Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anna's past comes hunting

Finally I've started seeing people being sane on FB about Anna Hazare. If your wondering why FB? well, that's because it's the new extended self of the Gen Xer's & O for the Gen Y's in India. Moreover FB is more like the windvane of the sentiments of the Netizen's!

Atleast now people have started seeing the other side which has got them thinking.

If you still haven't read my earlier post and see this video! You would then know what I mean by saying that the Jan Lokpal Bill cannot solve any corruption issue whatsoever. It is nothing but a mere makeshift which could turn monstrous in the future.

Then give yourself a few minutes to think before you blindly reject a different viewpoint. The common trait among all successful people is that of decision making, and to do that they make it a point to view things with no biases and buy it at what it's worth!

So people just give this a thought before you react... No prejudices please!



Courtesy: Anurag Sinha's post & Youtube

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Anna Syndrome

Anna Hazare
Team Anna
Brand Anna
Anna is India & India is Anna

Don’t you smell marketing or the making of the next oligarch somewhere in those words?

For most of you the Lokpal Bill aka Anna is only anti-corruption. A few even call it the next greatest revolution in Indian history after her Independence, but how many of you’ll actually know what the bill reads to the smallest clause? I’m sure less than 5% percent of the supporters really know the whole deal of what they currently approve off, and only a smaller percent of this miniscule know the repercussions of such a dangerous protest which questions the basic principles on which this nation is built on?

Do you feel that making another governing body stronger than the current one would solve problems? Temporarily, it still might. But think about the longer run. If an ombudsman is going to have more power than the Prime Minister of India isn’t that dangerous and dictatorial to say the least? What makes you think that there won’t be a fight for power in the New Governing Body after Anna Hazare? With due respect to all the stakeholders, it’s easy to say that Team Anna is all people who’ve done a lot to the society, but none of them have every been/seen a position of so much Power in their life; and the human brain for all we know has its own way of amazing us every time.

Moreover if the Pro-Anna’s really wanted to make a difference and serve the country and clean it of its corruption then why don’t they stand in elections and take up positions of power & responsibility and then let actions do the talking? But instead our dear Anna Hazare’s juvenile reply to a question on whether he would join politics if given a chance was “Kichad pe pathat phekne se kichad he uchalta hai” which would literally translate to “throwing a stone in slush would only result in it splashing on you!”

A few of you might argue that this is for the betterment of India and this agitation must go on etc. Well I surely don’t disagree that the thought & the motive has nobility written all over it and is surely something to be appreciated, but the undemocratic blackmailing methodology adopted to achieve the same is far from noble. Think about it, if the government is to heed to this demand and pass a bill in such a short period of time then before we realize we’re going to have half of India going on hunger strikes and blackmailing the government for their own various causes. This in turn would put India on a more dangerous disturbed civil agitation!

India has been long admired as the largest democracy, which has primarily been because we follow the constitution that was set 61 years ago. But now with this kind of blackmail aren’t we going against the basic tenets of our very own constitution?

Now the obvious next question is can we leave corruption to stay this way? The answer is a big NO! Then instead of going on a hunger strike, a more rational and righteous way of putting forward your bill in the parliament should ideally be the first step forward. Then we need to look at a policy which decentralizes power and not empowers another single individual/body. Most importantly we need to make changes where it currently seems impossible. In other words, corruption at the lowest level from giving a bribe to a cop for riding/driving without a license to paying an RTO officer to avoid a couple of extra visits to the RTO. Only if we change in this small way will it affect the whole issue of corruption at large. Moreover we cannot point fingers at someone for corruption when we ourselves are indulging in it. You may argue that the scale is not comparable, but a wrong deed however small doesn’t have variable change associated with it.

I’d like to sign off hoping that all of us look to actually look at a revolution and not just a mere short term eye wash! Jai Hind!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Life in the city that 'Lives'

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

I was listening to this song by green day as I walked back home the other day, and just as I heard the sentence ‘Time of your life’ I got pondering. I started wondering what were all those instances / nuances / acts / people / happenings which made me feel like I was indeed having the time of my life.. School was one contender for sure with the innocent fun we had, college was something that I’d already tagged as the Best days of my life.. So it had to be something else. No No not TCS. Something else. Something more vibrant, something that has the blue-skin smell of the sea, some place which has more variety with restaurants than what a life time of meals can taste, a place which where one becomes an amphibian due to the humidity, it is our very city made from seven islands—Bombay lately known as Mumbai!

I came to this city thanks to with the throw of destiny’s dice. To be specific all thanks to the TCS. Since then over the last 575 days, I’ve been through a plethora of emotions.

It was hard to decide where to start off, but then I decided to take a cue from one my earlier articles and hence it had to be the city’s 153 year old backbone, Mumbai Locals. When you land in Mumbai you have people warning you of how over-crowded they are, how many people fall and die out of these, how easy it is to get picked or lose a bag, but what many people don’t tell you is how addictive these are. The cool breeze as you hang out of one, or the modern train yoga asana that you learn by standing funnily or the fights for seats to the bhajan groups on trains and even the train friends you make. It is what I’d call an intangible luxury!

But the same friend, who told me about Mumbai Locals, also happens to be the drummer of a leading Mumbai-based band and hence he invariably happened to talk about music & Mumbai.

How the music here is a brilliant portrayal of emotion in words. The first thing that obviously strikes your mind is Bollywood. A city where every actor comes to become a star and the rest of us come to get a glimpse of them, once they turn stars. But Bombay also has the other side to it. The music from the west has had its own strong influence on this city.

In fact in the 70’s Led Zepplin had come to India in an attempt to start a recording studio, they ended up staying @ the Taj and spending most of their time at a local disc called Slip Disc. They fell in love with the city so much, that over the next few years whenever they had to go to Australia or Singapore they managed to make it a point to stop by in Bombay. In fact they even got to jam with Indian artists and that forms a part of their collectives called the ‘The Bombay Sessions’.

Bombay - Mumbai

Music was in the blood for this city. But Mumbai surely aint complete with just a backbone in the form of trains and blood in music. The city needed legs which would be attributed to the always buzzing streets of Mumbai. I still remember the 24th Oct last year, it was my friend’s birthday and we were on our way to a lounge by the beach called Aurus in Juhu to celebrate @ about 2. To our surprise we were stuck in a traffic jam for 30mins, but instead of getting irritated all of us were elated with the fact that this city has so much life @ that hour of the day! It’s not just Juhu go anywhere from Marine Drive to the ever-cramped Saki Naka and you won’t be disappointed! Life!

Well the limbs of the city won’t be complete without the hands, which would be Dharavi. A lot of you may think I’m crazy! But just hear me out.. For a first the total business @ Dharavi is estimated to be a whopping $650Mn. Now that my dear friends is a hell lotta money! For the record nearly all the farzans (an Indian snack, mostly used as a side-eat) that is sold in Mumbai comes outta Asia’s biggest slum. It is also famous for its authentic cheap leather goods, which again are re-sold in stores at Colaba (obviously at a higher price) where one would find it ‘Kewl’ to shop. But that’s not all, the HBR Case worthy Dabbawalla’s of Mumbai operate pre-dominantly out of Dharavi. So with all this said I guess the always planned re-development can wait!

Now.. Coming to my favourite, the tongue of this city! This can be attributed to the mouth watering delicacies that you can taste from a Sunday Sindhi Breakfast at Tharu Sweets to a Parsi lunch at Britannia & Co to high tea at theobroma, a drink @ Leopolds, hop skip and jump and you reach Bademia for succulent chicken for dinner and finally yum homemade age old ice creams from K Rustomjee. Apart from this you could also get side-eats from a yum lassi’s @ parsi diary to a sumptuous falooda at badshah’s to generously butter Pav Bhaji @ Sardar PB or chaat at Chowpati. I better stop at this else I’m goina have to go and get something to eat as these bare names are enough to get me hungry again just an hour after dinner!

I surely need to dedicate a couple of more articles or may be a book in order to complete the rest of Mumbai (may be the next version of the ever famous ‘Shantaram’)J! But I surely cannot finish without mentioning the Spirit of Mumbai that was shown to the world when people got to work hours after the train blasts and the Jewel of Bombay, The Queen’s Necklace. Man you so have to sit there on a rainy day with the rain lashing against your face, and sip into a nice thick yummy ‘Bachelors’ chocolate shake! It’s just Eternal Bliss!

In the end, remember…

Mumbai is city that lives,
A livelihood for every immigrant is what it gives;
It is a city that never sleeps,
An experience in the city takes you leaps;
Mumbai portrays a mother as its made from Mum, Ba & Ai,
Hope that would stop you from saying 'Goodbye'!