Sunday, August 24, 2008

Govinda Aala Re Aala!!!

A very happy Gokulashtami to all you readers out there, as always my wishes come a wee bit late as the day comes to an end, but as they say “Der se aaye par Durust aaye” (For all those who did not get what I just said, please ask some Hindi-English speaking friend, ‘cause I do not wish to insult either language with my poor translation skills!!!).
This year’s Gokulashtami is truly unique. I say this because the Dahi Handi organizers have set new standards this year, what with political parties in Mumbai arranging enormous amounts as prize money and insurance covers for the Govindas (speculations are that these are just publicity stunts to garner votes in the upcoming elections). And what’s more, if the news reports are correct, primary, high schools and even B-schools are participating this year!!! No silly, not for the cash, they are using the human pyramids to display and thus impart qualities and like leadership, teamwork, trust and managerial skills, a superb combination of learning and tradition. Kudos to such institutions for coming up with such a creative way of education for their students.
When I, myself was watching the Govindas from various mandals and pathaks this evening at the chowk opposite our building, I realized that these guys (and gals, there are many all-ladies groups out there as well…) represent the sheer determination and strength of the human mind and body. Their pyramids prove that in any structure, be it physical, organisational or social, the true strength lies below. As the handi is broken and the topmost Govinda waves his or her hands in victory with the floodlights and cameras aimed at him, I think of those below him, whose strength and resolve are the most responsible for the victory, yet they please themselves with but a fraction of the limelight and, as the pyramid dismantles, they dissolve into the crowd and into oblivion. In any and every structure we come across such people who work for the success of the complete formation from the backstage, at grass root levels and yet such people get very little of the credit they actually deserve.
Surprising, how much a human pyramid can teach you in so much little time!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

This Independence Day…

The run up to the 61st Independence Day of India could not have been more ridden with strife and turmoil along with a dash of joy and glory. The past couple of months have been a mind-numbing rollercoaster ride. First the bomb blasts ripping across the cities along with the rising tension in Jammu and Kashmir over the Amarnath Land row. Then came the enraging breach of ceasefire by Pakistani soldiers who crossed to the Indian side of the LOC. And just when the Indian morale had hit rock bottom, along came a shy, young Olympian who made us all proud by coveting the first gold for India, an event that made history. More recently, we had the revision of the 6th Pay Commission Report, uplifting the salaries as well as spirits of the Civil Servants and the IPS, Army officers.
However, all is still not well; the region of Jammu and Kashmir still burns with unrest and ire of it’s people and the situation degrades as the days go by. The BJP is playing the well known game of dirty politics to consolidate it’s position by adding ghee to the fire and aggravating the situation. Pakistan isn’t helping (has it ever done so?) by passing snide comments on tactics employed by the Police and Army to contain the mobs. Even human rights organization like Amnesty and HRW are having a field day criticizing the forces on their crowd containing tactics. With all due respect, maybe these organizations should come over and try to stop thousands of civilians marching on to the streets with nothing effective enough to stop their progress!!! Then there is the un-success story of the Police departments of the various states (where the bombings took place) and the Anti Terrorist Squad, who still haven’t been able to track down the masterminds behind the blasts, giving us the clear message that after so many blast-episodes across the nation in the past years, we still are not equipped well enough to deal with Terrorism.
But like all our freedom fighters and the common Indian man as well as (more recently) our young Olympian shooter, Abhinav have rightly shown us, we all can always have hope!!! Hope for a better India, without strife and violence, with a peaceful and fulfilling life for every citizen. Thus as the sun sets and the Indian tricolour is lowered I take your leave with hope in my heart and a prayer on my lips for a better, more prosperous and a truly independent India

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

At Last…

This was the headline on the front page of one of the various English Dailies in the metro. The article was, of course, referring to India’s first ever Gold medal in the Olympics won by Abhinav Bindra. And I think this is also is what the rest of the Indian’s will be reflecting!!! Certainly, like all other Indians I too am proud to read and watch news reports of the prestigious win by the Indian shooter but there was that ‘other’ part of me that wasn’t all that impressed.
The first ever individual gold for a country with a population count exceeding well over one billion and harbouring a large pool of athletic and sporting talent, what an irony!!! The headlines all over the newspapers, it seemed, were secretly mocking at the present sports scenario in India. And my ‘other’ part seemed to agree.
This gold is the symbol of the dismal image of the country on the world’s sporting scene. It reminds us that we, the people, as well as coaches and sportspersons, have been ignoring the sports and games other than the bloody game of cricket. While all of us pour our interest, time and investments into the Gentleman’s game we forget that our country needs to exhibit it’s excellence at other sports as well. Table tennis, swimming, archery and so many such sports are still waiting for their fair share of popularity, fame and glory.
On the other hand this gold also tells us another truth, the truth that the Indian Sportsperson is ready to give it his or her best. He is ready to face any challenge and any hurdle, be it lack of finances, lack of training facilities or pure negative criticism, and rise above it all with a passion for the game in his heart and be a true winner. And that is what I think Abhinav has truly done, he has invested in himself and his own training (with not only money but with hardwork and determination as well) while other ‘experts’ out there were shamelessly criticizing him. A hearty congratulation to you, Abhinav.
Hence as my ‘other’ part rightly says, this Gold medal makes us proud and yet it leaves us humiliated!!!

A Sincere Apology…

Since the past few weeks, my Internet connection has ditched me, because of which I am not able to blog often and since I am a busy guy (grinning),time constraints have prevented me from accessing Net caf├ęs.
Hence, my sincere apologies to all you bloggers and blog readers. I am trying my best to get all the articles published as soon as possible. Please forgive this helpless guy for any delays and ‘zero-blog’ periods