Thursday, May 28, 2009

Places I liked

I haven’t been to many places in my life but to my luck I have been to some of the amazing places, one of them being Mumbai. Though I stayed there for a very short period of just 2 days but believe me I loved it. The entrance of the city itself is so breath taking. The wavy sea, still mountains, breezy coconut trees, flagged old working boats, moving black clouds, big drops of rain; it was a mix of the repose and the zing. That rush hour life, those clouds, that water, packed places, lovely buildings; it was love at first sight. Note that the buildings I loved were not the skyscrapers but the old ones that come along the way when you walk from Church Gate station to the Gateway of India. Those made up of large rocks, well I really don’t remember the names that they bore but I do remember the design. I was there at night so the street lights and the fading sun was showing an impressive silhouette of the edifices on the way. I was so tired when I reached the sea but just looking at lovely horizon and the cycle of waves in the vast body and the movement of large clouds over it made me relax some how. I was there for my job interview, after clearing the 1st round I was kicked out of the second, yes Mumbai also brings that prick of rejection along.

The next place I loved is the Wall Street in the lower Manhattan. It is awe-inspiring. I hardly find words to describe it, it is incredible. The road is thin and dark with tall antiquated buildings on both the sides preventing much of the sun to touch the ground. It will make you think of the times it has seen and in a glancing moment you will even see yourself in that era. Times Square I liked just for the first time but Wall Street that’s my love I would like to go there again and again to feel and absorb the richness it has of the past. The dark black street attracts. It is a ‘jungle of buildings’ in a true sense.

I also like Chandigarh it is one of the most well laid and well kept cities of India. Broad clean roads, lots and lots of trees, flowers here and there, clear-cut footpaths, superb drainage system, traffic well controlled, good parking lots, children parks, no electricity problems, nice places for weekends, it has got every thing a person wants his or her city to be like. The only thing I disliked was the ‘goal chakars’ on the main crossings; yes and also most of the markets and sectors seemed pretty much the same so being new to the town and finding places was like treasure hunting, you keep coming to the same place again and again when you can’t find the right clue. 

Even Jersey City is a good place but then most of the places in US must be good to live in, so no discussing this place.

Also Delhi comes in my list but don’t have much to write about it.

Last but not the least, my home town Dehra Dun would always be my love, I really adore that place. Though after becoming the capital of Uttrakhand, it’s population has increased by leaps and bound because population and pollution goes tandem so this place has lost its beauty with time. Though things are done but the skeleton of the place being that of a valley, which was never supposed to be inflated so much, is almost breaking under the burden of heavily packed smoke puffing traffic, growing colonization and deforestation. Now it has a colossal size and tarnishing beauty. Still I love that place because I grew up there and have spent some of my best days in that amazing place. That lovely weather with summer never so hot, winter never so cold, at times surrounded by snow clad mountains, a little fog, lots of rain, cool breeze, those bushes of wild roses and blue bells, birds singing, kids playing; I miss it so much. “…I wish I could, turn back time, impossible as it may seem, but I wish I could…”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just like that

I was eagerly waiting for the spring to come; it came and I hardly saw it. Maybe this was the case with most of the people here after all trailing that long snowy winter should always be a long beautiful spring. But to the disappointment of many people the early rain took away the colored beauty and marked it with green. Though green is a peace for eyes but red, white, purple and pink would have been a much awaited treat. I was ready with my fat little old camera, which is so lethargic to my actions, but alas its summer. Why do I care so much about the short spring?

I am living in a beautiful place with lovely people around. People who are so much aware of general courtesies that words like sorry, thank you, excuse me, you first flows so easily from their mouth. They know that life can be lived walking rather than running and panting all the time. Leave alone weekends; on week days too you can find people just loitering around, daddies playing with their sons and daughters, old people shopping around in fancy dresses, even grown up kids playing in parks and swings, girls and women frequently visiting beauty parlors, people jogging around at almost any time of the day, chirpy little birds, silently walking dogs and lazily sleeping cats. Every day seems a Sunday. Then if all this is not enough you can go to New Port where you won’t believe your eyes, can life be so cool and simple? People just walking, talking, sitting, reading, kissing, eating, watching, sun bathing, sailing, cycling, skating…by the banks of the river without any rush, just to enjoy that one life which they have got. Do they ever work?

Even I have ‘One life to live’ but what am I doing? Even byword like ‘Live each day as if it were your last’ does no wonders to make it a little better. Though late but yes finally I started reading ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ and it clicked a little, a slow but a wonderful book. Will it bring something good out of me?

Congratulations, MP-elect Mr. Shashi Tharoor

Yes! We have done it.

Shashi Tharoor won fromThiruvanathapuram by a margin of nearly 100,000 votes. We have played our part and now it’s your turn Shashi. The victory that you much wanted; maybe the loss would have brought back the memories of UN election. Not just you alone, even we wanted a qualified leader, just short of the learned ones in this profession. So it was the barter system and now your side of the deal is left. After seeing your background and now realizing that you are actually going to lead that part of India, even I have a doubt… how will you and your family take all of this? You being novice will you be able to meet our expectations?

Congratulations on your win, it is not just a win but a record breaking win, for you have become the highest vote collector in the last 20 years. Hope that you will set up more bench marks and create more records but this time as an Indian politician.

All the best.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shashi Tharoor

Written on: 1st May '09
Edited on: 2nd May ‘09

When I first read about him he was India’s candidate for the UN Secretary in 2006. I think he was the first Indian candidate for that particular esteemed post, if not so, I had a very strong notion that he was the first one and so I was more excited about it. Reading all the write ups about him in the daily newspapers (was not lucky enough, back then, to have an internet connection at home) I started following the advancement of the process. I was eagerly waiting for the elections, to see what the outcome would be. Yes, of course I wanted him to win; he being an Indian and me too an Indian, can’t give you all a better reason why I was biased for Mr. Shashi Tharoor. Then I got busy with my upcoming marriage which being of utmost importance to me, I gave up the follow-ups on the elections.

My new life and the birth of my lovely son, Shivansh, kept me so busy that I completely forgot about Mr. Shashi Tharoor and his electoral race in the UN. When just few days ago while reading news I came across an article heading something like ‘Shashi Tharoor, Indian National Congress contestant for the Trivandrum constituency in Kerala’; I don’t remember exactly what the heading was but it mentioned him as an INC candidate. Elections were close in India, I knew that and so many Indian bigots were in the race but how come Shashi, and what of his UN elections. Is he the same man I am thinking of? So many questions popped up in my head and I clicked on the news to read more. There I saw him in a picture; bowed head, smiling face and hands joined in front of an elderly woman, wearing a white dothi kurta. Just like any other Indian politician before the elections, he seemed nothing different from the people he was running this new race with. I was happy and I was disappointed. Happy because according to me a brilliantly qualified man like him entering Indian politics can bring a long awaited change in India. Disappointed, what if he turns out to be like the rest of his colleagues? The article read - Shashi a rich, educated but humble political candidate of India.

Today I was reading one of his interviews for Economic Times and the comments on that write up. They were comments for him and against him.

People were basically against him because they thought, how could a man of his profile know about the problems of a common man? He has lived most of his life out of India, how will he be able work here. “I got my formal residency here, dropped the ‘N’ from the ‘NRI’ tag I’ve been carrying all along, got my ration card and voters’ registration card well before contesting the polls.”, was his reply when asked, ‘what his home address was now after having his base in so many cities around the world?’. Not wrong for a person to think what good Mr. Shashi, as a MP, is for a country full of people living below poverty line and in the middle class section. Will he be able to work with them and for them? Will he be able handle the hard core politics of India? Will he ever get to understand the system and upon knowing it will he be able to work for it his own way?

There is a point in all this, it matters when an outsider stands in the polls. After all, election is not a joke.

On reading his resume one thing is clear for sure that he can work for the poor and needy because he has worked for ‘boat people’ and he has worked as a peacekeeper in the UN. If he can work for poor, he can also work for the middle class and above. So the main reason for not liking him as a politician is omitted. Ok, if you don’t find this point of mine strong enough just think of this; a highly qualified man, who has seen the world, has experienced so many cultures and worked in so many systems. He has set so many benchmarks and worked hard in his life, to come up to this position. He, who is a renowned author, peace-keeper, refugee worker, human rights activist and now if he is becoming a political candidate for the Indian parliament, is he not bringing a change with him.

A baby step maybe but yes it would be a step towards a bright future, only if he wins. Just think what if more people like him start joining politics which till now is a taboo for people of his stature. Won’t we have more people who will think of development of India rather than their own development? Won’t we have more sensible and deserving people to vote for? Only if he is able to bring a little change in the small constituency he is representing, then a little change in Kerala and then some day a little change in India. From these small ripples maybe a wave of such changes will start and then maybe politics in India will not be associated with ‘goondaism’. Maybe then people may have politicians as their role models.

He who had the whole world in to go but he left all to enter into the dirty politics of India for some good purpose. Support him and vote for him. Give him a chance.

To read more about Mr. Shashi Tharoor go to: