Wednesday, May 15, 2019

About that post..

After the elections of 2019 were over, i wanted to write a long post about the current hate mongering in India and how i think this is campaign part II of the Congress. The first part of this campaign was run before independence, and that led to the partition of the country.

But I was told very sternly by my meditation to not write such a post. In fact, to not even mention it. I was confused. Of late, I have come to realise that one is just a channel. There is incredible freedom and joy in this realisation. And anyway, that sternness meant no action at all. But I wondered why. People are losing their lives, and if they can only see that this whole campaign is just a smokescreen, maybe 2 ppl will be saved. So why not?

This morning, I was told why not. In opening up about the Congress, I was coming from a place of fear and hate. There was this need to save lives, but there was a greater fear - terror, almost - of a second partition. That was what i wanted to avoid through writing that post - the second partition, and the violence inherent in that.

Now I realise that we cannot make people realise these large waves. And we cannot come from a place of hatred and make a difference. The reason that people become even more dogged in their convictions when confronted on social media, is that everyone comes from a place of hate. In that place, no one wants to open their hearts and listen or absorb. Like the proverbial wind and the sun story, the harder the wind blows, the closer one hugs one's shawl.

The way to make a person receptive is to start by being receptive. I view your actions as indifference and even criminal, because you are encouraging hate mongering without realising that one is a puppet in a much larger drama. You view me as steeped in the past and unwilling to move on. Fair point.

Now that we are aware of each other's prejudices, lets also accept that both of us believe that we are basing our views on pure facts, and not on some biased interpretation of those facts. Perhaps we have chosen our facts carefully, to validate our own prejudice, and perhaps we have subconsciously interpreted the facts to suit our own bias.

Now, lets talk. I will always be scared of the Congress, and I will always hate them. They have proven, time and again, their ability to divide people and rule because of that. That is my bias.

What will help me remove that bias: I would welcome facts that prove a time when the Congress moved to unite people who were earlier in conflict with each other. I would also like to see the dynasty come clean on its actions. If it does, and if it is suitably punished, I promise to not punish the party for the actions of the dynasty.

What is the fact check that I have done to arrive at my biases?
Oh, plenty! The reason I could identify this as campaign part 2 was that i had read campaign part 1 so carefully. Half my life was spent in asking the question - Why was i born in Delhi and not in Shekhupura. Why was Punjab steeped in terror? How did it happen that even the British could not divide the Hindus and Sikhs, but independent India could? These are events that have affected me personally, so i know a lot about them.

What is your bias? What would help you overcome that bias? What did you do to arrive at your bias?

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Things I dont understand about the world

When you are uneducated, you do mob violence. When you are educated, you do entitled hatred. Which means, basically, you still do the same thing, but now you put yourself on a pedestal while doing it.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Of red ants and black ants

I do want to name and shame the misogynists, the traffic violaters, the above the law citizens. I really do. But then I look around and find, that there are just too many of them. Like red ants, too many of them, and each one bites.
And then I think some more.. this is true of the human species - they are inherently destructive and incredibly creative. There are red ants and black ants. The black ants are the ones that work together. They create things because they are inherently creators. In Indian houses, the black ant is considered auspicious.
The red ants are the ones with hierarchy, with internal competition all the time, the ones who will bite without reason. Even when they work together, the glue holding them together is their individual selfishness - their need to get to an objective that they cannot reach alone. In Indian houses, the red ant is a harbinger of bad luck and to be rid of immediately.

Each of us has the choice - to be a red ant, or a black ant. And an inherent desire - to hurt, or to help.
In nature, mutations are rare. But for humans, it is possible to go from being a red ant to a black ant, or vice versa.

What kind of ant are you?

My democracy

And then the crows cawed so loudly,
That the swan song was not heard.

The cacophony of the crows was accepted
as the collective wisdom of the crowd,
and a decision was made, for all birds.

The swans, the peacocks, the flamingos,
they suffered
Because they could not scream
As loudly as the crows.

The sparrows, the cuckoos,
The parrots and the mynahs
For safety
flew with the crows.

And that is how
the decision was made
when the crows cawed
instead of reading.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


जब ये पढ़े लिखे लोग जहालत की बातें करते हैं, तो मन करता है की इस देश से Education subsidy ख़त्म कर दी जाए. 

भई तुम पढ़े लिखे हो. सोच के न मुंह  खोलो,जान के तो खोल सकते हो! आठवीं तो पास की होगी स्कूल में ? जिस बात पर बोल रहे हो, उसके बारे में ज़रा सा पढ़ भी लो! भगवन ने दो आँख दी हैं, दो कान दिए हैं, मुंह एक  ही दिया है. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

On 14 years of marriage

तुम्हारा अनुराग 
जैसे चाय में
हौले से घुली शक्कर।

मेरी उपेक्षा 
मधुमेह के रोगी सी 

Your unending love
like the gently dissolved sugar
in my cup of tea.

My response
is that
of a diabetic.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

On Startups...

I like this model of acquiring customers even at a loss per transaction. Then telling investors that you have spent real money to acquire price sensitive customers who will ditch you as soon as someone can undercut you on price.

#WeWork, #Amazon....

Friday, April 19, 2019

On opinions and other things..

There was this awfully smart thing i knew i needed to write here.  And then... short term amnesia!

OK here goes: (remembered the next day)

People: What do you think of this?
Me: I don't think of this.

People: What do you think of that?
Me: I don't think of that.

People: Don't you have opinions? On anything?
Me: I have a life. In my experience, you can either have opinions, or have a life. Rarely both.

People: :/

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

On Indian Elections 2019

Thought of the Day:

Ye bahut achhi baat hai that the EC is penalising politicians who either seek votes from, or target a particular religious or ethnic group.

Will it also now please penalise the voters who are passing religion  and caste based orders to vote for so and so and so and so? It is time to make the model code of conduct applicable to citizens.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Understanding Hate Speech in India

Today, i wanted to report a hate speech. And realised that there is no clear way of doing it.

So, in case you want to report hate speech, the first thing is to know the laws related to hate speech in India.

I did not find anything in particular that would allow me to report hate speech, am sharing what I did find:

Law Commission of India's Report on Hate Speech - a fairly comprehensive report

This article has awesome details in a succinct format:

And this is the most comprehensive coverage yet:

For now, I have decided to collect more evidence of the work of this gentleman.

Film Review - The Tashkent Files

The inspiration from "Ek ruka hua faisla" hits you instantly - the dim lighting,  the dusty wooden long desk, et al.
 But that is where the cinematic inspiration ends. After that initial inspiration is over, Tashkent Files emerges as a film that stands up for itself - and in more ways than one, sets standards for others to follow.
While the former film deals with peeling out layers of the personality of each juror and how those layers contribute to their understanding of a simple crime, in this case, what was revealed, layer by layer, was not the personality of the committee members, but the facts of a really complicated case.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the movie is that it is well-edited. This makes the story telling taut and keeps the viewer engaged. You could not take a break in this movie without missing something important. It is rare for a reviewer to say that a technical aspect was the best part of the film, but in this case, it really was. This movie owes a lot of its success to the ruthless editor.

The second great thing that this movie does is, keeping the narrative focused. It asks one question, and uses all the characters in the film, all the episodes, every single frame, word, and action, to answer that one question. No time is wasted on sub plots, no pointless song and dance, and nothing to just 'entertain'. Just great, gripping story telling.

The third thing that works for the film is casting. There is one heroine, but she merges into the ensemble cast effortlessly. The actors are well chosen, and being the veterans that they are, they get everything from body language to accent right. Each one of them brings the character alive. Casting is yet another technical aspect of film making and is easy to overlook. One can, obviously praise the acting, as one should. But this movie was gold because that cast was put together in such a perfect way by the casting director. And then every member of the cast worked hard to bring their character alive - be it the quiet menace of Naseeruddin Shah, or the volatile anger of the young politician.

The fourth great thing about the film is its insistence on sticking to facts. My interest in the topic of Shastri's death is old, so much of the information presented was known to me. There were some new elements that I hope to read more about soon. But the thing is, evidence like this can be dramatized so easily, especially since the episode itself is very dramatic. But the movie didn't do that. It presented the facts and asked the questions.

After ages, here is a movie that does not insult the intelligence of the viewer - in fact, it engages the viewer and is a delight for the little grey cells  that sit starved in every movie theater.

Because we have an intelligent film after ages, please go see it. This is good story telling. There should be more story telling like this one.

On this film being a propaganda film
Some people have called it a propaganda film or a film that seeks to present one party in a negative light. Let me answer that too:
1. If this is a propaganda film, then every murder investigation is propaganda against the murderer. This is merely stating the facts. Those facts cannot be rubbished just because they point a finger at the guilty person.

2. At the end of the film, the lead actress asks the politician - why did you do it? And he says, "Mudda". That scene was important because it lays the foundation of one thing - it is not the facts that sway you. It is your willingness to be swayed by those facts.
How can I be so sure? Read on.
My interest in Shastri's death came from an entirely different place. Shastri died on Jan 11, 1966. On Jan 19, within 8 days, Indira Gandhi was made the Prime Minister of India. She had no credentials, no political experience and was, in fact, one of the junior leaders in the party. How did that happen? That is where my journey into the death of Shastri started. I came to the same conclusion as the film - independently.

No one in India thinks that the Congress is not guilty of unspeakable crimes. This is the country that voted Sajjan Kumar to power with the highest majority weeks after he had killed hundreds of Sikhs on the streets of Delhi. The same Delhi voted him to power. It is not the facts that sway. It is our willingness to be swayed.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

My fucked up country

Sending a child to school should not be an act of bravery.

Ryan Inernational, Gurgaon, Chidrens Home Academy, Dehradun: Killer Schools of India

Last year, 7 year old Praduman Jain, a student of Class 2, was killed by a Grade 11 student in Ryan INternational School, Gurgaon. The school tried to pin the blame on a conductor in a school bus. The CBI discovered the truth. The year before that, another child at Ryan International School, Delhi, was found dead near the water tank on the terrace of the building.

In March, 2019, a 12 year old was tortured and killed by seniors in the Children's Home Academy, Dehradun. In 2017, a child went missing there and has still not been found. In 2019, the school quietly buried the body.

The Dehradun case was brought out because of Usha Negi, the chairperson of the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The 12 year old died of internal haemorrhage.

Dear psycopaths who think you are students: You will reap as you sow. This is a bad, bad world. But even in this world, a special hell is reserved for you.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

On Gatka

While watching Kesari, something about Gatka struck me.

Most martial arts are designed for one on one combat. Judo, Kung fu, Kalaripattu, et al .

The Gatka is the only martial art that is designed for managing multiple opponents at once. It is, by design, the martial art of the outnumbered!

The movements are circular, allowing the combatant to cover his back and all flanks. The sword moves vertically and in an unpredictable, elliptical motion, allowing for quick change of holding angle, the direction and speed of movement, et al. To practice doing all this at high speeds, with weapons that are heavy, requires amazing training.

Guru Gobind Singh knew what he was talking about when he said "Sawa Lakh se ek ladaoon, Taan Gobind Singh naam dharaoon"

Thursday, March 28, 2019

On the growing intolerance

Obviously, my facebook feed is nuts with intolerance, bigoted Modi, so on and so forth.

I am not a Modi fan. In fact, at last check, i was still a human being with an operational brain.
So no one's fan, AC, or cooler.

Yesterday, a friend posted something that, yet again, presented Modi as the communal disharmony villain.

Now, you have to understand this about me - this communal disharmony thing, its BIG for me. It led to me being born in Delhi and not in Shekhupura. It also meant that the population of our family, and the size of our wealth was suddenly significantly lower.

So, in growing years, I have spent a LOT of time reading up on the Partition, and what the hell happened. I have read everything from Chamanlal Nahal's Azaadi to The Hindu Code Bill of B R Ambedkar. I have read the newspapers of that time. And "May it please Your Honour" by Nathuram Godse. And have heard my grandparents' accounts until I could recreate them from memory.

With that background, reproduced below are the exact comments on her post:
Just do this for me - pick up the papers from 1936 to 1945 and read them. Before you say anything else, read them. The result of that 9 year toxic campaign was this:
1. Patel was sidelined for being a Hindu nationalist.
2. A man who had not done
anything except sycophancy in life became the PM.
3. Within 6 months of his becoming PM, Godse succeeded. Godse had had 3 failed attempts on Gandhi earlier. As soon as Nehru became PM, where did he succeed? In the super safe Birla House.
4. As soon as Nehru became PM, the Hindu threat evaporated, the riots stopped.

Here is why i know about this :
My history book just said: Jinnah was a member of the Congress in 1936.

And i got thinking. It was in trying to understand Jinnah that i realised what had been done to my country.

BUT, pls don't believe one word of what I say. Read the papers from 1936 to 1945. Just do this. You care for your country, you can do this much.


Her response: 
And thats why we should now believe in a man who is bought over by industrialists and rides on the wave of communal hatred ? We should let him project his revengeful ideas and drive the country towards a religion based state!!! With absolutely no plans of growth for all.... I know power is always sized the way nehru did and now the current pm did but strong oppositions are essential to keep them in check.

My answer: 
Good that you brought this up. Now, pls think back to why you think Modi is communal. Think of every stimulus that firmed this belief in your head. Then mark the ones which are actual things said or done by Modi and which ones are collaterals created by private, public, and media organisations. Do this segregation yourself. Don't depend on anyone else or take any inputs.

You have to remember that the putrid, relentless campaign of 1936 -1945 was not just political. It led to people like you and me losing our homes and families. So i have a LOT of personal interest in understanding what the hell happened. 

Mueller Report and Capitalism 2.0

I usually like to share positive news. But Capitalism 2.0 is a theme in the head right now, and here's some other people who feel the same way. That the sovereignty of nations is no longer what we knew it to be. The Mueller report verifies that Russia intervened, but not in collusion with Trump. Here is the really important thing - IF it was Russia and not facebook, the weapon was social media. It is time to rethink sovereignty, as we know it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cognitive and Affective Bias

I see far too many people saying that a Hindu rashtra is a threat to the secular fabric of the country.
To all such armchair activists, I am about to give a small lesson in history.

Vijayanagara was, at that time, the only Hindu kingdom in the South. At that moment in history, every single Muslim kingdom, left, right, center and Delhi, was converting people to Islam. What was Vijayangara doing? Conducting a Hindu nation - no conversions were carried out. The king of Vijayanagara gave donations to mosques and to Hindu religious places.

Punjab had Sikh rule. But the army was multicultural. There were no conversions. No discriminatory tax (read: Jaziya) , even though the Delhi sultanate was using Jaziya to convert forcibly and to get richer. Even though the Mughals were responsible for the deaths of the Sikh gurus. Muslims in Punjab thrived and grew. They held important positions because they deserved them. A record of the grants by Maharaja Ranjit Singh shows that the grants were given to all places of worship.

SO, when an urban illiterate thinks of a Hindu state, s/he perceives the Hindu version of an Islamic state or a Christian state. But the Hindu state is, by definition, a secular state. Even Nepal, which is the world's only Hindu nation, has non Hindu populations and they are never discriminated against.

The reason the Islamists and the Christians fear the idea of a Hindu state, is that they know what an Islamic or Christian state looks like. But that is NOT what a Hindu state looks like.

The reason the Hindu is baffled by their resistance, is that, even in their dreams, a Hindu state cannot disallow worship of any other kind. The religion is based on multi-culturalism and it is soo deeply ingrained that it is not possible to suddenly create a sense of exclusion.

This inherent ignorance of how these religions work, and the arrogance to not even understand the concept of Ram Rajya, is what is creating a lot of unrest today.

What is my personal view?
India, as a society, is tolerant and inclusive. It is my belief that no man who goes to feed his family from morning to night will ever pick up a stone to create unrest.

The people who are generating this unrest, they have no religion - truly. Whether they are liberandus or Hinduta vadis or Congressis trying to undermine a leader of the opposite party - they have no religion, and no humanity.

They are terrorists of the worst type, because they poison our drinking water - our collective consciousness. I live with my Muslim friends, Christian friends, and Hindu friends, and they don't have any religions. Suddenly, the cover on my head is more important than what is in my head? People who made that happen are the worst snakes ever.

I have seen the exact same propaganda in 1936 - 47, and i have seen how that story ends. So really, my view is, anyone who is not happy with India - get the hell out. (And i have said this before)

I have deep, deep faith in the inherent multiculturalism of India. And 70 years after partition, I can tell you that that faith is well founded.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Meditation talk

You request me to share with you the spiritual knowledge.

Tell me,  my dear,  can you open my eyes from the outside? 

Perhaps you can lift the eyelids,  but you cannot make me see.  

What is true of the physical eye is also true of the spiritual one.  

One day, your eyes will open,  and you will see all there is to see - clear as day. 

There are designated teachers in the world.  I'm not one of them.  My job is something else.  

Monday, March 25, 2019

How to get rid of useless people on social media

This has been an interesting week. On Facebook, which is my primary social medium, i have unfriended one person and unfollowed i don't know how many.

As the election fever grips the nation and India can't make sense of Bharat bcs it is wearing the niqab of 1936 and imagined aggrievement, I have set some personal rules for unfollowing and unfriending:
1. If you post a Pappu joke or a Namo meme, or a joke that is on the person and not on the policy, i will unfollow you. Irrespective of where politics stoops, if you, as an educated voter, make personal jokes about a politician, you really should pay the country that subsidy back on your education. OR, if you are that cheap anyway, join politics.

2. If you present one side of a story, any story, and use that to prove a point, I will unfollow you. This is called Jingoism and i don't care whether the person doing it is an MBA or a farmer from Timbucktoo. If your conduct does not behove your position in life, the respect you get should not either. When presenting a news piece, investigate both sides of the story, read up enough, and then, if you think you know enough, only then, open your mouth. Tez lehar se baadh to ik johad mein bhi aa sakti hai. If you want to be respected for your education and awareness, earn that respect.

3. If I find you selectively enraged - like enraged for the minority girls in Pakistan but not for the family that was attacked as Pakistani near Gurgaon, like enraged for not being allowed to vote in Gurgaon, but accepting that for Mewat as "normal", I will unfollow you. Either people matter, or they don't. Only one kind of people cannot matter. What happened in Pakistan has also happened in India - with both communities. Find out the truth about your own country. What happened to that Muslim family was not even a fraction of what happens to Hindu families in Mewat, AMU and other areas. Have the emotional maturity to understand all the facts, absorb, and then open your mouth. The enemy is not one religion over another. The enemy is the idea that power can, and should be abused and people can get away with it. I don't care who is doing the abusing.

4. All armchair activists - OUT. Enough said. I am soooo done with people shouting platitudes or slogans or universal truths in life. SO, SO DONE WITH THAT BUNCH whose ignorance is exceeded only by their arrogance, or maybe its the other way round.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

अवश्यंभाविता / Inevitability

आओ, जैसे आती है 
छुट्टी का खात्मा 

अवश्यंभाविता का होता है 
अपना ही अधिकार प्रिय
उस अधिकार
 से आओ
ਆ ,
ਜਿਦਾਂ ਆਉਂਦੇ ਨੇ

ਐਦਾਂ ਆ
ਆ ਵੜਦਾ ਹੈ
ਨਵਾਂ ਵਰ੍ਹਾ

ਮੇਰੀ ਕਲਮ ਦਾ
ਅਗਲਾ ਹਰਫ਼ਾਂ

ਬਦੋਬਦੀ .

jidaan aunde ne
adiaan aa
jidaan aa vaDda hai
nava vara
meri kalam da
agla harfa

as the Sun comes
or the moon
or the seasons.

with unlimited rights.
that way,
My Love
Unlimited Rights.

Jahaan main kaam karta hoon..

मैं उसके बारे में सब जानता था 

कैसे, अपना मनपसंद गाना बजते ही,
वो बाल खोल कर 
इत्मीनान से खिड़की से बाहर देखने लगती है.

लम्बी सी बातचीत पर 
प्यार से सर हिला हिला कर जवाब देगी 
और फ़ोन रखते ही माथा पीट कर कहेगी 
"लोग कितनी बातें करते हैं! "

माँ से बात करते हुए उसकी आवाज़ बदल जाती है 
कोमल सी  हो जाती है 
जैसी दफ्तर के फ़ोन पर 
कभी नहीं हो सकती। 

कुर्बत से,
आशनाई हो ही जाती है। 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Holi par baal kavita

अ से अबीर, 
ग से गुलाल 
देखो मेरा मुंह 
रंग गया लाल 

ख से खोया 
ग से गुझिया 
खा गयी सारी 
गुझिया मुनिया 

प से पिचकारी 
र से रंग 
दे दो माँ, 
ले जाऊं संग 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Paheli aur hum

वो जो पहेली बचपन में होती थी न - बन्दर एक कुंए  में, रोज़ ३ फुट की छलांग लगाता है और २ फुट नीचे फिसल जाता है. उसे कुंए में से निकलने में कितने दिन लगेंगे? 
- ये पहेली मुझे हमेशा बड़ी हास्यास्पद लगती थी. भला ऐसा  कहीं होता है? बन्दर रोज़ छलांग लगाये, रोज़  फिसले? बन्दर भला कुंए में गिरेगा कैसे? 

आज मुझे समझ आया - ये पहेली सच है. और हम सब, कुंए के बन्दर हैं. सबका कुंआ अलग अलग है - किसी का कुंआ ये भवसागर, किसी का कुंआ १० किलो वज़न. 

रोज़ छलांग लगाने से, २ फुट फिसल कर भी, पिछले दिन से १ फुट ऊपर ही होंगे. और छलांग न लगाने से, २ फुट की फिसलन तो अपने आप हो ही जाएगी। इस कुंवे का कोई तला नहीं होता। १० किलो वज़न ३० किलो बन सकता है, और भवसागर पाप का डेरा। 

हर रोज़, वो ३ फुट की छलांग लगाते रहने से, एक दिन, कुंवे से निकलना निश्चित है - चाहे वो भवसागर हो, या १० किलो वज़न. 

Empowering wihtout education

Empowering people without educating them is creating a Frankenstein. This is true of all human systems - families, organisations, countries. 
I was wondering why democracy became the harbinger of Capitalism 2.0, and realised that it was simply this - it was in the interest of leaders to create voters who are not educated - so they can be easily swayed. And now, the exact same thing is coming back to bite them. Swaying works both ways.

If Facebook is deciding who the next leader should be, it is because you created people who would rather trust and spread propaganda than ask questions. You brainwashed intelligent people into releasing content that presents only one side of the story - to further your end.

Now, you may want your people to not trust propaganda, but you really can't spend decades creating sheep and then complain when the sheepdog is changed.

Congratulations, people of the world! You and your leaders are both responsible. You voted for a bottle of hooch and 500 rs. And they will pay with their electoral loss, vendetta politics, and innumerable court cases.

While we're at it, the name calling has to stop, really. Let there be some dignity left in the profession of politics. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

On being a circle and a square..

Circles rarely come together to form a pattern.

Squares, they join together to form a larger pattern, merging into it. Rectangles? They come together to join perfectly with another rectangle, or square. Or a lot of rectangles, and squares.

And people who are chipped from here and protruding from there? They fit other people like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle!

But circles? They can never come together to form a larger circle. They are whole unto themselves. They have no sharp corners, no rough edges, nothing to smooth further.

To be a circle, is to be condemned to a life of loneliness.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Capitalism 2.0 Series - Google shows Australia who's boss

In my last post:

I had mentioned that Capitalism 2.0, just like Capitalism 1.0, will start with companies. I am not sure yet, just how it will pass to countries.

The step after appeasement, is assertion. I believe that assertion started with Twitter CEO refusing to present himself to the Indian parliamentary committee.

And now, in continuation, Google tells the Australian government that it does not have a monopoly (It has a 90 percent share of the Australian search) and therefore will not present itself for scrutiny.

Hello, World!

Aa jaao

तू मेरी तरफ आती हुई 
रुक जाती है 
हर बार देखा है 
तेरा एक कदम 
मेरी तरफ 
और एक 
दुनिया की तरफ 
पड़ जाता है. 

आज तुम्हे 
एक राज़ बताता हूँ - 
दुनिया का 
हो चुका है 
अपने घर जा चुके हैं
देव और दैत्य 
लौट चुके 
अपने अपने संसार को।  
अब वह 
केवल सागर है. 
किसी बूँद का 
कोई नाम नहीं है. 
किसी गुमशुदा बूँद का 
हिसाब नहीं है. 

पकड़ी नहीं जाओगी। 

आ जाओ. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019


आने के आदाब हुआ करते हैं. 
जाने के भी. 
आजकल सिखाते नहीं ये सब?
उठ के जाना हो,
तब भी,
कह कर जाते हैं.

ये चोरों की तरह जाना -
क्यों आती है शर्म,
जो हो, वो होने में?
तेरे मेरे होने पर 
दस सवाल उठा करते थे 
तेरे मेरे न होने पर 
सौ सवाल उठ रहे हैं अब.
दुनिया का सबसे मुश्किल काम है 
जाते हुए,
किसी से ये कहना,
"मैं वापिस आऊंगा।"
ਔਖਾ ਜਾਣਾ ਨਹੀਂ
ਔਖਾ ਹੈ
ਕੌਲ ਕਰਨਾ,
"ਮੈਂ ਮੁੜ ਆਣਾ!"

Aukha jaana nahi
Aukha hai
Kaul karna
"Main mud aana…"
मुझे हमेशा लगता है
कि शोक की 
सीमा होनी चाहिए।
जैसे चोट की होती है.

ਮੈਨੂੰ ਜਾਪਦਾ 
ਪੀੜ ਦਾ ਵੀ  
ਸਿਰਾ ਹੋਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ,
ਸੱਟ ਦਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਐ। 

Mainu jaapda
peed daa vi
sira hona chahida
satt da hunda hai


Monday, February 25, 2019

The New Global Capitalist

It is neither a coincidence nor a flash in the pan that the Twitter CEO refuses to present himself to the parliamentary committee of India.

Bear with me while I present a little history.
Circa: 1800 or thereabouts

The British Resident, in every Indian state, was subservient to the Indian king. His job was to "advise" the king in matters of military strategy and to ensure deployment of the British troops whenever the king wanted.

In time, as the dependence of the kings on the British armies increased, the power of the Resident grew. To the extent where, the military strategy was being decided by the Resident, not by the king or his senapati. With this military dependence came the loss of sovereignty. The kings realised, one by one, slowly and painfully, that though they were called "Kings", they were nothing more than vassals of the company.

Slowly, the company's rules became binding upon the kings of India - not through a de jure authority, but a de facto one. The Company ruled India.

It was against this backdrop that the Mutiny of 1857 was planned. It was a revolt against a government that was not a government.
End of history. Cut to present.

A few days ago, I had asked, why is all this data actually being collected by the IT behemoths? I now get it. This is the creation of a government that is not a government.

By not appearing in front of the parliamentary committee, the Twitter CEO is doing exactly what the British Resident did in the 1800s. Twitter is saying:

A. Your house is fragmented. No way that they will all follow you as a unified group.
B. I have control over what your people see, what they think, and what they will do. In effect, I can make them do as I please, and therefore, I am the one who rules them.
C. I am not answerable to you, or to anyone.
D. You cannot touch me, and in fact, you should be scared of me. Because I can undermine your own sovereign position within your country, by using simple mind control and digital mob management.

I have just realised the point of it all. And it is devastating.

It does not matter whether I am dependent on Twitter or not. One person not being dependent on Facebook or Twitter or Google is one Indian minister warning his king against the British. The entire ecosystem was moving in that direction. Everyone needed to be stopped. If the other kings were using British cannons, and winning because the British would not supply cannons or know-how to the Indian armies, then every king would have to do it.

If one politician used Facebook advertising to sway votes, and the rival politician was left with no recourse, then everyone who wanted to win elections would HAVE to do it. Guess who are the earliest adopters of this unethical mind management? The most unethical people. These are the few that created the Tipping Point, after which, the Sun never set on the British empire for 300 years.

Colonisation of the world was not a coincidence. It was based on very precise and very accurate understanding of human nature.

And we are not just in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are also in the second colonisation.

Think. About. That.

Friday, February 22, 2019

I don't miss you on a daily basis, papa. Not in the big things.

I miss you in the small things.

Like "Dad" beeping on someone else's phone for a call. Like a birthday card signed "Mom and dad"

In these small things.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

25 saal vaali photo

हमने एक साथ 
घर घर खेला 
पैसे कमाए, खर्चे।
बच्चे भी बनाये 
दुनिया में भेजे।
तो बताओ,
२५ साल वाली फोटो में
तुम्हारा चेहरा उकताया ,
और मेरा 
क्यों है?

We did it all together -
Played house.
Earned , Spent.
Raised children,
and sent them into the world.
So tell me, darling,
In the 25th anniversary picture
why are your eyes
and mine

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Verbs/ Kriya

To Be,
is a verb.
To not be
is also a verb.
They are both
acts of will.

होना, क्रिया है 
न होना भी, 
क्रिया है 
स्वत: नहीं होते 
निरंतर क्रिया से 
करने पड़ते हैं. 

अपने आप में 
सम्पूर्ण है 

Kriya - 2

पेङ जानता है,
 कि वह क्या कर रहा है।
घास भी जानती है,
कि वह क्या कर रही है।
तो फिर,
व्याकरण के रचयिता,
सर्वाधिक विवेकशील प्रजाति,
क्यों नहीं जानते,
अस्मि, असि, अस्ति
संपूर्ण क्रियायें हैं?

सम्पूर्णता है. 
न होना भी 
शाश्वत, अटूट यथार्थ। 
This version after Islaah from Arvind Joshi:
पेङ जानता है,
 कि वह क्या कर रहा है।
घास भी जानती है,
कि वह क्या कर रही है।
तो फिर,
व्याकरण के रचयिता,
सर्वाधिक विवेकशील प्रजाति,
क्यों नहीं जानते,
अस्मि, असि, अस्ति
संपूर्ण क्रियायें हैं?

काफी है.

Friday, February 08, 2019


इतने दिन बाद मिले, और ये भी नहीं पूछा, कि मैं कैसी हूँ?

तुमने चूड़ियां बेतरतीब पहनी हैं न? 


पता चल गया तुम कैसी हो. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Note to S :)

You should not try to lie. When you try to lie, the light bulb in your eyes goes off. Then we know that your heart is not in what you are saying. People like you, who don't need a lie detector - you should not lie. Your eyes talk too much.

On Virgos :)

"We are not easy people to live with." she said, indicating her sun sign.

"No. You are. Either you care a lot, or not at all. And you care."

"But we never show it. Either we care a lot. Or not at all. Either way, we never show it."

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


 दोतरफा होता है।
 तुम्हारा मेरा आकर्षण
 क्यों नहीं?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

How big is India's stray dog problem?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India accounts for 36 per cent of rabies deaths that occur worldwide each year. While one can develop the disease if bitten or scratched by any rabid mammal, such as monkeys or bats, WHO says dogs contribute up to 99 per cent of all rabies transmitted to humans; and children are the usual victims.

Surprisingly, no Indian media had carried news on this magnitude of the stray dog menace in India. Rabies deaths are an incorrect metric. They overlook the number of injuries caused that do not lead to fatalities.

So, I asked, how many dog bites do we get every year?

In India, about 15 million people are bitten by animals, mostly dogs, every year and need postexposure prophylaxis. Since 1985, India has reported an estimated 25 000–30 000 human deaths from rabies annually (the lower estimate is based on projected statistics from isolation hospitals in 1985). The majority of people who die of rabies are people of poor or low-income socioeconomic status. The incidence of death from rabies in Asia is given in Figure 2. Because rabies is not a notifiable disease in India and there is no organized surveillance system of human or animal cases, the actual number of deaths may be much higher. The latest figure projected from the National Multicentric Rabies Survey, conducted in 2004 by the Association for Prevention and Control of Rabies in India in collaboration with the World Health Organization, is 20 565 deaths from rabies per year.

These are the government's official figures. And they admit that these are way underreported.
Here is my question then - why are they underreported? Causing grievous injury is a crime and the city's protection mechanism should deal with this.

In Bengaluru, the official figure is 3 bites every 2 minutes. Yes, you read that right.
This is the figure from the complaints received by the BMP. These are obviously under reported because if i survive a dog attack, i will NOT go and report it. I will be too terrified.

Currently, there are 25 million dogs in the country; the annual incident of dog bite is around 1.75 million, WHO says.
This is 4794 dog bites per day. And these are underreported figures.

And the AWBI has some answering to do: (from the same article sited above)
An internal evaluation report of the Union environment ministry in 2008 shows AWBI has no guidelines for giving grants to animal welfare organisations that are entrusted with the responsibility of sterilising dogs, vaccinating them periodically and providing them shelter.

Steephen cites the instance of Japan, where only two have died of rabies in last 50 years, that too after being bitten in India and the Philippines. Japan does not allow dogs on the street. “Those which are found are put up for adoption. When no one adopts them, they are euthanised. Same is done in the US and Ireland,” he adds. While WHO mandates that at least 80 per cent of dogs need to be vaccinated annually to break the cycle of transmission, only 2.4 per cent have been vaccinated by AWBI over the past 10 years.

And here is another report, on a much smaller sample:

In the first ever intervention on human-animal conflict, an attempt is being made to tackle the monkey and dog population in MP living areas in Delhi. Nowhere else.

My conclusion:
India has the money. We never lack money. What we lack is policy decisiveness and the willingness to understand that ABC rules were designed to fail. The only people who suffer because of the so called "Dog Lovers" are the dogs.

There are 3 policy interventions that are necessary:
1. Make animal breeding for sale illegal. It is inhuman and cruel and works against adoption of strays.

2. Create animal shelters. Make it mandatory for NGOs to create and sustain animal shelters to continue to receive govt funds. There are enough NGOs and enough private people will support if there is genuine effort. If there are qualified vets available for luxury pet spas, there are enough vets for the govt's sterilisation program too.

3. Do NOT force people to adopt colony strays. Fear of dogs is a real thing. And when there are 4 or 5, dogs WILL display pack behaviour and hunt. It is their nature. So people will be attacked. We cannot fault the dogs for their natural behaviour.

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? 
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.


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।

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

 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,
the rest of the word.

Come, let's play
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.

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