Author: Vibhor Mathur

An Enthusiastic Marketer, A Budding Entrepreneur, A Movie Buff, An Avid Reader, A Music Connoisseur, A Political Commentator, A Liberal Pluralist and An Incisive Critique ! But more importantly, An Indian and A God-Loving, Religion-Fearing Soul…

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!

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From Kashmir… To India !


जिसकी जन्नत का, ज़र्रा ज़र्रा डोला हो,
उसका क्यों न, ख़ून ख़ौलता हो !
जब मरा हो कोई अपना, बेवजह यूं ही,
आक्रोश में फिर भी, सिर्फ पत्थर ही उठता हो ?

माना की ओढ़ी थी, नपुंसकता की चादर मैंने,
जब कोई भयाकुल भाई की, चीखें भूलता हो !
हाँ निकला था मेरा गुल्शन-ए-फ़िरदौस , इंक़लाबी होने, पर
उसे जिहादी बनता देख, अब वो सुनेहरा चिनार भी रोता हो !

पर न शहीदियों का मलाल होगा, न जेहादियों का महिमामंडन,
जब कोई कश्मीर की नहीं, कश्मीरी की हक़ की बोलता हो !
पर जंग की ख़ेती, कब समझे है, ये बन्दूक-धारी,
वर्ना एक गोली से क्यों, मिटटी में सौ बवाली बोता हो ?

रोज़ डूबाया जा रहा हूं गहरा, सियासी दलदलों में,
कि देख, इस बाग़ी का बाक़ी, अब बस एक हाथ ढूंढता हो !
की उस ज़िंदा लाश में, फूँक दो थोड़ा अपनापन, ए हमदर्द ,
जिसे हर रात दस्तरख़ान पे, पूरा देश कोसता हो !

ए हिन्द, बचा लो, लगा लो गले, और पूछ लो प्यार से ,
क्या पता, कि कश्मीर, सिर्फ़ तेरा साथ ढूंढता हो ?

#Poornaviraam

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.

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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…


Hey,
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.

An Apology Letter from Salman Khan!


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Dear Fellow Indians,

Last few days have been quite eventful,thanks to a completely avoidable silly tweet of mine. Being a celebrated actor whose each and every action impact a billion people, I should have been much more responsible while comparing my physical pain with one off a rape victim. I do believe that no pain in the world can even be close to the physical and mental trauma of a rape victim. My sincere apologies to one and all for my casual and irresponsible remark.
Kindly forgive and forget.

Meanwhile, I also do apologise on behalf of my silly fans and supporters, for making ridiculous statements, just to be on my side. Also I should have apologized immediately as soon as the issue blew out of proportion. But as you know, the “Boy” in me had been pushing me towards plenty of irresponsible acts (even in the past). It also disallows me to crush my inflated ego and delays any realisation. Looks like my journey from being a “Boy” to a “Man” is never-ending.

But trust me, it’s not only me at fault. Men across ages and regions do funnily and casually refer to “rape” in their daily conversations without realising the gravity of it. I am just “Being Human” and one of them, though with lakhs of followers. Also I wish, an equivocal protest and action should had been taken against Politicians for making similar irresponsible statements in the past. Being administrators and leaders, they hold larger responsibility and have farther impact of their preposterous statements, thus stricter action. But as always,we from the Film Industry have always been the soft targets.

Also I hope, News channels could do more fact-finding news reports for their prime-time slots than debating a silly tweet of mine. Or I am unaware, if all the other issues of common men have been resolved.

Nevertheless, nothing justifies my inhumane tweet. Will be more careful next time.

Sincerely,
Salman Khan.

(I just hope the real Salman Khan, copy-pastes it, owns the mistake and readily uses this Apology Letter to resolve the controversy.)

नायक…


These 3 lines are shared on social media post JNU controversy and Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech.
“एक नारे से, एक भाषण से …
एक धरने से भी नायक बन सकते थे ..
दीवाने थे जो, सरहद पे ख़ून बहा दिया!”

Below is my humble attempt to elaborate it further !

एक नारे से, एक भाषण से …
एक धरने से भी नायक बन सकते थे ..
दीवाने थे जो, सरहद पे ख़ून बहा दिया!

कुछ धोखे से, कुछ अंकों से …
कुछ दंगों से भी नायक बन सकते थे …
दीवाने थे जो, अनेकवाद का पाठ याद किया!

कुछ शोर से, कुछ ज़ोर से …
कुछ जुमलों से भी नायक बन सकते थे …
दीवाने थे जो, विनम्रता से सर झुका के काम किया!

कुछ पूंजी-पतियों में, कुछ धर्म-गुरुओं में …
कुछ आपस में बाँट के भी, नायक बन सकते थे …
दीवाने थे जो, ज़मींदारों के खेतों में हल चला दिया!

कुछ “कुल” के नाम से, कुछ “रघु” के नाम से …
कुछ फर्ज़ी ज्ञान से भी नायक बन सकते थे …
दीवाने थे जो, शिक्षा-अर्जन में समय बर्बाद किया!

This Raksha-Bandhan – No Raksha, Only Bandhan !


Dear Sister,

Till date, Raksha-Bandhan, which literally means “the tie or knot of protection”, have been joyously celebrated by us, with customary rituals. Sisters tie a “Rakhi” (the sacred thread) on her brother’s wrist symbolizing her love and prayers for brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. While you being into your adulthood, and also being employed, I propose to forgo my promise to protect you. I choose not guard you, against any of your life-problems, be it your physical bouts, financial tangles or scrambled relationships.

I want you to hold your head high, and resolve your own disputes. You don’t need “A Man” (a brother in this case) in your life, to shield you. Raksha-Bandhan, is a celebration honoring brother-sister love and the influence of siblings in our lives. But by offering you protection, I just don’t want “Rakhi” to be a sign of your weakness. Stay strong, augment your skills, be fearless, and fight your own battles. Be financially independent and persistently train and educate yourself, to combat your professional and economical challenges. Decrypt your relationships with patience, love, care and honesty, but don’t let anybody crumble your dignity.

While I chose, not to “Guard” you, I volunteer to “Guide” you. Instead of being protective brother like a “Cage”, allow me to be your “Wings”. Let’s laugh at our miseries, sob at our cherished memories and heal our injuries together. Let’s share our hearts, and choose to remain as friends forever. As we always have had, let’s build more memorable moments, and make our bond, stronger each day, irrespective of rituals, circumstances, distances or time.

This year, let’s tie “Rakhi” onto each other’s wrist, and be equivalent. Let them be the embodiment of our love and prayers for each other. Let’s junk “Raksha-Bandhan”, and celebrate “Sneha-Bandhan”.

Stay Blessed,

Your Friend-cum-Brother

“I Could Have Done More”…


Driving with family, is fun these days. With my daughter aside me, dancing and waving her hands on every song, lifts our spirits. While peeping through the window, she yells “bhow-bhow”, whenever she sees any dog on the roads. And points out “Baby”, wherever she sees kids across streets. During one such exploratory drives to West Delhi from Ghaziabad, we halted at a red signal. While we were awaiting for the traffic lights to turn green, she sprang from my wife’s lap and pointed “Ball”! We gazed off our windows, and saw an underprivileged child selling “Balloons”.
And then, the reality struck!

In one frame, I could see two lives, of similar age group, separated by a car window. Inside the car, comforted in the arms of her mother, there was my daughter, pleading us to buy a balloon for her. And beyond the windows of air-conditioned frills, there was kid, just few years older than my daughter, pleading too, for us to buy a balloon from him!

Like every childhood should have been, my daughter craved for that balloon to play and have fun. But for that rain-drenched kid, that balloon was all about surviving that day, to be the least. Marred by destiny’s cruel joke on life (just by birth), one kid is blessed to savour the best of its childhood. While for the other, even being “child-like” in this cursed life, is a luxury. Seeing such kids begging or selling on roads have always made me heart cringe, and it was no different day.

Meanwhile, I bought the balloon, hoping to add some “life” to each kid. But no sooner I did this, many more waifs, holding balloons swarmed around my car. All eyes hoping me to buy another one too. The signal turned green, and “the Orchestra of Horns” brought me back to my make-believe world, and we moved ahead to our destination.

That day, my daughter relished frolicking with that balloon, with laughter and giggles being the icing. But trust me, deep inside, there was a wounded soul screaming with huge discontentment – “I wish, I could have done more”!
The image and the thought of paralleled lives of these kids and my daughter (both holding a balloon) still haunt me. Hope God helps me answer these anomalies sooner. Though today, I am back, juggling with our daily chores.
But I hope one day, I will do more, much more!
Will you too?

For AAP and Kiran Bedi – Its “Do or Die”!


Amidst BJP’s marketing fanfare, AAP’s grassroots connect, Congress’s submission and Issue-bereft personality-led Delhi elections, I find majority of voters undecided! Nevertheless whosoever wins, I find these Delhi elections “Do or Die” for “Kiran Bedi” and “Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)”! If it would have been any other election, the losing parties always have an opportunity to rebuild their party using its strong organizational base and vie for the next elections by being a strong opposition. They also have other avenues by contesting elections in other regions and stay relevant. The losing leader too commits him to the organization, as he had spent years into the arena, climbing up the ladder and to be at the helm of party politics. In this case, can both politically novice, AAP or Kiran Bedi convert this fad into a cult? Have the forthcoming loser, either Kiran Bedi or AAP, thought about its political life beyond these elections? Because, believe me or not, I foresee either of them dying of their own sword. 305273-arvind-kejriwal-kiran-bedi-collage-dna

“AAP” was an idea emerged out of “India Against Corruption” campaign to break away from the conventional politics run mostly by the corporates, corrupts, criminals and godmen. These torchbearers of alternative politics had given a new hope to many voters as being harbingers of change.

But being a very young and small political party with Delhi being their only political foothold, AAP cannot allow itself to lose these elections. Because if they do, their party may crumble with internal clashes and resignations. AAP would not be able to even dream being in power anywhere till 2019. Powerlessness and Hopelessness would test each one’s loyalty and commitment to bring change in Indian politics. In the past as well, AAP had been creating headlines for its questionable organizational skills and nonsensical political strategies. Hope AAP leaders have chalked out their plans as a unit, beyond these current Delhi elections.

For Kiran Bedi, she have been avoiding entering into the electoral politics. Desperate BJP lured her into politics, with the CM position, and she grabbed the opportunity. Who in the world doesn’t salute to the rising sun? Kiran Bedi would have thought it to be a cake-walk, a safe bet, to debut as a Chief Minister in politics, from a party who is on a winning streak across India.

But what if AAP stumps them? Would Kiran Bedi sit as an opposition leader for 5years and be irrelevant ! Or she would be absorbed by the BJP Central Govt., ditching it’s Delhi voters, who assumes her to be with them through thick and thin. Or she would be used and then thrown into dump by the BJP itself, reducing her persona to nothing.

Politics is not only about being in power or planning for the event called elections. It’s a journey of untiring selfless public service and not the destination of designations. Politics is about being on toes, if being in power. Or keeping the government on its toes, if in opposition!

Personally, I believe in Ideas, Policies and Processes over People. One Kiran Bedi may come and go, but the idea of AAP shouldn’t die an early death!

Islam, Where are your Role Models?


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Every now and then, a terror attack is reported, and newspapers flash names of organizations like Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko-Haram, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-dawaa and many more. After every Peshawar, Mumbai, 9/11, Charlie Hebdo etc., wherever and whenever Islam is discussed, I see only stories of despair and pessimism. Thanks to “Messiahs of Terrorism” like Laden, Kasab, Hafiz Saeed, Dawood etc. who are discussed with disgust every nook and corner of the world. Meanwhile, every philosophy which has villains must have heroes too. But here’s my question to every Muslim, where are your role models?

Muslims, followers of Islam as faith are going through internal conflicts and social turbulence. Amongst wide-spread fear and hatred, through killing humanity and dissent, these terrorists are defaming the religion by calling themselves Muslims (also architect of Sufism philosophy). An average Muslim ends up proving and convincing others, its loyalty to the country and commitment to non-violence! One commits a heinous crime and millions face the brunt by being tagged as terrorists too! But if an average Muslim kid wants to follow the paths of any living role model in your faith, who are they? I am sure Ladens of the world aren’t. Where are those heroes, who can inspire millions to be like them? Where are your living legends, whose action ignites optimism and hope? Where are your Mahatma Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, Lincolns and Mandelas? Where are your Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sachins and Federers? If there are any, this is the time for them to be counted! If they aren’t any, it’s time to build one and many!

I believe that behind this dearth of modern Muslim heroes, is lack of education. More the education seeps into the each and every member of this faith, more and more success stories would emerge. On a global platform, I can see Malala in the making of a role model for Muslim young women! Another reason I believe, is minimal participation of Muslim Scholars in public and political space. It’s time for the educated Muslims to jump into the political foray and create name and fame. It’s time for them to step up and be the torch-bearers of Muslim faith. So that no more Hate-ranter Owasis, Fatwa-generators Imams and terrorist organizations of the world can claim to be your leaders.

Indian sub-continent is still lucky to have local role-models in the past and present, though very few! We had greats across the era like Maulana Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan, Azim Premji, Yusuf Hamied (Cipla) and Dr. APJ Kalam etc., whose stories still inspire many. From glitterati world, we have AR Rahman and Aamir Khan, who have been and can be change-agents, thanks to their body of work and popularity. At present, Indian political space is crying to have popular, good and statesman like leaders from Islam.

Finally, hope this message reaches especially to the Arab world! Remember, until new global role models don’t emerge from the shackles of conservatism; until new heroes don’t spread their reformist vision in the public space, sadly (and unjustifiably) till then, Islam would remain tagged as a fundamentalist and a terrorist-breeding religion!

2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2014 Movies Platter : A Review !


2014 Year is about to end, and the movie platter served though had a vast spread but lacked quality as compared to previous year. There were massy event-films like “Happy New Year” “Singham 2” and “Ek Villain” like Gol-Gappas – Tangy, Tingy and yet leave you hungry. And then there were crassy repent-films like “Action Jackson” “Humshakals” and “Entertainment”, which were like rotten  shit for stray-dogs. And there were those too like “Kick”, “Shaadi Ke Side-Effects” and “Bang-Bang” with promising appearances. Though when being tasted, were insipid !
Yet there were very few sumptuous finger-licking dishes with lingering tastes, as if served in Michelin-star restaurants! In no particular order, here are my top 5 favorite movies of the year 2014 :
– “Highway”
– “Queen”
– “Haider”
– “PK”
– “Hawa Hawai”

There were other few like “Dedh Ishqiya”, “Hasee to Phasee”, “Mary Kom”, “Mardaani”and “Bobby Jasoos”, who just missed being part of the above esteemed list.

There were few others like “Ankhon Dekhi”, “Lakshmi”, “Jal”, “Manjunath” and “Finding Fanny” which I wanted to taste, but couldn’t due to full-stomach (read budget constraints 😉).

Overall, I was happy to see Indian Cinema taking another leap with more women-oriented movies being released and faring better both at box-office and with critics.

In the end, if I have to chose One “Movie of the Year” at a gun-point, I would place my bets on “Queen” ! I just wish, many more such films are made.

If you have a different set of list, do comment and share your views. Till then, Bon Apetite !

Nisha, Cousins and Daadi !


Our “Idiot Box” is dumped with cloned “Daily Soap Operas”, which are cliched to the core with zero originality and all been framed in one “Saas-Bahu-Husband” format. Midst all these rubbishy-stuff, “Nisha Aur Uske Cousins” at Star Plus, is a stand-out. This youthful family drama, stirred with all emotions, is setting up new creative benchmarks on Indian television. nisha

Since “Shanti” and “Swabhimaan“, followed by “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” and “Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki” (although regressive yet original considering those days), Indian Television’s “Daily Soap Opera” format has been a dead rubber. Though there were few like “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi“, which were fresh and different yet they were extremely rare.

Although being a “Producer’s medium”, “Nisha aur Uske Cousins” scores highly on its lifelike screenplay and witty dialogues. But where the ace lies, is in its realistic, well- sketched and layered characters. “Nisha”, the tom-boyish girl, represents the third-generation of the “Gangwal Family”, a Jain joint-family in Jaipur, headed by strict and orthodox “Dadaji” !

Nisha and her cousins, “Umesh” an aspiring cook, “Kirti” the fashion queen, “Dolly” the shopaholic, “Suketu” the stud, “Jwala” the studious, and “Bunty” the kiddo, hold a strong bond among themselves. Midst the family fun and frolic, series of conflicts arise, triggered due to varied opinions of the 3 generations, with Nisha being the cynosure of most of them.

Nisha, like her loveable father, “Ramesh” (Vivek Mushran), understands the importance of togetherness. She always tend to go out of her way to help selflessly in cousin’s problems and solve family tussles. Beyond Ramesh, “Daadi” (my favorite character”) values this trait of Nisha, and thus always support her, unlike other elders. “Nisha aur Uske Cousins” thus is not only entertaining and emotional, but also helps align our moral compasses. Unlike all other currently running television programs, only this show oozes with positivity and happiness.

I hope other television channels and producers take a cue from this soap opera and try upgrading our “Idiot Box” to “Entertainment Box”. Its high time, our television producers to stop considering Indian audiences dumb, and start catering some high quality and varied-genre enabled television entertainment.

An Apology Letter to “Kailash Satyarthi” !


Kailash

Dear Kailash,

With great embarrassment and remorse, I must confess to you. I had never ever heard your name, until you were announced for 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai. Yes, never read your name in these 100-paged newspapers or in fancy magazines, neither via several 24X7 TV News Channels, nor via thousands of online posts and blogs. Although they all are now Ga-Ga over you, nevertheless I congratulate you on your latest recognition.

I have always considered myself, a fairly active news-chaser, reading across the categories through all modes. I know, almost every Tom-Dick-Harry in field of Politics, Sports and Entertainment. I follow all the news-makers and news-chasers on social media too. Yet, I missed knowing anything about you. I pity myself! But is it only me, or the fault also lies with the establishments too?

Kailash, you donated your whole life struggling to fight against Child Labor, primarily in India and across the world. Your efforts have helped rescue thousands of children from bondage, trafficking and exploitative labor. With the help of other NGOs and activists, you have organized hundreds of raids on factories and warehouses where children were being made to work. Although being an Engineer, you chose to work in interiors of India, for Children’s rights. You have received top-notch “Peace” awards for your selfless work from United Nations and countries like USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherland etc., with Nobel Peace Prize being the prime. Yet India, Indians and Indian media chose to ignore your marathon-work before Nobel.

You are yet to be appreciated by any of Indian or State Governments through any awards or help. Still, you chose to silently focus on your day-to-day efforts, and work towards the cause. Its high-time, our Governments start recognizing and supporting causes and efforts of social activists like you.

India media failed to cover your story, not because you are a real news-maker, but because you didn’t chose the make noise about it. Our media is enamored with glamorous people, events and controversies. Across all the platforms, Politics, Sports and Showbiz rule the majority news. In pursuit of headlines and business-profits, news-channels spread “nuisance”, and have turned itself into “Entertainment” channels. We news-chasers need real stories of men like you Kailash, much before the world acknowledges it.

Kailash, despite any media or government attention, do continue with your journey to make the world a place for our children to live in.

With much regret,

A Proud Indian!

“Modi – The Marketer” in USA – A Report Card !


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After noteworthy interactions with Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, China and Afghanistan, “Foreign Policy Champion” PM Modi recently concluded his all-important trip to USA. With the background of Visa-row by Obama Administration and enthusiastic support of NRIs for Modi, this trip was surely an important event, if not historic. Sycophantic Indian media celebrated this event with full-time live coverage of PM Modi’s trip. Rather reporting unbiased and important news from all across the world and India, they chose to be cheerleaders! Nevertheless, contemporary Indian media has been an “Epitome of Exaggeration”. Meanwhile, after keenly following his itinerary, it seems, he had 3 major agendas to push through.

Firstly and importantly, the major agenda was of marketing the “Brand India” to the US Business Community. He scored full marks by meeting the top brass of the world’s biggest corporations in US. Through this effort, he may have induced some optimism into these corporations to come and “Make in India”. Although, Mr. Modi has been trying to allay fears of these investors, he has still loads of work pending, in creating a comfortable business environment in India. I think, that all these corporations will have now huge expectations from the next budget session. They will look forward to important policy changes in India and till then, they will “Wait and Watch”.

Second Agenda, was to step up the “Brand Modi” into an important International Icon. Like Nehru, Indira, Atal and Manmohan, he wished to make a mark by being a change agent in world politics. He failed miserably with that, but he should be excused as this being his first attempt. His fluttering speech at UNGA went unheard in an empty hall. Although it was very unlike Modi, but it seems that the formal setup, global platform and a written speech format got better of him. He did come to his own midway and made some important points, but who doesn’t. Remember even Manmohan Singh recieved much adulation from its international counterparts, previously at UNGA. Funnily, Indian media lost it senses and sensationalized his speech by equating it with National pride. Indian PMs have been speaking at this forum since ages, had put better points with higher impact. PM Modi also unsuccessfully tried his hand in reaching out to US youth at “Global Citizen Festival” rock concert, but ended up boring them.

Third agenda was about International diplomacy and to revive relations with US Government which were turning sour in last couple of years. Mr. Modi averagely performed as we weren’t able to make any new breakthroughs in our relationship with USA. His dialogue with Obama was not even note-worthy by US media. But again, Mr. Modi can be excused as realists weren’t expecting anything from Obama-Modi meet. Breakthroughs like “The Nuclear deal” don’t happen every day as it requires heightened levels of diplomatic mutual trust. US is also on the verge of electing new government, and India may have to wait for their new government to up-rise the relationship.

And yes beyond all this, Mr. Modi, held a “Tamasha” at Madison Square for his supportive NRIs, who left India for greener pastures. He acted upon previous government’s recommendations and appreciably promised important benefits to them. In his traditional style, Mr. Modi ended up entertaining usual narcissistic Indian audiences across the world, through his influential speech.

To conclude, I would say, I am little vary of aggressive marketing of “Brand Modi” and “Brand India”. A overly-hyped brand with no real actions or performance, crashes faster into unrecoverable troughs. “Reel Intentions” are commendable but India need “Real Actions”!

“The Lower Berth” !


While everyone was busy dressing-up their berths for the night’s sleep, I hesitantly requested them, “Can any of you please swap your lower berth with us? My mother wouldn’t be able climb to middle or upper berths.” And I heard a deafening silence! Many of you may have experienced the similar silence, while traveling through Indian Railways. I have had many, and it was one of those nights.

Before reaching to those “Herds of Men”, I have had made several attempts, reaching out to individuals asking for their treasured lower berth, but in vain. That uncle in blue-shirt said no, “I need to go to toilet several times, thus I can’t”! Considering his age, he sounded genuine. While the young hunks stared, I asked a young girl, “Can you”? She had a slip-disk problem, and thus she couldn’t too. I dared not asking that old women. She was lucky to get a reserved lower berth through the hara-kiri of online reservations. After several failed attempts and variety of excuses, this group of mid-aged men was my last resort in our compartment. I was expecting atleast one of those blank faces to break the silence.

Meanwhile, I was reading exasperation in my mother’s drooling eyes. My mother was sheepishly hiding herself, behind that young girl with slip-disk issue. She atleast cared enough to offer her a seat on her cherished lower berth. Today, my mother’s old-age has made her dependent on fellow travelers’ mercy. In her prime, she was a fit, active, hard-working and an empathetic woman, who lived her life with utmost dignity. But now, in her last couple of miles, she was witnessing lowered sense of core values, empathy, respect and chivalry. To her, it looked like a race to the “Lowest Berth”!

The train was about to leave its platform, and my eyes were still stuck on those men. Especially towards the man who was having his late dinner. Unlike others, he looked mighty strong and well-built to showcase his chivalry. And yes he responded before anyone did, “If no one turns up, I will”! He looked condescendingly to all men around him, and repeated the golden words, “If no one around here swaps your seat, then I will. Your mother is like my mother”! His impactful last dialogue, though filmy, reignited my faith in humanity, which was lost minutes ago. He said, “Give me 5mins, let me finish my dinner, and then let’s swap”! I thanked him, and was thankful to almighty, as I finally discovered someone (with 56-inch chest), chivalrous enough to honor my mother’s problem.

With the newly find hope, 5mins later, I went to see that man. He was done with his dinner and was casually lying on his berth. I asked, “Can we swap our berths now”? He lazily responded, “But now, I have already lied down on my berth”. I reaffirmed, “So now you can’t swap”? I felt robbed when he uttered, “No”! Though I have always been appreciated for my composure and patience, I must admit, I was about to lose it this time. His kind words spoken minutes ago now seemed a sham.

Suddenly to my surprise, the man next to his berth stood up, and said, “I will swap. What are your seat numbers”? This heavy bellied man went straight away, with me, to my seat with his baggage and stuff. Meanwhile, I prepared bed for my mother on her newly discovered lower berth, and allowed her rest her tired body. In the heat of things, I couldn’t thank that man instantaneously. I did show my gratitude later, and he chose to respond through his benevolent smile and with a “Silence”.

Action speaks louder than words! And sometimes, silence is more meaningful than rosy words! Next time, if you see someone, especially elders, in need or despair, help them. It may rejuvenate and re-assure them, that human values are still not swirling down to the “Lowest Berth”!

P.S. On my return trip, voluntarily swapped my Lower Berth with an old lady. Hope our good deeds get accumulated, to contribute in providing a better life to our loved ones!

“Modi Sir” – A Good Idea with Doubtful Intentions!


On the eve of Teacher’s Day (5th September) in India, Narendra Modi Government decided to reach out to “All” the students in India, through every school and live interactions. All earlier Indian Prime-Ministers (PM) have been interacting with few selected school students in a formal set-up, on every Children’s Day (14th November). It was a brilliant idea, to take the message across, from leaders like Modi (for his great oratory skills), to each and every school student in India. With the advent of technology, interaction with the Prime-Minister of India shouldn’t be for few fortunate (though bright) kids. Earlier PMs have had been exercising this constructive activity, but never envisioned it to be a great PR opportunity. PM Modi’s team, through this interaction on Teacher’s Day, helped adding more feathers to the Modi’s brand image.

Though from a bird’s eye view, it all looked inspiring, yet there seems to be an underlying attempt of political vendetta. Amusingly and questionably, why Mr. Modi and his team chose to interact with children on a Teacher’s Day? Teacher’s Day is the day to appreciate and express gratitude to all the Teachers across India. Earlier PMs used to award outstanding Teachers across India, on this occasion. To interact with children, just 2 months away, we have “Children’s Day”. Mr. Modi could have also planned this interaction on Children’s day?

And here enters the politics. 14th November, “The Children’s Day”, is also the birthday of India’s first PM, Jawahar Lal Nehru or Chacha Nehru. And incidentally, this year, will mark 125th Anniversary of Chacha Nehru. In an attempt to decimate both the Nehru legacy and “Nehruvian” ideology (and Nehru family too), I believe Mr. Modi preponed this interaction with children. As much as I know of Mr. Modi, he would either like to make 14th November a hush-hush affair, or would escalate his brand Modi into “Chacha Modi”.

Mr. Modi should focus in creating his own persona through his actions and efforts, and not by erasing the legacy of past great leaders. Nehruji, even though a political opponent of RSS, is among the greatest Prime-Minister we ever had, and should be treasured. I am keenly waiting for 14th November this year, to see if my political reading goes correct. Although “The Cynic” in me, loves to get surprised, by Mr. Modi, every time.

100 Days of Obsolescent Congress !


While the TRP-hungry Indian media is busy analyzing the meagre 100 days of the mighty Narendra Modi Government, I decided to look the other side of the coin. Indian National Congress, as a political organization, also completed their 100 days of devastation, powerlessness and cluelessness.

The lethargic Congress Working (pun intended) Committee has neither shown any zeal nor any intent to reinvent themselves. They have still not even hinted their sympathizers, on any alterations, either in their leadership, or structure or communication etc. It seems, they are neither planning, preparing nor willing to win the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, and later in J&K, Bihar and UP. Another washout for Congress in these elections would not at all be surprising.

Even as an opposition, be it in parliament, news-channels, social-media or streets, Congress finds itself unnoticeable. Congress representatives (barring Tharoor’s of the world) still witless and sometimes regressive, though mostly humbled (thankfully), after massive defeat. Spokesperson, still spoon-fed by the Old Guard, are surely “Young” but they do not represent the “New”. They are “Fossiled” to past, both in content and in person! Although the BJP Government (and not Mr.Modi) and their mouthful friends, have provided enough political opportunities to latch upon, yet Congress failed to materialize any issue.

If things remain the same as they are now in Congress, very soon, the political prowess of Modi-Shah duo, will be penning down the last chapters of Indian National Congress, a political organization, which once existed.

“Love Jihad”… A step backwards !


Marriages, beyond the ethnic boundaries, were a huge social stigma, in India. A decade earlier, inter-caste and inter-culture marriages were a big no-no; inter-religion marriages were considered blasphemy. Although the laws permit such marriages, yet majority youths of this country were under such extreme social duress, that they didn’t even dare to think about the opposite-sex of different ethnicity. Arranged marriages obeyed sheepishly such unwritten social commandments; love-marriages reluctantly tend to expand the horizon. But with education, travel, globalization and prosperity, the mindsets evolved, and hence love marriages between different caste, cultures and religions were now more acceptable. Our Indian society, although very slowly, was ambling towards anti-endogamy by breaking the social and religious shackles.

But then, bigotries leeched on to our evolving social wisdom, and coined the word “Love-Jihad”. Religious extremists venomously used it as hiring followers and attrition management tool. Media naively shared it, discussed it. Political parties tried scoring points by using it as vote-hoarding tool. And the progression of social evolution was pushed into coma. With the fear of family and relationships being bruised, in this communal crossfire, now every Hindu-Muslim Love-story, would be reassessing its future. Now no more a Muslim boy will dare to ask a Hindu girl out on date. Now no Muslim girl will say yes to Hindu boy’s proposal. Now again, “The Cupid” or “The Kaamdev” has to be selective before any love-infused match-making. Now no family would allow their children to have inter-religion marriage. Even if young couples would dare to go against it, if not the family, the religious extremists may kill them in the name of honor.

It took us ages for our society to gift freedom to newer generations of choosing their soulmates from any ethnicity, but it took only one chapter called Love-Jihad, to take us back to medievalism.

Halo (Movie) : More Than Meets The Eye !


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I am pretty sure, that not many would have heard of this Hindi movie “Halo” ! Instead many would relate Halo with a video game. Meanwhile, Halo movie, directed by Santosh Sivan (a genius cinematographer), won National award for the “Best Children’s Movie”, yet went unnoticed by the mainstream audiences. This 1996 movie, now rarely gets featured on TV (only on DD National), is stitched to my memory, frame by frame. Halo , now very close to my heart, inspires me every-time. The movie allows me to relive the childlike goodness, we all used to once possess.

The movie is about a young girl “Sasha”, who finds herself lonely after her mother’s death. To her rescue, comes a dog “Halo”, who becomes her God-sent best-friend. Her life now revolves around it. She sleeps, she drinks, she eats with it. But one day, she finds Halo missing, and here starts her quest to find Halo. In the backdrop of Hindu-Muslim riots in Mumbai, and with the help of weird friends and supporting characters, the movie depicts Sasha’s brave and spirited pursuit of finding Halo, her ultimate happiness.

Although, stuck in old-times, story-telling may test your patience, but I will still recommend it to everyone, especially kids. Again, rather saying much, one should watch it to experience it, though I am sure that it will touch hidden chords of one’s stoned heart.

 

Modi Budgets : Governance over Intelligence ?


One month in power, and here was an opportunity to give teasers to world, that India is again rising through the crests. But Mr. Modi’s interim budget, delivered by “Sitting” Finance Minister – Arun Jaitely, was like “Anti-Vector” – of Negligible magnitude with no direction. In an attempt to please everyone but the poor, Mr. Jaitely’s “Chillar Party” budget was mere tokenism. Also the budget had more focus on political priorities than economic priorities.

Nevertheless, I had no expectations of  intelligence from the Modi Government, as Manmohan-Chidambaram’s “Economic Sense” is now replaced by Modi-Modi’s “Political Sensationalisms”. In the war of perceptions, where Manmohan Singh failed, was not in ideas but in execution. India elected Mr.Modi as somebody who is perceived as a great administrator, as somebody who get things done. Thus I believe, we should not be judging the Modi-budgets on the economic metrics but on the delivery metrics. And for that, we should give the Modi government sometime to execute their any and every growth plan, they have for India. And if at the end of term, even they fail to relay the actual baton of benefits to the common man, then India would have to make different choices in elections, with eyes wide open.
Because, in the end, nobody cares, what is announced in the budget, until he/she actually receives it.

To conclude, Mr.Modi, I would like to reiterate your famous lines to remind you of the priorities you promised –
“India does not need Acts, but Action”.

Mr. Vaidik’s Suicidal Attempt to Fame !


Mr. Ved Prakash Vaidik is under intense media scrutiny for his meeting with the world’s most wanted terror group’s mastermind – Hafiz Saeed. In a suicidal attempt, he himself tweeted his picture clicked with Hafiz Saeed. For a judgemental country obsessed with headlines, the meeting is no less than a sedition. With violent memories of Mumbai 26/11, most Indians believe that Mr. Vaidik should have met Hafiz Saeed, not with a pen, but with a sword.

I believe, as a journalist, and only as a journalist, Mr. Vaidik has every right to meet India’s greatest enemy, and sharing his perspective too. We may or may not agree with all what Hafiz Saeed says or does, but he should also be heard if not believed. Yes I admit, that he could have avoided this unnecessary exercise of meeting Hafiz Saeed and had been more careful.

But where Mr. Vaidik has gone completely nuts, is by not proofing and sharing complete details of his sensational interview, thus creating doubts on his intentions. Meanwhile, he should also now share details of his meetings with Indian government agencies too, to understand the whereabouts and processes to meet Hafiz Saeed. Although, it surprising to know, that the present Modi Government was clueless about their key aide’s meeting.

Amongst the controversy, the most hypocritical  sub-plot is the way Sanghis and ModiBhakts are defending Mr. Vaidik, by providing absolutely hilarious and ridiculous reasonings. I just died laughing hearing Baba Ramdev’s, Niticentral’s and IndiaTV’s journalists logic. I am sure, before 16 May 2014, if any other journalist would have tried this, he would have been ridiculed as anti-national, by these same pseudo-nationalists. Mr. Modi would surely had coined a new slogan amongst his swindling election speeches on this issue.

BJP and its supporters should not and need not to defend Mr Vaidik on various platforms of media. Instead it’s Mr. Vaidik who has to answer all the questions followed by Indian Foreign Ministry and Intelligence agencies for being in deep slumber.

अम़न खा़तिर…


Exasperation of a “Silenced Critique”…

“ताकि कमान से ना छूटे, उसका अहंकार,
अम़न-ए-वतन खा़तिर, त्याग दिये,
सर्वस्व अधिकार मैंने !

ताकि बना रहे उसका, कद कद्र बरकरार,
अम़न-ए-रिवायतों खा़तिर, परदा किये,
सर्वत्र सरोकार मैंने !

ताकि अन्ततः ज्वलंत रहे, उसकी ज़हरीली हुंकार,
अम़न-ए-जिरह़ ख़ातिर, मौन किये,
समझ, शिष्टाचार मैंने !

ताकि “झमूरीयत” कारोबार के वशीभूत रहे, उसकी जमहूरियत सरकार,
अम़न-ए-विषमता ख़ातिर, बिसरा दिये,
दरिद्रता के हाहाकार मैंने !”

ताकि कालचक्र स्वतः विध्वंस करे, उसकी खोखली दीवार,
अम़न-ए-रूह़ ख़ातिर, समर्पित किये,
ढाल, हथियार मैंने !

Breed of Online Political Activists !


Indian democracy was in shambles in the 1975 Emergency Era. Tsunamis of Indian, led by Jai Prakash Narayan, were on the streets protesting against the autocratic regime. The movement fought on streets against the darkest phase of independent India, led to the dawn of first breed of political activists post-independence. The long list included Atal, Advani, Modi, Nitish, Jaitely, Laalu, Mulayam, Sushma, Rajnath etc., who in future were the shining stars of Indian political spectrum.

India is yet again, echoing the history. New breeds of political activist are getting life, this time not on streets, but through social media. India was still the place where patience resided till 2009. Social media was distant tool and was best consumed in the form “Orkut”. The mutiny against the corrupt regime, was fought on “Facebook” and “Twitter”, and was led by Aam Aadmi Party and Narendra Modi led BJP. Facebook and Twitter gave a platform to urban India to voice their opinions. Facebook and Twitter allowed resentful Indians to protest anytime, anywhere, against anybody, without disconcerting their comforts or by shouting their throats off.

Emergence of social media hustled the emergence of newer breed of political activists. Not debunking it as a fad, but by considering it as accelerating activism, Indians would express their opinion more actively and prominently in days to come. Who knows, with continuous progression, 20 years ahead of today, you, me, he or she, may make mark in Indian political spectrum.

Mr. Kejriwal – Its High Time…


Dear Mr. Arvind Kejriwal,

This is to inform you, that we Indians are tired of your flip-flops and dramas, to keep yourself relevant in politics and media. Though I don’t doubt your intentions (say thanks to my generosity), but your methods have been ridiculous to the core. Believe me or not, but your over-the-top actions and reactions have the hurt the “Aam Aadmi Party” the most. You have been demoting yourself from “A Political Revolutionary” to “A Political Terrorist”.

Emergence of AAP is key to Indian electoral politics, and just for myopic success, don’t let the “Idea of AAP” get killed. Take my suggestion, resign from all party-posts in Aam Aadmi Party, and let statesman-like Yogendra Yadav take the rein.

From,

A “Saamanya” Aadmi

(Aam Aadmi being your patent)

Good Days Are Ahead ?


Don’t Give Me “Reasons”, Give Me “Results”! The mentioned phrase is commonly used in most business organization to keep pushing their employees, for higher sales, revenues and profits. UPA II led by Indian National Congress, in their last leg, provided all sorts of excuses for policy paralysis, but results. Indian voters, hungrier than ever for growth, will not tolerate any more excuses for failure. Neither the “Indian Growth Story” can afford any reasons for derailment.

With high hopes, a decimated opposition and a mammoth mandate, India has chosen Mr. Narendra Modi, as their infallible CEO. Indian voters have brought necessary change in guard, with almost everyone voting for them, farmers, laborers, middle-class and the richest too! India expects their “Super-Hero” Prime-minister, to propel Indian growth engine to newer orbits. And this time, unlike UPA I and II, they wouldn’t have any excuses, for not achieving it.

This time, the BJP led government under Mr. Narendra Modi has no coalition pressures to blame to. With fragile opposition, neither they are expected to build consensus first for difficult decisions. The new government has unwavering Industry support too, to take bold decisions. Everyone expects this government to take courageous and necessary steps in next two years itself. This is to counter the electoral impact, as the following 3 years can help cooling off the short-term negative impacts. Moreover, every organization/economy/country experiences inevitable business cycle with crests and troughs. India at the deepest end of this cycle is expected to grow up the ladder anyhow (though better governance could enhance the speed). No new global recessions are in foresight, neither a military war nearby; India is ready to hit its 5th gear. I understand that the expectations are idealistic, but so were the promises!

Also, there could only be two reasons, I can think of, which could trump the performance of the Modi government. First, either lack of talent,skill or integrity in ministry-hood or the second, the social/religious discords in the country, which could create a hostile business environment. I hope neither of them comes true for Mr. Modi, and neither would he fuel them through his actions and inactions.

Visualizing all this, I am assured, that only “Good Days are ahead” for India!

And The Award Goes To…


Congratulations Mr. Narendra Modi, for being voted as the Prime-Minister of India. There was a Tsunami indeed in favor of the “Political Rockstar”, and I hope for the good! Never forget that the India has voted for the “Development Man” and not for the “Hindu Nationalist”. India expects a lot from their “Messiah”, and I hope you are able to match their expectations. Markets seem to surge, hope does the “Common Man” too in times to come! I had an ideological battle with you and your party, and I still stand by to it! Kindly keep proving me wrong again and again, so that the India wins!

Congratulations “The Election Commission of India”, for conducting the largest elections in the World. You did it fairly again, against the rhetoric of being biased to the incumbent. You did it successfully, considering the scale and size of Indian electoral demographics. Unlike the political parties switching governments, you have been proudly sustaining the democratic construct of India.

Congratulations to “Indian voters”, for coming out in large numbers to elect the “First among Equals”. You chose development over caste, perceived merit over dynasty, unidirectional stability over haphazard coalitions and socio-capitalism over entitlement politics. Let’s keep voting, to make our India a pluralist, multi-cultural, patient and prosperous society.

Will you be there for your Parents?


shutterstock_51858802-460x307I have been dreading about those days, when our Parents would be old and physically incapable to manage their daily chores. Those will be the days, when our Parents would need us, as much as we needed them when we were infants. That inevitable phase of our life frightens me. Will I be there for our Parents?

Today, in an urban phenomenon, both husband and wife are chasing money, through their respective jobs. In an era, when we as Parents have buckets of disposable income (although struggling to meet luxurious ends), the only thing we are in extreme dearth of is, “Time”. We do not even have time for our kids, and they are left over to maids, crèches, schools and retired grand-parents.

Our parents, in those ugly days, would need us, more than anything. They will like us to sit beside them, serve them, nurse them, manage their mood swings with a smile and love them. Remember, they did exactly all these things for us in our cradle days. Will our parents too, be left over to maids, nurses or hospitals? Can family be replaced by a hired maid or nurse? Can piles of money replace affection and care? Even if no, will we serve them unapologetically, selflessly with patience and love?

The thought frightens me. It asks me as I ask you the same, “Will you be there for your parents?”