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 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.