Thursday, April 7, 2011

When hunger strikes!

India, yes the land of miracles! My India! It is full of drama, struggle and hunger. Hunger to get! Hunger to achieve! Back in the days of freedom fighting, Bhagat Singh went on a strike, demanding good food and basic things in the Lahore jail. He and the revolutionaries fasted for more than 2 months to achieve what they wanted. And eventually, they got it.

But we are no longer in the era of British rule. We have been divided. We now have people in our own country, who probably are not physically cruel towards us like the British. But morally are.

Indian politics has always been my thing. I remember discussing with my ‘revolutionary’ theatre gang about how keen we are to step into it and make this world a cleaner place! I have promised myself, if ever I become a politician, I will be a pure, non-corrupt person who is on that chair to make the area around a better place.
But on second thought, do I really need to be on that chair to make my world cleaner? I read somewhere ‘anti-corruption begins at home’. Corruption is nothing but dishonesty towards ethics, morals and self. If you live in a place like India, to fight against corruption becomes all the more difficult! To fight against corruption here means, fight against your want of getting a work done or at least get it done any sooner.

“Rishwat lena hi nai, rishwat dena bhi corruption hai”

Anna Hazare, 2011. A 72 year old man who is sitting at Jantar Mantar today to tell the Government that its silence is not acceptable anymore, that corruption is not acceptable anymore. And yes, he is on a ‘fast-unto-death’ strike or ‘Satyagrah’ as Gandhi-wadis may call it. Firstly, I salute his courage to afford a protest like this at such an old age, only for his fellow Indians. And to people of my India, I’m glad that such a great gesture and support has been shown by them too.

India has over 6, 00,000 villages, more than a million towns and countless districts. Can you imagine the number of government offices and staff in these places? Can you imagine the amount of corruption? I bet you can’t!

Okay, forget the rural. A very simple example. Ask yourself, if tomorrow you are coming back from a party, late in the night and are stopped by a local ‘thulla’ who can give you a ticket with the powers vested in him, will you accept the ticket for drunk driving? In fact, will you even be ready to take the alcohol test? It is obviously easy to give him 100 bucks and get rid of it! That is corruption.

Anna Hazare’s act of courage is well appreciated. But picture this: you go to Jantar Mantar, scream at the top of your voice ‘ek-do-teen-chaar, band karo yeh atyachaar!’ The protest becomes a hit! After one week (or less), everything said and done, will this make ANY difference to the lives of those countless people who have to give ‘chai-paani’ to every government official they come across in those villages and towns? Will you stop giving those ‘100 ki patti’ to the cops that come your way?

No, I am not trying to be a pessimist. I am not saying that this won’t help at all! The ‘corrupt’ might get blacklisted and fired. Society boycott, bad mouth, bitching, awareness, beware-ness and more. But it is going to be restricted at the level of Central government or maybe some main offices that are branched in Delhi or big cites. I believe corruption is stronger and in power at a much lower level of the hierarchy. The level that you and I deal with, everyday. Will this morally shake those officers from within? Can we guarantee that ‘we will get rid of corruption’?

I hope it was that simple. I hope that any act, of any kind could bring immediate development to the heart and brains of this country. Anti- corruption does begin at home.

And this does not make me any less patriotic. I am still proud to be an Indian.“100 mein se 90 bayimaan, fir bhi mera Bharat mahaan!”  

P.S. - Of course, I support Anna Hazare.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not just another Saturday Night.

As far as I remember, I have been going to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara every Saturday night, since forever. Me and my family spend a good amount of time there. We pray, eat a lot of kadha prashad, enjoy the langar some days and have a peaceful time. I always notice people who I see there every Saturday; I think that’s pretty natural. Last week, mom and I decided to have langar for dinner; we love the dal!

So I sat on the floor and looked around. Saw the person sitting right next to me; "I know him!" Since I was a kid, I had seen him standing outside the gurudwara. He used to stand with his palm open and with a stick on the other hand and was in a pretty dirty condition always. Sadly, he was blind. My dad, before we leave the place, would always give him some money. I had seen that man grow old, literally. Somewhere in my heart, I or in fact everybody, I am sure, feels helpless when see such people. I used to wonder if he could actually manage himself some food. But today, I was sitting right next to him. We were both eating the same menu. We both had our plates being washed at the same basin, with same water. We both had our rotis coming from the same chakki. Whenever the sevak filled his plate with dal or salad or vegetables, they would ask him to touch and check. I guess he was their (sevaks) favourite kid. They talked to him and say ‘le, hor le yaar!’ (Take some more) and he would smile. His plate was full, but like a very good boy, he finished it all.

I guess this is why they call it ‘community langar’, not because the community people have it, but because people and I mean ‘all the people’, sit together and make a community. A community from which people step out with stomachs full and hearts pleased.

He stood up and was about to step on his own plate. I pulled the empty plate and kept it with mine. A sevak came running from another end of the hall and took him outside, to the place where I usually see him standing. I saw him walk away and the thought of all of it made me smile and have Goosebumps!  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

All so twisted, Yet so simple.

“It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. Cause it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year but I’ll be there for you!”

I heard through the phone. My friend was watching ‘FRIENDS’ on television. Just for fun, I asked him to tell me which ‘FRIEND’ he thinks I am. I had taken these quizzes on facebook and of course I know myself too well too. I always knew I was Pheobe. She’s got her own creed. Her principles and friends meant the most to her. She loved animals and cherished family values. Like her, I totally love singing. And of course, I’m a happy person!

I waited for him to say that too. But he got confused. He thought I was a mix of Rachel and Pheobs. My voice raised and said ‘Pheobe!’ He thought for a while and agreed. He just said a very small thing and it got me thinking. “Like her, its as easy for you to bend your words as per your convenience. Remember you told me you wont drink at the party. And in 3 hours you were probably sloshed? Just like Pheobe, who never wanted to wear fur!”

I guess it was a very small example. And to think of it, I do have more examples to give. Like, when Ginie died, I told myself, my parents, that I will not get a new dog now. I don’t think I can give the same love to any other pet now. But, a month after that, I was sitting with a dog on my lap in front of my dad, trying to convince him to keep the pet. (I totally love them!)

I told my friend “I am not going to date ANYBODY now!” twice, after every break up. Umm.. But I did! (Hopeful, every time!)

I hated this guy for over six months. I told myself, my friends, “There is no way I’m getting in touch with him again, EVER!” Today, we chat online, call often and meet sometimes. (Things are smooth.)

There was a time I used to see people doing nothing in life. I used to ask myself “why is he not working? Why can’t she study further? Why are they sitting at home the whole day?” And it’s been seven months that I am home, trying to figure out things, future, life!
(Taking a break!)

They say life is all about making choices. But is it really in our hands? I mean, often we make a choice thinking we will stick to it. But, destiny has probably already planned every step for us. Every move that we plan, might take us through a route that will lead us to where fate wants us to be. And so I would ask all my friends to take things light, don’t be harsh while making a decision, and understand that every word I say is not engraved! (Wink)

“I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.” -Douglas Adams.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

End of an Era!

I opened the door and saw my sister holding it in her arms. It was possibly the ‘yellowest’ dog I had ever seen. Dirty and dusty. It looked scared. As soon as she dropped it on the floor, the dog ran and hid under the dining table. My sister then told me that it’s a female spitz that was lying on the vet’s table at the dog shelter and was up for adoption. I called her out and patted her dirty thick fur. My sister took her for a shower and she came out all so clean. That’s when I realized she was one of the prettiest little things! We noticed that she was a lazy one with drug, beautiful eyes, so we named her ‘Ginie’ after ‘Gin’. And she became the best part of my life!

We took care of her food, she hated pedigree! Trained her to poop on the terrace and she was quick! She was the laziest bitch! Never ate food on her own, I hand fed her and bare her tantrums! It felt like raising a child. I loved it! One day, as I had lunch on the dining table I heard a knocking sound. It came from under the table. I bent and looked, it was Ginie. She was shivering and her body stiff. White saliva coming out of her mouth and her eyes wide open! It was a scary sight. Only later, Rashi told me about her sickness. Ginie was epileptic. The doctor told her this was to happen but the sweetheart was too cute to let her sickness keep anybody from her!

We lived with it. Her treatment started. The doctor gave medicines that were to be given for a lifetime. Rashi had left for her new job in Mumbai. Ginie was totally my responsibility now. As the time passed, her problem became serious. Hence, more medicines, even more dizziness! But she was a fighter. She experienced a cycle of fitts every month for 3 whole days. The shivering body and unconsciousness after every 3-4 hours, was a lot of pain to herself and my heart. Those 3 days were the hardest time of the month for me. Yes! Even harder to take than my periods! As soon as she recovered a little consciousness after every fitt, she walked and hogged like a stray. “Ginie! Ginie!” called me and mom just to try and make things easier for her. But of course, she was too dazed out! I remember the first few months, I cried every time she experienced a fitt. She was a little child and it was painful to see her in pain. But gradually, I had become strong. Very strong!

Once, I gave her food in her bowl. She was hungry, I could tell. She came running and sat right in front of her bowl and looked at it. I started walking around the house, doing my thing. After a pretty while, I looked at her as she looked at her food, then at me, then again food, and then again at me! I smiled and hand fed her until she finished it all. She was one spoilt bitch! I used to kiss her forehead and tell her “what will I do without you?” and she looked at me like a dumb little dog! She really was quite dumb! If I called her from my room in one end, she would go running to meet mom in the other end. If she climbed 2 stairs, tumbled 4! If you tell her to shake with her right hand, she’d lye down! She was a unique piece!

Ginie loved to go for long drives. We had a Maruti Esteem and Ginie loved to sit at the back window, where people usually keep there stuff toys for show, Ginie was the cutest moving stuffy! Never had I ever seen any dog sitting so quietly and enjoying the drive. Our annual Mussoorie trips were her favourite too! I guess she loved the weather. Once, it snowed there. All my family went to the terrace to play with the snow. I took Ginie along and let her be. She ran from one end to another, so excited to see the snow. But like always, her excitement was just for a small moment. She used to be in such a laze (thanks to her never-ending medicines) that she could never run or play for more than 5 minutes. I used to see other’s dogs, so active and playful. But I wouldn’t have exchanged my baby for ANY other in this world!

It was that time of the month again. She started experiencing fitts. But, only this time she had one right after another in a 10 minutes gap! I was failed to understand. She could not walk after that, at all! But hey, here comes another one! And one right after that! It was a moment of panic. Ginie had had 6 fitts in 25 minutes! I called my dad and took her to the vet. While on the drive, she had one on my lap too. She used be so faint that she peed unconsciously, and on me too. But she was my child. I took it as a baby’s leak. The vet gave her Anastasia and she lied into my arms. I came home and put her into her bed and watched her sleep. Her peace meant a lot to me.

26th October 2010
It was her 6th birthday at home. Like every year, we had got cake and a tiara for her! Her eyes used to letch at the cake. She loved it! And that was one of the days when she was allowed to eat sweet! That is the day I saw ‘Marley and me’ on TV. It was too sad to see the dog die in the end. Honestly, I did cry. I hugged Ginie tight that night and said ‘what will I do without you?’. And again she looked at me like a dumb little dog. My girl was experiencing her periods. It had been more than two weeks. That’s a lot more days than what she usually experienced in every 6 months. So, I took her to the vet the next day. It seems like Ginie was born with bad luck. Her uterus was severely infected. The doctor called her in for next 5 days to give her 2 injections per session. She was also inserted a medicine in her uterus through a long ‘rod’ like instrument. She used to scream in pain, I held her tight. Now that’s a lot of needles and dizziness! But her bleeding did not stop. My home smelled like a hospital.

After consulting 3 doctors and getting her endless injections and medicines and an x-ray and a blood test, our regular vet finally said we need to do surgery! My heart pounced. ‘A surgery!’. It was Diwali in 2 days and we had to go to Agra, like every year, to my grand dad. I took a 5 days permission from the vet and he in return gave some medicines (again) for/till the time we got back for the surgery.

It was time for Diwali prayers and I prayed for a miracle. And believe it or not, the very next day Ginie had stopped bleeding! After 45 days, everybody in the house took a sigh of relief. This meant no surgery! We returned happily and got back to our daily routines. It had become cold so I pulled out Ginie’s coat from the cupboard and put on her. She always looked like a smart dog in that red, collared coat. Ginie had become anemic for all the blood loss, but I thought it was temporary.

15th November 2010
It had been a week and Ginie hadn’t barked! The house was too silent. I took her to the balcony in the morning and forced her to bark. You know, the same old ‘shooo that!’ technique. It worked! Finally, my baby barked. I had plans to catch ‘social network’ with a friend that day. So I got ready, waiting for her to come. Ginie was doing her usual thing now. She used to run in excitement, barking her guts out and come back and lye again as if she’s worked at the mines! Mom had asked me to feed her before I leave, and I had passed that order to my younger brother. I was already running late, so as soon as my friend came to pick me up, we left. I don’t remember saying bye to Ginie. That had happened before.

I was inside the theatre, it had only been 20 minutes in there.  My phone rang. It was my brother. He usually calls me to ask if I’ve fed Ginie before leaving. So I text him to text me back. But he was calling again and again. I went outside the theatre and called him, only to find him crying out loud. I remember my heart skipped a beat as he said ‘Chani come home. Something’s wrong with Ginie. She’s not moving, at all!’.  I asked my friend to give me a ride back home. I was petrified! I called back to check again and told my brother that I’ll be there the soonest I can. And all he said ‘Let it be, she’s gone!’ It was one of the things I never ever wanted to hear. Ginie was dead. My little baby had left me. The crying was uncontrollable then. There was too much traffic on the road. I cried and cried, but nothing worked, of course! As my friend drove, honked and tried to take care of me, my world had shattered, it seemed. I was so numb to listen to the horns or see the red light. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life. As she parked the car, I ran. And I ran! I had asked dad to take Ginie to the vet, hoping it was just another faint. I remember my fingers had become stiff, I guess my blood pressure dropped. I reached home and could hardly speak. I tried. Brother said that dad had taken her to the vet. I fell into his arms and broke, completely!

The bell rang. They were here. My second brother came to me and gave her into my arms. So lifeless! I hugged Ginie and burst. I could feel her icy cold face against mine. I had seen her sleeping, had seen her faint too. But to see her dead, was the worst sight of my life! I cried ‘what will I do without you Ginoo? What will I do without you?’. And I waited for that dumb look, but in vain. My baby had walked 6 years of her life hand-to-hand with pain. As I said, she really was a fighter! My dad slipped a spoon of ‘amrit’ in her mouth and took her away from me. It was time for her burial. As they went down the stairs, I could only see Ginie’s foot coming out of the blanket she was wrapped in. I felt like I’ve lost a child. And I really have.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I've got the power!

It’s a saying that ‘in order to motivate other people, you first have to be motivated yourself!’ and well, that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? The urge to motivate, inspire, influence, convince, persuade and make believe, everything arises from a sense of expectation. Expect to change. To see a better world, better tomorrow!

India! The land of miracles! A country, so rich in culture, diversity and faith! A nation that is fighting day and night, inside and outside, to stand on its feet, after being ruled by the British for 200 years! India, that gives every Indian, at least a hundred reasons, to be proud of their country! But, are you, really? If the answer is yes, with no doubts at all, it means you hold a positive nerve and a sense of belief. It means you have faith, that in spite of all the loopholes, the country is holding on to itself, and moving on with faith. You are empowered to influence people around you, with the same. Patriotism comes from this power!

And unfortunately, if you feel that your answer is no, take a minute to think why?

Have you ever felt low about yourself? And how did that happen? You criticize yourself a lot? Or you think you are not competent enough? Or your partner thinks nothing can make you look better? Or your boss thinks no matter how hard you try, you can’t become efficient enough? Or your coach says you can never match up and compete with the rest of the contestants?

Time up! Lack of confidence, over-criticism, under-estimation, not only they make you lose faith in yourself, but also your country. Yes, it's yet another 'feel pride in being an Indian' attempt.

India is huge! It is very obvious that it will carry a lot of electrons!(negatively charged particles) A nation is made by its citizens, the people. And people work, when they are motivated, when they are told good things. So first, think positive, say positive. And tell your friends why they should be proud, tell people not to give up on India! They say ‘no’, you argue ‘yes’! Patriotism is a power. Use it! As it was once said “India works! The people make it work!” (Wink)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Strength of the skies!

Eve,you were there.I am here.
The mankind is to you.
Oh Mother Mary!Bless me.You are my school. You are holy.
Protect me my sister. My best friend.
My child,my daughter,I am proud of you.
Your smile is the answer. Sunshine!
That frown is a question.Worried you are.
My ‘Kaali’.The destroyer of evil.

That love you give my ‘Savitri’,I am hungry!
My Mother Teresa.Peace!
The joy.Spread elementary.
End this world Shiva’s eye!
‘Draupadi’you laugh.’Mahabharat’ betide.
‘Ram’ wants you.’Raavan’ wants you.
You are a queen..’Manikarnika’ you are.
You sway.You glide.
Oh woman!The earth.You are the sky!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let's try!

Everybody dreams of their perfect future.A successful life,huge bungalow,luxury cars,healthy family and to add to that perfection - a pet. Obviously like everybody else,I dream of the same.But to add to my perfect future,I have always wanted that perfect animal to be my pet - Great,Gracious and Gorgeous : Tiger!

Yes! A Royal Bengal tiger in my 'Oh! So pretty farm-house' shall complete my idea of perfect future! And I'm not just cooking it up.I'm sure of what I'm saying and I'm sure its not impossible.BUT! the insecurity that these beautiful creatures are in,I see a possibility that it might become very difficult.Imperiled,these species are,and as everybody probably already knows that from around 40,000 at the turn of the last century, there are just 1,411 tigers left in India! I have many years in hand to achieve this dream.But will they be available at all by that time?! The scarcity is increasing,and its scary.If we don’t act now, we could lose this part of our heritage forever!

Tiger is our national animal.They are astoundingly beautiful!It is every Indian's duty to do every little bit to save them from extinction.Do you know Asia is most responsible for this wildlife being in danger?! China trades all animal skins at a large scale,Malaysian Islamic party has given out 'shoot at sight' orders,the huge cat is a 'yummy delicacy' in many parts of the continent and also the world,and there are many more cases.But it is time we wake up!It is bootless having it as our national animal if we together can't save it.It's significance can't be taken for granted!

Tigers are disappearing for several reasons:

Destruction of habitat : Stop deforestation!
Poaching : Stop smuggling!
Disappearance of animals tigers prey on : We all need food for life!

Why do we need to save them?! Tigers are important for many reasons:

They are at the top of the food chain of large ecosystems,and thus if they disappear,the whole ecosystem,with all it's plants and animals and even the people who are dependant on them,is put in jeopardy!
The cat has been a vibrant part of human cultural,religious and social history.
Do we really need reasons to save such a gorgeous piece of wildlife?!

They say 'the first step towards change is awareness'.This post is only posted with an intention to spread some awareness and contribute my bit,as any tiny contribution will make a little difference.I want my dream to come true one fine day.And the day shall come.Let's try!

Reference majorly taken from and .