Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Journey of Sorts

We have often heard people say that the soul of India resides in the villages. I found that statement to be very true. But my impression is that one can get a feel of this extraordinary country by traveling for a day or two (is that too much?) in a general compartment of Indian Railways. What not can you find there? You get to see every facet of India. Ah Well! The elite class of the millionaires might be conspicuous by their absence. But that doesn’t constitute even a fraction of the population in India. So we will ignore them for the meanwhile. So let’s begin our journey of sorts.

It begins by arriving at the railway station 30-40 minutes before the scheduled departure for you can never depend on the irregularity of the railways. There you might have to make your way through camps which seem to have sprung up all over the platform. Finally, after a lot of shouting and haggling, you find a decent spot on the platform and then begins your ‘not so long’ wait for the lady of your dreams. And just like your girl friend, it arrives in all its glory right when you were about give up in a moment of desperation. Horns Blaring, Lights blazing; it enters its court in regal grandeur.

But the grandeur often doesn’t last long. For there is a stampede, not an exaggeration of course, to get into the unreserved compartments. I will leave the scene to your imagination for I had neither the courage nor the necessity to experience it first hand. I move to a more civilized section which goes by the name of ‘sleeper class’ and is obviously meant for people like me (read people who like to sleep a lot). After a lot of pushing, you get to your berth. If you are lucky enough, then you won’t have to fight to keep your luggage underneath the berths. But if you are not, then God help you. Now is the time to relax after all this hard work. I often get out to get myself a bottle of water and to escape the unbearable heat inside a stationary compartment.

Smiles lighten up the face of the passengers if the train departs according to schedule. They soon occupy themselves with various tasks (read chatting and bothering other people). But the bugging chats are often the most interesting part of a rail journey. One can find people from almost all sections of the society in a general compartment. There are the students, then the huge Indian Middle Class and then come the masses. So naturally the topics of discussion are very varied and range from reservation to superstition. But the best part is that the orator often considers himself to be the master of the subject. He will go to any lengths to emphasize that point. Reason for such a behavior may not be hard to guess and stems from the primal need to gain attention. (I remember reading a story named The Seventh Pullet which emphasized this very point in quite a remarkable fashion).

One can find people carrying their entire household with them. Beddings, quilts, mattresses, utensils withal. Babies cry and disturb peace-loving passengers like myself. Cleanliness may be next to Godliness. But Indians find it hard to resist not providing the railway cleaners with some real hard work. (It is a different matter altogether that the cleaners don’t bother either). One would know when it is the season for groundnuts from the shells decorating the floors. But in spite of all this blab, I may be the next one to dirty the same floor. That is the state of affairs here.

Even associations and friendships are formed in the blink of an eye. People, who hardly knew each other an hour ago, chat away merrily as if two long lost friends have suddenly found bliss in each other’s company. They bid each other teary farewells (not to say that I have not done that) and hope to meet again in some other remarkable journey!

That really is the crux of the matter. We can’t help hating this country for all the shit that it conjures up. But at the same time, we can’t help romancing with it for the same reasons! Maybe the problem lies in us. After all, what is a nation without its people? Just an empty shell. But whatever may be the state of railways or the traffic or the politics, one just can not help adoring this remarkable nation for all that it has given us. It seems to have some paranormal magnetic field which will make the prodigal son return; no matter how much of the world he has seen.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


What, in your opinion, is love?
And why the hell can't I sleep early even when I want to?
Oh yeah, by the way, I am listening to Sway by Bic Runga for like the 4th time and feeling stupidly insane!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sand Castles

Success teaches you many lessons. But, so does failure. Bitter Lessons. Lessons which are not learnt very easily and which require all your will power to be put into practice. In the recent past, my will was tested in a similar fashion. I broke down like all mortal weaklings. I tore my hair, I cried in desperation and rebuked anyone who tried to drill some sense into me. But I guess that is how things have a habit of working out.

The angry waves soon ebbed away, leaving wet sand in their wake. Sand which could be moulded into shapes that I desired. This metamorphosis might ot might not bring a marked change in me. Whether it is for better or worse, I don't know. Maybe the castles that I build now will be washed away once again when the tide rises. But at least the satisfaction of having tried will be there to soothe my troubled psyche.

Our inner voice demands several things of us. They are always justified. But we somehow manage to learn to ignore that same voice. Until it becomes so weak and faint that it hardly creates any ripples. That must have been the case with me. But my knee-shattering failure shook me out of my age old slumber. The voice which I had learnt to ignore; spoke with a resounding boom. I bowed to its pervading presence. I realised what I had been ignoring for so long had somehow degraded me as a human being.

Humans are weak. But I had proved myself to be weaker. Lost in my cocoon, I had forgotten that it was the very same whisper which had made me. I was whatever I was because I had been modest enough to pay ttention to whatever it said. Neglecting that friend had only quickened my steps down the staircase of failure. My only hope is that it is not too late already. I am prepared to wait. We'll just have to wait and watch. Wait and watch!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And the G33K shall inherit the Earth


Thursday, September 21, 2006

In Praise of Idleness

Time again I look out the yellow window of light,
With a certain longing to melt in the shimmering flecks.
But I drag my fancy, lounging in the midst of stars;
Back to the shadowy confines of my mustard walls.

Caught in a time warp, this mind wanders in bygone lanes;
A tramp, subject to the vagaries of his vagabond psyche.
But I chain it down and ask its irritated self to muse.
In Praise of Idleness - here's the part trosh it churns out.

Why not roam around in rustic lanes searching for poetry?
"Poets etch dreams!" But don't you feel them all the same?
Exploring unknown vistas from these shadowy confines;
Living a dream that never was, but living it all the same.

Search for beauty in mundane things while abhorring reality,
Floating in gondolas cruising through Venetian causeways.
Isn't that the meaning of “heavenly bliss” for you?
Its irritated self now asks me; but I prefer to play mute.

Idleness is never bane for it gives us reasons to realize.
Feeding the fire of imagination, it nurtures the rationale.
Decipher the cryptic messages conveyed by your reason,
And you'll find the same fancy grinning at your stupid self.

And so my fancy reasoned with me; I had to but let it go.
It floated with grace out my yellow window of light,
Back to where it belonged, lounging amidst starry company.
I close my eyes and find me there - all In Praise of Idleness.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Decoding Melancholy

I have been thinking about this and many a time I have expressed my thoughts on the subject. It was only tonight that a chance remark triggered a train of thoughts. I tried flagging a red signal to stop the juggernaut mid-way. But to no avail. I kept on doing my work while at the back of head an altogether different thought-process was bugging me. So in the end I decided to put away my books and do what I always try to do in such a situation – pen down my feelings.

This write-up pertains to people like me who somehow got confused about what they wanted and ended up wasting any talent that they had. I was a hard working guy before I came to college. Though the desserts of my labor were not exceptional, they were decent enough to be proud of. But sometime in the first semester, a higher power managed to mess up my brains and everything that I had sought to do, became fuzzier and trivial. I started bunking classes, missing labs and ultimately stopped studying at all – not realizing that at the same time, an uneasiness was creeping into my being. Clambering over the walls of my defenses, this queasy feeling made itself comfortable in my sub-conscious.

I went on with my life, thinking that my restlessness was rooted in something else. So much so that I almost became paranoid and people saw less and less of me. I was often left alone with my musings which often found vent in the form of write-ups like these or poems. But like they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. I won’t say I have been able to find the solution to all my problems, but at least there is a semblance of one which has made itself apparent to my troubled psyche. Let’s see if the things work out. For the time being I would only like to discuss its pros and cones.

I think it is the guilt of not working hard enough that germinates the seed of restlessness within us. We go about like studs – people who don’t study and still manage to get decent grades. But the crux of the matter is that we can not make do with just decent grades. Maybe (just maybe) we’ll end up with similar grades even after throwing our legs around. But at least the satisfaction of having tried will be with us (Yeah, we may also end up feeling even more miserable after all that). Lost in our world, we discard any normal (read the ones who slug it out) mortals as nerds and muggus - not worthy of our attention. It maybe so, or it might not be. I am not the one who knows. This puzzle is all about ‘mays’ and ‘might bes’. Maybe if we start putting in that extra effort, we’ll end up with that stupid grin on our faces which is so characteristic of content souls. Maybe we’ll do even better the nerds we were so jealous of. Maybe we’ll be gloating just because of the pleasure of having so much to learn and explore. You have to decide for yourself.

ACID TEST: If music starts sounding better when you do something then rest assured that you really are happy.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dreams of An Insomniac

The lamp had cast an eerie glow over the wall;
A yellowish hue. It seems like the color of my dreams.
Transient, ephemeral and yet so steadfast and unrelenting.
Dreams which often grace me with visits in lonely hours,
Dreams of An Insomniac – eccentric like my very being.

I was lying beneath bare walls, playing with my shadows on them;
The insomnia had settled in and I prepared for a long night ahead.
Twisting around in my open eyed slumber I sensed an approach,
An unexpected guest, silhouetted against the darkness, what’s this?
An insomniac is visited by some strange dreams, the rendezvous begins.

And then we talk about secret voyages to places unchartered;
Conversing in silent whispers lest the unknowing masses hear.
Red sand swirls around me; crimson, the color of passion.
Through this whirlpool I see sparks; white, it’s sweet wisdom.
But my dreams have a touch of evil, for I see green eyed jealousy.

And then comes the lady of my dreams, cloaked in umpteen hues;
The sweet harmonics fill my ears; they take reign over my senses.
The Sound of Music – it keeps giving meaning to my existence;
I am lost in it and it in me when we are together, a twosome.
But then she parts, like all good things in life, leaving me alone.

The queasy feeling sets in again, rattles my senses where it hurts;
It is like waking from a sleep never slept, then why does it hurt?
Expectations were never dashed but vistas unknown opened.
Clambering over walls of obstacles, I claw at what will never be mine.
“Keep dreaming!” I tell my mind. But now why won’t it listen to me?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Re-Energized and Rejuvenated

Just when things seem to slip out of your grasp like sand, there comes a moment when someone hands you a plastic bag to collect all that had trickled down. If you are intelligent enough to make use of that bag then be assured that the rock 'n' roll show has just started. Even if it doesn't last as long as you had expected it to, it will always make the effort worthwhile. Just snatch the damned bag!

Somewhat similar happened to me a few days ago. The only glitch in the story was that my sand had already slipped out of my grasp and lay scattered on the floor. Moreover, I was not even handed the bag. Just told where it could be found. And that haven was called 'Resource Centre', known to lesser mortals as a library.

It's been a roller-coaster ride ever since. Searching for purpose in life; fighting that queasy feeling that had become so fundamental to my existence; or looking at everything around me with a suspecting eye. I was a hopeless mess to say the least. But I decided to give it a shot. And boy! Did I enjoy it!

I had forgotten the feeling of bliss. God bless you for helping me remember how that felt. A strange rush of adrenaline. I have been rejuvenated in the kingdom of the written word. I am just like a boy collecting pebbles on the shore of this vast sea of knowledge. But I love to immerse myself in it's depths. After all, there is so much to learn and explore. So much novelty to discover. I know nothing and I am willing to learn.

But the best is yet to come. I come back from my haven with that foolish grin over my face, clamp my headphones firmly over my ears and let the melodies flood my ears - Ah! Music never sounded better. I am loving every moment of this new found freedom. It seems grades and jobs are for lesser mortals. I am just interested in knowledge. I am a Seeker. I will continue paying my homage at the altar of knowledge until the very wisdom that I gain persuades me to do otherwise.

Let's Hope The Feeling Lasts!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Memories Etched In Sepia Frames

I have stolen the title of this post from a poem that a friend of mine posted on her blog not a long while ago. What I have put up here are some recent pics which are special in their own way. I am sure that they will remain so and remind me of some very memorable moments in the times to come. They do not have any captions as any such picture doesn't need to be described. It has to be, ahem, felt.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Of Music And The Like

This post of mine is utterly unplanned and is likely to be highly erratic and disjoint - two words which can somewhat sum up the state of my affairs these days. I am not even sure whether the title is justified. The idea was ephemeral. It flashed past my mind like a shooting star and was gone in a nano-second. What was left behind was a will to somehow express the fleeting experience in a language understood by mere mortals.

It was music again. The melodious notes of Coldplay creating harmonious disturbances in my mind. It must have been these subtle variations that triggered the chain reaction which finally culminated in me writing this post. Music is always so subtle in its effects. Sometimes quietly making us embark on that kaleidoscopic journey called Nostalgia. At other times sowing the seed of some eccentric thought which triggers a process in itself. It might not lead to anything substantial, but it always urges us to think in directions we never thought about and explore paths we never imagined we could travel. So subtle and yet so momentous. Shakespeare was spot on when he said that a person who does not love music is a devil - fit for treachery and deceit. Music makes you love and hate, all at the same time. It makes you think and and fantasize. It makes you humane and satanist.

Music is life. It is the life-blood flowing in your veins. It is the heart beating in your chest. It is the brain giving you ideas. It triggers thoughts which can change the world. Music seems white. Music seems black. Music is every shade of grey in between.

After all, these are the musings of a dreamer who lives in some parallel universe most of the time. But it is music which makes me dream. And I am ready to do anything for that. It is nothing less that an adrenaline rush. When encompassed by harmony, I am on a high. When lost in its tresses, I am a different man. I am what I want to be. I am Me.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Well Well Well. It seems that this semester I managed to add another feather to my already adorned cap. After laboriously managing to earn the dubious record of bunking the maximum number of classes last semester, I had begun to think that ‘that’ would be the end of my glorious exploits. But as it turned out, Lady Fortune had other plans for me. Hardly a week into the new semester, I have been handed a Letter of Probation by the DOSA (Dean of Student Affairs) along with 16 other of my batchmates for ragging 5 hapless juniors.

Ragging my foot! If I had been ragging those minions then I would have happily added this letter to my glorious annals. But the crux of the matter is that we wasn’t even ragging those ‘poor souls’. They were just being asked why Zidane head-butted Materazzi. Imagine that! Now do you call that ragging? But the warden and DOSA would not even hear a word from us. They just kept on harping on one damned point. Why had we latched the door from inside! Just a lame excuse, if you ask me. They were already 22 homo sapiens in that cramped room and other seniors passing by might have been tempted to join in the melee. We were actually protecting those bastards. Whatever, man! So much for acting the protector! My name’s there on the notice board now. Will remain there for a week. At least it got there somehow. Even if it is for all the wrong reasons.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Thinking Disease

Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing if you understand
- Ana Nalick, Breathe (2 AM)

It is really a herculean task to pen down all the thoughts and questions raging through my mind right now. But it would be foolish to feign ignorance and let them create a pandemonium. So I will do what is best in such a situation – just go with the flow and write down whatever comes to my mind.

Due to my philosophical rejuvenation at SIDH, if I might call it so, a lot of preconditions have been shaken through and through. What is the biggest surprise is that I did not mean any of this to happen. I had always thought that I was comfortable with my conditioning and that would be the way things would probably be. But the seed planted has not only germinated but begun to grow. I really am questioning things that I thought I wanted to do.

So then, what is it that will help me attain contentment? What if I chuck away all my plans and set out in search for that eluding phantom, like the shepherd of ‘The Alchemist’? What if I find out that the things that I have for so long pursued with such determination were not really what I wanted?

These are just some of the questions that have been boggling me. Unless I am able to answer them, I’ll be like that man who tries to ride two boats at the same time and finally ends up in the water.

I have always been a tad bit strange. Imagining the world as an ideal place and being frighteningly conceited; all at the same time. I have been a chronic victim of the “Thinking Disease”. Hmmm…..I really do think too much. Maybe it’s because I don’t do anything. An empty mind is, after all, some kind of a workshop. The Devil may not own it all the time but someone has to, all the same.

So there’s the sum of things. I don’t expect things will change a lot. Not unless a bolt from the blue lights up that proverbial bulb. And till then, I will be ‘thinking’ a lot – looking for answers and finding newer problems in their stead.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Silver Arrows

My soul casts myriad reflections on the wall,
The Silver Arrows pierce them; but they shimmer on.
I lay beneath empty walls, caught in the warps of time.
I was lonesome; just me, my musings and my lines.
I happened to gaze out the yellow window of light.
It was then she burst upon me with all her might.
The sky was a sea of darkness, stars were lost ships.
They floated around their beacon; Apollo, vanquisher of darkness.

My soul casts myriad reflections on the wall,
The Silver Arrows pierce them; but they shimmer on.
The wind brushed past the trees, they seemed like lonely guardians.
The leaves rustled about; blushing, for they enjoyed the time.
Human souls were like flecks of light, glimmering in the night.
But a strange thread bound them all in a lovely wreath.
The realization dawn upon me, I am no more alone.
My spirit is joined to the soul of night; for it made me feel.

The Silver Arrows had cast their spell, there was symphony around.
The eyes of a poet enjoy it all, his mind labors to etch it down.
My soul casts myriad reflections on the wall,
The Silver Arrows pierce them; but they shimmer on.

When Silence Beckons

The glowing embers of the moments we spent together;
Are like stars guiding a ship caught in the doldrums.
The huskiness in your voice that caught my imagination,
Leads me onto your gates like the Pied Piper.
The depth in your eyes which made me lose my senses,
Keeps me sane; for I long to immerse in it again.
And just like the Magi; who followed their star,
I am coming home beloved; I am coming back to you.

I remember the smell of the yellow mustard fields;
Where we rung out the bells when spring began.
I remember the angry waves lashing onto the shore.
And erasing our footprints as we walked on the beach.
I remember the romance of the bright moonlit nights;
When we, like children, talked about the beauty of it all.
And just like the Magi; who followed their star,
I am coming home beloved; I am coming back to you.

Lamps lining the roadside are like butterflies of gas,
They flash past me and create a blinding streak of light.
The radio airs jarring notes, but they seem in melody.
Maybe it’s true; maybe it’s my mind playing tricks on me.
I count the milestones, they form an endless chain.
But I have faith, and I believe they will sometime end.
And just like the Magi; who followed their star,
I am coming home beloved; I am coming back to you.

To The Hour Bygone

They poured in through the gash in the wall;
The crimson rays of the dying sun.
And bathed my world in a strange hue,
Like drugs infiltrating my veins.

The air breezed about in strange fashion,
As if talking to the gusty trees.
The stars had just started to twinkle.
As if knowingly winking at me.

I lay sprawled on the floor;
Ogling at the strange reflections on the walls.
They clouded my being and my senses,
Like moon being hidden by rag like clouds.

I think about the future,
I think about the past.
That moment then was beautiful.
But in my naiveté I let it pass.

My present leaves me now wearied out.
I wander alone in this maze of questions.
And my troubled mind seeks its refuge;
Like a defeated soldier retreating home.

I turn to those soft hours now.
They shine on like smouldering cinders.
They shine on but never seem to flame out.
Like those shimmering stars who once winked.

That hour often glimmers afresh,
Lighting my shadowy path in ways unknown.
What is this miracle I wonder aloud!
I take a walk back into that world once known.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

That Thing Called Love

We have for centuries concocted poems and stories and plays about the cycles of love, the way it morphs and changes over time, the way passion grabs us by the throat and then leaves us saner. Yes, we have heard all about that. And each of us may have something to add to it. But now scientists are discovering that the plethora of chemicals that ignite that feeling of bliss are completely different from the ones that foster long term commitment and attachment. So what really is this thing called love?

A particular hormone, called dopamine, may be our quintessential love potion. In the right proportions this hormone creates intense energy, exhilaration and motivation. It may be the reason why, when we are madly in love, we can stay up all night, watch the sun and rise and set (usually too boring to elicit poetic thoughts) or run a race we never imagined we could ever complete. Love (or maybe our endogenous love potion) makes us run real risks, which we sometimes survive and sometimes don’t. In short, it is all what love is about isn’t it? Doing things that would make the saner variety of our species look at us with surprise coupled with amusement.

But doesn’t passion usually fizzle out in the end? After the initial hullabaloo, it all boils down to bickering in most of the cases. No wonder some cultures, like our very own, think that a selecting a lifelong mate based on something so fleeting is folly. Of course that’s a mandate none of us can follow. We do fall in love, sometimes over and over again, and subjecting ourselves each time to a very sick state of mind. Psychoanalysts have formulated countless theories as to why we fall in love with whom we do. But as we all might (or might not) have come to know, it’s that unexplainable impulsive instinct that often guides us. That’s why love has often been likened to sickness. We never know what we are doing in love.

Anthropologists used to think that romance was a western construct, a bourgeois by-product. They thought that love was for the sophisticated and took in place in cafes in the presence of coffee and scones. It took place in lush green meadows riding thorough bred horses. They believed that a lice-ridden peasant could never actually feel passion. But they were quite wrong as it turned out. They now know that love is something panhuman, embedded in our brains since the dawn of civilization. But though love may be universal, its expression is certainly not. And who can be a better judge of that than Indians who stand on a threshold, caught in a time warp between tradition and westernization.

But why doesn’t that passion last? How is it possible that the person who meant the world to you on Sunday elicits gross comments on a similar Sunday 364 days later? Surely the appearance of the person must have not changed in such a short period. She still has those shapely eyes. She still has that husky voice which once caught your imagination. But it ends and its conclusion is as common and certain as its initial flare. Biologically speaking, the reason why it fades away into oblivion maybe found in the way our brain responds to dopamine. Maybe it’ a good thing love fizzles out. Would we have railroads, bridges, faxes, and computers if we were all besotted all the time?

All this discussion tells us one thing maybe. To be madly in love maybe just that - madness. The term ‘lovesick’ is surprisingly accurate. Love blurs the line between mental health and psychopathology. But still, can we resist it - the Cupid’s arrow? I guess not. That’s why people ‘do things’ in love. Love can be dangerous. Science can explain how love affects the brain but never the mystery of how it affects the heart and why we end up doing what we do.

The Godfather

It is hard to describe in a few hundred words, a book of the stature of The Godfather. Mario Puzo creates magic and transports us to the Cosa Nostra - the dark underworld of the Mafia. So much so that I would say that the English speaking world is divided into two categories - those who have read The Godfather and those who haven’t!

The Godfather is a splendid and distinguished blood saga of the American Mafia. It reveals how the Sicilian Rule of Silence or Omerta influences every level of the American society. Men are silenced, cars are blown up, treachery is planned - and all with such cold brutality that one finds it hard to believe there is a human mind behind the entire villainy.

The book deals with the life of Vito Corleone who is driven from Sicily by the Mafia there when he was only twelve years old. Life teaches him tough lessons along the way and he learns all of them. By his sheer cunning and bravado he creates the biggest and most powerful criminal syndicate in America. He is a cold blooded tactician who will stop at nothing to make ends meet. He follows his own rules and trashes the laws of the society which ignored him.

But things take a turn for the worst when he is shot at by some of his rivals. A bloody gang war ensues in which he even loses his eldest son. His youngest offspring - Michael - is an army veteran who has got nothing to do with the family business. But as a result of the assassination attempt, Vito’s empire weakens and in order to save his father’s life Michael is forced to commit two murders. The clash of values within Michael, who wanted to lead a normal life, is amazing and deserves special praise.

The brilliance with which Puzo mixes crime with emotions to produce a heady concoction is remarkable and in my opinion is the life line of this book. One at times is forced to agree with Vito’s deeds. His trademark dialogue - "I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” is subtle devilry.

The Godfather is a story of life and all that comes with it. Pain and love are two sides of the same coin in this book. It is a fabric woven from the strands of love, emotion, crime, devilry and innocence. One could go on writing about it but then the pleasure of the first read would be lost. Try out the book. I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

Religious Fanaticism In India

There might be deficiency of infrastructure in India but one thing in which it has always been a superpower right from day one is Religious Fanaticism. Every other day we hear about zealous supporters of some cult or religion blindly following their leaders and doing whatever they command. Such is the state of affairs that it is hard to expect anything rational from such men whose reasoning has been clouded by what some unscrupulous Chandraswamis have said. We can go on about this topic in an endless debate and still find ourselves miles from reaching any solution.

I am not an atheist but blind faith is not what a developing nation like India needs. We find that entities like “ojhas”, "babas" and the like are still very much in business. We can never become a developed nation as long as people like these are allowed to fool the public. This ignorance might very well be tracked back to illiteracy. But just simply learning our lessons by heart won’t help in solving out this crisis. What we really need is education in the true sense. And that is hard to find anywhere. Some people try hard but they are often silenced; sometimes by force and sometimes by situations.

But education, or lack of it, is not the only things responsible for such shameful stats. Politicians, almost all of their unscrupulous species, seek to draw mileage out of India’s botched communal history and fulfill their motives. And when such motives give birth to riots and their like, it is the general public, irrespective of its caste, creed or religion, which suffers. There is no exception to this rule. The futility of riots is even much more than that of wars or battles.

But haven’t we heard all this and much more hundred of times. So why you should even read this article. Well don’t read it if you feel you don’t want to change things and let them be the way they are. What we can do to change things in our own small way is talk about such issues in public and be very vehement in our criticism of them. Try to talk people out of the darkness with which they have surrounded themselves. Tell them they are fools to even think on those lines. It is only by rhetoric that we can combat the rhetoric of those “ponga pandits” or the species which lacks any scruples. Don’t be too ideal and give up everything to change things. That is neither expected out of anyone nor commendable. But try to change people in your own sphere. If we succeed in modifying the thinking of even one person then our mission is accomplished.

Try to think of someone or something that is not connected to you directly and you will find that it is great not to be selfish or conceited all the time. Don’t forget your own responsibilities and ambitions but pay just a tad bit of time to things that matter to a bigger section of the world you occupy. I am sure you are going to find out in the end that all the trouble was certainly worth the effort.


It seems that the ideals of neo-patriotism, as cinematized in movies like Yuva and Rang De Basanti, are finally getting off the reels. Five IITians, all in their early twenties, have floated a new political party called ‘Paritrana’ and decided to enter into mainstream politics. The young guns kicked off their campaigning from the city of Jodhpur, where the party was formally launched.

Entering into a field which has been corroded by corruption and filth right to the very roots was not an easy decision for these guys. Tanmay Rajpurohit, the National President of the party, says, “Giving up handsome pay packages, comfort of family, and support of friends took a lot of thinking.” Ashwalayan Singh, Vice-President of the party, said, “An inner voice told me I should invest my efforts in my country rather than making my pockets heavier.”

As elucidated on the official site of the party, http://www.paritrana.org/, ‘Trana’ means the act of relieving a conscious entity from the state of distress and pain. But it may be ephemeral. ‘Paritrana’ is the complete relief implying the end of the very cause of distress.

Gen-Next always ends up criticizing the politicians and bureaucrats who have poisoned the whole system. But when the push comes to shove we wash our hands off the affair and prefer to be spectators in this gruesome melee of sorts. And it is for this reason that the efforts of these youths need to be applauded. Shortage of funds has not deterred them from reaching out for their aim. The zeal and burning desire of these guys seems genuine. They claim that they are there not for the power game but to be able to take the benefits of their efforts to the grassroots level.

Politicians of today are no longer the voice of the common man and thus it is up to people like us to take the burden of responsibility here on. We will not be able to succeed immediately and some of us might even falter - falling into the very trap we had sought to remove. But our efforts count towards the ultimate goal and we should have faith that one day, the droplets will fill the ocean.

The First Brush with Freedom

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