Just Chatting with Life

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Life After Death

Rahul was moving amongst them so easily. Being invisible to them had its advantages. He saw the old man sitting all alone on the parapet on Marine Drive. No doubt he was thinking of the good old days when he used to come here with others his age. Now he was left alone. Rahul thought of the Old man’s loneliness. He wished that the old man would get free of all this.

Rahul plowed ahead. As he neared the Air India building, he saw a couple coming towards them. They didn’t see him of course, he was invisible to them. In fact, they walked right through him. They were holding hands and for all practical purposes they were lost to the world. Gazing dreamily into each others hands, they dreamt of the dream unfulfilled. Well, Rahul mused, they were together at last.

At the next intersection, Rahul saw the policeman. With the omnipresent danda in his hand, he was very watchful. Waiting for any untoward activity. No one paid him any respect nowadays. Previously, people used to be afraid of his sight. No pickpocket would dream of doing his work if the policeman was around. But things had changed. He was no longer the same guy.

The Chana-seller was also there in the same spot. Chanas had always been a big draw on Marine Drive. On most days he would run out of Chanas by late evening. He did a healthy business for a long time. Rahul detected a sadness on the Chana-seller’s face. Business was not like before. In fact, it had been a long time since anyone had bought Chanas from him. And yet he persisted, coming to the same spot everyday, carrying his burdens.

Rahul Sighed, life wasn’t easy even after death. People thought they will get mukti and freedom from all the worldly worries after their death. But he knew that death does not give you any freedom. He had seen numerous instances. After all he had a unique ability : the ability to see Ghosts.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Please Dont watch Fanaa

Some movies are hyped so much that the expectations become just too much . While all publicity is good, the movie then has to live up to the expectations. Sadly, Fanaa doesnt even come close. While it is not a bad movie , it certainly is not a good movie . The movie just didn't work for me. I am a huge Aamir Khan Fan but Fanaa just wasn't close to his best . Some of the glaring flaws in the movie

- There is no character building at all. Rehaan comes across as very confused sort of fella. For an intelligent super-terrorist , he commits some really stupid things.

- Kajol as a blind girl just doesn't strike a chord . I agree this was her comeback and all but you only have to look at Rani in Black to see a blind girl

- The song picturisations are rubbish . Many people in the theater chose to have a pepsi or go to the loo when songs were playing.

- Does Kajol become deaf after her eye operation ? She doesnt recognise the voice of her lover even after she spends some time with him

- Rishi Kapoor's death scene is comical

- Satish Shah, the Nanaji characters seem to be there just to fill some time

- the 2nd half is interminable

- the Anti-terrorist squad is comical to say the least

- at the end you have no sympathy either for Aamir or KAjol . Because i think that both of them failed to connect

- Everything comes across as very stereotypical . Nothing different .

- The Film is not at all gripping .

loads of other things but these are just what come to my mind.

- The child artist and his "Deadman" things become highly irritating after some time

- The Shayari in the first half grates after a while

In short, if you have 150 bucks to spend i would suggest you to spend them elsewhere. Watch Gangster, compare it with Fanaa and see the difference.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Are Brahmins the new Dalits ?

Someone clearly thinks so . Although my personal opinion is that the author has exaggerated some details and has generalised a lot of things . But it does strike a dent in the arguement put forth by Pro-Quotiites .

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

So the IITs Suck !! Bring in more Dalits !!

This reservation issue has really got me going through the virtual world looking for different viewpoints. Read this criticism of IITs .

If the so-called representatives of OBC/ Dalits have such narrow-minded and foolish viewpoints then there really is no point in having a debate on reservation. After all, for them it is " Justice Delayed " .

P.S So the government comes out with the proposal and roadmap to implement the quotas . Its a black day in the history of India .

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Karan-Arjun with a twist !!

Have a look at this interview of our Honourable HRD Minister Arjun Singh.

Like the coward that he is, Arjun Singh chose to hide behind "Its-a-parliament-Decision-I-Cant-do-anything" and "This-is-under-consideration-and-hence-cant-reveal-this" Veil. This has to rank as one of the worst interviews given by any politician in India.

In these tumultous times, what was expected of India's HRD minister was to give a Sensible Rationale for Reservation and his actions regarding it . Instead, what we get is this load of crap from him. He comes across as a bull-headed and stubborn person who has taken the decision just for the heck of it. He didn't even know the statistics on which the decision was made. Strange, with the issue burning right across India, atleast now he could have taken the pains to find some facts . Of course, what facts and figures the parliament had in mind is only known to them . Here, Arjun Singh, conviniently chooses to ignore all facts which are inconvinient to him and his agenda.

Two members of knowledge commission have resigned. Will this have some influence on our soporific government. I doubt it ! Yet the world lives on Hope.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Some Facts ?

In response to my previous post, I have recieved several mails and comments from Some "Pro- Quota " Junta . Two I have deleted because they contained highly abusive languages. I will clarify my stand, I am not against reservation per se. Indeed , Reservation to some extent is necessary for Backward People .

The trouble begins when we defino the "backward people" . I cannot digest that Caste can be the sole basis to decide the backwardness of someone. Has anyone ever bothered to find out the population of OBC's in Delhi or for that matter Mumbai . How logical it is to call an OBC in these cities earning decently as "backward " . A Middle class OBC in a City gets the same opportunity as that of a "General" Middle class student . I Have never heard of a coaching class denying someone an admission just beacuse he belongs to some caste. So , is there really a lack of opportunity ? I have no problems if a student staying in a remote area with no economic ability or the facility to have coaching scores 50 % and gets admitted in a good institute on account of quota. But for someone in a city to say that he has a lack of opportunity is pure hogwash .

Some people claim that the anti-quota stir has been violent whereas pro-quota stir has been peaceful . I would likw these gentlemen to give me one instance where the anti-quota rally was violent. In fact, the only violence i recall was inflicted by Police in Delhi and Mumbai . One guy also commented that OBC's are heavily outnumbered on the Internet . If this person can prsent some facts to substabtiate his claim then I would be happy to take my words back. Until then this is just one of the many stupid arguements put forth by Pro-Quota junta.

The worst fallout of the whole quota issue is that India is severly divided along caste lines . Suddenly Caste has become the chief identity of a person . In all the places I studied, neither me nor my friends ever discriminate on the basis of castes. Nor did we ever imagine to do so. Today every sstudent in an institute will be wondering whether the guy next to him is a category student or a genral student. And this defeats the very purpose of a democracy . IS this what Dr. Ambedkar envisaged when he authored the constitution of India ? I think not . Else it would be appropriate for Arjun Singh to bring in another amendment and remove the words "Union of India" from the constitution.

I wish all the Pro-Quota protesters would take a moment off to reflect whether they really need the quota. Or would it not be better if economic status was the sole criteria for establishing reservartion.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Is a debate on Reservation Possible ?

IMHO no , at least not until the Pro-Reservationists come out of the political shadow and talk about it in a rational manner.

Yesterday i was a part of a Big Fight style debate on CNN-IBN. The channel had called people representing both the sides of the debate . Despite a late start the debate began smoothly enough other than an aberration by a senior bureacrat of the MAhrashtra Government. Instead of a sensible rationale for implementing reservations, this gentleman comes out with a scathing attack on everyone anti-reservation . He then proceeds on a barrage of jingoistic crap . Incidently for all his "achievements" in becming a powerful beaurocrat this chap seemed to have forgotten that there exists an other side.

Same thing was happening in Delhi where the debate was simultaneously filmed. The Pro-Quota guys kept on giving arguements such as " We are worse off than tribals " , "we want to rule the upper classes now " , " Population of OBC's is 90 % " , " Upper class would be better off in US " , " A law has been passed and hence the medical students shud be arrested ofr violating the constitution " . Not even one of them had the decency to listen to the other sides arguements . They naturally believed in the philosphy of " Whoever shouts the loudest, shouts the truest " .

The above mentioned bureacrat was shameless to the point that he had no qualms in sayiing that he will make use of Reservations . Inspite of earning more than 6 lacs , inspite of being in creamy layer, this man said he will use reservation. No one had any stats on how many OBC's are there in urban India who have access to the same opportunities. They keopt spouting the 1931 census data saying that such caste compositions dont change.

When it came to solutions, the solution which came up mostly on pro-quota side was " We shud have 100 % reservations because we want to rule the upper casts " , " there shud be reservations in sports, arts etc " . " Ensure that atleast 75% reservations are there for 200 years " .

I am hugely disappointed. I had gone there with the hopes of having a meaningful debate . But alas, it was not to be . Oh an i forgot ! there were some people there from political parties who kept up spouting venom at "upper castes" throughout the debate . By the end these guys were shouting slogans and creating mayhem .

How is a debate possible if such is the attitude of pro-quota people ?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rahul Goes to School : Year 2020

Year 2020 : Rahul was about to embark for his first day at school

Rahul : Boohoo ! Boohoo ! I dont wanna go !
Dad : Son you have to go to school . Everyone should learn .
Rahul : No No ! None of my friends are there .
Dad : But Son....
Rahul : Nikhil has gone to US . Sachin has gone to Germany . Sneha has a private tutor . Even Vinay is not going to School .
Rahul : I thought Vinay was going to School ?
Boy : No Dad he is going to a Reservation School to learn the nuances of using Reservation to your benefit .
Dad : Oh !
Rahul : I dont want to go Dad !
Dad : Son you have to go . You have secured the first rank in the Entrance Exam .
Rahul : But Sneha and Vinay also secured 2nd and 3rd rank .
Dad : But son there was only 1 seat out of 100 which was availble for non-OBC, non-SC/ST, non-management , non-politician , non-rich , non-freedom fighter genral category open student . And you have got that seat . So you have to go !

And so Poor Rahul heaved his 12.5 KG bag onto the back and trundled away to the School .

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tryst with the City of Dreams !!

Since my summer job has started, I have experienced the real Mumbai life and I must say that it has left me with mixed feelings. I am surprised with my own feelings. Mumbai is an exasperating city. No other place has made feel hate and love so strongly. At any given moment, one part of me wants to flee and another part of me wants to see more of this city.

I think I hate the crowds in the locals and buses, but I am not so sure about this feeling. The stink of sweat, the dirt, the grime and above all the heat makes me go mad. Yet, there is a strange kind of privacy in crowd which I had never experienced before. No one will bother me. Each of us lost in the tiny space that we can call our own. There is a sense of belonging. I look at the local pass in my wallet and I know that I belong to Mumbai. I am not a stranger anymore. I am sharing what millions of people experience everyday. Words like “fast”, “slow”, “east”, “west”, “425”, “9:03” have a meaning for me. No longer am I the lost stranger asking for help at every stage. And I don’t know why but this make me feel good.

I hate the suburbs even though I live there. It represents the bad face of Mumbai. Yet it is in suburbs that the majority of Mumbaikars live. They will get packed like cattle in locals and buses to reach the workplace. Same fate waits in the evening. They will curse the endless traffic jams, the heat, the still air, the humidity, and the floods in the monsoons and yet they will live there because they have no option. They will long for the high-rises of Lokhandwala where the TV and movie stars live, they will long for the open streets and lovely buildings of South Bombay. They will long for the sea and the money of Bandra, Colaba, and Malabar Hill. And they will save every bit of money they can so they can move just a teeny-weeny bit south.

I love South Bombay. When I see south Bombay it’s as if the suburbs never existed. Everything is suddenly better- the roads, the weather, the buildings, the people, the sea, the traffic. And you wonder if it is the same city. I love the old Victorian buildings, the winding lanes, the bunglows and the high-rises, VT, BMC, Fort, Fountain, Marine drive, Nariman Point. This was the Bombay all of us grew up seeing in the Movies. No movie was based in the suburbs thought there were a few which were based in slums and Chawls. But when it came to showcasing Mumbai it was always South Mumbai which got the nod. It is my dream to own a house in Marine drive or Malabar Hill.

Mumbai is an expensive city. Although it is only in Mumbai that you can have your lunch at a price ranging from 5 rupees to 5000 rupees. It is in Mumbai that a girl can travel in short skirt in a local or a bus. It is in Mumbai that couples kiss in public on Juhu Beach, marine lines, Bandstand and no one bats an eyelid. It is in Mumbai that you can be so rich that people dream to be like you. It is in Mumbai that you can live on the street and yet not hang your head in shame. It is in Mumbai that kissing the air around another person’s face is considered happening. It is in Mumbai that you can see every caste, religion, gender, and color. It is in Mumbai where you can watch a Hollywood movie before its release. It is in Mumbai that normal crowd means you can stand in the bus. It is Mumbai that can convert a boy into a man faster than the Indian army. It is Mumbai which makes and shatters a thousand dreams a day. It is Mumbai which is still the dream of millions of people in all parts of India. It is Mumbai that I am a part of, and I am proud of it.