Saturday, April 12, 2008

Letter worth Imbibing

Abraham Lincoln was a person extraordinaire, not only was one of the greatest American President but also a thinking human being. Below is the reproduction of Abraham Lincoln's letter which he wrote to his son's teacher:
"My son will have to learn I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found.
Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can.
Teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick.
Teach him, if you can the wonder of books, but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill-side.
In school teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon.
Teach him to listen to all men. But teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through. Teach him, if you can how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness. Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders; but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right. Treat him gently; but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have the sublime faith in himself because then he will always have the sublime faith in mankind.
This is a big order; but see what you can do; He is such a fine little fellow, my son."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kashmir-A Forgotten Cause

I simply avoid writing on the topic for my views on totally different as the rest of you. I might sound cynical to an extent, let it be so since I firmly believe in what I think and what I feel about the land where I was born and raised. Kashmir is history for me, land where I was born and raised initially; I am no longer attached to it. I don’t consider it more than a past chapter of my life. I will always be nostalgic about it as I have lot many memories which I will cherish till eternity and may be share with my children but I am no longer interested in reclaiming the Kashmir which we left behind in the early 90s. I just want to take things as they come and let me make it clear that it doesn’t mean that others must not do anything about it. I know that all Kashmiris will disagree to what I think and write and hence they will do whatever possible and let me wish them all the success and hope they achieve what they strive for.

Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits is not a recent phenomenon and if my memory doesn’t fail me there is a written account of Kashmiri Hindus migrating from Kashmir as early as in year 1320, when a Turk general wrought havoc on non-Muslims. Since then we as a community have moved out of the valley many a times to return back when the things were to return to normal.

Let me put it across very bluntly that we are not emotionally attached and bonded to the land where we were born and raised, the land where our forefathers lived and died. The recent militancy in the valley was not an armed uprising against Hindus; it was an uprising against the Indian Law and Order. It was really unfortunate that many innocent Hindus were targeted and exterminated. And when such events started occurring across the state, the rest packed their bags and left lock, stock and barrel while some of us were unfortunate in this too. We sought an easy way out, we could have chosen to stay and die. Let’s face and realize the fact that Hindus are not and can't be Jews. I can safely and surely assume that out of all Kashmiri men & women there is no David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir. We are made up of different genotype. True but my point of contention is that perseverance and the basic human instinct to live and survive isn’t a genetic trait, it is a fundamental human character which everybody is born with. It is now we realize that the Kashmir valley to us is like the Forbidden Land of Jerusalem is to Jews. How opportunistic as community can we get?

Various apolitical organizations claim to represent the cause of Pandits. Do we really need a political organization when each Kashmiri Pandit as an individual is a party in himself/herself? We might not possess anything but one thing is for sure that we possess a political opinion. What are we fighting for? Are the aims of so called organizations in sync with the ground reality and the modern times? For me reclaiming the valley for Kashmiri Pandits is a secondary issue, there are issues which are far more important and far more mandatory. Even if we reclaim the land by some means, who is going to be there; with whom will our affiliations lie? Will we pledge our allegiance to India whose apathetic attitude bothers us everyday. We are not patriots; we are pseudo-patriots, all of us. There are very few of us who possess that fire in the belly and that zeal in the heart to live and die for our motherland India.

What are the primary issues that I mentioned above? This writing will be incomplete if I don’t write above them. For me the primary concerns is being strong and powerful, not on individual basis but on collective basis. We have spent an exorbitant amount on building ashrams and temples, which doesn’t make any sense to me. How a community can spend money on building temples and ashrams when the people of the same community are living in deplorable condition? It is such a shame. We don’t own and run schools, charitable hospitals, colleges, age-old homes; we have not encouraged entrepreneurship. How many of us are in Civil Services or decision making or in the who’s who in the financial sector or Planning Commission. I won’t be surprised that one fine day we find some other community coming along and driving us out from the places where we are currently residing. We are a small cog in a big wheel (India) whereas the need of the hour is to be a big cog in a big wheel. I believe in one thing that if we are strong as a community, we can turn any land into the valley and then lay claim to the original valley. I rest my case.

To be contd.
Jai Hind

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bharat Ratnas

This article has been written in response to a blog written on CNN-IBN(, Who is a Ratna? Are cricketers Bharat Ratnas? by DP Satish and the comments that have been posted by the readers in general. I am posting the url to the article:-
First and foremost we must honour the people that have been already conferred with this award rather than casting aspersions on their contribution to the people at large and the nation. If my memory doesn't fail me Dr Zakir Hussain was an academician par excellence, he was an educationist who gave a new direction to Aligarh Muslim University when it was going through a turbulent phase of partition. He even earned admiration from his arch political rival, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, for his untiring efforts in keeping the University afloat during the most testing times. I believe and do so very strongly that Dr Zakir Hussain very much deserves this award like the others who have been conferred with it.

Now the million dollar question is 'Who next?' Our problem lies in the fact that when we as a country fail to come up with a true jewel, the buck either stops at Film Stars or at Sportsmen. Is it really true that this country is faced with the shortage of real Ratnas and we have to create one so that this award may be conferred on them? Do any of the film stars or sportsmen from any part of the country deserve to stand in the list that has the name of legends, luminaries like Dr Radhakrishnan, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Rajaji, CV Raman, Jawahar Lal Nehru, GB Pant, Dr Kalam and many other stalwarts? And if the answer is Yes, then by all means we need to go ahead and confer the same on the best of the lot. And if the answer is No, then we need to think about the same.

Let me throw two names from two different fields altogether and I will try to justify why. Given a choice to nominate a sportsman for this award I can't think of anybody but Pullela Gopichand. To me he is the real champion, we all know his exploits on the badminton court but of the court too he is a Ratna. In the modern day, only a gem can refuse a lucrative endorsement deal from one of the Cola companies. He refused the endorsement offer and instead wanted to endorse Coconut water. How many sportsmen in India would do that? I don’t think there are many, unless you are somebody like Pullela Gopichand. The other name that comes to my mind is somebody of the caliber of Harivansh Rai Bacchan or may be the writer duo of Dominique Laiperre and Larry Collins. They not only have written beautiful books but at the same time have done some substantial work for the less privileged and less fortunate people in Calcutta and the victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Harishvansh Rai Bacchan’s contribution to Hindi language on the whole and his writings for Freedom Fighters during the Freedom Struggle needs no introduction.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Am I a Terrorist?

It came to me as a shock when an Apartment owner told me that he is wary about leasing his apartment to me on rent for I came from the state of Jammu & Kashmir. What was more shocking was that the statement came from a resident in Mumbai. I know it is an isolated incident and I need not blow the same out of proportion. The only thought lingering in my mind is that are all Kashmiris terrorists or we have a free license to view every Kashmiri with an eye of suspicion. I was wondering who is being questioned me as an individual or Kashmiris as a community? Why is there a doubt in the mind of people that Kashmiris are separatists and our affiliations lie somewhere else? Are we in a position to say that a Marathi is better than a Kashmiri or a Punjabi is better than a Marathi and so on, which race is superior and which is not?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Accused Before the Trial

I have been keenly watching the proceedings of the Jessica Lall, Priyadarshini Mattoo and Nitish Katara cases, especially the Priyadarshini Mattoo case maybe for the fact that we belong to the same native place. Somehow when the judgment in the case was delivered with the accused Santosh Singh to be hanged till death I somehow found something amiss, unlike many of my friends who were ecstatic about the judgment I deep down felt that something is not right. I felt uneasy the way events have taken place in these cases.

I completely agree that the accused in this case has committed the most gruesome and the heinous crime one can think of and he must be punished for the same by the rule of the land. Now that he has been sent to the gallows, the much awaited judgement has been delivered though I am amongst those few people who believe in the fact that capital punishment is not the way to bring down the crime rate but that’s a different story. But what I feel is wrong is the fact that we as a country and country-men at time allow sentiments to rule us and the fact that our thinking ability and the ability to reason takes a back seat and the popular sentiment takes command of us. In this situation, the same thing has happened, before the judgment was pronounced by the Honorable High Court of India, the people were hell bent on sending the guilty to the gallows. The processions, dharnas and morchas demanding that the accused be damned to death made it very evident that the people have lost faith in the judicial system of India and they were hell bent on taking the law into their hands. I have no hesitation in saying that Santosh Singh was denied a chance of a fair trial in this case. I have no sympathies for him but all accused (even if he has committed the gruesomest of the crimes) have a right to fair trial and in this case I believe that he was denied of the basic fundamental right.

I don’t know how many Priyadarshini Mattoo’s die a premature death, aborted when they are in the womb, raped and killed, burnt alive for dowry. There are many such cases pending with the various courts in India awaiting justice. How are these cases different from this case? I don’t see any difference and I believe that it is impossible to decide the severity of a case in the sense a rape and murder case is the same whether it has happened in Delhi or in some tribal area in a remote corner of India where it is almost impossible to detect. What do we do about it? We take out morchas, processions, send smses to the news channels that the accused if found gulity be hanged……..It can have dangerous repercussions which we won't realise at this moment. I don't want to elaborate on that since that would be a deviation from the this issue.

I am a strong believer that rather than sensationalizing cases on singular basis, lets work towards the strengthening of the system. I have full faith in the judicial system of India, though it has its own weak areas;but no system is perfect, whether it is India or for that matter any other country (I so love Rang De Basanti, thanks to Rakeysh Mehra for incorporating this dialog in the movie), the onus is on us to work towards making that system near to perfect if not perfect. How we are going to do it? Don’t ask me…..Not because I don’t have an answer but for the fact that it has to be one’s individual calling and an individual has to realize how he can add value to his country, his motherland. We as a nation don’t need a preacher for answers, we don’t need leaders to tell us what to do in life and how to move forward, all we need is some introspection and believe me we have an individual capacity, each one of us to make a difference.

Jai Hind

PS:- I have a few lawyer friends and I am more than certain that I will face brick bats from them, so I have to beware and hone my arguing skills.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Pipeline Story

The views presented below are totally mine and it may not be shared by the others and I carry no intention to hurt anybody's sentiments. This has been written in close association with pals like Harsh Nema and Avinash Kamath who were kind enough to bear a person like me during my stay in Pune.

Once upon a time in the far off jungles of a Software Park, there lived a fine and majestic Tiger with his beautiful Tigress. They were deeply in love and lived in a den which they fondly called the "Cubicle".

One fine morning, the couple were in a romantic mood and the things were getting started for the Tiger and all of a sudden a Dog appeared from nowhere and started barking outside their "Cubicle" . The Dog hurled choicest of the abuses at the Tiger. 'Hey you @#&%$# of a Tiger’, he thundered. “What are you doing in the cave? Come out and be a man a Tiger, you pussy cat.” The Dog went on and on, barking and abusing the Tiger and challenging his supreme authority.

The Tiger, though irritated by the incident, put the whole thing behind him and tried to get his, hmmm..., act together and concentrated hard on his lovely Tigress. She was taken aback at her husband's cold response and how he tried to underplay the whole incident. Visibly shaken, she turned to her husband and said, "Honey, why don't you just go out and kick that little ba#$%@ arse". The Tiger gave her a patient hearing and asked her to forget the whole thing and rather concentrate on the amorous game.

The next day the Dog returned and started from where he had left the previous day. This totally frustrated the Tigress and she thundered, "You dumbass of a pussycat. You are the king of the jungle and cannot control a stupid,barking hound? You are good for nothing" The Tiger at first tried to pacify the Tigress but she did not relent, losing his cool, he finally growled and said,"You slut of a Tigress, just keep your mouth shut and do what you are told. Don't even get me started on the Dog."

The Dog did not relent and went on and on with his mud-slinging activity. The Tigress could take it no more, she cursed her husband and took after the Dog to teach him a lesson. Seeing the Tigress in hot pursuit, the Dog ran for his life and straightaway headed into the jungle with the Tigress right behind his heels. The territory was completely unfamiliar to the Tigress. The Dog ran until he came across a construction area where the pipelines were being laid. The Dog ran into the pipe owing to his small size and the Tigress without thinking twice followed him. But alas!the Tigress got stuck pipe in the entrance of the pipe, the pipe was too small to accommodate a Tigress. She was half inside and half outside, stuck in the opening of the pipe, totally helpless. The Dog on the other hand wriggled out of the pipe and approached the Tigress from behind. With such a tight and beautiful opportunity available, the Dog merrily banged his way to eternal bliss.

This went on for days till the Tigress went weak and was finally able to wriggle out of the pipeline. Worn and torn by this painful ordeal, the Tigress returned back to her "Cubicle". Seeing Tigress in such a pathetic condition, the Tiger chuckled. It was a totally uncalled for reaction on part of her husband and she least exoected it at that time. The Tigress was amused and asked the Tiger why was he smiling at her. He said, " You slut...Now that you have finally returned...I warned you in the very beginning not to pay heed to the barking Dog and to mind your own business. But you did not listen and ran behind the Dog without thinking twice....So how does it feel to be banged and screwed by a Dog???? He has done this to me many times in the past and this has made me bit wiser. I don't want to get into any pipeline any more"
Moral of the Story: Don't run after a barking Dog without thinking twice and there is nothing in the pipeline, better stay away from it.

Lesson for people like me in IT Sector
There are lot many jungles (read Software Companies and IT Parks) which are full of pipelines(There are "ALWAYS" projects in the pipeline .....)

Once upon a time I too lived peacefully in a beautiful jungle in Pune with my friends. Alas!! There was no female for company. I was at peace with myself, though there were some intermittent phases of discontent but that’s all right. I believe that we all face these intermittent phases of discontent and frustration. Then one fine day an IT- HR guy came and dangled an offer in front of me which I could not resist.He then lured me into an unknown territory of the jungle. People told me not to follow him but I did not listen. I ran after him and he showed me the pipeline and the projects in it. I was forced into the pipeline and like the Tiger I got stuck at the entrance. Before I realised, it was too late. The rest of the story you know....I'm still undergoing the painful ordeal!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Dream India

I dream of India:-
  • Where Priyadarshinis, Jessicas and many others don’t have to wait for justice.
  • Where one is not fanatic about ones religion but is fanatic about ones Karma.
  • Where men are are born equal, no bias on the basis of caste, creed, colour, region or sex.
  • Where all have access to education, health care, drinking water, food and pure air.
  • Where donkeys don’t rule men.
  • Where people are full of compassion.
  • Where everybody is childlike.
  • Where women are respected for their contribution to our lives.

I ask myself what have I done till now to realize the above dream but alas I have to search for an answer. All I can say is that all along I have been self-obsessed and ego-centric; never thought beyond myself and my problems. I have all along been selfish and I still am one. Am I trying to be a preacher for that I have received some divine gyaan under the Bodhi Tree or in my sleep. Is it that I have become more sensitive and started thinking beyond myself and the bigger problems that plague us and our country? Well, it is neither of the two. The only reason why I am putting all this down in writing is that I have heard that admission makes one feel light; so here I am admitting to my follies. All this while I have been timid to accept this, thinking that I might be an object of ridicule for my near and dear ones. It is high time that I realize that people around have better things to do in life rather than think about nobody like me.

I am a proud Indian, proud of my roots its rich and vibrant culture & heritage, values and above all the diversity. I believe and believe so very strongly that ours is a divine land created out of some divine intervention, I don’t want to sound chauvinistic nor do I want to belittle the other lands spread across the globe. I say so because the diversity in terms of culture, religion, language found here is unparallel and yet there is something that binds us together as a nation. The legacy left behind by our forefathers is richer than all the gold in the Solomon mines.

It seems that we are moving away from our glorious past, it no way means that we need to stick to our past but what I mean is that our actions need to be in tune with the Indian philosophy and ethos. It is tragic to see that our nation is plagued by violence, hatred, communal tension and many more. It is ironic that the land of saints and sages who have taught the world the lessons of non-violence is faced with all these troubles. Ours would be a much better country minus all these problems. We have the potential to be the greatest country in the world and for that we as a land of billion people need to make a concerted effort. What is lacking a bit more sensitivity and compassion? We need to come out of our egoistic moulds and spend a few minutes thinking about others, provide a helping hand to others. Most importantly spending most of the time in introspection, thinking how one can help build a better India.