Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy... Day

Today is Independence Day; Tricolor received self-government rights from the Union Jack. I was so happy in the morning and started from my home with a bunch of tricolors in my hand to wish everybody around for the “Independence Day”, the day we have been celebrating since last 63 years.

As I walk proudly, those golden words by Jawaharlal Nehru rings in my ear; “At the stroke of midnight, when world sleeps; India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

Then suddenly, I was remembered, hey 63 years ago when Union flag was replaced by and divided into a tricolor and a crescent & star, we left something to hang on. Something; which is still bound by Article 370 and is behind both tricolor & star crescent. I saw a bunch of agitated youths throwing stones and feeling oppressed by the people who claim to have freed them 63 years ago. I didn’t dare to give them tricolor to celebrate… Left one of the tricolor from the bunch there to turn black.

I moved forward and was bumped in a 20 something young man; he turned around, I saw heavy deformities on his face. At the place, people usually have eyes, he had two big holes. It’s not Friday, the 13th and neither have we started to celebrate Halloween in India. I apologized for bumping in him and wanted to wish him Independence Day with a tricolor in hand. Then, I saw a file folder in his hand which had a bundle of documents and it read “Bhopal Gas Victim compensation”. He must have been a year old or in womb when that calamity happened and culprit was let scot-free. Couldn’t dare to wish him independence. He is still waiting for justice and compensation. Left one of the tricolor from the bunch there to turn black.

After going for few more strides, saw a poor man in his small hut trying to feed his two little kids with onion and a potato veggie. They wanted milk and bread. He murmured to his torn-saree laden wife, “Onions are 15 rupees kg, how the hell I am suppose to afford 34 rupees litre milk. By the way, rupee had a new symbol and new identity in whole world”. Little one asked, “Baba, does this make things cheaper?” I couldn’t dare to wish him his poverty and inflation stuck independence. Left one of the tricolor from the bunch there to turn black.

I glanced at a new swanky looking Terminal building at the New Delhi Airport, saw a beautiful architecture Talkatora stadium and Yamuna sports complex and while walking looking at them, stumbled on the wide potholed road. I thought, they were paid to make Delhi ready for commonwealth games, but they got paid to fill their pockets. A minister successfully “delivered” CYG, which made him realize growth potential in this industry if he makes it large and move beyond Youth. Y was replaced by W. It is CWG now. Wow!! This profession pays a lot. I couldn’t dare to feel proud of my Independence… saw all my tricolors turning black in my hand due to the ill-effects of the corruption and beaurocracy. India, a place where people have to pay to get their case registered by police and hey that too after 100 gets connected.

India was part of allied forces in World War II, which supposedly won the war. Germany and Japan lost the cities, people, economy and war. Over 60 years after the war ended, winner India is way behind the Technologically advanced Japan and Germany. We are still called “Developing” country. 63 years after independence, we are still developing!!!

Many of the infrastructure projects lay incomplete; many of the sportsperson have to pay out of their pocket to perform at international events. Reason is said to be “Lack of funds”. Bill for increasing salary of MPs and MLAs is passed by thumping majority in parliament. Now, I know where my funds go. People like me, pay almost 50% of their earned income in taxes (30% in Income tax, then there’s service tax for services, sales tax for goods, VAT etc.).

We have Maharashtrians, Tamils, Punjabis, Biharis; but not Indians. Real meaning of Independence day is a paid holiday, but that was also on Sunday this year, Damn!!

Whenever it feels that everything’s over, life brings new dreams, a new hope; after all hope is the crux of living… and in this hope I wave the Tricolor in my hand…

Happy … Day

Sunday, August 1, 2010

There laid an “It”

Once upon a time in a dark place laid an egg; from a thick liquid of ejaculation came rushing millions of snake like head bearing substances and one among those million was fortunate enough to find a place and formed a zygote. Unfortunately for that one lucky fellow, it was an ‘X’. It resulted in a ‘XX’.

XX started to grow big inside that dark cave. There came a probe of some higher frequency to scan the image and found ‘it’ was a XX. It could hear the sounds of hush-hush. A medico gave some pill to the mom and “It” was no more.
There laid an “It”.

Another XX was fortunate to pass the probe test and came to see the bright sunshine, beautiful rainbow colored flowers, hear the chirps of birds, feel the warmth of love and care among its loved ones. Suddenly an elderly man with a laathi in hand came and grabbed little XX from the arms of its mother. A loud thud came with a shriek sound of fable cry.
There laid an “It”.

Another XX was fortunate to overtake the laathi and grew with two little plaits, looking a sweet, cute angel hoping to go to school with its brother, to learn something worthwhile and be somebody. There came a loud roar of some uncle and shouted at the thoughts, asked it to bring water from the well and stop thinking about bullshit. It rushed to the well and tried to draw some water from the well with those tiny hands, couldn’t bear the weight and fell in the well. It cried for help, but nobody came, it was not to important for anybody to save. Those bawl for help, became weak by minutes and came to a halt with a drowning sound.
There laid an “It”.

Another XX lived beyond the tender schooling age to see the wonderful feeling of being mature, being that it was the one who could be God, the one who could give life to somebody; it was the one who would be the one to carry a womb. There came a lusting neighbor, with yearn in the eyes, with hunger to eat a tender fruit. Bawls were continuous from the semi-lit room. Nobody dared to stop the heinous act. Sounds became weak, ended with a shock out which it couldn’t never come out.
There laid an “It”.

XX grew to leave behind the pain, lived beyond studies, to make a mark of its own, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the XYs. It was proud to be itself and trying to go beyond ‘It’ to a certain identity. A hum of one-sided love came from the adjoining cubicle. A sound which harass, annoy and irritate. A slap flew from ‘It’ and landed on the cheekbone. That slap was from ‘It’, which had that self-respect and confidence. Came a bottle of acid and a dagger and with the wail of pain laid ‘It’ in pool of blood.
There laid an ‘It’.

XX was in love, grew to feel that care, warmth in the arms, feel that fondness in the eyes, feel that devotion is actions of the lover. XY was of lower caste. There came a panch from the khap. A brutal end to the love affair. Their mutilated bodies were found in the outskirts of the heavily lit, educated city which boasts of a big Dil.
There laid an “It”.

Another XX got married, was sent off from the father’s house with loads of love and showers of happiness. It started a new life with a devoted husband. There came demands of cars, bike and cash. It couldn’t bear the brunt of the rising expectations. It laid in the burns ward of the local nursing home with nobody to take last statement. Heard the whispers and found reason to be bursting of a stove.
There laid an “It”.

One XX was pregnant, with expectations of a XY, with hopes of the cracking sounds of the tiny one. Once again X was faster than Y. Loud shouts of betrayal were heard. A malnutrition life who gave another life couldn’t bear the ordeal.
There laid an “It”.

Just because Y couldn’t race ahead of one X, ‘It’ had to suffer all through life? For how long will we tolerate the pain and trauma on life? Doesn’t anybody have that courage to stand against the atrocities?

‘It’ was never meant to be an ‘It’. There was “She”; a beautiful daughter, a supportive sister, a caring friend, a loving wife and a compassionate mother.
There lived a “She”.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A few extra bucks!!

I met a friend of mine last week. Let’s call him Anubhav here. He had a terrible day at work. It happens once in a while that whatever we do, however we do, the day is just unlucky. Lady luck doesn’t smile on us and that was his day. He had been very unlucky on the day, hence came to me, so that I can make him feel wanted.

To make him feel good and happy, we went to a Bar for a couple of beers. As we were driving through the rain-struck-pot-hole-ridden roads of Pune, a call center cab sped past through my car and just about banged my side-view mirror. I gave a nasty look, not to the cab driver, but to my friend, Anubhav. Why did he have to carry his bad luck with him.

Anyways, I ignored the thought and drove smoothly to reach the bar.

Anubhav was the regional Sales Manager of a gearing company. He started his day long story. He had few of the sales men working with him; they were very junior and he had mentored them to groom from the nothing they were fresh college graduates to a decent Sales force who could deliver on their own. He had taught them basic intricacies of work, importance of sincerity to their job, delivery excellence and all a good lead should have taught.

They were just raw talent a couple of years ago and now were groomed to be independent sales force. Anubhav was proud of them, that he had made them a force to reckon with.

I interrupted Anubhav; come on buddy, come to the point!!

“Yesterday they submit fake bills to company, a sales-call which they never attended is being charged to the company”, he almost shouted. I looked around and gave plastic smiles to the people around bar, who were kind of surprised with this sudden outburst. Anubhav ordered one more beer!!!
He told me, his team members stayed at home and claimed expenses for client-call. I asked him, “How do you know?” He said, he knows them and is cent per cent sure that they lied for their personal gain. I said, what the heck, why is he feeling so bad about a few bucks, which anyways company has to pay. He said, he asked them and they lied to him. He had trust in them.

He was not too bothered about the company loss, he was upset as they, whom were groomed by him and nurtured to be a force lied to him.

It happens with everybody all the time; we take people around us for granted and then feel hurt when implicit expectations are not met. He had that confidence in his people, that they will tell him the truth; that they will not hide facts from him, but he was wrong. He had this implicit expectation from his team that he was the one who could always vouch for them in thick or thin, he nurtured them from to-be to somebody. That confidence in his people was sulking him.

He should let it go and move on and leave the burden of expectations behind… Can he? Or should he?

With this thought and question in my mind and after payment for this boys evening, I saw a reflection of me in the mirror behind the barman…

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I, Onsite experience, First

I am starting my blog with this first post. I wrote this after going onsite for first time and completing one month there.

Dated: 29th December 2004

i, Onsite experience First,
See the flakes of snow on the window

They tell me, who you are…
What work do you have here…
What are you doing here…

They tell me, this is not your country
They tell me, these are not your people
Then why am i here...
Why do i automate like a Robot, a mechanical machine…

i, Onsite experience First,
See the flakes of snow on the window

i see my friends in other countries,
How do they stay without their folks,
How do they stay without their home,

They tell me, it is important to stay abroad,
Important to earn the dollar, euro and pound,
Then why do i feel this is a deceive,
What will i do with this money without my people…

i, Onsite experience First,
See the flakes of snow on the window
i see a German sitting in front of me,
He is in his country,
With his folks,
Nothing is unfamiliar to him

They tell me, i’ll take his work to India,
i'll offshore him... i’ll make him unemployed...
Then why am i sitting here like this,
why do i committ a sin like this...

i, Onsite experience First,
See the flakes of snow on the window
i see the clock cruising on time,
i hear the loud tick sound,
i see the animated movement of clock,

They tell me, your folks are sleeping right now,
They tell me you are slogging at this moment,
Why am i inhibiting at this moment…

Then I say, I should wait for another couple of years,
I still have some guts left to face the brunt,
Still want to test some more patience…
Still want to earn some foreign currency…

I, Onsite experience First,
See the flakes of snow on the window

(c) Bhupesh Gahrotra