Saturday, December 28, 2013


The emergence of another year is round the corner and many a momentous experience would again be consigned to the leaves of history as we move on with new aspirations and expectations. The month has been tumultuous and the most lasting moment, undoubtedly, has been the graceful adieu bid by the tallest leader at least yours truly has had occasion to share the planet. As channels, magazines, newspapers and others vied with each other to place the year in perspective, yours truly sought to place the year in perspective on some discoveries.

The year was essentially one of friendship. The movement to another place with friends giving their all to place yours truly in comfort zone and the reorganisation bringing back contacts with some friends in the organisation. The interim period had been one of development. One facet that emerged was one of my friends sharing his writing skills which showcased his keen thought process embedded in striking small sentences which provoked the thought process in the reader. One of the verses he had placed in an article and lingered on is extracted for posterity

“Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound,
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound.
 What meaneth nature by these diverse laws,
 Passion and reason, self-division’s cause?”

                                                                                 - FULKE GREVILLE

Similarly, yours truly had the occasion to meet a long lost friend albeit for a short span in a new avatar (somehow the term incarnation seems to be woefully short in translation). He had emerged as a master in reunions. Merging persons who had met over 25 years back into a single forum with meticulous planning exposed the shortfall in our systems in tapping hidden talents. Marvelling at this man's dedication to reach out and share the treasure trove moments of the reunion which humbled yours truly with a lesson in friendship.

Earlier in the year about a dozen had anchored a lesson in leadership by bringing almost all our college day classmates together with the lecturers too. This lesson was coupled with another reunionist from college days who had singlehandedly masterminded a souvenir which showed that the will paves the way. As yours truly picked the souvenir and was spellbound by the layout, the preface - the truth surfaced.

They were no Mandela or icons. However, a question also arose would yours truly ever be able to match any of them who ventured to provoke a thought in another effortlessly? - probably a goal to set for the years to come.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Five years short of a magnificent ton, Rolihlala Dalibhunga Mandela who chose to ignore small irritations to achieve larger good has bid adieu on his terms as Nelson Mandela. His walk to freedom from the long medical treatment was parallel to his walk to freedom. The man who restored the pride to the dark handsome men of fiction to reality and stood as a rock between any violence or revenge. Humanity should be proud that one of its species demonstrated that the future beckons and the past be left behind. Imagine a man incarcerated for 27 long years retaining his sanity, to negotiate the emergence of a rainbow nation with a representative of his oppressor. The magnanimity with he shared the Nobel with the iconic F W De Klerk was a beacon to itself. The Nobel which had rendered itself poorer by not adding the Mahatma to its feathered cap wasted no time and ensured that it would be richer by its association with Mandela. 

The man who made his clan proud as the world mourns "Mandela" more and less of Rolihlala has made our nation proud too by adorning the Bharat Ratna. He is one of those men who has made the persons around richer by his infectious laughter, immaculate vision, grit to pursue the dream and the success of implementing it to the last syllable. Yours truly could neither comprehend the persona nor his personal life. The magic of the man would however continue to befuddle. There are no vain dreams to emulate or follow. There is only a tall dream of at least admiring the legend of my lifetime.

The tribute would be incomplete but for reciting Invictus a poem of William Ernest Henley which was recited by the great legend every day in the prison

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods maybe
For my inconquerable soul

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced or cried aloud
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloiody but unbowed

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid

It does not matter how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul

All Heads of States and Governments especially those who are in conflict would do well to pay tribute to this great man on his demise by being personally present at his funeral. The soul would facilitate healing of the real and false wounds paving way for peace all round. This could be the only token tribute we could pay to this humanist who has made many icons like Lincoln, Martin Luther King. Helmut Kohl, Gandhi amongst others hope that many more would follow. The poet William Henley would marvel at the man who lived his muse till the last breath and would thank him for making it immortal. Will we be able to place this small wreath a token of our humble tribute or would we just be contented with words such as "an end of an era" or " we are poorer" or the much celebrated " light has gone out of our lives"? Ponder over as Madiba has hung his boots. The sportsperson in him could be remembered by handing over the baton of hosting the championship of all games in the near future to South Africa - an economic token to boost his favourite nation as well as to help it retain the fabric he weaved in a short span of time. 

Madiba would you not accept these tokens with the same grace which you have displayed through the trials and triumphs of life?

Sunday, November 17, 2013


It has been my firm belief that farewells at the time of retirement or demise are largely hypocritical and do not reflect the true sense of the goodwill garnered. This view was shaken exactly 16 days before the farewell of Sachin Tendulkar. One of the ever smiling colleague with his shade of hair still as dark as one could wish it to be and with his trademark greetings was to bid farewell to the organisation at the age of sixty. Being the only one to bid farewell the farewell was organised in the conference hall but had to be moved to the auditorium. Even yours truly made it to be the part of the beeline to the auditorium. It was a matter of fascination that persons from every station he had served in were there and many with garlands and shawls. Some of the retired colleagues had ascertained the D day and were part of the felicitation. The more gifted ones lavished poems while the less gifted shared their experiences and the introverts warmed their hearts in the deluge. Finally. the guest of the day rose to speak and his first sense of gratitude went to his parents who left him with a caring sister who chose siblings over marriage. The saga stunned everyone as his domestic woes had at no time been reflected in his work or attitude to workmates. He wholeheartedly thanked his family for the support.

Cut and move to the day 16 days later. The iconic Sachin was bidding farewell. Many of the similarities were striking me. His sister Savita had gifted the first willow. His brother was his mentor and his Guru's appreciation was ultimate to him. The dedication of every feat went to his parents. A nation was moved to tears and the normally dormant Government acted to confer the Bharat Ratna. Even this did not cause any controversy as to the likes of Dhyanchand, Fereira, Anand and others being overlooked. Media covered it exhaustively.

The two farewells spoke of the manner in which the persona in question had dealt with their lives. Both thanked their families for bearing with their frustrations. Both thanked their friends for seeing them through highs and lows. 

It is only natural that whilst many records fell in felicitating these two men, the best tribute yours truly could pay was to dedicate to the centurion and the smiling genius the hundredth blog. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Six decades later the Sardar is making the headlines again. There is suddenly a tussle for his legacy as well as to appropriate him. The question of who will be entitled to pay a tribute and the manner of the tribute is also likely to make the Iron Man wonder as to whether his memory should have even resurfaced.

At this very hour, the Supreme Court has quietly and effectively paid its tribute by handing a judgement which is touted to unshackle the bureaucrats much against the opinion of yours truly as reminding the bureaucrats of their role. Even as the epitaph of imperialism was being written in India by its Constituent Assembly, a debate raged as to whether the bureaucracy in its form needs to be retained. There were many a legendary figures who were led by their patriotic fervour over the rationale to write off the bureaucracy and put a new form of administration in place. The Sardar led the defence of retaining them by pointing to the diverse fabric of the nation and the need to have a continuous chain which could effectively administer even as the political winds change. In his own words, “There was no alternative to this administrative system….The Union will go, you will not have a united India, if you have not a good All India Service, which has the independence to speak out its mind, which has a sense of security …. If you do not adopt this course, then do not follow the present Constitution…. This constitution is meant to be worked by a ring of service, which will keep the country intact. There are many impediments in this Constitution, which will hamper us. ….. These people are the instruments. Remove them and I see nothing but a picture of chaos all round the country.”

On the same day the Sardar delivered a sterling message to Parliamentarians, bureaucrats and citizens alike which cannot be better rendered than in his own words which were , "When Mr. Hender son came here to settle this question of the Services, he had long discussions with me. He said that before the transference of power arrangements should be made to the satisfaction of the Parliament, that transference of power will take place only when guarantees are given to the members of the Secretary of States' services, each individual member of which has a Covenant with the Secretary of State for permanency and for certain other guarantees. More than fifty per cent. of the Secretary of State's services were Europeans. Britishers, and the rest were Indians. It was then suggested by him that there should be a treaty between England and India on this question. The suggestion was also made that they should begiven due compensation if they have to leave the Services because they would not like to serve in the Indian administration, and that they should be given proportionate pension. Their status, their time-scale of pay, everything was

to be settled before any question of transfer of power could be considered.

Now, I had long negotiations and it was then a joint Government of the Muslims and the Non-Muslims. It was an all-India Government at that time and these negotiations resulted in certain conclusions which were placed before the Cabinet-it was a joint Cabinet at the time-and they were accepted by them. Then those conclusions were sent to Parliament and it was accepted there.

Many of the Europeans who were in the services here have left now, but when the negotiations were going on, I told them to leave the case of Indians to us, that we shall deal with them as we deemed just, that they will trust us and we will trust them; and finally they agreed on certain conditions.

 Now, I wish to point out that hardly anybody raised any objection to the arrangements that we were making at that time, but if they had suspected us. then there was plenty of scope at that time for them to come out and get better terms from outside agencies. Even now, if you are not willing to keep them, find out your substitute and many of them will go; the best of them will go. I wish to assure you that I have worked with them during this difficult period I am speaking with a sense of heavy responsibility-and I must confess that in point of patriotism, in point of loyalty, in point of sincerity and in point of ability, you cannot have a substitute. They are as good as ourselves, and to speak of them in disparaging terms in this House, in public, and to criticise them in the this manner, is doing disservice to yourselves and to the country. This is my considered opinion.

 Now, I will give you another series of facts which will convince you why guarantees were given. You had seen what was happening in the Punjab. In the five districts where havoc was being wrought, five British officers were in power and nothingcould be done. I tried to get the District Magistrate of Gurgaon transferred. I could not succeed, and the British officer there arrested leading Congressmen when they were not at fault and put them in jail as hostages; he had the cheek to write on the application presented to him by the President of the Bar Association there to the effect that those were innocent and they should not be arrested and that they should be released immediately, that those people were being kept as hostages. This is the way he was doing this business. I was shocked and I went to Gurgaon. I saw him coming on the way and I asked him, "Have you arrested people as hostages?" He said, "No, who told you?" Fortunately, I had the document with me on which he had made that endorsement, and I showed him the endorsement. He asked, "How did you get this?" I said," That is not the question. Is this your endorsement or not?" After that, I
tried hard, I wrote to the then Governor of the Punjab, I pleaded with the Viceroy, but I found it difficult to remove him, and you know the havoc that was played in Gurgaon an these other districts. It was not in the Punjab alone; in other places also many such things were done. It was a time of touch and go and we could have lost India. Then we insisted that we had come to a stage when power must be transferred immediately, whatever happens, and then we decided to resign. It was at that time that Lord Mountbatten came.

I give you this inner history which nobody knows., I agreed to Partition as a last resort, when we had reached a stage when we could have lost all. We had five or six members in the Government, the Muslim League members. They had already established themselves as members who had come to partitions the country. At that stage we agreed to Partition; we decided that Partition could be agreed upon on the terms that the Punjab should be partitioned-they wanted the whole of it-that Bengal should be partitioned-they wanted Calcutta and the whole of it. Mr. Jinnah did not want a turncated Pakistan, but he had to swallow it. We said that these two provinces should be partitioned. I made a further condition that in two months' time power should be transferred and an Act should be passed by Parliament in that time, if it was guaranteed that the British Government would not interfere with the question of the Indian States. We said, "we will deal with that question; leave it to us; you take no sides. Let paramountcy be dead; you do not directly or indirectly try to revive it in any manner. You do not interfere. We shall settle our problem. The Princes are ours and we shall deal with them." On those conditions we agreed to Partition and on those conditions the Bill in Parliament was passed in two months, agreed to by all the three parties. Show me any instance in the history of the British Parliament when such a Bill was passed in two months. But this was done. It gave birth to this Parliament.

 You now say, why did the leaders give these guarantees? In order to allow you to have an opportunity to attack the leaders on this very point. What else? You are responsible Members of the Parliament of a huge country. The Leader of this Parliament has been invited to America, the highest honour that could be done to him. He is treated with great respect. They are giving him all honours. You here say, "Why did the leaders give these assurances?" Think of the past. Why do you forget it? Have you read your own recent history? What is the use of talking that the service people were serving while we were in jail? I myself was arrested, I have been arrested several times. But that has never made any difference in my feeling towards people in the services. I do not defend the black sheep; they may be there. But are there not many honest people among them? But what is the language that you are using? I wish to place it on record in this House that if, during the last two or three years, most of the members of the services had not behaved patriotically and with loyalty, the Union would have collapsed. Ask Dr. John Matthai. He is working for the last fortnight with them on the economic question. You may ask his opinion. You will find what he says about the Services. You ask the Premiers of all provinces. Is there any Premier in any province who is prepared to work without the Services? He will immediately resign. He cannot manage. We had a small nucleus of a broken Service. With that bit of Service we have carried on a very difficult task. And if a responsible man speaks in this ton about these
Services, he has to decide whether he has a substitute to propose, and let him take the responsibility. This is not a Congress platform."

Imagine a situation emerging within six decades wherein the bureaucrats become yes masters as well as collude against the interests of the nation. The vision of the great man was in ruins. It is a matter of tragic travesty that while his adversary on this count Nehru respected the bureaucracy leading to names of offices such as HM Patel, T N Chaturvedi, Rau amongst a host of other luminaries figuring in the list which held the nation together, it was his own daughter, Indira who chose to undo several of these institutions. The gradual corrosion combined with the stinking rot needs to be stemmed by seeking inspiration from souls who could even sacrifice the post of Premier at the altar of the interests of the nation at large. 

It is a sterling message sent out by the judges of the Supreme Court. The question is whether we are ready to receive it and abide by it will be answered in the times to come. In the meantime, let us look for innovative methods of furthering the memory of the Iron Man. Let us also bury our differences as we pay such a tribute. Furthermore, the differences amongst ourselves should not be aired at the solemn moment of paying such a tribute. These would ensure that the Sardar is not unhappy even if it does not give him happiness.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


One would remember the fabled battle between different animals as to who was the greatest as well as that of different parts of the human body which in a humorous way teaches the kids of the importance and utility of each part of the body. A similar battle appears to be in the horizon between three unlikely contenders - Sachin, Crude and Onion.

Sachin- the undoubted master of tons is reaching a new milestone of a double ton in Tests before he raises the bat and looks into the blue sky to thank the Lord and his father at least in Test matches. He would have undoubtedly hoped that the attention would remain on him after being the cynosure for nearly a quarter century. Imagine the maestro's expression as the crude prices marched towards a ton taking a sizeable portion of the headlines. Even as the crude prices were being tamed, the humble onion thought it befitting to salute the maestro by mastering a ton by itself. Being a Marathi, the khanda is precious to the palate of the maestro and its intentions would have been treated with a fist thumping except for the fact that it was rivalling and even eclispsing the maestro's farewell Test.

Undoing even the crude's feat, the onion managed to make the anchors in Arnab, Rajdeep and the others virtually team up to give the primetime to it. Unlike the crude (petrol and diesel apart from the LPG), there was none to share the space.It appeared as though the other end had collapsed and the onion carried the bat and the match into the rival camp. Individual sportsmen like Leander and Anand were also put to shade. There was no exhibition of jubilation or thanksgiving by the onion on reaching the milestone. Instead, it looked like a batsman whose century was of no importance as the follow on was yet to be avoided. The politicos of every shade desired to make their presence felt but the onion would not share space with its single minded devotion of achieving its task. It has politely declined to attend any press conference or be taken in by the inviting barbs or belligerent anchors in the electronic media. Unfortunately, the crowd also was not appreciative of its feat and was booing it to achieve lower scores. Lesser batsmen like Kumble and Kirmani were feted on such accomplishments.

The khanda which is priceless to the palate of the Maharashtrians and most Indians deserves a far better treatment than the one that is being meted out to it. Even the sacrificial bakra of Bakrid is given a far better treatment. May yours truly implore on the denizens of India to recognise the feats of the onion and cheer it to achieve the landmark of double ton on the 200th Test of Sachin! Let us also commend the dark horse of the race on its feat!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


It is irresistible to pen the thoughts that cross one's mind as Sachin decides to call it a day. It is not the run machine or the records against his name that fascinate me. It is not even his simple raising of the bat on reaching a milestone nor the humility with he doffed the skipper's cap. People may wonder as to how these aspects of a great sportsperson does not fascinate any one let alone yours truly.

Just let us look at our own livelihood and whether we have been able to last with impact for close to a quarter of a century. Government servants may serve a tenure of more than three decades but in anonymity with small contributions. Those in the private sector take to leapfrogging from one to another that sometimes service of two decades in the same entity is viewed with derision. Entrepreneurs live through their business but it is an Ambani or a Birla or a Tata who cut the ribbon. In the sports arena, life is still shorter. It may not last even a period of 5 years that persons who stride their field for a decade are considered legends. An isolated Bobby Fischer could claim to legendary status without attempting to defend his title. Therefore, the longevity of a sportsperson deserves felicitations and accolades.

There may be quarters which would rumble stating the case that it is the feat that contributes to the longevity. Talent alone may not suffice. Roll back in time and we would come across several talented players who did not live the entire span due to sheer overconfidence. The effort to innovate and keep things grounded on the shoulders of rising expectations is the root of achieving legendary status. The early break may have contributed to the feasibility of a longer tenure but the utilisation of the same to the maximum is what contributes to legendary stature.

Sachin has managed to stay rooted in the face of rising expectations, achieving expected feats that despite mounting pressure none could clearly state that he should give way. We have seen several persons go out on terms of the selectors but the best achievement is he is doffing the cap on his own terms.

Let me admit that one this count yours truly is green with envy, full of admiration for a feat that would remain to be achieved for a long time to come. Let all the records give way to this fabulous achievement!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


It was a regular forward to the inbox of my mail that set me thinking. The mail was about a 11 year old who had contracted a rare disease which was to be met with a treatment that was expensive. The reading of this mail took me to the day I had the occasion to interact with some who had set up a date with the Alzheimer's. These gutsy people too did not complain about they having been chosen for the date but were looking at avenues to meet the costs of the treatment.

Move over and we find NGOs as well as individuals who are willingly to spare the extra penny or make over the rupee by cutting on some comfort to a genuine needy person. A visit to most hospitals treating the reviled cancer shows that blocks have come up on the generosity of such individuals. 

The two scenarios make it clear that the link of connecting the needy to the willing is not definitely established in all cases. Some are fortunate for the media to assist in their hour of crisis while others face times of adversity by grinning and grimacing at the situations that confront them. The email prodding me to sign a petition to the Health Minister was a simple click away but several minutes of ruminating over and an inadvertent click later, I found that we should be aspiring for a better solution than to expect the Government to intervene in every matter.

Imagine a Health Bank that would attract donations which would entitle the donor to a 100% tax rebate. This Bank would attract the generous to donate their mite. An initial contribution of a day's salary by all Government servants, politicos and persons enrolled to the New Pension Scheme would ensure that the corpus is large enough to set the Bank rolling.

The corpus so derived could be invested in gilt bonds to ensure that the investments are inflation immune. The income of such Health Bank needs to be exempted from taxes and hence the Bank should be a 100% subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India. This would also ensure that the management is in secure hands and at no time the same would be subject matter of scams. In addition to the statutory audits of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the donors may also audit by appointing an auditor or more to ensure that the annual reports are free and fair.

The pooling of the funds and its management being framed, the moot question would be how would one determine the donee who would be entitled to the support or the extent to which they would be entitled. This needs the active support of the medical fraternity. They would require to identify the needy and also mention the extent of the rebate they are willing to provide on the treatment. The minimum is that the professional fees are waived by the doctors and the hospital waives the ward charges. This would ensure that the cost of the medicines is picked by the Bank. The costs should be at wholesale rates which would be directly met to the manufacturer. This way the true needy person derives the benefits.

The benefits could be extended on a proportionate basis by all concerned in case wherein the patients would be able to meet a portion of the cost. This would be an alternative social security scheme in place with zero involvement of the Government. This would also revive the spirit of co-existence which is ebbing away especially in urbane India. If NGOs can inspire faith why not a Health Bank?

It would also be necessary to rope in each automobile manufacturer to provide a well equipped ambulance as part of Corporate Social Responsibility to the Health Bank which could deploy the same on need basis to all districts. The para medical staff of the Bank as well as the drivers would thus provide yeoman's service to their bretheren in need. The charges collected could meet partially the costs of maintaining the service. The remnant could be picked up by a corporate as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

Is anyone listening? The above may not be the ultimate and may require lot of further fine tuning but could a beginning be made? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


The reunion was finally happening the next day. One of the friends had taken the responsibility of picking yours truly at the doorstep. Nostalgia had been given a full build up through relentless mailing, facebook posts as well as youtube videos. It was no more a question of months or days. It was just the night between. The palpable excitement deferred my sleep and yours truly rose with the excitement of a schoolboy venturing into college for the first time.

A quick breakfast over as my friend and I went through the motions of reaching the venue, the reticent and shy self that yours truly had been in college days resurfaced. Doubts on the cognitive abilities were expressed and assuaged. The thought of spending time with nearly 80 of the "young" batch of friends with whom we had lost touch was a sense of joy but the agenda set to begin with an ice breaking session was reassuring to clear the air.

Checking in, my friend led me to a few tasks which involved the recollection of the faces as the names were being placed on the memento bags for the enthusiastic crowd which was beating all odds to be there. A tinge of regret for one of the guys who motivated us to the reunion being unable to make it due to ill health only steeled our spirits to do justice to their efforts.

Clad in the T shirt provided, we made our way to the venue of the event. For posterity's sake yours truly chose this blog as a means to record the historic event though several cameras were doing the job even as some videos rolled. A suave compere played the role of moderating even as one of them mimicked our Principal to drive us to our seats as well as to button up as the event was to zip through at a fast pace.

Wristbands were distributed to segregate groups and we were to get the names of all in our group within a couple of minutes in a typical Indian team huddle. Not being one famed for cognitive abilities or memory games, the muttering of names led to three of us being marked aside ( Should I say it was a welcome relief to the open embarassment of not being able to muster even half the names in the given time). The introduction round went hands down to the ones with the Purple bands as they chose to stutter our pa pa pa purple much to the amusement of all. There was one group which incidentally found they had no girls in it. The amusement was beyond control when it was realised that the colour of their bands was red. A danger signal designed by coincidence for the Dostana group. As this went a step further to the merger of the groups, the merger of the purple and yellow group led to its constituents calling themselves Pearly. As this camaraderie was being built up, the lecturers were led in and took the centre table.

Thereafter, the college prayer was recited in unison albeit being led by one truly humble as his name suggests and who still knew it by the rote. A minute's tribute paid to those who left us behind preferring the union with the Ultimate Being. An invocation rendered  set in place the stage for the felicitation of the Gurus who were responsible for our present status in society. No words would do any justice to the presidential addresses. Time flitted past as we gave a standing ovation in gratitude for their moulding as well as accepting the invite and being at the venue providing us the best souvenir of the reunion.

As the lecturers bid us farewells in fond hope for a reunion and assuring of their presence for our golden jubilee celebrations which were only 25 years away, we took a short break to catch up on the sidelines of the event.

Post break it was time to share our experiences at college over the microphone. The icebreaking complete, we reminisced the old days, thanked the core group for putting up the event. A cake was ceremoniously cut by four members. The D- day thus marked, champagne was uncorked and the spirits soared as we also broke into a dance. As all partied, some of us took to a walk and wrapped up in time while a few gals left for the day. Some lived the night with a Mohd Rafi belting all melodies. Nexr day we woke to camaraderie, exchanging contact info which was followed by Housie by a traditional conductor who ducked most numbers with panache. The highlight of the Housie being the non residents winning a prize money. The karaoke and antakshari sent us back to the days of the farewell at college. Yes it was time to say farewell with a promise to meet, keep in touch and share our moments of living.

As one of our lecturers put it the planning, execution and implementation would have left anyone else speechless but for the batch of Gundi Haaku 88!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


It is said that a proud Indian who answered to the name Sardar Vallabhai Patel told Lord Mountbatten that he had all the 560 apples in his basket even as he handed over a basket of apples to him. The rustic Iron Man of India had picked the gauntlet of coaxing, cajoling, enticing and if it warranted coercing the kingdoms into a union. It was this accomplishment and the simple metaphor used by him that have remained imprinted in my mind from my childhood days. Much later, I had the occasion to read some of the letters penned by him to various rulers and their dewans. The flavour of the book lay in the precise writing of the letters, drawing of attention of the need for co-existence by alluding to a local delicacy. 

Swing from there to the present era, we are on the verge of having one more State. Boundaries are being drawn within boundaries. First it was linguistic sentiment, now it is regionalism within the linguistic flavour and soon other criteria may follow to reach or cross the milestone of 560.

Imagine the consequences. We would have children who would wonder how their parents claim that they knew the names of all the States and their capitals. We may also be baffled to know the names and portfolios of the men in power. Administration would suffer in quality as vision would narrow down to micro issues leaving the national scene far behind. Vision itself may need to be a specialised course imparted in premier institutions. We would have more employment opportunities in the babudom and the netadom.

Well, it could also lead to a situation of requiring passports and visas to travel within our desh mahaan. Or the present Aadhaar may provide us some concession of stamping on entry. 

In an era of consolidation, we should learn from the Russian experience of breaking away or the European experience of integrating on limited counts. The true tribute we could pay this great may on each of his birthdays falling on 31st October, is to start integrating States. Could we start with Telengana and Seemandhra remaining integrated for this year and vowing to realise the dream of the Sardar of a single India.

There may be several questions regarding the need for administration of a growing population, But imagine the kind of facilities the Sardar enjoyed. He travelled in a rickety car which would not race him to any place. The phones he used are of antique value. The manpower he controlled was not sure who was their leader. The citizens he administered were tearing between shifting loyalties. The economic dependence was its pinnacle while the defence was left unspoken about.  The difference was and remains to be the difference is that he defined his work and just did it. Guha does not consider Patel to be a thinker and categorises him as a doer. But with due apologies, yours truly believes, the Sardar remains unmatched in vision and deed. Time did not permit him to go ahead and leave a stronger bond. This is what we should supplement and complement.

Let us hand him a salute he deserves and if we do feel that he does not deserve the salute, let us at least agree that his meritorious work should not be undone.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Top Post on IndiBlogger

A hectic day was in progress and temperatures were rising. Even as I battled to maintain cool, a young visitor emerged with a sunny smile. One look at the young boy led to a sea change in the atmospherics. I rose and in a couple of steps we were in each others arms. 

As I exchanged notes with him, my mind raced nostalgically to his younger encounters with me. But the memory of our last meeting kept resurfacing. The boy had lost his father which was a rude shock to us and we had gathered in a vain attempt to provide solace to the bereaved. Imagine this young tiny tot who was still in his single digits by age, taking me through the events of his father's demise even as he lay motionless. It was one of those rare occasions when the eyes of yours truly went moist and was rendered speechless. The only thing that was spoken to the young lad was a real hug more as a measure to control my emotions than to console him. Reprimanding the grieving and telling them to learn from the young lad, we left for our homes. The truth was those statements were in reality directed at yours truly but spoken out to others.

A couple of telephonic conversations were all we had exchanged in the interim period but there was no gaps in our communication. He instantly picked threads and we just left the rest of them speechless with our banter. The boy was giving me another lesson of life- "Move on". Glad for him and absorbing the subtle lessons he imparted to me, I bid goodbye to him extracting a word that he would drop in someday with the rest of his family.

His name spells winter but he has been an eternal spring for me. Gratitude for the lessons imparted being directed in the form of warm wishes and hugs for him, I look forward for this young teacher to initiate me in more ways than one.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


I was in search of an accomodation and a lady colleague had located one. After paying a visit and negotiating the terms with the landlord we stopped by at a restaurant for a breakfast. Locating a free table was in itself an arduous task. As I wondered whether we could give the breakfast a skip, we found a table which was occupied on one side by a lady and a young kid savouring poories. A quick decision was made to occupy the other side of the table.

Orders placed for the breakfast and being intimated that it would take some time, we exchanged notes. It did not take long for us to intervene in the discussion between the child and the lady. The kid initially warmed upto my colleague. Turning on my best charms, I invited the kid for a competition. The novel competition would ensure that the loser would end up at the kitchen of the hotel. The quick thinker in the kid was on display in a trice as he transferred a couple of poories to his mother's plate. Excitedly, merely shades below the Eureka act, I cried that he was cheating. Blissfully into the world of the child, the real world around was given a go by. The dishes arrived and the conversation warmed up. There was coaxing, cajoling and a display of fast consumption to drive the kid to finish his breakfast.

Instead, he slowly switched sides, manouvred to hold our hands and thereafter block us from rising to wash. Our other duties were put on hold as the primary task of ensuring that the kid had his fill. Soon the time for parting ways dawned. But the kid had other plans. He tagged on to us and left his mother in a dilemma. He took my number on to his mother's cell and clung on. Even as I tried to shift him onto the Bolero his mother had brought, he clambered out and rushed to the two wheeler parked by my friend. After a couple of trips, we achieved the goal of parting with tears in the eyes of the kid and our minds heavy with thoughts. Were we right in denying the kid the warmth he desired innocently? Were we hypocrites in not reciprocating undiluted warmth ? The kid had given us everything he could - the unparalleled affection with no strings attached and as adults who lay claim to maturity and reason, we unceremoniously disconnected ourselves and distanced ourselves for eternity. 

It was in one of those mystical books maybe the Monk who sold the Ferrari or the Alchemist that I had read about time and connections which have an internal meaning. Was this the connection the author referred to? One thing is certain, I did not understand the mystical connection nor utilised the window of opportunity given to establish the connection. Another occasion that will keep me ruminating for years to come. 

A couple of days later I was journeying on a train and had a gurkha and his family for company. His wife, a son aged two years and another aged 8 months were with him. Even as they were trying to rein the elder one in , the younger one attempted to chew into a ripped up portion of the window pane and started bleeding. I immediately asked whether anyone had cold water with them. The father pulled out one cold water bottle and poured the chilled contents into the lid. The numbing effect was great and the kid pulled the bottle and rested it on its lips. The sensibility displayed by the kid could be passed off as a survival instinct but it did marvel me. Connecting the two, I patted the kid on its cheeks to elicit a bright smile - minutes after it was hurt. A lesson was learnt- put the bitter things behind yourself to savour the joys of life. 

The meaning of the first connection still befuddles me. Any answers???

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


“ It’s cricket, gentleman” used to be a way of reprimanding a person to be fair in any sphere. The “Test” of fairness was dealt a bodyblow in an Anglo Aussie series which in itself was considered a blot on the fair name of the gentleman’s game. The innovation in the form of one dayers and whetting up the appetite of blitzkrieg seekers by twenty twenty has ensured that the game is no more gentleman’s forte but more of a gladiators’ game watched by the mirthful spectators. It’s therefore not a wonder that the people have reduced them to be on par with the horses on a racetrack or pieces in a game of dice. Irony is that the cricketers instead of expressing anguish or ire at being treated as gladiators or racehorses have ventured to be part of the betting syndrome with a vengeance to rake in the moolah for the gross reduction in their human stature.

Money is a mere instrument of transaction created by man. Should the creator of the instrument become a slave of the instrument? Should not we distinguish ourselves from the primal instinct to treat fellow humans as objects of pleasure? Is this not an act that would compare with the bestial pleasure of prostitution or the beastly act of two gladiators contesting for the pleasure of the cowardly spectators or a gladiator battling a rogue beast as a matador battles a bull?  Whither is the evolution of man as a human being?

The sport being reduced to a vice of gambling on the honour of a fellow human indicates the nadir of ethical values to which humans have unabashedly reached. It is time to redeem ourselves and free ourselves from the vice of gambling for a few pieces of currency. It is an undoubted fact that the money that we gather accumulates foes and fetches envy while the goodwill of a person remains intact and grows with time. This fact was reinforced in me at the funeral of a senior citizen who remained the eternal gentleman to his last days. The man was a genial father to his children and a warm uncle to their friends. He had the generosity to part with the bare minimum savings a small sum as pocket money for the school trips even for these friends. He literally walked the earth and a distance of 5 to 6 miles was walkable for this affable gentleman. He ensured that the guests to his home were well entertained and took the right mode of conveyance for their return. The Walker’s last breath was accosted by persons from his early friends to latest acquaintances taunting death for having befriended this man. The best tribute came from his own brother who without batting an eyelid said, “ Here goes a true gentleman.” He had indeed been a true gentleman who had ensured that his grieving family received the solace from teeming numbers.

It was indeed a wakeup call to ensure that one starts treating money with the respect it deserves, nothing more or nothing less. Respect to fellow human beings is a virtue that needs to be cultivated to save the society from degenerating further and reach the bottomless pit. Gen Y can do it but let us at least begin instilling these values in Gen Z as a token contribution to atone the sins of degenerating thus. Are the Sreesanths possible without us? Can bookies exist without punters? Let us heed to this danger signal before it is too late. The entrails have been infested and it is time to start the healing process by reverting to the ethical ways of life.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


The addiction to blogging in me is akin to the waxing and the waning of the moon. There were long periods when the blog was spared an addition and sometimes within short spans of time a series of blog have hit the cyberspace. This is one such occasion of the latter kind.

Couple of days back yours truly was pleasantly surprised by an overseas call of an "old" pal (aside: if he happens to read this blog, the pun is intended). The day passed on quite strangely with more interactions with friends through the day. By the end of the day, there was a feeling of an undeclared friendship day celebrated specially for me.

Ruminating over the moments of undiluted happiness that yours truly shared through these conversations, the mailbox was opened to find an invitation to pen out for a souvenir for the reunion of our college. Memories of the days when we used to travel by the then fabled BTS and the walk through the serene roads to the granite faced college building just swept past without any prodding. The days used to begin with an informal gathering outside the college with the bicycles parked by students who did not wish to use the parking lot or were not regular cyclists. An appetiser in the form of exchange of notes in groups would energise the folks to enter the portals of the college to recite the prayer in unison(?) In hindsight, one wonders as to whether the students were asked to actually pray for the welfare of the faculty. More so that we too are sometimes a faculty and can feel the vibes generated by ourselves as students.

The first day at college was memorable. It happened to be a Wednesday which had classes scheduled only in the afternoon. Unaware of this, we had made a beeline to the college and were only in sync with some of our known friends from our earlier alma mater or localities. The lunch was spent on a loaf of bread and as we lined into the classroom, we were directed by a young lecturer to introduce ourselves. As fresher after fresher introduced himself or herself, the "lecturer" burst into laughter exposing his real status of being a degree student much to the chagrin of all. The reward was in the form of a "let off". It did not take much time for us to bond ourselves into friendships which have stood the test of time.

The interesting facet of our batch was that we also blooded a new faculty member and he too remains one with us till date. He also brought with him a chuckle and the inimitable "Good Day" greeting. The stairways of the college also were symbolic to indicate that though we came from streams apart, we joined only to part and re unite. This is what all of us are waiting for.  Jubilee celebrations of the graduation is scheduled in August and the countdown has begun. The hard work of the core team would not be let down by the rest.  Even persons who have been chosen by eternity are not going to miss the event. 

As we wait for the reunion day we should reminisce the dreams we shared in childhood days of being an engine driver, a bus conductor or a cop which slowly but surely was redefined and moulded into professions which suited our aptitudes. Time has been kind to us and we will not miss this opportunity of treasuring this moment.Yes! It is time to say Ten, nine, eight ,seven, six, five, four, three, two , one - BLAST !!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The reposting of the deleted blog which was enabled by a chum of mine partially and the anonymous reader led to further churning of thoughts leading to this blog. Unfortunately, the word "churning" does not convey the same meaning of "Manthan" which is a typical Indian word. It is undoubtedly true that the words used by the reader were not quoted correctly or construed correctly. The words only pointed to me that a deed for the sake of the happiness of a friend should not be viewed only in the light of one's own perceptions. A point that had to be well taken but had in the heat of the moment been construed to point out the self centred attitude. In fact, it is the latter act which probably exposed the self centred belief that yours truly was not self centred.

It is said that Time is the best healer. Time has indeed taught me that every word is worth its weight in gold or may be even higher. Any act or utterance of the word should not necessarily be under the belief that it affects only one person and this has been driven home quite effectively by the anonymous reader. Thanks to this person, yours truly would attempt to be more careful with the words. For the chronological record, leaving the blogs untouched for posterity to judge the author dispassionately, would serve its purpose as they reflect the author's states of mind on different dates at different points of time.

This blog is dedicated to the unseen hand of friendship which has aided me in righting a wrong. At this juncture, it would be pertinent to recollect a story from the famed epic Mahabharat. In one of the scenes, the ill fated Karna is with Bhanumathi, the spouse of Duryodhana. As Duryodhana enters the room, Bhanumathi rises and her necklace is caught in the hands of Karna resulting in the same breaking. The beads roll across the floor. The unassuming approach of Duryodhana, who is actually Suyodhana, is exhibited by his remarks  "Shall I pick the beads or shall I string them?" This reflects the fact that even for a moment he did not have a questioning thought of either his wife or his friend. May be yours truly should also follow the same.

It is a settled fact that some read or hear once, grasp, chew and digest whilst there are some others who need to write to assimilate and others who repeat the process to assimilate a portion of the studied material. The last category requires the Panchatantra treatment of being taught through similarities. Time will judge in which category the author could be fit into.

Let the judgement go on and all comments are most welcome to mould opinions, views and most of all the personality of several people. Go ahead!!! no holds barred.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


This was a post which was erroneously deleted and is referred to in NANNy'S DAY. An anonymous reader had commented that the piece revealed the self centred attitude of the blogger. Luckily the exact words were mailed to me by the reader and is reproduced here

A friend is not a person who need not ask you to do only what you like to do. U can also do something to please ur friend.  Friendship is mutual.  You need not hold on to ur opinions as always being right." READ ON

It was one of the celestially blessed days divined by the mortals to unite two souls
in matrimony and one of those few occasions to which I made since the groom in
question desired my presence on sentimental counts. Lost in the crowd attired in
glistening zari works to three piece suits, men and women of various age groups
were lost in their few luxurious moments of socializing before marking their
attendance with the new couple. Children true to their innocence were splashing
around and admiring themselves on the CCTV. Occasions and functions being
a far cry to yours truly, the antics of the children kept me engrossed. Soon some
acquaintances warmed up and attempted to make me comfortable as I made the
way to the dias. Thoughts clamoured my mind as to whether the newly wed would
be engrossed in their new marital status or new found love or in the photographer
and cameraman directing them to strike poses with a ‘cheese’. It made me wonder
as to whether the whole charade could be restricted to the parents and siblings of
the twosome giving them space to themselves. As these thoughts fitted through,
the crowds had successfully jostled me to the dias. Greetings exchanged with
pleasantries and wishes for happiness and prosperity showered, the interruption
came in the form of the photographer taking charge to place us in an order of
his choice for a memento. Couple of flashbulbs later, as we attempted to move, a
deft hand directed us to the dining hall which was a sea of humanity. The ritual
of tossing a sweet through to the vitals being through I made my way out. The
experience still left the question unanswered as to how torturing the two souls who contemplate a life in wedlock by making them stand endlessly greeting people around and grinning till their cheekbones melted could be termed a happy occasion for them. Discreetly pardoning myself of the offence committed, I returned home.

Few days later, it was the occasion of a ground breaking ceremony wherein much
of the fanfare was repeated. The icing on the cake was when I was called upon to
chisel out a piece of the ground for which I could only offer resistance. The crowd
there just placed the tool in my hands and the ritual was compulsorily performed
much to the delight of my should I say friends ( a dilemma considering their act)

If these two were unions of sorts, the prospects of reunions of collegemates and
schoolmates started blossoming on the horizon. Joys undoubtedly come with some hassles.

Thanks to the anonymous reader to have retrieved the rest of the blog. Now I can peacefully continue blogging!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


The reunion concept had me discussing the same when a friend of mine drew parallels to their own reunion. He shared that they had felicitated the lady who mattered most to them in their young days - the one who would guide them and had even washed their bottoms. Aamir Khan's bottoms up in Three Idiots popped up in my mind. The comment from a follower that friendship was a two way traffic on the previous blog also set me thinking. Undoubtedly in both the scenarios that I had shared it had brought smiles to the persons concerned. 

Probably, the follower mistook my discomfiture to my perceptions on socialising. The thought was more for the newly wed couple who are put through an arduous ritual in the name of religion followed by a reception wherein except for the first few moments, they are not even permitted to sit. In fact, thanks to economics, the receptions of late are held in advance on the previous evening followed by the traditional wedding. Of late, I have had occasion to share the inner feelings of many to be married fellas. Their romance brims through and seems to overflow. Why do we not allow these young fellas a few moments of peace? We also follow this up with another spate of invites for luncheons to shower our affection in the form of culinary delights. Wish this honeymoon extended for their whole lifetime that they could actually spend the intimacy which they so desire without bothering about the next cuisine to be rattled up.

At least till they are bestowed with the joys of cradling a young one. That takes us back to the bottoms of the younger days, I was reminded of our own people in life who still manage to shower affection on us irrespective of our ageing. We also do not have our blushes as we would much later in life. On one such occasion the lady in question spotted me in a crowded bus stop, came up, held me by my cheeks and took a wrap up of the events between two meetings and rebuked me for not dropping in frequently. A treasure of a relationship which even the teacher cannot rival. Yes, we have had so many days but we never have a nanny's day or in our local lingo ayah's day. They remain in each student's hearts forever. Let us felicitate them everyday and every moment!!! Thanks buddy for taking me back to those memorable days!