Category Archives: Dilli ki Hawa

kahen ya na kahen

whattosay

By Sharat D.Mathur

jee main aata hai har ik sham koi nazm kahen,

haat ho jate hain bezar, kahen ya na kahen

jee me aata hai ki vahashat ka vo lamha keh dain,

lavz ho jate hain khamosh, kahen ya na kahen

ashk kahtain hain ki gir jayen abhi kagaz par,

aankh jhuk jati hai chupchap, kahen ya na kahen

vo ye kahate hain ki shayar ho tum tumhi keh do

sunane wale hain wohi log, kahen ya na kahen

kuch main kahata hoon to kehtain hain ki kehta hai bohot

kuch na kehane pe bhi ilzam, kahen ya na kahen.

Indian Street Cricket From The Eyes Of Jack Hoyle

Jack Hoyle is writing a book on the madness that cricket incites in Indian minds. He is a fascinating photographer and here he produces street cricket in India while he travelled the country during the IPL. Here’s presenting the first part of the three-part series. Enjoy 🙂

India Cricket 1

In the backstreets of New Delhi a group of youths squeeze a quick game in.

India Cricket 2

In Varanasi a group of boys find space between the winding alleys. If the wicket keeper misses it’s a long chase to retrieve the ball out of the Ganges.

India cricket 3

The emblem of a street cricket club in Varanasi.

India cricket 4

A man sits oblivious as a young cricketer strikes the ball, while playing on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi.

India cricket 5

A typical Sunday in Khajuraho; the streets are closed and the adults look on as the young boys take each other on.

India cricket 6

A dubious action, but you can’t fault the effort as a young bowler comes steaming in.

Of The People; For The People; Lets ‘Buy’ The People

voting

By Ankush Kumar

Today has been no different then yesterday. Except for the date perhaps. What a week can do to the fortunes of one’s life; can be best answered by the Indian Cricket team. What effect the monsoon’s can have on somebody can be seen in the eyes of a common farmer. How valuable independence is ‘can be answered by only those who are chained since eternity’.

Today as USA celebrates its year of independence, we continue to believe in the fairy tale stories illustrated by the Congress. They have been pioneers in cooking up hopes for a billion people daily and we have been weak enough to be accepting false promises on the platter. The Panchtantra tales have entertained us since childhood, the Congress ones almost have the same effect sans the moral quotient.

Today the ordinance on the Food security bill was national news. Have you all noticed whenever there is matter on the Congress ‘Sonia Gandhi’ photograph invariably makes 
the cut. Have you ever wondered why? I mean she is not the Prime minister, she holds no cabinet portfolio, and then why is her picture chosen above everyone else? The answer obviously is that ‘her portfolio has been shot better’! Congress has more photogenic faces, poor BJP they only have good leaders, and that my friends seriously count for very little in the Indian scenario.

One of my closest friends had told me once ‘ Today I am a proud Indian, as my President and my Prime minister are educated leaders’. Well today I have a chance to reply ‘yes bro our president then was a man of integrity, today though our president has no teeth forget the grit’. On the PM front he is the best person who can answer how it feels to live without a spine. To live a life for nine years without any backbone needs tremendous grit and courage. I am super proud that we have such courageous leaders in India today.

It takes meticulous planning and large-hearted efforts to take the country ‘nowhere’ in just nine years. The pinnacle that we have achieved should largely be credited to Dr. Manmohan Singh and madam Sonia Gandhi’s UPA government. I was told in tenth standard that I would have to put in large amount of efforts to fail my board exams; I chose to do the reverse and unfortunately passed. But the Congress seems to have taken that humor seriously and have come out as failures in flying colors.

In nine years they have more committees than policies, they have more scams than revenues, yet they seem to have more voters than supporters. Ever wondered why? Let me explain. The way India manufactures more Black label scotch bottles than its actual production.

This was meant to be an open letter to our Prime minister. But as I began writing, halo struck that the confusion still persists on who is our leader. Hence this is now addressed to you the people. Please let me know who is the ‘elected representative’ of our country? Do we really have one? My school level civics knowledge has taken a beating ever since I have been told that a Rajya Sabha member will be our Prime minister.

The other help that I need is that please convert this post in different languages so that the message reaches out loud and clear. ‘ The opposite of Pro is Con; hence the opposite of Progress is Congress. Hence proven.

Indian School Girls: Then And Now

women customers

By Ravi J Singh

10 things that have changed in Indian schoolgirls since I have left school –

  1. The skirts were 2” below knee; now these are 2” above.
  2. You’d call her ‘hot’ and she will go to teacher with a complaint; now you call her ‘lovely’ (and not ‘hot’) she will go to the teacher with a complaint.
  3. School loo were used for the usual stuff; now these are used as photography sessions
  4. Girls used to bunk at least 1 day in a week; now girls go to school at least 1 day in a week
  5. They used to have a Boyfriend; now its Boyfriends
  6. The age of having a boyfriend has also gone down. My times were between classes 8-10; now it is between classes 6-8.
  7. A non-veg joke to a girl was a strict no-no; Now it’s a part of daily cuisine.
  8. Very less girls had career aspirations then; very few now don’t have.
  9. Behenjis were majority then. Numbers are skewed towards fashionistas now
  10. There is a similarity though. They used to top schools; they still manage the feat

Disclaimer – Before the women brigades come after me calling me ‘a sexist’ or generalizing me as ‘shithead’, the points above are a mix of reality, fun, exaggeration and illusion.

A lot has changed since the time we used to be in school in 90’s and now. The paradigm of the Indian society has shifted, definitely has, towards west or its own ancient culture of more open. Non-conservatives can be a debatable fact of course.

15 Rupees – Part 2

15 rupees

 

By Ravi J Singh

My daily journey back home does not end here. The last part is riding a rickshaw to my home, of course as a pillion not as a rider. Somehow I feel choosing a rickshaw wallah, is very similar to the way warriors chose their Ikran on the Pandora Island. Out of those 20-25 odd rickshaw pullers, mostly former farmers, and potters and handicraft professionals, who are in this trade now because the urban India needs them more rather than the rural India, choosing a decent one is a task.

I don’t know which ignorant once said that the soul of India resides in the country side. Means, why else would these people flock ‘our’ cities, and do these jobs rather than adding value to the rural India, if the country’s soul really resides in the villages.

So, once my Ikran for the day was chosen it was just a matter of another 7-10 minutes before I reach home and demand water, and cold drink and fresh cooked food from my wife, and really feel like a king.

Kitna huya (how much)” I asked the short height man in his late 30s, who just stopped his cycle rickshaw in front of my home and was wiping sweat from his face.

Bauji 25 ruppeya ho gya (Sir, its 25 rupees)”. I handed over a 100 rupee bill to the guy. The fare was 25 bucks but he had only 60 rupees as ‘khuley paise’ to return to me. I told him to give me 60, that would be fine. His reply startled me – “Bauji kuch jiyada nahi ho jayega? (Sir, don’t you think it would be too much)”. I smiled, patted his shoulder, took 60 bucks from him, and entered my home thinking what kind of society we have created where 15 bucks for ‘many’ is “jiyada“, and for ‘some’ it is nothing, not even anything!

“Papa Papa, I need fruity and crax” – My 4 year old son came running to me and took me out of my thoughts towards reality. I quickly estimated his demands to be exactly as 15 bucks. And I smiled; again, while I saw the rickshaw guy going back for his next ‘swari’, a bit happy, may be because of “The extra 15 bucks” he got today!

I went in, had water, had my fav pineapple squash, fresh cooked warm and tasty food, while my son with his grand-mom went out to buy his items. But, this thought was biting me, was teasing me, and FB being a good outlet for these kinds of frustrations I thought of posting this rickshaw puller episode.

While I got 36 likes and 10 odd comments on this post, one gentleman also reminded me through one of his comment – “Sir rickshaw wala’s daily earning is minimum 300 to 500 it means his monthly income is around 10000 to 15000. So don’t worry be happy!”

Yep, why should I worry? And, who am I to worry? And, what will I get to have this worry? What does this worry resolve? And, well said, Mr. Cool Urban Dude, if according to your calculation the rickshaw pullers monthly income is between 10k to 15k, in that case they are doing fairly good. Their daily income is much above 32 bucks per day, so they are not doing badly at all. I am not saying this; my country’s government says this, to the Supreme Court, and us of course.

Yeah, why should I worry, well had I known this fact earlier I would never had given that poor fellow, oh sorry, rich fellow, those extra 15 bucks. At least I would have saved 1.5% amount of my next movie outing with my family, or would have saved 0.25% amount of my spending with friends on a Friday night, or would have met the latest demand of my son of fruity and crax, at least that could have been taken care of with this extra amount I paid to him.

Yeah, why should I care about these rural artistes, and entrepreneurs, and farmers, who don’t know why chose to give up their rural life and come to our cities like ‘parasites’, to do these petty chores, to sleep on the road dividers, to get abused by us ‘urbane’ people, to get smother under some SUVs while sleeping. Why should I worry, after all they are doing well, indeed really good with 10-15k per month in a city like Delhi!

 

15 Rupees Part 1

15 Rupees – Part 1

15 rupees

By Ravi J Singh

“The next station is Tilak Nagar, the doors will open on the left. Please stay away from the doors” – This announcement has lately become the cue for me to vacate my hard earned seat in Delhi Metro, which I mostly win at Rajeev Chowk metro station. It being the biggest terminal so far in Delhi metro for different metro routes, always gives you an opportunity to earn the seat, but only if you are already in the metro not outside.

However, even for that you have to act smart, you need to be swift and precise, you need to read between the lines, you need to understand the sitting composures of the people occupying the seats, you need to make a very good guess if the person will change the metro on or before Rajeev Chowk or not. Otherwise your bet can just get horribly wrong, making you stand the whole journey. And, these days from the time they have this separate compartment concept for women, standing in metro has become very less attractive.

See it is not a joke after all, you need to have a hawk eye, the analytics need to be good, sixth sense needs to be precise; the seats are limited. Moreover, you cannot bet on the four seats which are reserved for elderly, physically handicapped, and the weaker sex, oops, the stronger sex, sorry! So, that leaves you with only 12 seats. I don’t go for the 2 couple seats at the side, not my turf.

My law of probability says only 30-40% vacancy rate for these 12 seats on Rajeev Chowk. And, moreover there are other smart people too who act the same way and stand literally on the top of their ‘party’, to ‘say’ their claim on the seat. I was lately becoming very good at this business, as my guess earned me the seat today as well.

It was still another 15 minutes of journey remaining when at Patel Nagar entered two women and three men, the seat next to me got vacant and one of the lady and the man shot themselves for that seat, man just winning the race with a millisecond. I don’t know why I felt bad for that lady. Not that she was very attractive, she was of average looks, not my kind, but I felt bad for her loosing the game. 2 minutes later another race was won, the good man won from the apathy-man inside me, and I decided to offer my seat to her.

But, suddenly a young boy seeing this as a chance snapped towards the seat. “Hey, hey, hey, I vacated the seat for the lady”, I told him catching him from his shoulder. “I never knew, I thought you were getting off the train”, he replied a bit frustratingly while the lady occupied the seat. The conversation was enough to evoke attention of the 30-40 souls present around us. I told him smilingly “you saw I offered her the seat, and got up, still you thought I was getting off-board”. “Anyways, you were sitting on the ladies reserved seat, see there”, he pointed towards the two corner seats, which are reserved for women and tried to enlighten me. I was not surprised on his shamelessness and ignorance, and replied “Dude, those are only two seats in this row which are reserved, not the whole row”, and added smirkly “By the way, you seems like to be one of those men who even after occupying those two seat do not get up by themselves when a woman arrives around you”.

This line was enough to embarrass him completely, there were chuckles around, people were entertained swiftly, don’t know if some lessons were learned or not, no apology was offered by the guy, no appreciation was shown by the lady. The chivalry took the backseat. The metro and its travelers were mundanely running on the tracks as usual.

“The next station is Tilak Nagar, the doors will open on the left. Please stay away from the doors”. My station had arrived, or rather, the metro train reached my daily destination. I got off the train and ran towards the exit point. I had this weird habit of running towards the exit point daily, and challenge myself to be at least amongst the first three people to exit from the card swipe area, as if some gold, silver or bronze medals were awaiting me. But, I was winning, winning in my mind, and by now had scores and scores of virtual trophies and medals and self- acclamation of ‘how fit I am’ with me!

Top 5 Summer Getaways in India

To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.

                                                                                                            Philip Andrew Adams

For those who stay near the national capital region in and around Delhi, between May to September, brings months of torture with regards to heat and humidity. Thankfully the northern region has some getaways that you could think of to rejuvenate yourself and get back to action that your work so demands in the daily life. We bring out 5 places that could get your body; mind and soul back to sanity through the sheer climate and locales of the place.

shimla

Shimla: Nothing beats Shimla during the heat. The “Queen of Hill Stations” as it is so famously called is choc-a-bloc with people from all parts of the country during summers. If that makes you feel apprehensive you can rest assured that there are least 15 places around the town which will give you the peace you need away from the hustle and bustle. The place got its fame first time when the Brits made it their retreat and also their winter capital. The remains of those times can still be seen. The place is also a huge honeymoon destination because of its serene, quite and romantic environment.

Major Attractions: The Ridge and the Mall, Christ Church and the Tara Devi Temple.

leh ladakh

Leh-Ladakh: If you are an adventure freak and also have a largish holiday window, Ladakh is the place to visit during the summers. It needs time though and if you are travelling air, the duration could be 7 days and if you are travelling road you need at least 10 days to figure out the entire place. Because of the climate it actually needs acclimatization of a day or two to settle down. Ladakh is the highest plateau in the state of Kashmir and most of it is a minimum 3000 feet above sea level. The distance and the extremeness of the location has made sure the rest of the country is still far away and the beautiful place is sparsely populated.

Major Attraction: Leh, Drass Valley, Nubra Valley, Pangong, Tso Moriri, Zangla and many Buddhist Monasteries.

manali

Manali: “Valley of Gods” or “India’s Switzerland” as its known as, Manali is a wonderful place to be during the summers. The great climate, the scenic surrounding, Himalayas by the Beas river make it a perfect getaway from the hectic city life we so awfully lead. Trekking, skiing, river rafting and mountaineering make it a destination to explore for the adventure nutties as well.

Major Attractions: Snow capped Himalayan peaks, Beas river, adventure sports and fruit orchards.

munnar

Munnar: When we talk of holiday destinations, “God’s Own Country” Kerala cannot lag behind and Munnar is definitely one of India’s best summer holiday destinations. Tea Gardens, dense vegetation, awesome surroundings and magnificent weather mean Munnar has people flocking from all over the World. It is also very popular amongst honeymooners.

Major Attractions: Tea plantations, National Park, Walk in the clouds, lakes, waterfalls, vegetation, Bird Sanctuary etc.

Nainital

Nainital: For those looking for a break from the dust and the heat, Nainital comes across as a great solution. One of India’s biggest summer destinations, Nainital is a favorite amongst tourists during summers. The high mountains and the vast stretches of green across the horizon add to the pictorial beauty. The name as believed by the locals has been taken from the Goddess Naina. There is also a temple dedicated to this goddess, present in Nainital that you can visit.

Major Attractions: high mountains, Naina Devi temple, fabulous resorts, greenery

He Got The Girl And I Ended With Monetary Wounds

baraat

By Anshuman Sharvesh

Occasion, lavishness and orchestra were all there. Gorgeous ladies and some well-groomed men were also in attendance. Mouth-watering food accompanied profligate beverages. In such a moment, If someone seizes your attention with his uninteresting face, you can guess he must have paid the bill and has to be the bride’s father.

This fairy-tale is of my best friend’s wedding and the only two people who were feeling miserable there were I and my friend’s father-in-law. It’s no rocket science to figure out the reason for his feelings. I would have felt the same had I needed to put so much money on a marriage. The heart would sink seeing so much money melt away. There was another minor reason, my friend taking away his daughter. You though must be wondering why was I feeling miserable but believe me, I, had every reason to be.

Everything started with a phone call,”#*^beep beep, it’s my marriage on 20th and you need to be there”. I said yes with all energy, which fizzled the moment I kept the phone down. The date of the marriage was just 15-days away. I checked IRCTC but it disappointed me again for the billionth time. I first cursed the population and then called a broker who I knew would suck up my savings but get me a ticket using all corrupt methods he could. The monies he asked were enough to depress but I realized that would not help, as I had to shop for a marriage. Let me tell you the fact that I hate savings as well for the simple reason that it makes me feel how well I could have utilized the same money I would pump into buying some new clothes. I still managed to buy something that made me look better than how I actually felt inside.

The day arrived and I was all decked up having painted the fairness creams they boast of making you fair in minutes. As customary nowadays, people called me for dance. I realized how no one actually cared of what I was wearing making me feel ashamed of so much money spent to no avail. The result of all that dance was that I arrived at the marriage hall sweating, hair haywire, wet shirt and the groom who had spent all this time in the air conditioned car was like he has just landed from the salon. Not a single girl looked at me and I was actually seeing the money burning in front of my eyes. I sat around the corner and watched the entire ceremony without a single nap. I saw my friend getting garlanded by all jewels especially the two expensive rings, one watch and one gold chain.

In the morning we left with the bride, everyone was tired and exhausted excluding the one with the beautiful bride and expensive gifts. All exhausted I too left for my home and slept till evening as I had a train to catch at night. Leaving home is always a problem but after bidding goodbye as I was leaving for the station the only wish up my sleeve was to see my name in the confirmed list of passengers. It was WL 2 when I had booked it and unless someone is terribly unlucky this converts.

I though was having a pissful time and the final status turned out to be WL 1. In dire straights I booked a flight to return as the deadlines in office had to be met. As I landed in Delhi, these were the exact lines that I spoke “He got the girl, the watches and expensive rings and I lost my money…#beep not even a single person praised my suit…#beep not a single girl looked at me and here I am at IGI airport again bargaining with the autowala”, but between all this someone inside said and I quote again “DUDE AT LEAST YOU R STILL SINGLE…ENJOY BEING ALIVE”.

Pati Patni Aur Woh In The Bihar Political Drama

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Our Political Analyst from Bihar analyses the situation in the state referencing it with frequent marriages and divorces in the Indian Political arena. A must read where he mentions no matter what the equations become, the only loser would be the state and the people of Bihar. 

“Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning all you need is two hearts and a diamond. In divorce though, a club and a spade would have been better”. This how relationships begin and when the going gets tough, the tough decides to fizzle out. In the last seventy two hours the Indian political class has seen a bitter divorce that has taken place. A formidable marriage between the BJP & JD (U) has finally gone kaput.

In the last seventeen years both these parties made their voters believe ‘they cannot live without each other’. Kept each other’s secrets close to their chest, both of them covered each other’s lies, they had their voters hypnotized by their actions and today out of the blue they tell the world that ‘we are sorry, we were wrong, we can live without each other’.

Day before yesterday the rains ruined an India v/s Pakistan classic, but yesterday was Super Sunday in Bihar politics. As the news started to trickle in that the marriage is over the entire city of Patna wore a deserted look. Normally the eateries do roaring business here on the weekends, but the voters had already been given enough food for thought to keep their stomachs full through the night.

The fear of a certain mister Laloo Prasad Yadav winning the next assembly elections came back to haunt the business community yesterday. The young entrepreneurs who came back to the city in the last seven years and pumped in money to establish their settlements feared for the worse in the coming time.

What hurt the people was the fact that a state that was once considered a liability had become an asset in such a short span of time, a government that won the last assembly elections purely on the issue of development had chosen to betray the faith of their people over the secular v/s communal divide.

The other woman in the relationship was waiting to take advantage of the divide. Congress had been sending feelers to JDU for the past two years now. What the two partners failed to realise was that every marriage goes through problems; there are times when both face ideological differences, both have an ego tussle ensuing, but at the end of the day, the alliance was not just about them, it was also about their loved ones; their voters. The problem is when JDU realised it had a cushion to fall back on, they had stopped caring about the relationship.

What unfolds in the near future is something only the clock will decide, but one thing is sure, the jolted voters will answer this step in the next general elections. Either ways whoever forms the government at the centre ‘BIHAR & ITS PEOPLE STAND TO LOSE’.

P.S: BJP is saying to the Congress ‘Honey you can have him’. We deserve better!

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How A Restauranteur Would Have Responded To The Lemp Incident

lemp-pubzomato2

Ankush Kumar, our fellow writer and also the owner of Patna’s biggest theme restaurant In-Flight Kitchen, created on a theme of an airplane, in this first ever Q&A on Mission Sharing Knowledge talks of how he sees the Lemp incident, how much impact can the social media make and how would he have tackled the incident.

1. Are online reviews equally powerful as others? Should they be given so much importance? How much attention would you give to viral promotion vis-a-vis traditional ones which these days have a perception of being “bought”?

AK: In an age where the ‘taar’ is going out of fashion because of the internet, today when we have rural India selling cows and buffaloes on OLX, it would be foolish to ignore the power of the web. The guests who visits restaurants in urban India today and are ready to pay for their service are the ones who are constantly updating their lives through their smartphones. These online user reviews are definitely a huge plus for any business. It is an added indicator to improve on our shortcomings. Having said that it is not the only parameter to judge one’s performance. In todays age we cannot keep a single parameter in isolation. Its the total package that counts.

2. Do you bother about online reviews on portals and do you answer back negative ones and try resolve consumers who go bonkers?

AK:  I don’t know about the established set ups, sometimes they do ignore complaints. But since I am just seven months old in the business of hospitality, and food has been a passion that drives me, I pay heed to each response and try to improve on that. There are regional hazards one faces for example since my restaurant is in Patna my stewards are not comfortable with english language, but I have trained them to understand that being polite and courteous needs no language. It is universal. Reviews online are updated only when the guest is appalled, we ensure it doesnt reach to that level. Hence all our online reviews so far have been positive.

3. If something similar to Lemp happens to your restaurant, how would you deal with the situation?

AK: I have never been to Lemp. Though I know a few people who have suffered similar heartburns with their service and attitude. See very few people today run a restaurant to generate profits, most of them do it to manage their capital. People like me always dreamt of having restaurants. If you have a team that shares the same passion such issues will never arise. If such an incident happens at InFlight Kitchen in my absence first I will go through the cctv footage to ensure that the guests complaints are genuine. And after that will compensate my guests the way they want it. And finally heads will roll.

4. What learning lesson you think can be learnt from this incident?

AK: If you as a boss are brash by nature go open a petrol pump, not a restaurant. Every hotel management institute teaches you to treat your guests well. If you cannot inculcate that aspect in your team you might as well not run the restaurant. Handling irate customers is your job so is to respect their sensibilities.

5. Have you as a consumer faced something like this when you went to eat out?

AK: I have faced similar situations many a times, but unlike the people who took the pains to write a documented proof of their harrasment I chose to ignore it. Also the dissatisfaction i faced did not go this far.