Saturday, 5 June 2010

For forty years…

Struggling to make it to a 9.45 AM Visa interview, I was standing at the side of a busy Bombay road, looking for a three wheeled wonder called a tuktuk. If you start counting, you will soon lose count of the number of these yellow and black vehicles, buzzing past you. Whether they are ‘For Hire’ or not is a different story however. After standing for 5 minutes in the blazing sun that this part of the world is blessed with, I finally saw an empty rickshaw approaching me. I waved frantically like you’d wave at a long lost relative at the airport, coming out with a stream of people.


As I was about to sit, I noticed the driver and I wondered if I should take this ride or not. The driver was about 70 years old. His face pale and wrinkled… A turban on the head, which I thought was to save him from the heat rather than being an indication of his religious preferences.

His hands were trembling yet firm on the handle. The face had a sense of calm and serenity about it.

A few seconds passed processing these inputs and I jumped in. Earphones in my ears jammed the heavy traffic buzz and I reached in time and got off the rickshaw. The meter read an exact hundred. He returned me a rupee, as the custom/rule is, here in Bombay.


As I was about to turn, he said: “Beta, I have been driving on these roads for forty years and not once has anybody gotten late with me. I can drive on these roads in my sleep”. The confidence in his eyes was striking. “I drive not because I have to but because I love to”. At a loss of words, I could only smile. He smiled back and looking back at the Visa application center in the background, he gave me a thumbs up and zoomed ahead into the swarm of cars.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Lions and rabbits


What happens when a pack of lions is led by a rabbit?

The lions are made to eat grass. For an illustration, you can see KingsXIPunjab’s performance in IPL 2010.
Kumar Sangakkara is a fantastic cricketer without a doubt but he is proving to be just as bad a leader for the Punjab team, which has its tag line as Live Punjabi, Play Punjabi. He is doing no justice to the job and to make matters worse he has a fellow rabbit in Mahela Jayawardene. He is another cricketing great from Sri Lanka but just does not fit into the scheme of Punjabi way of life and T20 cricket. He, just like his leader, has acted way too timid.

Sanga’s only courageous act this season would be the statement that Yuvraj should take more responsibility. Yes, he should but making that statement when you yourself have scored 91 runs in 6 matches is extremely courageous and he needs to be applauded for this act of bravery.

Chasing 183 against KKR, Sangakkara and Mahela made a mess of it by looking for singles as if they were playing a Sri Lanka – India test match. It was inexplicable...it was sad and certainly not in the spirit of the league. They could have at least tried. Yuvraj , who supposedly should take more responsibility scored 24 and got out trying. He did not waste time, which is of essence in a T20 match.

Punjab would be better served by playing any two local players instead of these expensive and useless foreign recruits. I would love to see Yuvraj back as the leader, however arrogant he may be with his mannerisms. That in fact, may be what these wounded lions need – the spark of new leader and some spirit. As of now, this team is anything but Punjabi.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Prove it...Beyond reasonable doubt

Are you planning on a crime? Just make sure that you do it well enough and that you cannot be proved guilty and you will go scot free. If you have the power links, you can just enjoy your crime and you don’t even need to worry about not leaving a trail.


In Fair trials, I wrote about our guest of honor, Kasab, whose crime has not been proven and hence he continues to live on the nation’s tax payer’s money. It has been more than a year now and we could not punish the man. With this, we are probably inspiring another generation of Kasabs across the border who just need to use legal loopholes to escape their crime.

Bitti Mohanty. Does this name ring a bell? He is the son of an Orissa police officer who was convicted for rape of a German tourist, in Alwar, by a fast track court, which sentenced him for 7 years, in 9 days straight. 1105 days after that happened, the man is still out on the run and nobody could touch him. Sad...plain sad


Now come to the more famous case, Ruchika Girhotra’s. The 14 year old girl was molested by the ex-Haryana DGP, SPS Rathore and the system followed its course for 19 treacherous years and sentenced the culprit for 6 months. Funny. Preposterous. Sad.

Rathore came out smiling and mocking at the legal system, that he had just failed. He molested the young girl, and then subjected her brother to third degree torture which eventually caused the victim to commit suicide. He used his influence to get the girl expelled from her school.

The list of his crimes can go on but more importantly, they cannot be proved. Throwing the law books at the victim’s family, he has asked them to prove the following:


1) Prove that the molestation led to suicide

2) Prove that he inflicted the torture on the victim’s brother

3) Prove that he used his influence to get the victim expelled from school.


I wonder if the above points will ever be proved as required by the system in its current form and I wonder if the culprit will ever be punished. Though clouded by significant doubt, I hope that happens. Amen.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Us Nadi Ka Kinara

unka dil to sirf toota,
yahan to bas choora baccha hai,
vahan aanson bahe honge,
aur yahan, us nadi ka kinara baccha hai.

uska har aansoon ek moti,
aur har moti ke nishaan mere seene par hai,
uske saath jeena jannat tha,
uske bina, ek lagam mere jeene par hai.

usse dekh kar muskurane ka dil karta hai,
uski aankhon me doob jaane ki aas hai,
vo saath ho to meri parchai mujhse naraaz hoti hai,
kehti hai mujhse zyada vo tumhari khaas hai.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

The Greatest Armour


I have not had the muse to write, for quite a while now and so I pulled this one out of my archive,to post something here.It had been long.
This poem was the result of my attempt at writing epic poetry.


I tell you a tale,
a tale very old,
of a man , of faith personified,
for whom God was life ,God food & God gold.

His faith was parallel to none,
he remembered Him day & night,
& He took care of his every problem,
empowered him to overcome his every fright.

He was the king of the kings,
studded with gems & with gold,
he loved the children,
& respected the old.

He had thousands of elephants,
& miles of earth,
for he was the favourite of The Greatest,
for he in His heart had a special berth.

His palace was majestic, room heaven,
he slept on red royal bed,
over violet velvet,
with a red canopy overhead.

He had gorgeous gardens,
with towering pines & smiling flowers,
where he laid brick by brick,
a special bridge to connect him to Him for hours.

He ate with a silver spoon,
in silver dishes,
had milk & butter for breakfast,
& for dinner, he munched exotic fishes.

He had servants to comfort him,
when he was tired,
by every member of the town
he was admired.

All was well,
until intervened the devil,
& started a war,
a war twixt good & evil.


“Why’ve you made that man so happy?”
he asked God.
“He worships me with full dedication!”
came the answer from the Lord.

The devil continued,
“He worships you because he has no problem ,no tension,
had he been suffering ,
he would have paid you no attention!”

God smiling at his ignorance,
Agreed to take his favourite’s test,
Snatched all his wealth ,health,
his calm & his rest.

All was gone,
his seven sons killed,
gone was his red cozy bed,
was sitting outside..bones chilled.

He had no food to eat,
gone were the days of mutton,of meat,
gone were those exotic dishes,
he didn’t have a single grain of wheat!

The golden king,
was now a beggar,
down and crushed,
crushed under the devil’s hammer.

Robes and silks apart,
he had no cotton to cover himself,
but still had a fantastic faith ,
in God & in self!

His face was sick & pale,
eyes blood red,
“But when God has tried me,
I shall come forth as gold”, he said.

He said God gave everything ,
& had taken away all,
He didn’t fall to the tower of problems,
so challenging, so tall.

He was sure of finding a way,
after wandering in the dense wood ,
he believed that He will have the last word,
& that will be good.

God returned him everything he once had,
& the devil’s high headed arrogance grazed,
good & faith won over the bad,
the devil went back spellbound, amazed.

P.S : If you slept midway through this one, do let me know. I'd have to add you to the glorious hit list :)

Monday, 25 May 2009

Puppet on the Pyre


I am your puppet,
you hold the string,
you make me dance,
I make your show,
you gather the applause,
..and you go.

You were life,
now I can't move,
You leave me behind still,
in search of another puppet,
to work for another show,
to gather another applause,
you move on..you go.

You discover another road,
not a single glance back,
to see your puppet galloped by the fire,
to see your puppet on the pyre.

In this poem, I have tried to draw an analogy between life and how it is controlled by a force unknown.Humans , are essentially , puppets and we have bodies which are still and useless , once life is taken out of them

This is not meant to suggest that we should not live our life. Life is a fantastic journey to be enjoyed all the way through and to be celebrated on each milestone until the puppet goes on the pyre.When it eventually does,by then, it should have brought joy to a lot of people to ensure a life,well lived. The puppet will be remembered by those who matter.

Cheers

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Zeher

Har raah par tumhe dekhta hoon,
Har mod par dhoondta hoon,shaayad kahin tum mil jaao,
Har raat tumhe khwabon me dekhta hoon,
Shayad,shayad kabhi zindagi me utar aao.

Tumhari ek jhalak ke liye,ghanto intazzar karta hoon,
nahi dikhti,fir bhi jeeta hoon,
us ek mithe pal ke liye,
pal pal zeher pita hoon.

Log kehte hain main hasta nahin,
hassun bhi to kaise,
tum meri jaan ho,
aur jaan ke bina,bas ek sharir hoon jaise.

Tumhi se pyar kiya hai,tumhi se karoonga,
fir chahe dil ka ek kona kahe ki tum meri nahin,
Tum karo,naa karo,
tumhe pyar karne se mujhe koi rok sakta nahin.

Sirf ek yaad hoti to bhula deta,
tumhe har saans me jeeta hoon,
bhula sakta nahin,
yaad kar kar marta hoon.

Kal tumse milunga,
pata nahin ,fir milun bhi yaan nahi,
tumhare bina jiyunga,
pata nahin ,fir jiyun bhi yaan nahi.

(P.S : Like Echo , this is just a poetic experiment :) I have not had the misfortune of a heart break yet.I wrote an English version of this as well.I have posted that as a comment to this poem)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Rain,breaks and Arun Lal

Will it happen or won’t it? Where? When? How? There were a zillion questions over the second edition of the IPL but Lalit Modi’s leadership and BCCI’s brute force with all the money it generates, ensured that the games went on. After India realized that the general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha were more important than the razzmatazz brand of money generating cricket,SA edged out England as the venue for the cricket extravaganza.
It is amazing how every piece in the maze fit into place and the games began, almost on schedule.
The momentum is picking up now with higher scores and better pitches but up until now, there have been three dampeners for me.

SA gave IPL every possible guarantee but even Superman Modi can’t control the weather. The rain has been playing spoilsport in a number of matches and it seems to be extremely generous when KingsXI Punjab are on the field. T20 is lottery cricket indeed but rain, followed by the application of D/L method, leaves no chance for the match to be decided on skill of the team. Duckworth and Lewis of course, did not like the team batting first.

IPL’s business managers played a super shot by introducing the strategy breaks of 7.5 minutes after every 10 overs to allow for the advertisements to generate more revenue. The decision seems to have no cricketing logic. It breaks the momentum of the game and affects both bowlers as well as batsmen.
The beauty of T20 is the fast pace of the game and its uncertainty factor. Why not let it be that way?
Let the players on the field decide and make that strategy there, instead of doing it in a dug out.

And finally, as if missing the opportunity to watch the matches at the PCA stadium was not enough, my cable operator chooses the Hindi commentary feed to make things comically worse. Not that I do not like my mother tongue- I love it but sadly, there is not one decent Hindi commentator around who can talk sense. The humor team comprises of a tired Amarnath, Bollywoodized Hrishikesh and ever so brilliant Arun Lal,who cracks the most pathetic of jokes and follows it with his own hushed Haha.

I am typing in some of the commentary bits, I have to had bear in the past week :
[Stage : Preity Zinta on the screen]"Aur ye dekhiye , Punjab ke kheton ki haryali"

"Sachin ne apne janamdin par Ramgarh ka atta khaya hai , Gabbar ki tarah khel rahe hai"

"Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost"

"Aur ye bahot hi acha shot" [3 seconds of silence – absolute bliss ] "par ye seedha fielder ke haath me "
[This happens all the time. Brilliant exhibition of lack of judgment]

"Shot" [silence] "nahi,catch"[silence]"aur ye boundary"

"Nannes ne naani yaad kara di"

[Stage : A child in Katrina Kaif's lap] "Aur ye dekhiye,lucky baccha".


How I miss the combination of Mark Nicholas, Bhogle and Shastri. :|

I hope these three spoilers are removed as we go on.

Monday, 20 April 2009

IPL-Quiz time!

As excited as I am to catch the initial few matches of IPL-2009, the cable operator played spoil sport and I could not catch the KingsXI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils match live and so I went to my backup : the text commentary on Cricinfo.
From there, I banged into this IPL quiz :- Cricinfo Cricket Quiz
I have a score of 352 as I write this post
So all you cricket buffs out there,take the quiz and join in the competition. It is good fun and you get to learn about the IPL too.
As I typed that in, I thought,what a mismatch: IPL and 'learning'!
Anyway, I will now return to the Bangalore RC's chase of 180 vs CSK while I hope that Rahul Dravid plays a gem of an innings like the last time,again. Oh and his throw to run Hayden out was superb. Is he knocking on Indian ODI team's door again? I wish!

EDIT : My score now - 969 :D

Friday, 10 April 2009

Stains

You stepped on my pride and I shot,
your blood would stain my face forever,
you were neither my friend, nor my foe,
then why?..I do not know!

Tried washing the stains,
but they darken with each wash,
to remind me of pain,
the storm over..now its the time for rain.

I haven't slept,
water hasn't quenched my thirst,
.....Your blood makes it red,
since the day,the day I gifted you the death bed.

I orphaned a flower,
I widowed a bride,
I extinguished a flame,
Is it only me?...Only me to blame?

I killed you and I died myself,
Our chests decorated,
Yours with a medal,mine with a burden..a sin,
Why my friend?,why?,why did you step in?