(S)wags the word…This is a world where anyone can put in a word (more would be welcome, funny would be appreciated).

Posts tagged ‘India’

Caught sleeping…

The title works well for me personally and India’s government. I have been derelict of my blogging duties. The entire August went by without nary a word from me. Can I be excused? I was on vacation for the whole month ūüôā

I¬†ate, slept, swam, ate, slept. Not in my good ol’ town but near Grand Ole Opry. Nashville, Tennessee: Music City, Athens of the West, Home of the Parthenon, Publishing City. A city with many names and many facets. Loved standing on a stage with¬†nearly 100 years’ of country music history. The Grand Ole Opry is the mecca for all country singers and has been since 1925. You can not buy a membership to the Opry. You have to be invited to oldest music hall of fame. Photographs will follow, I promise.

Nashville is cool. Wide streets and even wider highways. A lot of history there. The best building was the Bat building. ūüôā Not Bruce Wayne’s home, though it would have been a fitting abode for the superhero. It is the AT&T building. It is surrounded by all the bigwigs of the music industry. The studios are awe-inspiring. To know that international stardom is created within those walls was overwhelming and kept thinking of Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood walking up those steps.

I loved the spaciousness of the city and beyond. Every little establishment had huge grounds, something of a luxury here in Connecticut. Not even the government buildings can boast of vast grounds. And there a man’s personal home had been surrounded by 30000 acres of manicured gardens. It took us half a day to see the various segments within the Botanical Garden. Humidity and Heat took its toll and we beat a hasty retreat.

Perhaps that was the only downer. The heat was oppressive. I didn’t dare to even open the door during day time. But that only gave me a good reason to sleep in. ūüôā

Aah and the other entity caught sleeping. Not that I am one. But the Indian government surely is. Or should I call it a joke. Even with one of the best and honorable man at its helm, India can’t get its act together. We are becoming something of a laughing matter with bombs blowing up in every bazaar, office or train. Is Indian security so poor that anyone can attack it with impunity and walk away without the slightest fear of getting caught?

Are our chosen leaders and hired officials that impotent? Does not one official realise that he needs to take his job seriously? Not a source of income and security but with responsibilities and duties? These terrorist attacks are so regular that even the Indian public, the biggest victim of such acts, are getting anesthetized to them. Not caring for anyone except sending up a huge prayer of thanks to God that it wasn’t them. This time!

The social media denizens have led a hue and cry, baying for blood. Anyone’s blood! As the perps have long vanished, the face of governance Mr Manmohan Singh is the target. Poor man! He is a good man caught in a bad position. One man cannot change this country or its state of affairs. We all need to change. How?


There’s something about US…

Its India’s Republic Day! Right time to reflect on what is and what can be…

Staying abroad always makes me love my country that much more! I miss talking in Hindi. I miss feeling the sense of belonging. No wonder I end up watching everything (well almost) Bollywood has to offer..I have watched yuck movies¬†as Kajol’s¬†Kuch¬†Khatti¬†kuch¬†Mithi¬†to TMK, all in the hopes of connecting to something familiar. A culture that I totally understand and relate to…And love!

And whenever I return back, ooh la la, I face a huge culture shock. Every single time! The first time I traveled in Mumbai local after returning back in 2002, I was shocked and disappointed at the appalling behaviour of aam janta. A college going girl refused to let me get off at Andheri simply because I was sitting till Goregaon. She said you should have gotten up earlier. Go figure!

In Pune, the rickshaw driver started¬†threatening like a goon because he wanted Rs 25 instead of the minimum fare Rs 9 for a 2 min ride. In Chennai, while I was 5 months pregnant, the watchman refused to help me bring a suitcase down from the 3rd floor, simply because I was “North Indian“.

In Kolkatta, when we took a prepaid taxi from the airport to home, a man (driver’s supposed friend) forcibly entered the taxi to take a short ride and only got off because I raised an alarm.

In Bangalore, I stood in a queue 1 mile long for 4 hours to secure admission in a school in nursery class for my child. I still didn’t get it. And I was told to keep a minimum Rs 1 lac ready if I wanted admission to any school (decent or not) at all.

None of these and various other experiences would make me feel a proud Indian today! Sometimes I cringe at the appalling behaviour I see exhibited by my country people in India or abroad. Our love of showing off our wealth has led to killings of young men and women. Our love of ignoring rules led to a recent accident here killing 8 people including a month old baby. Our love of chaati-thok self-righteousness, even if wrong, has made us one of the hated communities abroad.

Not all of it is our fault. Though, somehow we are losing touch with our culture. The very thing that makes us. Made us. Age old wisdom in Yoga, Naturopathy, Daan¬†– dharam, Prathistha, Izzat¬†are buzz words abroad. In India, they are shrugged off. The best line I have ever heard¬†was¬†from a boy who refused to pick up his litter say, “Yeh Mera kaam¬†nahi¬†hai. Main to aisa¬†hi¬†hoon”.

Isn’t that also a Movie song? A reflection of popular culture.

A neighbourhood school was recently closed down here and parents protested against it. Everybody knew it was an underperforming school and was shut to save council money. But they protested as: some would lose jobs, and it would affect the community by lowering house prices. Here the concern was the impact on the community of teachers, helpers and neighbours. Not their children, for parents knew children would be taken care of adequately.

It’s been – 30 degrees Celsius¬†here and have seen 7 storms in 5 weeks. Even after the worst blizzard, a small army of dedicated council workers came out to clean up the streets. The residents clean up the sidewalk surrounding their house for pedestrians. Life was completely normal. Nothing got paralysed. Unlike what one single rainy day can do in Mumbai!

Or take victims like Aarushi, Nitish Katara, or Satyendra Dubey.  They are forgotten people. Some of us self righteous people protested, held morchas, lit candles and went back home to sleep. These cases are swept under the carpet by us. Many among our aam junta may not be aware of who these people are. Kya kare bhaiyya, zamana hi kharab hai. Inka dekhu ya zindagi ki gaadi dhakelu? Why do we forget our government is of the people, by the people and for the people. Our netas are elected by us!!!!!!

Are we that thick-skinned, that our hearts don’t break on seeing a child mopping the floor? A poor woman being beaten to death by her in-laws? A man killed for simply doing his job honestly?

What exactly should I be proud of as an Indian? We say India has suffered from brain drain, notably to US. Here in US, the kind of¬†Indians I have met, makes me regret being born as one. Either¬†they are trying to take advantage of¬†each other¬†or are busy making others’ life miserable. Proud at earning¬†in dollars and bad mouthing the very hand that feeds them. Bringing in aged parents to simply baby-sit their kids and do house-keeping while they go about their lives. Sad!

Ofcourse India is not just these people. Happily there are those of us who are trying to keep the Indian flag¬†flying high. Those of us who have tried to remain true to our culture while embracing modern values. A few of us make me feel there’s hope. They know the true value of tehzeeb¬†(manners), laaj¬†(honour), satya¬†vachan (truth). They struggle amongst the crowd but are still flying high. Still the voice of reason, empathy, and patience.

Today on our republic day, I pray that these good men and women get strength to fight the moral corruption in our country and vanquish it. Maybe then we will conquer all else.  Amen! Jai Ho!

My head is bowed with shame!

The headlines: Commonwealth Games in crisis: Bridge collapses and top athletes pull out as UK teams cry foul over ‘filthy’ facilities.

This headline made me shake my head….But what bowed it is some of the comments from the readers. I agree the stoners are themselves not sin-free. But why, why do we give the world every chance to laugh at us derisively? The hard work of a few is washed away by the greed of millions. I am copying some of the comments from the newspaper site, just to show what the world thinks of us. While not entirely representative, it reflects the majority. Be your own judge.

1. “Am bemused at some Indians getting offended when India is referred as a Third world country..I have been myself and can categorically without any doubt say it is most definitely a Third world filthy country.People in this country are not aware of the immense filth surrounding India just a few large buildings and big corporations and it thinks it’s a super power”

2. “and they keep saying that India has the best quality engineers that should be let into the U.K to cover shortages.
If they are so good why do they have so many construction problems.”

3. “I’m sure all the people living in squalid conditions in India would be very grateful to have the opportunity to live in this village, It is far better than where they currently have to survive. If the Indian government can build these facilities for visitors staying for just a few weeks why can’t they build them for their own people?”

4. “Oh come on!!…..They didn’t expect Clean and hygienic facilities in India did they??? You’ll be telling me they expect to win medals next!!!”

5. “I am a web developer and have often seen work outsourced to India to make savings that needs to be entirely redone and brought up to standard. I have never seen any code from India that was of an acceptable professional standard. Shoddy, insecure, outmoded, lacking best practices, inelegant, copy and pasted from dubious sources, hacked and bodged and generally a disgrace. They have a cultural difference where striving for quality and meeting professional standards is only paid lip service. I’m in no way surprised by this bridge collapsing, there’s probably dozens of bridges collapsing every day in India that escape the global spotlight.”

No matter how much we try to defend, this is indefensible. how do we explain away years of corruption, and an even bigger crime years of lethargy on part of the public to root out its evil. We vote for our politicians, we give them power, we bribe the government, we stay at home for a strike called out by any party. We hire children, we thrash the weak, we stomp on the poor, we kill our own souls.

We can’t¬†even defend as Indians. For we are not Indian, we are Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Jat, Rajput, Tamil, Telugu! We are all that but we are NOT Indians!!!


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1313907/Commonwealth-Games-crisis-Bridge-collapses-athletes-pull-11-days-go.html

New Exam pattern in India…

New Exam pattern in India (Revised)

1. General students – Answer ALL questions.
2. General Students ( girls) – any three out of ten. (33% of total)
2. OBC – WRITE ANY one question.
3. SC – ONLY READ questions.



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