Tuesday, 31 December 2013

THE YEAR OF THE AAM AADMI

As another year beckons us we can only hope that life will get better and the future will hold promises as none before. Hope springs eternal and with the Aam Aadmi taking over the reins of a horse which has been left to run amok since we gained independence from the British, maybe just maybe the game may finally change for the better. 

A man with a magic wand he may not be but he has managed to give hope to millions of citizens where there was none. There just might be light at the end of the tunnel. 

Inspired and impressed by the man of the moment my very good friend and a regular contributor to my blog, Bhumika Singh pours her thoughts and feelings below. 


As Kejriwal becomes the 7th C.M. of Delhi...................

I drift back to the days at school. Those were the days of idealism. We actually did believe we were capable of changing this world an its wrong ways. We believed that if we were true to ourselves and committed to the values that we believed in, we could set almost everything right.

And then, the inevitable happened; we grew up. The idealism faded, only to be replaced by cynicism. Instead of projecting our beliefs to the world, we quickly became one with its ways! We merged ourselves and our lofty dreams to the myraid colours around. Somewhere along the way, the idealism that is a thing of the youth lost out to the practicality of the grown-up world. Yesteryears ideas were now impractical, ideals were now idiosyncrasies and the belief in truth and justice were something to be ridiculed and laughed upon!!!

Until there came upon a man who showed us what eternal youth is all about. With an uncluttered mind space like that, Kejriwal shows how it is possible to retain our thought processes that we had during our school and college days. At 46, he exuberates the ideals of a student who firmly believes that the world will change for the better and has the courage to begin the change from himself. No matter what the critics may say, the man's greatest achievement is his idealism and the conviction to prove that idealism can be practically implemented.


As for me, today's proceedings at the Ramleela Maidan reminded me of the various times I took oath as the House Captain, Committee leader, Literary Society Chairperson etc. in school and college, of the emotions that I felt during those times and the deep desire and belief that I could and would be the harbinger of a positive change around me.

Today, something within me stirred and I a felt a pang of remorse for having left all that behind and moving ahead.

Thank you Kejriwal for helping me re-live those memories. Thank you for showing me the alternative way and thank you for bringing the magic called idealism back into my life.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A NEW LIFE...A NEW CHAPTER

 
  
Life as I have known has been a blessing. Born into an air force family of loving parents, a brother who was also a friend, adoring grandparents who we would spend our vacations with, and a very secure and happy environment, I have had a good life.

My life became even better when I met my husband and my best friend, an air force officer, a fighter pilot and wrote a new chapter in my life…a chapter filled with love, memories, joy, moments that I will cherish till my dying day, and the best of all my two boys, who are my life. 

Of course life as everyone knows it is just a journey and expedition.  My expedition has taken me on many different paths.  There have been straight roads, winding roads, mountains to climb, hills and valleys to go up and down, and turns here and there that have filled my life with all different kinds of challenges, obstacles and changes. 

But what has made this life interesting is that I've always been surrounded by encouragement, love, honesty, integrity, strength, kindness, and hope and most of all there has always been something to look forward to.

The Air force has been my life; I was born into it and then married into it. The secure, safe, stable and nurturing environment that the defence forces provide is all I have known.

But they say Change is the only constant in life and I and my family find ourselves standing on the threshold of a new chapter in our life yet again. Opportunities multiply as they are seized and that’s what my husband and I have decided to do.

It’s time again for me to turn the pages and pen down a new chapter in my life, a momentous chapter which will I believe bring into being a new book altogether. As my husband prepares and plans to begin a new life with a new job leaving his old one behind I too get ready and prepare my family and myself to be ready to face an uncertain future, an unknown future which hopefully with its many twist and turns will be better than what we have led till now.

And so we begin this new episode with the hope and promise of a future complete with our dreams fulfilled, new opportunities, prospects, our old friends and hopefully many new, and of course challenges and obstacles to be crossed and more than anything else a future full of love, happiness, laughter, contentment, and joy.  

As my family and I open the door to our new life, I find inspiration from the lyrics of a song from the movie “Sound Of Music” which I reproduce below:

Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every highway,
Every path you know.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
'Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life,
For as long as you live.



















Friday, 1 November 2013

DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF PEOPLE

We are told time and time again by the people who have taken upon themselves to rule us that we have a lot to thank them for because they let us live in an independent nation, a democratic country which allows us freedom to do, think and speak.

How truly democratic and free is India? Do the people and citizens of this country really have any power? Now to make things clear to myself I first did research on what democracy is? I found a lot of information but the below mentioned points summarise what a true democracy entails:

1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.
2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life. 
3.  Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
4.  A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.


In a democracy, the people are supreme—they are the highest form of political authority. Power flows from the people to the leaders of government, who hold power only temporarily. They hold power because the people vote for them in supposedly free and fair elections. Citizens have an obligation to become informed about public issues, to watch carefully how their political leaders and representatives use their powers and to express their own opinions and interests. It is also important for women participate fully both in politics and in civil society as they not only constitute half the population but are, as mothers and wives, mould the destiny of humanity.

This requires efforts by civil society organisations to educate women about their democratic rights and responsibilities, improve their political skills, represent their common interests and involve them in political life. Political parties are vital organisations in a democracy and democracy is stronger when citizens become active members of political parties or at least make themselves heard and be counted.

However, no one should support a political party because he is pressured or threatened by others.  In a democracy, citizens are free to choose which party to support. Democracy is a system of rule by laws, not by individual whims and fancies.

Democracy depends on citizen participation in all these ways.  But participation must be peaceful, respectful of the law and tolerant of the different views of other groups and individuals.

So much talk ‘for the people, by the people and of the people’ but it remains just that…talk. Our political parties make a mockery of all that is free and fair, the elections are always rigged, the politicians are all opportunists with no accountability or morals and women are of course just there to put up with all that society wants them to do…women cannot dare to have a mind of their own and no ordinary citizens ever reach the stage or are allowed to become active participants in politics.

The so called educated lot has been brainwashed into believing that they are a lucky lot living in a democracy where we have freedom to speak and write and that there is freedom and pluralism in the mass media. Hogwash I say because even if we are “allowed” to say and write what we want to that is only because the politicians know no one is listening. The mass media is a big player in a democracy and a big player in influencing the public… but then who influences them? It’s sad that they are being played by parties and have rigid political affiliations too while the poor citizen doesn't know how well they are being played. 

Another fact is that real power lies with the rich and the businessmen who in cahoots with the politicians decide the fate of this nation. The poor are mere vote banks and thus allowed to run around and made to believe that they are important components of a nation, a nation which has no time or patience to pull them out from the mire they are born in and then die in.

We forget that the state is completely outside any democratic control. So while the public at large is taught to behave democratically, as citizens who need to observe certain principles and rules of democratic conduct, the political parties rule us like a monarchy. We have been excluded and will always be kept outside the purview of true democracy.

But even if we, for a moment, consider that we are truly a thriving democracy, isn't democracy about 51%, ignoring the opinion of the remaining 49%. As someone has aptly put it, a true democracy is one in which if the majority decides to jump in the well, the remaining will have to follow!

With the 2014 elections coming up I implore each of you to be well informed, civic minded and well behaved citizens of a country which can only hope and wish to be a true democratic nation in the hope of making it a better world for our children.

And if that were not to happen, then the “rule of people” will remain what it is today – a sham rather than a reality.




Friday, 25 October 2013

Just a few hours to go...

With only a few hours to go for Vivek to be back home Bhumika my friend pens the last verse of this series. Welcome home Vivek...


Dear Pati,

Kyun ye lamha thehra hai,
Waqt par kiska pehra hai?
Ek arsa beet gaya bin tere,
Tere paas na hone ka dard bahut gehra hai.

Ab to ghadi par he nazre tiki huee hain,
Ye saase bhi lagta hai kuch ruki huee hain,
Mere dil ka haal kehta aaj mera chehra hai,
Tere paas na hone ka dard bahut gehra hai.

Aas paas khamosh se hulchul huee hai,
Kuch soch samajh na aane ki naubat huee hai,
Teri yaadon ke saye ka is dil pe pehra hai
Tere paas na hone ka dard bahut gehra hai.

Humko maloom hai bahut jald tere aane ki dastak hogi,
Na jaane phir us pal kaisi meri haalat hogi,
Hum to sambhal he jaenge, par is dil ka marz gehra hai,
Tere paas na hone ka dard bahut gehra hai.

Muddaton bad tumko dekhkar kuch keh bhi paaenge hum?Yakin nahin hai ki khul ke hans bhi paaenge hum.
Dar hai ki beh na jaye wo dariya jo meri aankhon mein thehra hai,
Tere paas na hone ka dard bahut gehra hai.

Tum to mere apne ho, phir aaj itni ghabrahat kyun hai?
Kabhi chalte, kabhi rukte hain, na aati ek pal bhi koi raahat kyun hai?
Shayad tere armano ne bhi pehna aaj koi sehra hai,
Tere paas na hone ka dard bahut gehra hai.

Kal kisne dekha hai, na jaane kis mod par phir bichad jaaenge,
Ek waqt aisa bhi aaega ki bichde to phir mil na paaenge,
Saath humara aaj nahin, na jaane kitne janmo se thehra hai,
Tere paas na hone ka dard bahut gehra hai.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

And the last few days of wait...

Dear Pati,


As you guzzle down that huge pitcher,
Of exquisite chilled bavarian beer,
Don't forget your sulking friends back here,
It's 2nd October, a dry day my dear!

If here, you'd call up all your friends,
A day before, some last minute attempts,
And then a frenetic search for liquor,
It's 2nd October, a dry day my dear!

Together you'd hop from shop to shop,
Collecting bottles at every stop,
With utter delight, it calls for a cheer,
It's 2nd October, a dry day my dear!

As if there wouldn't be tomorrow to drink,
Such imprudent boys, with nothing to think,
Inanely popping bottles there and here,
It's 2nd October, a dry day my dear!

A land where Gandhi never walked upon,
Therein today you drink with aplomb,
You forget how we celebrate his birthday here?
It's 2nd October, a dry day my dear!


How many pounds up do you stand today?
With so much of beer, how much do you weigh?
Can I still hold you in my arms? I fear!
It's 2nd October, a dry day my dear!

Dear Pati,

I loved the way when yesterday,
After work, at the end of the day,
You gave me a ring,
And asked, "Begum what should I bring?
For our little ones?"

I said, "It would be fun,
If you get two dolls,
From the opulent malls,
And a little make-up kit,
Can be found, just walk a bit.

Remember how the little brat,
Before the mirror for hours sat?
Admiring herself like a lady grown,
Would love to have a make-up kit of her own.
And not to forget the older one,
Who, by the way, has just won,
A competition held at the school.

Remember how she shamelessly drools,
At chocolates and candies and the likes?
And loves to sing all day on the mike.
See if you find a musical thing,
Maybe an i-pod, if you could bring?
And ofcourse don't forget to get the sweets,
To surprise them with, when the two you meet."

I'm sure you would have smiled,
While I so diligently compiled,
The exhaustive list of the goodies to be bought,
And then you spoke, after a moment's thought,
"So what about you begum?
Why do you keep so mum?
Tell me what you want for yourself,
Or should I randomly decide myself?

Meanwhile I've entered a cosmetic shop,
Lots of glosses, lipsticks, liners I've bought,
I don't know much about this stuff,
But I'm sure you'll like it more than enough.
I've also picked up your all time pet,
Sunglasses you'll simply love, I bet."

And while I heard your fervent talk,
In the porch, I took a walk.
And wondered why I felt like this,
It's only you and you I miss.
I feel no joy at what you said,
No excitement at what you'd get.
Just come back soon, thats all I want,
Meanwhile your absence persists to haunt.......
I miscalculated. Its just a day left for him to be back!!!

Dear Pati,

You who's not used to working thus,
Have a team thats willing to adjust,
I'm sure the boss misses his team,
For the upcoming presentation, it seems!

It's the last day of your training there,
With lots of excitement in the air,
There's lots of data to be compiled,
A work you so hated and reviled!

I know too well, you'd still delegate,
The job to all your fellow mates.
Relax and say you support them so,
How devious can you be, only I can know!

Meanwhile back here, we're getting set,
So much still pending, as of yet.
So much to sort before you arrive,
For a month without you, 
we've survived!

I'm nervous of the way you'll react,
Very anxious, as a matter of fact
There are some changes here and there,
Hope that those you will kindly bear???!!!

I have in store a lovely surprise,
But scared, it shouldn't shock you otherwise.
Remember out of my love for you,
I did what I thought I should do.

For now, sit back and chill out,

Leave no room for any kind of doubt.

Albeit it's been a little tough without you,

Don't worry, we've managed to sail through!!!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

kucch dheer dharo...

Dear Pati,

Jab kaale badal aate hain,
Har oor andhera chhata hai,
Aur tez hawaon ka jhoonka,
Man vichlit sa kar jata hai,
Jab nabh mein hoti ek garjan,
Sun har koi dar jata hai,
Tab dharti ki pyas bujhane ko,
Jeevan amrit barsane ko,
Varsha ki boonde aati hain,
Aur nutan raag sunati hain,
Kal-kal tup-tup ki sargam sun,
Man mein phir dheeraj aata hai,
Aasha ka nanha prabal deep,
Ek baar punah jal jaata hai.

Saawan ki madhur phuhaaren jab,
Sab kuch swarnim kar jaati hain,
Tab man ka wo anjana dar,
Bus paani mein mil jaata hai
Tum aaj bhale he oojhal ho,
Mere naino ke aangan se,
Chhahe is kshan yu lagta hai,
Simtega kab jo phaila hai,
Megho ke paar chhupa suraj,
Aage aano ko vyakul hai,
Aur maun raat ka dooba chandra,
Kirne bikhrana chahta hai.

Kehto ho tum "kucch dheer dharo,
Sahas sab paar lagata hai,
Asmanjas ka kya kaam bhala,
Ankush dono ko dharna hai."
Par jab sandhya deti dastak,
Ambar ka rang gehrata hai,
Rug-rug mein bharta sunapan,
Sudh budh meri bisrata hai.

Jis din tum wapas aaoge,
Is vasudha ka rang kya hoga?
Prafulit neela ambar hoga,
Ati harshit man mera hoga.

Phir shwet-shyaam saare badal,
Ek ek karke chhat jaenge,
Panchi kaliyaan chanda taare,
Koi madhur geet sunaenge.
Manas ka dhundhlaya sheesha,
Ek baar punah ujjwal hoga,
Reh reh naino se jo jharta,
Wo sagar bhi tham jaega.
Pagchaap tumhare aane ki,
Sun anuragit ye man hoga,
Us ghadi hosh sambhal jaye,
Kya bheetar itna sayyam hoga?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

While I miss you so terribly ...

9 Days to go...

Dear Pati,
Upon the shower panel today,
An empty "Gold Flake" packet lay.
As I was giving the kids a wash,
And saved myself from the water slosh,
My eyes fell upon a glistening thing,
Behind the shelf it was neatly sitting.
An impish guy had hidden it thus,
Be back. We really need to discuss!

Remember the days when we dated?
To get married, how eagerly you waited!
And promised that after we wed,
The ash stick would eternally be shed.
The promise, wrecked and forgone,
Resurfaced, when the first one was born.
And then again after the second one came,
You pledged to quit. Ah! A tall claim!

Much water passed beneath the bridge,
Between us, it sometimes created a ridge.
Your plan to quit does never occur,
The only matter where we never concur.
And look at you! You mailed me a snap,
Holding a cigarette between your fingers' gap!
How could you believe I wouldn't observe?
Once back, a piece of my mind you deserve!



8 Days to go...

Dear Pati,

Go if you have to, but remember a little thing.
Your absence will almost always bring,
An eerie dejected zone inside my little heart,
That seems to ruthlessly tear me apart.

Go if you have to, but what it does to me,
Unsettled and miserable, for everyone to see.
Can't recall when I last heard my laughter,
What's great about anything since you left thereafter?

Go if you have to, but wouldn't it be nice?
If you could manage to keep your travel concise?
Your month long absence is too hard to abide,
Impossible to do without you by my side.

Go if you have to, but is there another way?
That matters can be handled while you here stay?
Can't proceedings be conducted over the phone and emails?
Why then are the modern inventions so hyped and hailed?

Go if you have to, but always bear in mind,
Whilst I struggle alone, the world isn't kind.
I may sail through or I may even sink,
Next time you step outside, just pause and re-think.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Distance means so little when someone means so much...

11 Days to go...

Dear Pati,

My O my! How do you handle all this?
It is so maddening, it really is.
So many concerns and all at once,
You live through this?

Must admire your brilliance!
Quality, development, purchase and production,
Finance of course needs a special mention,
Matters related to H.R. too,
A magic wand is crucial,
To help me sail through!

Someone from here, something from there,
Is this what every day you bear?
Albeit I saw you day after day,
But now I live through it your way!

I thought I handled quite a bit,
And doing a nearly perfect trade.
Undergoing your toil, I must admit,
Mine is a child's play, I'm afraid!


The day you will be back, I say,
I will take off for a couple of days.
No work, no toil and nothing to pay heed,
Will put my legs up, watch TV. and read!!!


10 Days to go...

Dear Pati,

Why is there so much dismay?
Why am I so low?
With each and every passing day,
The dismal feeling grows.

Hands are full, so is my head,
And all just seems to sink.
Varied thoughts leave me upset,
Have utterly lost the link!

Befuddled is the world to me,
Defeated is my state.
Worng or right I cannot see,
So uncertain! And that I hate.

Weary of everything around,
Cannot relish a thing.
This loneliness leaves me astound,
I miss the earlier zing.

Devoid of you, I can't be me,
Where lost is all the clarity?
In my palm as I read my fate,
I realize in you is my destiny.

A part of me you took away,
No wonder I'm flawed so.
Give back that me to me I say,
Please come back and never go.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

I avoid looking at the clock, fearing the slow passing of time that will only seem slower if I watch its progress...

13 Days to go...

Dear Pati,

Kal shaam ghar gulab jamun aaye,
Bachcho ne bade maze lekar khaye,
Chashni mein doobe the,
Ras se bhare ajoobe the,
Kisi nein do mujhe bhi thamaye,
Kal shaam ghar gulab jamun aaye.

Apni chhutki ko na jane kaise,
Bus yuhi baithe baithe,
Achanak papa bahut yaad aaye,
Isliye ghar gulab jamun aaye.

Sabke khoob kehne par,
Do-char maine bhi khaye,
Kal shaam ghar gulab jamun aaye.
Haath mein bhari katori thee,
Man mein peeda bhi thodi thee,
Dekh gulab jamun tum bahut yaad aaye,
Aur na jaane kaise ye naina chalak aaye.

Phir dieting ka vichaar man se hatakar,
Tumhara naam lekar maine bhi khaye,
Kal shaam ghar gulab jamun aaye.
Tum hote yahan to bahut pyar se,
Kehte yehi mujhse thak-haar ke,
"Begum itne se kya hota hai?
Khane do na, bahut man hota hai.

Chalees degree par hain garmaye,
Kya bhadhiya khushboo ke hain jhoke aaye."
Kal shaam ghar gulab jamun aaye.

Aaj hriday pachtaya hai,
Soch yehi ghabraya hai,
Man karta hoga jab meetha khane ko,
Aur jaldi wapas aane ko,
Tum sochte hoge wapas jaaunga,
Garam gulab jamun khaaonga,
Chalo mein bhi kuch na bolungi,
Khud mithai ka dabba kholungi,
Hum raah mein tumhari hain aankhe bichaye,
Aur sapno par mushkil se hain ankush lagaye.
Jab Kal shaam ghar gulab jamun aaye.
Jab Kal shaam ghar gulab jamun aaye.


12 Days to go...

Dear Pati,

Of hope it was, of hope it is,
A tender thought that came is this,
A tiny corner somewhere inside,
I am in you, by your soul astride.

In you I am, you are in me,
There never was a boundary.
Do you know where begins the horizon?
Do you know where ends the sea?

We could'nt have met some years ago,
Our roots are somewhere deep below.
Hand in hand, each other's side,
We walked together in many lives.

The journey has no end preset,
He destined it and so we met.
The sun will set, the sun will rise,
Who can alter the truth of the skies?

Where I commence or where you end,
Confines, with time, have wholly blend,
And as myself I sought to see,
Its you I perceive, no sign of me.



Friday, 27 September 2013

AND AT LAST HALF THE MONTH IS OVER...

15 Days to go...

Dear Pati,

You said you were homesick,
I say I'm sick of a home without you.

You said you can't wait to come back,
I say I can't wait to have you back too.

I say without you its difficult to be,
You say that life is lonely without me.

I say the world has lost its charm,
You say you miss me in your arms.

You ask if the children miss you too?
I say ofcourse my dear, they do.

You ask if everything is fine?
I say without you I just can't align.

The chit-chat leads to just nowhere,
Would end this way, I was aware.

I am here and you are there,
And between us is a little prayer.

O God, please take good care of him.
You know he is my dearest thing.

Pay heed to all he has to say,
You see, I'm just too far away.

14 Days to go...

Dear Pati,

Ah! The pleasures of being a wife,
Of a husband who left his debit card behind!
The golden smooth and shiny thing,
Is glistening like my wedding ring!

As I hold it in my palm to see,
I think of all that it can do for me.
The market has a brand new jeans,
That makes you look so tall and lean.

It promises to fit perfectly well,
Showing sexy curves, or so they tell.
Although the numbers on the tag are high,
With the shiny plastic thing, why should I shy?

There is a new jacket in the store,
That can bring down your bank balance further more.
Not to forget the heels sitting proudly on the rack,
They seem to cry out to me to come back!

And let me not mention the dearest of all,
The ruby earrings at the showroom in the mall!
The threat looms large as you can see,
And the list by now has over grown.

Come back soon or else a heavy fee,
An empty account will make you moan.
To con in love does really no harm,
You leave no choice, so I twist your arm!!!