Where the past doesn’t matter, and the next day looks a distant dream, like many others, we were surviving each day in that dreaded waiting room. A hall of a size of living room, had several lifeless families, just living to see through their loved ones out of claws of death. Families across different north-Indian states have made that waiting room their temporary homes. Few arrived a just a day before, and some surviving for several months. When your loved one is battling his/her life inside an ICU, wired to a bed, family also shrinks itself to survive on 6×3 ft of floor area, just few walls and meters away, in a waiting room. Our family, floored by this unexpected misery, too got some space to straighten up our backs. But Dad chose a bench, to sit through his sufferings. From the day our mother was in ICU, I had seen dad aging from being my “retired friend” to a “tired father”. He was busy receiving concerned calls, from relatives over the phone. While their blessings were the gifts to us, though in return we could only give them our mother’s ever-changing medical status.
It took me an year long, to put my thoughts and feelings into words about you Mihir.
You were my boss for 4 years, and yet for all those years, we never ever had any personal conversations. Rarely we had any casual interactions and also whenever we spoke to each other, it was mostly professional. When I saw almost everyone around me having a great rapport with you, I chose to remain the last one, thanks to my introversion !
Today, I wish I would have known you more as a person, and could have shared more about myself. For me, I just followed you, hoping, that many such lost opportunities would come again to know you deeper. But never in my wildest imagination have I ever thought, that you would choose to transcend yourself to heavenly abode. I wish I could have broken through my hesitant shackles, but now all in vain.
In this professional world, where networking is of utmost importance, visibility is the keyword, and asking for growth adds more fuel to one’s career growth, than waiting, yet YOU TOOK GOOD CARE OF ME. And deep down, when I think, one long year down the line of losing you, I crave for that care !
While my mother was struggling with her life in a month long battle, you and the organization ensured that I recieve Zero office calls, so that I could devote full time to her care. Nobody, and absolutely nobody called for office work during those days. While she lost, I grieved, but your such small sensitive gestures ensured, that I am sold to you and the organization for life.
And it was not only me. You took care of everyone in your team across the board, like a father and a leader. I never had to ask you for a promotion or a hike or an appreciation, yet everything came my way. I never had to explain or plead, yet I always felt understood and was satiated. You always took it as a personal task, to ensure how you can augment your each and every team member’s growth. And hence, we always were a great team, as I was fighting for you, and you were fighting for me, in our individual professional battles.
If your life would be turned into a book, I would not even feature as a footnote, and yet, with all gratitude and regret, I must say, you are missed Mihir !
PS : Just a month before, you left us, I got the opportunity, to drive you to your home. And being an automotive buff, as soon as you sat, you pointed, “There is a problem with your car’s suspension”! I had got that resolved within the next few weeks itself Mihir, and was hoping to drive you again, but…
While Indians are losing their sleep over the death of the talented actor Sushant Singh Rajput, and media is playing circus over his death, I have an advice for you. Please commit suicide !
You are now a murderer, as media proclaims, trolls promote, and opportunists suggest, without any court-admissible proof or court incrimination. You are now a whatsapp joke, a chauvinist meme, an anti-bihari and a bengali black magician. You are now a news item, which has to compete the prime-time TV slot, with regressive shows on entertainment channels, and thus news channels are leaving no stone un-turned to stoop to its lowest. You are now a tool for political vote-bank, an instrument for ushering bigotry in hindi film industry, a ladder for failed careers, and an imaginary reason for someone’s self-misery. I see no respite for you, as your career is destroyed, personal-life is ridiculed, and the character has already been assassinated.
It may sound really harsh, but trust me when I write this, most Indians interested in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, are not interested in justice. They just seek Revenge ! Here I quote the Supreme Court verdict on Afzal Guru – “The gravity of the crime… is something which cannot be described in words. The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender.” Please feed this collective conscience, induced by vulture-like newsrooms, with your death, because nothing else will satisfy their blood-thirsty revenge-seeking audience.
I was in tears when I heard the shocking news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide. Being a movie-buff, I had followed his career, had high hopes from him, was one of the few people who went to watch “Sonchiriya” in empty theatres, and also was one of many, who saw first day show of “Chhichhore” in packed theatres. I grieved on his performance in “Dil Bechara”, re-watched scenes from “Dhoni” and enjoyed his intellect-filled interviews. But today, deep in my heart, considering the hara-kiri around his death, I am crossed with Sushant too. I understand the pain he would have been in, which prompted him to take his life. But I am sure, where-ever he is, he must be in far more pain, after seeing his family and loved-ones in such distress and agony, all because of his one step !
I wish, the public would have waited and allowed police and courts to follow their process of justice, rather than insinuating and announcing their verdict sitting in their living rooms. But sadly the truth is, for most of them, death of Sushant Singh Rajput is nothing but a tear-jerker revenge filmy drama, a big-boss episode, a prime-time tamasha!
For you Rhea, either you can wait for media to find some-other gossip worthy news item, and trust on short memories of most people. Or you can also choose to end up your life as suggested here, and hope all those people who ill-willed your character, can be charged with abetment to suicide.
Sorry for you !
Busting Myth of Anti CAA-NRC Protesters…
Dear Anti CAA-NRC Protesters, while I am proud of the fact, that the India I grew upon, is fighting tooth and nail, against this government’s might, to ensure India remains a secular and equal country for all, but here is myth buster for you !
7 reasons why Modi Government, would not kneel down to these nationwide protests easily !
1) Modi-Shah duo would not even fickle, because their core agenda of Hindu Rashtra and intrinsic hatred for Muslims, is far far greater than peace and prosperity in the country. It had been really difficult for them to live in the garb of a statesman, with core being of a brain-washed extremist.
2) These protests are exactly what Modi-Shah duo wanted. The longer these protests go, more would be the probability of cases of vandalisms and violence. This may provide them just enough reasons to apply unofficial Emergency nationwide, and thus full grab of power! Remember Indira Gandhi ?
3) Even an inch of violence would give the Government the opportunity to use its muscle against muslims, which they have always wished for. And justifying, reiterating and again stereotyping muslims as anti nationals and terrorists.
4) At ground level, we all are surrounded by bigots for reasons like misinformation, lack of education and inherent fundamentalism, which is core vote bank of BJP. For them, India is a religiously hindu country and one can’t even reason with them. For them, their Religion is more important than Humanity. Sadly, fringe is the new normal.
5) Previous Governments used to discuss issues with the civil society to find a middle ground like in Nirbhaya/Janlokpal Protests. Modi Government, a bully in nature, would neither roll back their law nor will negotiate.
6) These protests provide Modi Government ample opportunity to deflect from governance issues like economy, employment, inflation, farmer distress etc. where they are failing miserably with no short term hope.
7) Modi Government just care about winning elections. 2020 will have just 2 elections. Delhi in February, for which there is no hope for BJP and Bihar in October. And the scariest part, the next General Elections is still 5 long years away in 2024 !
What can break them :
1) Protests would have to continue in some form or other, like a relay, and keeping the pressure on, for atleast next UP elections in 2022 or general elections in 2024.
2) Absolutely non-violent protests across India, because even a single finger raised would give them the opportunity to cut the whole hand. The success of Janlokpal protests was largely dependent on its non-violent nature, especially hunger strikes etc.
3) Boot-strapping BJP by stopping funds received from Corporates. BJP as an independent entity enjoy tons of money from corporates and thus have money muscle to arm twist media, fund IT Cells, and create marketing blitzkrieg. But its a catch-22 trap for corporates as well, as they will fear government revenge.
4) Executive, Judiciary and Police putting pressure back to the Modi Government by participating through non-cooperation.
Thus, the next 5 years would be really tough for India and it is long fight, a very long one!
As a family man who would want to have great future my kids, I have only 3 options:
1) Fight for the Idea of India, Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Shastri, Ambedkar, Bhagat, Tagore etc wished for.
2) Leave this country, and move to greener pastures in more liberal and developed countries.
3) Being a Hindu, Male and Upper Caste, I can choose to be a bigot.
Would love to live the Option 1, may be forced to take Option 2 and would take Option 3 only over my dead body.
God bless my country and my fellow Indians.
Jai Hind !
Pic Credit : Tyler Street Art
Politics…Not My Cup Of Tea ?
For those who do not follow or have interest in politics, especially women and first time voters, here is my humble request, for this or any election season…
1) Do not vote for someone you believe is powerful and you are afraid to be against them. Vote for someone who is/will not use his/her powers to intimidate you, even if you may disagree with their any actions/policies.
2) Do not vote for someone because your family/friends says so. Vote for someone you believe will make the country a peaceful and progressive place, because your kids will grow up in/to that environment.
3) Do not vote for someone, because you believe he/she will surely win. Vote for someone who you find worthy of, irrespective of his/her chances, because upholding ideals is more important than following something blindly.
4) Do not vote for someone, because media around is only talking about him/her. Vote for someone, who you think should get a chance to serve you, because media could be paid or influenced.
5) Do not vote for someone, because he/she belongs to your religion, caste or occupation. Vote for someone, who takes everyone along, because as it is famously said ” If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. An unequal growth of society is like a ticking time-bomb.
6) And more importantly, please vote. This is the only chance in 5 years for us to remind governments of the day, that they are answerable to us and are here serve us !
एक ही तो उनकी,
शिकायत थी रहती !
कि रातों में,
नींद ही नहीं पड़ती !
हम भी हँसकर,
टाल देते थे !
आप भी तो बिल्कुल नहीं थकतीं !
पर उस दिन, लेटने से पहले,
हमारा करार हुआ था !
कि कहानी के बाद,
लोरी होगी, थपकी भी होगी !
तब जाकर उनकी,
एक झपकी सी होगी !
पर शायद उस पलछिन,
वो काफी थकी होंगी !
इतने सालों की मेहनत की कसर,
उसी दिन निकली होगी !
उस गाढ़ी रात को,
आधी कहानी में ही,
गहरी निद्रा में, सो चुकी थी वो,
हमेशा के लिए…
बस थोड़ी पुरानी,
मेरी माँ !!!
The Father-Daughter Bond ?
A lot of people define our relationship, as a usual Father-Daughter bond. They say, daughters are daddy’s girl; or for fathers, daughters are special. Trust me, I will never reduce my relationship with you to that !
Yes, we share a great rapport. And for each and everything, your first go-to person is “Papa” ! But this not because you are my daughter. I believe, irrespective of your gender, I would have remained the same, in terms of parenting. We have a special bond, and it is largely, because I have put in lots of love, time and effort to earn it. All those hard work and patience can’t be just reduced to a usual Father-Daughter cliche.
So, when you grow-up to understand all this, please put this upfront to all those, who will equate our bond with others with mere Father-Daughter analogy. Because more than it was destiny, our relationship is what we have earned !
On Padmavati… Everyone is to blame?
Extremely brittle and fragile honor of the descendants of Rajputs is in danger, thanks to the movie “Padmavati”. Release of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus “Padmavati”, (loosly based on the book “Padmavat”) is under doldrums, because of portrayal of Rani Padmini in the movie. Meanwhile none (except the makers and few journalists) have seen the movie, yet their apprehensions have turned violent. From bounties to threats to abuses, have been slinged against the director and the actress Deepika Padukone. But who is to blame?
I had no hopes from the existing government of BJP, who also rules most of the states with hindi speaking population. Their major votebank has always been these bigots and hindu fundamentalists, and dare they have ever gone against them. Liberalism, which is core to any art-form including cinema, is something incomprehensible for them. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry led by Smriti Irani, was found missing too, may be busy beefing up her arrogance a lil more! They have behaved, the way it was exactly expected out of them. Just like an ostrich, their heads are in stuck deep in regressiveness and the best they can do, is just shit or fart!
My major disappointment is from the ideological opposition, largely Indian National Congress, which boasts itself to be liberals! Just because elections are near by, they chose to stay mum, and hope that the controversy just pass through them. Their so-called leader Rahul Gandhi was found hiding on this topic, even after his new found resurgence on social media, where he leaves no stone unturned to prick holes in the Government’s development bubble. Even their governed state Punjab’s CM supported the ban, which is utterly reprehensible. The only hope was their party member Shashi Tharoor, a true nehruvian, who spoke his mind for the movie’s freedom of expression!
Another big disappointment was the timidity of the Indian Film Industry itself. Though in their individual capacity, most of them came out for the movie’s support yet together as an industry, they failed to voice it out! Bollywood could have had its own “The Meryl Streep Moment” during the recently conducted IFFI Ceremony by the Government, instead they chose toadyism. I guess, they chose the pragmatism of the business over the creative freedom of the art. None of their guilds or organizations also didn’t actively registered their support for the movie, as they did for “Udta Punjab”. The Shahrukhs and Aamirs, have already bore the brunt of voicing their opinions in the near past against similar tyrannies. Amitabhs, Akshays and Ajays of the Bollywood chose to stay dumb, to earn and repay the shield of the present Government (may be credit goes to their Hindu lineage) !
And CBFC… Who cares? They are just puppets!
And Courts… Who cares? Especially when the country is run by the goons encouraging instant verdicts through mob violence , and not by sloth paced criminal justice system!
And Army… Who cares? They are busy defending the nation at our borders, away from this hullabaloo, and in midst political apathy of being just a pawn.
And Media… They cared too much for the topic! I guess to avoid more serious topics like postponement of Parliament’s winter session, Rafale Deal, Murder of Justice Loya of Sohrabbudin Case, Farmer’s Distress, Jobs Crisis and Inflation!
And average Indian… They are enjoying it anyways! Either through News-Channels or later through the Movie (if it ever releases), without realizing that slowly they are losing the basic ingredient of their culture and democracy – Diversity and Freedom!
From a Nitpicking Feminist to writers of “Badrinath ki Dulhania”…
Saw “Badrinath Ki Dulhania” few days back, and it was an enjoyable outing. Can point few flaws, if I chose to don a critic’s hat, but that’s for another day. The movie was an attempt to lynch the patriarchy and fake masculinity of the male lead played by Varun Dhawan, layer by layer. But as a feminist, I would suggest , 3 minor changes to the writers, which could have made the movie true to its feminist agenda, without reducing the entertainment value. Beware readers, spoilers ahead.
1) A scene depicted as funny, where Varun Dhawan aka “Badri” is molested by few men in Singapore. The crowd laughed but I couldn’t much. Imagine the same scene, with girl being the victim. It would have been horrific. Molestation is as bad for men as for women, if not more. Wish audiences and the writers too grow up with such sensibilities.
2) The female lead, Alia Bhatt, aspires to have a great career. And she dreams to be an air-hostess and is able to be a very successful one. Everyone has right to own a dream and is a very subjective issue. I just felt that writers could have thought off her as Pilot. Air Hostess is a little too easy, with vital stats being core to it. Being Pilot could have given more motivation to those who believe in grey cells.
3) The climax of the movie suggests that after couple of years of experience in Singapore, the girl prefers coming back to boy’s town – Jhansi and sets-up its own air-hostess Training Institute. Meanwhile for those two years “Badri” aka Varun Dhawan stays in his hometown and helps his Dad’s business. Being soulmates if both leads wished to stay together, I would have suggested writers that Varun Dhawan should have shifted his base to Singapore, where Alia Bhatt’s job was ! This would have been great message for the society where the male choses to move to the location, where the major earning partner (female in this case) resides.
In the end, this all could be nitpicking as it was just a movie, but I felt it, thus saying it !
Happy Women’s Day…
The world always knew that you are better, bold, beautiful and brilliant. And thus they created methods to pull you down through religion, society, culture and what not ! I just hope you are liberated soon, atleast to be equal.
Charity begins from home, and every home !
Hope the Man in me, and society around me, makes it less difficult for me, to do my bit for you !
Happy Women’s Day !
मेरे “दूर के बाप”…
आज फिर कई महीनों बाद,
फल, मिठाई और मेरी “सगी माँ” के साथ,
मुझसे मिलने पहुंचे,
मेरे “दूर के बाप” !
कंधों पे चढ़ी, गोद में जिसके खेली मैं,
जानें कब बदल गये,
उनके वो जज़्बात !
इक उम्र आते ही,
स्त्री हो गयी मैं,
और मर्द हो गये,
मेरे “दूर के बाप” !
नाती को सर पर बैठाया,
दामाद और टीवी-रिमोट संग,
पूरी दुनिया घुमवाया !
मौके पर, नींद के झोकें में,
कितनी ही पलकें झपकाया,
और मुझे, बस “कैसी हो”,
कह निपटाया !
ये कैसा रिश्ता, ये कैसा श्राप,
ओ मेरे “दूर के बाप” !
लाड़ प्यार कहकहों का, था हमारा संसार,
फिर क्यों इतनी खामोशी भर दी,
इस बेगानी शादी के बाद !
कि क्यों अब सिर्फ आंखों से ही,
पूछते हो मेरा हाल,
फिर से लगा लो न गले,
ओ मेरे “दूर के बाप” !
इसबार आए हो,
तो थोड़ा ठहर के जाना,
सिर्फ “मेरे उनसे” ही न बतियाना !
तोड़ देना वो कड़क छवि का झूठ,
और जाना औपचारिकताओं को भूल,
फिर से “मेरे पापा”, बन जाना आप,
प्यारे, मेरे “दूर के बाप” !
Being Married is just a “State of Mind” !
I am of the belief that the concept of “Marriage” as a social institution, is slowly fading, and in next 20years, it could be an extinct theory. While I mention the word marriage , I refer to its conventional meaning as the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman as partners in a relationship. Marriage is conventionally associated with an appropriate age, gender, sex, ceremonies etc. But as I see it, Marriages are beyond these rules and rituals. Being married to someone is a state of mind.
Society expects one to get married under a particular age bracket, even if the person is yet to find a soulmate. Else, they are either coerced or influenced to put with someone (to an opposite gender only), who is atleast “Suitable” under respective societal norms. Marriages are also considered as an societal permit to have sex and henceforth a societal responsibility to reproduce the next generation. And thus many fall into the customary trap built-in through family and peers. Resultant is a huge expansive event ceremony, largely enjoyed and celebrated by the non-protagnists.
I believe, marriage is an emotional connect between two human beings irrespective of any boundaries. One comes across a person with whom he/she chooses to devote their part of life. Marriage is imbibed subconsciously when one feels and performs love, care and respect towards his/her soulmate. The great “Meera bai” was married to “Lord Krishna” and it breaks all marriage myths. The legend of Radha -Krishna was beyond any ceremonial barriers. Most love fables have not resulted in actual wedlock yet no one can disagree of them being not mentally married. Many of today’s generation are moving into Live-In relationships irrespective of when or if they want to get ceremonially married. Their are those, who are into “being married” mode as soon as they propose to their soulmates even before any form of ceremonial wedding. And I also know many, who have shared their lifetime together and are yet not being emotionally wedded to each other. Marriages don’t and shouldn’t be driven by societal norms but should be purely out of love.
Also, marriage is not compulsorily a bond for life. During a relationship, after all genuine efforts, if incompatibility grows into valley of sorrows, the mind itself call it quits. No ceremonial or legal vows can reignite the feeling of being married.
Thus, I hope the society today liberates itself from the strings of existing marriage norms. It is time, parents should stop shoving marriage into their children’s life. Parents and families must allow and trust the younger ones to wait for their time. With no strings attached, sooner or later they would be emotionally connected with someone. As marriage driven by love, is a beautiful phenomena and it will not let anyone seep through it. “Being married – The state of mind” may slowly but surely, would occur atleast once in everyone’s lifetime.