Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Tryst with Photography, Nokia Lumia 1020










The past week with Lumia 1020 has been awesome, and these are some of the remembered frames.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal and the 2014 LS elections



The Lok Sabha election has come to an end in the mecca of democracy. The votes have been counted and the mandate of the electorate is out in the open. While its time for jubilation for the opposition, it has also been a humiliating defeat for the ruling majority. They have been ousted by a population from which their over ambitious corrupted endeavors were clearer than the promises of future merry making. In this political brewery, there stood one man who not only lost from his own constituency but witnessed defeat in more than 400 others. He led a revolution which he believed would get national credence but apparently failed to strike a chord with the voters. He is Arvind Kejriwal. His faults might be many. There might have been serious craters in his maiden national political strategy, but this post is not to discuss that. I would like to share the impression of this man in the Indian political potpourri and also my personal opinion about Indian politics and I am sure there would be many who share the same thoughts.
First some hard background checks:
In India, like many other professions, politics is considered to be a total waste. It is indeed difficult to believe that the country which boasts of the largest democracy in the world cannot properly educate its own children and motivate them to join this proud service. Politics is reserved for those who either belong to an already rooted political family, or to those who cannot do anything else. I am not saying that there aren't any educated people involved, but by the time they climb the ladder of their respective parties, they become their own 20 year old enemy. The manifestos of the political parties become mere scribbling on a piece of paper. The motto changes from national service to personal welfare. The bed of roses is preferred over thorny development. And the vicious cycle continues. And more people turn away from politics out of disgust and hopelessness. This creates a suitable work environment for the parties as they don't have to deal with questions from smart people. They show up before the elections, cull their votes and go about minding their own business till the next bell of election rings. Rampant corruption follows and the voters feel betrayed and change the government for the next round. In this claustrophobic arrangement of governance, voters stop caring. They come back home to their growing children and motivate them to become doctors and engineers. And hence, nobody wants to become a politician in India.
But in 2014 something different happened.
There rose a man from the lesser known neighborhoods of NCR, who dared to challenge this morbid smog. He dared to punch a hole in this flak created by the system. From his cushy post of a Tax officer he hit the streets and talked about revolution. From his 9 to 5 daily job, he chose to spend sleepless nights of protests. He got a degree in engineering from IIT, cleared the tough hurdles of UPSC exam and got himself a highly reputed job. His was the life every middle class Indian dreamt of. His were the achievements that every good student worked hard for. And it is this connection for which he became an overnight sensation. People saw a ray of hope. They found a leader who did not sway into the big houses of established political parties but draw his own line of principles, who did not salivate for power but talk about selfless honest government, who did not talk non sense but base his explanations on lucid logic. People saw a man grow out of a revolution against a corrupt government. People caught a glimpse of how the truth got suppressed under the strong armed ruthless ministers. They watched on when water cannons met the peaceful protesters at India Gate. And that is why when Arvind decided to form a political party leaving behind all his comfort and calm, people joined in numbers. All those who shared the dream to wake up in a better country joined hands to make a chain of truth and virtue. They wore the Aam Aadmi caps and hit the roads. Many sacrificed their jobs, many donated their daily earnings, and many started spreading the good word through Facebook and Twitter for they believed that if someone like Arvind Kejriwal can, why can't they. They couldn't have let him slip away. The nation couldn't have afforded to lose one of its prime assets in its most important industry.
Hence came the Delhi elections 2013. Arvind Kejriwal came out from the streets of revolution. He open fired at the corrupt representatives. The media did everything possible to cover his acts. The results brought a beacon of change. A fifteen year old government suffered a horrific defeat. There was a rage of anger among the voters against the ruling government. It was the roar of a lion being held captive for long. The message from the voters was loud and clear and the electorate showed that their tolerance had a limit which should not be breached. Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as the chief minister of Delhi. He got OUTSIDE SUPPORT from the ruling congress without asking for it. Like he had promised in his political campaigns, after 49 days of governing Delhi, he tried to move the JanLokpal bill in the Delhi assembly. This bill met with strong protests and so were two others and the chief minister could not convince the house. Following this, Arvind Kejriwal resigned from his CM post. This ignited the greatest political debate that our nation had participated in many years. "Did Arvind Kejriwal do the right thing by stepping down?" Everybody had their opinions and they went an extra mile to voice it. Facebook was flooded with updates from unexpected corners. People who had zero political interest were arguing the decision. Media minted a lot of controversy and the drama culled more viewership than the cult saans-bahu serials. Some people were praising the selfless attitude while some called him an escapist. Some saw a hint of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Bose him while some saw it as a political move to contest the national elections.
But behind all this, the nation had awakened. People, who did not care to know the name of the President, were now discussing politics over office lunch hours. It was everywhere. My neighbor, a class sixth student did his own style of campaigning by going to every apartment in the building and asking people to vote for AAP. The political analysis was more scrutinized. The misdeeds of the past government were condemned. My mother sacrificed watching her favorite television soap to watch the Newshour. People like Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai became celebrities. The middle class was rising. They got enough food for their thoughts and the blanket of hopelessness was removed. Everybody knew India was a super power, but people had started asking obvious questions. Irrespective of what political end they held, people cared to come out and participate in this tug of war. There was someone out there who spoke like them and had a common origin. People frustrated with both the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party had a new glint which they could hold on to.
It would have been better had Arvind managed to secure a seat inside the Indian Parliament this coming session but his contribution to Indian politics is something that we all will remain indebted. He has brought an entire class of educated people inside politics. People who earlier preferred staying out having no comments, are now interested to know the proceedings. People now care.
And for this change, the credit goes to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, because in hindsight, his was the only differentiating factor in this election compared to the previous LS polls (political parties).
Only time can tell whether the voters have given the responsibility to run the country in right hands, but I am sure that anyone who will get involved in an act to harm the national interest of the country will have to think twice for they know that a more enlightened, a more interested and an active strata of the population is watching closely. The common man with its enormous force has woken up. 
We care, so you better care.

Monday, May 05, 2014

What to Write


What to write and How do I write it
Is the constant of all battles and we all have to fight it
Shall I make it like the Bolero with castanets clinging
Or do I just add a feel that with an acoustic upbringing?
Do I paint my piece with tears of social evil?
Or do I write about hope to scare away the devil?
Shall I pen down something for the inner laughter bone?
Or let me just write romance from the apex of a double cone.
Oh wait, why not write about the new fiery intense leader?
Or do I just start writing caring less about the reader.
Can I write a piece of which every word be meant?
Lets not write anything, my time has already been spent.

//a random access malabar masala\\

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Heaviest Sleep

Saturday and Sunday share a strange friendship. Sunday is the reason why Saturdays are celebrated and chilled out, but nobody likes to live through the Sunday. The feeling of going back to work the next day, or the next five days, sucks out the weekend fun. But this post if not about Sundays.
I woke up today at 8 in the morning and got out of bed by 9:30. Made coffee, watched cricket, called India-1, made breakfast and called India-2 and a good 4 hours were spent. So effectively my Sunday started at 1:45 in the afternoon. It had snowed yesterday night through today's morning and hence going out was not an option. Cooked lunch and ate it by 3. With nothing substantial to do next, I slept. I woke up half an hour before and its 8 now. I feel the food has bloated up inside me. I feel like a balloon. My mind has stopped working. My roommates seem all the more boring. Life seems to have stopped moving. The guitar doesn't sound good anymore. The evening tea seemed bland. Music is not working.
The afternoon sleep is an evil. Every time I have slept just after a heavy lunch, I have woken up like this. Delusional. It will take me one more hour to come back to life and I won't be able to sleep till its 1 or 2. And in turn wake up lazy tomorrow. And the entire Monday will suck. At home, at work.!! So will my week begin.
Have a great week ahead people. 
Hope you didn't sleep the Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Cursed Goodness

The very first sentence a child learns to write is, "Ram is a good boy."And thus he is shown the path ahead. The good boy path. The imaginary good boy, he is told, is someone who helps others and gets goodness in return. He is the one who the good gods take good care of. He is someone who races ahead of the bad kids and always succeeds. He is generally right but always correct. And thus the poor child, who has just started to lean new things around him is fed the already-established good traits. He is made to learn them and abide them.
But is this the way to go about it?
In reality, the bad boys rock the world. Not only in the lines of of snoop doggy Rhythm and Poetry, but in real sense. The world runs on the frequency of the bad boys. They are the ones who matter. 
Sad and lengthy nouns like pressure, frustration, responsibility, expectation are the general feelings of a good boy. He is the one who has followed a fixed approach to life. He is the one who understands what is right and what is not. He has read enough books and have developed a fitting wisdom with which he satisfies people and logic at the same time. At least tries to. He does not deliberately hurt or harm anybody because he thinks that what goes around eventually comes back around. He has been taught that honesty is THE best policy and he waits patiently till his best honest policy is suitably rewarded. He does not want to think about the results of his good deeds because he follows the approach of doing work without worrying about its benefits. He follows rule, stops at every traffic light, helps the blind man cross the road, completes his work on time, never lies, never cheats, doesn't drink or smoke, doesn't slang, respects his elders and in the process he gets lost in the quagmire of human expectations. 
On the other real hand, the bad boy is the reckless one. He is the middle finger of the world. He is careless about others. He thinks of this world like his playground where he plays till its fun and packs his bag and leaves when he gets out. He is the one who always balls first and bats first. In the process making everyone furious but also playing the most. He is the one the majority hates. But again, he does not care about the majority for he abuses. And he knows that the world is too weak on its legs when it come to criticism. People generally end up following and praising the one who criticizes. He doesn't fake, he is least cared to look good or sound good. He masks his lack of knowledge by judging others and hence people try to avoid messing around with him. He makes fun of people, he mocks his peers seniors, he cheats in his exam and scores good, he bends the rules to suit his need, he is good to those only who respect or revere him, he is the king of his life and his self obsession kills his enemies.
In this way the good boys sulk and the bad boys rule their world.
So who is good actually?
"The above is a detailed version of a conversation I had a few days back about an enlightened kid."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Compatriot

Walking back from his office in the evening, Ashutosh met Simran.
It was his first day in the US office and he was upbeat. Unlike the general opinion that the balloon bursts on the very first day, Ashu's first day was fun to say the least. He met his boss who was also an Indian, more so from Kolkata. His team of 9 people, comprised of 5 beautiful ladies. Unmarried. The ones he used to dream about in his college days back home. His cubicle was in front of the window which faced the lake. The Millenium Park could also be seen. People flocking around, getting wet in the reflections of the fountainhead and drying them up at the same time. Tourists posing in front of the bean for that perfect shot. And just as he was observing all of it, his team came up with a surprise lunch party. Theme Bollywood. He had never been in a party like that. To any party for that matter, not considering the school-time birthday parties. And a party themed Bollywood in the workplace, was totally out of his imagination. His boss took pride to introduce him to rest of the department and he felt at home meeting everyone. The human resource department had a presentation explaining him his revised compensation and other benefits. He had doubled his salary with this job jump he thought. He was put up in an apartment few blocks away. Although he had not yet checked his room, but the place was managed by Sheraton and hence, was good.
At around 5 he left his chair and wrapped up the gifts from his teammates into his backpack and left for home. He noticed her just as he got out of the office.
Her pace faster than his.
Her hair, beautifully combed, neat and black.
Her gait, like a fairy. Measured steps.
He was desperate to steal a glance of the face and started walking faster. And at the intersection of the State and Madisson, he walked past her and stood in front.
And that is how Simran met Ashutosh for the first time.