Tag Archives: India

Modern India – really?

So there is this colleague of mine – let me just call her PR. PR is a doll! A beautiful, smart girl, well-educated – done her MBA from one of India’s top B schools. Her Dad works as one of the top officials in one of India’s most respected government organizations. He has worked his way up, to be one of the top officials. She speaks highly of her father who despite belonging to an SC caste never used the reservation or allowed his daughters to use it. They have had to work their way to whatever they have done in life

PR is dating this mallu Nair boy – a nice boy am sure -nothing great in the looks department,educated less than her, happens to work abroad. His dad used to work in the gulf and came back to settle in Kerala.

His parents are dead against their marriage – their first reason being that she was an SC!!!
They then think that her dad should give them dowry – coz their son isn’t easily available on “sale” or something to that effect.

When she told me about the dowry bit, i was disgusted and asked her if this guy was worth it. I mean even if your parents are demanding dowry – dont u as a man in love with this girl have the guts to tell them this is wrong! Why are you communicating it to her? Because apparently the boy thinks it’s ok!

What shocked me even more – while PR wasn’t thrilled, she was ok with a certain amount of dowry being given. because in her side, if she had an arranged marriage, dowry is a pre-requisite.

Is it me? Am i too naive or idealistic? Do i live in a palace of illusions?

-> I would have thought her dad would say – I will never give dowry for my daughters! They are educated and capable of earning for themselves and hopefully will do so in tandem with their partners. let the couple make a life for themselves.
-> I would have thought she would have told the guy and his family to buzz off
-> I would have at least expected a lot more outrage from PR – am i good enough for you only with a couple of lakhs accompanying me?
-> I would have thought that in this day and age – caste would not matter especially when the girl is educated and of a similar if not better background than yours

Is modern-day India just a facade?

Is our old thought process just buried below this farce of moderness we claim to have?

What does it feel to grow up knowing that you will be acceptable to a man/his family if u come accompanied with the acceptable amount of money ?

And caste – how can it still matter?

Are we just a handful of us – whose parents would never ever even think of paying dowry for us. My mom as a kid used to always joke that she would ask for dowry from anyone who wanted to marry me!

This saddens me – this India which breaks my notion of dowry, caste etc not being an urbane educated class issue.

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An open letter to the terrorists….

Terrorists,

So you struck again – this time the National Capital. Yesterday, i spent a lot of time thinking about you thanks to all the 9/11 documentaries on TV. I still remember the fear i felt during 9/11. The fear abated as i thought of it as America’s problem. Then the fear during the mumbai train bomb blasts and the fear during 26/11. 26/11 changed things – once the fear went off, it was overcome with anger – a lot of anger at you, the establishment, the general apathy of our government and at us the common citizens.

A lot of us had a lot of hope – hope that things would change post 26/11. Somehow we would be more secure but u managed to prove that we were wrong – nothing changes. Status quo.

Now i don’t feel angry when i hear about a bomb blast. I don’t feel scared. I have accepted it as one of the ways that humans die – much like heartaches. I just pray that no one i know is part of it and move on with life. We are at work the next day, we don’t continuously watch the news, we know the pattern – intelligence failure, Chidhambaram will condemn the attacks, Manmohan Singh will condemn the attack and promise to take stern action against anyone who threatens India’s security, Opposition will use this as a weapon against the ruling party, Some politician will put his foot in his mouth and we the common citizen will call people we know to check if all is well. And then a couple of heated conversations and we are done!

Ok So my point is this – killing innocents Indians is not really helping you either. You See the government doesn’t care about me. My death will not matter. It will not get u back Kashmir nor will it cause Kasab or Afzal guru to be released from jail. Surely you are smart enough to realize that.We are too weak and unimportant to move our government to do anything for us and the government realizes that and makes some noises and we all move on.

I oscillated for a long time wondering if i should write the next para, I feel guilty writing this but then again i need to safeguard myself. You don’t need to kill to get what you want.Kidnap a politician and it works wonders – remember Mufti Sayeed’s daughter?

So use your resources intelligently and stop this nonsense. Our lives are not as important.The only thing you might achieve is reducing our population growth rate.

Regards
A Nut

And this is the mandatory WC post…

I think everyone has written a post about the World Cup mainly to record for yourselves this momentous occasion. We did the usual – had friends over, drank, shouted, ate like pigs. And now i think i suffer from post world cup depression. Of course ir’s a real thing, if i lived in America, i could be treated for it. And the next person who tells me but IPL is coming no – will get a thwack on their head,

Anyway, the moments which stood out for me – recorded for the sake of my offspring, (who i hope wont have to wait 28 years or maybe they should have to wait??) was to see a country unite – By the only bond we have- CRICKET!!!

– Dhoni Expression when he hit the last six. The look in his eyes makes me get goosebumps – a realization to 1.2 billion of us – that yes we they had done it.
– Dhoni running to grab the stump before hugging yuvraj
– Yuvraj and bhajji crying & Sachin & Dhoni’s moist eyes
– Every single cricketer dedicating their win to Sachin. Sachin being carried by the young ones. Kirsten being carried by the young ones
– Virat’s amazing one liner – “He has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, it’s our turn to carry him”
– Dhoni’s speech at the presentation

The way this team performed in the last three matches is what B-school case studies are made up of:

The world cup was never just about Sachin’s performance. Yes Yuvraj and Sachin stood out, but Virat, Raina, Zaheer, Nehra, Munaf, Dhoni – everyone had a role to play. Ummm Sreesanth am leaving you out of this one though! It was about team work

Many a time it was about quiet confidence and not loosing your head in the face of a tough situation. When the whole world thought the world cup was a lost cause after we lost Sehwag and Tendular. Two young boys believed – Gautam and Virat. Look at how Raina didn’t lose his head during the Australia match.

It was about grabbing opportunities when they came your way. Raina on being chosen over Pathan in Australia, and made sure he became a mainstay in the team. Nehra on being dropped and being the butt of all jokes, & Munaf who was cursed for his run rate came back and how against Sri-Lanka. The ‘young’ Ashwin made his mark too. All of them justified Dhoni’s confidence on them. (except ummm Sreesanth)

It was about hard work and believing in yourself – Case in point Yuvraj Singh. He lost his flamboyant “I am too young for my own boots” image and became India’s mainstay.

And Dhoni (drool drool! doesn’t he look so handsome ever since he won the WC for us) – I mean what a captain…he never lost his cool, took brave decisions and made the God of cricket call him the best captain ever!

Dear Indian cricket team – i can’t thank you enough! While i enjoyed the match, the celebrations were the best part. India united for the first time maybe.This was like a dream come true!T We still pinch ourselves to see if it is true. We want to tell the cynics lay off for now. It is a big deal for us.

It’s something we will watch re-runs of forever!

Racism anyone?

Seen on multiple FB accounts after the India Pak match:

“When the boys in blue come out to play, all the racists, terrorists and ravans run away!!!”…

So much so that one of the news readers in NDTV (i think!!!) actually thought it was a good joke to share –

“The indian cricket team has managed to keep another 11 pakistanis from entering mumbai” – referring to the 11 terrorists who were supposed to have entered Mumbai.

And this doesn’t make us racist? Equating all Pakistanis to terrorists, Srilankans to ravans…Funny? U like it? Well the next time don’t crib when India is painted as a land of slums or whatever else we are ‘racially’ called abroad!

Memories of terror…

This was chosen as Blog Adda’s Spicy Satuday pick

Dear Politicians,

Your head honchos appealed for peace but my blood is boiling.

We are a nation on tenterhooks, choosing our words carefully. However, your flunkies like Uma Bharati and Ravi Shankar Prasad are shooting their mouth. A Barkha Dutt is attempting to silence you. Haven’t u done enough for the nation.

Dont u feel guilty of the blood you have shed in the name of God? Do u believe God wants a “house” to be made from blood stained mud. Dont u feel bad that the seeds of distrust u have sown in 1992, flamed further in 2003 continues to cause fear in our hearts 18 years later.

This city i live in – continues to be haunted. Yes the ghosts aren’t moving around in broad daylight. But dig deep and you will see it. I wasn’t here in Mumbai in 1992 – but i have heard stories from my friends. South Mumbai friends who had never witnessed anything like this before – Hindus and Muslims alike. They saw flames from their upmarket homes. They tell of people pulled out of their flats in areas like Cuffe Parade and murdered.

A close friend of mine – who dad’s is a muslim and mom’s a hindu once told me his experience. He is a privileged boy who lives in Peddar Road -yes his mom’s family had disowned her when she married a muslim. He the only son. A close-knit family – just the three of them. Then came the riots. Apparently his house was marked for “taking care of” coz his was the only flat in the name of a muslim.

They knew the hindu mob was coming. His dad asked his mom and him to go and hide with the neighbours. The neighbours were ok with taking in the kid and mom but not a pure muslim. His mom refused to go. The three of them decided to face the mob together.

Can u imagine the tension they went thru? The fear a 10-year-old felt – he could hear the mobs.. His father blaming himself for his religion, his mom praying for her husband and her son. Yes the mob was shooed away by the police. But the 10-year-old boy was scarred. No he didn’t become a terrorist…

But yes he is convinced that the he will marry only a hindu (and his dad insists too) – so that at least his kid will be 75% Hindu and hence safer. His dad didn’t want him to apply to IIM – Ahmedabad – any guesses why?? He talks endlessly of his dad and he are ganeshji devotees and never talks of the eid i know he celebrates.Every time friends taunted him of supporting Pakistan in a cricket match – it hurt…he had to be extremely vociferous about his support to India in a match…lest someone point a finger! He feels bitter…

In one of my “love your country” lectures…he actually asked me WHY SHOULD I? I know i can tell him about the other things that India has given him…but can i ever convince him enough to wipe out the memories of the fear he felt in 1992?

His memories may not ever be wiped out…but please help us not create any further non-erasable memories for our children.
Help us to continue to believe that God does exist!
And Help us believe that humans (you) have a conscience!

Regards
Just Another Nut

Disclaimer –
While i did mention only 2 leaders from the “Hindu party” there are muslim leaders making equally callous sentences. So in no way am i supporting either side. Please bury the pathars (stones) u want to throw at me -if i remember my science well- it will help prevent soil erosion.

What do you do

When you know something unpleasant is happening which u have no control about?

Do u crib, rant and bring it up at all forums? Have long debates on the root cause of all problems? Decide who to blame for the same?

or do u act like the issue doesn’t exist?

I do the latter …particularly with the CWG….a bridge collapses, accommodation is filthy, it’s two weeks away…countries are likely to pull out of CWG…India is going to be disgraced…People’s view of India as a growing super power will now be that of a corrupt state…the way we view Pakistan.

Our hopes of this being the reason sports – other than cricket becoming popular in Indian dashed.
The few Indian sports people we have disappointed at the lack of interest and irresponsibility the government has shown

There is only one hope….PRAY HARD

Oh millions of Gods we have…please help us not look too bad 😦

We the people

Today is supposed to be a historical day for the Indian Judicial history – Kasab’s sentencing – the fastest sentencing in the Indian Judicial system.

Yet i feel unconcerned! I look around me – my office has multiple’s TV on with news channels which proclaim “Kasab guilty on all 86 charges” – people around me continue with their work. No whoops of cheer, no debates on should he be given life imprisonment or death sentence – Nothing.

Yes, the papers are full of victims who want justice – the little 11 year old who was shot wants Kasab to be given death, Tukaram Omble’s daughter wants him publically hung, One of the wife’s of the cops who died feels that this is going to be a prolonged case like that of Afzal Guru- yes they still feel the pinch coz they were the real victims.

We, the non victims – We have moved on…

This from the city which rose with fury post 26/11. We couldn’t believe how people could just walk into our beloved city, walk into our hotels, stations, houses, roads and hospitals and just fire. We felt scared – we felt violated. Yes, We wanted Kasab hung, shot dead publically, we wanted a more responsible government, we wanted a change in politicians, we wanted war with pakistan, we wanted some return on the huge taxes we paid, we didn’t want to be taken for granted. For the first time citizens united to show our fury – on blogs, facebook, candle light marches – we promised to make our government more accountable!

The aftermath – Mumbai had a low voter turnout during the elections post 26/11, we still have a porous border, we know where security is lax and don’t demand that more security precautions be taken. We still have policemen without adequate arms…there is no perceivable difference in our security! The politicians who predicted this was just a flash in the pan were right…they just needed to say the right things for the next few months and then go back to life as usual!

(No i am not being holier than thou – i am ashamed to admit i am guilty of many of the above mentioned lapses!)

So what killed the fury, our promises, our demands —?

Was it the decision to have such a democratic trial for the murderer which made him seem more human- reports of his demands for biryani, his smiles, his daily life, his illness…(I dont want to rant at the media – but some monsters need to continue to be seen as monsters)

Is it in our basic nature as Indians to accept everything as fate – karma, destiny et all? Or do we need a deadly reminder to get up once again?

Is time really a healer? Do we need such healing which makes us so immune to our country and our city? I wish that if and when Kasab is sentenced to death – there is no appeal at the supreme court, my office starts clapping, there is celebration on the street, Facebook updates declare victory on terrorism (small steps ppl!) and people once again wake up and say – “Jagao Re”…

Is this too much to ask for? Isn’t Kasab’s sentencing more momentous that Mumbai Indians entering the finals?