Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Indian Farmer conundrum

And once again, we are right where we began.

"Give them cheap credit."

"Farm loan waiver is a must."...

Sit back and think about it.Independence happened 72 years ago. In 72 years, we have not been able to create the infrastructure and the policy regime that allows the Indian farmer to break out of the debt trap. If anything, we are deepening their dependence on debt through this behavioural reinforcement of "Farm loan waiver required to win elections."

Let's think about it: Farming is an industry. It should be profit positive. Why does it need subsidies? Why is it so loan dependant? Does the farmer really need the loan and the subsidy? 

In 72 years, and particularly under the Green Revolution, the government has been able to successfully create a nation-wide supply chain of:
A . GM/"High-yield"/ Hybrid seeds
B.  Fertilisers, and
C. Pesticides
- forcing farmers to give up their traditional "inefficient" farming practices and ensuring their inevitable dependence on expensive farm inputs - fertiliser, seed, pesticide. (Ergo - Need for Debt) 

BUT, we have not been able to create a nation wide network of:
A. Irrigation channels  - reduces input costs and dependence on power to use the tubewells.
B. Cold Storage

- The two things that would have helped the farmer to actually increase margins, gain staying power in the market, and reduce input costs. (Ergo - Inability to earn enough to repay that debt) 

Why is that? 
BECAUSE:
1. It is NOT PROFITABLE to let the Indian farmer be economically viable. The minute you do that, you take away their status as the vote bank.
2. Union Carbide benefits from pesticide production. Monsanto benefits from GM seeds. Farmers benefit from cold storage facilities. There is no party donation money in that.
3. The farmers themselves find the benefits much easier than the hard work. Instead of demanding farm loan waiver, why did they not ask for subsidy for temperature controlled warehouses and transport vehicles? They all have a fridge at home. They all know the difference it will make if they release their pulses in the market when the price is high, vs if they release it when the harvest has just come.

If the farmer is able to hold on to his produce, the entire corrupt system created by the agricultural marketing industry collapses. 

So, my vote is for that cold storage chain that benefits the farmers, and for a nation-wide irrigation network based on canals and natural river flow OR allowing the farmers to go back to traditional water harvesting methods which are not energy intensive. They were not subsidy dependant. We made them subsidy dependant to become food secure as a country. 


Saturday, January 12, 2019

My life.. and original quotes

1. We're currently in the middle of an opinion epidemic.

2. Half of the hair I'm losing is from teaching the progeny.  Maybe someone should research "tutoring" as a cause for female pattern balding.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Man ki baat

Some people say "You'll lose me." Like they're the fucking lottery.

Sometimes, suicide is the greatest proof of intelligence.

Silent screams have no radio frequencies. 


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Sapna - Children's Poem in Hindi


"अम्मा मैंने इक सपना देखा 
बड़ा ही सुन्दर, बड़ा ही न्यारा!"


बेटा, वो तो है तेरा लेखा!
तभी लगे तू इतना प्यारा!
क्या देखा तुमने सपने में 
चॉकलेट दी क्या तुम्हे किसी ने?


न अम्मा, उस से भी अच्छा 
जिस से खुश होगा हर बच्चा!


क्या पूरा दिन खेल के आये 
और घर आ कर नहीं  नहाये?


ये  सपना भी अच्छा होता,
पर इतनी देर मैं न सोता।


अच्छा चलो मेरे लाल मैं हारी 
कह दो अब, तुम्हारी बारी 


अम्मा, मेरे उस सपने में 
रुई के जैसे सब बिस्तर थे 
न तो बच्चों को उठना पड़ता 
न ही स्कूल के पहरे लगे थे 
पूरा दिन हम उधम मचाएं 
शाम को भरपेट से खाएं 
ऐसी मज़े की हो जो दुनिया 
खिलखिलाएगी तब मुनिया 


किन्तु मेरे होनहार जी 
सबको इक दिन होना बड़ा है 
बचपन जो गंवाये खेल के
उसका यौवन बहुत कड़ा है 


बचपन में जो ताने खा ले,
उसे पड़ें न समय के कोड़े 
तुम भी पड़ो यथार्थ के पाले,
और बड़े हो जाओ थोड़े.
 





Scrabble

Mere paas hai hi kya? Kuchh shabd...tute tute
 जैसे बचपन में
Scrabble खेला हो हमने कभी
और उसकी टाइलें
वहीं पङी रह गयीं



 उस अधूरे शब्द का
बाज़ू मेज़ के ऊपर
पैर खाट के नीचे
और सर अब भी
Tile rack पर, सटीक,
बाकी के शब्द की टोह में।



चलो
फिर से Scrabble खेलते हैं,
एक हर्फ बनायेंगे, मुकम्मल..
U तुम लाना, S मैं लाऊंगा
बीच का सितारा खाली है
सब Double हो जायेगा।


Afterthought:
 बस एक ख्याल रखना,
आगे के खेल में
 उस S के आगे E कोई न लगाये -
 न तुम, न मैं।



Rough Translation:
What do i have, after all?
Just a few incomplete, broken words..
As if,
at some time in our childhood
we played Scrabble
and the remnants of the game
remained right there.


Parts of that incomplete word:
The arms, on the table
The feet, under the bed
and the Head, still on the tile rack - erect,
Awaiting
the rest of the word.


Come, let's play
Scrabble
again -
To make
a complete word.
You bring the "U"
and I'll bring the "S"
The star in the center is vacant
We will be rewarded
twice over.


Afterthought:
There is one thing, though,
for the rest of the time,
We must promise to never add
An "E" after that "S"







Friday, December 21, 2018

Erma Bombeck Special

My mother has elevated revenge to an art form.


Oh, i used to be naive about animals.  I thought they are male, unmarried, and travelling alone. 

It amazes me how every year, a childless writer will set down suggestions on the joys of travelling with children.


I wondered if she married a man who considered asking for directions anywhere as a genetic weakness. I wish I had a dime for every cloverleaf that we circled for 8 days.


We explored every dead end road in the United States, blazed trails where only covered wagons had been, and discovered maternity homes for bloodsucking mosquitoes.


Children do not go on a vacation to have a good time. If the parents really wanted them to have a good time, they would leave them at home.


No self respecting family would think of going on a vacation without the 'seat-kicker'. The seat kicker is a fore runner of the bionic leg. He positions himself just behind daddy's seat and has been clocked at 200 kicks per minute for as long as 400 miles. The motion affects his hearing.


Kids haven't been home unless they have pawed through their old sports trophies and ribbons, 2080 friendship pictures from grade schools, rubber worms, dolls with no eyes, graduation tassels, rugs from Disneyland, pennants, report cards, sand-filled cameras, basketballs, kits, dog-eared letters, college catalogs, and licence plates.


"Mom, this is our history. It shows that we were here."
"Your father and i live at poverty level. What more proof do we need that you were here?"

Clean underwear does not reproduce itself.


Students who write to their parents get remembered in the will.

Look, son, ever since you graduated from college you've been trying to find yourself.  You wanna know where you are? You're somewhere between Clearsil and bankruptcy.

"I take care of the car. "
"Pouring Orange crush in the radiator when it boils over is not taking care of it. "


It was always understood that my husband, Darth Vader, would be the custodian of the television tuner.  He regarded the electronic device as his personal "force" of good over evil TV shows.

Ten children... thats a lot of shoes, a lifetime of overbites, an eternity of 'Can I..'s, endless evenings of PTA, years of slammed doors, and an uninterrupted spam of "we've got the kids to think about.."

Every time mom said, "I'm doing this because i love u. ", i knew it was going to be something rotten.

We have an entire generation of kids growing up who have been told that work must be 'fun, relevant, and meaningful. ' it's actually discipline, competition, and repetition.  They're confusing work with success. Success is fun, relevant and meaningful. Work is just plain dogging it.

- from Family- The ties that bind, and gag. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mann Ki Baat

नेकी इक दिन काम आती है, हमको क्या समझाते हो,
हमने बेबस मरते देखे, कैसे प्यारे प्यारे लोग!
- जावेद अख्तर 


***************
'Health is Wealth' is an adage that is learnt in school but understood at the hospital check out counter or the Old Age home.
- this is mine.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Katranein/ कतरनें

नुन्नी, तू कविता लिखती थी न?

अब कहां लिखूंगी मां? घर, बच्चे, असबाब..

कविता, धमनियों के रक्त सी होती है। हममें ही बहती है।
जब तक तन की धमनियों में रक्त है बच्चे,
तब तक आत्मा में कविता बहती है।

Monday, December 10, 2018

Today's gratitude

Today's gratitude is for 2 things:
1. Ice cream on winter nights
2. A free sky above my head.
3. My friends.
4. Chhangu baba