Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Disilusioned? Ignore that cacophony!

From 1930 to 1947, a gradual, but definite radicalisation was done. This radicalisation took in its fold rational intellectuals like Allama Iqbal (who went from translating the Gayatri Mantra to insisting on offering namaaz at a converted cathedral) and Md. Ali Jinnah(who went from being staunchly anti Pakistan in 1936 to being the Qaid-e-azam of Pakistan) - people who had grown up in cosmopolitan surroundings, had friends from all faiths and nationalities.

Even they were converted to radicalism by this paranoia of "Muslims cannot co exist with Hindus without living in perpetual fear." As a result of this, not one but 2 separate and new countries were created, for Muslims to live in peace, without fear and with freedom to practice their religion.

It has now been 70 years. History has seen the result of the 2 theories - that Muslims will live in fear in a Hindu country, and that Muslims will live well in a country of their own.

Today, I see the replay of that paranoia. I hear the same cacophony that played from 1930 to 1947. So, as a survivor of 1947, here is my humble request to you:

If you feel that Muslims are not secure or free to live as they please in India, please understand that this is not a new or original thought. With exactly this fear in mind, Jinnah has created 2 countries for Muslims to live free and happy. All you need to do is, prepare your citizenship papers, then go to the country of your choice, and tell them, "My forefathers made a mistake when they decided to continue living in India. Jinnah was right. Muslims cannot live in a Hindu India without fearing for their life and belief. Please don't punish me for the wrong decision of my grandparents. I need to join the dream that Jinnah saw for us."

But please, do NOT poison the air that we breathe. Because when I turn off your cacophony and look around me, I see Muslim craftsmen making Jain marble temples. I see maids saying "Didi I wont come tomorrow, its my Eid, and the Hindu didi putting enough money to cover the Eidi of all the maid's children. I see a national Muslim body saying they will sing Saare Jahaan se accha instead of Vande Mataram, and no one batting an eyelid.

This poison is worse than you can imagine in your wildest dreams. It killed millions of people in a gory, bloody journey, displaced millions, created orphans and widows who didn't care about religion in the first place. Just honest men and women concerned with earning their daily bread. My family went through this and By God , I do not want to go through this again. So please, unless you can control the consequences of your short term power hunger(and you cannot): SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Janmashtami poem for kids

प्यारे कृष्णा आओ न!
माखन हमें खिलाओ न
अम्मा नटखट बनने न देती
नटखट हमें बनाओ न!

आज करें हम मस्ती सारी
जन्माष्टमी है आज हमारी!

झूला झुलाएं, पकवान खाएं
कृष्णा के संग मौज मनाएं!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The contribution of the Congress Party to the Sikhs

The Indian National Congress has played a very important role in modern Sikh history. There are 3 landmarks that must be remembered:

1. 1947 : As Amardeep Singh says in his book , the rioters during the partition came with the slogan - Hindu ka zar aur sardaar ka sar (Loot the Hindu and kill the Sikh), the Sikhs suffered more fatalities. This was because the Sikhs were considered more capable of fighting back and needed to be killed.

2. The partition of Punjab: The Congress party prevented the Sikhs from creating a strong regional party by convincing Master Tara Singh that he had a seat at the table and that Sikh concerns will be heard and absorbed in the partition talks. Instead, the Punjabi sooba was most mercilessly partitioned with no consideration for the ethnic mix. Most sacred Sikh shrines were handed over to Pakistan, where they now rot and are written about by Amardeep Singh. Not only that, the Sikhs were largely land owning farmers. Their wealth was stripped off them and remained in Pakistan as they escaped with nothing but their lives.

3. Post independence, Punjab was the first state to be broken into smaller states - even though Punjabi was spoken all the way from Delhi to Jammu - the original extent of the Punjab state. First Himachal, and then Haryana were carved out of Punjab with exactly one objective - the weakening of the Punjab state.

4. Who can forget Bhindrawale? Just to ensure that the Akalis do not get power on the basis of their allegiance to the Sikh panth, she created a monster that plunged Punjab into a decade of pointless, violent and inhuman terrorism. She should have been tried for the worst crime against humanity. 

5. After that, the 1984 riots happened. 3000 people were killed in 3 days on the streets of the national capital of India. Their bodies were swept away and rewarded with 1000 rs by the aakas of the riots. Read H. S Phoolka's book to know more on the subject. It has now been 33 years, and we are still waiting for the Indian judicial system to do its constitutional duty. In spite of 1984, no Sikh ever retaliated with violence. Not in 33 years.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the contribution of the Congress to modern Sikh history. This video sums it up rather well:

On bullying and assertiveness

आज मैंने अपने बेटे को सिखाया 
डराओ मत, पर 
डरो भी मत 

हराओ नहीं 
हारो भी मत 

Why i worship Gurdas Mann

47 ਵਿਚੋਂ ਲੰਗ ਕੇ ਆਈ ਸੀ, ਤੂੰ 84 ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤਾ..
ਹੁਣ ਖੌਰੇ ਕੇਦਾ ਵਰਯਾ ਦੇਣਾ ਈ

ਕੀ ਖਟਿਆ ਮੈਂ ਤੇਰੀ ਹੀਰ ਬਣ ਕੇ...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Indian Marriages

कितनी शादियां बचाई हैं
रातों की तन्हाई के डर ने

"जाऊंगी कहाँ? करूंगी क्या?" ने

"मैं तुम्हे दहेज़ के मामले में अंदर करवा दूँगी" ने

कितनी शादियां बचायी हैं
डर , मजबूरी, और खलिश ने.

Poorly translated, but here goes:

So many marriages have been saved
by the fear of lonely nights
"What will I do?" s
"I will get you arrested for dowry." s

So many marriages have been saved
by fear, emptiness and helplessness.
("saved" is satirical)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Gentle reminder for the day..

जहां सफाई, वहां खुदाई

Cleanliness is Godliness...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Kalahari Typing School for Men - Book Review

Its hard to get a book that flows like  a gentle river and does not bore. For someone who is addicted to the pace of thrillers and murder mysteries, to be engaged with a book that does not have the pace of a Ferrari on a race track, is saying something.

The book has characters that are well developed, and you get the sense that you know them well. Asked to do a character sketch, you could easily visualise Mr. JLB Maketoni, Precious and even the young apprentice who has taken to the Lord.

The plot is simple, if one can call it that. It feels a lot like a slice out of a life that is ongoing. The reader is aware at all times that there was an eventful life before this book,  and there will be more events in these lives after the book as well. Yet there is a sense of completeness as one turns the last page. More like one has just gotten up from a very long high tea with close friends, than that one has just turned the last page on a book.

Compared to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, this one was a little short on the details, and there were some loose ends, which is rare for this author. For instance, how come Precious did not check up on the credentials of the rival detective agency? And how did that agency suddenly shut down? We can surmise, of course, but these are loose ends that leave the reader wondering..

Sunday, July 16, 2017

On Work Life Balance - The story of the scientist

Once, there was a scientist. He was brilliant at his work and it kept him very very busy. He was at his work all  the time - late nights, weekends, everything. This scientist spent no time with his family at all.

One day, his wife left him. He was very distraught and could not understand why. So he called her, and she told him that she had left him because he never had any time for her and the child, being forever busy with the work.
He was very sad to hear it.

After she left, he realised how hard it was to do the simple things in a house - to keep it clean, to have 3 meals on the table, to just sleep at night - alone. When he had returned from work, he had just assumed that his wife and child would be there, so when he went to sleep, he was not alone in the house. Even if he never spoke to them, he realised now how much their presence meant.

After a few days, he was very sad and lonely. It was impossible to both keep house and maintain his work. So he decided to make amends and called his wife again. He told her that he would change now, spend more time at home. That he had learnt his lesson. Could she and the child please come back?

The wife replied, "It is not what you do, my darling. Over the years, I have realised, this is who you are. It is not something you do deliberately. As a personality, you value your work above all else. If I come back, you will make efforts for a few days, but will eventually go back to being who you really are. No my dear, it is best that you live with that which matters to you - your work." And so saying, she refused to come home.

He was very sad after this talk and just could not concentrate on work. His colleague saw him sad and asked what had happened. He told him everything and then said, "The thing is, my wife is right. I am inherently like that. I do love my work above all else. But I also miss my family a lot. I don't know what to do."

The friend then said, " Let us say that you plant 2 trees at the same time. You have a limited amount of water and manure each day.  If you give all of your water and manure to one tree, it will grow big and strong and definitely taller and bigger than all other trees around it planted at the same time. But the other tree will wilt within a short time and die away. Then you cannot bring it back.

If you divide your water and manure among the 2 trees, they will both grow only moderately, you will never touch the heights that you could have touched with either, but they will both be in your garden.

This is a decision that we all have to make. If we pay no attention to the family, we can reach great heights in our careers, because our time and attention is the water and manure that we have every day. If we do work life balance, we must do so with the conscious idea that we will not win Nobel prizes in our profession so easily. But we will have a family to go home to.

Everyday, that water and manure - our time and attention, must be divided between the 2 trees. But most importantly, you must know,  that the trees are exactly the way you want them to be. It is, my friend, time for you to make a decision. If you want to rise to great heights in your career, you must abide by the decision of your wife - because she is right. And if you want your family, you must know, right now, that it will be wise to sacrifice some of your ambition. You will see some of your colleagues outshine you. And you must not regret or grudge them their success or ambition, for you have traded happily, the place on the podium for a place by the hearth. It must be a conscious decision - one that you take for yourself, and not one that is taken for you.  Your wife has taken a decision once for you. Don't let that happen again. Go home and think. "

With these words, the colleague left the scientist. The scientist came home and thought. All of that night and all of the next day he thought.
That night, he called his wife again. He spoke to her at length, and by next morning, she had come home with the child.

The scientist and his family were happy this time. They lived together for many years. Finally, the son grew up. He studied, and started earning his own living. It was then time for him to get married. He fell in love with a very smart young lady, and announced the decision to his parents. His parents welcomed the idea and the young lady into their home.

That night, the scientist took his son aside, and said, "There is something I must share with you. You do know that there are 2 pots in the garden that I always take care of myself. No matter how large the garden or how small, no gardener is allowed to touch my 2 plants. You have often asked me the secret of my fascination for those 2 plants. I will tell you today. It is not the plants. It is the pots that house those plants.

Many years ago, your mother left me because I had no time for you and her. When I pleaded with her to come back, she reminded me, that I was not busy at work so as to avoid her. This is who I was. And I would do it again. She was right, of course. Your mother always is. So one night, I brought these 2 tiny saplings home. I told her, that I was going to nurture both those plants. Every morning, I would water them the same way that I had divided my time between home and work the previous day. So if I had ignored my family for a day because of an important thing at work, I ignored the family plant entirely the next morning. On a good day, I would come home on time and spend time teaching you, asking her about her day and telling her about mine. On such a day, I would water and nurture both plants equally. On the weekends, I would not work. And then, I would not nurture or weed the work plant either.

In this way, the minute a plant starts to wilt, I will know that that aspect of my life needs attention. If one plant was not flourishing, I would know before any real harm came to my life. Over the years, those plants have been my daily reminders, companions and guides. When you get married, remember to plant such saplings, so that you and your wife always remember that a family needs attention too. That is the secret of my 2 plants, and why I wouldn't let any gardener interfere with those 2 pots."

The son was amazed to hear this. He had never imagined that 2 pots could mean so much to his father. Or to anyone. He had no idea that he really needed to work on being a family. He thought it just happened on its own. Then he reflected upon his own hours at work, and smiled. He was his father's son all right. He was going to need the 2 pots of his own.