Monday, December 23, 2019

An experiment

Let's try an experiment. Take an object, any object, in your house. Touch it with love everyday. While going out of the house, touch it gently and say Bye. When you enter, touch it again and say, "I'm home".

Within 2 months, you will find that the object radiates love. You will feel happier when u stand near that object. And so will the people who come to your house. Without any reason, that will become the favourite "spot" of everyone in the house.

What is happening here, is simply this - Love, as an energy, is unbeatable. Like a sponge, the object absorbs love. And then, it starts to radiate love back. It doesn't matter whether the object is animate or inanimate. It doesn't matter if its a pet or an idol. Or even a rock pet. This WILL happen. The target object is completely immaterial.

Now, imagine if you were doing this to people sharing the house with you. Or a child. Or a colleague. A friend.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

What is the new Citizenship Act of India?

All you need to know to understand the Citizenship Amendment Act:

The basic Citizenship Act:

The Text of the Amendment:

Articles 5 to 11 of the Indian Constitution:

And to the geniuses spouting Article 14: You are like the dog lovers who start their letters by stating: Removing strays is a violation of Article 51 of the Indian Constitution. Matlab, कुछ भी!! 
Have you ever read Article 14? The entire Haj Subsidy, Minority Benefits, Subsidised land for religious institutions, Minority educational institutions - THOSE are in violation of Article 14.

And if you want the shortcut, here is a Supreme Court lawyer who explains the legality of the Act:

Monday, December 16, 2019

Complex Change Management

Over the years, quite a few people have asked how I manage to get straight to the core issue every single time. 

Here is that secret: 
When trying to understand any situation that seems too complex and multi-faceted and confusing, the key questions to ask are: 
A. Who benefits from this? 
B. Who has the opportunity? 
C. Who has the motive? (Cliched as it sounds, it is a very useful answer) 
D. Who is paying? 
(Peace is our default state. Unrest costs money. A lot of money. Someone is paying it. Find out who, and you have your answer).


Sunday, December 15, 2019


एक  optical illusion हुआ करता है - जिस में सीढ़ियां ऊपर जाती हैं, पर असल में वो नीचे ले जा रही होती हैं. 
मेरे साथ भी कुछ ऐसा ही हुआ. 

अज़ीज़ हुआ करता था. 
अब अज़ीम हूँ. 

Pyaaraa/ Piece

तुम तक पहुँचने के
इस सफर पे जब निकला था 
बहुत मरहले आये. 

हर मरहले को मैंने 
एक मील का पत्थर मान लिया। 

उन चालों को चलते चलते 
मैं बन गया 
जीवन की शतरंज का
एक बहुत सफल प्यादा। 

बहुत सालों के बाद समझा हूँ 
कि 'पंज' हों, 
या 'वह एक' 
प्यारा नहीं बन सकता। 

* पंज प्यारे सिखों के दशम गुरु, गुरु गोबिंद सिंह जी के द्वारा अमृत छकाए गए, पहले खालसे थे. गृ गोबिंद सिंह जी ने भीड़ को ललकारा था - मरने के लिए कौन तैयार है? तब ये ५ जांबाज़ लोग मरने के लिए आगे आये थे. इस प्रकार खालसा पंथ की स्थापना हुई. पंज प्यारे सिखों में प्रेरणा और अडिग वीरता के चिन्ह हैं. 
"वह एक" यहां पर चुने हुए साथी के लिए प्रयुक्त है. 

When I started
this odyssey
to reach you -
At first
there were
many, many obstacles.

I treated each one
as a milestone
and did whatever it took
to overcome.

And that is how
I became
a really adept piece
on the board of life's chess.

It was only much later
that I realised
that a piece on the chess board
cannot be
a piece of
someone's heart.

On Child abuse

I am not a particularly sensitive person. Child grooming and abuse is a topic that I know about, and have worked with. Over the years, I have heard, and read, both personal and journalist stories that break the heart and make one wonder.

You've probably heard the story of Sweetie, the AI generated Philipino child who was instrumental in identifying thousands of pedophiles.

But THIS, breaks even my heart. THis is INSANE. And apparently, the insanity is only getting worse.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Just in case you were starting to forget what Congress India feels like

Today, the Indian National Congress held a rally in Delhi. Now, buses are typically not allowed on the expressway, but since Rajasthan is a Congress ruled state, the entire expressway was full of luxury buses - all the way from Gurgaon to Janpath there was a stream of luxury buses carrying people to this rally.

One of them hit our vehicle and raced on without a backward glance.

This trip to Delhi taught me 2 things:
1. The Swiss Bank money has not gone anywhere. There is enough and more to win the next elections.

2. Just in case we were beginning to forget what Congress rule looks like - this cavalcade of buses travelling illegally and fearlessly on the expressway, with no one in the media or private citizenry taking a picture or tweeting about it, this shameless bending of the rules without anyone saying a word, as if this was all in a day's job, was quite the reminder.
NOT the India I want to go back to.

Thank you, for reminding me, dynasty, that India is, in your view, still your personal fiefdom.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Sanskrit Sukti on the importance of a balanced diet

आतुर: सर्वभक्षी च नर: शीघ्र विनश्यति 
Meaning: He who is eager, and he who eats everything, such a person destroys his/her health very soon. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Sanskrit Sukti on donating food

अन्नस्य क्षुधितं पात्रं 
अन्नस्य - Of (receiving) food - अन्न का 
क्षुधितं - A hungry person - भूखा व्यक्ति 

पात्रं - is deserving - पात्र है.

A hungry person is a deserving recipient of food. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Remember this: India is not secular because of its constitution.  It is secular because of its population.  Every one who lives on this soil inherits co-existence.
In your bid to earn quick bucks and grants,  please don't deny that core feature of our existence.  Even ISIS doesn't do it.  Even ISIS admits that recruits from India are weak and "incapable of inflicting torture".
Surely, you can't be worse than ISIS? But then again,  whyever not? 

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Questions to Ponder over..

So, while watching Panipat(the movie) today, I had a doubt. Of the holy Trinity of Hinduism, Vishnu has taken the forms to fight most often - Ram is a warrior prince, Parashurama, Varaha, Narsimha, etc. Yet, the battle cry is "Har Har Mahadeva" - invoking the power of Shiva in everyone.
To the best of my knowledge, Shiva fights very well, but is, at heart, a Yogi.
So, why do the war cries not invoke Vishnu or any avatar of Vishnu? and more importantly, why do they invoke the power of Mahadev?
Anyone who knows and would like to enlighten please? I will be hajaar grateful.
Question number 2:

Mahabharata, the greatest battle in our mythology, happened in Kurukshetra.

3 successive battles were held in Panipat, barely 60 kms away.

As probability goes, the odds of 4 historic battles happening so close to each other are pretty.. abysmal.
What is it about Panipat?
Question no 3:

What is the origin of the name Panipat?

Jao Lao piya nadi se son machhri

Doesn't get better than this... EVER. 

Next time someone asks you about the importance of Paryayavachi, have them listen to this version above. It has the following lines: 

जो है कंचन का भरमाया 
उस ने किसका नेह निभाया 

In a later version, he replaces just a single word in the poem: 

जो है कंचन का भरमाया 
उस ने किसका प्रेम निभाया

And the difference that half a syllable makes! 

You have to hear it to believe it: 

With Neh:


Tuesday, December 03, 2019

This is what coaches and therapy Don't get - and spiritual guides and religions DO

My friend and I live halfway across the world from each other. Every night, i send her a Good Morning, and we chat almost everyday. 

Yesterday, she and I got talking about her coach. We realised that coaches expect us to come up with answers at a time in life when we DON'T have answers. I told her that the same thing happened with my therapy. The therapist insisted that i ask myself deep questions at a time when i was completely incapable of normal functioning! And then, it was my fault! I tried, really did, for about 2 months, before accepting that I am never going to be able to answer the questions to her satisfaction. Because after the first attempt, she said, "These answers are the reason why you need to go back and think more." Which gave me the sense that she has the answers in her mind, and she wants me to arrive at the same answers. The fact that this is the worst possible time to subject me to difficult questions and mandatory decision making, completely escaped her!  

After what my friend said last night, I REALLY got thinking. Yes, coaching and counselling both need answers to come from the person, but they don't get it that at the point at which coaching/ counselling are happening, the person is in no position to give those answers. Just guided questioning is not going to cut it! Even the person knows the questions. It is the answers that are missing. 

And then I thought, where do we go when we are really down and out? The answer is: We either turn to a spiritual guide, or to our religion. 

So, what is it that spiritual guides and religions do so well, and coaches and counselling don't? Why is counselling almost universally ineffective? 

And here, I think, is the answer: 
Spiritual guides and religion provide ANSWERS. 

At that moment, when you are asking existential questions like, "Why this? Why me? What next?" They don't take you to the torture chamber of interrogation and ask, "How do you feel? What do you want to do next?" I have no frigging idea how I feel, and i have no clue what i want to do next. Hell, i don't even know what next means?! 

At first, they ACCEPT. Pain and suffering are part of human existence. You are down and out. And that is OK. 

A Coach says, "Oh! You are going through a rough time. Let's talk about it." 
A counsellor says, "You have gone through abuse. This is hard. Do you want to talk about it?" 
A spiritual guide says, " Nanak Dukhiya sab sansaar." or "Sorrow is a guest that visits every household." or some such. 

Then, they DO NOT interrogate. They do not put you in a question chamber. They do not expect anything from you - not even a sane mind. They accept you as you are - vulnerable, and unable to function. 

And here is the important thing - they PROVIDE ANSWERS. 
Answers which make sense to them, and to some of us. 
Answers that we need at that time. There is plenty of time to pull up our socks and get cracking on work. But at THAT time, we don't want to make decisions. We don't want to answer questions. We want our questions answered. 

They provide SUPPORT. Every religion, every spiritual guide, tells the person coming to them - I AM HERE FOR YOU. Do you know how important that is? To say, I am here for  you? It is the lever that pulls a person out of loneliness and alienation. It is the thing that makes a person feel like a human being again. Therapy isolates. 

And for some people, they provide A COMMUNITY WITH SHARED BELIEFS. 
Usually, there is an ashram, or other followers of the religion who congregate at one place. I am a Sikh, and to me, the experience of the kirtan in the gurudwara makes me feel like such an integral part of the universe. At that moment, surrounded largely by strangers, all of whom smile at each other, I get the sense that I BELONG. More than with friends. More than with family. Here, with these people. 

And this, imho, is what mental health is doing so, so wrong. 

Friday, November 29, 2019


सोच और समझ
तुमने तह कर के रख दीं
दहेज में लाई हुई
साड़ियों के साथ।

"क्यों जी?" भूल कर,
"हाँ जी" सीख लिया,
एक ही दिन में।

"कहो जी..." भूल कर
"अजी सुनती हो?"
सीख लिया
एक ही दिन में।

7 फेरों, और 9 शब्दों ने,
जीवन बदल दिया देखो!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

On Punjabi Parenting

ਛਿਤੱਰ ਅਤੇ ਪਿੱਤਰ - Helping Punjabi mothers raise children since forever.

Now, I did try to translate this joke, but its one of those jokes that truly is lost in translation. 

The word "Chhittar" can mean anything from "Wait till I get you" to actual hitting a child. 
The word "Pittar" can mean anything from "Wait till your father gets home" to "Is this how you're going to ruin the family name?" or even "Oh my forefathers! Why didnt you take me with you? I would not have had to see this day!"  - depending on the type of Punjabi mother. 

So you see, you have to be a Punjabi to get this Pun. :) On the bright side, this has an Apna-Pun. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019


कुछ लोग होते हैं ऐसे 
जो चेहरे पे झलकती धूप को तो हटा सकते हैं 
नूर को नहीं। 
वैसी ही हो. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

On Pollution - Nov to Jan every year, Delhi

किसी को कुछ करना चाहिए।
किसी को ज़रूर कुछ करना चाहिए।
हर कोई कह रहा है,
किसी को कुछ करना ही चाहिए। 

कहने वाले 
करना कुछ नहीं चाहते।  
Someone must do something.
Someone must definitely do something.
Everyone is insisting,
Someone must do something for sure.
The ones who speak
Don't want to act.
Speaking is enough.
Like a winch
it levitates them
above all responsibility.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

On Pollution - from Nov to Jan

किसी को कुछ करना चाहिए।
किसी को ज़रूर कुछ करना चाहिए।
हर कोई कह रहा है,
किसी को कुछ करना ही चाहिए। 

मेरी माँ पूछती है,
ये आवाज़ उठाने वाले लोग,
हाथ क्यूँ नहीं उठाते?
ये बदलाव चाहते है तो
कदम क्यूँ नहीं बढ़ाते? 

ये उंगली उठाने वाले लोग,
कंधे क्यूँ नहीं मिलाते?
ये नारे लगाने वाले लोग,
जोर क्यूँ नहीं लगाते?

Someone must do something.
Someone must certainly do something.
Everyone is screaming,
Please let someone do something!

My mother, old and not so educated,
"These people who raise their voices,
Why don't they raise a finger to work?
If they want a change,
Why dont they take the first step?

The ones who raise an accusing finger
Why do they not lend a helping hand?
The ones who scream so loud,
Why don't they lead the charge?

Edit: This piece has been improved by Just Mohit. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Today's thoughts / Quotes

I wasn't strict with my son, because i was sure that sooner or later,  everyone learns to shoulder responsibility,  when life puts them them to the grind.
But then I saw:
28 year olds who can't cook
35 year olds not willing to get married
45 year olds who blame the govt for their pollution.

Evidently,  life's grinding stone is out to get polished.
I have learnt that love and energy are far more potent currencies than money.

When we say "People don't leave companies, they leave managers." ,we are effectively saying, "This person does not receive enough positive energy from a desired source."

When we say, "This person makes me feel like I belong." we are effectively saying, "There is enough love exchanged here."

It is funny how many of our transactions and experiences are understood when we start to recognise the exchange of love and energy that happened there.
Step 1. Look down upon the use of swear words.
Step 2. Create a world where swear words are needed more than ever.
Step 3. Talk about mental health.
My problem with bleeding hearts is that their hands never bleed.
Dear parent-of-7-year-old-who-refuses-to-look-away-from-the-laptop/phone-when-your-child-is-trying-to-talk-to-you: How do you expect your 14 year old to look up from his phone/gaming console when you are trying to talk to him?
The National Sport of India is long distance spitting and the national verb of India is bribe.

vyangya ki samasya

व्यंग्य की समस्या ये है, कि जिसे समझ में आता है उसे उसकी ज़रुरत नहीं है, और जिसे ज़रुरत है, उसे समझ में नहीं आता. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Katranein: Andha

सुनो, आज १२ दिन हुए तुम्हे गए. कल तेरह्वी  है।  मैंने इन १२ दिनों में १ बात नोटिस की. कहूँ तुमसे? सब लोग न, टोकते बहुत हैं. ये वहां नहीं रखते, ये रस्म ऐसे होती है. तुम कभी ऐसा नहीं किया करती थीं. मेरी बात चाहे गलत हो या सही, तुम "अच्छा" ही कहती थीं. 
पता है, मुझे कभी ऐसा लगा ही नहीं, कि तुम मेरी हाँ में हाँ मिला रही हो. मुझे हमेशा लगा, मैं सही हूँ. हर बात में. कभी शक भी नहीं हुआ, कि मैं गलत हो सकता हूँ. एक पूरा जीवन निकल गया देखो, और मैं अँधा ही रहा. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Omair Ahmed and Aakar Patel - Contempt of Court by the educated elite

The radicalism of the Muslim league was vocal, but not violent. Then came Jinnah - well read, articulate, influential. And THEN the violence started.

The radicalism of the common man creates one terrorist. But the radicalisation of the educated is exponentially more dangerous because they are able to influence millions and create a dialogue that is based on hatred, while making it appear to be based on logic.

Today, I read a piece in the paper as part of my regular reading. The author was some guy called Omair Ahmed. As I read on and on, my anger got worse and worse. I am not even a Hindu, i have never been to Ayodhya and as far as I can tell, will not go. But the article was so infuriating even to me.

The article quotes:
"again and again circles back to the fact that Hindus worshipped inarticle was  the outer courtyard of the complex, and harassed Muslims going into the mosque in the inner courtyard. It also cites that Hindus used to frequent the mosque before the riots of 1856, which starts the evidentiary trail.... and then...  Staggeringly, the court argues that this makes the claims of the Hindus to the whole site stronger than the claims of the Muslims.

And then:
The way that the Supreme Court has chosen to decide this dispute seems inescapably a commentary on how violence premised on faith is to be adjudged in the future.

And this gem follows:
Imagine if a group decides that, based on their faith, they can contest the ownership of the structure. Imagine if they set up a campaign to harass, attack, and forcibly take over the structure, smuggling in their articles of faith in the dead of the night to justify the takeover and locking out those that used to worship there.Contesting the ownership is so me-too! The right thing to do is to raze the structure and build a mosque on top of it, so that there is no doubt about the ownership any more. 

Imagine if evidence of this campaign is actually used to award them exclusive right to that structure. What imagine? That is exactly how the Faithful got the right to that structure.

And this is the piece-de-resistance:
In its own way, it is a judgement on the New India, an India where the Supreme Court has judged that reason has no place any longer. 
So, while stating that the Supreme Court's judgement is devoid of reason, this person does not think twice about contempt of court.

What made me really angry 
According to this dude, razing the holiest temple of the Hindus and doubling the insult by making a mosque there (an act that he does not mention) is reasonable and historically correct, but using that structure to pray to one of the most important deities in the religion is bullying and violence.

If that is not Islamic radicalism, I don't know what is. He can do contempt of court on national media. A national newspaper can publish that and another contempt of court on the same day (Aakar Patel).

On googling, I found that the bearer of this name is an author. So, starting with Devdutt Pattnaik, has the author community entered a race for increasing stupidity?

PS: I have a personal rule against posting anything hateful. But this article was sooo weird, it just needed to be recorded for posterity. The same way that i post about unscrupulous lawyers and doctors. Their public record gets whitewashed, but someone needs to write - for those who want to know the truth about this person. Or at some point in future, will want to know.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Colonising the Past and Kidnapping the Truth

Dear Learned People of the World (Especially the ones with an interest in history): 

People have always, throughout history, travelled, traded, intermarried, and migrated. Technological advancements have always gone from one place to another. Any human being who gets a genome test today will find that their ancestry comes from every continent on the planet and from all the 4 known races of humanity.

Get used to it. 

To stake a claim to the greatness of presumed ancestors is to take a very narrow and narrow minded view of the greatness that is the human past.

To squabble over perceived ancestry is even more petty - especially since one is uncertain of the ancestry and certain of the absence of a person's contribution towards that greatness - hell, you did not even contribute your genes to the creation of those geniuses. You assume you inherited those genes, and that is a hypothesis that I doubt very, very much.

But perhaps the worst thing about this is the colonisation of history. We are, essentially, cutting up the ancient world and staking claim to it - this was mine, this was yours. We are creating "Colonies" of ancestry with claimed ownership of each. The Sumerians were mine, The Egyptians were yours. The megaliths were mine, the Viscounts were yours. The Aryans? Wait, we are kind of fighting over who will get ownership of that one.
It does sound preposterous, doesn't it? IT IS.

To divide ancestors among the modern classes - The Sumerians Vs the Persians, the Egyptians Vs the Mesopotamians.. and closer home, the Aryan Invasion vs the Indic origin of Aryans.

Dear Egyptians: You may or may not have the same genetic stock. You definitely abandoned the cultural legacy and embraced other religions - the Roman, and now, Islam. You do not even remember the name of the religion practised by your ancestors. You cannot claim to have half the medical knowledge that your ancestors demonstrated. So what, exactly, is your claim to Egyptian empire fame?

Dear 'Aryans':  Whether the Aryans travelled East or West, is a question that should be investigated irrespective of where you live today - East, or West. The Aryan Invasion theory can not make the modern Caucasian proud of anything. Like I mentioned earlier - you don't know anything and you definitely didn't do anything to lead to that greatness. And Indians - The Indic origin of Aryans does not automatically make you Aryabhatta XIV.

Especially the modern Indians - Dear wise ones, from IVC to the British period, the measures of rural India, the cooking pots, and the cultural motifs remained UNCHANGED. Please accept our compliments for "developing" the rural Indian, "Educating" him/her, and insisting that they not use their native weights and measures. By doing this, you were able to annihilate the cultural knowledge embedded in the society for over 4 millenia. That takes some doing, and the genetic makeup of people doing that cannot be intelligent.

When you push an agenda rather than a search, when the results somehow contribute to your ego (HOW??), you are no longer a historian. You are a posturing Frigatebird. (The insult is absolutely intended for the human. The insult to the bird is unintended and cruel.)

Perhaps there was continuity from IVC to the Aryans. Perhaps there wasn't. Perhaps the Asuras were the Persian Ahuras. Perhaps they weren't.

Perhaps the Aryans grew here and then moved west. Perhaps they came from the West and settled here. Perhaps they started their lives as a homogenous race spread all the way from Europe to the Eastern Himalayas. As colonies grew, there was enough critical mass to create local customs and languages. As these local versions started, the distance between the various colonies grew more pronounced.

Either way, none of us had any part to play in that. The only thing we can do, and, imho, we should, is to stop colonising history (you do realise how preposterous that even sounds) and start looking for the truth. There is enough evidence both ways. There are reasons to take both ideas seriously. There are alternative theories that merit a serious discussion (Amish's theory in his Naga series is very plausible, as is the idea proposed by Ashutosh Gowarikar in Mohenjodaro).

So, dear people of the world: Let's stop staking a claim to the greatness of ancestors. We can safely say that in intermingling, trading, marrying, and migrating, and not squabbling over history, the ancients have proved that they were superior in more ways than one.

Credits: This piece is the result of a very enriching discussion with Sankalp Chawla. Thank you! 

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

रक्तबीज/ Raktbeej

गुलमोहर के पेड़ 
उग आते हैं 
यूँ ही 
गलियों  के मोड़ों पर 
बाग़ बाग़ हो जाते हैं 
अनाम सी गलियों के कोने। 
बच्चों को मिल जाते हैं 
मेकअप के नाखून 
और लड़ने के हथियार। 

कट भी जाते हैं 
आनन फानन में 
यूँ ही, 
बिला वजह 
बे  मतलब। 

मैं उठा लाता हूँ 
छोटी छोटी निशानियां। 
सुलगती लाल पंखुड़ियां 
किताबों में छिपाता हूँ. 
शाम को 
कली में छुपे anthers और मैं 
हँसते हैं 
लकड़ी काटने वाले 
पेड़ नहीं काट सकते। 

रक्तबीज होते हैं. 
The Gulmohurs
They grow 
on the corners
of unknown lanes. 
Unbidden, unencouraged. 

Desolate corners
light up 
with forest fires 
of petals. 
get  nail extensions
and micro weapons. 

The Gulmohurs
get cut 
just like that 
one fine day 
No rhyme or reason. 
The fire trees. 

I save up 
tiny souvenirs 
and bring them home. 
The red flames
I hide
among the books. 
The anthers and I 

Cannot cut trees. 
are Raktabeej. 
1. Children use the covers of the Gulmohur bud as fake nail extensions. 
2. Children also pluck anthers from the root and use them in a faux fight, where one anther is pitched against another and the one that gets plucked first is the loser. 
3. Raktabeej is a legendary asura with a boon that whenever a drop of his body touches the Earth, a new form of him would rise from that spot. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Hindi Muhavara on unfulfilled wishes

अरमान रह जाना
Armaan Reh Jaana

Meaning: A desire that remains unfulfilled.

Usage: मेरा तो अरमान ही रह गया, कि परीक्षा ख़त्म हो, और माँ हमें सीधे पिक्चर दिखाने ले जाए. 

Sanskrit Sukti on the importance of commerce and trade

वाणिज्य वसते लक्ष्मी: 
VaNijya Vasate Lakshmi:

In commerce resides Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth)

What to absolutely not miss on Netflix India

This is a list of hidden gems on Netflix India. The list that conclusively proves that human intelligence beats AI and algo driven recommendations any day.

Do Paise ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane ki Baarish 

This movie by Deepti Naval ji is that rare thing that comes along once in a million years. Away from all the hype and the hoopla, this is what pure excellence in story telling looks like.

Notting Hill
Absolutely Old Fashioned, famous, and lives up to the fame.

Friday, September 27, 2019

It will take a strike, but of a different kind

Let's try to understand what Climate Change Action really means. Let's know that governments and politicians are NOT responsible, and they will not be able to change this. Remember that most governments in the world are democracies, which means they simply respond to popular demand or they lose power.

About 20 years ago, I read a poster that said - We are the last generation that can do something about this. It is only now that I realise the full impact of that line.

Those of you who are applauding the Climate Change Activist, and those who want to send children on strikes, this is what climate change action is going to take. Make a pledge today to accept this future. Then act towards it:

1. LESSER money than we have now.
2. FEWER jobs
3. LESS convenience. In everything.
4. MORE recycling - all aluminium that comes in medicine wrappers, all iron that is thrown away, all broken lead crystal, all organic waste...
6. No access to fruits and vegetables from around the world.
7. LESSER infrastructure like roads, airports, train stations, wagons, trucks etc., and higher dependence on local produce.

If you want to imagine what sustainable living looks like, go spend a month in the North East of India. Life is simple, community bonds strong, facilities and monies very limited.

And it is ALL WORTH IT.

John Eliya.. enough said

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Climate Change Strike

So, how many tonnes of paper was used today to create posters for the Climate Change Strike? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Vishwakarma Divas Poem / विश्वकर्मा दिवस पर कविता

विश्वकर्मा दिवस

कारीगर पूजते हैं
अपने औज़ार

आओ कलम,
मैं तुम्हें पूजता हूं. 

Functional translation:

On Vishwakarma Diwas
The artisans and the engineers
worship their implements.

Come, dear Pen,
It is time
for me
To Worship you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Contribution of the Congress Party to India

Like, seriously, WTF! ?

The best thing I read this week was: There is a reason that no one names their child "Vibhishan"

The Ramayana can lie about the truth of our history, but we all know better. Way better. 

जवाब - प्रेम

मैं तुम्हे प्रेम करना चाहता हूँ

हर चोट
जो बचपन से खायी है तुमने
हर फोटो
तुम्हारे बचपन की
वो हर बार जब तुम
"कोई बात नहीं"
कह कर
अंदर के कमरे में चली गयी थीं....

हर बात
मेरे अंतर्मन की
हर दर्द
जो मॉर्फिन की सुई से
सोया है
हर डर जो केवल मेरा है.

कितना कठिन रास्ता है देखो
अभी तो पहला पग न धरा है
पर मुझे यकीं है
ये सब मरहले
सारे पर्वत
और कंदरायें
नगण्य हो जाएंगे
जब हम
ठान लेंगे
कि हमको
प्रेम करना है.

तुम्हारा मैं नहीं जानता
मैं तुम्हे प्रेम करना चाहता हूँ

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

प्रेम/ Prem

मैं तुम्हे प्रेम करना चाहता हूँ 

तुमको सजाना चाहता हूँ 
उन सारी पीली, नीली, शोख साड़ियों में 
जिन्हे मैंने तुमपर 
कई बार सोचा है 

तुम्हारे साथ जाऊँगा 
बचपन की सब जगहों पर 
एक एक कमरा 
पाठशाला  का, 
पडोसी के घर का, 
अपने पुश्तैनी घर का भी 

देखना चाहता हूँ 
सभी मनपसंद फिल्में 
तुम्हारे साथ बैठ कर

मिलाना चाहता हूँ 
अपने दोस्तों से
रिश्तेदारों से 
बताना चाहता हूँ 
मिल गयी मंज़िल मुझे

मैं अधूरा हूँ तुम बिन 
तुम संग 
सम्पूर्ण होना चाहता हूँ 
मैं तुमको 
प्रेम करना चाहता हूँ 

Saturday, September 07, 2019

On Wealth Creation and India..

Evening Thoughts:
From 712 to 1398 AD, The Arabs, Ghazni, Ghori and Taimur attacked India with the sole purpose of loot and plunder. The riches to be got from India were enough to cover the costs of raising an army, having it cross the mighty Hindukush, fight, and go back all the way, and still make a profit.

From 1600 AD onwards, The British, French, Portuguese, and Dutch East India Companies were created for the sole purpose of 'trading' with India and partaking of the wealth of India. That lasted 300 years.

Within 73 years of Independence, India is the world's sixth largest economy.

If we want to learn the secret of consistent creation of wealth, perhaps, we should look inwards?

The other thing we should learn from India and Russia is the concentration of wealth. It was because wealth was concentrated - first, in the temples, then in the ruling and trading classes, that it became easier to plunder from India. If the wealth was well distributed, the effort required to get that wealth would also have been higher, and perhaps, not worth it so much.

What do you think?

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Not Amrita Pritam.. sorry!

That awkward moment when something you have written is attributed to Amrita Pritam..

Chhala appeared on this blog in April 2006:

Update: The moderators of the group have changed the image with this post, taking very prompt action. Thank you so much, especially to Pravin Jangid ji and Sarita Trivedi ji who picked it up first thing in the morning. 

I later realised that some posters of these lines with Amrita Pritram accredition have also been circulated on social media. The poster is beautiful, but those words are mine. :) 

Also, another friend from my poetry group has informed me about the posters, and many of my friends were happy for me - that my lines are used as signature lines for Amrita Pritam. I have no view on that. Should it be flattering? Perhaps. But only as their colours are flattering to the butterflies. Their colours just are. My words just are. They exist for me, complete unto themselves. I guess I should be happy. Ok, I am going away to be happy now. Issue Resolved! :) 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Original Quotes

I've finally realised why I grow horizontally every year - I'm a tree! I have to add to my girth every year. Its how we age.
If a four year child full of anxiety refuses a hug, not based on their gut instinct, but because its from a stranger, we are creating a generation of children whose mistrust of the human race is acute and deeply ingrained. We should be worried. Very, Very worried.

What we did was, instead of punishing the ones who were doing the wrong things, we created rules that suspect EVERYONE. We created more such rules, until it was impossible to trust anyone at all. Did those rules do what they were supposed to do - protect? The crime rates tell us they didn't. So, is it time to go back to being a society that punishes the criminal without generalising the crime? A society that views the crime as the exception, not the innocence of people? The crime is the exception. Remember that. 
Propaganda is a weapon that can only be used on the unaware, or the unmindful. Our purpose in life is to ensure that we are neither. 
On the Big Bang Theory and its characters: None of them is funny. Each of them is patently ridiculous, except maybe Leonard. 
We Indians are polyglots by osmosis. 
Explanation: There are so many languages being spoken all around us that all we have to do is show up. A person working in Bangalore will have heard at least 4 languages - Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada. A person working in Delhi will have heard Bengali, Hindi, Haryanvi, Punjabi, for sure. See, its that simple.
कुछ लोग न, समझ में नहीं आते. उन्हें समझना नहीं चाहिए, छोड़ देना चाहिए। :) 
Monarchy should be close enough to appear real, and distant enough to appear surreal.

Trust needs to be earned. Love is automatic. 
The average person's confidence in their non-existent abilities is truly admirable. To me, it is also enviable. 
They've got it all wrong. Stupidity and having to deal with other people's stupidity are the 2 leading causes of suicide.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Butcher of Tarain - Muizuddin Mohd. Ghori

Son: So I have to read about Mohd. Ghori. Will you help me?

Mom (recollecting whatever little history i remember): Haan he was called The Butcher of Tarain na...

Son (shocked): NOOOO! That's not what they taught us at all!

Mom(now shocked): Arre! How can they completely erase the massacre of thousands of Indians from our own history books? That man slaughtered people for the sake of slaughtering them. He and his army kept killing even after they had won.

And today, I checked online. Apparently, other than my memory, nobody else remembers "The Butcher of Tarain."