About the time when I saw an accident and did nothing

“Hello, hang on there for 5 minutes. Let me follow your bike, since I don’t know the route to the auditorium.” A friend called me while I was on my way to an auditorium in the heart of the city, to watch a drama. It was already getting late. I told him I would drive slowly until he catches me. I took a left lane and started driving slowly. And in a matter of 30 seconds, to my horror, I saw a 2-wheeler skid. It had just passed by me. I noticed there were two 20-something girls on the bike. The one driving – couldn’t notice the speed-breaker on the sloping road. The vehicle because of its top speed just flew off a bit in the air and skidded down. While the girl who was driving could quickly get up, the pillion lay down unconscious on the busy highway road. The mob quickly gathered. They lifted the girl lying down and took her aside on a footpath. Thankfully there was no blood spilled. But the girl was still unconscious. I was only observing. In such situations, I don’t usually like to be a mere spectator and create a road block. I simply pass by, if it looks sure that there are people to take care of the situation. But I stopped by, more because I had to wait for my friend anyway. I could have easily got off my bike and offered some help. But I did not do that. I wanted to leave from there immediately after my friend’s arrival. Getting late for the drama bothered me more.

While she was being taken to the footpath, somebody in the mob shouted for water. I looked around to see if somebody’s getting water for her. I noticed a medical shop. Getting a water bottle from there was easier. But I just did not get off. I was totally acting like a passive LOSER witness. Then all of a sudden it struck to me that I was carrying a water bottle. I paused for a second or two to check if someone else was getting water from anywhere. Another woman was trying to check whether she had any water left with her. I shouldn’t have waited and thought as much before offering the water. I felt disgusted with myself and quickly took out the bottle from the bag and offered. The girl was still unconscious. A man began sprinkling water on her face and started feeding her some water through her mouth. I was still on my vehicle observing and thinking. I could not thank enough to the fact that I wear a helmet everyday. The helmet has become old, it is not at all fancy. It spoils my hair everyday (I’m obsessed with my hair). But life is too precious to lose because of an unnatural incident, so I wear a helmet. And I could not thank my friend enough who had called me and asked me to hang on. I had slowed down and had changed the side. Otherwise, who knows I could have dashed into the accident as well. I then started pondering about when my friend would come, so that I would take the water bottle back and leave. I checked – the man was still feeding water to her. I was wondering as to when the usage of the bottle would get over, so that I could quickly leave. And another thought flashed my mind, “Wait, what! There’s this woman who’s lying unconscious because of a frigging accident. The least you can do is to pray for her; and all you care about is – your water bottle!!!” I felt like a complete LOSER. I loathed myself. I thought I did not deserve to be there at that place, in that crowd who was handling the situation with sheer humanity, willingness to help and quick action. I decided to leave the scene, without the water bottle.

माता-पिता

बचपन और बुढापे में मन और शरीर दोनों बहुत नाज़ुक होते हैं. इसीलिए किसी बच्चे को या बुजुर्ग को संभालना, उनकी देखभाल करना बड़ा मुश्किल हो जाता हैं
वो कहते हैं की बचपन और बुढापा एक सरीखा होता हैं.
लेकिन क्या हम जो कहते हैं, उसे अपनाते हैं?

अपना बच्चा अगर बीमार हो तो उसकी देखभालमें हम रात-दिन भी गुज़ारे तो नहीं थकते.
क्या हम अपने बूढ़े माता-पिता की सेवा में उसी प्रकार तत्पर रहते हैं?

बच्चे ने जगह जगह फैलाई हुई गन्दगी, उसकी विष्ठा, उसका बहता नाक इससे हम शिकायत करे न करे
लेकिन माता-पिता का रहेन-सहेन हमारी modern lifestyle से मेल नहीं खाता हैं और घृणास्पद लगता हैं

कल मैंने एक ४ साल का बच्चा देखा जो किसी फिल्मसे प्रभावित होकर शर्ट की collar को उपर चढ़ाकर, उंगली ऊँची उठाकर “आवाज़ नहीं करनेका” ऐसे शब्दोंमें फिल्मके हीरो की नक़ल उतार रहा था. आसपास बैठे हुए सभी लोग अत्यंत विलक्षणतासे और कौतुकपूर्ण नजरोसे बच्चे को देख रहे थे.
मैंने सोचा – बीस साल बाद इन्ही हावभावोंके साथ बच्चा उंगली से इशारा कर तुम्हे घरके बाहर निकालेगा, इतिहास फिरसे दोहराएगा

बच्चा चीखे चिल्लाये, रो कर, जिद कर अपनी बात मनवाए – हम मन में कोई नाराज़गी नहीं रखते
फिर क्यों कभी माता पिता आवाज़ ऊँची चढ़ाकर या करुणता से हाथ जोड़कर कोई बात आगे रखे तो हम आगबबूले हो जाते हैं?

किसी भरी सभामें बच्चेके कुछ embarrassing कह जाने पर हम react नहीं करेंगे, थोड़ी शर्मिंदगी महसूस होगी या नहीं भी होगी. लेकिन “बच्चा ही हैं” ये सोचके बात को टाल देंगे
पर अब तो अक्सर हम माँ-बाप को कहीं लेके जाने में ही embarrassment महसूस करते हैं. उनका होना हमारे status symbol के आड़ आ जाता हैं

ऐसा नहीं की हर बच्चा निहायती नालायक और हर माता-पिता आदरणीय और सहनशील होते हैं
पर दूर दूर तक सच्चाई यही हैं की प्रेम और आदरभाव के अभाव में कई माता-पिता रोते हैं

आज हमारा लगाव हमारे बेटे के प्रति ज्यादा और माँ-बाप के प्रति कम हैं. ये परंपरा तो चलती रहेगी, हमारे बुढ़ापे में कहानी ज़रूर पलटेगी और फिर तकलीफ होगी. बुढ़ापे में बच्चे से अपेक्षाएं बढेंगी लेकिन हमारा बच्चा उसके बच्चे की अपेक्षाएं पूरी करने में व्यस्त हो जाएगा और तुम्हारी तकलीफ बढ़ेगी.

मुझे लगता हैं – काफी समस्याएं कम हो जायेंगी यदि हम – हमको जन्म देनेवालोंके प्रति स्नेह ज्यादा और हमने जिनको जन्म दिया उनके प्रति लोभ कम रखें.

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | Video on TED.com

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | Video on TED.com

He talks impressively about Intelligence, Talent, Ability and Passion and how education needs an organic model than a mechanical model. With 10th and 12th results out and a new academic year about to begin, this makes a brilliant watch.

Politics and Hypocrisy

At an interview with Barkha Dutt on NDTV, senior congress leader Digvijay Singh mentions that Anna’s Hazaare’s comparison of “Police action on Ramlila Grounds” to “Jaliyanwala Baug” is Shameful. Fair enough. I also believe the comparison was extreme (although the police action was totally uncalled for and thus, is not appreciated at all). Then too, if Mr. Digvijay Singh calls the comparison Shameful, point noted.

Now, I also remember Mr. Digvijay Singh calling BJP “Nachaniyon ki party” yesterday on opposition leader Sushma Swaraj’s dance on patriotic songs in front of Raj Ghat. Isn’t it shameful to use such an uncivilized word against a respectable woman leader of opposition? I am not a huge supporter of BJP (not especially after Atalbihari Vajpeyee left the political circle), but where was Mr. Digvijay Singh’s shame gone when he was kicking Sunil Kumar (the guy who waved a shoe at Congress Spokesperson Dwivedi)? 

I think Anna Hazare’s comparison was still honest and civilized. I don’t think senior political leaders like Mr. Digvijay Singh should be involved in picking up uncivilized words against a woman leader or in kicking somebody in mob and on top of that, saying that he does not regret what he did. Moreover, what annoys me is his total disregard for the “Nachaniya’s” who’re still a section of the society. Nachaniya’s are not substitutes for any abusive language. They still have a life – a freaking respectable life whatsoever their profession is.

These reactions more or less seem to me as panicked expressions coming out of discomfort created because of the tide that’s turned against the UPA governement recently. And such reactions only talk about hypocritical nature of Mr. Digvijay Singh, who represents a whole community of hypocritical politicians. Mr. Digvijay Singh, you have lost my vote already!

Women and Education

Happened to read this horrifying piece of news in newspaper currently –
“A Joint family staying in Mumbai killed 2 innocent children, aged 5 and 7, in the house. This is because they all suspected that the children carried evil spirit in them. Apparently one of the ladies had implanted this very thought in parents’ mind that the children embodied evil spirit and it was best to sacrifice them to the God”
Let’s leave apart the heinous act, the superstition issue and everything else. Let’s come down to a basic problem here – of no education to women. As soon as I finished reading the piece, a single question crossed my mind – what if the woman who led the act was educated enough? The family hails from a small town in Rajasthan. It moved to Mumbai to make a living – the reason enough for me to believe that the women in the family were definitely not educated. I disregard the possibility of the woman being envious of the mother and hence wanted to kill the children. If that was the case, she could have done that herself. Or maybe I’m wrong and she really wanted to get the kids out of the way and like a typical K-serial, she drafted a plot, a conspiracy to get the children killed by their parents. I would still want to stop my CID and come down to the very basic problem – what if the woman was really educated enough? Educated enough to be aware that there are much better issues to be dealt with than really believe that the evil spirits do exist. Educated enough to be aware that the world has anyway become a difficult place to live and every day, one needs to fight through many odds. The life is too short to start paying attention to things like evils.
Women, with all the dignity and integrity they carry, can be very powerful to solve problems that really affect our lives and not create problems n shatter others’ lives. And we have seen this happening in the past. We need Sabrina Lall’s, Medha Patkar’s, Mother Teresa’s in the world. Educated women can really be the epicenters of the quantum change that can bless nations and generations. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was not wrong when he said, “If you educate a man, you educate one person. But if you educate a woman, you educate an entire family” I fully agree to this! Of course, there’s a lot of awareness now in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities of India. But I come from a small town and that too, from a conservative society. I know how restricted views people have when it comes to education of women.
A few counter-argue when it comes to Women-education, saying it’s of no use and after the marriage, kids and kitchen are the only destinations in a woman’s life. While I don’t discard their thought process fully, I have heard from my aunt of a very wise angle to this. She says, “Sure I want to educate my daughter, even though I foresee only kids and kitchen as her destinations after marriage. But if tomorrow, God Forbid, she would have to live a separate life or a life without the husband, she can be on her own at least. Her education would come to the rescue then.” Nice!
Of course one can now start talking about basic rights of women, freedom, equality, etc. and how education is important to women. But not everyone can have a basic level of understanding to accept these values. That’s why I think the aunt’s answer was a solid counter argument to the counter argument behind no education to women. It’s fairly practical, if not ideal. Amen!

There are only lessons in Life…

Experienced a small but very defining incidence recently and hence sharing it:

Place: A Ganpati Pandal, right in the heart of a very crowded chowk (Nal Stop) in Pune.

Time: Peak Traffic Hours, 7.30PM. The traffic’s really bad at Nal stop at this time of the day.

Description: A healthy guy in his 30’s with Pan/Gutkha in his mouth, was playing very loud and irritating music at the Pandal. He looked very rowdy. I started hating him in first glance itself. Let’s call him Pandal manager.

So, I was waiting near that Pandal for a friend. We were supposed to meet at a restaurant close to the Pandal. I was in my own thoughts and had already started making judgments and heavy criticism about all the Hungama that people create in Ganesh festivals. My thoughts were interrupted by a loud ambulance siren. The signal at the chowk was Red. Huge PMTs were lined up.  I felt helpless for the ambulance ‘coz there was barely any way it could make through. Vehicles were not moving. A bumper to bumper traffic situation. And to add to the misery, the noise levels at the Pandal were so high that I doubted whether vehicles upfront could listen to the siren and make some moves for the ambulance to pass. I started cursing the Pandal manager even more. I felt like going to that Pandal manager and ask him to stop the music. And to my surprise, he had already started lowering the volume. He infact stopped the music and quickly rushed towards ambulance. I could see there that if one or two vehicles could just shift towards their left, the ambulance could have made it. I thought I should go there and help to save the situation. By then, the Pandal manager had taken the control of traffic. He made 2-3 vehicles move and Bingo! The ambulance got its away. My sophisticated and restricted mindset felt pathetic. It needed more presence of mind to save the situation. I could not stop appreciating the Pandal manager that he was quick enough to act. Who knows his quick thinking and action probably saved a life!!! Kudos to the Pandal manager.

Well, this incidence is open to interpretations, opinions and comments. I don’t want to provide any conclusion. I don’t want to make any statement on humanity, presence of mind and blah, blah either. I’ll only share what I learned through this incidence that

“There’s so much to learn even from a person whom I don’t like apparently at the first glance. What I see in a person at the first glance is just the illusion. Instead of being judgmental, I should focus upon the fact that there’s so much of learning. Just because I’m qualified, well-educated and a white-collar job holder civilian, it does not mean that I’m superior. अहम् में, गुरूर में और नफरत में काफी दरवाज़े बंद हो जाते हैं. Stay Humble, Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!!! Let’s stop making judgments ‘coz nothing can be generalized!”

Thanks to my friend who was 5 min. late. Those 5 minutes certainly shook my beliefs to some extent.

ज़रा गौर फरमाओ

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to offend anyone by this post. With a complete respect to the working class, which is the heart of Indian Economy, I’m writing this. This post is dedicated to all those white-collar software job holders who crib about their lives 24*7

Another Disclaimer: The poem’s completely original.

शुक्र करो,
की तुम तपती धूप में पसीना बहानेवाले किसान नही बने
न तुम युद्धभूमि में जान न्योछावर करनेवाले जवान बने
तुम किस्मत के अभागे, सड़कों पे सोनेवाले भिखारी नही बने
न तुम जंगली जान्वरोंके साथ खेलनेवाले मदारी बने
तुम नींद भूख प्यास और घर छोडके के सवारी पे जानेवाले ड्राईवर नही बने
न तुम काली रातोंमे जिस्मफरोशी करनेवालों के सौदागर बने
तुम हररोज़ बासी बर्तन धोनेवाले कामवाले भैया या बाई नहीं बने
न तुम गली मोहल्लोंमे अकारण दहशत फैलानेवाले भाई बने
तुम किसी राजाके पैरों के धूल समान दास नही बने
न तुम medical college में इस्तेमाल किये जानेवाली लाश बने 
तुम न जाने क्या क्या बन सकते थे! एक बहुत ही आम ज़िन्दगी जी सकते थे! 
तुम में शारीरिक क्षमता की भी कोई कमी नहीं
फिर क्यों तुम रोते हो? अपनी किस्मत को कोसते हो? 
अपने काम की इज्ज़त नही करते? और बस निराशा और मायूसी की आहे भरते?
तुम एक काबिल engineer हो… ऐसा engineer जो AC में बैठके 9-6 duty करता हैं. वो भी सिर्फ सोमवार से शुक्रवार!!! काम से शिकायत होना लाज़मी हैं… काम से satisfied न होना भी गैर नही. बड़े और बेहेतर काम की चाह होनी चाहिए. लगे तो उस दिशा में कदम उठाओ. लेकिन काम और मेहेनत करने की तमन्ना ही न हो तो क्या रहा? सोचो तुम क्या क्या बन सकते थे और आज क्या हो? आज तुम जिन सुख-सुविधाओं में जी रहे हो; उनको पाने के लिए शायद तुम्हारे माता-पिता ने और उनकी पीढ़ी के तमाम लोगोने कई साल गुजारे होंगे. आज भी देश की अधिकतर आवाम तुम्हारे जैसी ज़िंदगी जीने को तरस रही होंगी. अगर फिर भी तुम अपनी ज़िन्दगी से खुश नही हो तो उस में बदलाव लाने की ज़रुर कोशिश करो. पर यूँ हाथ पे हाथ धरे ऑफिस के ऐशो-आराम में बैठके keyboard पे “I hate my job, Damn! Work tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday, WTF” लिखो मत ! यही तोह उम्र हैं मेहेनत करने कि, सपने सजाने की और उन सपनोमे उड़ान भरनेकी!!!

PS: To make myself clear, the post is about those who don’t like TO work; rather than those who don’t like their work, the current work in hand.

The joy is multiplied when it is shared :)

I got my first salary today. Precious!!! Actually at moments like these, it’s not the money which is precious. It’s the pure, immense joy and satisfaction that comes with it, that’s precious!!! I had my eyes wet while coming back from the office today. I talked to my biggest inspiration, my Dad!!! Talked to my uncles and aunts… I can not even begin to express the joy they felt… and the deepest satisfaction that I got. Overwhelming! As I mentioned, the  monetary amount is no concern, It’s the purest feeling of starting with a new career, starting professional life, getting rewards of what you’ve strived for 4 years, being financially independent(or atleast the start of it). This may not be the career I’m meant to be in… This is possibly not the ultimate goal of my life. So it’s not really the joy of getting settled in the career in that sense.  It’s not like it’s the greatest accomplishment of Life. It’s just the feeling of a small little achievement that marks the start of a new phase of life… The feeling of joining the workaholic class, which is the support-system of the family, of the nation. The feeling of being a responsible human being henceforth.
Before I came home, I bought some sweets and distributed them to some beggars near a temple. I was lucky this day that I got to share my joy, my first earning with 2 very special people, my grandparents. They came from my native place a few days back. I can not thank them enough for their blessings, the moral values that they taught me.  My jiju told me to share my first earning with my family. I agree, it’s their right in every sense. It’s because of them that we all are so very capable. I was in tears again when I was offerring a small token to my grandparents. They din’t accept it though, asking me to spend the money myself. And ofcourse, I could meet a few of my best buddies too 🙂
To my fellow readers, if you’re yet to witness this joy, I wish that happens sooner. I wish you could resonate with my feelings sooner. Please don’t feel left out by this post. To all those who’re currently witnessing this joy, I urge you to share your joy with your family. Aaj unka haq banta hain. To all those who’ve already been through this, I would like you to share your experience 🙂
Take care you all…

The Last Leg

Wanted to capture this moment in words and digitally… I am not really hit by the huge tide of those emotions of “end of an era”, probably ‘coz I’m too occupied with the IT-farewell planning and a ghostly subject like SOM, which kick-starts (and kicks my ass) the last leg of engineering, the final exams tomorrow. Or it’s also because I have had enough of those nostalgic feelings and posts. I’m almost saturated.

I dunno what is this meant to be?, how is this feeling supposed to be? The feeling hasn’t really sunk in yet. I don’t feel like I’m grown up to be called an engineer. There’s so much for me to learn. I don’t feel like ending the engineering studying stupid subjects(Blame the BE syllabus). I think I have long miles to go. Engineering suddenly looks like a casual affair, like a quick ride. I just don’t want to stuff this post with the descriptions of how engineering was to me. Then too, I wanna record this moment. Who knows, I may want to cherish this moment again(virtually, if not live)! And somehow, this post will come to me as a completely different one and maybe make me cry! Although I’m not yet sentimental (which is weird!) about this whole thing, I can just think of those last 10 mins. of my last paper. Will I be in any mental state to write anything then? Plus after my exams, I have a lot to catch up with; which means not having to meet my regular friends for a while. The office joining follows quickly. And it eradicates the hope of meeting my friends on the 1st day of new semester, as it used to be. Will I be perfectly okay with the fact that there’s no more this “1st day of semester” left in my life? At the start of every semester there was this one thing I always used to look forward to: An Art Circle Meeting. That phase’s gone and I’ve to come to terms to it. I won’t feel like I will be owning the college campus anymore, like I do now. Currently, it’s my place. I’ll be a visitor tomorrow. And the time difference isn’t even big enough to let me live it off. Goosebumps! I wish I could portray my feelings well. I’m ruining this post. I should stop.

Nothing Else Matters!

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters
 

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
and nothing else matters
 

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters
 

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know
 

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters
 

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know
 

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
and nothing else matters
 

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters
 

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
and I know
 

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters

 

For all those who know (and worship, therefore) or do not know, this a chartbuster track from Metallica. While I’m not much into metal, this song simply takes my breath away and mesmerizes me like anything. They call “Metallica” Gods… I don’t need to ask why, if they can boast of such heavenly compositions. I can resonate so much with the feelings expressed in the song. WOW! This is what I am, this is what I’ve done in my past four years, this is what I would call an “anthem” (As Manan puts it) for my beloved art circle. Metallica, take a bow! \m/.
 

Please give a listen to this song, if you haven’t! If you’ve missed it, it’s like missing living in the era when the God of Cricket played (and still playing), like missing the monsoons of Mumbai, like missing your Birthday Cake, like missing so much!

Here’s the link to the song, it’s S & M version, the best by Metallica. Courtesy: Manan
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAsA00-5KoI

%d bloggers like this: