Tag Archives: India

आज़ादी मुबारक हो….

independence day

By Joybrato Dutta

पसंद न था

खेतों में टमाटर प्याज़ उगाना

हैसियत में  नहीं

आज बाज़ार से उन्हें ख़रीदना

कभी सोचते थे

दुनिया को इशारों पर नचाओगे

आज सोचते हो

बिना प्याज़ टमाटर के घर में क्या बनाओगे

तुम्हे आज़ादी मुबारक हो

तुम किश्तों में कटते हो

कभी हिस्सों में जुड़ते हो

चाल है तुम्हारी नवाबों वाली

जाल में फंसे हो EMI वाली

तुम्हें भी आज़ादी मुबारक हो

गाँव के साथ तेवर भी छोड़ दिए

कड़ी धुप में अटल रहने वाला सर

आज AC कमरे में झुका दिए

भूख मिटाने के सपने देखने  वाले

आज दो वक़्त के आगे तुमने घुटने टेक दिए

तुम्हे भी आज़ादी मुबारक हो

कहीं कांग्रेस ने फैलाया जाल

तो कहीं माओवादियों ने किया बूरा हाल

प्रेमिका के साथ long drive का सोंचा

तो traffic jam और खड्डों ने टोका

अकेली बेटी को बहार भेजने से डरते हो

जवान बेटे को गाड़ी देने से डरते हो

कभी सिनेमा घर के बढ़ते rates

तो कभी auto-rickshaw के बढ़ते fares

बच्चों की फीस हो

या दिवाली में सिलवानी नयी कमीज़ हो

पेट्रोल के बढ़ते दाम

घर का बढ़ता किराया

सब ने मिलकर तुम्हे बंधी बनाया

ख़्वाबो के महल में आज़ाद रहने वाल़े

आज तुम्हे आज़ादी मुबारक हो

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Bloody Northies!!!

By Joybrato Dutta

northies in bangalore

That’s what I heard most of the time in the span of 3 years that I stayed in Bangalore. A small-town guy by birth, I moved to Bangalore to pursue higher education. Well, I guess that’s what 90% of all small town aspirants do. So, is that a mistake? It turned out to be one. Since our (Northies) first day we were told that, this city is not our home and it can never be. We are not allowed to ‘disrespect’ any ‘Localite’, or date a local chick.

All that was taken into consideration, but there was one important thing we didn’t know. “We aren’t supposed to perform well”! In case you did, your teachers will make sure it doesn’t show in your results. Of course we all passed.

Coming back to the “Disrespecting a Localite” part. One of my Northie counterpart pushed a Khatta (that’s how we addressed them) while playing ‘pitto’. Inculcated with ethics my friend helped him get up. But, what does he get in return? A couple of abuses and a slight mishandling of the collar. Now, we small town guys can tolerate every bloody insult, but, someone holding our ‘Girebaan’ is something we can’t stand.

The result: A fight for dignity and self respect. Bruised faces, uprooted shrubs, torn T-shirts, a fractured thumb and a couple of half-murder cases followed. One of my friend got 17 fractures in his thumb and till today (incident happened 4 years back) struggles to bend his thumb.

We thought we won the fight, but we failed to realise the fight wasn’t over. 2 hours before his first semester exam my friend (with a fractured thumb) was denied a writer. All of us were denied a place in the hostel. Most importantly since then whenever anything went wrong we were called for interrogation, doesn’t matter if you weren’t in town. “Saaley humey talcum powder samajh ke rakhe the, jab khujli hui bula liya” (Courtesy – Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante).

I don’t really hate the city because it gave me fantastic friends and taught me many lessons. They have their reason for their actions. They are jealous of the fact that we achieve as much as they do in their hometown. They feel that because of us, many of their people are unemployed. Most importantly the population density has increased. May be they have a point, but don’t they do the same. I refuse to believe that none of them move out of their cities for a better future. How can we point at the western nations for being racially biased when the same shit happens in our country?

A Morning Walk!

By Devjani Bodepudi

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He lay there, eyes closed, mouth open. She closed his mouth, lifting his chin to his top lip; he looked better that way. He did not move.

She climbed off the bed and padded her way, barefoot to the en-suite. She washed her face and looked into the mirror. Oh, she felt better!

Slowly peeling off the layers of clothing, Emily began to think about all that there was to do. She would need to book some tickets to somewhere snowy, but she would do that in a few months, there really was no rush. Before that, perhaps she would buy some new clothes and get her hair cut shorter. At the moment, Emily kept it tied up in a neat but perfunctory bun at the nape of her neck. She felt like a change! Her birthday arrived with much promise this year, she reflected as the steam rose from the shower and veiled the glass with a cloak of grey.

Stepping in, Emily delighted in the drops of hot water on her skin, on her scalp, on her breasts! Her senses felt keener, she felt newer, like she had awoken from a deep sleep and just this simple act of taking a shower was an experience she had missed for a long time. The rich shampoo filled the bathroom with a fruity scent that made Emily crave strawberries. What had gotten into her? She giggled at the thought as scrubbed and rubbed and dabbed and lathered and stroked.

Stepping out, Emily moved around the bed in her towel, careful not to disturb her husband who still lay on the bed, motionless. “My, what a deep sleep!” she remarked, wryly.

She dressed with care. She settled for a skirt today, with a sleeveless top. She hadn’t worn these clothes since the month before her wedding. She smoothed down the pleats and remembered her best friend’s words, “You’ll be fine! You’re starting a whole new life, but never forget who you are.”  Her friend, Swetha, was living in India now, she had heard. It was funny how friends grew apart. A million miles away from the here and now, she wondered what India was like. She wondered if she should visit.

Smiling with the possibilities, she dried her hair with a hairdryer and tied it up in the way she always did. Then she changed her mind. She let it fall about her shoulders in a smooth, fluid sheet of gold. She glanced at the bed again. Still. No movement.

Hmmm…she was ready but where should she go? She contemplated making the phone call first, but decided to leave it a little longer. Perhaps this afternoon, at lunchtime would be the right time, but for now, she would take a walk in the park, feel the sun on her shoulders for the first time this summer.

It was decided then, as she closed the front door behind her, the park with the ducks and the swans and the geese. It wasn’t a very scenic walk but it was during this walk when Emily finally saw what she had refused to see in the all of her six years as resident of this tiny village. Things could be beautiful. The grass could actually smell sweet and rich like mint and chocolate. And the sun could be warm on her skin without burning. She saw the neighbours smile more openly suddenly and she heard the bird song had a melodic pattern of question and answer, up, then down. There was order and calm and as the grocer arranged the fruit and vegetables outside his shop, she saw there was order in that too. And yes, she saw the strawberries and yes, everything was as it should be.

She wasn’t wearing a watch so she relied on her stomach to tell her when she was hungry. She stopped off at the local bakery for a sandwich and then headed home. It would have to be now, she thought. She would make the phone call and get it over and done with and then she could make a hair appointment.

But Emily still wasn’t quite ready to walk back into the house. She knew he was still in the bedroom and she knew he was not going to be up and about but as she neared her front door, like Harry Potter’s lightning scar, her bruises began to burn. Her thighs began to tremble and her hand, ever so slightly shook as she held the key to the door.

But enter she must. She turned the lock and held her breath. It was an irrational fear she knew, but it had become a habit, a technique for survival. It was dark inside. In her haste to walk out of the front door, Emily realized that she had not opened the curtains. She opened them now, allowing the sun to catch the dust, like tiny specks of silver floating together in a beam of glitter to the carpet.

She dialed the number that every child knew and she waited.

“Ambulance, please,” she said, her voice trembling slightly.

My husband’s not breathing, he’s not moving. I left him in the morning, to go for a walk, I thought he was sleeping! He took some sleeping pills last night!”

The words came out in a rush and as she said them, she realized what she had said. He was dead. Finally, he was dead.

“What’s the address, Madam?”

Emily completed the formalities and put the phone down.

She went back up the stairs to her bedroom but her stomach lurched as she opened the door.

The bed was empty. Her husband was not there.

A hand was clasped firmly over her mouth and she was pushed on the bed. Her legs were forced apart by his knees. He pulled her hair back and stifled her scream with his mouth. He bit down hard, drawing blood and as he moved his mouth away he snarled.

“What were you thinking, Bitch? What the fuck did you put in my tea, last night?”

She couldn’t answer. He wasn’t really looking for an answer. He just pushed his way inside, like he did last night, like he did every night. She closed her eyes, left her body where it was until she heard the sirens, the banging on the door, the calls through the letterbox. Her husband went down, opened the door, told them everything was all right. But no one answered her calls, the ones she screamed in desperate silence from inside her. Eventually the voices faded and it was quiet again. Emily came back into herself and shook violently, cold and in pain. Her husband had gone out.

She just managed to hear the door close before she closed her eyes and gave into sleep.

Goli – The Bitter Candy

candy

By Yogesh Om Potaliya

Someone somewhere at some point has been given this ‘Goli’ the Candy. A boss must have given you, your teacher when you were a kid; anyone trying to sell something to you, our government does that during pre-elections time; why even think so far as it could be a friend trying to convince you go shopping with them.

If still it isn’t clear to you what I am talking about then Giving ‘Goli’ is a slang phrase that has its origin in India referred to a situation when a person convinces someone to do something they didn’t want to do yet they do it for the false promise or hope “Given” to them which is referred as Giving ‘Goli’.

Why the word ‘Goli’? In India, ‘Goli’ is the local Hindi word for candy and just like you give a candy to a kid who isn’t rational enough and gets convinced on being offered a candy or agrees to do what you want in exchange of a candy, similarly you could give this candy of false words to any Tom, Dick, and Harry to get through him for your own benefits.

Just when Jim thought of quitting his miserable demanding job after not getting the much awaited appraisals, his boss gave him a ‘Goli’, that he is going to talk to HR head for getting Jim the prestigious employee of the month award; to which Jim agreed only to realise after a month that he wasn’t the chosen one at the end of that month. Upon enquiring into the matter with his boss, he gets another ‘Goli’, that this month’s employee of the month was already decided and that he would propose his name next month for sure. Annoying for Jim this still did not happen the next month as Jim fell marginally short of his targets due to extended week he took off for taking care of his mom who was due for a doctor visit for a long time.

Jim isn’t one guy who is getting tricked however we all have been Jim at some point. Today, everyone is Jim in a way and is trying to make a Jim out of the next person by giving the easy way out ‘Goli’.

Picture an advertising agency where there are senior client managers, creative team, production team, strategic team and a client. Agency people often go to meet client for pitching in a boasting unique out-of-the-box idea and sounds convincing that it’s going to do wonders for the client however largely that’s not how the marketers on the client side see the picture and hence a ‘Goli’comes in the chain of communications that happens from there on. Client initiates this Goli’ chain by giving those usual marketing agenda excuses to the client management team that the idea is great however with budget constraints and different campaign targets we would think about doing this mega campaign next year and that the agency needs to come up with a different and more subtle practical idea.

Now that big fat juicy ‘Goli’ which was given to the client management team from the client is then divided in to several small ‘Golis’(plural)  and are then distributed among the teams. First ‘Goli’ is given to the client management junior who is asked to come up with a different creative brief and is said that this particular client is highly exceptional and particular in his requirements. The next in line to receive ‘Goli’ are strategists who are now asked to work on different sets of campaign goals considering the competition which is doing something usual; next comes creative team who are given the ‘Goli’ of how important the timeline is for client and how he can’t afford to spend so much and do something unique. The sweetest portion of the ‘Goli’ then is given to production team who is asked to give the end result in over a Saturday night to save client some precious time and go live as soon as possible as client is already late with the campaign because of the agency.

‘Goli’ is awesome as it gets you going and keeps your work from getting stuck. Give your wife a ‘Goli’of a holiday in Shimla and she would stop bothering you from constantly GPSing you from time to time in your busy schedule throughout the day.

‘Goli’ can get you through but it won’t save you from a rubbish output if you use it often. Transparency might take time and is a lengthy process however in your career and personal life refrain from using ‘Goli’ in just about every situation you get stuck in.

In fact, not just to others but sometime we are giving ‘Goli’ to ourselves by not facing the reality of the moment and have a face-off with the truth.

If you have been doing it so far then may be about time you face the jingles. A ‘Goli’ is good only for tiny quick fixes but not for building strong bridges or a strong foundation.

Exploring Goa – XXV – Sunny Palolem Once Again

Flashback – Kartik’s in Sunny Palolem so far and the adventure begins now. To read his other articles on what to explore in Goa, Click here.

When the sun comes out, you are the best judge to decide, whether you douse yourself in oil and layback on a beach bed, or to explore where the curve of the beach takes you to! I loved the hills in the background, and decided to walk along!

image001I walked along the curve of the beach, and increased my pace by walking along the wetter part of the beach. It’s a good base for your crocs to make you walk a tad faster.

image002Never Far away from the constant chatter of the boatmen and their plans to get a load of people to see Dolphins.

image003Given the heat building up, we mid way decided to walk inside the forest in the shade of the trees. The Blue and Green looked lovely.

image004

Yes We Know Its Time For #Sachin, Yet We Want Some More

Sachin Tendulkar

By Ankush Kumar

A spider and its climb tirelessly inspired a king to fight again. Victory was still not guaranteed but the fear of failure did not act as a deterrent to the man’s attempts. Great warriors have died in the lamest fashion, but none are remembered for their end, history still talks about their life and their efforts to conquer the world.

Tomorrow modern age heroes will adorn pages in different textbooks, they will inspire generations, but for many they will just remain a reference point. Nothing more and nothing less.

Yet for some bizarre reason we still want to cling on to a few of them forever. Why are we not ready to come to terms with the fact that ‘All good things come to an end”. Is it our insecurities or is it the fear that we do not have too many people who will inspire us again?

I guess its a bit of both worlds. The few good men, who have entertained us, given us a ray of hope, have made us believe in ourselves, in the process have learnt nothing but that. Shahrukh Khan has said it umpteen numbers of times that his biggest fear is that ‘one day he will get up and the arc lights wont be around’. He still is in a profession where his fans can get entertained at 70. But what about heroes who play on the field? How can they entertain us till death separates the genius and its soul?

The bitter reality is that they cant. Beyond a point defying age is stupid. Yet the fans that want to see Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar bat again outnumbers the critics who don’t. So what does he do now?

Imagine how tough it must be for the man itself to think of hanging the boots if its so tough for the fans. There is a entire generation for whom cricket has started and ends with Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Few good men like him can adorn roles of mentors or coaches or teachers, but the reality is great sport stars make very average coaches. So how will the man entertain us? The answer is he wont. Once he walks back to that dressing room one final time, an era will be over.
Maybe the time has come, yes the BCCI has possibly squeezed in one tour before the SA series, maybe money was their priority, but then for once fans like me are not complaining. Maybe it will be his last test, maybe in bradmanesque fashion he will end his career, but that one chant ‘Sachiiiiin Sachiiiiin’ will reverberate through the roof of Wankhede this November.

Bruce triumphed, his failures are stories of folklore, warriors won, their battles are part of history, sport stars have fallen, lost, yet the only stories that are remembered is the number of hearts they have won.

His recent failures, have given a chance to his cynics to prove that he is Human not God, his fans knew that long back, its just that GODS were made by action and deeds and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar falls in the same category. One part in me and possibly many others will go numb when he will be gone. But till then let’s savor each run the legend scores as possibly even we know that the time is up.

The Love Cartridge: The Unforgiving Bullet – Chapter 6

By Joybrato Dutta

the love catridge

Day – Friday, June 13, 2008
Time – 8:30 PM

Harsh regained consciousness. Vikrant was not at home. On a post-it he had mentioned that he is going out for some work and will be back by 9. Vikrant had left his car for Harsh. Harsh took the keys and ran out of the house. He was driven by anger, by fear, by sadness, by vengeance but at the end it was regret that overshadowed every other emotion. He stopped at a medical store and bought a bottle of rat poison and drove away to his house in Birsanagar.

Neha was already there, hiding behind a tree, waiting for him. She followed Harsh as he climbed up the stairs. She hid herself as soon as Harsh was unlocking the door. Vengeance blindfolded her. She blocked the lock.

Harsh didn’t realise. He poured the tablets in a bottle of Old Monk. He switched on his laptop and started typing.

Neha knew this was the opportunity. She entered the room and shot Harsh on the head. She went closer to check his body. She looks at Riya’s photo fires the remaining 5 bullets.

Cartridge Over!!!