Monthly Archives: October 2008

Gunda”Raj” in India………Can we have Britishers back please?

Not sure how many of us saw Maharashtra Home Minister Mr. R R Patil after the assassination of the said Mumbai Best bus hijacker, a teenager called Rahul Raj. Mr. Patil came to defend Mumbai Police saying it was an apt reply from police. It was bullet for bullet. His chest was inflated with confidence and he was running high on testosterone and adrenalin was pumping his vascular system. What an achievement! The same minister few weeks earlier looked a frail, feeble and dumb character when he was asked any question related to Raj Thackeray. The same trigger happy Mumbai police, who looked more afraid than Raj Thackeray while arresting him, took no time to press their triggers against an innocent man. Well I say innocent because if the guy wished he could have killed anybody with that gun but he didn’t. His co-passengers were interviewed with many channels and everyone made clear that he had no intentions to hurt anybody. That still makes him at fault because after all he was threatening the people by a wavering gun. But not a fault, which could prompt Mumbai Police to actually open fire. And this followed a mindless killing of a person followed by immoral justifications from Home Minister and Police.

Now we hear that a laborer from Uttar Pradesh was battered to death because of a quarrel over window seat in a local train. Haven’t seen Mr. Patil yet on television to comment on this incident but reportedly he has mentioned that this was not a hate crime. I just pray he is right, for a change. This entire episode gave a great photo-op for our Bihari leaders. All three Nitish, Lalu and Ram Vilas appeared on TV and gave their share of speech and probably went back to their home to celebrate Diwali. Raj Thackeray would have had a happy Diwali too at his home. And of course Mr. Patil and Mr. Deshmukh would have enjoyed their Diwali too. And amidst this 1000 crores cracker extravaganza what we call Diwali, little we realize that a family was torn in Patna and fifteen year old was left without her father in Gorakhpur. Yes the government did announce a package in the latter case to compensate for the death and their job was done.

So with all these happenings in recent past, I think it’s time for us to introspect and analyze who we are exactly fighting with. Is Pakistani terrorism really a threat for us? That kills human beings only. And we are used to that now. But these politicians and I mean all of them, from Mumbai to Delhi and from Patna to Lucknow, are killing minds. Few are actually injecting venoms of hatred and few are just capitalizing on this to secure their vote banks. With all fire around, our great Indian media, especially Hindi channels are always ready to pour in gasoline over this fire. Because media have their own TRP to take care of. Not a single soul in the power hierarchy is really bothered. And worst, the problem has just started, because of lack of intellectuals in politics. We have few but they are old and will retire in few years. The next breed of politicians will even be more dangerous because they are the people, who are coming from university politics (mostly dropouts) and who want to get high on money and power.

At the age when India is sending spacecraft to moon, it’s a sham that we are still fighting over religion and region like a bunch of school going kids. Politicians, it’s time to grow up and don’t put us into a thought process that the Britishers would have ruled us in a far civilized manner than what we are under you.

The whole things reminds of George Carlin’s famous saying For thousands of years all the bloodiest and most brutal wars have been based on religious hatred. Which of course, is fine with me; anytime “holy” people [read politicians] are killing one another, I’m a happy guy……but please, don’t kill each other and give me that shit about sanctity of life.”

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MNS…..new kid in town.. Most Notorious Sena

Hats off to Raj Thackeray. He is a true genius. He got away from his uncle’s party and everybody thought it was a suicide for him . But look the way he has survived. Today he is basking in glory of being soul well wisher of Marathi Maanus in general with a massive public support. One can’t deny the supremacy of his sheer ploy of hijacking one of Shiv Sena’s agenda. Bal and Uddhav Thackeray would be banging their head and grinning somewhere in the corner. That was one master-stroke from Mr. Raj in the filthy platform of rotten Indian politics. So undoubtedly he has increased his vote bank by playing partisan politics. And for Raj Thackeray , North Indian agenda had to happen as the Hindu- Muslim agenda was old , insipid and bland. He wanted something fresh. While North Indian card is not new as this was played few decades ago by his Uncle , but still it gives a vivid picture in the minds of Marathi people.

He says he is fighting for Marathi pride and betterment of Maharashtra state. Its noble thought. And who can have problem in such kind of fight. But how exactly Marathi pride is restored if we resort to ruthless battering of poor Biharis or UP’ites? How exactly Marathi pride is restored if all the shopkeepers write their sign boards in Marathi out of fear? Pride is inculcated. It is not thrust upon. How exactly Marathi pride is restored if Marathis outside Maharashtra start getting physically abused by people of other state? This is extremely folly of him and depicts a deranged state of mind. Insanity at its apogee.

I am not sure how much he or his followers are educated. But I wish I could get few basic questions answered by Raj Thackeray or his followers. What is his exact contribution to state to Maharashtra till date? I see him on television for every trivial issue. Either he is dictating his norms about Marathi language in signboards or his hatred towards North Indians, or he will be spewing venoms against the Bachchans. So what is his contribution really? Did we hear anything from him about the farmers who are committing suicide in Maharashtra? What plans he actually have for slum rehabilitation in Mumbai? What about the thousands of homeless people in Mumbai? How does the current financial condition across the globe impacts Maharashtra and what plans he has for the betterment of the people/state/economy in case the state is hit severely. I am sure neither he nor any of his supporters would have any answers for these questions. I am even sure few would be even scratching their head over the last questions. And that’s the reason I call him genius. In short span, without having any core issue, he has made big strides. I am not kidding when I say Bal Thackeray would be grinning in some corner.

Raj Thackeray is no different than any other politician who looks for fake agendas to incite people and garner support from masses. And we masses have always failed to realize the true spirit behind these agendas. Many Hindu organizations such as VHP and Bajrang Dal has been vociferous on “Cow slaughter” but few realize that in India the maximum death of cows happens because of cows eating plastics or polythenes from trash. Never saw these parties actually raising anything related to waste management or strengthening voice against use to polythenes. Lalu Yadav called Raj a “mental case”. For a change he is right. But see who’s talking here. It’s Lalu Yadav, the man who ruled Bihar for 15 years and actually put the entire development into a standstill. Part of the blame for this menace actually goes to the leaders of Bihar and UP for this menace. Both the states are in shambles. For half a century, their leaders have been bullshitting and we have seen hardly any progress there. No wonder people migrate to other states for work. And this migration is bound to cause some ripples. Continuous migration causes pain to everybody. Whether its Bangladeshis in India, or Biharis/UP’ites in Mumbai or as a matter of fact Indians in America.

Well Raj Thackeray got what he wanted. He got enough footage in national television. He sure got to divide people based on their region as dividing people based on religion was already a successful mission of his elders. Few morons who are agnostics of his greater plans will go ahead and make him their hero not realizing the fact that you don’t preserve Marathi culture by mulling few North Indians. Marathi is a great culture and no one doubts that. It deserves all respect from all section of people who live in Mumbai or Maharashtra but we need to be wary of fake caretakers of this language.

Mortgage Crisis – Dummy’s Guide

Recently I was preparing for an interview for one of India’s top notch business school program. My shortlisting was quite a surprise to me and they called me for an interview. Since it was a business school interview, I was sure I need to armed , loaded and empowered with all information on current Wall St crisis in US. And how it impacts global economy . And of course its impact on Indian IT Industry . This entire ball game of mortgage crisis or credit crunch was a nut shell to me. I never understood E of economics and dynamics of global economy were beyond my comprehension. It is something similar to one of Sardar friends analogy(no kidding) about the movie “Matrix” . I humbly asked seeing his perplexed face “Sir jee movie samajh me aayee?” And his very honest reply “Yaar Amrica to apne ko samajh me aati nahin hai …aur yeh Matrix to Amrica se bhi sou saal aage lagya hai …Jab Amrica samjh me nahin aati hai to Matrix kya samjhenge..! “ . So that was my trouble with Economics and Global Mortage Crisis.

Anyway I did gather all the information and gradually things started becoming more clear. The entire gamut of sub prime loans is like a spider web. Entangled. And luckily before the interview I got one of those unsolicited forward mails from one my friend explaining the entire crisis in very simple pictorial manner. And that said it all.

Publishing this material as I don’t see any copyright notice in that.

Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis – Pictorial Simplification

( statutory warning: this document contains some obscene words which makes this more interesting. )

Anyway nothing on economy or of that sort was asked in my interview. I was instead explaining the panel about the sheer magnitude of Grand Canyon. And the awesome Niagara Falls. Well yeah, I was just replying to their questions. Felt like a complete jerk . Not sure how they calibrated me but one thing is sure that they would have laughed their ass off after I left the interview room. Fingers crossed.

Its DP in Ranchi …

Ask a typical NRR ( Non Resident Ranchite ) what he misses most in Ranchi. And his typical answers would be Ranchi’s weather and its Durga Puja celebrations. Well this list has been growing . People have started adding Kaveri restaurant and some of my Bitian mates even miss the ‘sattu ki kachori and sabji’ in Churuwala’s . Then there is Church Complex where people spend hours idling their time. Once in often you could spot unmatched couples separated one meter apart and talking to each other. Never understood why Church complex , the most visted place in Ranchi, was often a meeting place for couples. But above all DP a.k.a Durga Puja , Dusshera , Dassara , Vijay Dashmi has always been one of most fascinating and happening things Ranchi. A fun packed three day adventure.

During my last few years in school  I started getting the liberty of going along with my friends to watch pandals. I got overwhelmed by the sheer number of people on the road. Those were the days when most Puja Samities started this lottery phenomena of getting “Hero Honda” motorcycle through a Rs 10/- lottery ticket. That was publicised heavily and whenever you were out in Main Road , you would only hear loud modulated voices inviting you to buy the lottery. I made several mistakes to purchase them and as usual luck was not with me.  Lot of unaccounted money was made in this process by these Puja Samities and we never knew whether this entire thing was “matched fixed” and to whose pocket the money actually landed ? Thankfully sanity prevailed and it was banned later, though it was fun.

And remember those ear bursting high decibel welcome notes from these Puja Samities shouting something like this ” ABC Samiti …durga pooja ke uplakshya me …aap sabhi bhai behno ka hardik abhinandan karti hai…karti hai ..karti hai ..echo ..echo..”  .  Personally I fantasized slitting throats of these individuals. God forgive me that.

Then there was a puja near Harit Bhavan and there use to a “mela” kind of thing in the same place. The entire setup  was mouthwatering (for foods ppl) and with lots of beautiful girls around , just made the whole environment more eye-friendly. So many one sided love affairs started and ended the same day. And if this was not enough then there was celebration in Mecon colony where there was a even better crowd (the general people crowd fool ..nothing else) . The nagada , the lightings , the chantings – the whole setup created an aura of religious fervor. And then we had a Kokar’s Durga Puja – famous for its lightings. And who could forget the famous Bakri bazar’s creative pandals. They might have created almost all monuments which are there on this earth. 

Well those were the days. Days for all . Days for boys falling and falling in love multiple times in a single day . Days for girls , getting all pumped up with make ups and their best outfits . Days for those “Phuchka walas” ,to earn what they could not make in months. Days for shopkeepers for the best shopping season. Yes those were the days.

Every year I promise myself to be in Ranchi next year . Every year I fail . And this year is no different .

Its DP in Ranchi and I am missing it.