crore people?

Prakash B Bajaj.
Editor Mumbai -Times of India,
Chandralok 'A" Wing, Flat 104,
97, Nepean Sea Road,
Mumbai - 400 036,
Phone : 98210-71194 98210-71194.

But the action taken always comes with a price, sometimes to high to be paid; The outcome, sometimes not worth the risk taken personally. Yet some do it for the greater good. Lets tread that path...

My First Blog

Its 0100 Hrs on the 23rd of May 2010 and i just bugged my cousin bro into helping me understand what a blog is and how do u get started...
and yippeeee am Blogging !!