India at Crossroads

The world suggests that India is all set to take on a leadership role. Our leaders take great pride in the thought process.

Yet, India seems to be located at a very interesting crossroads which will surely decide the fate of not only India but the entire world in times to come.

If we look at the way development has and is taking place all over, is primarily on the basis of a constant quest of:

Making our lives more comfortable,

Aimed at satisfying our materialistic needs,

Justified in the name of creating a positive impact on the society.

How long it can go like this is one question, I ponder upon?

How long can we keep acting ignorant of the destruction that we are bringing in the name of development?

How long can we let our youth get depressed and commit suicide in the name of wanting to be successful based on the benchmarks referred to by the society?

Well, the modern and the medieval history that we all read about India in the school books is about:

They came. They conquered. They exploited. We fought and finally got freedom. Now, we roam aimlessly waiting again to be supported or conquered by some external force or entity. 

When would we get over with a defeatist mentality?

The same Indians when we go abroad seem to strike gold more often than not.

Ever wondered why?

Is it the opportunities?

Is it the conducive environment bereft of the crab mentality which seems to pervade in the country, be it the political quarters or the regional forces?

Could be none and all inclusive.

Crossroads

What keeps us going is possibly an inherent nature, which is:

Resilient,

Confident,

Intelligent,

and

over and above,

Spiritual, which guides us in the very manner we go about leading our lives.

Be it the influence of Yoga and the very manner in which we breathe,

Be it the influence of the Gods who occupy every nook and corner of this country,

Be it the care and respect we have for our elders,

or

Be it the Karma and Dharma, concepts which we seem to fall back upon every now and then whenever in doubt,

With such basic ingredients,

Don’t you think it’s high time for us Indians to start acting as the torch bearer to the entire World?

Bereft of any rigidity,

or

Bereft of any hateful tendency,

and

Inclusive of sensitivity,

Inclusive of sensible actions,

or

Inclusive of the very ingredients which make us all human,

The only question being,

Can we become open to the very possibility and start discussing things in the open without any fear or insecurity?

Source for the image: https://www.careerattraction.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-a-career-crossroads/

Society vis-a-vis Children!

The other day, I received a call from a very dear friend who gave me the most exciting and in all senses the breaking news of his life, “Dude, I got married.

Wow! Congrats yaar!” came back the reply from my end.

Yup, Thanks. But there is a problem. We have not informed her parents.” After a long long time, I was getting to hear this. On one hand where it sounded like a script from a Bollywood movie, on the other hand there was an apprehension as to what’s going to happen in the near future? How the girl’s parents would react to the feat that their child had accomplished? Would they give their approval or would they boycott their daughter from their family?society

The problem was compounded, thanks to the nature of the marriage that had ensued. The guy belongs to a North Indian family, which is not so rigid when it comes to marrying a girl from a different caste or culture. On the other hand, the girl belongs to a family which is a hard core South Indian Pundit family, who cannot but imagine marrying their daughter in another caste, leave alone marrying her to a North Indian.

The thought of how the girl’s parents would react is making the couple very nervous. Though they had the courage to take this very significant step in their lives, this thought is driving them nuts. The girl fears the worst and is expecting her to be thrown out of her family. The guy, on his part, though he feels happy, is concerned about his girl who is all set to go through what can surely be called an emotional turmoil in more ways than one.

Though we proudly cite living in the 21st century India, there are certain elements in our country and our culture (which is too varied to be classified as one), which makes me wonder whether we have been successful in evolving from that conservative mentality, which personally for me, represent the core when it comes to differentiating between modern and not so modern.

Somehow, in all this hooplah attached to the caste and culture, the 21st century kids and youngsters are caught confused, not knowing which way to tread. On one hand where they witness the intermixing of various dfferent cultures, thanks to the increased movement of people and increased globalization; on the other hand, they are expected to stick to their hard core values being imposed on them by their very own parents and grandparents who want them to keep their family and clan flag flying high.

For a girl, who wishes to see everyone happy around her, it becomes what can be termed as mission impossible. Atleast in this case, if she choses to go along with the love of her life, which she has, she is bound to lose upon the love and affection she received throughout her life from her parents (acting too rigid to understand what their child wants, just because of societal and family pressure) and if she would have decided to leave her boyfriend (at one time and now her husband), she would have to repent throughout her life for having done so (which thankfully has not been the case here).

At the end of it all, if we take a very pragmatic point of view, it is the couple who will be spending their lives together for most part of their life, if we ignore the few interactions that they are bound to be having with their family during those events and celebrations where each and every member of the extended family happens to gather at one place at the same point of time.

But on an emotional level, the couple would certainly want, at least the immediate family to be blessing the couple and welcoming them with open arms. After all, this is what will make them really happy.parent

For the parents who tend to involve their egos and self-respect with their child’s wishes, it is my earnest request to think beyond what the society tells them to think. For them, the point that they need to consider is whether they would want to place their children above in the priority list, over and above the society and the extended family members.

Source for Image: http://www.tcd.ie/research/themes/inclusive-society/, http://www.churstongrammar.com/parents/

Travel Woes!

Traveling in India can be a big problem at times, especially during the winter season, when the cloudy and foggy conditions tend to hamper the locomotion of the majority of our public transport.

For the aam aadmi, it becomes really hard to plan a trip or an outing in the near future, for the fear that trains might get late or flights might get cancelled. It becomes even more tough in case someone is planning a family trip using the services of the companies like make my trip etc. because one needs to pay the entire amount for the trip in order to confirm the same beforehand and in case the flights or the train gets delayed, the entire amount goes in the vain coupled with the disappointment that ensues amongst the family members.travel portal software

What should one do in such a situation? And before that why is it that India has not been able to modernize her public transport to deal with situations that arise every year with winters setting in? Is it due to lack of political will or are we out of options on this front? Is it because of the lack of funds which government cites as a reason more often than not for any and every problem they might be facing or is it because no one is really bothered about improving things on this front?

Mind you, the delay in the transportation results in a huge loss for not only the people of the country but also has a huge impact on the exchequer of the government. Then why the issue has not been taken on an urgency basis?

As if the problems with train reservation and the nexus of the agents was not enough, the above factor has also come to haunt both the people and the government. Coupled with the same are the issues related to the lack of competition in the aviation sector which is leading to airlines hiking air fares in the wake of lack of options for the people to choose from.

A good example of this is the US aviation market where there are numerous players and flying has become extremely cheap, even cheaper than train travel at times, giving the public a large leverage when it comes to opting for the airlines.

Of course, the same cannot be copied as a whole from US on an immediate basis, but still things can be made to improve by ensuring reduction in operation costs of the airlines as well as reduction in the cost of aviation turbine fuel. On the infrastructure front, a lot can be done to enhance the quality of our airports.

Allowing foregin players would also help in increasing competition which will in turn will lead to better services being offered to the consumers. What is required is the initiative on part of our government along with the DGCA which is responsible for regulating the same in our country.

The recent decision by the DGCA not to renew the license of Kingfisher airlines might lead to other airlines again hiking prices in the near future. DGCA should ensure that there be a limit on the hikes, for it is unimaginable as a traveler to be paying nearly double for the same ticket of the same class in case one tends not to book it, say 1 or 2 months prior to the travel date.plane

This is, in a way, killing the ad-hoc notion of travel, a concept that many people like myself are really fond of. Why the hell everything has to be planned! And that too, in case of travel, which is nothing but a personification of the natural desire of a human being to explore. It cannot and it should not be tamed by the whims and fancies of a couple of players in the aviation sector.

As far as I am concerned, because of some of the reasons cited above and because of me being a big proponent of ad-hoc travel, I prefer road over any other form of public transport. Sometimes, though, I too feel constrained by the factors which are not under my control.

With a hope that a day would come when the people will be able to experience the fun and pleasure attached to the ad-hoc nature of travel, and hoping that our government would leave no stone unturned in order to ensure the same, I would like to raise a toast to the curiosity which makes us all human beings. 🙂

Source for Image: http://www.zecatravel.com/, http://max3logic-it-solutions.blogspot.in/