Cat o’ Nine Tails

Ever since Polldaddy has been provided by WordPress, my hands have been itching to use it to its full glory. So, here are 9 questions to whip your brain. All I want from all of you is :

  • Complete the poll. Its interesting(atleast that is what I think) 😐
  • Be honest. There is no way anyone will know what you have filled. 😉
  • Don’t give politically correct answers. No matter how big a hypocrite you might turn out to be, atleast be honest to yourself. 😛
  • There is no fourth point. Now move your butt!! 

Thankyou for your valuable opinion. Now, thou shalt leave comments if thou wish!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Basic Etiquette

Lets clear the airs first, shall we? The post is not about girls!!!! Its just about people in general. Its about those inconsiderate, tactless and thoughtless people who perform the most disgusting acts in public(and at home too!!!) and don’t feel the S of Shame. Infact, the insensitivity is so deep rooted that they don’t even realise that they have done something despicable unless, maybe, you go and scream your lungs out in front of them. So, here is a clear list of a few Basic activities you should not do in public(or when you are visiting someone). If I ever find you doing any of them in my presence, your score might just scale the heights of negativity. 

 

1. Don’t make that GURGLING sound, for God’s sake!!

I Could never understand why people make that irritating sound when they are brushing their teeth or rinsing their mouth after a meal. I mean, is it really necessary? Specially in public places? There is this guy in my office who can’t digest his food without making that noise and I have to bear that trauma of listening to it every bloody day. Sometimes I even feel like chocking him with all the hand towels. And did I tell you that my mom and dad also make that sound while brushing their teeth? And even Grandma and Granddad used to do that? And, oh boy!! The sound which Granddad made did cracked a few windows at home.

2. Could you eat with your mouth shut?

Some people just can’t help it. They have to talk while there is food in their mouth. The only difference between such people and a Buffalo is that the food is not dripping from their mouth. Otherwise its pretty much the same sight. There was a friend of mine who used to do this and she was a sight when she used to eat ice-cream. Lips smeared with vanilla while she blobbed her mouth to speak. Earlier, I just looked away, but now a days, I have turned completely shameless. I just tell such people to shut up.

3. Do you know what a “LANE” means?

In India, people have pathetic sense of driving and we all know that. But STILL we don’t leave any chance of creating chaos. Even if there is a slight problem ahead on the road, we jump in the opposite lane and move our vehicles ahead. Soon more cars follow and the whole road is one way with no place for the vehicles coming from the opposite direction. From what I have observed, the only way to stop people from doing that is by placing electric dividers in the middle of the road, which would send an electric shock as soon as a vehicle come in their contact.

4. Are there beetles in your shirt?

A few days back, one of my cousin came home with her husband and the first thing which he did after he entered our house was to take off his shirt. WTF???? Even my cousins(male ones) used to do that and this pisses me off to no ends. Its ok if you dance naked in your own house but can we maintain a level of decency when we visit someone? And the worst part was that I was expected to do the same thing when I visit them. Arghhhh!!! What am I? A porn star?

5. Remove those Smoke signals

I hate smoking, so much that I can’t even stand a person who had just smoked and forgot to take up a mouth freshener. I have the nose of a dog and I can smell out such a person from a kilometer away. Thankfully, most of the people in corporate offices use mouth fresheners because some clients are very particular about such matters but then you can always find some idiots everywhere. A few of my colleagues smoke and sometimes I have to give them company to the roadside smoking counter. While I stand there watching them whiff of the smoke, I wonder whether I am being drugged enough or should I ask them to blow the smoke somewhat more closer to my face.

6. Do you know the difference between a dog and a man?

I have always wonder how women can hold the urge to urinate in open public places while men don’t even think twice before copying dogs? I mean, if women can hold it, men can too. Can’t they? I remember, in class 12, we were returning from a school trip to Haridwar and the driver stopped the bus somewhere so that all the boys(who were awake at that odd hour) can take a leak. I could just imagine what the girls would have gone through at that point. The curses would have hit Gods really hard!

7. When you borrow, guard the thing with your life

I hate it when people return my books in a deplorable condition. I love my books and DVDs and earlier I used to share them a lot with my friends, but when they started to come back to me torn and scratched, I stopped sharing. I could never understand why people can’t take care of other people’s stuff. Is it so tough? I think it goes to show how insensitive a person is to small small things and some people just don’t have it in them. Losers!!!

8. The world is my spittoon

Piccchakkk!!!! That sound just drives me crazy! I could kill a person right there when I hear that! If you spit on the road or any other goddamn place, you can’t even be my acquaintance. Period! The worst I have seen is that when the Delhi Government announced a fine of 50 Rs on people who spit on roads. There was a hoarding on the road announcing this and people have spitted on that! How incredibly shameless can we get? And, ofcourse, I don’t have to say anything about the way we throw litter where ever we like.

I could go on and on about many such basic etiquette which we lack, but this post is getting quite long. I have a few friends who belong to a few of the above mentioned categories but sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. But let me declare it today – I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT WHEN YOU DO IT!!!!! 

There! A stone lifted from my heart.

Please be a little more sensitive to your surroundings and fellow humans. Lets learn the basics first.

Salsa Diaries – I

Salsa classes started in my office yesterday. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, thinking of skipping the class but 30 minutes into the class and I realised what a mistake that would have been. Where else can you find a chance of dancing with five different girls. 😉 More on it later. 

First a little bit about Salsa. 

Salsa refers to a fusion of informal dance styles having roots in the Caribbean (especially in Cuba and Puerto Rico), Latin and North America. The dance originated through the mixture of MamboDanzónGuaguancóCuban Son, and other typical Cuban dance forms. Salsa is danced to Salsa music. There is a strong African influence in the music as well as the dance.

Salsa is usually a partner dance, although there are recognized solo steps and some forms are danced in groups of couples, with frequent exchanges of partner (Rueda de Casino). Improvisation and social dancing are important elements of Salsa but it appears as a performance dance too.

(source – Wikipedia)

So there I was staring at the Thin, Sensuous, high heeled, Curly haired lady instructor(I’ll call her WOW) and her male apprentice(UNWOW) while they taught the first three basic steps of forward, side and rock to the 20 something boys and 25 something girls. WOW and UNWOW looked so elegant dancing together that a sigh got released from my mouth. How much I wanted WOW to dance with me. Anyways, since there were more girls, so they took turns to dance with the boys as we started dancing in couples.

The-pink-trampler

Pink-trampler was my first partner and is incidentally my project mate too. She was a little awkward in her movements and ended up landing on my feet quite a few times. WOW saw her trampling my feet and asked her to practice alone first before trying the steps with a partner and replaced her with the-Black-top.

The-Black-Top

I award her the perfect-partner-of-the-day. Her movements were rhythmic and not awkward at all. The moment I cupped her right hand in my left one as she placed her hand on my shoulder and I placed my right hand behind her back, we danced magically. We did not missed a single step and our foot movement never went awry, even when they increased the tempo of the song. It was lovely, dreamy and delightful.

The-Jaya(Bachchan not Lalita)

My next partner was so short that I felt like Amitabh Bachchan, although I am just 5’8″. Her head ended somewhere near my chest and I had to stoop down a little bit to place my hand behind her back. She was quite shy and was not looking at me at all. 😦 We did a few side hand movements in a closed loop position. It was a little tough to move your hand as well as feet in two different directions and co-ordinating with your partner as well. She was good and picked up quite quickly. 😉

The-Follow-me-will-you?

Although as the class started, it was explained , that in Salsa the guy leads the girl, but follow-me-will-you? somehow missed this piece of information. Now we had to move in an open loop position which meant that she could not place her left hand on my shoulder and my right hand was free too. We had to join the free hands and move them upwards while we moved our feet to the music. It had to be done very gently but the lady just forced her hand so much, that it looked as if she was scrubbing a wall in her home. So, instead of our hands going up in 90 degrees, went 30 degrees towards my right ear. I tried to explain it to her, but she was adamant on scrubbing the wall. Sigh!

The-Black-Top(again)

The moment partner change was announced, the black-top ran towards me. 🙂 Now we had to do the closed loop and open loop positions alternately while we moved our feet. It was tough and I heard a lot of OOOOOs and AAAAHHHs as it was just our first class. But, since the-black-top was with me, we mastered that in a few seconds. We laughed and smiled and clapped as we ended.

The-Jaya(Lalita not Bachchan)

My last partner was taller and wider than me. 😦 I looked like a small kid who was holding a teddy bear bigger than himself. We had to do the same steps again with faster music. The first question she asked me was – “Did you get the hang of it?” I was quite speechless.

“Are you crazy? Didn’t you saw the girls falling on top of each other to dance with me?”, I wanted to ask. (Ok. I admit that that was a bit of exaggeration, but then what the hell!)

“Yes. I guess.”, I mumbled and smiled. 

She too was a little awkward and clumsy and almost trampled my feet again. The ordeal was over in a few seconds as she picked up the steps somehow. She forgot to place her hand on my shoulder time and again as we went from the open loop to the closed loop position and I was reminding her again and again, looking like a sex-starved-maniac. 

So, this is how the first Salsa class went. It would have been a disaster if the-black-top and WOW would not have been there. Its been after such a long time that I am “learning” to dance. The last I remember, it was in school for my Bhangra group. Sigh! Good old days.

Anyways, will keep all of you posted with the spicy gossips from the forthcoming sessions. 

That’s all folks!

p.s. Now that I re-read the post, its more about girls rather than Salsa. No?

The Chosen One

Before you jump to the conclusion that its a personal(*yawn*) rant post or a post-Matrix burst out or a spiritual healing session, then relax. Its just about apun ka Bollywood. So sit back and enjoy the ride. 🙂 

I have been quite surprised by this recurring phenomenon in Movies. Have you ever noticed that when ever a new pair is introduced in Bollywood, one of them goes ahead and reach the heights of stardom while the other one is lost into oblivion? What decides this tilt of fate cannot be pointed out and this phenomenon happens irrespective of whether the launchpad was a success or a failure. Only one out of the pair is the chosen one.

You haven’t noticed it? Let me give you some examples then.

1. Kajol & Kamal Sada”nah”

Who got Lucky – Kajol. The year was 1992 when Rahul Rawail directed Bekhudi was released. The movie was one big flop but it triggered the movie career of two budding actors. Kajol went ahead to sign Baazigar while we all know what happened to Kamal Sadana. He appeared in a few other movies like Rang before he vanished from the big screen. Kajol in the other hand went ahead and made history in the Indian Cinema. With an exception of a few girls who don’t like any actress, I haven’t come across any Indian who don’t like Kajol. She is one of the very few actresses who have given hits even after getting married. So, Kamal was lucky for Kajol but Kajol ended up being jinxed for the poor guy. 🙂

 

2. Manisha Koirala & Vivek “Miss”ran

Who got Lucky – Manisha. Subhash Ghai’s Magnum Opus Saudagar, introduced two new stars – Manisha and Vivek Mushran. The movie which was adorned with Raj Kumar, Dilip Kumar and some great music(remember ILU ILU? Doesn’t it sound really stupid now? 🙂 ), was a huge blockbuster. After a few years, Vivek ended up with Fruti and Sonpari on the idiot box while Manisha went ahead and did some awesome movies like 1942 A Love Story, Bombay, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Khamoshi, Gupt and Dil se.

 

3. Ajay Devgan & Mad”who?”

Who got lucky – Ajay. Phool aur Kaante, directed by Sandesh Kohli, was released in 1991. It was an instant hit and was noted for its melodious music(remember Dheere Dheere pyar ko?) by Nadeem Shravan. Ajay Devgan went ahead with a movie career which is still going very strong and is filled with numerous awards and honours. His last notable movie this year was Halla Bol. He married Kajol in 1999. Madhoo on the other hand gave one flop after another and was extinguished after some time. Her last two notable roles after the blockbuster launchpad were Roja and Diljale.

 

4. Akshay Khanna & Anjala Z”aver(i)-age”

Who got lucky – Akshay. Himalaya Putra(released in 1997) was the perfect gift from Vinod Khanna to his son, which went terribly bad. The movie, directed by Pankaj Parashar failed at the box office. Akshay’s second movie was Border which was a blockbuster and gave him the well needed respite. After that there was no looking back and Akshay worked in some big blockbusters like Taal, Dil Chahta Hai, Humraaz and Race. Although his career have had a lot many ups and downs, he is considered as the most talented actor in the present lot. Anjala, well, err, I don’t remember her last movie. 😐 Last I remember, her “worth remembering” role was in Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya in which she was seen in a supporting role.

 

5. Karishma Kapoor and Har-“ishhhh”

Who got lucky – Karishma. Karishma Kapoor was introduced along with newcomer Harish in the 1991 movie Prem Qaidi. The movie didn’t work and Karishma was criticized for her looks. She looked repulsive with those disheveled hair and bushy eyebrows which she shed(the eyebrows that is) 5 years later in Raja Hindustani which incidentally moved her in the big league of stars. And what a star! Numerable nominations, awards and huge blockbusters came her way. She was known for her comedy movies with Govinda as well as the offbeat movies like Fiza and Zubeidaa. Harish on the other hand ended up burdened up with a string of flops and was seen as a sidekick in a few Govinda starrers like Aunty No. 1 and Coolie No. 1 before he vanished.

 

6. Salman Khan and “Bhag-gai-stree”(Bhagyashree)

Who got lucky – Salman. Although Maine Pyar Kiya was not Salman’s first movie as an actor. He had acted earlier in Biwi Ho to Aisi(a Rekha and Farooq Shaikh starrer) but MPK was his first movie as a hero. The movie came at a time when love stories were out of fashion and defined the way Hindi movies were made in the next decade. The movie was blessed with evergreen songs which all of us still listen to even after 20 years. I don’t think I need to elaborate on Salman but Bhagyashree, well, her career nosedived like a helicopter out of fuel. She started promoting her husband as a hero and did some insignificant movies with him, carrying the “Himalayan” albatross around her neck and was last seen in some Sari advertisement.

 

7. Hrithik Roshan and A”miss”a

Who got lucky – Hrithik. The launch with every actor dreams of, Rakesh Roshan gave it to his son on a platter. Kaho Na Pyar Hai was the biggest blockbuster of 2000 and introduced Amisha Patel starring opposite to Hrithik. Initially Kareena Kapoor was supposed to play the role and shooting too had started when she was suddenly dropped. Amisha gave another blockbuster(Gadar) next year but her career is on a decline since then. She was last seen in cameo roles in Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. Hrithik on the other hand, has been churning blockbusters after an initial turbulence which followed his debut. He is the only actor after Rishi Kapoor who won the Filmfare for the Best Actor in his Debut Movie.

I cannot think of any more examples right now, but there must be many more. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. There are pairs which have been successful, like Aamir KhanJuhi Chawla(who were introduced in Qayamat se Qayamat tak) and Rishi KapoorDimple Kapadia(introduced in Bobby) and there are pairs like Anu Agarwal-Rahul Roy(introduced in Ashiqui) in which both the actors failed, but most of the pairs go the “Chosen one” way.

I wonder what will happen to this pair?

The Know-your-house Tag

Reema tagged me for this very interesting meme. The moment I saw that I was tagged, I ended up in a cold sweat, simply because I could for-see the physical oscillations, jumping around and digging which I had to undergo to complete the tag. Mom has a very fascinating habit of putting away things and forgetting. But, more about it later. First I should give the description of what goes into the tag.

For this Tag, I was supposed to fish out an old photo, preferably a decade old and taken when I was completely unaware. I started working on this tag by asking mom if she remembers where all the “old” photos were. Thankfully I was able to locate them within five minutes of the excursion but sadly there was no “caught unaware” photo available in them. I now had to move much more backward in time and that is when the problem started. I again asked mom if she remember where the errrr “very old” photos were? She stared blankly at the wall for a few seconds and moved her head in a negative. Very original Mom!!! 

It took me almost 4 hours to turn the whole house upside down to dig out those pics. I found them in the most unexpected of places where no one would have imagined their presence. Hmpfff!!! Typical!!! On an optimistic note, now atleast I know the map of the insides of my house. I had a clear feeling of Deja Vu, because a similar incidence happened when I moved here from Chennai some months back. I was surprised to see that many of my novels were missing. When I asked mom, she replied – “All your novels are on the shelf. There are no more.”

Unconvinced, because “Lolita” and “Lord of the flies” were definitely not sitting on the shelf, I turned the whole house upside down before I spotted two huge bags full of my novels tucked away inside a diwan by my mom and comfortably erased from her memory. Even after I stood in front of her with the two bags oscillating in my hands, she could not remember a thing!!! 😐

Ok. Enough of disparaging mommy dearest. The first photo I picked up was taken when I was freshly born. I was completely unaware because I was wondering where the hell I was and who were those strange people around me who were always smiling and throwing me up and down and making all those weird sounds while they ran their fingers on my stomach and embarrass me. So here is Amit with his Mom and Dad. 🙂

Another pic which I found, was taken when I was a little grown up and was dancing in a marriage. No one remember whose marriage it was but I like this photo because I look like a budding child artist who is waiting for the right kind of a break. Here it is.

And Oh yes!!! While looking at all the old photos, I came across a very old pic of my Grandparents. It was taken when they were just married. Since I have already told all of you about my Grandparent’s love story in A Bygone Life, I thought it would be great if I could post their pic too. Here it is. 

So. thats all for this tag. Hope you all liked the pics. And I would like to tag Ish, Lallopallo, Nikhil, Sulz and Xylene.

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The Journey and the Inspirations

On 29 August 2008, I complete one year of blogging. It has been an exhilarating journey of a world I was quite oblivious to, until last year when one of my friend introduced me to WordPress through her newly created blog. Although her blog is long abandoned at present, she passed the germ to me.
During this one year journey, I came across a variety of bloggers who inspired and awed me in various depths. I haven’t written much posts in the last one year. I haven’t even reached a count of 80 yet but I was able to reach a lot of people. I connected somehow and that is all that matters. So, I would like this opportunity to thank everyone who read my blog and provided their selfless comments. I know that there are people who read my blog without commenting and I thank them too for their support. I love it when someone who has been reading my blog from a while finally decides to comment. I remember Manoj did that and also Preeti. 🙂

I came across many bloggers who encouraged me to go ahead and not give up when things got really tough, because they amazed me with their knowledge and zeal and are now a part of this new facade of my life. There were posts which made me laugh when I was feeling low and there were posts which made me think and ponder. In such a short period, this place has become an essential part of my life. Here is a list of my favourite A list of Blogs –

Ruhi’s Time and Again – It was through Ruhi’s blog that I came in contact with this loony bunch. I saw Ruhi’s post on the Dashboard once and clicked on it. I was wide-eyed and amazed with what I saw. It was my first – most amazing blog visit (although I saw many after that) and I was hooked. She is not regular nowadays but she still pops up at times.

Ish’s Dead End – I still remember my first comment on Ish’s blog : “You are one hell of a kid!!!”. I was so amazed to see a kid maintaining such a fabulous blog. If you are in a bad mood then Ish’s rants can really cheer you up. I remember how I was in splits when I read his “The Ruhi” post. And yes, I was the winner of the PFHOI contest on his blog. How can I forget that?

Nita’s A wide angle view of India – This woman is amazing. She writes everyday and there is not a single day which goes without one of her posts being published. Everything is so diverse and well etched – The topics, the research, the writing style and the professional way in which her blog is maintained. She is a true blue journalist. And don’t even look at her Blog hits. Your eyes will pop out.

Poonam’s Visceral Observations – The Ms Best Blogger!!! She is also quite infrequent with her posts(like me), but writes very informative and hard hitting posts. Her posts are well sketched out and sometimes full of uncountable links(I am talking about her link posts) 🙂 . She writes on two other blogs and juggles between her job and blogging with ease. A true inspiration.

Ashish’s Thunder of the Dragon – He can drive you crazy with his loony posts and his love for Rock music. In most of his posts, I end up writing a comment which resembles a – 😐 but I must admit that his crazy ideas have inspired many posts on this blog. The Randomizer and the Nebula Mindspin were spin-offs from his blog. He calls me – Zero the Hero and he has an illusion(??) of being the Next Geeky Emperor of the World. Rock on My Lord!!

Reema’s My Random Thoughts – The most dazzling debut in the past year. She climbed up the charts very fast with her sometimes sentimental, sometimes bold and sometimes journalistic posts. An intelligent blogger which I feel is stuck in the wrong city (??? 😀 ) where people are too nosy to be believed. I remember how all of us almost pulled her out of Blogspot’s claws and landed her safely in WordPress. 😆

RamboDoc’s A twist of word and Mind – The father of all “Don’t take them at face value” posts. Believe me, you can’t dissect humor better than him. You might be fooled in the beginning by the seriousness of his posts, but a few visits and you learn to take everything with a pinch of salt. A doctor by profession, RamboDoc has huge female fans following him his blog. Not to be missed at all.

Shefaly’s La Vie Quotidienne – The owner of the most “profound” blog on WordPress (according to RamboDoc), she is one of her kind. Her posts are thoughtful, deep and scholarly and sometimes have the Tongue in cheek quality which makes them immensely enjoyable.

Nitin’s Nikhil’s Mirror Cracked – The Funny guy on the block. He can make you laugh with his simple daily life experiences served with a comical twist. I remember how I rolled on the floor after reading many of his posts. He is a writer too and his first book is already in the market. To read more about the book, click here.

Arvind’s An Entertainment Blog – The Entertainment Blog owner who is apparently a die hard cricket fan too. His blog was full of cricket centric posts once. 🙂 His blog is a nice mix of personal mumblings and latest news with Calvin and Hobbes splashed in-between.

Kids zone – After being surprised by Ish’s creative posts, I came across many kids who were maintaining some very interesting blogs. Come to think of it, I was not even aware of the meaning of a blog at their age. Be it Allirekha’s beautiful poems, Bharat’s touching short stories, Prarthana’s examination woes, Perx’s apprehensions about his new abode, Priya’s bubbly and creative posts, all of them have something special to say and share.

The Balancers – These bloggers are married(well…most of them), they have a job(most of them) or are in colleges and they still blog. They could have easily shrugged and said that we don’t have time for all this.They are the true Supermen/superwomen. Anand’s Musings, Balu’s Chupchap, Dinsan’s Blog(hopefully he belongs to this group), Mehek’s Mind Flirting with thoughts, Harshasrisri’s blog, Joel’s blog, Lallopallo’s blog, Liju(recently married) Philip’s blog, Manoj’s Vagaries of my mind, RJ’s Especiality, Suda’s Life Love and Logic and Xylene’s Crapbook are such blogs, to name a few.

More Girl PowerLekhni, Sakhi, Nova, Pr3rna and Sulz have their own unique blogs. Lekhni and Sakhi are majorly into Short stories while Pr3rna’s posts are inspired mostly by the current happenings. Nova’s posts are vivacious and spicy while Sulz writes about her own life experiences in her own interesting style.

There are so many other bloggers I wish to acknowledge, but laziness is creeping over me. So please don’t feel sad if your name was not mentioned above. It was due to the yawn dripped laziness I am swimming in right now. I also wanted to award each of the above person and I (almost)promised Shefaly, but the sheer volume of links I have created above sent shivers up my spine.

I will do that. Someday…. 😛

Till then, a huge hug to all of you.

The Indian Olympic Medal Dream

Humans have a very peculiar habit of jumping into two things – Beds and Conclusions. Although this post has nothing to do with the former tendency but the latter is quite flustering specially when it comes from sane earthlings.

Every Olympic ends up brimming the hopes of all the Indians to the hilt. Funnily it reminds me of the poor Indian farmers during the British Raj ( wait..I think they still exist) who used to look at the skies for a few godsend drops of water for their lands. We look at our troop of soldiers(read players) with beseeching eyes in a similar way. We want them to bring Gold medals. Each one of them. Even if they don’t match the skyrocketing world standards of sports or even if they have been battered and bruised by the red tape. We still need the proverbial medal. And God forbid, if they fail ( which they do without failing), we tear them apart like hungry vultures.

What chafes me to no ends is the illogical comparisons with US of A and China. USA has a total of more than 2400 medals till date while India has not even mustered half a century even though India has 17% of the Earth’s population to its disposal.

Can there be a more vague and obscure argument? Can we get anymore foolishly funny?

Why Can’t we face it?

India is a developing nation. According to a 2008 estimation, the Indian population stands at a staggering 1,132,446,000. Out of that 27.5% of the population is living below poverty line. The adult literacy rate is 61.3%. India has the highest rate of malnutrition among children under the age of three as compared to the other countries ( It was 46% in 2007). According to the NSSO survey in 2000, 10% of the population at that time( around 106 million people) were unemployed. A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 65% of Indians, or 750 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day.

A developing nation has many burning issues to resolve before it can think of accumulating medals in an international sports event and compete with developed nations. In a developing nation like India, people still worry about their next meal and think twice before dishing out the next 10 Rupees note. India is not all about towns and cities. A huge percentage(72.22%) of Indian population lives in villages. Most of the people there won’t even know what Olympics is.

India has many hurdles to cross, to at least provide the population with a decent lifestyle. When a person does not have to worry about his family’s next meal, then he can think of an Olympic medal. And, yes, there is another side of the coin too.

The Indian Mentality towards a sports culture

If we consider an average middle class Indian family, how many of us have the courage to encourage our children into sports? We all have a certain mentality that life as a sportsman would be nothing else but a life wasted. And are we wrong? The government does not provide any sort of infrastructure to encourage sports. If you go and see the conditions of Government schools in India, you will be shocked by the condition of some of them. It would be a miracle if children find proper classrooms, leave aside a playground with all the facilities. Even in an average Public School, you can’t even dream of a swimming pool and horse riding facilities.

Even after jumping over all these barriers(whether it may be because of parent’s inclination or the child’s stubbornness), if someone is able to meet up to the international standards, the red tape kills the talent. All of us have heard of innumerable stories of sportsmen dying in penury and not receiving any help from government agencies despite their contribution towards sports. Which parents would allow their children to jump into such a profession?

With all due respect to Abhinav Bindra’s talent, he had a family support system behind him which provided him ample facilities and encouragement to excel in his chosen sport. I wonder what would have happened to him if he would have belonged to a middle class family with a pressure of becoming an Engineer on his head?

And then we compare our sportsmen with those belonging to nations where sports is a profession as common and successful as Medicine or Engineering, where children get all the facilities from the very beginning and they are groomed in the line of their interest from the inception of that interest. How fair is that?

Only a rocket can take you to the Moon

According to this very interesting report, India is not able to perform in the Olympics due to Low Social mobility. If the people of a nation are better informed, they perform better. It also cites an example of a rich nation which started performing well after the radio connectivity grew.

So, essentially, if we want to reach the moon, we have to build a rocket. If we want loads of medals, we need to put loads of efforts into other areas too.

  • The government needs to provide facilities and encouragement to upcoming sportsmen.
  • We have to encourage our children to choose a sport of their liking and excel in that.
  • Children have to be provided facilities from the elementary levels.
  • Sports should be a proper subject and not just a filler in-between other subjects.

As the nation will develop, the awareness will grow automatically. There are examples of many nations about how to go for it. We have a sports ministry. Don’t we?

Lets not look at the reflection of the moon in the water and cry for it. Lets make a rocket. And if we can’t then lets just shut up.

Related Interesting Reads

Here are a few links which I found very interesting and would like to share –

More than two sides to this coin by Pr3rna

Priorities by Ish

Thinking about Abhinav Bindra not just India’s gold medal by Nita

NCR – Nightmare Capital Region

Do you believe that Mumbai is the worst city as far as traffic jams, water logging and crime is concerned?

Do you think Bangalore is very chaotic in the peak hours of traffic?

Then think again because NCR (The Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon belt) is here to beat both the cities. Gurgaon and Noida were slated to be the upcoming satellite towns which were supposed to elevated the National Capital region to another era of development. A few years down the line and you can hear horrifying stories of people stuck in endless traffic jams, power cuts, muddy water supplies and people frequently robbed off their belongings using brand new methods.

My Own Sob Story

Ever since I have shifted to Delhi from Chennai, my nightmare never seems to end. Chennai was paradise in comparison and I can’t stop being nostalgic. Anyways, on 14 August there was an announcement in my office that the buses would leave at 5 pm instead of their regular 6 pm timings because it was our Independence Day on the next day. I was hopeful that I might reach home on time. Around 4 pm it started raining cats and dogs. It was such a heavy downpour that I was quite sure of the impending doom.

That day I reached home at 12 am.

Yes, you read it right. It took me 7 hours to reach home. In fact for the first 2 hours the bus was not able to move even an inch because of the jam and it took the bus 5 hours to reach the Gurgaon Toll which is a 2 minute drive from my office during happy days. The streets were water clogged and there were vehicles parked in all the wrong places on the narrow roads. Result – Utter chaos.

The Mouse Trap called Udyog Vihar

Udyog Vihar is a huge area in Gurgaon where many Office complexes are situated including mine. Its just on your left as soon as you cross the Toll if you are coming from Dhaula Kuan. The whole area is a trap specially when its raining or during the peak office hours.

I would really like to meet the planner of Udyog Vihar and kick his sorry ass with so much might that his next seven generations are going to reel in pain. The foolish guy designed the whole office complex as if he was designing a residential colony. Narrow lanes and huge offices. Its something like this –

So you can very well imagine what would happen when it rains very heavily and all the narrow roads are water clogged and more than 50 office buses and hundreds of cars wrestle for space to reach the main highway. I could never understand why it was planned like this. Leaving aside people who stay at far away places, if you are living in Gurgaon, it might take you anything between 1-3 hours to reach home in peak time. And all this is happening when Gurgaon is occupied only upto 40% of its capacity. Imagine the plight when it would be 90% occupied!!

The toll is another sob story. If you are fortunate enough to get away from the narrow roads, you can easily waste 15-30 minutes at the toll if you don’t have a tag. Huge snaking rows of vehicles can be seen there even at midnight.

Waterlogging and Delhi

MCD is one department which I fail to understand. Water logging is nothing new in Delhi but this is one department which have been very consistently successful in not providing a solution. Delhites have one

option now – Pray to god that he stops sending rains towards the city. We don’t want them anymore. Let us live in peace.

According to this report, even the water logging near the Prime Minister’s house a day before the Independence Day celebrations could not move MCD in action. They blamed it on Gods and told that its not their fault that there was too much rain in such a small span of time.

The Growth and its disadvantages

India has been developing at a phenomenal rate and the number of people who have the money to buy a car have increased many-fold. Result – According to this report, Delhi already has 51 lakh vehicles on road with 950 vehicles being added daily. I won’t be surprised if one day we won’t have space to walk. What is now required is a robust public transportation system so that people don’t find the need to take out their cars. Its a distant dream but lets not give up hopes.

Water Water everywhere, not a drop to drink

Whenever I ask someone about the problems about living in Noida, the first concern which is raised is – Water availability. I was shocked to see yellow coloured water in one of my friend’s house. People have to store water in their houses because there is no definite water supply available and the water is generally muddy and inadequate by all standards.

Another problem is public transportation. If you are staying in Noida or Gurgaon and you don’t have a car, then you are doomed. There are no public buses or autorikshaws(in Gurgaon) available and all you can depend upon is your local rikshaw wala. The situation is severe specially in Gurgaon.

Solutions anyone?

Electricity and water are two very basic necessities which are the responsibility of the Government authorities but we have to make sure that we are not misusing them. We all know this but sadly, knowing something and implementing something are two different things. Pool vehicles whenever possible and save resources whenever possible.

Three things to be realized –

  • As Spiderman’s uncle said – With great power come great responsibility. The government needs to understand that.
  • The past always has a tricky way of coming back and biting you on the ankle – Zadie Smith.
  • We need to stop multiplying like cockroaches, otherwise there is really no solution which could help us.

And, oh, before I forget in all my frustration. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!! 😀

[All the photos are taken by me while I twirled my fingers stuck in the jam. The diagram is created by me]

Randomizer Reloaded

  • Reema bestowed me with the Mr. Best Blogger Award this month. Yey!!!! I am on cloud number 9 for sure. Such a nice gift on Friendship Day. 😀 Congrats to all the other winners too. Well, we should award Reema too. So what should be her title? How is – Ms. Most Vivacious Blogger?
  • The trailer of Harry Potter and the half blood Prince hit the Internet last week and made some sort of a record. I am really looking forward to watch the movie which releases on December this year. And, yes, before you ask I haven’t read the books. So, I don’t know what is going to happen and so I am doubly excited. 😀 Here is the trailer –
  • Delhi was the hub of the Kanwariya menace a few days back. Loads of Orange colored men flocked the streets like a virus and disrupted the traffic. Trucks full of dancing people held traffic for hours and yours truly was a victim. The day it all ended, I was quite happy that I could at least reach office at time. The next day I was greeted by this sight. Sigh!!! This was due to some strike by the truck drivers. The blocked all the roads and left a little bit of area in between as an act of kindness to that the vehicles may pass and the chaos may increase some more. There is always a way to make someones life hell!!!
  • While I was reading the review of “Ugly aur Pagli” in Times of India a few days back, I realised that the movie is a copy of the famous Korean romantic comedy movie, My Sassy Girl, which came in 2001. I should have guessed by the way Mallika was slapping Ranvir. Why can’t we come up with something original? Aamir was one great attempt but we need more such movies. And while I am on it, do watch the Korean Movie if you can get hold of it. It was the biggest blockbuster of all times in Eastern Asia and I really loved the ending.
  • We had a 1970s Bollywood theme party last Wednesday at 32nd Milestone in Gurgaon which was sponsored by our client. I was not able to get hold of what I was exactly looking for but finally I did managed to look like a movie star. 😉 We danced, got drunk, ate a fabulous dinner and did some bowling at the end. The best part was that I later came to know that the bus which left the office that evening at 6 pm reached my home at 11.30 pm because of the ultra heavy rains that day. Thank God, I was not in that bus or I would have hanged myself from the curtains in the bus.
  • After belittling all the reality shows in the Ramdomizer, this might come as a real shocker to you that I am writing something good about a reality show. I have been seeing Comedy Circus ever since I shifted to Delhi as my family is a great fan of the show. And I am hooked. Everyone in the show is exceptional, may it be Krishna, Sudesh Lahiri, Shailesh or the mega hilarious Shaane Shakeel. The judges compliment the participants and Archana’s laughter is the highlight of the show. A must watch. Here are a few acts from the show. To watch more, try searching for Comedy Circus on Youtube.
  • India got its first individual Gold Medal in the Olympics. When I got the news I thought my friend was joking. But its true!!!! And its great!!!! Congratulations to Abhinav Bindra. Its not a small achievement. The Indian News channels must be really happy. They now have the fodder for next 4 days. They are going to tear apart the whole family tree of Abhinav to find out the answer to one question – How the hell???
  • The last 7 days was the longest I have stayed away from blogging, all thanks to my MTNL Broadband connection. We all have experience of a certain category of friends who stay with us when things are hunky dory but abandon the ship as soon as something goes wrong. MTNL will remind you of such friends. It took the customer care 6 days to figure out the problem. 6 DAYS!!!!! Airtel has an SLA(Service Level Agreement) of 1 day which means that they have to fix the problem in 1 day. The MTNL staff is purely lethargic and incapable of any action till you reach them through the proper channel. Yes!!!! We had to ask a high officer to intervene. I HATE MTNL. 👿