2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 25,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Politicalization of Indian History

This post was originally posted around 2 years ago. It took me around a month to complete. It was my effort and how can it be censored? Why and how it was removed remains a mystery to me. Is it possible for someone to delete my posts? I don’t know…Any ways re-posting it to check my assumptions.

I am a man who is an absolute sucker for History. Be it Indian History or World History, I have this tendency to poke my nose whenever and wherever something related to History is being discussed or talked about. I may not be as well read as the scholarly historians or even Mr. Jaswant Singh, but I know my history and also as I proclaim, I have multiple opinions about any topic which has the slightest hint of being argued. Hence I could not refrain myself from writing on the hot topic of Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

In fact, what you will read hereon will be a talk on a much larger perspective of India’s Modern History. How I have been feeling for a long time now, about the portrayal of facts and how the Text Books have been troubling me.

Whenever we start looking at our Independence Struggle, it begins at The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. Well, calling it ‘A Sepoy Mutiny’ in itself is a misnomer as albeit the start it was a unified revolt of entire India that was under the control of British East India Company. The revolt had several inherent flaws resulting into its failure and bringing about a direct rule of the British Empire for the next 90 years. It was also a sort of laying the foundation of a political party, which has ruled for almost 55 years post Independence.

British learnt their mistakes quite quickly from the revolt. After the formations of just a few (albeit powerless and effect less) political parties like Dadabhai Naoroji’s East India Association in 1867, and Surendranath Banerjee’s Indian National Association in 1876, the British decided to let the vent of Indian people out through a medium which should act more like a safety valve(The well known – Safety Valve theory). Inspired by a suggestion made by A.O. Hume, a retired British civil servant, seventy-three Indian delegates met in Bombay in 1885 and founded the Indian National Congress. They were mostly members of the upwardly mobile and successful western-educated provincial elites, engaged in professions such as law, teaching, and journalism. At its inception, the Congress had no well-defined ideology and commanded few of the resources essential to a political organization. It functioned more as a debating society that met annually to express its loyalty to the British Raj and passed numerous resolutions on less controversial issues such as civil rights or opportunities in government, especially the civil service. These resolutions were presented to the Viceroy’s government and occasionally to the British Parliament. Despite its claim to represent all India, the Congress voiced the interests of urban elites; the number of participants from other economic backgrounds remained negligible.

Now, if the foundation itself was so measly and scrawny how do we expect a strong, fail-safe structure above it? My views here should NOT be interpreted as anti-Congress or anti-anything…I am just expressing my view point on something that has been and cannot be changed now.

So, coming back to the role of congress, we all know of its impinge on the common Indian in the early 20th century. The first spurts of nationalistic sentiment that rose amongst Congress members were when the desire to be represented in the bodies of government, to have a say, a vote in the lawmaking and issues of administration of India. Congressmen saw themselves as loyalists, but wanted an active role in governing their own country, albeit as part of the Empire. This trend was personified by Dadabhai Naoroji, who went as far as contesting, successfully, an election to the British House of Commons, becoming its first Indian member.

Whatever happened thereafter, advent of Mahatma Gandhi, the Satyagrah movement, the appeals, the rejections and eventually the ‘freedom’ at the cost of partition of India and Pakistan is supposedly known to all of us. I specifically use the word ‘supposedly’ because whatever history a common educated man of India knows – knows it through the NCERT or other text books prescribed in the curriculum of their schooling.

This was where the Congress had foresightedness. Feed the forming minds with glory. Show them only the brighter side of everything that actually happened. Present ourselves in white light. Hide everything that could blot the image. Contradict the facts as and when required.

My statements are not baseless. I remember Ms Sarojini Naidu commenting about Mr Jinnah as “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity‘”. The Muslim League, formed in 1906, was the brainchild and conception of very few beleaguered Muslims under the leadership of Mr. Aga Khan. With their grievances and ‘national interest’ they went up to the then Viceroy of India, Lord Minto, who saw this as a nice opportunity to further decelerate the nationalism brewing in the country that time. I will like to quote Mr Aga Khan himself here, who had this to say about Mr Jinnah: “It was ‘freakishly ironic’ that ‘our doughtiest opponent in 1906′ was Jinnah, who ‘came out in bitter hostility towards all that I and my friends had done… He was the only well-known Muslim to take this attitude. He said that our principle of separate electorates was dividing the nation against itself.”

Well, young man. I will have nothing to do with this pseudo-religious approach to politics. I part company with the Congress and Gandhi. I do not believe in working up mob hysteria.” This was what Jinnah had to say about his parting ways with Congress, to a Journalist Durga Das. The reference is from Durga Das’s classic book, India from Curzon to Nehru and After.

Gandhi and Jinnah in Happier times
Gandhi and Jinnah in Happier times


What actually went wrong between Jinnah and Congress? We may never come to know. However, we all must understand that there was certainly some issue which made this crusader of Congress turn hostile. Thereafter, he has been portrayed as a villain.

Nehru and Jinnah
Nehru and Jinnah

Unfortunately, people do not give the treatment ‘History’ deserves. We could all understand History in a much more elaborate manner if we did not treat it as a heroes-and-villains movie.

Moreover, its not just Mr Jinnah’s story. Cover-ups have happened all through the lexis of Modern History of India. Facts have been suppressed. Events have lost into the manors of obscurity. And again it is not a figment of my imagination. I will again sight an example – The origin of demand for ‘Complete Independence’.

The first Indian political organization to call for complete independence from British rule was the Ghadar (or Gadar) Party, organized in 1913 by Indian immigrants in California. The Ghadar movement was remarkable for many reasons. Although Sikhs from Punjab made up the majority of its founding members, the movement was completely devoid of any trace of regional or religious chauvinism. Its platform was uncompromisingly secular and called for a total rejection of any form of caste discrimination. And unlike the Congress, its membership was primarily drawn from the working class and poor peasantry. Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus of all castes (including Dalits) were welcomed in the movement without bias or discrimination.

The literature of the Ghadar Party was also the clearest in describing the depth of misery that the common people of India experienced under British rule. They were also amongst the first to anticipate the outbreak of the First World War. Correctly sensing that it was an opportunity for the Indian people to liberate themselves from the yolk of colonial rule, they called for a mass movement for total independence. In their widely distributed poster, “Jang Da Hoka” (Declaration of War) they warned of the danger of Indian soldiers being drawn into the British War effort in the First World War.

The Congress failed to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity and leaders like Gandhi went as far as campaigning for the British War effort, calling upon Indians to enrol in the British Army. This treacherous and sycophantic policy of Gandhi not only drew biting criticism from Ghadar activists, but opposition from other quarters also emerged.

Now, how many of the Indian population have even heard the name of ‘Ghadar Party’? Forget the contributions they made. And why is it so?

Why have people who have such rich History to look at, not even bothered to pop simple questions? Why do they believe everything that is served in a platter to them with garnishing of fallacy so evident? Why can’t we question? Why is it hysteria if text books are tampered a little bit (even though the motive of that tampering was also political)? Why reading about us is ‘boring’? Why knowing facts is ‘Not Cool!’ ? Why History doesn’t interests people? Even simple facts like how our Constitution was formed is not known, the constitution which we all abide by or even just the claims to do so. How can we let a single party play around with our History? Why haven’t we read books like Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins. And if we have read such text, why don’t we question? Where has the sensibility gone? I am bewildered! I sign off now…

Just leaving you with a pic for your bewilder ness …Enjoy!

Nehru Smoking!
Nehru Smoking!



All The Best…My Friend!

I remember very clearly, it was the evening of 13th June 2001. I had completed 18 years of my life that fateful day – 18 years of living carelessly, with no or very small and short lived objectives and absolutely no sense of direction. I did not have any ambitions, any ideas or any motives in my life. I was living the life of a sheep in a herd that was just following all other sheep and had no clue about who or what was directing that heard. I was just blindly following everyone else. Also, that was the day, when I had almost given up – given up fighting, given up trying, given up even the idea of trying and fighting. I had not been selected in any of the Engineering Entrance Exams, I had secured a meagre 77% marks in Class XII boards and I was going to pursue a B.Sc. course in any of the colleges at Delhi University with absolutely no idea or clue as to why I wanted to do that.

My parents were never of the interfering sorts. Surprisingly, even at my failure they were indifferent. They gave me an option to do whatever I wanted, whatever I felt right…and on the other hand…I never knew what was right? …or what I wanted to do?…But this is not about me…this about you my friend.

That very fateful day when I was all alone, as all my friends were off to join their colleges and universities…lost into thoughts like a loser and feeling a low I had never ever felt… I was sent a messiah…a saviour of my soul…a guiding light who I later realised would help me find my way all through my life whenever I was or will be lost. May be he himself was looking for support and wanted someone to help him…may be whatever he said that day was to console himself too…but that day proved to be a turning point of my life. Within a few hours of talk he was able to give me a reason to believe in myself. He made me take one the best decisions to drop a year and go for engineering (even though I am of no use as an engineer now). He gave me direction. He made me dream. He made me realise that dreams are just not there to be dreamt in the night…but to be lived in the day. And all these were not just his preaching, he practised them…and practiced them well. We achieved what at that time was believed unachievable. He deserved much more…and he kept on moving forward…leaps and bounds…and Today he has again proved his mettle.

There are very few who have the audacity to walk the unbeaten path. There are very few who are able to match their actions with their words. There are a few who have the capability to stick their neck out of the crowd irrespective of their height. There are very few who have the courage and the heart to practice something as unorthodox and often rebuked as quitting a Rs 15 Lakhs + Benefits job and sitting down for a year to pursue what they always wanted to pursue. Very few of those who do have this courage and heart, have the capability to achieve it. And You – Mr Chandra Mohan Thakur –  my friend have done it all. (OK! Agreed! There are few more of my friends who have done this…and done this all through their life…but Dudes! For today…Let it be him!) Proud to be able to just tell that you studied with me and I taught you Physics (although you never utilised it at any point after JEE…but still I taught you 😉 )

Well Done! But…there’s still miles to go before you sleep…and miles to go before you sleep! So…All the best! I know you will keep shining…mightier and higher!

किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़

चलने ही चलने में कितना जीवन, हाय, बिता डाला!
‘दूर अभी है’, पर, कहता है हर पथ बतलानेवाला,
हिम्मत है न बढूँ आगे को साहस है न फिरुँ पीछे,
किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ मुझे कर दूर खड़ी है मधुशाला।।७।

श्री हरिवंश राय ‘बच्चन’ जी की इन अमूल्य और अतुल्य  शब्दों के भावार्थ आज सत्य से प्रतीत हो रहे हैं| मुख्यतः मेरी परिस्तिथि पर| मैं निराशावादी नहीं हूँ| उल्टा अगर मेरी गिनती निराशावादीयों की श्रेणी में हो तो मैं उससे दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण घटना, अपने पूरे जीवन की,  किसी और को नहीं मानूंगा| मेरा आज तक सिर्फ आशा की किरणों ने ही मार्ग दर्शन किया है| मैं आशावादी हूँ| मेरा मानना है कि, भविष्य सुन्दर है…भविष्य उज्जवल है…सिर्फ मेरा ही नहीं…समस्त पृथ्वी का| स्वाभाविक है कि अब आपका प्रश्न होगा कि फिर मैं निराशावादी क्यूँ प्रतीत हो रहा हूँ? उत्तर भी सरल है …एकाग्रित हो कर उपरोक्त पंक्तियों को दुबारा पढ़ें …उनमे निराशावाद से अधिक असमंजस है…भ्रान्ति है| मैं निराश नहीं हुआ अभी…पर हाँ,  किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ अवश्य हूँ| परिस्तिथियाँ ही कुछ ऐसी हैं, किन्तु परिस्तिथियों के विषय पर कभी और वार्तालाप करेंगे| 
 
आज इस स्तिथि “किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़” के विषय में विचार विमर्श हो जाये? 
 
किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ता, साधारणतः एक अल्पजीवी अवस्था है| एक ऐसी अवस्था जिसमे आप अपनी सोचने, समझने और समस्या का समाधान निकालने में असक्षम हो जाते हैं| जब आपकी बुद्धिमत्ता पर अन्धकार कि एक चादर डल जाती है और आपको ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि आप एक महासागर के मध्य में बिना किसी साधन के, बिना किसी मदद के, खड़े हैं| कुछ परिस्तिथियों में ऐसी अवस्था लाभ दायक भी साबित होती है, किन्तु अधिकांश तौर पे यह अवस्था बहुत हानिकारक होती है|  क्या करें? क्या न करें?…ये प्रश्न बहुत ही विचलित करते हैं| तो इस अवस्था से निकालने का उपाय क्या है? साधारण मनुष्य जैसे कि मैं और आप ऐसी अवस्था में क्या करें?
 
मेरा मानना है कि मुझमें, आपमें और हम सब में एक असीम उर्जा का प्रवाह होता है…शारीरिक या भौतिक उर्जा नहीं … किन्तु मानसिक उर्जा| मेरा यह भी मानना है कि मुझमे इस उर्जा का प्रवाह, असाधारण नहीं किन्तु पर्याप्त मात्रा में अवश्य होता है| मुझसे जब भी मेरी इस अविरल ऊर्जा स्त्रोत के विषय पर प्रश्न किया जाता है तो मेरे पास सिर्फ एक ही उत्तर होता है, और वो ये कि – हमारी मानसिकता, न की हमारी मानसिक स्तिथि, उस उर्जा का स्त्रोत है| अब आप इस विषय पर किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ होंगे कि मानसिक उर्जा क्या है और इस चर्चा से उसका का क्या सम्बन्ध? सम्बन्ध यह है कि इस मानसिक उर्जा का प्रभाव आपकी मानसिक स्तिथि पर एक गंभीर रूप से उद्धारित होता है| यदि आपकी मानसिक उर्जा सही मात्रा में प्रवाहित होती है तो आपकी मानसिकता आपकी मानसिक स्तिथि को अधिकृत करने में सक्षम हो जाएगी| अब आपकी मानसिकता और आपकी उर्जा, दोनों ही दो प्रकार के हो सकते हैं – सकारात्मक या ऋणात्मक| यदि आपकी मानसिकता सकारात्मक है तो निःसंदेह आपकी उर्जा भी सकारात्मक होगी और ऐसा होने पर भले ही कैसी भी परिस्तिथि हो, कुछ क्षणों के लिए आप अवश्य अपना संतुलन खो देंगे, अवश्य ही निराश या नकारात्मक हो जायेंगे…किन्तु यह स्तिथि अल्पजीवी होगी…आप तीव्रता से अपने आप का संतुलन वापस पाने में सक्षम रहेंगे…एक आशा कि किरण आपमें वो पुरानी स्फूर्ति ला देगी जिससे आप अच्छी तरह अवगत हैं| उदाहरण के तौर पे – एक ऐसे दिन का ध्यान करिए जिसका आरम्भ किसी अच्छे समाचार या सन्देश से हुआ था…अवश्य ही वह आपका पूरा दिन सुखमय व प्रफुल्लित व्यतीत हुआ होगा? निष्कर्ष स्पष्ट होना चाहिए कि हमें एकमात्र सकारात्मक विचारों और परिणामों का ध्यान करना चाहिए| केवल सुविचारों के प्रवाह को प्रोत्साहित करना चाहिए| और इसके विपरीत स्तिथि वाले दिवस का भी एक बार ध्यान करिए जिस दिन आपको कोई बुरा समाचार या सन्देश मिला हो…वह दिन कैसा व्यतीत हुआ था? मैं ऋणात्मक उर्जा और मानसिकता के विषय में विस्तार से वार्तालाप नहीं करना चाहता क्यूंकि ऐसी विचारधारा पे समय व्यर्थ करना मैं उचित नहीं समझता| सद और असद विद्या, दोनों का ज्ञान होना आवश्यक है, पर मेरी समझ से आप सब इस “असद” विद्या से बोधित अवश्य होंगे| इसी कारणवश मैं नकारात्मक मानसिकता और उर्जा पर मैं अपनी उर्जा और समय व्यर्थ नहीं करना चाहता| एक वाक्य में – ऋणात्मक विचारधारा और मानसिकता से जितनी दूरी रखिये उतना ही लाभदायक होगा|
 
एक बार जब विचारधारा पर आपका नियंत्रण हो जाये, उसके बाद का कार्य अति सरल हो जाता है| उसके बाद आपको सिर्फ एक ओर बढ़ना होता है…सिर्फ निर्णय लिए ही कार्य करने होते हैं| ध्यान रहे कि बढ़ने से पहले या कार्य करने से पहले आप फिर उसी विचलित अवस्था में न चले जाएँ…कि इस ओर बढे तो क्या होगा? ये कार्य किया तो क्या होगा? यदि हमने जैसा सोचा है वैसा नहीं हुआ तो? ऐसे विचार कृपा कर के अपने मस्तिष्क में न लाये..ये मेरा अति विनम्र और अटल अनुग्रह है आपसे| हम में से कोई भी भविष्य नहीं जानता| यदि हम इसी विचार में रहे कि हमारे किस कार्य का क्या परिणाम होगा, हम अपना जीवन उसी विचार में व्यतीत कर देंगे और हमें कभी जानकारी नहीं होगी कि उस कार्य का असल जीवन में क्या परिणाम होता? कार्य कर के तो देखो आप, कि परिणाम क्या होता है? अन्यथा आपको वो ज्ञान कैसे होगा? बिना कार्य किये या बिना निर्णय लिए ही आप कैसे जान जाओगे परिणाम? दूसरों कि ओर ना देखो, दूसरों कि परिस्तिथियों से तुलना ना करो| कृपा करता हूँ…आग्रह करता हूँ| दूसरों कि भूल से सीख लेना अच्छी बात है, किन्तु हर किसी कि परिस्तिथि एक नहीं होती, हर व्यक्ति कि क्षमताएं एक नहीं होती…इसलिए यदि किसी और ने आपके समान कोई परिस्तिथि में कोई निर्णय लिया और वह निर्णय या कार्य उसे भरी पड़ा तो आवश्यक नहीं है कि वाही कार्य या निर्णय आपके लिए भी भरी पड़ेगा| आप कार्य कर के तो देखो, निर्णय ले कर तो देखो…यदा कदा में न रहो…जीवन में इतने सारे यदा कदा हैं कि उन सबका उत्तर स्वयं इश्वर के पास नहीं होगा| कार्य करो, फल कि भी इच्छा करो, किन्तु फल कि इच्छा में कार्य न करो, ये तो उचित नहीं है|  एक छोटे से शिशु का ही उदाहरण लो…यदि उसे यह ज्ञान होता कि जब वह अपने पहले पग उठाएगा तो अवश्य ही गिरेगा और उसे चोट लगेगी तो क्या कोई भी शिशु कभी भी चल पाता?
 
‘मधुशाला’ कि जिन पंक्तियों से मैंने इस चर्चा का प्रारंभ किया था, उनसे ही अंत भी करना चाहूँगा…और शायद श्री बच्चन जी कि उन अगली पंक्तियों से आपको मेरे चर्चा का सन्दर्भ भी समझ आये …
 
मदिरालय जाने को घर से चलता है पीनेवला,
‘किस पथ से जाऊँ?’ असमंजस में है वह भोलाभाला,
अलग-अलग पथ बतलाते सब पर मैं यह बतलाता हूँ –
‘राह पकड़ तू एक चला चल, पा जाएगा मधुशाला।’। ६।

चलने ही चलने में कितना जीवन, हाय, बिता डाला!
‘दूर अभी है’, पर, कहता है हर पथ बतलानेवाला,
हिम्मत है न बढूँ आगे को साहस है न फिरुँ पीछे,
किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ मुझे कर दूर खड़ी है मधुशाला।।७।

मुख से तू अविरत कहता जा मधु, मदिरा, मादक हाला,
हाथों में अनुभव करता जा एक ललित कल्पित प्याला,
ध्यान किए जा मन में सुमधुर सुखकर, सुंदर साकी का,
और बढ़ा चल, पथिक, न तुझको दूर लगेगी मधुशाला।।८।

धन्यवाद|

You Bihari! You £$%#@!

Circa:  2006 A.D. Route: Poona – Jamshedpur. Services: Azad Hind Express, Indian Railways. Scene:  A typical 3AC compartment – with a youngster trapped amidst – a family of five with three annoyingly hyper-active and argumentative kids on only four reserved berths; an old lady, from the southern extensions of this vast country, yapping her way to glory; and a middle aged couple munching on the popular snacks of the region and utilising the floor as the waste bin.

 

The wondrous services of Indian Railways had ensured that the passengers of that particular services – get to travel no faster than a bullock cart (comprehending to the ever increasing demand to “enjoy the scenic beauty of countryside India”), halting at every signal post constructed on that route (to facilitate the realisation that none of these posts stood without a reason) and derive the immense pleasure of a stuffy, non-functional AC coach (in order to motivate passengers to use regular sleeper class coaches and improve on fuel efficiency).

 

Old Lady, who was from some obviously indomitable state of Southern India, had some amazing ability to convert her thoughts into the words and to blurt them out without the application of any filters, and was flaunting, very precariously, her “prim and proper” self. First, it was the turn of the oh-so-innocent middle aged couple who had had Bhel-Puri, Kachhi-Dhabeli and others of the sort, while feeding the poor and hungry floor more than their own beloved stomachs, on the topic of hygiene and cleanliness, and garnering a total oblivion in return. The wife had managed a perplexed look on her face and was looking towards her husband for a respite and a riposte, but fortunately he was unperturbed.  Without the lack of vigour, she turned her energy towards the kids – the kind she claimed to have mastered in her school as she was an English Teacher. Lessons on the importance of discipline and obedience poured on the poor souls unblemished and vehemently. The compartment was turning into a ‘Moral Science’ classroom.

 

She was gloriously yapping to the innocent kids, “Everybody must do their own work”, when her lecture was interrupted. “Everybody must do his or her own work…Not ‘their own work’…a common Pronoun error” a voice broke. The poor, ignorant youngster had no idea then, what wrath he had unveiled on himself. The old lady’s jaw dropped. She could not believe her ears or eyes. How dare an indecorous and insolent young fellow who was still busy in his cell-phone, make such a preposterous remark at her?

 

Old Lady: (Turning towards the youngster in utter disbelief) Excuse me?

Youngster: (with his eyes still fixated on his phone) It is a very common grammatical error, where the pronoun is not in agreement with the number of nouns it is referring to.

Old Lady: (with “How dare you?” expression on her face) What?

Youngster: (now giving her a casual look) Yes! Everybody and own are the mismatch here – plural and singular. Hence, instead of their, it should be his or her. I hope I am making sense.

Old Lady: (trying to calm down now) Yes! Very Much! Thank you for the correction. (Forgets about the Moral Science lecture) So…Where did you do your schooling from?

Youngster: (again…Casually) DPS.

Old Lady: (with excitement) DPS, Bangalore?

Youngster: (with a perplexed look on his face) Do they have a DPS there? I am afraid; my knowledge is limited about the expanse of the fraternity. I am a DPS, Bokaro Steel City, alumni.

Old Lady: Oh! Alright…So your father works in Bokaro Steel Plant, but you are from Kerala?

Youngster: (with signs of disgust on his face) What made you arrive at this conclusion?

Old Lady: (with some sense of pride at her derivation) Well! For one, you have very good English, and second you look quite the Mallu.

Youngster: (Irritated) I apologise to be continuously disappointing you, but I am from Bihar, and Bhojpuri is my mother tongue.

Old Lady: (in disbelief again) But…But that cannot be.

Youngster: (somewhat mockingly) Again an improper sentence, or rather, an incomplete sentence. There has to be a verb or noun at the end of the sentence. For example “But that cannot be true or correct”. Now, may I have the pleasure of knowing why that cannot be true or correct?

Old Lady: (getting back to her “prim and proper” self) That is precisely the reason why it cannot be correct. You don’t sound like a Bihari.

Youngster: (with disgust) Excuse me! Then, according to you, how do Biharis sound like?

Old Lady: They do not have such good English and their pronunciations are even worse. How come you have such good English?

Youngster: (muttering mockingly) What can you say? My Mom and Dad conceived me on the banks of Thames and my Dad even went a step ahead to sprinkle those holy waters on her womb.

Old Lady: I am sorry!

Youngster: (smiling and now audibly) To break your preconceived notions, all the educated Biharis I have come across, do have a fabulous fluency in and knowledge of, English. Without being modest, I can confidently say I am not even a noteworthy example. In fact, I am astonished that you being an English Teacher are startled at my English.

Old Lady: (perturbed by the retorts) Son! I have been into teaching for the past 22 years. I have been in Jamshedpur for 6 years now, teaching at two of the best schools the city has, and I have never come across a Bihari student who could dare point out my grammatical errors. Let alone the grammar, the pronunciation is an even bigger issue. You must have had very good teachers at your school.

Youngster: (muttering again) Then what did you think? My Mom gave me the chutney of Wren and Martin’s English Grammar and Composition, instead of gripe water, to help me digest my food?

Old Lady: (perplexed look)

Youngster: Obviously my teachers had a good role to play in my education but that does not single me out. As far as pronunciation is concerned, according to me, Biharis have the best and the most correct. We speak the clearest and pronounce each word as it has been described in the oxford dictionary. Anyways! Since we are having this conversation, please oblige me with your description of a typical Bihari. I promise, I will take it very healthily and in the right spirit. Also, my answers might help you understand us better (and he smiles a wry smile).

 

 (The explanation will follow soon…)

Be my Anti-Valentine. Will ya?

Love is in the air! Everyone’s going mushy and lovey dovey! Even this space has changed its background. The previous six posts talk only of Love… and of all kinds of Love… a post on Love of an elderly couple…a post on Love of a lovely couple who are tying the knot very soon, Thanks to this space…a post on the feeling of Love itself! All this has truly set the mood for the upcoming celebration of “Love” – The Valentine’s Day!

Isn’t it an awesome story, that a Saint dies because he used to conduct secret marriage ceremonies in defiance of Claudius II – “the cruel” emperor of Rome. He became a martyr and the day he died began to be celebrated as sending the Love messages day and celebration of Love, in Rome and amongst its Catholic followers. All this ensued about 1800 years ago. But, unlike any other celebration or festivals, this day has ceased to be linked with a specific religion or community. There are no rituals which need to be performed, no customs that need to be followed, no mass to attend, no candles to light…Just be with your Love and make him/her happy with a gift or a message or a special arrangement.

This makes me think, why do I need to be looking forward for only one such day? I can do it all 365 days of the year. I can do it whenever I want. My Love is not restricted to be celebrated only once a year. I can celebrate it anytime. Anytime I am with her or not with her. Anytime we miss each other or are happy. Anytime we have kissed and made up after a fight. Anytime. And, I think all those in Love would agree with me.

Then why just this one day? How did we never hear of this day, when we were growing up? How come so many associated days with it now, like Chocolate day, Rose Day, Promises Day, Card Day? The answer shoul not be difficult to answer by anyone. It is simple, and should be obvious to everyone – Commercialisation! How else do you expect the Telecom Industry to charge premium rates for SMS and calls that day? How else do you think Gifts and cards Retailers would boom their sales? How else would Chocolate Manufacturers rake in moolahs? How else would the Flower Marketeers  ask exhorbitant prices? How else would the “General” People who love to be fooled by everyone would get another chance to be fooled?

Think!
Think!

I am not a pessimst, in fact, I am better known as an optimist. But, I just can’t stand this commercialisation of a feeling/emotion/state as beautiful as Love. It is even getting worse now. First, the Moronic Negligent Youngsters started the exploitation of this day to fulfil their stupid desires. This gave the even bigger Morons of the political system of India to cause even more damage, insult and injury to the nation.

I am not professing anything against this “day”, or any other day…I just want people to …Think!

Hope that is not a difficult task, after all everyone “thinks” so much for the gifts to buy. Spare a thought on this, if you can!

Leaving you with some figures you might find interesting. If anybody can get similar data for India, I will be grateful.

  • Hallmark began selling cards in 1913. Since then the market for Valentine’s Day cards has increased beyond lovers to include parents, children, siblings, and friends.
  • About 190 million cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card giving occasion.
  • 65 percent of households send greeting cards on Valentine’s Day.
  • 73 percent of Valentine Day flowers are bought by men, while women buy 23 percent of Valentine flowers.
  • About 45.8 percent of U.S. consumers will exchange Valentine’s Day candy. About 75 percent of is from sales of chocolate
  • Americans will spend about $14.7 billion in retail sales on Valentine’s Day in the United States.
  • The average U.S. consumer is expected to spend $103 on Valentine’s Day gifts, meals, and entertainment, down from $123 per person in 2008.
  • A Warm Welcome to Ajit Mishra

    Hello Everyone!

    At this moment I can’t help but recall Mirza Ghalib’s famous lines

    Hum to akele he chale the janib-e-manzil magar,
    log milte gaye aur karwan banta gaya”
    [We set out alone for our destination, but people kept joining us along the way and formed a multitude]

    I still remember that we were only 10, in the first week of inception of this blog. Since then, although slowly but steadily, we have grown…and how? We have found almost all of the cherished members of Satyam’s xPERT-blogs community and also added more from the different spheres. From complete strangers…we have become One Big Happy Family of 26 members now.

    Yes! 26. It gives me immense pleasure to introduce our 26th Member, Mr Ajit Mishra. A very well respected blogger fromxPERT blogs, and a maestro in blogging community. His blog epmguru.com is an organisation in itself. We remember him quite fondly for his Inspirational posts – about the efforts and commendable tasks of him and his team, the importance of documentation in Software Industry, the EPM posts, the amazing insights into success…the list of his achievements is endless…and my words are too little in front of his glorious stature.

    So without further ado…Please welcome…to the MoTA Family…Mr Ajit Mishra a.k.a. “smallcapdreamer”.

    Thanks!