Friday, October 31, 2008

Politicised or Media-cised?

It was once again a dramatic discussion that took place on one of the news channels' (a marathi news channel). And, once again it was targeted toward the anti-Raj opinion (that the said news channel itself forces me to believe). The discussion that took place today made me think about the slogan that this channel carries 'Achuk Baatmi Tham Mat'. I do not want to comment whether they carry Achuk Baatmi or not, but after watching today's discussion, one thing I can say firmly that the channel undoubtedly (tries) to imprint its Tham Mat on its viewers.

The topic of discussion was - Has the Chatt Puja been Politicised?
After watching the discussion, I felt that the channel actually wanted to ask - Has the Chatt Puja been Politicised by Raj Thakray?
Whatever the reasons have been behind this whole issue about being politicised, it is definitely to some extent being media-cised. Today when the anchor (someone who has been a journalist for 30 years) and the show's guests were discussing about the issue, someone pointed out that when Chatt Puja was started in Mumbai by Shiv Sena, even Raj Thakray was a leader of that party. Why then had he not opposed the celebrations of this festival being conducted in Mumbai? This was asked for the following reason:
According to some excerpts of the discussion, the motive for this festival to be started in Mumbai was itself due to political reasons. And, in today's press conference, Raj Thakray mentioned that he has nothing against the celebrations, but the politicising of it. Due to this statement of his, there was this question raised in the discussion that why had Raj Thakray not opposed to the commencement of the celebrations in Mumbai itself when its very foundation was a political motive of his then party? To this, the guest who was been called from MNS said counter questioned that how does the (anchor/channel) know that Raj Thakray had not opposed to it before even asking that question? The way the anchor reacted to this, clearly showed how he (a journalist since 30 years!) was hurt deeply to have been counter questioned on his own channel. When the MNS guest on that channel said that Raj had expressed his opposing views in person to the Sena chief, the anchor automatically got fuel to his self created fire against MNS/Raj. He went on to say that just like he has nothing to do about what Raj Thakray expresses in person to anyone, he has nothing to do about what the MNS guest had to say against (?) him (may be because he has been a journalist since 30 years). Throughout the show the anchor kept repeating this before furthering the discussion. At many occasions, he even interrupted the MNS guest from making a point and then even concluded that the MNS guest does not want to answer his questions properly.

In the second half of the "show" it was being discussed about what can be done to stop politicising the issue. The MNS guest was given the honour of speaking first about this! He said that just like how leaders of other parties in another state came together for a particular issue, the same way leaders from Maharashtra should come together and fight against it. To this the anchor (who was really very deeply hurt about the comments made on him) said that if you yourself say things against a senior Marathi journalist on the show, how do you expect the leaders to come together? (why was the anchor overshadowing the whole issue by his personal views?) When the guest who was speaking on behalf of Congress was asked whether how could all this be put to an end, he just discussed the whole issue again without mentioning any solution. and when another guest, Yuvraj Mohite was asked, he just had to say that MNS should ask its people to stay calm (was he trying to say that it was MNS who is the culprit behind the whole thing?), to which the anchor had to express his anger still by saying that MNs should also ask its leaders to behave themselves (indirectly pointing toward the MNS guest on the show who dared to counter question him).

The whole discussion sounded as if it was only meant to make a point against Raj Thakray or MNS. The channel also asked few other leaders about the issue, and they all said that Chatt Puja celebrations should not be politicised, which is exactly what Raj Thakray had mentioned in his press conference! I wish to question the people of this channel - Was there any such discussion about the Chatt Puja being politicised or not, when the very celebrations had started in Mumbai? (to which they themselves say so firmly that it was started due to political motives!)

I firmly believe that this issue has been highly media-cised, whether or not it has been politicised. This discussion was not a surprise though, especially after Raj's press conference, because media behaves in a very predictive manner these days. Such media behaviour was anticipated. I again say the same thing what I had mentioned in the previous article, that media has no right to imprint its opinions on the viewers and that it has to be unbiased. Media has no right to dictate its verdict on the viewers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One day Declaration, next day Clarification

Just a day after hearing about Raj Thakray being a gunda by a hindi news channel, the marathi version of it had a discussion on a topic similar to what I have written in the previous write-up. I happened to catch up with the closing statements of the discussion.

The topic of discussion was: 'Is Raj Thakray a media created monster?', to which they even had a public poll! The discussion was held by a well known journalist and the guests were a senior journalist and a member of MNS. Both the guesta had their own opinions and the usual blame game that happens. More importantly, the poll resulted in 88% public saying NO and the remaining saying YES.

A thought just passed my mind while watching this discussion. What was the need of such a topic to be discussed at all? What did the channel want to prove by showing that 88% public doe snot believe that Raj Thakray is not a media created monster? Do they want to indirectly prove (proven through the media only at last, silently though) that Raj Thakray is a monster and media is just showing that side of his? What exactly was the objective to have had such a discussion when there are other important issues and events taking place?

There could be a discussion on 'What exactly has been the entire issue revolving around the Marathi Maanus', or 'What will be the action plan hereon', or 'What exactly went wrong with the Maharshtra government that this had to take place', or 'What does the Marathi Maanus have to say about the whole thing', or 'Should the central government step in', or the like. I think the common man would be more interested to know the why, what, who, when, and how that are related to the whole issue. And not about whether Raj Thakray is a media created monster or not! This is kinda funny that one day a hindi news channel declares Raj a gunda, and the next day its marathi version fields for it to save its face! I think this is a good use of having more than one channels under one umbrella.

88% public voted in favour of media. But, I would still want the channel to introspect itself or the media as a whole, and find an answer for itself. When a news channel firmly declares somenthing about someone, that time itself it creates the very image in the minds of the viewers, which is difficult to erase later. People still believe that media is a transparent medium and that it can never mislead the janata. People from certain parties have alleged that the media has made Raj Thakray a hero by giving him so much coverage and mileage. And, on the other hand, media itself wants to prove that it has neither created a hero nor a monster out of anyone!

All these questions will not arise, provided that the media stays unbiased and transparent - a medium which is meant only to show the news. It has become a habit to watch the politicians play the blame game and then making such statements thereafter that they have never been involved in any such issues. I hope that the same is not yet transferred to the media until one day we all see it washing hands and trying to protect its image first.

Also, it is quite fun to watch these politicians fight against each other, on the basis of the Raj issue. It feels as if kids are fighting amongst each other for a toffy (read kids= politicians, toffy= chair). Looks like lots of BIG stories coming up and lot of drama in store. The channels need not worry about the TRP's, we will keep watching only and only your channel. After all, you'll also have a race against each other that your's is the channel that brings the stories to its viewers before anyone else (even if the public is aware that the same story is running on every channel at th esame time)!

Governmnet and media are among the few highly regarded systems of teh nation. But sometimes they go out of their way and have to face public criticism. Sometimes it feels that do they think they can fool the public like the cat who shuts the eyes and drinks milk as if no one is watching???

A News or a Story channel?

A lot is being said and done about Raj Thakray since quite some time now.. Here, I don't want to write about what seems to be right or wrong, neither do I want to pass any opinions or comments. We have been hearing lot of things already been spoken by many people.

However, I want to make a mention here about the media. To put it in simple words, the media should work as an information medium for the public, which serves the daily news (story, as they call it!) that enables the public to know about the current affairs around them. The public is then capable to understand and think for themselves and create their own opinions. The media plays a very influential role in shaping up the thought process of many (at least for those who do not think beyond what is portrayed). Hence, it is very important that media remains unbiased and serves just the news as it happens, and not make it a story!

As far as I think (as a common man), media has no right to impose its views on the public and cannot always think it is right. I was compelled to write this after I was watching a hindi news channel (or should I call it a story channel) yesterday night, to watch the updates about the Raj case. The court had given its verdict for Raj Thakray, and it was obviously the BIG story for all the news channels. After watching these updates, the news/story channel had prepared an analysis of Raj Thakray, to show to its viewers what led to all this drama, as they call it! The headline for this special analysis or the channel's expert vishleshan was: Gunda 'Raj' Mein Diwali! It was then followed by what they called, 'Gundagardi ke Saboot'! And, the saboot they mentioned were the incidents like Raj's take on Jaya Bachchan, the police commissioner, some ministers and the like.. The channel went on to say that Raj ke gunde atank macha rahe hain! Of course, their expert analysis went on even after that, but I thought of getting back to news than the STORY telling that was going on.

Here, I am not pointing toward what the channel had to say about Raj Thakray. Everyone would have their own opinions, and has a right to stand by their opinions. However, when you are presenting your views in front of the public, especially a medium like a news channel, I don't think they have a right to express such a sensitive issue in whatever manner they wish to. News channels do not have a right to give their verdict on anyone and give names to anyone in this fashion. Are they trying to say that Raj Thakray is a gunda? What impression do they want their viewers to carry? Let the Judiciary system alone have the right to give away verdicts. Why don't news channels simply serve news to us than any stories?

It makes me think that these channels have hired some kind of script-writers! Every news that they present has the flow of a well written script (well written only if we keep the sensitiveness aside). Sometimes I feel, why should there be a need of a 24 hours news channel at all??? If they are going to produce stories instead of news? Weren't the prime time news hours on some channels better than the channels exclusively dedicated to 24 hours story telling? It compels the common man to look at these channels as story telling channels when they hit sensitive issues on the wrong and sometimes, misleading notes!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Work Favours Worth

Favouritism is not favoured at work place. When it comes to work, nothing else will matter, but your work. Do not indulge in unnecessary stunts to lure your boss. This won’t do any good to you

‘Good work’, ‘I appreciate your hard work and dedication towards your work’, ‘you deserve the credit for your words of praise from the boss or the senior in office makes you feel on the ninth cloud. You feel proud to have worked sincerely and also receive the fruits of your hard work in the form of such appreciation. Such recognition by the boss in an organization lifts the spirit of employees to further enhance their working skills and keeping up with the good work.

Any organization will be more than happy to recruit such effective employees and, in turn, make them happy and encourage them for better performances in the future. There are some people whose work is acknowledged through their performance. And when they fail to perform up to the mark, it becomes a matter of concern for the authorities and the reasons are sorted out through discussions. Of course, these might not be light discussions. But such discussions and explanations are necessary and important to be carried out. The employee always takes cautious steps while working thereafter and makes an attempt every time not to leave space for doubts and mistakes.

Also, there are other groups of employees who work a bit differently. They are the one’s who always crave to be in the good books of their employers. And in a process to achieve this, they always try to make an extra effort to lure their seniors. Such people can be always seen near and around their seniors. If not physically there, they will always run through their thought process, Typical signs to recognize such employees could be that they suddenly start liking particular things just because their boss likes it. It could be the boss’s favourite perfume, car, magazine, just anything. They even go to an extent of changing their dressing style or way of talking and greeting people. And all these efforts are made obvious in front of the person whom they are trying to influence. How hard they must be working towards this! Just to make the boss happy or to endure the boss to make you happy? Either ways, is it a safe bet to play? Definitely not. It would be wise enough to be in good terms with the boss through progressive work rather than those unnecessary stunts. After all, you are where you are because of your work. Nobody is even bothered to or even have the time to shower personal favours. Your work should speak more than anything else at your work place. And then let the showers of favour fall upon you. Those will be meritorious and the deserved ones.

Favouritism at work places does not last for long. Neither for those who try to gain it, nor for those who deserve it. These could be severing results for committing such mistake. You may enjoy the benefits for the time being, but it becomes annoying after some time. Also, in this process, your work will be hampered and, in turn, your capabilities will be questioned.
To be the apple of your boss’s eye, you have to exhibit an example of good work and not an example of how you try to impress your boss. Your company should not think of replacing you with someone better, you be that someone who is the best for your job. Be competent enough to face every challenge that comes your way. If you are good at your work, you will derive satisfaction, will get chances to be promoted and if you want to remain in the same company then you do not need to worry because your company can not work without you.

Next time you feel like complimenting your seniors, do so, but only if it is a genuine one and not because it is a part of your daily routine. Some people do not appreciate such acts of always being in false limelight by taking help of unnecessary means. You might even make some people go against you if you pertain to such wrong and feigned means. Haven’t you ever felt when there are people who are appreciated and applauded for their work that you can also be standing on the other side of the crowd and be the special one? I am sure you must have, it will happen only if you prove yourself on the ground and not by procuring short-lived ways.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some Time For Fun

Every moment of our life is precious. Do not waste it with a frown on your face. Deliberately weave in those small pleasures and ease your work pressure

All of us were very mischievous in childhood. Playing mischief in our own way all around the place was the favourite time pass for all of us. It becomes a very lovable habit that includes lot of risk and thrill at the same time. It might go on until we are teens. Because till then we are still learning things and are also taken care of. What happens then? Why do we suddenly feel that we are no longer kids? It is quite a practical logic that when we reach this stage, we are capable to think for ourselves and take decisions. We deliberately give time to think about tomorrow on a serious note, as hereon we have to make a mark on the career front.

Our mischievous and childlike approach, which is quite appealing and refreshing at times, however, starts fading with time. Why does this happen? As we grow, we get involved in to various activities like studies, sports, family, friends and work. Apart from these, another reason given is, ‘now I have grown up’. Does growing up only mean being disciplined, shouldering responsibilities, no-nonsense, serious thinking, formalities, future, work and just growing up? These automatically become part of our life, but it endangers us being ourselves. Though most of us become accustomed to such behaviour / lifestyle doesn’t it become dreary? Or do we become indifferent? Must we rush when we could be enjoying life instead? We all have our ambitions and responsibilities- economic, social, and religious. But a life choked by tension, work, responsibilities, achievements, role-playing and competition is certainly not worth living.

The result:

These things, however, become indispensable and they take a toll on our behaviour, lifestyle and even health. This change is sharply perceptible in working professionals like us. It is presumed that the fun aspect should not linger at work place. True, but one cannot sit with a long face whole day just because you have to work. Life becomes colourless without having fun and there might come a time when life takes charge of you instead of you being in the controlling / commanding position. Come on. Do not let this happen and start enjoying even when at work. At the end of the day, the big things- accomplishments and good deeds count towards satisfaction, but equally true is the little joys that warm your heart and rejuvenate you as you go on the grand journey. Imagine yourself to have got caught in the lifeless routine, where you do not have time for anything else, but thinking and working. People around you in the office also have their share of work and keep doing it as workaholics. No matter you put on a good show on your work front, but it will not show on your face. This is the indication that you also need to experience it with little bit of fun and enjoyment. Some people feel that they rather accomplish their career, reach the zenith of their professional achievements, earn lot of money and fame and retire early to sit back and enjoy. But the results of overworking now will be rather opposite. They will experience a physical burn-out and be emotionally drained even before the onset of middle age. It could be a BP that prevents from trekking, or climbing heights (it could be such a disaster for adventure lovers!), cholesterol takes your favourite dishes out of reach and your brain becomes accustomed to anxiety. That is when people wish they had taken time to enjoy life as they went about discharging their responsibilities.

Enjoy life, don’t jus live:

There are some people full of life who do not change. They do not give up on the fun element in life and hence enjoy every bit of it. Be it at work or otherwise. There are people who are gifted with a humorous and witty nature. And they share this gift with everyone around them. They come across as a cool breeze amidst the hot working conditions that prevail in the office. Their witty statements leave a smile on our face that makes us feel good. If you have observed, this is quite refreshing to again get back to work with a new zing. Just a smile and a light atmosphere can work such wonders! We all must work hard not just at our responsibilities, but also at celebrating life. There are people who indulge in reading books even after a stressful day at work. This is because they think it is relaxing for them. Similarly, some listen to music; spend time with family or just anything that relaxes them. These might be small things to do, but they add to the celebration called life! So do not just sit back and have a laugh with them. You too can deliberately weave fun / enjoyment / pleasures and make others laugh with you!

Get a makeover:

There are others who keep cribbing about small things in life. It is high time you get a makeover in your behaviour. You are getting late for your office and you rush to get your car keys and oh… you realize that the last night there was less fuel in your vehicle and you thought that you will handle it in the morning but you woke up late and see what you are in to.. the aftermath… you get more restless and sulk down as if the world has come to an end. Now let us see the other side. After realizing that the fuel has got over, you still step out with a smile on your face and find out an alternative. This option is better because, it will save your time and also if you enter your work place with a happy heart, your day will surely be yielding and satisfying. But, if you enter your office with a sulk and irritation, which is publicly displayed then you will not be able to get over with that feeling for the whole day. So the conclusion is, keep your cool. They say that laughter is the best medicine. It actually is ‘the remedy’ for all your worries.

Dare to dream:

It takes courage to dream and even greater courage to acknowledge those dreams and try to accomplish them. While it is wise to live in the present, it is also important to have dreams and try to fuel activities and give you the extraordinary capacity to create the ideal life you conjour in your mind. Enjoying life includes dreaming about life itself and trying to realize the simple joys you dream and hope to achieve.

Let there be some time for fun always…

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Embrace the Right Attitude

Work pressure can be overpowering at times. But holding the right attitude will eventually sail you through this overwhelming phase

Success is getting what you like and happiness is liking what you get. This can clearly reflect what you actually want and need. There are so many things that you might want to achieve or possess. But they all cannot be converted in to your demands, as you might not be able to get everything that you long for. You have to be satisfied with what you get. Moreover, there is a unique and a more satisfying feeling when you have tried to achieve what you want, even if you fail to get it. However, you will at least not regret that you did not try. That is what matters after all.

But, when it comes to your work, you cannot just sit back and be happy and satisfied with what you do and achieve. At the work front, whatever you achieve should be built as a climbing ladder to step up to one more achievement. Of course, this upward graph will give you more than one reason to get that grin on your face, but you should always make an effort not to slip. These can be counted as your success quotient and you should always be raring to rise on that ladder step after step.

However, the real essence lies in the manner you relish your success. It is very important to acknowledge the efforts of everyone who has played a part in your success. After all, you cannot call it an individual strategy that worked. Similarly, if you fail to maintain the upward graph, you cannot put the blame on anyone in particular. Here also, it is teamwork and a team’s failure. Success / achievements are always counted as celebrations. However, it should also be kept in mind that it is like a bubble that does not last for long in the air.

Failure must be taken in your stride more sportingly and must be cherished, though it might taste as bitter as a pill. These sour memories will always help you remember your past mistakes and make you more cautious while handling any project at work. This realization will also help you analyse your thinking, working and executing methodology. This will definitely affect future work projects in a positive way. You will be amazed with your own performance and should also compliment yourself for the good work. You can help your colleagues as well to make a retrospect to identify their own weak points and come out of the fear factor of failure. This becomes very essential, as once the fear is removed from the mind, it leaves no room for doubts.
Whenever handling any project, it is a common reality that most of us fear the possibilities of any unwanted blunders. Most of us are prone to nervousness and start feeling weak in the stomach. It is quite natural, but you have to overcome this fear as soon as you can to excel in your work. Otherwise, you will become vulnerable to such notions that can prove to hinder your path of success. At such point of time at your work front, you need to be more alert and not let the mind game overpower your capabilities. This mind game is very powerful and can dilute your thinking abilities. So whenever you feel nervous, race your thoughts in the opposite direction until you sight no signs of negative feelings. You should always carry a positive attitude and work towards your goal. The results will be equally fruitful if you religiously follow the run away path from your fears and chase your goal.

Embracing the right attitude plays a very important role when things go wrong. There starts a mind battle when a mistake is committed and everything seems to be going against you. This is the time when you really run out of patience and literally stop thinking. However, when you scan your method of working, you will yourself want to change it a bit. But mind you, it must be a non-biased analysis. Work progress must be given foremost importance and worked out accordingly.

You should be able to blend your abilities and attitude well in order to achieve your goal / target that should be your motivational factor. It can be aptly said that ‘Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do and Attitude determines how well you do it’. So shed that demodulating fear factor and accept whatever challenge you face on your way. Achieving your targets will make you happy and this will lure you to keep pace with success. Make happiness your needs and success your want. In the process to fulfill your needs, you are sure to be rewarded with your wants that will be satisfied.

Juggling For Time

The alarm rings and there you go, trying to set it after five minutes. Again a beep, and now you just can’t delay any further. Take a glimpse of your own life when it comes to reaching office in time

Waking up early to get ready for school was what we practiced for years. But then mom was there to take care of our timings. Most of us must have been in a stage where we start taking care of ourselves. But then, came the college days when we were somehow (consciously / unconsciously) moulded into a carefree attitude. Does it happen co-incidentally that we are occupied with lot of work, be it studies, gatherings, competitions or some other important work (?) that leaves us with no time? These were the best possible reasons’ that came to our rescue. And, because we have been tired due to such overwhelming tasks, it was sometimes understood at home and were granted permission for an off for a lecture or may be a day’s off. Remember the grin you expressed after that? However, those were days when we could somehow manage things according to how we wanted.

Now, when we are working professionals, we get back to our school days. Wake up early, get ready in time and reach office in time. And, we cannot manage this according to our wish, as we were accustomed to during our college days. The only thing we have to manage is, reach office in time. Though we manage to be on time for work, it is quite a task to achieve this. When you get some free time in between your work, make a retrospect. Do not go much in to past, but only going back to that morning would do. Because, it is almost the same every morning. Isn’t it? Read on to get a glimpse of our daily schedule.

We all share the same hassles. Most of us are sailing in the same boat everyday. And this goes for all our colleagues, right from the one with whom you share a bay in office to even the manager. You set the alarm for every morning, but do not wake up at the first beep. You keep postponing the alarm until a time when you just cannot delay further. Now, finally when you make an attempt to rise from the bed, you have no time to spare than to hurry for office. Every move is fast-forwarded. Brushing, bathing, donning that perfectly ironed office wear and sometimes you have to iron it because you returned home late the last night, breakfast (which we have to skip most of the times) and then finally, heading towards our workstation.
And this does not end here. On our way, we are bound to get a red signal and cannot help but await the green signal. Though it is a matter of waiting for a mere minute, this is the time when we ponder over the urgency of reaching in time and decide to start early the next day. Some are successful in putting it in practice on the next day itself, some a few days later and most of us are still struggling to see the dawn of the next day when we will reach office in time and in no hurry.. Once you park your vehicle near office, you heave a sigh of relief and rush to reach your desk. It adds to your frustration when there is no current and you have to take the steps.

And then, finally you land in your chair after all the morning juggles. Shouldn’t it be called an achievement to battle against time to land up for work? However, if you manage to shift gears and be able to be part of those few who work against the juggles from the very next day itself, which will be the real achievement. It should however not matter until you are in time and doing well at work. Talk to your colleagues today and have a laugh at your shared experiences. It will be very relaxing, at the same time, an eye-opener. Reaching office in time will let you keep yourself actively involved in the office chores and you will not feel left out. You will also save the embarrassment you might face at the hands of your boss. Your office arrival time is recorded and plays an important role when appraisals are due.

Time… we all keep cribbing that there is so little time. Most of the times when we take up a job, it is almost an instant reaction that we think of less time in hand. This cribbing gives way to further dissatisfaction and we think that we are working with so many constraints. Even 24 hours a day might not suffice in that case. Sometimes it is imperative to hurry and cope with the available time. But this should not become part of our habit that is bound to create nuisance some day.

Next time when you postpone your alarm for the next five minutes, think whether you are doing justice to your work. So much of hard work goes in a day and reaching late at office might make your efforts void. Mere five minutes can decide your success.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good Triumphs

It took the strength, the courage, the determination like that of the goddess to put an end to the evil acts of Mahishasura. We have grown up listening to mythological tales and those from the great epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. These tales have been a favourite among our elders to pass them on to us, in some way, to imbibe in to us the values and cultures that shape up a good human being within us. However, in today’s scenario, the question arises whether these are really listened to carefully and taken a note of, or are they just heard to forget after some time

Navratra is celebrated as a symbol of the triumph of the heavenly power against the demonic might. These celebrations in the Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar are popularly known as the Sharadiya Navratra. Celebrations coupled with fastings for these nine days are followed as a reminder of the war saga of the goddess with the demons. Lord Shankar took the avatar of Martand Bhairav and put an end to the Manimalla demons. Khandoba Navratra commenced following this victory of the lord. Besides celebrating the Navratra that relates to the goddess, some parts of India celebrate the navratra that relates to Ramkrishna, Panduranga, Datta, Shakambhari, Khandoba, etc. even today. To put it in short, these are celebrations of god that symbolize the war saga between the heavenly power and that of the demons, the triumph of good over evil- evil nature, evil creatures, that gives rise to celebrations such as these.

For that matter, anyone who is self centered / engrossed, opportunistic, is bothered only about his / her self interest even if it plays hard on somebody else; can be termed as having the evil nature. Hedonism, egoism is still inexhaustible in society. Even today, there are enormous numbers of people in the form of Mahishasuras who move freely in society. It has become very important to raise the voice of the true conscience within us to fight against all such evils. These nine days can be perceived as the days to rekindle the goodness within us. However, one should be able to identify the crisis faced due to evil behaviour and act against it than just mourning.

We have grown up listening to mythological tales and those from Ramayana and Mahabharata. These tales have been a favourite among our elders to pass them to us, in some way, to imbibe in us the values and cultures that shape up a good human being within us. However, in today’s scenario, the question arises whether these are really listened to carefully and taken note of, or are they just heard to forget after some time. It took the strength, the courage, the determination like that of the goddess to put an end to the evil acts of Mahishasura. If given it a thought, more than celebrating the victory of the goddess, we rejoice the demon’s defeat. But, it is a sad state that more mahishasura’s exist today in various forms, be it politicians, edu-businessmen or even an ordinary citizen. There lies an evil factor within all of us that manages to conquer our conscience and make us fall prey to ignorance or is a deliberate action.

Whatever the reason be, ultimately it is not a loss to an individual, but to also those around him / her. Politics, or say power, is one of the worst evils’ that puts an entire nation to unrest. It is a dirty game and is no more considered to be handled by safe hands. Having said and heard of politicians and their own way of governing, we, at the receiving end also contribute our bit to such ugly situations. Why is it considered a dirty game and why is it not in safe hands? It is lesser the activity of those who misuse their power but, moreso the inactivity of the rest of the people that leads to such results. Individuals are becoming self-centered and seek for their own good. If this leads to a commonly practiced individual behaviour, it collectively forms a societal culture. However, if we know what is good for us and are even trying to seek it, then why is it that we yet have not achieved it? Even if we possess the best of things, live in the best possible lifestyle, lead our lives on our own terms; there is some thing that we still yearn for. Is it true freedom that we are in search of? Have we gained freedom from the British Raj, only to fall prey to the mahishasuras of our political system? It is high time for us to start voicing against their evil acts, as it is rightly said, ‘A society is in danger when those who have never learnt to obey are given the right to command’. If they enjoy the privilege of power, it is we citizens who are instrumental to empower them and have all rights to keep a check on their activities.

Politics is just one of the elements’ hovering around us that beholds the demonic avatar beneath its mask. Education, the biggest tool to fight against all odds, is also not left untouched by a certain sections of society, who have built their business empires under the guise of building young minds to shape the nature’s future. Youngsters are easy victims to the ugly system that prevails in society.

The sad part is, we are turning in to a nation of RNIs- Resident Non-Indians who have developed the ‘chalta hai’ attitude and keep turning the fortune wheel of the nation to be mishandled by some. A deep cleansing of the self has become a necessity in the absence of such national sentiment. Agreed, that it is difficult to find a Rama in this kalyug, but a bit of concern for the nation from every citizen can help curb the existence of the many Ravanas. However, the biggest dilemma ordinary citizens’ face is, they are betrayed by their own elected representatives.

Many times it is also our ignorance that proves to be the demon that puts us in to difficult circumstances. Ignorance is that curse, which can ruin the normal state of living. Lack of knowledge or information about our duties and rights can hamper a well deserved living. We should take calculated risks to outwit those who distract the nation’s well being. For this to become a reality, efforts from our side are equally essential, first by becoming a responsible and honest citizen. Once this foundation is formed, all the evil can be buried beneath it and a strong political and economic structure can be the real triumph of good over bad and, Ghatasthapana or Dassera would be celebrated for more than one reasons’.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Commom wealth-Yielding Games – CYG

One minister comes to back the money sanction related non-cooperation..
Another minister questions his party’s operation..

One says he is against using public money for publicity..
Another says why don’t they mend the roads that are petty..

One says he is defending..
Another says he is offending..

One says using public money is not fair..
Another says we are just making the public aware..

The public at the end has no idea where the money goes..
Until it actually goes and the media shows..

Does the CYG hold national pride..
Or will it remain an issue on the political side..

As days are approaching for the games to commence..
These parties are already playing the games of defense and offence..

If one rides near the CYG venue..
One is forced to think, is this how they work with huge revenue??

The revenue comes from the tax payer’s pocket..
Those in power, better not forget..

Is it time to hold press conferences and malign each other…
Does not the approaching deadline make them bother??

The event is daily making news..
And such arguments will gain worldwide critical views..

Its not the time to prove how any party is (in)efficient..
A joint effort to show the city’s worth on an international level will be sufficient..

They are wrong if they think the public will entertain..
They will have to prove their worth if they want to sustain…

The public will have to act soon and show their power..
Identify those who are yielding the common wealth at this hour..

Let them experience the power of the common man..
Put them to task and show them what you can..

Friday, September 12, 2008

Simply Ridiculous!

Recently, there was an interesting conversation between an elderly person and a group of 'samajsevaks'. This group had approached the elderly person for collecting charity for a 'cause' for their village. Both the parties knew each other well due to their association to the village. The elderly man lives in the city now and is known to be providing a helpful hand to the fellows in the village for various purposes.
Hoping to be assured with his help this time too, this group of 'samajsevaks' approached him. The charity was being asked to be able to build a temple in the village. "The new temple will add value and bring fame to our village among those hailing from other villages", is what the samajsevaks believed!
The elderly man did not want to mock at their reasoning, but definitely did not want to donate for this cause. He only said, "There are other ways of earning fame for the village's name. Not only locally or at a national level, but also at a global level! Why don't you'll make a playground in the village instead? I am ready to donate as much as I can an also look after the administration if you'll agree to this". Those people were listening to him, but still holding their temple issue in the mind. The elderly man continued, "We can identify great talent and potential in teh faces of the village kids and lads and encourage them to get trained in different sports activities that are played at the Olympics level. There is immense talent available in rural India to be able to go far beyond the 3 medals that we earned".
To this, the group agreed to, but also wanted to get a nod for their project- temple! The most astonishing reply that they gave was, yes, we can promote sports here, and along with that those who participate in here, their parents would definitely donate some part for the temple. To this the elderly man said, "Those who will participate, will first of all be from not so well to do families. In fact, we will have to help them from our pockets! And, if you so want to build the temple, which according to you would fetch good name for the village, you can sell off your part of land that you own and build the temple out of it".
The man from the group who was told this, got offended and said it is not possible. The elderly man had just one question for him, "Do you really want the fame for the village or for yourself, as you are the one who is eager to do so. You can achieve both if you use your land for the cause".
The man had no answer to this and hopefully understood the elderly man's unsaid words.
Some people really need a reason to either cash in on other's money or jus a way to spend time in not-required stuff. What difference would the new temple make for the villagers for whom work itself it worship? And, who already have a temple in the village where they can always go to???

This is an excerpt of a real conversation that took place in marathi.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Best Friend... Who?? Books, of course!

I have lost track of many things after having come to Canada. Those little chores that were routine for me back home, seem to have just faded away from my routine.
I would wake up at 5:30 in the mornings (no matter however late I would sleep), get ready and would be off to my gym, the place that I love! I miss Endurance :( Though it was 10kms away from home, I never complained. Then the next stop would be the fergusson college ground for lawn tennis. And, I would love to ride on my zma this early in the mornings as I could ride at a speed that would be just short of flying.
Then a ride back home by 9 or 9:30, newspaper, breakfast... It was a set routine. The daily chores would follow. I would start with a busy day right from 5:30 in the mornings until I slept!
Things have changed dramatically now. I have never seen the mornings before it is time for the lecture(except during exams). Newspapers are only once in a while. (Everything here is just internet. tv, news, just everything! It was exciting to watch all this on the comp, but now somehow I dislike it. It can never give the excitement of reading a newspaper!!!)
I would always be in touch with so many friends daily when I was in Pune! Now, one has to be careful when choosing friends and most of them will maintain a give-and-take relationship.
However, as it is said, books are man's best friends. And rightly so! You can get books anywhere and just be by yourself and get engrossed in reading. This is exactly what made me write all this. One can keep in touch with friends, family, work, on and off... But books, they can always be with you!
I am a John Grisham fan, and have been lucky to spot couple of his books at cheap rates :) Just finished reading one of them last night- The Street Lawyer. It took almost 2 months for me to finish reading it, as I was preoccupied with number of assignments and other college related work. But last night I felt so nice to have finished reading it! It is very difficult to keep away a John Grisham book for another day! Every page, every line keeps raising your interest and curiosity levels until the last word left to read.
Hey, now it is time for another John Grisham at his best novel! The Brethren.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Writing after a very long time... Time flies!

When I sit and think of days gone by in Canada, it gives me shivers all over. I had landed here in the coldest season Canada has had in the past 25 years! Never imagined I could survive such cold, as I would get jitters even in the winters of Pune.
Life has been very busy here. It is already the 5th month of my stay in this country. It has been a very different experience and I am surprised with myself to have been able to cope with life here. Learnt some good things and have indulged in to laziness. Still trying to cope with the independent life. I mean, living away from family and friends.
Back home, I knew I have my people behind me everytime. But, here I have to be all by myself. Not that my people aren't with me, just that they are not here physically present with me. I sometimes wonder how everything changes just by the mere presence or absence of your people.
That apart, experience here has been amusing as well :)
I have learnt to keep a check on the grocery in the house, the other things required. And yes, learning to cook few things as well :) Trying to cope with the microwave oven and the electric gas stove as opposed to what I have used back home.
I had never travelled by public transport in India. Now, I am part of the public here travelling through the sub-way trains, the busses. I have also shifted from having a bike in India, to having a bicycle here. But, believe me, cycling has been a pleasure ride for me. So much so, that I even cycled when it was snowing here! Feels bad at times when I spot few bikers zooming on the road. But, I am not complaining coz I am in love with my bicycle.
One thing that caught my sight was, the respect that pedestrains get here. People actually stop their vehicles for pedestrians to go first. Even the bus drivers! I felt obliged as I was at the receiving end of experiencing such hospitality! People back in India, especially in Pune have lots to learn about this aspect of trafic sense.
Anyways, enough written for now. Rest for later... Time to read a John Grisham book...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Auto Expo

This was one of the most wonderful times' I had since I am in Canada. I had visited an auto expo here at the Roger's Centre with few friends.
The idea of going there did not start on an enthusiastic note from my side, as I was in the mood of lazing in my bed. But, I was also dying to at least see motorbikes here if not ride them. It has been 2 months that I feel deprived myself from being able to ride at all. It is very cold here, the snow flurries and windchill do not allow to even walk with ease, forget biking. It is only the four wheelers that I see here and I am not much interested in them.
Due to this weather here, I am using the public transport facilities. The thing that I never did in India! I was so overwhelmed with the idea of at least seeing the motorbikes at the auto expo and, charged up myself. And, what a feast I had!
I had never imagined myself among those beautiful beasts :)
It was a dream to be able to ride those mean machines. But I always had to console myself by just seeing them in magazines or see someone riding them, as I thought I wont be able to ride them due to my height (I am just 5'3"... damn...)
But I am more than happy to be able to have a close look at the auto expo. You can see me showing off (the pictures can be seen in the link at the beginning of this post) on some of the mean machines like Triumph, Ducati, even the Honda Gold Wing!!!
I can't still get over it. Had a wonderful time!
Missing my karizma :(

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It was time to leave finally. I was tired to the core with making sure that everything was in place to make sure that I was finally ready to leave.

The day began with a super surprise... It was a Monday.. 31st December. I had to leave in the night. And as I had gotten into the habit of waking up late in the mornings, that day, too, I woke up late, very late. But there was a surprise waiting for me, than the usual shoutings from mom that I had got used to. Mom was busy preparing puran-poli, amti bhaat.... That is what I is my favourite cuisine.. I felt so pampered, and taken care of, and I knew I am gonna miss all this for a long time when I would leave :(

Until the last moment, I was trying to meet as many friends as possible. Supriya had come home in the evening and she helped me finish off with the last minute packing mess that I was in. We then went to the Ganpati temple in our colony. We had food together then.. Everyone was making me feel so special, I was overwhelmed, but simply did not say much as I knew I would have... mmmmmm.... weapt :(

We had the last minute family photograph session.. Mom, dad, uku, didi, uma, md, supriya, ajju... I wanted to meet BK.. but it was too late, So just called her to tell that I was leaving. And I did not know there was another surprise in store. It was so very sweet of her to have come home to see me off! And, also it was sweet of uma and md to have gifted me the shawl.

Finally, we left from home at around 10pm. We would all be silent for sometime, then mom and dad would give some advices, then some jokes, lots of new year smses, calls,... v finally reached the airport at 2:30 in the morning.

We were waiting at the check-in gate, from where I had to depart. I had an hour in hand before i had to go, so we were all waiting there until it was time. Dad kept looking at the watch, and felt it was running fast :) He kept asking me to wait until I had to say that it is time for me to leave.

Finally, I waved a goodbye to them and went inside at 4. The journey had begun. After years, I felt as if I am again learning to pick my steps, to learn to walk through a new life. I kept waiting until it was time for the baggage checking and getting the boarding pass. I had awaited this journey for over a year, and now I had already started walking my way through it.

But there were many unexpected incidents in store for me and for fellow passengers. The flight was delayed, and delayed by 3 hours! I had already started losing my patience. A whole New Year's night at the airport! would not like to make a mention of the frustration and anger that I underwent.

Ok.. The story did not end there. The flight was rescheduled to fly at 10am on the 1st of Jan. After a highly annoying experience to have waited for the entire night, all passengers were eagerly waiting for the announcements. Until 9:30, there was not a single piece of information about the departure. The frustration levels rose and were relaxed at the same time when an annoncement was made that the departure will be at 11am! Time passed by, by watching the chaotic situation around, the frowning passengers, and cursing Air India! Because, I had also missed the connecting flight from the London airport. I had received a confirmation on the rescheduling done on that though.

And, the airline just did not stop on this lethargic service. Even after all passengers were seated in the plane at 11, it had actually started at 12:15 in the noon, which I realised when I woke up from my nap. Until we actually left, I felt like running away and going back home. Anyways, now it was time to rest than keep continuing with the abuses for the airline. I had not slept the entire night, and half the day had also been wasted with the stupidity...

I had nothing to do, but to sleep for the maximum time in the flight. Of course, I woke up at once whenever they had to offer food and snacks :)
We finally landed on the British soil. Another 2 hours halt there, and back in the flight for Toronto. And, as if I had to experience all the worse situations in this journey, there came a very hard blow at the London airport. Air Canada declared my baggage to be excess and wouldn't allow me to continue without paying GBP 100!!!!! Gosh! This was the limit. I was filled with anger and was fuming from within. I was carrying the amount of baggage that was told to me by the agent and which was also mentioned in the document. But but but.... I really felt like kicking that lady officer on her butt...

I was relieved when I reached Toronto! I reached here at midnite, which meant that I landed on the 2nd of Jan! After finishing all the formalities, I got out of there and got teh first brush of terrible cold of Canada, which I had only heard of till then. It was very sweet of Amrita's cousin to have come at teh airport to receive me at such a late hour. Dimpi bhaiyya and Anju bhabhi took me at their place and made me feel at home. I took a bath and had dinner with them.

It was a very pleasant stay with them for two days. I literally fely as if I was at my home. Their kids made friends with me. Buaji was also very sweet and concerned about my whereabouts in this alien country. But as they have been living here, they gave me valuable advices and tremendous caring support. They all hunted for a suitable jacket for me in every possible store until I liked one at the end of the day. They made sure I had suitable winter wear and tehn only decided to drop me at teh hostel. They were of tremendous help to me, they made me feel comfortable in an unknown place.

rest will be updated in the later posts.... :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A New Beginning

A journey most awaited.. A new destination.. Excitement, nervousness, hopes, aspirations.. all clouding the space in the mind. And now, finally, I have landed here in Canada to realise some of the many dreams.

I am here on the foreign soil since 7 days now, and learning lotta stuff through experience and advices. It has been a good experience so far, the journey commenced on a quite frustrative note though.

The last week back home before leaving wound off like the flick of the fingers, with lotta last minute to-do long list. Every passing day left me with anxiety about the baggages to be packed properly, without leaving any room for anything to be left out. I was going crazy with all this, as the list seemed to be unending. I was literally dumping things in my bag until the last minute I stepped out of house for the airport. Yet after coming here, I realised few things that still were left unattended and left back.

That's it for now. The next post shall contain a draft on my rendezvous with the actual journey when it began at the airport in Mumbai...