Different people perceive things differently. This is my take on things, I, an average human being...speak now...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Toffee Wrapper? Put it in Your Pocket

When I am walking alone on the streets, or standing at a bus-stop or a train station, I often look at the Mumbai around me and think, what is the one thing that would make this place look like a New York City, or a London, or a Tokyo? More high-rise buildings? More fly-overs and interchanges? Better cars? And then, something glowed like a bulb up my head. Yes, cleaner streets.

You are having a toffee in the middle of the street, and you have the wrapper in your hand now. You don't find a dustbin for like a mile ahead or back. What would you do? Let it slip off your fingers innocently? Many of us would do that, yes. What difference does it make, we would think. The street is dirty as it is, littered with all kinds of stuff, one more tiny wrapper will gel in uncomplainingly; like a drop in the ocean.

We talk of politicians toxifying the nation's reputation with acts of corruption, sportsmen failing to perform; we sit at a coffee table and rip the government off its roots. But to point fingers at others, are we "clean" ourselves? We keep on repeating that we need stricter laws; when is littering going to become an offence?

The most common words said by most people when they return home from an international trip is "These places are so clean!!!" Sometimes it makes me wince, when I think that the finest sanitation systems in the world belonged to our own Indus Valley Civilization. Boy, we've really gone down the drain all these years later!

When every individual makes a conscious effort to remind himself that he can do better than throw a wrapper on the street, only then will we take the tag of litterbugs off our backs. If you are travelling, take a litter-bag with you, or use your own pocket. In trains, people tend to throw tea-cups out of the window saying "Well, there's no dustbin here". In that case, make your own dustbin. Put it in a big plastic bag, and use it for the whole trip. Or dump it in one of the station dustbins on the way. Doing this might seem out-of-the-way, but aren't we Indians already reputed for doing out-of-the-way things to look hip and trendy?

If you have construction work done at your place, clear out the debris. Don't litter the street. Move them at a place where the waste disposal guys can take it away. Pay extra money to get it done; aren't you paying for millions of other useless things, this day and age?

Go ahead. Let's make our city, our state, our country litter-free.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Give the Guy What He Deserves

My office transportation picks up and drops me at a place which is a 10-minute train ride away from home. Although I’ve travelled in suburban trains all my life, these 10-minute trips have often tested my patience to the hilt.

A firm believer of the principle of negotiation and making peace, I obviously had to implement that in “the human compactor” called the local train, everyday. One such tiring evening, on my way home, with great effort, I got into a train. The people behind me were pushing and urging me to push more, at which I told them to take it easy, as a fairly old lady was ahead of me. This irate bunch of people still didn’t let go, and pushed more. Now, it was my turn to turn around 180 degrees as I had to get down on the same side that I had boarded. One of the men hanging on the doorway, part of that bunch, behind me, felt uncomfortable as I turned and told me to get down at the opposite end, and I, (the wise guy that I am) told him, “I’d rather push you out and get down than go all the way to the opposite end.”

The old lady also had to get down, so she also turned back, which now put me in front of her. Now, “the irate bunch” had some of its members behind me also, (they had their “thugs” all around me, it seemed) and they were now urging me to make way for the old lady to get down. I assured them she’ll make it to the station fine, and (again, wise negotiator that I am) asked them why they were so worried about her now, when they themselves disregarded her presence and pushed before.

Now these wisecracks by me, and my defiant voice were too much for these train-thugs to take, and they decided to do a number on me. They started cursing and I kept my defiant tone. The result was, a couple of them had decided not to let me through. One of them even grabbed my throat. My principles of negotiation had failed. It was time to remain silent and pray not to get thrown overboard.

They let the old lady pass and blocked me. I weaved and elbowed a couple of them, and somehow, manage to get out, while they still kept cursing. I turned back and yelled a nugget of a word, that everyone on the platform could hear.
I had given them what they all deserved.
And then, I ran, as fast I could, the sounds of their cursing, fading in the distance.

It’s not always that you can talk your way out of a situation. You sometimes have to give such jerks the taste of their own medicine. If I had weighed 20 kilos more, I would have surely have punched at least one guy in the face. Cursing is bad, fighting worse, but even the staunchest of Gandhians wouldn’t stand his ground against such inhuman behaviour. Anger will be vented out, and a guy loses control the moment it comes out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Live-in Relationships....Everyone has somethin' to say...

With the more so-called "polished" and "educated" western culture dominating our lives, everyone, young and old, in some way or the other, tries to justify live-in relationships. Now let me get this straight. I am a guy, and I'll be able to earn my living in the near future, and so if a girl wants to have a live-in with me, I'll definitely say YES. Damn society and damn all moral values....why should I say no at all?

This is how a man thinks. Now who can ever figure out a woman's mind? Even great thinkers have failed trying to fathom a woman's mind. The sophisticated, western, self-dependent woman of today can jump into the so-called helpless Indian outfit anytime. She could demand stability in her life and dream about chiming wedding bells. What if the man doesn't want to convert it into a long-term relationship? Who becomes the loser now? What will happen of the woman if she's conceiving? Who'll take the child's responsibility?

The fact that often goes unnoticed is that, the so-called broad-minded thinkers who demand legalization of live-in relationships, shun from such questions. Is there any need to create an edict that has potential disaster written all over it for the fair sex, when the national capital itself is brimming with injustice against women?

It's not that marriages never fail. But the contract implied by marriage has witnesses in the form of relatives and friends, who, knowingly or unknowingly, help in binding the spouses together. The court can intervene in marital conflicts; who the hell intervenes in live-in conflicts?
Just blindly looking at Europeans kissing and saying goodbye, and wishing our lives were like theirs, is no way to happiness.
As Indians, we know how insecure people can get with ups and downs in such "nomadic" personal lives.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

9/11? We've had lots of those!

The recent benumbing attacks on the Taj hotel as well as The Oberoi, The Nariman House etc. will be remembered for a long time. My sincerest condolences to the deceased and the immortal soldiers who laid down their lives.

I heard several media personnel comparing the attacks to the 9/11 attacks in the US. Probably it was similar, but only because of the planning that had gone underneath. I ask myself, we had a similar attack on 7 trains a couple of years ago and several people lost their lives then too. Then why do we see people waking up and thinking of restructuring the system only now?

Comparison is what we never fail to do, and it is what we'll always keep on doing. We've had 17 blasts in Ahmedabad, lots of those in Delhi and Bangalore as well, so why are the people and the government "waking" up now?
Is it only because a bunch of millionaires bit the dust in the Taj, and the people who died before were "nothing"?
I am afraid that is the only reason anybody can offer, coz that's the damn truth.

If every instance of destruction of peace and property was treated as 9/11, the government and the people can prevent further such devastating onslaughts. The US has only one such 9/11 to talk of, we have a dozen of them in the last year itself. Every life lost is precious, be it a slumdog or a tycoon, because it is a human (not even an Indian, here) and if people understood that, then we won't have to regret ever again.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Maharashtra has 100% electrification...(A bunch of baloney)!!!

I come home after a tiring day at college, at the time when the sun's said goodbye and I am welcome to absolute darkness. Yes, that is how it is, at least four times a week, in the homes of my town Vasai, located on the outskirts of Mumbai. When Mumbai flourishes with brightness after 5 PM, Vasai has to stay in darkness.

What aggravates me most, is that a state which boasts of 100% electrification, i.e. Maharashtra cares about nothing but a chalked out portion of a city called Mumbai. This state has population more than 10 crores but still not ready to invest money in power supply. And what is even more interesting is the surplus MSEB charge. Mumbaikars pay much lesser for wasting electricity than Vasaikars, Kalyankars and Dombivlikars who pay more and get thrust into darkness everyday.

Imagine the students of this locality struggling to study smeared with candle drippings and some flimsy snapshot of a semi-nude model being lit up with a hundred lights on a billboard in Bandra.
That is what Mumbai is all about. Mumbai is about taking care of one's own profits kicking the backs of the people who strive to build those profits for the capital investors.

I have passed my 10th, 12 th and am now passing out of engineering but the problem just doesn't seem to end. I have got used to the dark days and candlelight. When the problem of Marathi Maanoos is getting electricity, why can't these linguistic politicians get a hold of this problem and try to get actual 100% electrification?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: BIG B just farted

The Indian Television media just never seem to shed the tag of being juvenile. The News Channels probably maintain a Hit-List of celebrities whom they would have marked as Good or Bad and present the most absurd of news material justifying what they say. The Bachchan Parivar visited Tirupati (What the heck do I care!!!!). Or SRK likes Paneer Tikka (The Somalian hungry children might want some!!!). It is almost as if they are manufacturing news items out of paltry facts and normal situations. Well, gone are the days when 5 items of politics and 2 items of sports constituted the half hour of news. Having unlimited airtime empowers News Channels to repeat a sentence 20 times rephrasing it as they like, each time.

Or the much-hyped up Aarushi murder case. Forget SRK and Big B, The Talwar family came to limelight because of the news channels. It's true that the girl was brutally killed, but aren't there other more important matters? The most irritating part is that the News Channels air reruns of Comedy Shows and Reality Dance and Song Programmes. The Hell with them.....!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Skin! Is it In?

Living in India, we have heard a lot about English "whites" and their harsh treatment of us so-called "blacks". But aren't we ourselves getting into the skin-feud?
Obviously, almost everyone has seen the commercials on television and newsprint about fairness creams and all that they offer to get oneself looking "great"...(at least that's what they claim to do). But are they not indirectly fuelling the fire...meaning to say that being skin-dark is a sign of primitivity? Is someone who is born dark at a disadvantage? Why these double standards, when on the one hand, we are trying to eradicate the mythical and irrational beliefs of our culture? And on the other hand, we are as narrow-minded as to accept that skin colour is lord and master and decides our personality...