Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I was travelling from Delhi to Patna in an air-conditioned railcar.  Outside it was blistering heat of late May of a typical Indian Summer. Inside the car a gaggle of infants pampered by their doting mothers sang unmusical notes in relay formation.  Two sets of such young families hung onto a single berth each. From Patna to my native town is another six-hour journey.  Detraining, I squeeze myself into a between- towns minivan.  This is cattle-class travel. An hour later I am sitting in the powerless darkened foyer of the town's old hotel. Sweating profusely, feeling slime covered and utterly abandoned I wait for the keeper of the guest house. I have been in continuous journey mode for some 27 hours now.  My cellphone comes alive. AK Das, dear friend, is looking for my whereabouts. Thirty minutes later he is with me. Another hotel -  spanking new this time - guides me to a well furnished room. I strip and toss my travel uniform in a corner. Half an hour of religious bathing later and wrapped in a fresh towel, I am singing the best notes I remember from an old movie. The conclusion of journey in summer has rekindled the memories of last spring.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Sometimes I wonder what on earth made me pick out such a dumb name for my Blog.  Perhaps I was bingeing on carbohydrates ? or a General Election was on in the country ??  Yes, I do take potshots at national politics..and one ought to..and we are a robust Democracy..

They were clamouring for a Woman Protection Legislation it seems ..or so the Govt. thought. Now they've got a law. Stringent jailterms, possible death penalties, no-bail clauses, etc.  Beyond the call to 'punishment for the rapists',... the stalkers, the eve-teasers, the voyeurs, they are all going to get it good ! and the word of the complaining woman is going to be the evidence !

Rape is a heinous offence.  It can scar the victim for life, and the offender, if he gets away, is likely to make another score of conquests - alone, with a party, in a party.....
Accusation of Rape can also be a dangerous tool - for exploitation, blackmail, trade for profit, revenge, a political weapon....!

After the barbaric gangrape in Delhi the public anger was for speedy trials, convictions and stringent penalty when the crime was proved.  the recognition of Rape as a heinous crime, and its trial in a different setting would have ensured that. the compulsion on State Police and Prosecution authorities to deal with it in a special and urgent way was what needed to be addressed.

the new Regime on crime threatens to be the new Taliban...a Taliban of forbiddings, denials, intimidation and persecution.
the Amol Palekar of Chhoti si Baat is an offender now,  Rajendra Kumar of Mere Mehboob, Raj Kapoor of Sangam, Mera naam Joker, Shammi Kapoor, Jeetendra....they all line up for punishment....and Shahrukh...???
Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh, Anand Baxi, would be sentenced for vulgarity...Rafi and Kishore are prime candidates for penalties.  the masses, you must have got the point by now, merely re-enact them...or sing their lyrics...or recite their melodies, a form of publicly validated action. (its the cinema you see !)

If some femme decides that she is offended ....because the street 'artist' is not of her class, caste, community, age-group, ...she can take umbrage and thus several of the clauses of the new law come into play !  and what started out as a movement to give dignity to our women would end up being a comic interlude !

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Yesterday I scampered to the desktop and logged on to my account.  4 messages... 1 known 3 unknown of the 'friend on the web' variety. I sat and stared at the screen. So that is what it comes to ! You get lured into making hundreds of friends and then they forget you when it comes to your most celebrated day ! Sure it was my Birthday.  But even from people you've never met, and some you will never meet and a few you should not expect some courtesy !
 We are all the same in our comfortable skin.  The family - they know us but won't let out .  The relations - yes, they love to whisper and have much to tell and don't they love that..!  The neighbours they would tell  anyone within shouting distance ..... each of our attributes deserved and not so.
Arrogant, self-centered, pompous, promiscuous, lazybones, miser, flop or sure to flop (!) .
So we're all grumpy, rude, finicky, irritable, nostalgic when with our own.  Not so good mannered, given....And then we are with our social groups the Hi and the Bye and How're you and Missed you class. we metamorphose. we are decent, sophisticated, erudite, desirable, companionable. That is Etiquette. We uplift ouselves to measure upto the expectations of our company.
Facebook is an evolving Media.  Zuckerburg doesn't know the genie he has let out. There are connoisseurs and crooks,  professors and pimps, the well-read and the never-read, the artist and the con artist, the bug and the Bogart....
And one keeps befriending people as one should order to  learn of the world inspite of warnings that - only befriend people who are known to you ! Thats hilarious that would mean committing to die in a cemetery closest to your native home. ( more to follow ) .

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Pilots of Air-India love to go on strike...just for any reason under the blue sky.  the Govt. of India in  rare shows of humility begs them, entreats, pleads, humours them to abandon the strike, to collect all their payments for non-work; get all their suspensions revoked honourably and please keep the sarkari airline afloat...!
We the citizens of India, who collectively own this garbage-dumpster company are left watching aghast...! Surely someone should confer with the wise but bewildered citizen..
Govt of India also loves to kill....people..!  the Poor, the Tribal, the River People, Maoists, Naxalites, Human-Rights People, Separatists, Union-Carbide victims..the demonstrator for Justice..!
the Tribals get killed for fighting to protect the Forests- our national property....the Tribals also get slaughtered when they gherao the assembly for their basic rights (Maharashtra-Pawar) ....the poor also get killed for refusing to surrender their lands for order that the  mining companies make enormous turnovers...and the economy attracts foreign investors..! Govts. move decisively to get Narmada river-basin and adjoining settlements cleared of people..!  the Govt of India minimised the liability of Union Carbide to its victims...and facilitated the easy escape of the perpetrators of the chemical-holocaust ! And all this takes place so the Wheels of Development are not obstructed..!
for Precisely the same reason ..could it be argued that the Pilots of sarkari airlines may be considered for death by encounter..!! the Development of Indian Economy is paramount, and the premier national carrier by wilfully not functioning is obstructing National Development..!                ( it is not being suggested that these glorified drivers be actually put to the sword, but that the law of the land should act without discrimination and with single-mindedness of purpose.)

Thursday, May 03, 2012


The last time President of India was to be picked INC resembled an academy of the mentally-challenged. They all looked cluelessly towards the Dynasty. Madam ji searched her ready-reckoner English to Hindi and found that Talent translated into hindi as Pratibha...!
Well, the rest is history...!  5 years since we are at the same crossing. Look at the first few Presidents and a few things strike one rightaway. Eminence, Dignified, Learned, Nationalist, non-partisan... 
 The first citizen of a nation of 1.2 billion absolutely civilized Indians has to measure upto those standards.
As a race and as a nation we are Civilization itself...! We now must determine who is the most suited to represent us before the International community as our Head ( even if titular ).
J.M. Lyngdoh has had an illustrious career as an Indian Civil Servant. Lyngdoh brought bi-partisanship to the post of the Chief Election Commissioner of India. His stint was recognized for its efficiency, fairplay and rule of law. 
As a candidate-President JM Lyngdoh would account for  three categories at the same time. Lyngdoh comes from the North-East, which is inadequately represented at the highest levels; which is always in a ferment with popular movements, and whose issues need to be brought to the centre-table of our national discourse.
In honouring Lyngdoh the North-East too would revel some in the recognition.
Coming from the Khasi community of Meghalaya, Lyngdoh would be a worthy Tribal representative...! Tribals have never occupied the highest post in the land.
JM Lyngdoh also happens to be a Christian. Yet another minority community that has not presided over the Republic...! By honouring an eminent  representative of the community, we further strengthen the Union of India. 
(I have made my nomination and it feels so much better...and I didn't have to log onto the ready-reckoner and find  the translation for Dignity or Courage...!! )

Thursday, January 19, 2012


India's haloed bunch of eleven great cricketers has been lashed to the post and given a memorable thrashing by arguably the weakest Australian team in recent memory. Every great expert, former great cricketer turned trumpeteer for the Indian team or the BCCI (read shastri and gavaskar et al), had foretold and divined an Indian victory in the series, thus stressing the hypothesis that the debacle in England 2010 was an aberration and no more.  A very realistic assessment of the stature of the 'for a very short while'  world's no. 1 team  awaited these boys in Australia, and how have these icons been trashed, binned and cast at sea is exemplified by the margin of defeats. Lost by an innings, again and again ! The media , utterly stupid and KG level in its IQ has played out innumerable times how Sachin's century is the moment Indian fans and the team are agonisingly waiting to celebrate..!  For God's sake, its a team game with 11 players and when all of them collaborate the team wins, quite like whats happening with the Aussie team. This hardly -subtle principle of the Game is like a quadratic equation for our media-gents..!  'Sachin ka maha shatak kab lagega...?' teri @#&**&%#@*^&..!!!
If laurel in a game depends entirely on an individual then you have Saina Nehwal to celebrate who takes on the world every time she signs up for a tournament. Deepika kumari, the archer from Jharkhand, Sushil kumar the wrestler, Vikas krishen the kid boxer from Haryana and yes, Bindra the shooter and V. Anand the Chess world champion ; these are the champions of India who take on the world everytime they enter the ring or the arena, and hence should their success be rightly feted..!  And as if to rub salt in the wounds, the so-called experts remind you over and over that the big guys are touring Australia for the fourth time, that they have scored more than 40,000 or 50,000 runs jointly..!  Surely somebody should tell these guys that for playing genuine fast bowling on fast wickets, which means balls always travelling between 140-150kmph and sometimes a bit more, a batsman needs youthful reflexes !  The quicker the ball, the swifter the batsman's bat and body-movement and simply that is all there is to playing cricket..! Spot the red and smash it away..! Sadly, Father Time the merciless has taken its toll on India's greats, the body doesn't respond evenwhile the eye spots...and sometimes the eye too, spots late. Replay Dravid's clean-bowled dismissals, Sachin's and Laxman's outside edges to the four slip fielders and the point gets abundantly illustrated. Scientifically speaking, if our aged war-horses have slowed down in their reflexes by only one-tenths of a second, the nasty ball has already gone past their bat and into the stumps even as they are shaping to play the ball..! So whether you wait for the 100th century the 200th or the Bharat Ratna,  Cricket is a young man's game...!!!