Gears,Garba n Gays


These mornings,I learn how to drive a four wheeler.Its more or less a simple job but has its own complexities with it.Leave apart the technical n responsive adjustments you learn while driving a car,the most difficult part of the learning process for me is to reach the driving school as early as 7 am.Hostel life has made me nocturnal.I remember myself as a morning person in my school days. I always messed up exams for which I continued preparing till late night.The place has changed me.Most of the times I am busy with some group gossip,sumtimes its work ,and sumtimes its just my act of lying down over my bed and staring at the fan that keeps me awake at least upto 3 am regularly.The point is I am a regular late comer to the driving sessions.Here's a snippet of conversation btw me n my trainer..

me : Sorry bhaiya,15 minute late hoon,but phir bhi time pe pahunch gaya na (shameless giggles..)

Trainer : Kya bhaiya,aap log engineer ban rahe ho,time ka kuchh to khayal rakho..

me:Aree bhaiya,samjha karo na ,hostel mein neend aaate aate 3 baj jaate hain,phir aap subah subah class laga dete ho !!

Trainer : Arre bhaiya,Aapki 3 baje tak waali classein hum bhi samajhte hain ..waise bhi navratron ka time hai,kahan se subah uthoge aap.....

Now this one hits .Infact hits hard.You know what ,the general opinion here is....If you are staying awake at nights during navratris,people feel that you are getting lucky these nights.Just one word as a thought in reply to this popular opinion "IRONICAL"..Be it the graphs appearing in newspapers showing a peak in condom sales or the reports talking about the hotel room rates per hour ,all of it sounds just a bit uncool to me.


Say that does'nt seem cool to you??
The answer is yes...and I have got something to say about it.Compare the amount of "garba sex" that happens and the talking that is done about it,the difference is magnanimous.Just to earn the advertising revenue,the news is flashed over n over.And no guessing who are the ones to suffer.

Its the parents who somehow feel unsafe about their children to the extent that they take up services from private detective agencies to keep an eye over their daughters.(something called gender inequality pinged me at this moment.but I ll talk abt it later...) As a child too,it seems awkward to imagine your parents to feel so unsafe about you.

Just now I scrolled up to read whatever I have written about Navratri and I could'nt help myself but compare the way with which I celebrated it some years ago at home.Probably "Durga Pooja " is the term to which I can connect more.I have memories of waking up as early as 3 am to bring flowers for pooja . With Durga Saptashati path in mornings and Ramayana Path during evenings its the time of the year when everything around seems to be purified .
The comparison though is not between the way we celebrate it at home and the side of the festival that the newspapers show to us.Last night I was at Indoor stadium .I was with a bunch of friends of mine and of course we enjoyed the presence of hotties around.But with all the hot property that the place promised there,something else was clearly visible there.The spirit of the festival that makes thousands of people to dance ,that makes them dress up this funny(No offences,Gujju bhais n bens ,that's a personal opinion..Leave the female costume apart,the males costume seems goofy to me).Dude,there's got to be something that makes people this much happy at this time of the year. Let it be the festival or with a tinge of sex in it,who cares??At least painting newspapers over this is simply useless...

Moving on to the gays,todays newspaper flashed something about acceptance of boys doing garba with their boyfriends.The world for this community seems to be changing after the 377 thingy.I stop myself from talking furthur as this post is going a wee bit too lengthy(AAh..U bore a**,U realised that now!!).Neways signing off with some related read n loved stuff here.


Those good old days……..

Date: 07-09-09 (Arpi’s syaahi; Post-8)

The best experience of reading a newspaper is reading the editorial. Well, this is not because it feeds one with some intellectual matter but because it gives a gist of all that is going around, whether obvious or not. It saves time and gives an insight into the matter. Some people start reading from page 1, some from sports page while some turn to page 3. I like reading newspaper from the comment page.

Like every morning, I started the day with newspaper and to my delight (read to my surprise), the editorial did not deal with BJP, J&K, Doha and all. It was talking of All India Radio (AIR FM Rainbow). To my friends who are not based in Delhi may not understand or connect to this topic of discussion but will find the relevance in some other aspects of entertainment (say, the mushrooming TV Channels). In the article, the author was talking about the old, melodious and beautiful English songs from seventies and eighties that are played only by the AIR and less interference by RJs and advertisements. Author comments that tough there are many radio channels in the city which adopt all kinds of stupid mimicry and scoops, contests and long discussions to lure more and more listeners; the n number of radio channels are only adding to the cacophony of radiowaves traveling in New Delhi. AIR on the other hand is following the same format as it had followed decades ago. If you visit the website and try to listen to any of the program, you will be disappointed. Still, AIR FM Rainbow is picking up among the music conscious people of Delhi.

Wednesday is 09-09-09. I am excited for ten years ago, on 09-09-99, I decided to remember everything that happens on that day, jott it somewhere and read after ten 09-09 have passed. But alas, it never happened, I forgot to write it in my diary. Now, the only things I can remember is that I did not have computer or cable connection at my home. My radio played only vividh bharati and I remember how I waited eagerly for programs like chitrahaar and rangoli on DDI and chitralok on vividh bharati. DD Metro was an entertainment package and made my life colorful. Educational programs by UGC and NCERT taught me many things. Those days when discovery and NAT Geo were infants, I yearned to watch those programs but one day, when my wish came true; there were other things too. Several channels for serials, movies, music, reality shows- TV for education? The purpose was lost.

We are of course spoilt by choice now. Earlier, when our need was limited, they were answered. Today, need is less or more same but desire has increased manifold and the correct services have to be fished out of a pool of lucrative claims. Entertainment industry is manufacturing by a push system in place of a pull system. This can anyday lead to congestion and compel the viewers and listeners to turn off the radio. So, mann ka radio ……………. bajne de zara.

An arbit celestial conversation recorded.

Was lying on the bed tonight, and saw a lonely star in the sky. And then from somewhere came a comet, approaching the star speedily.
I recorded their one sided conversation, star being the talker here.

मैं स्थिर हूँ , और तुम गतिमान। तुम मेरे पास से गुज़रोगी। शायद मैं तुम्हे छू भी लूँ। पर मैं चाह कर भी तुम्हारा पीछा नही कर पाऊंगा। तुम्हे अपने इतने पास से दूर जाते देखना ही मेरी किस्मत है, और मेरा भविष्य भी, क्यूंकि मैं स्थिर हूँ और तुम गतिमान। पर तुम्हे अपनी और आते देखने में बड़ा सुकून मिलता है। और इस से भी ज्यादा खुशी होती है यह सोचकर की तुम बस मेरी एकान्तता मिटाने के लिए इस ब्रह्माण्ड का सफर करके मेरी और बढ़ रही हो। पर काश तुम यह समझ सकती कि तुम्हारा यह सफर मेरे पहले भी जारी था, और बाद में भी जारी रहेगा।
क्यूंकि मैं स्थिर हूँ, और तुम गतिमान.

And then the recording stopped. I couldn't understand a word of what the star said. Maybe someone reading this blogpost might understand something. If you can make anything out of this recording script, please comment.


Why a fuss over English? (Post -7)

Date: sometime in June, 2009

It had been years since I wrote my last essay. Perhaps, it last happened during my 10th boards. Now that its time to pull up my socks for appearing in CAT and other MBA entrance exams, I am really worried about my knowledge and usage of English. English was the subject responsible for limiting my board exam aggregate marks to 94.4%. I have never liked the language much but I don’t agree to say that I dislike it. The worst experience I had with this language was during one interview for a scholarship by Singapore airlines. I missed free education in Singapore just by few well structured English sentences. Poor me! Never imagined how a medium of speech can take such an important role in shaping my future. Anyway, I never regretted. If I don’t like it, I don’t like it; its as simple as that. I am really grateful to my English teacher during my schooldays to be kind enough to put some extra hard work in me. He could see I was great at literature. I could easily delve into the toughest emotion and get the gist of the story but he shuddered to read my poorly structured essays. He just managed to put a smile on his face and said, “alright, it can be taken care of.” Well, today, after blogging for two long years, I feel I can write as much as I like but I am really doubtful about the quality and semantics of my writing. My friends say I am really cool and successful at expressing through my poems and prose but unfortunately, Hindi is my forte. I uttered the word unfortunately because when I typed the word “hindi” , it wasn’t auto-corrected (the h wasn’t converted to H unlike the e of English ,see).

The truth is Hindi is really losing ground despite of being our official national language. Messages like save Hindi, serve Hindi ,use Hindi at railway stations in India don’t do any good to us. I have been writing in hindi for last two years but unluckily, I don’t have many readers in my friend circle because they find it too heavy to connect themselves with my creations. I remember how I bunked my English classes during my 11th-12th days to learn some extra lessons in hindi. I preferred hindi over English and why not? It is my first language. I think, dream and react in it. But, things are changing. A fraction of Indian citizens have English as their first language. There are people among them who never went abroad but, still they talk 24 X7 in English. Few weeks ago, I was having an evening stroll in one of the parks nearby when I came across two little children, hardly 4-5 years in age. They were talking in English so fluently that I would have mistaken them for foreigners were they not standing in front of me. Their mother was now trying to teach them few hindi words so that they can communicate with the domestic help. Foreigners in their own country, are they? May be, but it will help them in future in any interview where everyone expects the candidate to be glib at spoken English. “At least, they wont be denied a Singapore airlines scholarship “, was all I could think.
The renowned writer Shobha De in her book Superstar India, admits that English is her first language and there is nothing wrong in that. Everyone has a right to choose his/her language. Why make a fuss? If English opens the way to interact with the world then, why not embrace it? But, on second thoughts, isn’t it a way to appease the West? Please give us the job, we are good at your language. English rules the world but despite speaking the language, we are ruled over everywhere. Its nice to speak in the language your customer speaks. We must not be as rigid on our languages as the Chinese are but, learning the language their way and trying to copy others’ accent is not acceptable. I remember last time, when I spoke to my old friend who works at a call centre, I was taken aback to sense the change in her tone and accent. Leave English , even her hindi had a tongue twisting tone!! Why cant we have our own accent. Why not the Indian accent? Why is it so uncool? May be, I have become too pro-indian or it’s a hangover after I read the book Superstar India but, I don’t like this debate on hindi or English. The writer of aforementioned book emphasized on this contemporary Indian ideology that learning English as well as learning in English secures the future. Children are moving out of hindi medium or regional schools to fancy English schools. They find it really cool and modern to use the F-word in public whereas, in hindi language, usage of such abusive words imply how uncultured we are. I come from a very decent background , brought up in a middle class environment, in a nuclear family but under a strong surveillance of my housewife mother. I never watched any MTV, FTV or Star Movies. I don’t know anything about Hollywood, Bryan Adams or Enrique whom my college friends nearly worship. Recently, I caught grab of some English novels and I am really trying hard to improve upon English knowledge and usage.

Today only, I got to read a column in the newspaper that Mulayam Singh Yadav, a well known Indian leader, is against English and English education. The very same column has inspired me to write this essay. He says that its against our culture and a major threat to hindi and other languages. I again thought, why make a fuss? French is also a widely used language with so many people using it. We adore that language. Few months before, we had a new student in our class. She was a French and she came to India for a semester on exchange programme. She was bad at English and hardly, few people in class knew French (that too to a meager extent). She had a tough time indeed. It would have been easier for her if she would have learnt English. Same is the plight when a hindi speaker goes down south of the country. People are too stubborn to interact in English or hindi. Such is their love for their language.
Not falling into this debate because I am a very confused person and really worse at taking a stand, I have a question to ask. Why do we love English? Is that because we were ruled over by Brits for hundreds of years? Had we been colonized by some French or Latin speaking country, are there chances that we would have been speaking some other language. Interesting thought to ponder over. Isnt it?

Recession (Post-6)

I wrote this few months back....

(from 4 Ps- 24th April-7th May)

Nothing like a ganne ka juice in a hot recession hit summer morning…. He he, why, recession is in. I guess it’s the word of the year. No news column is complete without it. People joke, everything nowadays is caused by this recession. It’s a fraught, a plague, a tsunami, an earthquake, a WTO attack, a terrorist, or GOD himself. We have to fight back, to restore our economies. Since, one of my earphones is not working properly; I am often compelled to drop my ear into the conversations of other joggers, usually gentlemen in their late 50s-60s. They love to discuss the pros and cons of recession and debate on the future, at the same time, flaunting their remarkable knowledge of current affairs. But, this word recession is a household hero, I guess. Even the juice maker, tailor, helpers know it and they are more vocal about it.

Last Monday, when I was groaning in disappointment to see the fate of my newly bought kurta, the tailor tried to appease me by dragging the word into conversation, “Madam, I tell you, this recession hasn’t hit me a bit. I am doing well in the business and I feel it’s just a hoax.” I resented, “but, our placements have been badly affected.” However, he was adamant to give his verdict, “This recession is bad for those who do clerical work. I tell you madam, there are less number of people in India who are technical, most of the people are clerical. Now see, we are technical, we won’t face this recession ever.” This conversation could have worked more, had I not freaked out to see the puckering in my kurta’s seam.
To speak truly, even I am a layman regarding economic terms (macro and micro, that’s all I know). My mother, being a post graduate in economics, tried hard to convince me to take economics as an extra during my +2, but for me, it was a complete no no. Now, guess, what my latest hobby is- to collect business magazines, from all the publications, they are so cheap and colorful, they add color to my room. Yesterday, I supposed to read the editorial issue of one of the magazines in which Mr. Arindam Chaudhary, the author and editor, talked a lot about recession and how it will prove a boon for developing countries like India.

I have always been abject in my school-time essays when talking about India and its growing population, blaming all the growth retarding activities on it. I was quite surprised to know that we are a country with 50 percent of the population below 35. We are the young people of the old world. Few months ago, I flipped through a book on Toyota Production System which gave the manufacturing world the concept of lean manufacturing. I came to know, before the Japanese recession, most of the Japanese manufacturers followed the American concept of mass manufacturing given by Henry Ford. This was a push system. When Japanese recession set in and Toyota retrospected, it found there was not much demand in the country for the product. Mr. Arindam Chaudhary says, business are much influenced by the culture of a country. One system that works for one country may not work for other. Combining both the readings I have done, I can understand what the author wanted to convey.
Japanese families are mostly followers of Buddhism; satisfaction is in-built in their culture. They buy less and they buy only when they need to. So, they don’t create a market. Push system in this case will obviously lead to failure. At the same time, a delegation sent to America by the company to study the Ford system came across the pull system used in the departmental stores where goods were replaced on the racks as soon as they were sold. Then, came the lean manufacturing system into existence. Now, some more words about the American market and people’s buying power. Products were mass manufactured and pushed into the market. People were given more purchasing power, in terms of credits, loans, etc. They were encouraged to buy more and more even if they already have those things working in their full potential. When a saturation point reached for the people, when their future income was bind to pay back the loans, the financial firms eased out the pay back terms facilitating even the noncredit worthy people to take loans. Now, the ratio of average house-hold debt to disposable income is around 140% in US and 180% in UK. Since, many countries are involved in business with these developed countries, they also feel the waves of recession. But, according to the author, these countries pose the new market. The only thing we need is to be given the purchasing power, the same way Henry Ford gave to his employees by paying them more so that they can buy his products.
So, now that the American markets are super saturated; the industries need to create and search for more and more markets in countries that were till date, under developed or developing. This opens a new opportunity for us because to buy something, we need to have purchasing power. We can get this purchasing power only by nice packaged job placemnts . Hence, world is turning its eyes towards us; we just have to dance on the chance.

But, I have a fear- Fear of being westernized. Yes, westernization is transforming the urban part of the country and drifting it apart from the root traditions. Now, the issue is, one can say, why is westernization always seen as a negative impact on the society? May be, its because it makes us materialistic, which doesn’t go with the spirit of India. We are people of several beliefs, home to several religions and theories, all zeroing down to teach us unity, simplicity and love. These thousands of brands and their 4 Ps are driving us crazy for more and more money. We need money; we need to purchase more and more- just to quantify our achievements. Thanks to credit cards, which act like an appetizer to our hunger. Now, my question is- wouldn’t this boom in the sales of credit cards and loan schemes leading us to a situation similar to America? Are we really enjoying an opportunity or repeating some blunders?