The Dreaded Review!

It’s again the same time of the year when the ever so dreaded at the same time looked forward to term, review, will take place or has already taken place for the majority who work in order to make a living.

More often than not, many would think that the boss has not been fair in evaluating all aspects of the work that you might have done in the year gone by.

Many might perceive that due credit has not been given to for what you accomplished and somewhere the credit has been bagged by a colleague whom you believe might have performed at a level which might be far less than what you perceive to have performed at.

Have you ever wondered, what this review consist of? No matter how much you want to rationalize and make the entire process logical and fair, that’s what the HR department all over the world aim at and claim to be doing, the thing that matters the most is how well you are able to cope up with relationships in your ecosystem.

Be it your home or in office, what matters the most is your ability to get along well with people with different opinions and mindset and to be able to build a genuine healthy relationship with all.

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And that in no way is suggesting that one should fool around and be political about the entire aspect, but have a fairly high level of compassion and integrity when it comes to be able to slip into others’ shoes and see the world from their perspective.

Harder done than said, one who is able to accomplish this feat, never seems to have a bad review, be it the wife at home, or be it the boss in the office, be it the parents waiting to get a call from their loved ones or be it the sons and daughters waiting for their mom or dad to come back and spend quality time with them.

I would admit that there have been people who have crossed my path on several occasions who have been an inspiration in the true sense of the word. They have taught me how to handle situations or more importantly how to perceive the situation in the first instance.

Such men/women are exemplary in everything they do. They tend to have a positive bent of mind and look at things very differently from the rest of us. These people take success and failure (which comes very seldom) in the same stride.

These are the men/women, who wouldn’t want to focus on the past, having drawn their learning, and would instead focus on the present. They would be more interested in what didn’t work rather than why it didn’t work.

Such are the people that one should try to associate with, learn from them, get inspired and even emulate the aspects which make them so wonderful and different. After all, it’s better to have people with a positive attitude surrounding you compared to people who are always whining or complaining about one thing or the other.

Friends, reviews will come and go, sometimes they will be good at times bad, but what will matter the most is your ability to motivate yourself to become a better individual each minute, each hour and each day of your lives.

Source for Image: http://mobile-spyreviews.com/mobistealth_reviews/

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TGISUP: Thank God it is a Start-Up!

This one is indeed a futuristic post, indeed one of those which comes out of the blue and is depicting what we might come across in say 5-10 years down the line

Just Imagine:

The buzz word in today’s World is start-up. If you happen to be doing a start-up then you are considered to be a cool chap, waiting in line for your turn to become that billion dollar boy/girl. If we were to go by what media has depicted, the day is not so far when a start-up rookie would be valued more than a civil servant or a doctor/engineer in let’s say Bihar or UP and going by the ever so prevalent dowry norms in such states, a start-up boy’s valuation would come no less than Rs. 1.5 crore; enough for the father-in-law to become that angel investor for the couple.

After all, parents want the best for their daughters and the best is a guy who is about to hit the jackpot courtesy him being doing or having joined a start-up and has plethora of ESOPs or a share of equity. Though these pieces of paper might not hold any value at the moment, yet the immense amount of potential that can be seen by the investors and other market players might be enough for the guy to bring about the wonderful valuation when it comes to getting married to a girl, more importantly a stinking rich father-in-law.

I wonder whether parents, instead of encouraging their folks to go for higher education would ask them to drop-out of schools or colleges and ask them to get on to the entrepreneur bandwagon. The demand from parents’ end would still remain the same: precisely to do something which will make them feel proud about their son/daughter.

Probably the norms in the society will be governed by what the entrepreneurs would speak when invited on different platforms, be it a motivational session in any college/school or be it an invitation floated by the administration struggling to find answers to the perennial issues/problems that have become a talking point of every political manifesto.images

On every nook and corner of the lanes and by-lanes of Kolkata, the thing that would be discussed would be “who funded whom” rather than the likes of Rabindranath Tagore and the prevalent communist agenda. The entrepreneur would be the boss and would rule every little aspect of our society.

Whether this would be a reality, probably no; but whether more and more entrepreneurs would hit the road; in all possibilities yes.

It is a fact that money chases money; similar to investors chasing other investors’ investments and so does an entrepreneur who wants to end up doing what is in vogue rather than focusing on that one issue they feel really passionate about to find a solution for.

Yes, loha garam hai! Yes, there is enough money and takers for good ideas! Yes, there is more possibility of getting funded! But trust me, it’s not so easy. What leads to one becoming an overnight billionaire is the hard work and motivation coupled with patience that goes behind giving in your 110% every day for a period of not less than 3-4 years for most entrepreneurs.

For all those who want to end up choosing the path of entrepreneurship, figure out that one particular problem or issue that you would be passionate enough to provide a solution for. And thereafter go for it, without giving it a second thought. The investors and the success will soon follow if not in the first instance then surely in subsequent ones.

Source for Image: http://www.igyaan.in/98125/10-apps-startup-download/

The City of Extremes!

What people refer to as the city of dreams, I would also want to give it a title of the city of extremes. On one hand, where you have the glitter and glamour associated with the Bollywood industry and the rich businessmen, on the other hand, you can find the famous slums of Bombay, where every morning people get up hoping that the day would turn out to be a life changer.

Most, who fall on the other side of the table, by the time the sun sets, return home still wanting that one magical day in their lives which they dream about every night the moment they hit their beds.

They feel disappointed and even curse the one and only for giving them the life, but wake up every morning hoping and believing that their time would come. In this entire cycle of hope and despair that they tend to go through each day, they are faced with numerous life threatening challenges.

Only few are able to successfully come out of the vicious circle that they tend to find themselves the moment they are born. Rest are left to go through the excruciating pain each day, which they all start referring to as life.

Of the majority, some chose to find renunciation in the world of dreaded dreams, which all colloquially refer to as the underworld. The world which is often showcased in our movies has its own set of rules and regulations.

Often the world provides the much needed relief to the psyche of our youth with no jobs, but comes along with its own set of deadly consequences. Youth get easily attracted to the glitter which tends to take them into a different zone altogether where they start to feel that they have made it big.

With the real estate offering hafta and the rich and famous having no choice but to pay them hefty amounts for their own security, the underworld blossoms big time. As a result, the gangs go on a hiring spree looking for impoverished candidates who are frustrated and are trying to find a means of getting away from their day to day lives. images

To increase their clout, the recruitment is not just limited to one specific gang. As time passes by, the once impoverished youth become most wanted criminals. Some of them end up getting encountered by the specialists in their field and only a few who are really lucky go on to become dons, who then act as role models for the impoverished lot who aspire to become just like them when they grow up.

If you are wondering, how these gangs tend to gain sympathy from the have-not in our society, it is because the leader of the gang tend to nurture them with all kind of materialistic support for both them and their families in need. They truly become messiah for the perpetually needy lot.

All the above brings us to significant questions, “What if the youth was not impoverished? What if the youth had decent white collar jobs? What if their families were well fed? What if the governance was good? Won’t they be just like us who do our regular jobs and try to live our lives in a peaceful manner?”

If the answer to the above is yes, then who is it who should be blamed for the scheme of things that take place in their lives. Is it the politicians, is it the bureaucrats, is it the aam aadmi? 

Or more than wondering about who is responsible, why not think about who can make things better? Is it our politicians, is it the bureaucrats, or the aam aadmi? Possibly each one of them need to work together.

It is always said, where there is a will, there is a way”. I just wonder where the will in this case will come from and will that will result in affirmative actions aimed at rectifying the scenario.

Source for Image: http://www.mumbai-metro.com/category/construction-and-technology

The Modi Wave!

It is not often that you get a chance to have a conversation on politics, considering that you are sharing space with 4 other persons, all eagerly marching towards the Dhikaala gate of the Jim Corbett National Park.

What amazes me the most is that instead of me writing about my experience of the entire jungle safari, here I feel compelled more to share the wonderful thoughts of a learned gentleman (G) who happened to sit next to me in this beautiful journey on a topic which has become the most popular in recent times.

You are coming here for the first time?”—-G

Yes, uncle, how about you?”—-Me

No, I have come here before. You see I have plenty of time on my hands having retired from my job, unlike you youngsters who are busy with their own lives and need to take out time from your busy schedules.”—-G

That’s true, uncle.”—-Me

I don’t know whether it is the right time to discuss NaMo, as you youngsters like to refer to the man, still would like to know your opinion on the wave that everyone seems to be talking about.”—-GModi

Uncle, I feel today’s India certainly need a change in the way the things are being run by the state machinery and hence a need for better government. If NaMo does what he says then surely things will head in the right direction for a country like ours.”—-Me

So, you support Modi?”—-G

More than the person, I support the vision, though I have certain reservations about whether he would be able to do so in a country as big as ours.”—-Me

I have heard this many times before from youngsters as yourself and every time I feel like narrating a story which I happened to be a part of.”—G

I am all ears Uncle :).”—-Me

Well, a couple of months back, I went to Gujarat to attend my niece’s wedding. On one of the days that I happened to be there, I thought of taking a stroll down at 11’o clock in the night, not very far from a highway, where the house in which the wedding was taking place, was situated. I have a bad habit of losing my way as I tend to venture out far away and on this occasion it was no different. I had left my cell phone in the house, so had no one to call to. I decided that the only way left was to seek help, as I vaguely remembered the address.

As I was trying to figure out whom to talk to for help, I saw two teenage girls discussing their examination paper on a bus stop, with one sitting on a scooty and the other waiting for her bus. As I approached the girls, one of them asked, “What happened uncle? You are looking lost!”. After informing them about my situation, the girls informed me of the bus number that would take me straight to the place I was looking for.

As I sat on one of the benches on the bus stop, the girl with the scooty noticed my anxious face and came up to me,”Uncle, if you give me 5 minutes, I will drop you myself after solving this numerical.” to which I happily agreed and she did drop me to my place afterwards.

Now, of all places that you have visited in India, can you name a few where you would find the girls feeling safe while venturing out after 10 pm at night and talking to a stranger? I am sure you wouldn’t be able to name many. If we were to go by stats, Gujarat has a very low crime rate. Even if one were to question the very credibility of the crime numbers; there is no denying the fact that crime has not taken its toll in Gujarat.

If we were to talk of the water availability, it is available in remotest of areas in Gujarat. The roads are a beauty. On the industrial and infrastructural front, Gujarat has made tremendous progress. I have even heard that in order to improve the governance in the state, Modi routinely talks to the big shots in the bureaucracy and ensures that they remain grounded and on their toes in their service to mankind.

The man certainly has a vision but more than the vision he has the knack of fulfilling the same. If he can do it in one state, I strongly believe that he can do so in other states as well, if given a chance. Yes, it is my belief and a desire but it is founded on strong fundamentals.”—-G

And then the gentleman went on to describe the characteristics of the extremely generous Gujaratis whom he happened to meet on his visit along with the delicacies that formed very much a part of his visit to Gujarat.NaMo

I was pleasantly surprised to see the kind of effect this whole Modi Wave has generated. The people are hopeful. As we witness the great turnaround in the fortunes of the political parties, the focus is surely going to shift on what Mr. Modi will do in the coming 6-7 months after becoming the PM of our country.

They say, where there is a will, there is a way and where there is a way, things surely come to a fitting conclusion. All in all, after seeing the results that are coming our way, the only thing that I can hope for is for Mr. Modi to perform and that will determine whether India has truly voted for the betterment of our country.

Source for Image: http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-special-now-namo-on-your-dinner-table/20140102.htm, http://www.moneycontrol.com/video/politics/bjp-names-narendra-modi-its-pm-candidate-for-2014-polls_949487.html

Past, Present, Future!

Most say that past is already gone by, so one need not worry about it. Future is something that no one can figure out what, when, how and why; so it is futile worrying about it. Present is the only thing that one believes has control over and this needs to be taken care of.

Well, many would share the same thought process as stated above. But are we really detached from our past? What about the consequences of things we have done in our past? Don’t they tend to haunt us in our present and in some ways act as a determinant for the future?

This World is indeed a small place. Not very long ago, I met a guy in a public transport who happened to belong to the minority group in our country and with whom I happened to have the most iconic of conversations, which I had already mentioned in one of my posts earlier.

And today, I happened to meet the same guy (G), in a clinic which I happened to visit today. Such was the mutual admiration that we recognized each other in the very first instance itself.past present future

Hey, how are you doing? Long time.”—-G

Good, how have you been?”—-Me

See, again we are meeting at a time when the elections are just a couple of days from now and again we, as in the minority community are being wooed to the core in order to get as many votes from us. What an irony! Again we will be left alone just after the elections only to be catered to again when the next general elections would be announced.”—-G

Hmm! So you aren’t going to vote this time around?”—-Me

You give me one good reason that I should cast my vote. Past has taught me not to trust the political parties and the candidates they give party tickets to. Present teaches me that I should not repeat the past by casting my vote for the wrong person and future looks as dim as the past with all the false promises that the political parties have got so used to giving.”—-G

Ya, but this time around, if you don’t like any of the candidates than you can opt for NOTA.”—-Me

Yes, that might be the only saving grace for the people who choose to cast their vote knowing the credentials of the people standing in the elections. But the issue here is that more often than not, people don’t tend to take interest in knowing the credentials of the respective candidates and end up voting for a particular person just because an influential member in our community tells them about the same.”—-G

But, aren’t they exposed to the various advertisements and tv shows like Satyamev Jayate, where a guy from your own community tells you to be prudent while casting your vote and whether these don’t have any impact what so ever on the people?”—-Me

Well, it does to a certain extent. But once these shows go offline, the impact goes on decreasing as the days go by. Moreover the people are not interested in choosing the right candidate per se but are more interested in choosing a candidate who will be able to solve their problems, whether legitimate or not is a different issue altogether. I doubt whether this election would be any different from what has happened in the past.”—G

I had no option but to cut short my conversation with the man, as the doctor in the clinic was ready to meet him and he bid me goodbye.

As I drove back, I wondered whether the past is so deeply engraved in minds of certain sections in our country, that they are not being able to find a way to move on from the same and are not yet prepared to modify their present in order to get a brighter and better future for themselves and for their generations to come.

Source for Image: http://www.northshorehypnosis.com/PastLifeRegression.htm

The Feedback!

How many out there really believe in having an honest feedback from the person you are providing services to or from any shubh chintak whose intention might be to bring about a positive change in the way you do things?

Well, considering the amount of hard work that one puts in implementing something coupled with the harsh realities of life that everyone seems to be dealing with at every moment of their lives, not many would want to be questioned for a task which they take great pride in implementing.

Recently, I came across a very agitated conversation that ensued in a restaurant  between the chef (C) and an anonymous person (P) who happened to visit the restaurant hoping he would get what he expected.restaurant

So, how do you find the food?”—–C

I will be honest with you chef. Actually, what I was expecting was a more spicy and tasty prawn dish. I guess it has a western taste which we Indians don’t like so much. It is a little too simple and plain to my liking.”—-P

I appreciate your feedback, Sir. Let me modify it a bit and get back to you.”—-C

Great response from the chef, isn’t it? And then after sometime he came back along with the dish.

Sir, I have made it more spicy. Please taste it and tell me whether you like it or not.”—-C

Ya, certainly an improvement. But still, it is not meeting my expectations. You see, when I taste the prawns alone it tastes blunt. The juice has really not penetrated inside the prawns and that’s the reason why it is tasting so blunt.”—P

Sir, with all due respect, have you have had a chance to eat authentic Chinese food in your past?”—-C

Yes, of course. It is not the first time.”—-P

By the looks of it, Sir, it doesn’t seem so. And let me tell you, we are the finest Chinese restaurant in the city, and you are questioning our best dish, which we take great pride in serving, which in turn makes me believe that you haven’t developed the taste for it. May be you can try some Indian Chinese stuff being served in other restaurants and not the authentic Chinese dishes that we serve in our restaurant.”—-C

What kind of response is this? Can I talk to your manager?”—-P

You can talk to anyone you want. I don’t care. Moreover he will also tell you the same.”–C

A fight of sorts ensued which ended in the manager being called, who tried to restore peace in the restaurant after a much deserved apology that the person wished to be coming his way.

Later on, I came to know that the anonymous person happened to be related to a political family in the state and as a consequence the chef was fired for his bad mannerisms.

Somehow, the professionalism seems to be lacking among the service providers. Many a times, instead of accepting their mistakes or taking feedback in a positive manner, many service providers go in a defensive mode and end up straining their relationships with their clients which could even lead to a chain effect resulting in loss of other prospective clients, which they could have got, courtesy the strength of the word of mouth that in today’s World, seems to propagate even faster than the speed of light, thanks to the technology revolution.service provider

So, for any service provider, it is extremely important to value client’s feedback and take measures to improve upon the same as in this competitive market scenario, one got to have that edge as compared to the others competing in the same field, and a good customer service division could be a great niche to possess.

Source for Image: http://vecto.rs/design/vector-of-a-cartoon-couple-dining-at-a-restaurant-outlined-coloring-page-by-ron-leishman-19374, http://www.mybuzzmarketing.com/service-provider.php

The First Time!

There is always a first time for everything, whether it be your first friend that you make in your life or whether it be your first day at school. For the past couple of days, I have come across numerous posts on facebook where my friends and batch mates have gone on to display their photos showing a mark of ink on their fingers and feeling proud that they have voted for the first time in their lives.

It is great to see such an unprecedented election fever catching up among the youth who are keen on seeing a change in the way our country is being governed. They wish to see principles of good governance being brought into practice in every government department, whether it be applying for a passport or getting a driving license made.first time

Where on one hand, I could see several posts claiming victory on having voted in this election, on the other hand, I could see several posts with people blaming the government for not being able to provide them with their voter card on time due to which they could not cast their vote.

Some were upset because they didn’t become a part and parcel of the waves that have been in focus for the past couple of months, whether it be NaMo or RaGa, not to forget that AAP has its own following among the lower-middle class who feel cheated by the system and who feel that corruption is the root cause of maladministration and a one stop solution to all their problems.

The credit for NaMo wave in turn can very much be attributed to the persona of a man, who is being talked of in really high terms. He is being predicted as a saviour for all communities and a reincarnation of Lord Krishna.

AAP has been running high on the responsible shoulders of Arvind Kejriwal, an IITian turned bureaucrat turned politician who is believed to have lived in an extremely upright and honest manner and is believed to be another reincarnation who can get rid of this corruption menace.

RaGa wave seems to be the weakest right now, though it might be an illusion considering that there has been a section in our society who can truly be called the loyalists who never seem to forget their duty of remaining true to the party.

Somehow, the very aspect of pitching a person in divine terms seems to be disturbing to the core as we Indians have got into a habit of depending on our destinies more than having faith and ability in ourselves.

Somehow, I don’t like the idea of people getting influenced by one-man-ideology whether it be NaMo, RaGa or AK. One must always remember that though the individual credentials might be really good, the tickets that are offered by the respective parties are based on political compulsions of being able to win the seat in that particular constituency, which might lead to tickets being given to people with criminal antecedents.politics

What we want in our Legislature, are people with extremely upright credentials and people who can live up to the expectation of the people in our country. So, while voting, whether it be NaMo, or RaGa or AK you got to remember that individual credentials matter more than the persona of any particular leader.

Though it is great to see people coming out in numbers and voting, what worries me is the fact whether they are casting their vote responsibly and on the basis of the credentials of the people who have been given tickets by different political parties.

Source for Image: http://www.stereogum.com/1318152/dre-skull-first-time-feat-popcaan-purity-rings-megan-james/mp3s/, http://makerculture.pbworks.com/w/page/20123148/Episode%205%20-%20%20Politics%20-%20Final%20Copy

The Consequence!

Those who love to watch cricket and those who are forced to watch it just because their boy friends or husbands suddenly seem to become more interested in the other love of their lives, might have noticed a tagline: “one over will change the World“.

Though I can go on talking about the game and the master himself, yet I would not do the same, instead would want to take you to another aspect of the tag line and would want to make little modification in the same: “one incident/decision will change your World“. 

There can be many broad interpretations of the tagline that I have used above. It could be related to the much awaited and much talked about topics in recent times, politics, with slogans ranging from NaMo to RaGa coming to the fore. And yes, one vote does make a difference and one election outcome does make governments topple (so go out there and cast our vote for it is not only your right but also your duty to do so).decision

It could be related to the economy of the World and in turn India, which due to globalization and other similar forces has become increasingly linked to the decisions being made in the international arena. One decision of the federal bank in US of withdrawing the stimulus that it has been offering for a considerable period of time, just after the financial crisis, is surely going to have a significant impact on the economy of not only India but also all the developing countries.

It could be manifested in international relations among countries fighting over different natural resources present Worldwide. If US and in turn NATO were to carry on with the sanctions on Russia over the issue of Ukraine, it needs no Einstein to declare that we might once again be treading the path to the much talked about event in the history of international politics, the cold war. Sometimes, I wonder whether the end of the cold war was just a hoax to make sure that the cold war (which in itself was not a direct confrontation and in a sense secret) could be carried in a pseudo-secretive manner.

It could be manifested in the society that we all, willingly or unwillingly happen to be a part of. One decision, such as getting married out of your caste or with a person belonging to a different religion, could bring doomsday to the lives of the couples, who dare to go beyond the caste system and the Khap panchayat which seems to function in a different world altogether, and which seems not to be bound by our own Constitution and the laws thereof, which are supposed to provide security to every citizen of this country.

At personal level, it could also be related to the various decisions that you take at various points in your life, ranging from the choice between Biology and Mathematics after high school to what career path you ultimately decide to pursue; from going for a love or arranged marriage to making a choice between living in India or abroad and so on.

If we were to tread deeper into our own nano-World and were to explore at the micro level, one decision made during that night when say you were partying at your friend’s place and decided to go for a drive when you were all drunk and happened to have met an accident could indeed bring about a huge change in your life. I guess that’s why our forefathers were so keen on voicing the precautionary principle. 

Whatever it might be, every decision and every little step that we take in our lives has a consequence, which makes me wonder whether we are just a cog in this machine of the consequential life that we all happen to be living.life race

Sounds depressive to the core? Yes, but what I intend to convey here is not some silly depressive thought but a possibility that we can all bend this consequential life in our favour by ensuring that whatever decisions we make in our lives are first of all based on rationality and secondly even if the rationality happens to go wrong, then too we must always try to maintain a positive mindset which will help us all in handling those unwanted situations and circumstances that we all happen to find ourselves in at some point of time in our respective lives.

Thus, it is absolutely essential for all of us to take the consequences (both positive and more so negative) in our respective strides and keep evolving and learning from the same, during this journey of life. This reminds me of the famous song:

किसी  की  मुस्कुराहटों पे हो निसार किसी का दर्द मिल सके तो ले उधार, 
किसी के वास्ते हो तेरे दिल में प्यार, जीना इसी का नाम है.

Source for Image: http://www.rkdf.ac.in/Result.php, http://blog.theravid.com/physical-therapy-2/physical-therapy-marketing-consumer-decision-making-process/

Scared, Are you?

A very recent incident in my life has made me “right” this one. It is not often that you want to avail the service of a public transport in smaller cities and towns in India, considering that the available space inside the same is utilized so efficiently that where only 2 persons are supposed to be seated, the conductor or the driver of the public transport will make sure that at least double the legitimate number is made to fit in the same space. If that was not enough, a couple of people who happen to be standing next to you, would be found leaning over for want of some space and air, coming through the windows.indian bus

But this is just the tip of an iceberg, when it comes to being scared of a thing or having some apprehensions about the same. A couple of days back, having heard so much about the state of the public transport in my city, I decided to experience it first hand. And there I was, travelling in this bus, which was supposed to take me from a place called Mahanagar to Hazratganj, which resembles the likes of CP in New Delhi, when it comes to the colour combinations that have been used to adorn the place.

Having barely managed to squeeze in the bus, I was lucky to have found a seat next to a gentleman, who looked to be in his twenties. One thing that foreigners find quite funny in case of us, Indians, is that no matter whether we know the person sitting besides us in a journey, we are very good and keen on starting a conversation with the unknown person available at our disposal.

Not only do we happen to talk about the general affairs going on in our country ranging from what Modi might be up to in the coming elections to would Dhoni be implicated in the IPL crisis that has ensued in recent times, but also about our own personal issues ranging from what my boss might have said to me the very day, to what would happen if my child happens to fail this year.

Keeping what I can call the tradition intact, the gentleman (whom I will refer to as G, from here on ), sitting to my left, started the conversation.

Hi, so where are you going?”—G

Hi, to Hazratganj, and you?”—me

I am going to charbagh, to catch this train. You see, my luggage is kept right above me. Actually, my uncle’s son is getting married, so I am going for his ceremony. So, you are originally from Lucknow?”—G

Yes, very much :).”—me

By the way, yesterday I went to this place called Indira Dam. Have you been there?”—G

Ya, I have been there twice. Nice place, I must say.”—me

What nice! You know what happened yesterday. I went there with a couple of friends. It was 6 p.m. in the evening. As we were walking past this barrage, we saw this lady lying unconscious on one side of the road. One of us even thought about calling the police, but we were too scared to get involved.”—G

So, you didn’t inform the police?”—me

We did. But it was only after we had left the place, from a P.C.O. (Public call office) located some 2 kms away. You know how it is with Police. With no fault of yours, they might indict you for something which you cannot even think of in your wildest of dreams and even if you happen to find a good policeman, then also you wouldn’t want to be going to the court as a witness every now and then, for the case might go on and on, considering the state of our judiciary, which takes ages to issue verdicts on cases.”—-GPOLICE-BRUTALITY

Hmm! Then what happened. Did you follow up?”—me

Not really! We just hung up the phone, after informing the police of the whereabouts of the lady. Later on, we came to know that in recent times, a couple of people have been found murdered at the same place and people have even spotted a couple of bodies floating in the running water at times.”—-G

That sounds awful.”—me

Ya, so many things are so awful in our country, if I can refer to it as my country in the first place. You must have already noticed the cap that I am wearing. I am a Muslim and for Muslims, especially the underprivileged ones, life is not so easy. You see, for every other blast or terrorist attack that takes place in this country, we are the first ones to be rounded by the police. We are made to suffer for no fault of ours, at times. That’s why, so much of resentment can be found in the Muslim youths, who find it easier to astray rather than comply with the laws of the country. On top of that, these political parties try to throw freebies at us, thinking that we can be cajoled by their futile efforts, which is nothing but a mockery of the political system in our country.”—G

Hmm!”—me. 

I know, it is a very sensitive matter. Instead of treating us like aliens, the political parties will do good if they can just treat us at par with every other citizen of this country. Anyways, this gets prioritized only for namesake at the time of elections and later on it is found no where on the agenda that the political parties are so proud of presenting during their election campaigns.”—G

That is very true. But then why don’t you try to get rid of all these political leaders who talk as if they are the representatives of the entire Muslim community and take matters in your own hand, by creating awareness and vouching for some political and social work?”—me

If it was so easy, then don’t you think every other person would end up doing the same? These very political leaders create so many hurdles and for a common man like me and you, it comes down to a choice. Whether we want to continue living our lives in the same pseudo-peaceful manner or do we want to disturb the peace of our minds by going against the Hukumat.“—G

Hmm! You know, a day would come and in some ways, it has already, in at least the Naxal affected parts of our country, when people would take up arms and would revolt against the atrocities and crimes that are being committed by our administration.”—me

True! You know what is more moving on an emotional level. When we lose lives just because of maladministration and faulty decision making on part of our government. You see, what’s happening in Uttarakhand. So many lives have been destroyed. So many people have gone missing and no one can predict when their lives will go back to normal.”—GArmy soldiers rescuing pilgrims during their flood relief operation in Chamoli, Uttarakhand

Ya, it is very sad to see that knowingly we opt to sit on a time bomb, waiting for it to explode. Faulty constructions and the approvals for the very same granted by none other than our administrators, coupled with total ignorance of the environment has resulted in a major tragedy which will continue to haunt the lives of those affected for many years to come.”—-me

Yes, and the lack of preparedness on part of our government is a sheer nonsense, which shows that no one is really concerned about what’s happening with this country. Everyone is busy looking for avenues where they can make quick bucks in order to secure the future for themselves and their loved ones. Oh, your stop has come. I guess its time to say bye. How soon time flies by! It was nice meeting you. Allah ne chaha to fir milenge.”—-G

It was a pleasure talking to you. I am sure we will meet sometime in the future :).”—-me

And there I was bidding goodbye to this wonderful gentleman. As I got down, having experienced the journey which began as a test of the public transport in my city, I wondered whether the picture of my country that had been depicted of in the conversation that I just had with G, would ever improve.

Being an optimist that I am, I certainly believe that there is still time to bring our country back on the right track. Lots needs to be done not only on part of our government but also as individuals. It might require some sacrifices and hardships.

The question, though is, are we all prepared to think over and above our selfish ends and rise up to the occasion to eradicate the fear that has for so long kept haunting us for the want of corrective actions in our lives?

Source for Image: http://punjab-tim.blogspot.in/2010/03/no-seat-belts-requiredindian-buses.htmlhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/30/top-5-police-brutality-vi_n_115921.htmlhttp://www.deccanchronicle.com/130701/news-politics/article/congress-bjp-twitter-war-over-uttarakhand

The Welfare Concept

When I was a kid, I used to wonder why is it that some parents tell their kids: “it’s a scary world out there” and used to deliberate over the thought process that would have gone behind parents telling their children about the same.

As I grew older and stepped out of the safe and protective ambience of my house to come in contact with the real World, I realized the fallacy of the concept of a welfare state that our country takes great pride in projecting herself as such on all international forums.

Some pessimists and non-reformists in the intelligentsia of our country would compare our country to malfunctioning states like Somalia and Afghanistan and would come to the conclusion that India is indeed a welfare state.

But as a common man, when I step out of my house, say, at 11 p.m at night, to take a casual stroll, why do I have to worry about being robbed or caught by the very same people who have been enthrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding our lives? Why do I have to worry about the nexus that has evolved between the politicians, bureaucrats and criminals in our country?

Why is it that girls in our country have started fearing venturing out at night, especially in cities like Gurgaon and Delhi? Are all the above examples indication of the welfare of our citizens which our nation wants to achieve?

If not, then what are we as a society and our administration as caretaker of the citizens of this country, doing in order to reverse this tide of an ever increasing crime rate?

Our government on its part is always lauding the steps taken by it in order to improve the governance in our country. But the question that needs to be asked is:

How effective and efficient are these measures turning out to be?”

Source for Image: http://peterjmunson.blogspot.in/2012/01/welfare-state-thesis.html