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