Hairy story of lost sheen, glory and grey


My sabse favorite and prized possession were my jet black hair and beard. I scratch and scratch till bored…what?!!! Fire your dirty mind! It’s ma priceless treasure, the black hair, black beard.  Waqt waqt ki baat hain. I twist my hair lock to scare the shit out of boring homo-sapiens. Till one day, it went into oblivion. Dearies! I haven’t gone bald or shaved it off.

See! My Jawani is going for a toss. I a multi-colored butterfly. Just another way to put it, I am going grey and my priceless black hair is losing sheen, glory, and color. The canvas of my water-color. I got greyish. Sniff! Sniff! I turn into Tommy, the favorite pet in the colony and squatting on the floor to nurse my sorrow. I have gone grey. Fire your imagination. I still have shiny black on my head just that grey streaks are surfacing and popping everywhere like mushrooms. Now, I hate grey. I really do. Aha! The countless trips to the saloon, oops parlor! How I hate to call it saloon? It’s so down market right. Cool people kiss. Cool people don’t go to saloon. The hair parlor must be counting his fortune to may grey under the sun…oops hay with crazy folks like me. Do I look sullen to you? Nah! I don’t. Hide those streaks, remove them from my hairy planet. I take solace. At least, my hairy chest is still jet black. My black hair is my treasure. I should have shaved them off to keep in my secret vault. I told na ki it’s my most prized possession. Possessive bout’ hair and hate it when someone touches my hair. I caress them like soft fur. Who needs sensuality when they have black? At least, not me…na, baba. na, na, na.

Trim that growing beard that will soon be relegated to zilch. I shave it off. I preserve my youthfulness. I don’t give a fuck about realism for wanna grow old with my black hair, black beard kinda shit pep talk. Fuck salt-and-petter. I really wanna kill this moron who’d say that grey is sexy. I wonder how this senseless and intolerant bigot would happily hum this song of illusion on the greatness of grey. Boycott Chinese! Boycott grey in every size, form, shade, and shape. Ban them all. It is beyond tolerance. Don’t give a damn if this abhorred color gives you an ejaculation. Go sexless for I don’t care about it. Tired I am of looking for solutions to make all miraculous grey disappear from my life and skin. I wanna ma magic potion. Flush your imagination down the drain for grey will haunt you. Ghosts are scared of them. Ever wondered why they roam at night. See! It’s black. Black is sexy.

Stop ranting. I ain’t. There is no such thing as aging gracefully. I am eternal but fucking grey is not. My chaddis collection are multicolored, except this banned one like the 1000k note. I shudder to find my new version of demonetisation in my drawer and gotta trust me on that, will set it ablaze, if I ever do. Trichologist! Don’t need your expert advice to decode my follicles. No one says gimme grey, bhai. We say gimme black. I wanna my black back. It’s my toy to fiddle with when I’m plain bored. Hey! It’s no wisdom tooth. Wisdom is passe. The wise old man is sleeping in the grave and no sane mind would wake him up to dole gyaan. Nostradamus is dead.

A silly story of a young man at heart and fighting age to keep his youth unscathed. I am a freedom fighter. I fight with grey to liberate me from its clutches. Who stole my black? I am a peasant, a patriot. Black is my turf, homeland, and country. Don’t uproot me. No man’s land. Waqt ne kiya kya sitam. I am timeless, cool and sexy. It’s not my oft-repeated line. Let me fly in my black jet and zip past the commoners who come to terms with grey. I don’t. Any issue with that? You can fuck off and do whatever you can, all that I care. I adore my black. Grey is a deadly ghost. No one told you that! Now, that you know, just get rid of them, color them in pastel color, pour red ink if you want on your head and wipe off the grey patch. Make your parlor guy or babe go crazy like Lord Hanuman hunting for Sanjeevani. Black is the miraculous poppy plant. I wanna smoke pot of black like the sadhus and be an aghori black. You racist? How can you hate black? It’s the coolest. Now, you know why the world fucking hate Donald Trump blurting nonsense. It’s grey. Just wipe it off the planet.

Love

V

Unclip the wings, dreams and undampened spirits


to conquer dreams and soar in the sky,

never asked for extravagant,

humble dreams and aspirations,

to make it big,

years have passed,

battered I may have been,

weakened and bruised,

the desire to win may have calmed down,

knocked I am,

slowly getting up on the heel,

ready to run,

dare you,

come and beat my spirit,

undampened enthusiasm,

the heart is young,

raring to fall in love again,

no age to fuck up,

unclip the wings,

soar in the sky,

dream catcher,

holding the stars in the hand,

the destination is waiting for me,

i still dream,

make paper boats to carry me in the storm,

keep dreaming,

stay inspired forever,

falling in love,

tripping,

chasing the aimless.

PS: Dhadak Dhadak is one of my favorite songs in the college days and it inspired this poem taking me back to those days. It still inspires me to chase dreams.

With love

V

 

Pune Memoirs (III): Birthday bash, vodka and naughty us


Pune Memoirs, 2005/06

Third Year, August 6, 2005,

Aundh:

It’s an emotional trip that equips me with strength and still defines me today. This heaven called memory and one of the most cherished days that scripted in this magnificent city of Pune in the final year that makes me drew an elixir as time unfolds itself and looking back at the priceless moments that feels like yesterday only. It still follows the soul like a shadow.

The surprise birthday was looming behind the door. It was Adi’s surprise bash. Beyond the hugs and treat of watching a movie at E-square, I think it was Garfield and driving for coffee or lunch at his place, the birthday bash was brewing like the toxic Vodka that flew on this Monsoon night.

Preparation was in full swing for the bash that was prepared at G’s housing society where the Club House was nestled and the whole gang stormed their way to let the hair loose, singing happy budday and yours truly got drunk like a fish. It was a naughty birthday where our imagination went wild.

Let’s jump straight to the birthday bash at Parihar Chowk in Aundh. It was a Saturday. It is a Saturday. The same month of August. I can’t believe that I would be penning this memoir 12 years later and time would flit and strew around me. What a planned conspiracy!  The week was spent planning for gifts, decorations and settling on alcohol contributed by every guest or inviting Adi’s cousins, G, and S who came from Mumbai.  The birthday was on August 4 which fell on a Thursday, something that I vaguely remember and we celebrated on a Saturday after we attended lecture in college.

It’s a matter of wracking and scratching the grey cell to remember who had the responsibility of dragging the man to his birthday bash. Of course, his cousins G and S on whom I had a soft crush on that night. It’s another thing that I was too drunk to ask her for a dance and when she came to say bye, I almost passed out. It was after the birthday party that Adi told me that G and S were cousins, not lovers that made me reluctant to work out my charm. Hilariously stupid, I felt!

I wore jazzy black trousers and a green shirt embedded with stripe of green, orange and a myriad of clothes that I got for grab at Colaba Causeway in Mumbai during my last trip.  The vodka perfume percolated in the air and it was too tempting to resist. The birthday boy ushered in the party and pretended to be surprised ten-fold bigger than the bash in his honor. He whispered to me with a smile, feigning ignorance and half-mocking that he got a hang about the so-called party but played along for fun.

Now, I was in a fix. I waltzed for a while on the dance floor and accompanied Adi’s cousin, G outside to buy something in the shop. May be, it was cigarette or extra booze! I can’t recall now. It was raining heavily on that day. After all, it was the blissful Monsoon season. The party should have gone with the theme, Birthday monsoon dhamaka.’ There was a tension spurting with force down the spine. It was the work of Manish and Kusum who coaxed me since a week to make a speech at the party. Me and speech! You gotta be kidding. The stage fright and words not coming out of the mouth, stammering…I’d die of fear. At first, I said yes out of the blue just to get rid of Manish’s power of persuasion.

At any time, birthday boy will cut the cake and before that, I gotta grace the stage. Trust me, If I had my way, I would happily storm out of the party to go into hiding somewhere.  Manish’s eyes was furtively casting a glance on my movement and wondering whether I’d play the spoilsport in the last minute. I am highly capable of doing that! The clock struck! It was past 9 p.m. My name was called on stage. At that moment, I am rocking in fear and the heart was beating ferociously. Thunderous applause and yell from the audience. I started with, ‘Kaimantas’ in Marathi and the small audience roared into applause. I refer to Adi as ‘this asshole and good for nothing man turning 20’. I dunno what rubbish I blurted out.

Finally, it was done. I hopped straight to the bar and poured a drink. The whole world was dancing and I dragged the couples on the dance floor, calling A Maa which she was amused to hear. I spent my time clicking the couples. I still have the pictures. The music roared and we danced like mad, blithely ignorant of the monkey moves that I was pulling. See! I have a left foot but who cares about this horrible dancer.

We were not yet done. Manish whispered something into my ear and we ushered everyone out of the club house to lead them towards the swimming pool. I remember the floor was wet and the rain stopped for a while before lashing again. Hello mischief! Next mission, drag Adi to the edge of the swimming pool, indulge him in conversation and push him inside the cold water. Mauka pe chauka! Deal done. I pushed him inside and he is wet from top to toe. I ran away from him. I was convinced that he would return the favour once he wrestled his way out of the swimming pool.  What a sight it was to see him drenched! He disappeared from us and in no time, he was decked in black-short and tee. Now, where he got the clothes to save himself from the cold water is a million dollar question. I was too drunk for that.

The Monsoon made the party fun, clicking pictures together where everyone indulged in their fun signature steps to shake their booty, the bro and chick moments. Of course, there are pictures that captured the howlarious moments. The Kodak moments were quite something with me looking at the other side rather than in front of the camera. It’s so me.

We haven’t reached 11 o’clock when the security Mama barged in before Adi was pushed inside the swimming pool to signal us to pack up. Obviously, ruckus followed where most of us protested that the booking was done and duly informed that the party would be chalu till midnight.  Finally, Adi spoke to him in Marathi and the man was bribed with daaru, birthday cake and the palm was greased with notes, I think so. He gave us another hour but it’s another story that he never came back to stop us. It must be the effect of Vodka and the rain.

I think G’s sister K came late for the party since she was working and walked up to me, telling to introduce her to everyone at the party. The needful was done in the drunken state and after that, I forgot who was speaking to whom at the party. A place was carved for yours truly to squat on the floor with the countless glasses of Romanov Vodka and fag for companionship. In parties, it’s always mein meri tanhaiyan aur daaru when suddenly Adi would drag me out for a fag break.

There was S who was drunk and couldn’t stand straight on her feet but still yours truly who was tripping escorted her till G’s apartment so that she can sleep in peace. It was funny how a guy like me who swirling from right to left like a directionless car, asked her if she is able to walk on her toes. And, to think I was walking in the air.  We lost our way twice, hopping to different blocks before finally making our way to G’s flat.

I made sure that she was able to find her comfort space on the mattress and picked a bottle of cold water from the fridge that I kept by her side.  That way, I made sure that she was comfortable before waltzing my way back to the party. In those days, I was a chain smoker, unlike now, lighting a fag every now and then. I tripped and zigzagged. The alcohol was still served and pegs after pegs downed. I think that I sat outside near the swimming pool past midnight and could hear the sound of music that loomed away from me before passing out. The next morning I found myself waking up to a splitting headache inside G’s apartment and saw Adi & people who also crashed there.

Of course, Adi strutted inside the kitchen and showered the bottle of Vodka on my face in the morning. It was the last thing that I wanted to see. I pushed the bottle away. I remember the first thing that K asked me was, ‘How are you?’ The headache and hangover stayed with me throughout the day and remember days later when I visited A, along with Adi and C at her apartment, she joked by asking if I want some Vodka.  I was like, ‘No Vodka’ and did stay away for it for days and weeks.  Love

V

Interview: Manoshi Sinha Rawal, author of Blue Vanquisher ‘dispels myths on Krishn’


 Author Manoshi Sinha (Rawal) calls herself a writer by passion and an editor by profession. The writer who has published seven books was educated at Don Bosco School, Doom Dooma and graduated from Women’s College Tinsukia, Assam. She is also a post-graduate in English from the University of Pune.

Her first novel Made for Each Other was published in 2000 and her latest one is the Blue Vanquisher-the second of the Krishna Trilogy 2 that followed The Eighth Avatar. In this interview, Manoshi Sinha (Rawal) speaks on her latest novel Blue Vanquisher which narrates the life of Krishn from 14th to his 85th year and she says dispels several myths surround the ‘lord’. The author lives in Ghaziabad with her family.

You can also click here to buy her books. She also conducted a Facebook live recently which you could check and her page here.

 Interview: Manoshi Sinha

  1. How has the online space been a game changer in your journey as a Blogger, travelogue, wordsmith, and author?

I have been writing since I was 10. It started off as a passion weaving poetry, short stories, and novels whenever I was able to sneak out time for myself. What I wrote before 2000 took the form of unpublished manuscript and the handwritten documents are well-preserved. Every time my eyes hit on the papers, there is a dash of nostalgia that wafts through my senses. The papers carry the perfume of my hometown, childhood and college days that makes the memory vivid. Like a robot, I am transported back to those golden moments of my life.

My first novel Made for Each Other, a romantic edition, was published by the Guwahati-based Genesis Printers in 2000. It was how the ‘writer’ tag took shape in my persona. I started my career as a teacher and lecturer in my home town but when I moved to Delhi, the gear was shifted to professional content writing and editing. I wasn’t yet introduced to the online world in those days.  It was in the print sector that I spent the first five years of my career. I am still connected to the print media by working for a business magazine as a freelance Editor. Meanwhile, my second book The Stigma of Womanhood was published by the Women’s Press Delhi in 2005.

My online stint in writing started some 9 to 10 years back. But, I was mostly writing for various companies.  It was only a year back that I started blogging on different topics and writing travelogues online. I have been an avid traveler, but the idea to immortalize the travel experiences in words cropped up a year ago. That’s how I became a travelogue wordsmith. I and my husband have covered the length and breadth of India by Mahindra Thar, where both of us were driving in turns. Most of our places of interest are the historical and archaeological sites that include places of pilgrimage and nature destinations. Even a lifetime of travel isn’t enough to explore with detail the whole of India! The online space has, indeed become a game changer in my journey as a traveler.

As an author, I get the opportunity to express my thoughts and disseminate information about our rich cultural splendor, archaeological heritage, and much more on the online world. I also write stories about people who have positively impacted society in different fields and who are an inspiration for all.

 2. You have published seven books and your latest offering is Blue Vanquisher which narrates the tale of Krishn who is one fascinating and intriguing character in Hindu mythology. Have you painted him as a character with contemporary human form or unraveled the mystery surrounding his life?

These seven books include four novels and three collaborative academic/competitive exams books. One of my collaborative works, DGP English Improvement Course, is a bestseller which is running in its 13th edition.

My second book on Krishn, Blue Vanquisher depicts Krishn’s life from his 14th to his 85th year.  He is a fascinating and intriguing character in Hindu mythology. In fact, Krishn is not mythological, but a historical figure. The unearthing of Dwarka’s ruins under water corroborates this fact. He was a contemporary human being during his times, but it’s another story that he was a divinely blessed soul.

In the book, I have painted him as a character, unraveling and refuting numerous myths associated with him. For example, the myth that he had many wives including the 16,000 women he liberated from Narakasur’s captivity is a myth. He was a one-wife man, devoted husband, and Yugpurush, who decimated evil around him. Krishn was a master strategist.

 

  1. It all started with The Eighth Avatar that traces the life of Krishn where you broke several myths right from his relation with gopis and his ‘consort’ Radha. How much research has gone into the making of the book described as ‘myth-breaker’ that broke several classic or conservative beliefs?

The Eighth Avatar depicts Krishn’s life from his 1st to his 14th year.  The book refutes several myths that surround the life of Krishn. Radha was not his ‘consort’ or beloved. She was his maami , married to Aiyyan, who is Yashoda’s brother. She was 10 years older to Krishn. The gopis and Radha were only divinely connected to him as his devotees, especially when he played the bansuri. The notes and intonations of his bansuri not only transported Radha and gopis irrespective of all ages but also the cowherds, animals, and even Nature to a divine terrain. They became one with the divine. It was this oneness with the divine that several writers of the post Mahabharat period misinterpreted, adding spice to the story. Radha finds no mention in numerous scriptures!

I have done thorough research by reading books, visiting places associated with Krishn and listening to scholarly people. My mother-in-law, who is a double postgraduate in Sanskrit and Hindi, is well versed in the Veds, Mahabharat, and all of our Hindu scriptures in Sanskrit. She is a treasure-house of ancient knowledge. Listening to her about Krishn has always been a sheer delight.

One book that I researched and is worth mentioning here is Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s (composer of Vande Mataram) Krishna Charitra which is considered to be a biography on Krishn.  Before he wrote this book, he conducted research on the Mahabharat and drew on several sources spanning for over 30 years! This book also mentions Krishn as a one-wife man, married only to Rukmini.

  1. Your books’ genres are varied, right from romance, mythology but also highlighting the plight of women in a state like Assam where neglect is often rampant. How does real life issues influence your writing and was there something specific that led a deep impact on you that was translated into words?

Yes, my books cover myriad genres.  Indeed, real life issues influence my writing. Life is not as easy as it seems to be. Moreover, it depends on how one perceives life. On an optimistic angle, every moment and everything around us seems to be beautiful. One may find happiness even in a quarrel, a financial crunch or in distress, etc. Looking at life from a pessimism angle may look difficult.  I have covered both these aspects in my writings that revolve on romance and social genres.

I wrote Stigma of Womanhood at a time when the effects of terrorism in Assam were still visible on few, including women folk. The plights faced by women are highlighted in the book where I included, a few social norms prevalent in a community in Assam.  For example, when a husband dies, the widow’s hair is shaved off just to become jocular showpiece of widowhood. Though this ritual is dying away with time, it is still being observed.

  1. You also belong to the Bishnupriya Manipuri Can you tell us something unique about your community and the plight faced where you would like to see change happening? To what extent, the issues experienced in your community have found a voice and character in your novels?

I belong to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. We have strong cultural roots and simplicity characterizing our existence. We are Krishn bhakts. We belong to the lineage of Babrubahan, the son of Arjun and Chitrangada (princess of Manipur). The term ‘Bishnupriya’ denotes devotees of ‘Vishnu’, another avtar of Krishn.

There are one or two issues plaguing the Bishnupriya Manipuri community which are hardly brought to the fore. And every community face issues. Not allowing inter caste marriages is one such issue, which also permeates many a community. Though perceptions have changed with many families moving ahead with time, there are many who still stick to the norms set by the ancestors and which is followed generation after generation. One is widowhood which has been discussed above. I wrote The Stigma of Womanhood 12 years ago and during all these times, there have been a lot of changes to make things better.

  1. Your life is no short than an inspiration: You were nominated for the Rising Stars awards on account of your achievements. As a young author and successful Indian, how do you see the progress made by our country, issues such as ‘tolerance’, conditions of women and the people in your state, Assam?

When we speak of heritage and ancient civilizations, of knowledge and wisdom, there is no country that matches with India. On the economic front, India was a rich country much before the Mughals and British drained our resources. The British even went to the extent of westernized our education system, administrative affairs, cultural roots that gave shape to this silent conspiracy to a great extent.

If we use more of Swadeshi goods in our daily existence, profits that go into foreign pockets will find a place in India. The youth brimming with ideas and an entrepreneurial bent of mind should come forward and contribute to India’s growth story. It is only then that ‘Make in India’ will become a success.

The government is offering loans at low interest rates to promote entrepreneurs. It is but an irony that most software engineers and scientists work for foreign firms. Imagine how India would benefit if they work on the Indian soil to better the country! We will then progress by leaps and bounds. The youth should also come up with ideas to help the government and citizens to create sustainable solutions to curb recurring disasters like floods, drought, etc.

On intolerance, I feel that it didn’t exist earlier but it gained momentum during the last two years and this perception is the brain child of a group having vested interests.  But, I feel that citizens that should be actively involved in the cultural, spiritual, and economic renaissance of India.

Women were empowered during ancient, medieval, and pre-modern times. They are empowered today. Only in few communities, they are neglected. But perceptions are changing. With the beti bachao, beti parhao campaign started by the government, we are on the right track to combat female infanticide/foeticide. Every Indian woman should be trained in martial arts for self-defence.

  1. You are also behind the e-zine, My India, My Glory. How did you decide to launch something as unique and diverse about our country’s rich history? What was the inspiration behind?

With digitization taking the world by storm, information today is available at our finger tips or a click of the mouse. Today’s teenagers and youth will be the architects of our nation tomorrow. I wanted to spread information about our rich past, glorious heritage and cultural roots dating back to thousands of years. And then, History has ignored the sacrifices made by many freedom fighters, kings, and warriors; text books rather glorified the invaders.

Besides, there are people who have set an example for others to follow by positively impacting the society in different spheres. Through the e-zine, www.myindiamyglory.com, my objective is to make this information easily accessible and readily available.  I wish to speak volume about the exploits of our ancestors dating back to hundreds and thousands of years.

PS: The interview was done on e-mail and reflects the views of the author.

Love

V

Book Review: Love has its Various Ways is the invisible force of the universe


Book Review: Love has its Various Ways

Author: Divya Kapoor

Genre: Self Help and spirituality

Rating: Four stars

Book Cover

Introduction:

Life is never known to put us on a pedestal. It is ruthless and often takes away our self-worth. Depression is one thing that gnaws us and bites us like termite in every breath that we take. Nobody can claim to be safe from the blows that life deals, be it a lack of self-worth, frustration and career swing where we suddenly find ourselves in shamble. The uncertainties and vagaries of existence can haunt us where happiness becomes a traded luxury.

Author Divya Kapoor approached me on Linked in for the review of her book, ‘Love has its Various Ways ‘where she takes a methodical approach to treat the issues that we face in everyday life. It would be wrong to confine this book under the tag of self-help but a gem that will accompany you at every step in life and push one’s boundary to fully explore the self at every stage.

Narration:

Divya Kapoor gently explores several issues that touch lives where she offers a step-by-step approach to face the downside of things. We often stumble but willfully ignore the factors that make us an emotional wreck.  The book touches several aspects where the human mind and the body are constantly at odds that hit a new low every single day. The mind is not free from ailments. We are often surrounded by several negative people who bring such toxic energy that bogs us down and contributes to make us lose our self-worth and mental peace.

I like the caterpillar and butterfly analogy which is striking and powerful at the same time.  The pain that the caterpillar goes through before it takes shape into the colorful butterfly reminds us how change can tear us apart but at the same time, it takes the form of self-growth and empowerment. Life calls for drastic changes that allow us to discover a world of extraordinary and limitless possibilities when pushed to the brink.

Self-destruction mode is something that none of us is immune to and there are many who live a dead existence, losing the zing and mojo. Divya explores this issue of ‘US against US’ where she taps into the energy flow that we attract through our psyche and energy. The ingrained pessimism inside us will only bring negativity and it’s interesting to see how the whole thing works like a tide. There is a need to question established norms and beliefs that lead us to grow from strength to strength as a human being. Accepting the status quo has never led us anywhere. The book serves as a reminder and it shakes us to act.

Ever wondered why we are in a pit most of the times! There is a fear within us and it grows mightier that sucks our energy, hence, paralyzing our well-being. It’s a conditioned response, Divya observes.  But, she brings to the fore small exercises that we can do to flush it out. It’s about killing the fears. Most of us have gone through the mental blocks which are fed inside our mind.

I really like the three bones advocated, the wish bone, backbone and the funny bone. The sense of oneness and purpose coming face to face with the real are priceless learning that will make this book not only your guide but a friend that will equip you to face the trials and tribulations. Loving the self should be above everything.

The book includes a work book, from day 1 to day 10 which is very therapeutic and as I glean through them, I not only felt light like the light feather. It’s the real me. The exercise explains in detail the Emotional Freedom Technique (ETF) which every person in my humble opinion must go through. It’s a must have book. I personally love what Divya says, ‘Invisible force of Universe.’ Don’t resist and let it carry you.

Final Words

It is not just a book but a friend, an inner voice that must be nurtured and made part of your journey. Don’t push this force and tenderness away from you! It’s called Divya Kapoor’s Love has its Various Ways.

You can check out Divya Kapoor’s blog, check out the book blurb on Gooodreads, and click to buy it here. Check here for more details and the You Tube channel.

Love

V

 

Happy Independence Day: Freedom, inclusive India and combating poverty


Happy Independence Day. Today, August 15, India celebrates its 71st Independence Day but turn 70 as a nation. I remember the times I was staying in the hostel, Independence Day was something we looked forward to as students for we were treated to sumptuous meal and mouth-watering Gulab Jamun.  After all, Independence is all about celebrating our rich and unique cultural diversity, freedom of expression and the upholding of constitutional values as a nation.

 

It gives immense pride to be an Indian. But, at the same time, does it makes one a lesser Indian when we question events in the country that makes our democracy flounder. The idea of a secular nation tends to lose its sheen when we see fringe elements assaulting people in the name of the cow and when contrarian views are met with violence to nozzle our secular values and sense of nationhood.

https://www.maharashtrahscresults2017.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-To-Do-Best-Anchoring-On-Independence-Day-2017-School-Function.png

Image credit: Google.

There is one thing that comes to the mind when I hark back to the Independence Day celebration in India. I remember that after the sumptuous meal at the hostel, I took a walk at Churchgate when I was struck by images of a mother squatting on the pavement with a baby crying as the child was breast-fed and of small children begging or selling miniature tricolor flags at traffic signals when they should be schooled. There was no smile on the faces but battered with deception.

Are we truly an independent country when our children are begging at the traffic signal or a mother wearing torn and shabby two piece saree is not able to afford a pack of milk for her baby? It hurts us as a nation at a time when we strive to become a first world country. Inclusiveness should not be restricted on religious or caste lines or for that matter, the over abused secularism by political parties or putting India on the world map in the quest to become a super economic power. It’s about beating poverty and bridge the great divide between Bharat and India. Isn’t it a human tragedy that after 70 years we are still reeling from colonial hang over where children are deprived of education along caste lines or a woman is subject to sexual violence? There is a need for equality between sexes, respecting a women individuality and not label her with names.

These are real issues that the country faces and of course, we need to get away with alienating our fellow citizens in J & K and North East. Being Indian is about oneness as a nation. There are so much that we have achieved right from economic liberation in the 90s to our rich cultural heritage and the celebration of life, like in the movies. One thing that I like about India? There are so many. First, our spirit of oneness when a tragedy strikes and we overcome religious or communal lines to become one. Independence Day is one such day. Why not make everyday a freedom day and shorn ourselves out of label we give to others.? We can and should grow together as a nation, irrespective of our ethnicity, class or communal leaning.  Second, our democratic and secular values are still viewed as a model to the world and it is something that we should preserve. Third, we have always fought for what is right and the Nirbhaya mass protest is one example that seeped into our collective conscience.

On this Independence Day, I pray that we are able to overpower our differences and strive to make India a better nation every single day to preserve our values. Communal harmony, human dignity for every citizen irrespective of caste, class or gender, freedom of expression, removal of caste or class bias, inclusive economic growth, conquer infant mortality, combat poverty, strong laws against sexual crime, respect for women and the LGBT community. An inclusive nation is our strength.

Happy Independence Day

Jai Hind

V

 

Wild days, heart break and pain


The days of heart-break and pain,

every time it told a new story,

unrequited love,

loosened grip on destiny,

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Image sourced from http://68.media.tumblr.com

wild heart,

it now belongs to another era,

dusting every pain with a sprinkle of salt,

flushing the scars,

a smile to bury the disappointment,

turning the leaf of time,

carefree days,

exploring the soul,

letting loose,

it pulls every time like a magnet,

 

every single second counted,

verging on extremities,

losing one’s way,

to the flavor of alcohol,

hurt,

love,

sadness,

disappointment,

never shied away to burn the tongue,

blood tasted like water,

madness,

unquenched thirst,

tripping  on the wet road to hold rain drop inside the palm,

it bore no shame,

a song for every occasion,

drenched in every sauce,

left behind in memory’s trove.

 

Love

V