“The Journey From Mercy to Daya”   8 comments

Relieving the atmosphere pregnant with anticipation, our maiden cries piercing through the otherwise silent corridors of the most selfless institution of our times herald the inevitable commencement of the journey of life. Far from the minor sojourns and the mundane expeditions which we accept after our births, the greater journey called life doesn’t have the destination etched on the horizon when we take the plunge. This missing jigsaw makes the journey all the more exhilarating. No mariner is yet to invent a compass which could help us navigate our ship of life away from the tempests which life brings along. No cartographer is proficient enough to chart a map anticipating the territories our thoughts could tread into along the journey of life. Because, you see, the ship of life is not all about being driven around by currents of perceptions held by the onlookers. Instead the helmsman at the top should steady the ship, steering it away from furious winds and choppy waters to the calmer seas. To escape these uncertainties of life, our plastic brains are moulded by ceaseless indoctrinations, refined aspirations and concocted obligations by the bystanders allegedly to throw light on the paths we should traverse upon. More often than not, the cacophonies emanating from this motley crew drown out the rendezvous between us and our inner convictions.

But The Real Question Is: How far a person should travel down the road less taken to find out the real purpose in his life?

But The Real Question Is: How far a person should travel down the road less taken to find out the real purpose in his life?

Instead of heeding to the onlookers and going down the beaten track, journeying down the road less taken earns you more admirers in our life and times. The gold standard of slipping away from the herd and charting one’s own course is always the super successful entrepreneurs. The-Dropouts-To-Begin-With-Entrepreneurs-To-End-With tribe is celebrated in manifold forms by the popular culture turning them into immortals. The chroniclers of our times sings paeans about the ever growing list of billionaires and urge the rest of us to search for our PASSION by emulating them. Rather than putting to rest all the queries related to THE REAL PURPOSE OF LIVES, they give rise to many questions hanging like Damocles’ sword all set to throw spanner into our plans. Meanwhile the real questions which vie for our attention lie elsewhere. One should really sit down and ponder over these: Is Life Purpose and Life Passion the same? How far a person should travel down the road less taken to find out the real purpose in his life? And therein, as the bard would say, lies the rub! And this is exactly where the journey of an out of the ordinary woman to discover the real purpose of her life begins!

Path of life sculpture garden, Windsor, VT, October 9th, 2010

Let’s Trace The Extraordinary Journey Of An  Extraordinary Woman

The journey begins in the year 1941, along the verdant Malabar Coast, in a quaint little town called Pala located amidst the Syrian Christian heartland of Kottayam in Kerala. For the 16 year old MERCY MATHEW, there was nothing novel about joining the monastery since the tradition of young girls becoming the brides of Christ was the norm in her father’s family. Nevertheless, the girl’s decision to get out of her comfort zone to go about the life of a nun was truly revolutionary! After convincing her father and quelling all the doubts of her concerned family she embarked on her journey from an affluent household to a convent in the nondescript tribal heartland of Hazaribag located in a landlocked Bihar. Her mind, far away from the fears of the unknown, was brimming with boundless euphoria driven by an old Christian song ringing in her head extolling the selfless service to humanity by Jesus Christ’s holy order! Thus quiet like Sister Agnes who at the age of 12 was fascinated by the stories of the lives of missionaries and committed the rest of her life to religion, Mercy Mathew too began her eventful journey!

Nevertheless, fate had something else in store for MERCY MATHEW! Reality poured cold water over her dreams of losing herself in selfless social service. The Convent, far from the austere building which she had built up in her mind’s eye, was a huge bungalow with a cornucopia of comforts rolling out the red carpet to her. After an year of introspection with copious tears and internal conflicts for company, she finally mustered the courage to bring down the curtains on her convent life. The intense spiritual turmoil brewing inside her prompted her to act rather than suffer in silence! Triumphing over her inner demons and defeating the devil leading her astray argument, Mercy Mathew, when she was still wet behind the ears, bid adieu to the convent driven by the conviction that her CALLING lay somewhere else. From her perspective, there was no Universalism inside the nunnery since the succour they provided was exclusive to a particular religious community making it a haphazard form of social work! Like Narendranath Dutta, who walked out on Devendranath Tagore unsatisfied with the answers he received, Mercy Mathew, dissatisfied with her stint in the convent walked away from the Holy Order with unanswered questions for company.

After severing ties with convent she marched, with steady steps but low conviction, into a tribal village within Hazaribag assuming the duty of a gardener\mali. Confusion tailed her like a shadow throughout that phase of her life. Even though Mercy Mathew desperately tried to strike a conversation to with her higher self in order to come face to face with her inner purpose, the latter it seemed was in no mood for a tête-à-tête. A visit back home lead to an outburst of grief from her parents throwing her into to depths of self-doubt about the soundness of her decision. She sailed through the darkest hours in her life with unconditional faith in Jesus Christ. Driven by the hunger for knowledge, she renewed her ties with education and came out with flying colours as a Bachelor Of Science from the St. Xavier’s college in Ranchi. With a degree in tow, her journey through the tribal heartland saw her work as a teacher across various tribal villages. But the voices from inside the head kept humming to her that her real calling lay somewhere else!

Her Real Moment Of Reckoning Came In The War Torn Bangladesh Which Left An Indelible Impact On The Way She Saw The World!

Her Real Moment Of Reckoning Came In The War Torn Bangladesh Which Left An Indelible Impact On Her Thoughts!

Her firm belief was proved right when the real moment of reckoning came knocking on her doors. The turning point, as she calls it, was brought along by the liberation movement in Bangladesh in the early 1970s. Thus when there was an exodus of people from Calcutta, owing to death and destruction, Mercy Mathew walked straight into the capital city of West Bengal responding to the call for volunteers from the Archbishop of Calcutta through an advertisement. After serving as a volunteer in the refugee camps in Calcutta, Mercy Mathew showed keen interest in taking her efforts across the border to the war torn Bangladesh where there was a shortage of volunteers. Throughout her three and a half years of stay in the war torn Bangladesh she experienced the trail of deaths, destructions and devastations first hand.

The chains which confined her thoughts mentally to the Church until then were broken and her thoughts finally united with a more secular perspective turning her world upside down. Despite annihilation all around, she blissfully worked with the refugees braving diseases, taming infections and offering them solace through her comforting words. It dawned upon her that all these man made calamities invariably left indelible scars on women and children who were the helpless victims of conflicts. The connect with the higher self, which until then eluded her, finally embraced her in the refugee camps of Bangladesh making Mercy Mathew realize the inner purpose of her life! Like Siddhartha, who had the awakening under the banyan tree, Mercy Mathew had her own awakening in the refugee camps of Bangladesh.

 

Having found her inner purpose, she wandered around the slums of Mumbai and had another short stint at Mother Teresa’s Old Age home and Orphanage in search of her real calling in life. Her project for the Master of Social Work which she enrolled for brought her in touch with the tribal villages of Madhya Pradesh. This journey ended revealing the real calling in her life. She earned the confidence of the villagers when she intervened on their behalf in the on-going wage dispute with the forest bureaucracy for picking up tendu leaves. From that moment on, like Verrier Elwin who dedicated his life for the upliftment of Gonds, Mercy Mathew too immersed herself into the lives of the Gonds of Tinsai village, lowering her own image as an educated person and accepting their way of life as beautiful.

gonds

After Wandering Around Many Places In India, Mercy Mathew Finally Made Up Her Mind To Speak For The Voiceless Gond Tribals Of Barul!

She brought sea change in her lifestyle to adapt herself to the ways of the village. This lead to the rediscovery of Gonds’ self-image, jettisoning the monkeys of the jungle label furnished by the Forest Bureaucracy. Gradually, she brought together the Gonds of the village inculcating a sense of togetherness and unity of purpose. What was once a village heavy on deprivation indicators transformed under the leadership of the lady from outside. Education, which till then had eluded the village, paved them a visit in the form of primary schools and non-formal education for adults. Piped water through handpumps, check dams for irrigation, lamp posts supplying electricity, rainwater harvesting et al came in tow transforming the erstwhile ghost village which was a picture of complete neglect into a unified village inhabited by dignified tribals. The rights of the gonds were demanded through numerous street plays in vernacular, uniting many villages by invoking tribal solidarity. The Gonds repaid her ceaseless efforts by recognizing the outsider as one among themselves by naming her DAYA BHAI.

dayabhai

Strangers Look At  Her Sheepishly And Ask: “What Do You Do?” Daya Bhai Replies: ” I Live!” Thats Epic!

Daya Bhai, true to her new identity, has made Barul village in Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh her new home. She has no plans to retire from serving the tribals and empowering them and has expanded her works into fighting against human trafficking. Daya Bhai has no time to spare for she has forayed into Organic Farming. She hates hybrids and stays true to original seeds. She promotes vermicomposting and spreads the message about the need to protect dwindling wetlands. Daya Bhai doesn’t accept foreign funds and has no regards for NGOs who work in tune with projects and not in tune with people. Her source of finance is her friends and the occasional lectures which earns her some money. True to Mahatma Gandhi’s constructive works for the upliftment of the downtrodden, Daya Bhai too emphasise on self-sufficiency! She produces her own food through sustainable farming, doesn’t buy multinationals or chemical based products and urge others to lead a simple but fulfilled life.

dayabhai abuse

My Passage To Daya Bhai Was Through This Rather Odd Piece Which Appeared In the Hindu in December 2015!

Till December 20th 2015, I was in the dark about Mercy Mathew, Daya Bhai or the Barul Village. An ignominious incident involving the Kerala Government’s Road Transport Corporation employees and Daya Bhai on a fateful day was the beginning of my journey of discovering Daya Bhai. I didn’t arch my brows in disbelief about the alleged conduct of the personnel in question since courtesy and politeness have, over the years, become few and far between. What surprised me instead was this: What on earth has this woman achieved for THE HINDU to dedicate a piece covering her ignominious exit from a bus which was run of the mill for ordinary folks. Because, through her photo carried by the newspaper, she looked ordinary and odd for me: a city dweller. The unkempt hair, beaming wide eyes, sagging skin and the numerous streaks running across her forehead revealing her age coupled with her odd attire surprised me no ends.

trts

Despite Many Versions Of The Incident Emerging In Its Wake, My Admiration For This Woman Has Not Diminished. Because Daya Bhai’s Story Truly Inspires!

I googled her name and it was the start of my journey discovering DAYA BHAI. I came across numerous articles, documentaries and other pieces covering her journeys and struggles and was left dumbstruck by the woman and her sheer will power. As I am concluding this blog post, alternate versions of truth is emerging about what transpired on that fateful night is emerging. As always social media as well as the general public is abuzz with haters questioning DAYA BHAI’s conduct. A person from the most literate part of India is coming to conclusion about a woman based on a single incident and passing verdicts. As always they can’t see the woods for the trees! Far from the growing list of entrepreneurs, I join one more name today to my humble list of people whose life journeys made them discover their real purpose on earth and in that process assumed multiple identities. Siddhartha to Buddha,Narendranath Dutta to Swami Vivekananda, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to Mahatma, Agnes to Mother Teresa and Mercy Mathew to Daya Bhai.

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This Blog Post Is My Entry For The Contest #SpreadTheWibe conducted by IndiBlogger In Association With Youth Ki Awaaz. For More Details Please Visit http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/

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“My Tales Of 2015”   35 comments

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

We had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way-

    -Charles Dickens, The Tale Of Two Cities

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Far from the mundane days when mercury unambiguously travels north, the morning in my city down south, on that specific day, was especially cold. I was kept awake by the unceasing trains of thoughts chugging along in my head sans any destinations. Voices from inside my head were providing an unending food for thought. I doubted if I was living through my own little “BODHISATTVA MOMENT” despite falling short of the Banyan tree. Confused, I turned heavenwards for advice from where it came thick and fast. Perhaps one of the most liberal souls of our time seemed to convey from the skies that I in fact was DREAMING. Because, A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM believed that it were only dreams which could deprive one of his slumber! Only dreams transform into thoughts resulting in actions! Thus, on that cold January morning, despite breaking up with slumber, I was dreaming and managed to prolong it throughout the year! En route, I discovered Socrates through Plato and later Aristotle and many great minds joined the list. It was the desperate intellectual warm up which I needed as I plunged headlong into the depths of the most happening place on earth: India! It is beyond question that I need more than a lifetime to get a hang of the astounding diversity of events hosted by the nation and the world at large! Thus, finally in 2015, I too was having a shot at what has been touted as the EXAMINED way of LIFE. And this is where the rubber meets the road!

rubber

I have tried to capture, satirically, certain events within India and across the world which left a huge impact on me in 2015!

The philosophical trinity above never saw eye to eye when it came to who should exercise legitimate authority over the masses. While Philosopher King became the be all and end all for Socrates, power to the people was an anathema for Plato but not for Aristotle who was open to experimenting with a range of regimes. Sixty eight years before, when we started building our nation, the atmosphere was not pregnant with such suspicions. Without blinking an eyelid, NEHRU, PATEL, AMBEDKAR and company laid out the red carpet for Democracy with all its shortfalls. Just as I started going down India’s memory lane through Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Discovery of India”, the changing realities of 21st century had already prompted our new Prime Minister to bury the anachronic PLANNING COMMISSION and usher in the NITI AAYOG. Just as the last rites of Planning Commission was being performed, from its ashes emerged the indomitable spirit of SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE! After vacillating for a while, it was eventually decided to throw some light on the life of Netaji which until then was shrouded in mystery. But luck never smiled upon AURANGZEB since the Emperor was discarded by the roadside halfway through India’s journey to prosperity!

past

The Nation, rightfully, has fixed its gaze at the future through a new world view but still has not come to terms with its past! From 2016 on India should ideally move to the future without straying from its past!

Burying the vestige of the Hindu rate of growth was indispensable for blazing a new trail. Trailing: That’s what India was doing all these decades after Independence according to some fellow “hot-under-the-collar” Indians. Hence, the clarion call from all the think tanks today is the overwhelming need for us Indians to put on our thinking caps and embrace the defining spirit of our times which goes by the name: INNOVATION. It is the magic wand which could, undoubtedly, lead us to prosperity and build an inclusive society. In line with the zeitgeist, the state’s bugle sounding across India resonated with chants to kill mediocrity and embrace pioneering.Such scintillating endeavours usually ennoble the leaders at the helm and inspire all and sundry to roll up their sleeves. But there was more to this mission than what met the eye. The rhetoric masquerading as the call to innovate was painted with varying HUES OF SAFFRON by vested interests. Thus when the rest of the world fell head over heels in love with the salacious 50 SHADES OF GREY, India opted to go SAFFRON!

Innovation

Nations which innovates will stays ahead of the curve. The State has its heart in the right place but there is the inevitable sabotage! May the former disown the latter this year!

Hence mumbo jumbos in all size and shape, tinged in cultural nostalgia, flew thick and fast. Imagination ran riot to demonstrate that India, during her long lost, pristine, innovative, glorious golden past played host to Inter planetary planes, Aircrafts, Automobiles and Embryo researches. The icing on the cake was the novel twist given to LORD GANESHA’s tale! Blockheads claimed that Elephant’s head stitched to the Lord’s body prove beyond doubt that Plastic surgery was child’s play for Indians of the yore. That’s what you call a head start! This MASH UP of Innovation, Imagination, Mythology and Religion formed the template for the rest of the year!!

Even though, the elephant god engaged us ephemerally, the real elephant in the room was the Holy Cow! No cow in the world has ever had voting rights or political affiliations or for that matter labour unions. Despite the deprivation indicators being very heavy, Cows in India this year found their knights in shining thrishuls and barged into editorial boards and newsrooms across the country. Up in the north, where the sword of Islam thesis was getting an audience amidst the Love Jihad, the communalist hitchhiked the SACRED COW AND BEEFED UP VEGETARIANISM only to trample MUHAMMAD AQLAQ to a brutal death. As the dust settles down, it turns out that the whole fiasco helped kill minority’s CASH COW. Meanwhile down south, fed up with THE KISS OF LOVE protest, BEEF FESTS were organized in God’s own country. Delicacies, in all sizes and shapes, made of beef were offered to all and sundry with no strings attached. Beef was baked, grilled, steamed and fried.

cow

 No matter what the year, Cows always have a laid back attitude but not its supporters though!! Let them chew the cud and change!

But the recipe which stood out was THE ROAST concocted by the A.I.B. in the Maratha heartland. Hence, abuse became the new in thing! Thus, before MAD MAX even thought about it, our culture brigade had already taken to the fury road. They turned “Swaraj is my Birthright” quote on its head into “GETTING OFFENDED IS MY BIRTHRIGHT”. What started as a one horse race soon turned into a tooth and nail fight to grab the eyeballs. THE BLACK SHEEPS of cosmopolitan Mumbai added another feather to their cap when they poured barrels of ignorance and parochialism over hapless visitors. The year ahead for the Fringe groups is shining bright with numerous possibilities but, regrettably, the State seems to be groping in the dark to bring back the BLACK MONEY! Stealing a march, Pakistan condemned that India is intolerant! Amidst the absolute pandemonium hosted by Moral Policies and Cultural Vigilantes across the length and breadth of the nation, TOLERANCE became a scarce commodity and went down the Tur Dal way.

voltaire

Fears of our nation turning into a Republic of the Offended should not cross our minds in the new year!Triumphalism is the last thing we need!

Just as we were crying rivers over the spiralling price of Onions, THE DAL BROTHERS rubbed more salt into our existing inflation inflicted wounds. Adding insult to injury was THE PLIGHT OF THE FARMERS who yet again harvested a season of discontent. They found an everlasting solution for their never ending problems in a piece of rope or a few drops of poison invariably. This turned bittersweet when the capital witnessed a farmer ending his life live through breaking news. The future, especially of the sugarcane farmers, remains sour. But THE RAIL BUDGET, far from being sour, was sugary for the progressive Indians since it heralded the arrival of THE BULLET TRAINS and High speed ones in India. As the nation was busy acknowledging the magnanimity of Japan, another trigger happy brigade TOOK A LEAF OUT OF THE BULLET TRAIN CONCEPT for an entirely different motive. Fed up with their constructive criticisms, one fine morning, some fanatics sprayed bullets into the hearts of rationalists GOVIND PANSARE and M.M.KALBURGI! The trend here as well as in BANGLADESH was to end debates forever by killing the messengers rather than calmly listening to their MANN KI BAAT!

farmer

This year the real sons of the soil: The Farmers should get more limelight rather than the Hate Speech brigade!

The pro civil liberties brigade, standing for rationalism, asked searching questions about the assassins and their whereabouts. In return the state, after taking a deep breath, arrested another smiling assassin called MAGGI NOODLES on charges of LEADing us astray. It just took two minutes to ban Maggi. Surviving all the decoys, the free speech brigade persisted and still asked “WHY WAS KALBURGI AND PANSARE KILLED?” This question was met with equal aplomb by the cyberspace which was busy deciphering another equally significant question which went like: “WHY DID KATTAPPA KILL BAAHUBALI?” Fed up, the free speech unit turned AVENGERS not to prevent the age of ultron but to check the increasing AGE OF INTOLERANCE through THE AWARD WAPSI CAMPAIGN. A slugfest ensued where hitting below the opponent’s belt became the thumb rule. When the artists en masse ran out of patience and decided that SILENCE WAS NOT AN OPTION anymore, the silence of the man at the helm became deafening.

kill

Turning a blind eye towards questions which really bother us as a society is a criminal offence. An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living! This year on we as a society should tweak our order of priorities and actively engage!

Still suffering from THE INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY HANGOVER, the Prime Minister, remaining calm, collected and composed, maintained a studied silence throughout. One can silence RAJDEEP but you will never, ever, ever, find the word “Silence” in ARNAB GOSWAMI’s dictionary. After assembling his motley crew, Arnab perhaps for the first time shot scathing questions to sadhus and sadhvis about THE BAN CULTURE. You see, no one can Censor Arnab! So, the CENSOR BOARD, already frustrated that AIB couldn’t be reined in, went after 007 turning him into a SHUDH, DESHI, and SANSKAARI JAMES BOND!! When the overwhelming atmosphere was dictated by intolerance, dominated by chauvinism engineered by Bans, the only beacon of hope was the Supreme Court which struck the final nail in the coffin of SECTION 66A.

The partisan attitude displayed by the state and the society spilled inevitably into the social media where Feminists became FEMINAZIS, Secularists became SICKULARISTS and netizens were either branded M*** BHAKT or a C******* CHAMCHA. Amidst and overwhelming atmosphere of Partisanship how on earth can you expect MARK ZUCKERBERG TO SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY? An American company whose server is located outside India and which doesn’t pay Income tax is being given the crusade of closing in the DIGITAL DIVIDE. This flies in the face of logic. The Free Basics is the means to attain the end called Meta data which means gold mine for Facebook and co. No wonder why the lad has still kept his “UNLIKE” BUTTON in the pipeline. Zuckergerb, without an iota of doubt, would’ve earned overwhelming “Unlikes” from the Indian Netizens. Mark Zuckerberg should TRAI and TRAI until he succeeds!!

net neutrality

Net Neutrality vs Zero Rating. Put on your war paints for the new year will decide how the nation will go about bridging the digital divide. It will impact all of us!

You cannot be blamed if you thought Facebook had an axe to grind when it promoted the Digital India Campaign. Despite the unceasing calls by the government to usher in Digital Equality, the omnipotent state and the free spirited Internet make STRANGE BEDFELLOWS. The state waxes eloquent about the need to usher in e governance and transparency on Sunday and goes for a blanket ban on websites and books on Monday. The BAN LOGIC reached stratospheric proportions when PORNOGRAPHY became the next victim for allegedly corrupting the minds of youth. Instant reactions followed in the wake of porn ban. It hit the crescendo in Gujarath where the shrewd Hardik Patel turned the collective frustrations of youth around by channelling them into an ANTI-RESERVATION STIR. My heart really goes out to those legislators in a state assembly who watched porn when a debate on drought was on. Truly, there could be NO EASE OF DOING BUSINESS when the society is preoccupied with unease! As a postscript to this I won’t blame you if you thought CHENNAI SUPER KINGS was banned by the government!! No! No one has banned BAN KI MOON!!

banned

Hope,our elected representatives control their knee jerk reactions  and contemplate before banning anything outright! Really wish they all resolved to keep that urge at at bay!

While BAN, BAN, BAN was the overwhelming call emerging across the length and breadth of the nation, it was BANG, BANG, BANG ACROSS THE LINE OF CONTROL once again. This continued even after BHAI TRANSFORMED himself from BEING HUMAN to BEING HANUMAN through BHAJRANGI BHAIJAAN! Alas! Not even Bhai could stop the belligerent standoff between India and Pakistan. “Instead of talking about each other, India and Pakistan should talk with each other”, remarked someone. And when the THINKING KHAN did talk, the “I-was-born-to-get-offended-gang” accused him of being an alien and wanted him dispatched to Pk’s planet.

india-pakistan

Not really optimistic about the eat-grass-make-bombs-bleed-India attitude of the Pak State and Army changing anytime soon! I sincerely wish they both prove me wrong this year!

When India’s Oprah was becoming a REFUGEE IN THE MAKING, Europe was already feeling the heat as a consequence of the EXODUS FROM SYRIA. They seem to be learning the hard way about the consequences of maintaining an impeccable human rights record at home and a miserable one abroad. Europe should stop being ROHIT SHARMA, who has a terrific home record and a dismal one abroad, once and for all. While Team India is yet make its mind whether to make him open the innings or send him down the order, the Supreme Court was concentration personified when it put an end to N.SRINIVASAN’s REIGN in BCCI. He and his son in law blamed ANUSHKA SHARMA for the whole IPL fiasco for bringing bad omens!! While GURUNATH MEYAPPAN was done in by betting, the government won the wager against the protesting FTII students by persisting with GAJENDRA CHAUHAN! In an age when even the DHARMAPUTRA – YUDHISTIR pays no heed to morality, how can you expect a LARGER THAN LIFE figure to take the blame for culpable homicide? At a time when CONCEPT CARS are still on papers, the foreigners were in awe about the fact that BHAI owned a DRIVERLESS CAR way back in 2000s! Hence Silicon Valley offered a red carpet welcome to the Prime Minister to talk seriously about  Technology and Innovation!

justice

Justice unfortunately had a mixed year! BHAI and J.J were whisked out but SRINI and BCCI were held accountable! Hope they make the collegium better in the next year!

While Obama was having yet another CHAI PE CHARCHA with Modi , VLADIMIR PUTIN had already stolen a march over Uncle Sam by backing Assad and thwarting the ISLAMIC STATE. As THE NEW WORLD ORDER is being drawn and redrawn by Putin’s Russia, Xi’s China and Obama’s America through Silk Roads, Maritime Routes and Trade Partnerships, only CHARLIE HEBDO can tell the world how lethal some drawings could get. The men who talked truth to power irreverently through countless sketches were sprayed with bullets culminating in the slogan “JE SUIT CHARLIE”. When it was ONE DREADFUL DAY for CHARLIE HEBDO, the year brought TWO NIGHTMARES FOR PARIS. Staying true to the saying “What goes around comes around”; Paris witnessed the gagging of Charlie Hebdo when the year was still young. At the rear end of the year, violence revisited the city when ISIS staged TERROR IN THE BATACLAN THEATRE instead of ART. That was soooo RADICAL! As if that were not enough, ISIS let loose RADICALIZATION amongst the YOUTH through SOCIAL MEDIA! But DONALD TRUMP made a mockery of ISIS when he called to boycott Muslims!! When the reality about what corrupts the youth hit home, India, admirably, reversed its porn ban!

TERROR

The head is anticipating more terror befalling on us and the world at large! But my heart yearns for eternal peace! May the heart triumph over the head!

Although separated by space, an Indian city too had hiccups finishing off the year 2015. While it was Tsunami, many moons back, which brought the city to its knees, this time it was when the heavens opened and gods forgot to close the gates. No, Chennai didn’t sink because RAJINIKANTH started sweating incessantly. Chennai sank because, instead of SAINT NICHOLAS, a lesser known weather phenomenon called EL NINO visited the city during Christmas. We received a whole month’s rainfall in a matter of few days and all hell broke loose!!

Hope

Despite All the Gloom, There is still Hope in a dark world!The Hope For a better tomorrow!

By the end of the year, the sceptic in me was dying a slow death. The triumphalism vaunted by the majority was waning away partly due to electoral debacles and the spirited resistance by some sections of society! My waning Faith in Humanity was restored when the tale of three cities, separated by geography, unfolded after three shocking disasters. Paris didn’t witness virulent Islamophobia in the wake of terror attacks. Chennai divided by region, religion, wealth and status, came together to provide succour to the flood ravaged ones. Kathmandu, rocked by the quake, found an ally in India when the latter stepped on the gas! Spirit of Volunteerism went through the roof when the youth rolled up their sleeves and took the plunge to save Chennai and Greenpeace, despite taking a licking, kept on ticking due to its volunteers. This year will go down in memory as the year when the world leaders, shrugging off their lethargy, descend in Paris to strike a deal on Climate change through COP 21! I sincerely hope the world will stand up against the growing terror menace, intolerance, radicalization, the growing inequality in wealth and a permanent seat for India in UN Security Council! Back home, in India, quicker legislations, better debates, accountable politics, responsible media, empathetic executive are what I hope for!

 

I believe India will put up a better show in Olympics 2016. Bolt and Messi will redo what they are best at and F.C.Barcelona will yet again win the Champions League. But This Year I fell In Love with a gifted but humble woman: HOLLY HOLM, The New UFC Champion!And finally I rediscovered the fading empathy within me this year when I wailed for an unknown, cherubic three year old whose lifeless body lay by the beach lapped by the endless waves! As we all pick up the pieces and step into the new year let’s resolve not to have anymore AYAN KURDIS’.

world in 2016

But Nothing Stops Us From Predicting What’s In Store For Us the Coming Year! Hope the Predictions are all Optimistic!!

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“I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.”

 

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Image Courtsey: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12, Image 13, Image 14.

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“The Non-Starters”   24 comments

Bathsheba Sherman, the ghost from the movie “The Conjuring”, is the only thing which can send shivers down my spine. Ever since I watched the movie way back in 2013, I have had a creepy feeling that in the dead of night, she emerges stealthily from under my bed! And after intensely staring at me for a while, she pounces upon me going straight for my throat! Shouting on top of my voice, I grab her by the neck and launch a barrage of punches trying to knock her out or send her flying through the air. Sanity returns when the lights come on and it dawns upon me that in the name of pommelling the ghost to pulp, I had in fact mercilessly beaten my pillow into submission. And that’s how, without any alarms, my family and sometimes the whole apartment wakes up early in the morning! Purely Out of this world! The funniest part is when they try to point this flaw and pin me down in the morning; I wash my hands of claiming I was unconscious!! Even though I have no clue as to what’s in store for me in 2016, I’m sure not to have nightmares anymore!

No more nightmares in the year ahead!!

It’s Not My Resolution To Have Nightmares in the year ahead!!

After the nightmares, comes another hurdle called The Daybreak! Mornings are super cool! Waking up early in the morning to soak one’s soul in the freshness of the air and to fill your eyes with the vibrant hues of nature all around you is just peerless. If I go on to claim that I wake up in the mornings, just in time, to indulge in this ritual every day, I would’ve set a new record for taking heights of insincerity to stratospheric proportions!! Climbing up from the chasm of dreams braving the nubile girls, secret missions and other escapades down there to get out on time to respond to the blaring alarm has always been a challenge for me. I rarely make it on time and yes it is a no contest. The brave souls who try to wake me up are given a rousing reception comparable to the one an infiltrator gets when he crosses the Line of control stealthily. This is that time of the day when wingless alarms fly in the direction of the intruder! Despite these handicaps, I have no plans to wake up late because a head start has its own advantages.

early bird

No Plans to wake up late!

If I outsmart my desires in the wee hours and rise from my bed, another battle awaits me. Far from the hedonistic notion of soaking in the bountiful nature around you in the wee hours, there will be screams from my family to go jogging! If I don’t fall in line, they will soon get a kick out of kicking my rear. This proves beyond any doubts that I have successfully entered another year with my eternal battle with the bulge in tow! Even though, I’m not miserably out of shape, this jaded city soul desperately needs to pump some iron into its body to keep ailments at bay! So I don’t intend to skip exercise this year!

exercise1

Not my resolution to skip exercise this year!

To cool down the aching tendons, sore foot and my sweating body after the exercise, what better way than take a shower! But the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner was ringing across Chennai when it became a water world recently. In a city, notorious for its water shortage, there was water everywhere but, unfortunately, not any drop to drink. I know the forces working behind the curtains which brought this plight upon the city like the back of my palm. But the truant monsoons, fiery global warming, the ensuing climate change, the plight of the struggling poor and other sane considerations of the civilized world takes a backseat when I step into take a shower! In the shower that follows, my egregious singing drowns out the voices of the poor and the unceasing spray of water cools down the global warming. At the end of the day, the climate aggravates whereas I stubbornly waste the elixir of life. Old habits die hard but not this year though! Splurging water is not in my radar this year or ahead in my life.

water

It’s not my resolution to waste water as well!!

After cleansing my body, when I sit down to break my fast, something always eats me instead. There is the inevitable desire to maintain a balanced diet in mind but when I get a whiff of what’s been concocted in the kitchen, the desired balance is kicked out of the window by my appetite. Now, this food obsession gives me food for thought! To not surfeit on food and drinks will top my not to do list in the year ahead. Nevertheless, the silver lining is the fact that I am still a vegetarian! Else I would’ve bursted at the seams long before!! But the insatiable “Mr. Hyde” within me wins the hunger games more often than the rational “Dr.Jekyll”.

After having kept hunger at bay, I ventured out on a fateful day as a volunteer to serve the victims of the deluge. My contribution was the humblest since it involved picking up cartons containing relief materials from storeroom and unloading the same on the Lorries outside. Seven Minutes! That was my duration of volunteering to be precise. By then, frustration which had steadily crawled up my body had bursted out as anger. The battery of volunteers, who supposedly had landed there to lend a helping hand, were pleading to allow me to take their selfies with cartons in the background before I picked them up. For the narcissist, posing for selfies and earning likes in the time of calamity towered over sending aid to the ravaged victims. When the clamour grew higher turning pleadings into commands, I was back in the hut. No points for guessing the moral of the story. I will of course not stop volunteering but have no plans ever in my life to pose for a selfie.

selfie

It’s not my resolution to pose for selfies anymore!!

When I walked back home, it dawned upon me that I alone was not the victim at the camp. Things took a turn for the worse when I striked a conversation with two other crestfallen guys. Half way through the conversation, I realized that I was talking to two guys whose imagination was wilder than the wild, Wild West. For, over the course of the talk, they even unearthed the hidden interconnections between the deviant youth and cancer cells. My silent nodding only exhilarated them! When I couldn’t take it anymore, I started retorting and lo and behold: All hell broke loose!! Hell hath no fury than skeptics scorned!! Words flied thick and fast between us as we tried to drown each other out, lowering the quality of debate to the point of no return. From this New Year on I have no plans to get hot under my collar at the drop of the hat. Let sanity prevail now and forever! To debate with skepitcs is not even in my radar for eternity. Because, as they say, debating with skeptics is like mud wrestling with pigs. Firstly you get covered in mud and secondly the pig loves it!! And you are the eventual loser!

keep calm

It’s Not My Resolution to Reason or Debate with Skeptics.

Even though, we didn’t kill each other and just kept ourselves to trading abuses, I was just a whisker away from being dragged into a quagmire of violence. The very likelihood that one could dislocate another man’s jaw, land one’s knee on another one’s chest and knock him out cold is disturbing. The bravado magnifies if the antagonist, at the other end, is feeble. And the bloodlust grows when supporters and opponents join polarised camps, making way for absolute pandemonium. Come January, I plan to stay away from violence in all its manifestations. Violence in thoughts, gazes, words and actions will not be in my territory for the coming year. No plans to abuse or hurt anyone intentionally!! It’s really hard but let me try and fail nevertheless!!

timthumb

It’s Not My Resolution to Hurt anyone intentionally!!

When I was at home in the evening, contemplating about the day which went by, I realized that I was being driven around by passion more than reason, sowing seeds of doubts within my mind about my ability. To bury the pangs of guilt, I took asylum in the internet where I was greeted by mediocrity yet again. Posts by netizens masquerading as the last word on everything under the roof were parading in front of me. This breathed life back into the ghosts of frustration, jealousy and vengeance which were suppressed within me. Egged on by the trinity, I transformed myself into a combatant of different kind called “the Key Board Warrior” and took the plunge into the virtual world to fight mediocrity. The lone, brave key board warrior fights valiantly in the “Comments Section” and stamps his authority by hoisting triumphant flags of victory there. After warding off useless troll and fed up waiting without any response from the authors, I started realizing that there was no point in fighting impractical battles in the worst of places. The year ahead will not have any more Key Board Warrior cameos from me! Not intentions to interfere in mediocre debates as well. Upset that I wasted my time, I while more of it away clicking on random cat and dog videos to keep my inner demons from surfacing inside my head again. Nevertheless, they appear for the showdown!!  It’s downhill all the way from then on. They mercilessly question all the beliefs that I hold and lure me to walk away from them indicating that still holding on to them steadfastly were pointless. By punching holes in things which I stand for and killing my ideologies, they reduce me to a rubbled heap.

keyboard-warrior

It’s Not My Resolution to be a Key Board Warrior this year!!

My inner demons let loose their partner who goes by the name Loneliness upon me. Coming under incessant attack from frustration, loneliness, self-doubt and anger my conscience runs for cover finding asylum in a decoy called Porn. The veil of ignorance surrounding me justifies watching porn which otherwise is considered a blasphemy. When normalcy returns, it only helps raise my culpability shaming me and questioning my self-worth. The picture is complete when the Judges arrive and make the day a judgement day. No, not the erudite judges of our venerated courts but the relatives who judge your worth by weighing the zeroes in your pay package and material possessions! Already deprived of self-worth and devoid of recognition, the journey downhill culminates when I end up losing my dignity as well.

Darkness descends upon my thoughts as I start viewing things from the glass is half full perspective for eternity. From this year on I intend not to waste my time reading nonsense. I have no plans to chop and change my views and will not vacillate when it comes to taking a decision. Because if you fall for everything, you will not stand up for anything! I have no intention to let self-doubt in the form of skeptics, relatives and naysayers creep into my thoughts. Porn will have no role to play in the year ahead. I plan not to sit licking my wounds or brood over failures. To keep them at bay my mind is fixed on taking to the road. And will never ever let myself question my self-worth and dignity. As a postscript, I would like to join that there is no plan to cry out on top of my voice to get recognition. The wisdom is that recognition will follow you if you lead an examined life.

Self-Belief

It’s Not My Resolution To Doubt Myself In the Year Ahead!!

The floods in the far end of 2015 have cleansed the city and my soul clean. The slate is clean for us to begin a new lease of life. As I go to sleep tonight, hoping for a better year ahead, I recognize that nothing can hold me back! Not even Bathsheba Sherman, who by now would have gone in search of another bed to hide under!

keep

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This post is part of Write over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by Blogadda.

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“Of Rain Clouds, Sun Shine and Redemption”   15 comments

When the Rain gods eventually sent the pregnant clouds home which lashed the west coast breathing life back into every thing conceivable, it was just another day’s work for the Sun god in the east. It rained cats and dogs at Chengannur in Kerala whereas Chennai in Tamil Nadu turned into a fire breathing dragon at the same time. Astonishingly, the elements involved in this annual affair are all at peace with each other and all this happens like clockwork when the time for staging things arrives.

It was during the crack of one of those “would’ve been sticky days” in Chennai that the truant rain clouds had a change of mind. Out of the blue the heavens opened!! And we had a rare – precious – ephemeral but  well deserved wet and cool morning!! Nevertheless even before we could utter “Carpe Diem” fully, things were back at square one. Since such sporadic rains can open the floodgates on pests, insects and what not, I was promptly posted from my bed to the backyard to inspect the plants in the garden.

Bleary eyed, my eyes searched for pale leaves, emaciated stems and other deceptive intruders. With the sky above still dark and hatching plots to pour again all I wanted to do was get out of there and to bury myself on the bed plunging headlong into another chasm of dream. Certain that all was quiet on the western front, I headed for the exit. But a very very very late change of mind saw me stop and turn my attention to the yam which was thriving in the kitchen garden. Convinced that there could be more than what meets my eyes, I got under the canopy of the plant after scrutinizing its light green stem.

What could've otherwise been a customary plant inspection in the backyard, turned out to be a novel play of light the other day.

What could’ve otherwise been a customary plant inspection in the backyard, turned out to be a novel play of light the other day.

No sooner had I placed myself under the plant and looked up at the leaves than the sun shined on me! Through my bleary eyes,I saw sunshine filtering through the tiny gaps between the leaves. When I looked around I felt as if a phantom was walking stealthily, lifting the veil of darkness which had surrounded us for a while!! This time I had all the time in the world to utter “Carpe Diem” even though the moment was ephemeral!! I could feel it and I felt alive and redeemed!!

By the time I picked up the camera, the darkness melted away. I could capture the sunshine nevertheless!!

“The Green Labyrinth”   4 comments

Ever since we decided to revive our kitchen garden, my eyes have been hooked to the earth for eternity. From waking up early in the morning to sprinkling the soil with water, I’ve been doing everything to witness the seeds finally sprout from under the soil bringing forth the first sign of Green. The wait, I reckon, is frustrating. Everyday after unsuccessfully scrutinizing the soil for the first signs of life, I even soliloquized about the need to accelerate the whole cycle of growth!

But Nature has the habit of  revealing herself in the most unexpected ways possible! When my work prompted me to stay away from the city for a couple of days, the whole “blossoming event” was out of my mind. Meanwhile, the rest of my family tended to the needs of  the “reluctant seeds” like clockwork. When my jaded body was back home finally and I was roaming around like a lost soul, I heard a voice asking me: “Did you check out the Garden? The seeds finally have blossomed”.

Even though I couldn't be on time to witness the green shoot, I was on time to see the first few leaves! It was Indeed enriching!!

Even though I couldn’t be on time to witness the green shoot, I was on time to see the first few leaves! It was Indeed enriching!!

I couldn’t believe what I had just heard and rushed to the backyard. On the way trains of thoughts started flowing across my mind. I could realize that my body was shrugging off the migraine and my soul was brimming with optimism. To put your heart and soul into nurturing a plant and witness the logical culmination of it all should be one of the most self-fulfilling acts of humanity. Albert Einstein brought this point home when he said: “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better”.

Yes, the whole exercise is monotonous, the wait is frustrating and the atmosphere is always pregnant with anxiety! Even though, I couldn’t be home when the first shoot of green reluctantly made its maiden appearance, I indeed realized at the end of it all that April Flowers indeed bring May Flowers. Learned a lesson or two in Patience, Selflessness and most importantly in Hope!

Coming as it does at a time when the farmers of my country are moving from the frying pan into the fire, I could almost feel their pain. Untimely rains, Devastating Hailstorms, Deficient Monsoons,Cost escalations and Land Acquisition without consent are increasingly driving the farmers to take desperate measures. The ones who perform the noblest of acts are finding solutions to their problems in a piece of rope or a bottle of poison. I can imagine the devastation when farmers who put their body and soul into the soil to reap a good harvest ends up reaping a calamity. For them, the season of discontent continues.The things get quite puzzling here because it feels as if Nature hides much more than it reveals!

“The Long And Winding Road To Redemption”   17 comments

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Guess Who?

Guess Who?

Let me begin by provoking your grey matter a bit! What is the common but weird element that connects a Hollywood celebrity born in Glendale, California and a Politician born in Parali, Maharashtra? Try naming the persons in question and the eerie connect they have with each other. Make a guess! Meanwhile let me jump, without further ado, into the larger issue at hand. Whether it’s Los Angeles, California or Mumbai, Maharashtra at the end of the day you need to step out of the Studio or the Vidhan Sabha and hit the road to get back home safe! And this is where the rubber meets the road!

Home to the Grand Trunk Road and party to the Silk Route of the yore, on road journeys and adventures are not outlandish when it comes to India. But the India of today faces a larger problem which is growing by leaps and bounds: Congestion on Roads!

Home to the Grand Trunk Road and party to the Silk Route of the yore, the India of today faces a larger problem which is growing by leaps and bounds: Congestion on Roads!

The 21st century India is extremely polarised and it is most visible in the domain of Infrastructure. Since many villages of “the bucolic Bharath” are denied mobility owing to the lack of last mile connectivity, many villagers migrate to “the aspiring India” which is trying to grow more sophisticated in terms of infrastructure but their growth, unfortunately, remains confined to papers largelyAs a consequence there is an unwieldy burden on cities’ infrastructure. As the race to succeed becomes fiercer it spills over to every sphere of life prompting thinkers to question whether we really are the human race or just humans racing!

The magnitude of this competition reaches stratospheric proportions on Indian Roads. Indian Roads are real eye openers. Known for its magnanimity, it stretches its large and accommodating arms far and wide encompassing things as diverse as anachronic bullock carts to futuristic concept cars. It has room for all and sundry. The protagonists who ply along the length and breadth of roads all over India switch their roles often but stay within a gamut. They comprise the crossing pedestrians, speeding bikers, retro cyclists, grating autos, overcrowded buses, honking cars, jaywalking sacred cows, struggling tricycles, wannabe scooties: You name it, our roads have it! The cup of woes overflows with the advent of  unfailing Monsoon. All hell breaks loose during peak hours on Indian roads!

Since Govt. Departments Work In Silos There is No Co ordination whatsoever. Preserving Pot Holes On Roads is beyond comprehension!

Since Govt. Departments Work In Silos There is No Co ordination whatsoever. 

Vehicles considerably differ in terms of their competence since they are end results of diverse engineering efforts. Pushing them to the brink heavily compromises their inherent safety standards and makes the person behind the wheel as well as the ones on the road sitting ducks! Over the past few decades Indian roads have witnessed the Traffic phenomenon going through the roof owing to many factors working simultaneously. A country where land is a scarce commodity, authorities find it extremely frustrating to widen the existing roads to accommodate the vehicles being added every year! The Writing on the Wall, therefore, is clear.

No matter who you are and whatever you do the road is unsafe for you since there are clear and present dangers. Kicking the bucket on Indian Roads owing to accidents is a routine affair and the range is tremendous since they are growing gruesome by the day due to limitless violations and ruthless aggression. You would probably arch your brows upon learning who the most vulnerable group on Indian Roads is: Pedestrians. This is due to the fact that they have the least response time among all the groups on road. Walking has become a nightmare for many other reasons. 

Myopic Traffic Management Plans Often Sideline The Most Important Group: Pedestrians.

Myopic Traffic Management Plans Often Sideline The Most Important Group: Pedestrians.

The so called footpaths are invaded by garbage, stray animals, and the homeless or street vendors denying Pedestrians’ the “Right of Way”. Dearth in Zebra crossings and lack of foot bridges at proper points add to their cup of woes. A Culture of Waiting is prevalent in India whereby pedestrians have to wait for the vehicles to pass through rather than vehicles stopping for them to cross the road. The rest of the world follows the same culture but the other way around!

Two wheelers especially Motor Bikes too fall in the heavy risk category. The low cost, high speed and easy maneuverability is what attracts the population to Bikes like moths to a flame. There are no separate lanes for cycles and Motor Bikes forcing them to share the same road space with larger vehicles. This adds fuel to the fire since Motor Bikes and Scooties stand a real chance of getting knocked off balance by other bigger counterparts. If this is not scary enough then the sight of them carrying a family of five or ferrying heavy objects on busy roads could scare the devil out of you but the riders remain lionhearted! Add to it the popular culture glorifying masculinity and aggression in Dhooms’ and Roadies, many resort to over speeding and wheeling only to lose balance and control sooner or later.

The great Indian Middle Class’ dream is finally unfolding in front of their eyes. This is the same group which inspired Ratan Tata to build the world’s cheapest car when he witnessed a family of four negotiating a busy road on a bike! Owning a home and a car has never been this easy. As more cars compete to dominate roads there is bound to be absolute pandemonium. Partnering them on roads is the service provided by the ever proliferating Cabs. But the car owners cut a sorry figure since their driving experience is far from pleasant.  Due to the poor shape of roads, cars soon end up with damaged shock abs, punctured tires and rebellious brakes seeking asylum in service centers most often.

Buses, Trucks and other heavy vehicles complete the equation. The Transport Corporations Do not Have Adequate Fleet Of Buses To Serve The Public. As A Result Many Are Packed To the Brim During Peak Hours! Absence of Bus Corridor Adds to The Pandemonium! This applies even to school buses carrying tiny tots packed like sardines. Trucks and other heavy vehicles have the nick name “Messengers of Death” since they sound death knell for safe driving. Safety of these vehicles gets severely compromised due to overloading and over speeding thus jeopardising theirs own lives as well as that of others. 

And then there is the ubiquitous Auto Rickshaws. They fly non-stop through roads of all size in India. Autos bring an array of violations in tow. They fill the glaring void left by the erratic public transport system but at a considerable cost. The annoying sound, the impromptu stops, redundant meters, endless bargains and always exceeding the carrying capacity helps add to the pandemonium on roads. What makes Autos and Cabs more scary is the drivers’s attitude towards women. The furtive glances and lecherous talks aimed at women intensifies as darkness descends upon Indian cities. Installing GPS on Autos, Taxis and Public Transport vehicles are still a work in progress! The scars left by the shocking Nirbhaya Incident Is yet to be healed but the Govt. seems to have learnt no lessons!

Road Transport Laws Are Honored More In The Breach Than In The Observance! Grease The Palm To Get Things Done is the Axiom! This Is True Right From Obtaining A License To Running Scott Free For Over Speeding And Carrying In Excess!

Road Transport Laws Are Honored More In The Breach Than In The Observance! Grease The Palm To Get Things Done is the Axiom! This Is True Right From Obtaining A License To Running Scott Free For Over Speeding And Carrying In Excess!

 Being a Rider/Driver of a vehicle under the above circumstances would mean an unavoidable increase in travel time. These delays unavoidably leads to frustration culminating eventually in indiscipline on Roads. Instead of comparing the Indian Roads with western countries we should pick up the pieces.  To call ourselves a civilized society we need to get rid of the savagery on roads. If we want to create a future generation with better road sense we need to start now and become part of initiatives such as the NSDF by Nissan.

Children are the ones who need more attention! Since they are future citizens we need to mould their minds by getting the message across at the earliest. When they slowly graduate from Tri-cycles to Bi-cycles we need to start feeding doses on road sense, signals and safety! Including chapters in school books about Road etiquette and safety which goes beyond mere introduction can be of great help. Tie ups with Traffic Police Department of respective cities to enlighten them about Road rules would help them retain the message for eternity. NSDF too should reach out to schools and try to catch them Young!

Children look up to adults for inspiration. It is our responsibility not to misguide them. We should be the heroes whom they would love to emulate!

Children look up to adults for inspiration. It is our responsibility not to misguide them. We should be the heroes whom they would love to emulate! A Memorable Scene From This Movie deserves a mention!

 Most of the children take to motor bikes and cars at a young age by laying their hands on the machines of their kin. They take to road without adequate grasp of road safety. Many are non-license holders and their only qualification for mounting a bike or riding a car may be the wrong inspiration they gained from Aamirs and Vin Diesels. A sudden rush of blood could turn such joy rides into nightmares! By encouraging this high risk group to take to roads without adequate precautions, we are sending lambs to the slaughterhouse. It is our responsibility to be their guiding lights.

Be the change you want to see. It’s hard time for us to go on a soul searching journey. Retrospect about how an average day of yours unfolds and the pleasant and not so pleasant things it brings along. Try to add the former and reduce the latter. The trick lies in burying Mr. Hyde and nurturing Dr. Jekyll within us! 

When You Graduate From A Two Wheeler To A Four Wheeler There Is A Need To Unlearn Some Habits And Learn New Lessons For The New Responsibility!

When You Graduate To A Four Wheeler There Is A Need To Unlearn Some Habits And Learn New Lessons. 

The need of the hour is honest confessions such as the desire for retraining which will help us get back to the basics. This will enable us to learn, unlearn or re learn differences between innumerable signage and categorize them into cautionary, mandatory and informatory. They can bring out flaws buried within ourselves such as the need for discarding the habits acquired from riding two wheelers when you graduate to four wheelers or to heavy vehicles. The prospective car owners should realize the need for maintaining optimum distance between vehicles and ill effects of excess flashing of lights which can drop vision from 100% to 10% within fraction of a second. If these measures are adhered to, then you would’ve already spared many lives even before stepping on the road. 

The next step towards redemption would inevitably involve Planning Your Day. Don’t cram too many things into your schedule. Always try to be an early bird so that you can reach your destination on time. This can help you avoid facing serpentine traffic snarls or will permit you to face it calmly since you have time to spare. “A calm you” will go a long way in keeping annoyance, anxiety and over speeding at arm’s length. 

Try To Be A Part Of Campaigns For Promoting Safe Driving Such As Nissan's NSDF! This poster drives home the message!

Try To Be A Part Of Campaigns For Promoting Safe Driving Such As Nissan’s NSDF! This poster drives home the message!

Once you get behind the wheel or mount your bike never compromise on two things: Seat Belts for cars and Helmets for Motor Bikes. A combination of seat belts and airbags in a car can prevent death for the driver and others inside the car in case of accidents. When accidents strike the victims may still survive but will become crippled if he ignores seat belts. This may leave him disabled for the rest of his life. There is a double blow to the victims’ family since they undergo severe trauma post the accident and could probably end up losing the bread winner. The Hospital bills add fuel to the fire.

Ignoring Seat Belts and Discarding Air Bags Can Escalate Injuries from Accidents To Chest, Pelvic and Lower Limbs. Awareness About The Mechanism behind Car Safety and Types of Accidents can Change Peoples Outlook About Driving!

Ignoring Seat Belts and Discarding Air Bags Can Escalate Injuries from Accidents To Chest, Pelvic and Lower Limbs. Awareness About The Mechanism behind Car Safety and Types of Accidents can Change Peoples Outlook About Driving!

For the ones riding Motor Bikes, doing away with your helmets is a strict no no. Wearing Helmet is the rule of thumb and by flouting it you are committing blasphemy.  The arguments against helmets are many and fly thick and fast. Yes! Helmets don’t prevent head injuries. But Helmets alone can otherwise make an irreversible brain damage into a reversible one. If you still think helmets are outcasts try to remember Michael Schumacher. Even though he is confined to his bed, the helmet saved his life. The Pillion Rider too should wear helmets and defaulters should not be allowed to run scott free.

Try hard to avoid talking over cell phones while driving. Using hands free to talk while you drive or texting incessantly at traffic signals when the light is red are injudicious. Try calling back after reaching your destination or pullover and talk if the phone rings incessantly. Make sure your car’s music system plays a soothing tune which has a calming influence on you as well as others inside the car. Blaring heavy metal and other rock music are not recommended since they pump up the adrenaline to such an extent that it could prompt you to drive on top speed. Aggression will also surface if there are heated arguments between you and the ones with you in the car. Try hard to maintain a tranquil atmosphere inside the car!

Don't Have One For The Road! Have None For The Road!

Don’t Have One For The Road! Have None For The Road!

There is one last hurdle for you to cross: Alcohol. Driving and Alcohol make strange bedfellows and thus the combination is lethal. Driving under the Influence has been bracketed as the major cause for accidents across the world by W.H.O. Everything goes downhill for a driver when the level of alcohol in blood goes beyond the prescribed limits. It would tantamount to driving straight into the jaws of death.Death, Destruction and Disability comes in its wake. 

Despite observing all the advices recommended here you still can have a bad day. A pedestrian here, a fellow driver there would inevitably bump into your car or bike. Don’t plunge headlong into the “Tere Baap Ka Road Hai Kya” dialogue mode. Hold your horses! The guy at the receiving end too could have had a horrible day and reminiscing about it would have overwhelmed his concentration momentarily. Don’t go for shouting matches!  Even if the guy at the other end is breathing fire try not to part ways with your civility. Always try to be courteous on road.

Never Part Ways With Civility On Road! Try To Be More Gracious!

Never Part Ways With Civility On Road! Try To Be More Gracious!

Compassion alongside courtesy completes the equation. Uncertainties on roads are inevitable and would bring along mishaps in its wake. If you come across an accident do not flee the scene. Get out and try to help the victim if you can! Performing First Aid measures on the accident victim is not what is expected from you. Instead some simple measures such as calling the ambulance, trying to stop the bleeding, strapping the victim to the stretcher and shifting him carefully et al. can go a long way in saving one’s life. Abstaining from your responsibility won’t work because the odds of you ending up by the roadside drenched in a pool of blood and ignored by everyone tomorrow are very high! If You Ignore The Calls For Help, You Are Writing Your Own Epitaph By Doing So!!

The day started out like any other for Paul Walker and Gopinath Munde except for one big difference! By the time the sun went down, they reached home as usual but this time within caskets as lifeless bodies wrapped in white garbs. Even though separated by space and time and belonging to different walks of life they both departed for the same reason. If it was Walker’s friend who crashed his car into a concrete lamppost, it was a speeding cab which sealed Munde’s fate. Both perished on road as consequence of mistakes committed by others! Driving is a huge responsibility! You obtain license to drive not to kill!

Rest In Peace!

Rest In Peace!

Bullet Trains, Freight Corridors, Diamond Quadrilaterals, Upgraded Emission Norms, Stringent Road Safety laws, Systematic Enforcement are all in the pipeline. But the question eventually boil down to you. It hinges on the measures and precautions taken by you to be a responsible road user. NSDF ‘s mission to inculcate Safety On Indian Roads by serving one Indian city at a time will eventually transform India into a Safe Driving Zone! When you grab your keys and go for a drive it should always be at the back of your mind that “Safety Begins With You.” So Arrive Home Safe!

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This blog post is my entry for the contest “Nissan Safety Driving Forum” conducted by IndiBlogger in association with Nissan. For More details please visit: https://www.nissan.in/innovation/NSDF.html

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(Question Mark) (NSDF) (Keep Calm) (One For The Road) (Ferrari Ki Sawwari)

“Behold The Big Lady”   11 comments

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The Skies have always managed to capture Indian Imagination!

From the days of yore to the present, skies have always managed to capture the Indian Imagination. Be it the richly inventive Pushpaka Vimana, the flying chariot seized by the evil incarnate Ravana, or the enduring image of an airborne Hanuman fetching the sanjeevani bearing mountain, it was ingrained in the Indian psyche that things are capable of flying and we have always looked up at the azure skies for miracles. The advent of scientific temper after attaining a hard earned freedom saw the nation transcend the mythical dreams of soaring without wings into reality by crafting a nascent aviation industry. And since then India has not looked back and Indian skies have played host to things as diverse as the lightning fast PSLVs, the deadly Agnis’ and Prithvis’, crashing MiGs and interplanetary Mangalyaans.

The Touch down of Lufthansa A380 in the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi is an acknowledgement of India's growing significance in the aviation industry!

The Touch down of #LufthansaA380 in the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi is an acknowledgement of India’s growing significance in the aviation industry!

 

But what Delhi is about to witness on 08 November 2014 will be unmatched by the event’s sheer scale and magnitude. It is a huge Gamble taken by a pioneer from Germany and they are betting it big on this historic event to blaze a trail in the Indian Aviation Industry. On 08 November 2014, the D-Day, Delhi Airport will witness the touch down of Lufthansa A380: World’s Largest Commercial Aircraft. In an industry where airlines largely keep their fingers crossed and play by rules Lufthansa has drawn the Aviation Industry into uncharted territories believing firmly that The Big Lady, Lufthansa A380, can turn the game on its head!!

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There are problems aplenty for Aviation Industry and Airlines have their fingers crossed! Future looks bleak!

Despite the increasing demands for air travel as a result of increasing economic prosperity across the world, many international airports are at their wits end when it comes to congestion. The take-off and landing slides of all international airports are full of activity round the clock culminating in delayed landings. The more the passenger carriers hover over the airports owing to delayed landing the more jet fuel it guzzles leaving a bottomless hole in airlines’ wallet. Add to this the things which are beyond the control of airlines’ such as bad weather,landing emergency et al. and the equation gets all the more complex. The gravity of the problems in the aviation industry is conveyed by this sarcastic quote: “If you want to be a millionaire start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline!”

When Lufthansa officials signed on the dotted lines for ordering a fleet of the most expensive passenger plane ever made, they made a leap of faith. The airline saw the future of aviation industry in the super jumbo fleet of A380. Lufthansa A380 could wave the magic wand which could hold almost all the answers for problems plaguing the international airlines.

Lufthansa A380: A Leap Of Faith!

#LufthansaA380: A Leap Of Faith which will usher in a new era in Aviation!

The Big Lady is not your run of the mill passenger carrier. Lufthansa A380 can at once be Fast, Fuel efficient and Spacious. The roomy Lufthansa A380 is a revolution in aircraft design since The Big Lady can hold 100 more passengers than its trans-Atlantic rival Boeing 747. Lufthansa A380’s startling holding capacity comes not at the expense of Speed and Performance. The Big Lady despite being colossal is always capable of attaining the top airspeed. Since Lufthansa A380 is built with composite materials, burns 12% less fuel and is light on the wallet. This frugality will help the airline meet its green commitments.

The Big Lady combines more than 15,000 pieces of software and millions of codes thus settling for nothing less than the latest technology. All these milestones have been attained by not making any compromises on Safety. Lufthansa A380 has gone out of its way to ensure safety and has taken unprecedented measures. The Big Lady is adept at handling any crisis such as medical emergency, technical glitch or bad weather since her wheels are custom made for absorbing the landing impact and has the largest emergency landing gear put together to face any unplanned landing. The overflowing cup of woes in aviation industry is all set to be despatched into the oblivion!

Bigger is Better: Lufthansa A380 comes loaded with enhanced carrying capacity without sacrificing speed, safety and performance!

Bigger is Better: #LufthansaA380 comes loaded with enhanced carrying capacity without sacrificing speed, safety and performance!

Lufthansa A380’s performance is being scrutinised around the world with keenness since it will be an experience for all the stakeholders. From the airline crew which certainly would not have encountered anything of this scale to the passengers who have paid a premium to experience Lufthansa’s hospitality there would be unparalleled levels of eagerness and enthusiasm. The crew of Lufthansa A380 has to fire on all cylinders to gratify passengers’ expectations because they are the ones who pass the final verdict. The final verdict around the world has been an overwhelming Thumbs Up!! And Lufthansa A380 is just what the doctor ordered for the Indian Aviation Industry!!

Incredible India: All set to become the youngest nation in the world by 2020.

Incredible India: All set to become the youngest nation in the world by 2020. India is the place to be since it is the most happening place on earth!#LufthansaA380 holds the early mover advantage!

We are living in changing times. The growth momentum is gradually shifting from the west to the east. And as the eastern economies take charge, India would assume the centre stage since she holds all the aces. A Burgeoning population, increasing prosperity, sky rocketing aspirations, the jovial youth energy and the growing mobility are aspects which any international airline can ignore at their own risk! As the West ages rapidly, India will become the World’s youngest nation in the year 2020. This would eventually culminate in severing ties with tradition and nodding to new conventions owing to modernity. This transformation will reflect conspicuously in changing preference for travel and tour destinations and preparedness to work in any corner of the world as India develops strong ties with other world nations.

If Lufthansa A380 caters to the Indian Preferences it could fill the seats and its coffers as well!!

If #LufthansaA380 caters to the Evolving Indian Preferences it could fill the seats and its coffers as well!! Its all about striking the right chord!

Lufthansa A380 can be the first choice airline if it caters to the diverse Indian penchant. Realize the fact that there is no one “Indian psyche stereotype” but many and stitch your cloth accordingly. There are Frugal Indians who are the value for money kind, Opulent Indians who wants to live the experience and Entrepreneurial Indians who travel unceasingly. Lufthansa A380 can kill three birds with one stone by offering enhanced services in Economy, First and Business Class of A380. Alongside increased comfort, enhanced ambience, innovative cabin designs and more room, features such unique entertainment programmes and Lufthansa’s personal service will strike all the right chords with all type of Indians. Considering the Indian conditions, Lufthansa A380 is just what the doctor ordered. If they succeed in India they can succeed anywhere.

India Comes home during her Festivals!

India Comes home during her Festivals!

With a sizeable population already sprinkled all around the world in the form of an ebullient Indian Diaspora, opening more  international air routes to Indian cities and back would only add to Lufthansa’s profits!. And no matter which corner of the world it is an Indian would head home when Festivals comes calling. So they can expect a beeline! Lufthansa A380 will already have the early mover advantage and a couple of years down the line they can laugh all the way to the bank.

Indian Aviation Industry: One Step forward, Two Steps Backwards!

Indian Aviation Industry: One Step forward, Two Steps Backwards!

Far from these good prospects, Indian Aviation Industry is still in a time warp. Despite Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi being the largest aviation hub in India as well as South Asia and mouth watering statistics being projected for Delhi Airport in the long run, the major players in the Indian aviation scene has not got their act together! Over the years the Indian Aviation scene has become more unpredictable. As an inevitable consequence passengers suffer, profit goes down the drain and the nauseating corruption makes Indian Aviation a “No Go Zone”. The Forever Comatose Air India, the Kingfisher which doesn’t fly, the competent Jet Airways, the frugal Tiger, the opulent Etihad, Emirates et al. have to pull up their socks if they want to survive since Winds of Change are blowing Indian Aviation Industry’s way finally!! The entry of Lufthansa A380 will surely be the dawn of a new era in Indian Aviation!!

Lufthansa A380’s touch down on November 08 2014, in the Indira Gandhi International Airport will force its competitors, who have been calling incessantly for reform and for mergers, to sit down and take note! Because the changing times demand a combination of Bigger and Better things!! From Delhi Lufthansa A380’s international air routes spreading to other Indian cities in future is a given! The open and peaceful skies of India will add a new feather to its cap and will truly enter a new era when Lufthansa A380 touches down in Delhi! Alongside the Vimanas, the MiGs and the Mangalyaans she can add another miraculous engineering marvel from the skies called Lufthansa A380. The Message conveyed by The Big Lady: Lufthansa A380 to its contenders is loud and clear: Achtung! Go Big or Go Bust!!

Achtung! Bigger is Better! Go Big or Go Home!

Achtung! #LufthansaA380 is here! Go Big or Go Home! 

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This blog post is my entry for the contest “Lufthansa A380 – The Dawn Of A New Era” conducted by IndiBlogger in association with Lufthansa. For More Details Please visit: http://a380.lufthansa.com/TAKEPART/#/DE/EN/home

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