Thursday, December 29, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The jeweler looked through his stock and found a $5,000 ring. The old man said, "No, I'd like to see something much more special."
The jeweler went to his special stock in the safe and brought another ring back. "This one's $40,000." The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man said, "I'll take it!"
The jeweler asked how payment would be made, and the old man said, "By check, but I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I'll write it now, and you can call the bank on Monday to verify funds. I'll pick up the ring on Monday afternoon."
Monday morning, the jeweler called the old man saying, "There's no money in that account!"
The old man said, "I know, but let me tell you about my weekend!"
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Yesterday was a busy day for me. Therefore I could neither switch on TV, nor could log-on to twitter or even hear FM. I was out all day but did not hear the news even once. I came back home in the evening and switched on my white macbook around 9 pm, opened Tweetdeck and started reading the mentions sent to me. I read this -
@SomeBirdie Change your bio. :( #iSad
@SomeBirdie hi birdie hope u are fine plz change ur intro on with ur DP as Steve jobs now Rest In Peace and now he can't share Maggie with u.
A sudden thought ran across my mind and I checked the Trending Topics. I was right. He had left us. Steve Jobs had lost the battle against his cancer. Sad. I was sad. Very sad. I didn't know I would feel this bad for someone I hardly knew. I know I had read a lot about him recently when he stepped down as the CEO of Apple, still I never felt any connect. But today, when he has gone, I feel sad. So sad? Strange.
I was surprised by the pain I had in my heart. It was similar to what I had felt for my 'bubu' (Bubu is an old man in Pahadi language). He used to stay in our neighborhood when we were kids. I would have been in class 3 or 4 then. He was not married. He had no family. He stayed alone in a dark house with no furniture. He had a strong face and a lean body. He always smoked 'Bidi'. He was not educated. So I and my sister used to teach him to write his name on slate and floor with chalk. He used to get some lottery tickets for us to play 'Dukaan dukaan'. Those fresh bundles of lottery tickets of 20, 50, 100 and 1000 were our currency back then and we would please bubu by dancing and singing to get those. After growing up playing with him for 12 years, we shifted to a new town and left him behind. I was a kid then, so I don't remember crying a lot for him, but I do remember that he cried for us. A lot.
Days passed and we grew up. Distance grew and memories faded away. He did not have a mobile or a landline. So sometimes he would just call us from some shop and ask us how we were doing. This happened almost 2 times a month initially and became lesser and lesser month by month. Sometimes, when we returned from school, ma would tell us, "Bubu ka phone aaya tha. Tum log to the nahi.. Bechare.. Unki tabiyat theek nahi hai.. There is nobody to take care of him." I would feel bad but then forget it the next day.
Anyway, after I joined college, one day maa told me that 'Bubu' had passed away. Now, it had been ages that we had met him, the memories of childhood were also dim, but as I heard this sentence I felt a deep pain in my heart. It was an unexpected pain. His strong face, full of wrinkles and a firm smile ran across my mind. I could see him there. In his shrugs, and a bidi in hand saying.. "Chinu... aa ja mujhe mera naam likhna sikha de." I could see him in his dark house, sleeping alone. Coughing alone. Making tea for himself. Taking a bath in the open with the cold water. I could see his loneliness. I could feel his pain. Tears started rolling down my eyes. I had not even thought about him in all these years, apart from when he took the pain of calling from STD booths and other people's shops. How much he loved us. And we never bothered. I felt miserable. I felt blocked. I could not believe that our 'Bubu' is no more. I would never be able to see him again, hear him again. I was standing there. Still.
I have tears in my eyes as I write this. My neck is full of that strange pain I felt when I heard of his death. And when I read about Steve last night, I felt a similar pain. Now I have no idea why I felt that but I did. Though I know the difference, the pain has washed off for Steve now. I know when I'll hear about him, I won't cry. I won't feel a sudden strike of bolt in my heart that I feel for bubu, even today.
The regret would always remain in my heart that I could have done something for Bubu, to make his life better, but I didn't. I don't have a single picture of his. That's how it goes. We never value people when they are with us and regret not doing anything after they leave us. Yes I know its a cliche but it is one truth that manages to survive even after we all read it so many times. We ignore it by calling it a cliche. What an irony.
The world will miss you Steve, I miss you Bubu...
Monday, October 3, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Today while I was tweeting, I came across @Aagan86’s RT of a blog post written by @Dibyabttb who is not in favour of the Lokpal Bill. @Dibyabttb’s points on "Why Lokpal wont vanish corruption' did make a point and I agree, to an extent, to what he says. But I would want to share my views on why I support Anna. I started writing to him, as a tweet but when I realized its going to be a looooooong tweet, on @19061980’s suggestion, I thought Ill rather post a blog. In no way is this post a counter to his post. I’m just putting my personal views in my blog, the base of which is his post.
I am no politician, no serious blog writer, not even a very current affair savvy person, but I have been following the Lokpal issue because its about eradicating corruption from our country which is a grave issue and it concerns me as a citizen of India.
I have been reading about people’s views on Lokpal. Lots in favour and few against it. I get many thoughts when I read people talking about “Why Lokpal is not the correct route to erase corruption from our country”, “I would rather not be Anna” by Arundhati, “Anna's protest is naive, simplistic” by Nilekani and then there are millions of anti-Anna, anti-Lokpal tweets from people who just want to stand apart from the crowd, to sound different, without any hard base. I have seen that on twitter. Lots.
I am pro-Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption. Having said that, I would also like to add that, I believe, Anna’s fight and the JanLokPal (JLP) Bill is not the best way to eradicate corruption from India but its acceptance is important.
I have read Nilekani’s interview and felt that his motive was to promote his service offerings more than to speak about the Hazare movement. Yes I agree to his point that Corruption lies in roots and we need a system to remove it from there but his whole argument was built on the fact that “Corruption cannot be removed the way Hazare is doing it, it’s in the system and that is exactly what our IT solution is offering. Automating system to remove corruption.” I felt, it was more of an advertisement than an argument because he mentions it so many times. Also his statement ‘I think we should respect our politicians and across the board I have tremendous respect for politicians.’ seems, to me, a business tantrum.
I have not much to say about Arundhati’s article. I thinks, she has missed the point. Habitual of making radical statements, her argument is on everything else but corruption in India. She talks about Irom Sharmila's fast, the villagers in Koodankulam protesting against the nuclear power plant. While I sympathise with both the cases, I would like to say that they are not related with corruption in India. They are protests against some incidents that have harmed them in some way whether it be killing of innocent people or against construction of a Nuclear Plant. She talks about issues that have been left out of Lokpal but let's be clear on the fact that Lokpal is a bill that targets removing corruption from India and not a solution to all the problems our country is facing. Corruption is one of the many problems that needs attention.
By just saying, 'Change the person inside you and corruption would be vanished' does not solve the problem. The attitude cannot be changed by a magic wand! It needs phases. And Jan Lokpal is the 1stphase.
Dibyabttb mentions that being pro-Anna is supposed to be 'cool' these days. As I see it today, it’s actually the other way round. When everybody is saying #iSupportAnna most of those (except few who actually have valid reasons for their stand) who say I DO NOT support Anna think they are 'different', whether they understand the whole issue or not. Such attitude reminds me of kids in their adolescence, when they want to stand against all the common things, "I don't like that movie, because everybody likes it." Zabardasti! It's a sign of immaturity.
Many anti-Anna's have suggested solutions to eradicate corruption from our country. ‘Why don’t Anna supporters stop taking and giving bribe themselves?’ Yes indeed that will work. But you think people will stop taking bribe and finding short cuts to success when it’s so much more convenient? You must, yourself have paid bribe to a traffic police, because the actual way is much more expensive and tougher. I have done that and I am sure that even if I promise to myself that I will never do it again, I would still do it when I have only 200 rupee in my wallet and I’m getting late for client meeting. Can you stop that? No. People will not change and neither will their views on taking the easy way. Unless, you have a punishment for them. If I know that I would be punished with 2 days of prison if I bribe the traffic police with bribe, I would be scared and will not pay him the bribe. Instead, I would have to submit my vehicle RC and collect it from the registration office in Old Delhi. I have once done that because I did not have cash at all.
Now, few people say that even without a Lokpal bill we can have more stringent laws, an improved law system to erase corruption from our country. Agreed. But let's see since how long have we been talking about this? The reformation of our legal system is indeed a topic that has been in discussions ever since I was born. What actions have been taken? They say that actions SHOULD be taken. Yes we all know that. But what actually has been done? Nothing really. We must understand that Indians have a habit of taking the easy way out for everything. They need shortcuts to success. The 'other' ways of becoming rich and enjoying luxury. UP ki Behen ji, Mayawati, built a huge Bunglow for herself out of the stones, she was supposed to use for building parks in her state, the head of the CWG, Mr Kalmadi, used the money to fill his foreign bank account that he was supposed to use for improving the infrastructure of the capital. Why do you think such scams happen in our country? The answer is corrupt people. The tainted minds of the corrupt people. But why only our country? You think such people don’t exist in the developed countries? They do. So why don’t these scams happen in those states? It’s human nature to want more. But its also human nature to be scared of the consequences. The laws on which the systems stand there are so firm that common man thinks twice before taking any illegal action. Can somthing like that happen in our country? Ofcourse yes! But can the whole legal system be changed at one go? No. It shall happen in stages.
By just saying, 'Change the person inside you and corruption would be vanished' does not solve the problem. The attitude cannot be changed by a magic wand! It needs phases. And Jan Lokpal is the 1st phase. It’s an initiative taken by a 9th grade pass, common man who is fed up of listening to the discussions on ‘How to erase corruption from India’, on ‘How better and stricter rules will help India get rid of the disease’ on ‘How corruption lies beneath all of us and so and so measures can help us be free of it’. It’s high time we do something about it and not just have discussions. And Anna is doing just that. He is the face of the common man who is tired of paying taxes to the government for constructing the road where he still folds his legs on his motor cycle while crossing because its full of rain water, a man whose appraisal is only 5% but the rise in cost of dal that he eats daily is 7%, a man who does not get a place to park his car in Cannaught Place because the construction for CWG games is still going on after 10 months of the games closing ceremony.
As far as the content of the bill is concerned, there are arguments like 'What does Anna know about the legal system?'. Let us not ignore the fact that the IAC team is formed of many well read and educated people like Shanti Bhushan (Lawyer), Prashant Bhushan (Lawyer), Arvind Kejriwal (the former IRS officer), Santosh Hegde (the former Supreme Court Judge, Kiran Bedi (former IPS officer) among others, who understand the legal systems of India very well.
I am not saying that Jan Lokpal bill will solve all these problems at once. I am also not saying that the bill bill erase corruption from India completely. No, it cannot. Corruption is in the roots, it will take another 10, 20, may be 100 years to erase it complexly. If not the current generation, may be our next generation, or their next generation would be free from it.
The Lokpal bill stands against the ‘Hard Corruption’ - the bigger scams like 2G and CWG, where common man is not directly involved but its consequences directly involves him. Though the Lokpal Bill will affect the corrupt politicians, officers and authoritative personalities in a short duration its effect on common man will take some time. Because the affect will be top bottom. First the top and then the root because here, the roots grow when it sees that the top is growing. The JLP bill does have a scope of improvement but it surely is better than the government's version of it. Things happen gradually, and JLP is a start to that gradual change.
Let us not ignore that JanLokPal is the start of a process. The spark plug in the car. The "Om Shri Ganeshaye Namah" of an important procedure and the 'Shubharambh' of a series of change. Its not a magic wand, its just a step towards a corruption free India. Don't we all want that? If Lokpal bill is passed, we may not benefit from it today, because it will take time to take effect, but our generations-to-come surely would. Because unlike us, they from the very start would see that the punishment for taking the easy way out is not so easy as it used to be to their Grannys and Grand Pa’s.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
11 बजे तक नाश्ता किया और बारह बजे तक mail ही पढ़ पाया ,
हमेशा की तरह आज भी मुझे आलस आ रहा था ,
और मेरा PM मुझे तिरछी निगाहों से देख - देख गुस्सा रहा था ,
मैं बड़े concentration के साथ एक "Careful" mail पढ़ रहा था ,
तभी देखा मेरे PM ke नाम का नया mail कोने मैं blink कर रहा था ,
फिर कोई training attend करनी होगी , ये क्या बकवास है ,
क्या reply मैं लिख दूँ की मेरे mailbox का उपवास है ?
मैंने आँखें बंद की और 10 bar "om" "om" bola,
और प्रणाम karte huye मैंने वो मेल खोला ,
PM के इस मेल मैं एक अजीब सा सुकून और भोलापन है ,
likha है भाइयों appraisal letters आ गए , अब तो one -to-one hai,
मॅन मैं ऐसे बुरे बुरे ख्याल आ रहे थे ,
ऊपर से कुछ लोग मेरे "de-appraisal" की गन्दी affwah उड़ा रहे थे ,
PM को letter लाते देख हर कोई usse देखता जाता है ,
जैसे mallika के किसी नए गाने को देखा जाता है ,
आखिर वो वक़्त आया ,PM ने एक एक kar sabako ander बुलाया ,
जो भी अंदर जाता हँसता हुआ जाता ,
जो बहार आता , मुरझाया hua aata,
बहार आ कर इंसान संभल भी नहीं पता है ,
की " कितना हुआ kitna मीला " हर कोई उसपे टूट जाता है ,
किसी एक को appraisal मैं 2000 rupaye मिले थे , मैं उसकी हंसी उड़ा रहा था ,
तभी मैंने देखा मेरा PM इशारे से मुझे अंदर बुला रहा था ,
मैं confidence से उठा और आगे कदम बढाया ,
तभी मेरी belt का buckle टूट के नीकल आया ,
मेरी हालत तो अभी से ही बुरी हो गयी ,
साला इज्ज़त उतरना तो यही से शुरू हो गयी ,
मैं अंदर पहुंचा और PM ने मुझे बिठाया ,
उसने मेरा letter पढा और वो हंसी रोक न पाया ,
वोह इतना हंसा की usse आंसू आ गए ,
क्या मेरे appraisal digits usse इतने भा गए ,
जैसे ही उसने appraisal letter मेरी तरफ बढाया ,
मेरी आँखों के आगे घनघोर अँधेरा छाया ,
मुझे लगा जैसे मेरे dil की दीवार को किसी ने गोबर से पोता है ,
अरे यार " बीस rupaye" ? ये भी कोई increment होता है ?
ये software indusrty है , अखाडा नहीं है ,
ये "SALARY INCREMENT" है , दादर आने - जाने का भाडा नहीं है ,
मेरे चारों तरफ कलि घटा छायी , तभी मेरे PM की soothing आवाज़ आई ,
तुम सोच रहे होगे के company mgmt का दिमाग फिर गया है ,
पर बेटा हम क्या करें , dollar का bhav 2 rupaye जो gir गया है ,
पर फिर भी मुझे लगता है , ये letter fake है ,
मुझे तो लगता है ये printing mistake है ,
तुम HR मैं जाओ , और ये confirm करके आओ ,
भाई HR मैं जाने के लिए तैयार होना पड़ता है ,
वही तो ऐसी जगह है जहाँ सुंदर लड़कियों से पला पड़ता है ,
shitt!! जहाँ "Renuka " बैठी है , आज वहां बैठा "Aftab" hai,
मैं समझ गया बेटा , आज अपना luck ही ख़राब है ,
उसने मेरा letter खोला , और खुश हो के बोला ,
वो बोला sir आप के लिए खुशखबरी है ,
आप के letter ने "Printing mistake" पकड़ी है ,
मैंने कहा boss अब देर न लगाएं ,
और मुझे मेरा actual amount बताएं ,
sorry sir ये mistake just by एक्सीडेंट है ,
बीस rupaye नहीं , दो rupaye आप का increment है ,
मैं क्या करूं आप को ये बताते हुए मेरा dil रो रहा है ,
पर क्या करें dollar का भाव भी तो कम हो रहा है ,
मैं बस वहाँ खडा था , कुछ समझ नहीं आ रहा था ,
मुझसे ज्यादा increment तो security वाला पा रहा था ,
मैंने खुद को संभाला , खुद को उठाया ,
मैं लौटा और सीधे PM के पास आया ,
मैं सीधा उसके केबिन गया और दरवाज़ा खोला ,
इस से पहले की वो बोले , मैं ही उस से बोला ,
sir ये पैसे वापिस ले लीजिये , बात करना फीजूल है ,
मैं गरीब हूँ , पर भीख नहीं लेता ये मेरा उसूल है |.