An empty head is where the Devil is.
Being out of your comfort zone is difficult. The inherent inertia attached with being comfortable becomes an enemy to change. Change is essential, almost like oxygen. For the lack of new experience makes a very dull life.
And sometimes, you need to throw yourself in the deep end. Whether you sink or swim, one thing will happen. You will learn something new. And that is what life should be about!
2013 is over(well, almost). This was one of the better years I’ve seen yet. Some very important life milestones were reached, and the year left me with a new goal in life. Of course, I’ve taken the biggest risk of my life yet, still there is some promise. I have clear goals for 2014, and a lot of hard work will be required to achieve them.
Thank you 2013, now let’s see what 2014 has to offer!
I write this as the train chugs along, taking me farther away from you each passing moment. 10 years ago when this happened for the first time, I didn’t know if I would ever get to meet you again. Yet, I did.
Life works in funny ways. Call it God, providence or just dumb luck, but I got to spend 3 more years with you. We became part of the most important moments in each other’s lives, and I am blessed to have seen your kids be born & grow up. You stood with me through every joy and every trouble I had. And now, I move away, yet again.
I will really miss you very bad. But I have hope, hope that we will meet again. And I want you to hold on to the same hope.
Until we meet again….
As I sit in a fancy salon, having my head rubbed up, this word makes its way in my head. Metro-sexual. I remember the first time I heard men getting manicured, pedicured or going to fancy spas to do “whatever they do there”, I thought, which man in his right mind would get all these “womanly” things done to himself. Isn’t being a man all about ruggedness, dirt between nails, sweat patches on the shirt and the like? I know all this sounds like an 80s cliche, but what changed.
It was the job. The job that was once good, hard, physical labour is now playing nanny to the computer. The job that was once working in a field, our toiling in a factory is now sitting in an air conditioned office without breaking a sweat(until your boss decides otherwise). Mike Lowe, of dirty jobs fame, says that jobs with physical labour have lost their charm. I think he has it perfectly nailed down. Think of the last time you were faced with a problem that required some manual labour? What was the first thought in your head, was it “can I get someone else to do it?” How much did you procrastinate and regurgitate the idea before you went ahead with half a heart. Yeah, that’s where we, as a civilization, may be going wrong.
Enough blabber, my foot massage awaits…
I think it is time for this blog to come back to life.
And so, it shall!
Why does the world we live in not seem any different from what we it was 20-30 years ago. Of course, the quality of life has improved. We now live far more comfortably than our parents and grand-parents used to, we no longer have to sweat in unbearable heat, shiver in freezing cold, wait for the appointment letter to arrive by India Post and in some cases, die waiting for it. Yes, we have far more amenities than our fathers and their fathers, but have we got anywhere as a society. It was though that with scientific growth, the standards which the society operates on will improve as well. Education and literacy were thought to be the foundation stones of a morally guided society. But is this really true? Today we have a society of educated men and women who spend a good amount of time social networking and helping their friends out on Facebook to cultivate a virtual farm, yet looking the other way when they see an accident victim bleeding on the road. We have a populace who understands math and science, can speak language to fluency, but is has a moral compass akin to Jack Sparrow’s fabled compass: it doesn’t point north, only points to what we desire most. So I ask, does education provide a sound moral compass? Or have we been rendered so morally bankrupt that even the best of education can’t help us?
If Mahatma Gandhi had not passed away in 1948, I believe he would have stood against printing his face on currency, or naming every other street and colony M G Road or M G Housing Society. He would also have banished people from putting his posters up as backdrops for political/apolitical rallies. I wouldn’t go so far as to assume he would disagree with the so-called Gandhians of today, but I believe he’s chuckling in heaven as he looks down upon all of them. The sad truth of the Indian society is that it is mired in a deep trench of hypocrisy. We condone corruption, take out mass rallies to protest it and do everything we can to pretend that we give a damn. Yet when we are caught by a cop for speeding, or breaking a traffic signal, we do all in our power to bribe our way out of it. At the time of filing taxes every year, we try to cheat the government in one way or another. A businessman does not want the politician to be corrupt, yet he would cheat on his taxes and try to bribe the politician to make sure his projects are all cleared. Does the fear of capital punishment stop a murderer? If not, how would a fear of fine stop a corrupt bureaucrat? More poignantly, are we not a nation of bribe givers more than one of bribe takers? Introspection before action is what the Mahatma recommended, yet to his followers of the day, this lesson seems to be completely lost.
Having not posted here in a while, it makes sense to test if this works.
Supposedly the greatest democracy in the world, India moved another step closer to becoming the first democratic dictatorship in the world. There is news that now Indians will be profiled on the basis of our caste. In a country where the constitution proudly proclaims that all citizens are equal, irrespective of caste or religion, our lawmakers go ahead and completely forget the basic tenets and principles on which our nation was founded.
So what does caste profiling entails? When the census people come to your house asking how many people live there, they also will ask about the caste and religion of the people living. Once this data is collected and aggregated, political parties will go ahead to discriminate openly based on caste, by giving more and more reservations to their respective vote banks, pretending to implement social equality while introducing higher inequality in the society.
If you think, ahh, he’s making noise unnecessarily. Its not a big deal, telling my caste for the census. Well, even the jews in Nazi Germany in 1930s did not think much when they were profiled based on their religious beliefs. The result of that profiling is now known as the holocaust.
We currently live in a largely discriminatory country. A country that discriminates with its citizens based on their caste and religion. A country where you will get admission to premier colleges even if you score just 1/100 if you have a quote, and where you will be ignored if you score 50/100 without a quota. The only good quotas and reservations have done in the last decade is to win political parties votes. No socio-economic conditions have changed as a result of these quotas. There is equal employment opportunity irrespective of your caste or religion in the private sector. There is discrimination for the government jobs though, where out of 50 open vacancies, only 1-2 will be for the “general” category. Rest is all reserved for castes, not for those with merit. No wonder we complain about all government functions: how do we expect good performance from government when it does not consider merit at all!
I have a disclosure to make. I belong to the “general” category. It is assumed that if you belong to this category, you have privileges that the reserved categories (SC, ST, OBC….) don’t have. I knew a lot of people in the “general” category who were poor, yet they did not get any special benefits. I also know a lot of IAS, IPS, IFS, bureaucrats, doctors, engineers & politicos, who make good money, roam around in red light cars, living their lives in a lavish way, and yet their children enjoy the benefit of getting a “reserved” seat. Why? They are not socially downtrodden anymore, their fathers/forefathers reaped the benefits of reservation and lifted their families out of poverty and suffering. So why should these socially upward people be given any reservation at all?
When Dr. Ambedkar created the policy for reservations, he restricted its life to 20 years. 20 years that should have been sufficient for lifting the downtrodden castes to a level of social equality. Dr. Ambedkar was no crusader for scheduled castes or anything, he was a crusader for social equality. A fact that is not understood by politicos peddling their wares in his name.
Today, in 21st century India, we the citizens will be profiled on the basis on our caste. Something that was never EVER done in independent India. What does this signify? It tells us that no matter how promising Rahul baba or Omar miya may look, our political representatives have fallen into a sewer from where retrieving them is not possible. Not now, and not in the future, near or far.
When the census people come to visit me, I am telling them that my caste is “Indian”. I do not expect them to understand it, but I will make sure that is what they write down against my name.
INDIA: This is my caste and my religion. And I am proud to be an Indian. Are you?
In mathematics, Delta is an metaphor for change. Change that is inevitable, change that will happen and shake things up, change that will reveal greater challenges, newer opportunities and wider horizons. The equation of life is not much fun without a delta.
Life has a funny way of putting you in a blender every now and then. Sometimes, the outcome is a tasty concoction, other time it is just too messy. After a really extended period of time, I have received a particularly delectable mix from the blender of my life. And it will be nothing but foolish of me to put this mix into a wastebasket.
Thus, delta. The delta that will be rummaging through the cupboard of my life in the next few days, trying to end up creating order out of chaos, throwing old out and bringing in new and shiny. And I go with the flow, accepting the mishmash that life is hurling towards me, taking me on a trip through space and time.
The outcome of this journey, I do not know. But many wise men have said that it is the journey that you should enjoy, not the destination. I fully intend to take their advise and make lemonade from all those lemons life is going to throw at me.
(…to be continued)
Gurgaon seems to be the new Kashmir. Mobile operators are not issuing pre-paid mobile sim cards in Gurgaon anymore. I did rounds of Idea, Airtel & Vodafone offices at several locations in Gurgaon only to be told that pre-paid connections are NOT being offered in Gurgaon any more. No one had any explanation for this.
Some Airtel/Vodafone stores though offered me (very kindly) that they can give me a pre-paid SIM card in Gurgaon but would charge double the money for it. I do not know about the fringe operators (DoCoMo, Reliance, Virgin etc.) but the mainstream ones are certainly not offering pre-paid SIMs anymore.
To get some official word on this, I wrote an email to Vodafone care. This is the response I got:
Thank you for your email dated 01/02/10 regarding services on your Vodafone mobile numbers.
We sincerely regret the delay in replying to your e-mail and the inconvenience caused to you.
We would like to inform you that, currently we are not offering prepaid connections in Gurgaon. If you wish to take postpaid connection then you can visit your nearest Vodafone store( list enclosed).
Assuring you with the best of our services at all the times.
In case you need further assistance, please do call or email us. We?ll do our best to help you.
Happy to help,
Does anyone know what is going on?