Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let Go Obamania!

Imagine a Hollywood venture-full of action, thrill, drama, emotions and all the ingredients for a perfect flick. The world is facing an imminent danger, even the last edifice of human civilization would be wiped out and suddenly amidst all the chaos, appears the superhero, flying all by himself; his machismo dripping through his draped costume; his face half-masked. Now you know that the earth would be saved, no matter what, we are all safe!

Curtains down, scene 2- the world is endangered again-global economic turmoil- Taliban still operating in Afghanistan-Indian subcontinent on the brink of war-Israelis and Palestinians confronting on an ever larger scale-Incessant global climate change-Poverty, hunger, pandemics- and then all eyes agape at the horizon- where is our super hero?

Then from your own backyard, a bleak voice, shrilled enough to be heard, pronounces the grand entry of the superhero down the aisle with a change, there he is- Barack Obama. (In the background comes cheers, applauds and a few wipe tears of their cheeks) All lights on him, everything else jettisoned in oblivion. It is the biggest change of the century as reported in all the sections of media. The change had arrived, the world slept peacefully, and no nightmares reported anywhere.

The next scene dawns, and it appears that nothing has changed, statistics point that nothing would change in near future. Our superhero generates superfluous statements but to no avail. What is going wrong? Why our messiah of peace and justice not been able to deliver what we wanted him to accomplish? Here are the answers:

  • He is not a superman; notwithstanding the capabilities and qualities chiseled out in human limitations, he is as human as anyone of us
  • For the world outside USA, he is just the US president, not a prophet. His first agenda is his own nation, not some India, Pakistan, Iraq or Palestine.
  • He doesn’t (cannot afford to) care about unemployment and economic downturn in any part of the world including best friend Britain before the Americans are well fed.
  • His plans for troop withdrawal from Iraq (after leaving a virtual anarchy there) and a surge in Afghanistan (having already killed thousands of innocents) are no better than the earlier actions of invading these countries. These plans just favor US, none else.
  • He cannot offer to give a damn to ‘climate change’ unless the Americans are at peace, America is flourishing and Americans have nothing to lose.

Now when the world acclaims, even after considering the above points that Obama is the change anyone would want in this world, I cannot conjure up a suitable answer. Never did I say that he is not competent, capable or well suited as the US president, but finally he is just the US president! Just like Reagans, Carters, Clintons and the Bushes-he is an American, he owes all he has to that nation. Now the world could obviously be better if the leader of the most powerful nation of the world is a good man, but everyone cannot depend upon him.

If Pakistani terrorists attack Indians, Obama wont help, Indo-Pak have always been fighting- If Chinese economy goes berserk, Obama wont mind, Chinese deserve this- If there are bomb blasts in Kabul or Baghdad, Obama cant help it, its their own internal security problem- If US airplanes kill innocent civilians in Pakistan, now Obama didn’t do it, any army can make a mistake- If there are millions in Africa hungry, how can Obama give all the aid, US automakers need bailout.

Its time the leaders of other nations of the world realize their own potentials, chalk out their own strategy and do the needful for the citizens of their own countries. It would be more helpful rather than gaping patiently at the Obamarama. Lets move on and engage us in our own cobwebs and let go the Obamania.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

i liked this....

this one is frm "the guardian"... and i liked it a lot!

Nine types of heavy drinkers

John Carvel

London: The United Kingdom Department of Health has identified the nine personality types of heavy drinkers at risk of liver damage and other alcohol-related illnesses. Its researchers investigated the social and psychological characteristics of problem drinkers in an attempt to devise more effective public health campaigns to encourage safer use of alcohol.

....They found that people who regularly drink at least twice the daily guidelines of 35 units a week for women and 50 for men ranged from depressives drinking at home alone over extended periods to macho exhibitionists who spend evenings in the pub.

....The department said it was using social marketing techniques to tailor its propaganda to suit all the target personalities.

....A spokesman said: “This will be a tough one to crack. Research found many positive associations with alcohol among the general public — even more so among those drinking at higher-risk levels. ....For these people alcohol is embedded in their identity and lifestyle: so much so that challenging this behaviour results in high levels of defensiveness, rejection or even outright denial.”

....The nine alcohol-fuelled personality types are:

• “De-stress drinkers” use alcohol to regain control of life and calm down. They include middle-class women and men.

• “Conformist drinkers” are driven by the need to belong and seek a structure to their lives. They are typically men aged 45 to 59 in clerical or manual jobs.

• “Boredom drinkers” consume alcohol to pass the time, seeking stimulation to relieve the monotony of life. Alcohol helps them to feel comforted and secure.

• “Depressed drinkers” may be of any age, gender or socioeconomic group. They crave comfort, safety and security.

• “Re-bonding drinkers” are driven by a need to keep in touch with people who are close to them.

• “Community drinkers” are motivated by the need to belong. They are usually lower middle class men and women who drink in large friendship groups.

• “Hedonistic drinkers” crave stimulation and want to abandon control. They are often divorced people with grown-up children, who want to stand out from the crowd.

• “Macho drinkers” spend most of their spare time in pubs. They are mostly men of all ages who want to stand out from the crowd.

• “Border dependents” regard the pub as a home. They visit it during the day and the evening, on weekdays and at weekends, drinking fast and often.

....The department is planning a campaign to persuade problem drinkers to cut down. It will include self-help packs, available online and in printed form, telling drinkers how to calculate the medical risks associated with different levels of alcohol intake. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

“I don’t deserve the 6th pay commission”

These words were raking up my mind for quite sometime now, and when the PM’s electoral address to the nation on the Independence Day announced the hike in govt employees’ salaries, it was the last straw on the camel’s back. This pay-commission was sought to bring parity between the ever-rising dynamic inflation and the stagnant salaries. But being a govt employee myself I strongly feel, all inflation concerns withstanding, that I don’t need and deserve a pay hike.

I know I am just an ordinary Joe and my opinion in this regard doesn’t reflect the mood of people like me who unlike me, have given their best to the government offices all over the country. But, of course, there are hundreds of ordinary Joes in this government system.

I am one of those who come late to the office only to begin the day with the regular gossip and a cup of tea. I am one of those whose kids always use the office stationary issued to their parents. I am one of those who use the office printer for printing their own unofficial documents, which may range from a few photographs to entire books. I am one of those who love extending the lunch break to atleast two hours. I am one of those who always have someone to call from the office phone. I am one of those who cannot move a hand without the evening tea. I am one of those for whom work is not worship unless there is sparkling halo of the Goddess Lakshmi behind it. I am one of those who bring their kids to office giving all the colleagues a pinch of childhood at the workplace. I am one of those for whom the office hours are over a little less than one hour before 5 pm. I am one of those who leave computers and lights switched on at the office while use CFLs at their home. And despite all this, I am always in a hurry, without any time for helping a poor citizen who couldn’t understand the official machinery. I am one of those who brandish the parking label of their office to contravene the traffic and parking rules. I am one of those who abhor privatization and dis-investment for they consider themselves the most probable to be thrown out as under performers.

I cannot be someone from defense services for these are over and above this ordinary Joe’s conundrum. But after telling all the truth, can anyone believe that I am going to get a minimum 30% hike in my salary? I understand that the arrears I am going to get may help me pay back my vehicle loan or to get my little sister married, but do I really deserve the money for something I have never done? Can anyone even justify the current basic salary that has been bestowed upon me?

I know Shri Krishna commission can answer this; even the custodians of the democracy can answer this. They say they want to allure the best talent in the government sector and I feel the best talent now is atleast contributing in the private sector today while the government machinery will even ruin it. They say that a higher pay will act as a morale booster while I feel habits are hard to change just by providing monetary gains. If I have never been to office at right time, an extra some of money cannot cajole me into doing this.

I feel a government job gives so much to relish that a handsome salary wont make much of a difference to the already contumacious and inert government servants like me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

DIARY 2007

Again for the 20th time, a year is changing. Of course I am 23 but for first four occasions, it was not even a change of date. Then it started off as a time after which in my school notebook, I used to miss the year part of the date for half of the January. Then when exams really started to give a nerve in standard 10th, a new year was the year of exams, an official bugle for studying. After another two years, it was a new year for career, a new year for new direction in life. Year 2002 came with both fears and promises of a better life after school, the year of IIT dreams ad NIT blues.

For next three years, a year change was a time for fun with friends, bacchanals and making anonymous calls to 01742-238112. And 2006 started with a joy of being placed in a good company along with the last semester of engineering, something we used to refer as the last six months of real life. The six months flew past like nothing and the worst transition of life blew up the soul, for something, if not better, then at least cool. “My own money”, my own hard earned money, though it was not hard in any ways in 2006.

Then 2007 was about to start and December 2006 went by planning for the last official interaction with the alma mater. December 31, I tried to fall in love. I failed! In the night Jonathan (one of my great friends) and me couldn’t even jugad a single drop of ethanol. Jan 1 came with a little blast but it also ended up on a sad note. That time a tiny superstitious corner of my mind was afraid of the coming year. Jan 21 was on of the best days of this year at the college convocation. A defiant me at the Jan end tried again to fall in love. An adamant me failed again. I knew that it was going to be a year of not much success. But on a positive note I started earning my ‘hard earned money’ the hard way.

Feb went past unnoticed but March cracked the whip again on my back. My father got hold of my bank account statement for filing tax returns and then I was forced to realize the value of hard earned money. Even though I still doubt that value but my parents rafted me into the evil whirlpool of fixed deposits. I started saving 2000 but as one gets down the whirlpool speed increases, and so do my father’s desire to save as much as 6000. Life had become a bit tougher.

May-June gave a new hope when I thought if I ll earn more, I can have much more to spend while still putting aside my papa’s six grand. Discussion with all my near and dear ones brought an aspiration for IIM. July brought a pleasant surprise.

The next three months I spent working a bit hard to ultimately achieve my first true success. A successful failure. Earlier I had never missed anything I had my eyes on. There were disappointments but those were not true failures. In fact every time I knew that a failure can be there and I knew how to assimilate it. Probably it was the over confidence that engulfed me because of a glorious past, or because I am not capable. I asked myself the same question for the next week and finally I was happy to know that the second part of the question was not relevant.

Finally December was my month. After all that happened and un-happened, I had my lesson inscribed right on the correct part of my brain. A failure doesn’t mean that life is over, life is very generous and it gives a million chances to fail again.

And a billion to succeed. Its all what we got to see.

And a superstitious me now believe that the year of failure if going to end to give way to a new year with hope and success visible on the horizon.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007



As the title suggests it is something about someone’s marriage. You go, make merry, laugh upon idiot looking well dressed couple, make a few remarks about not so good food, meet old friends, gaze at otherwise ordinary looking girls dressed up in their bests (of course, expecting the same from their side) and finally come back.

But this is much more than that or else the description of a typical marriage is over by now. It is about a free, happy independent man who would now not what he used to be. He is very few of my friends who would not touch alcohol, stay away from smoking and yet is a person with whom I can spend great time without getting drunk myself. This I am writing while I am just back from his (ladies may ignore or may use a ‘their’ here) marital funeral. May be I have used too much of pessimism in description of events but this is actually what everybody was talking about; “bechara acchaa ladka tha; has le beta tera last time hai” etc etc.

What I am feeling now is a strange kind of feeling and despite a futile attempt at this year’s CAT my vocabulary skills don’t suggest me a suitable adjective for this state of mind.

He is a person with whom I have enjoyed more than 2 years in college and we still feel like telling everything to each other. Alas! Now this statement would be used in past tense. For the past 2 years after he left college, we have always been in touch, and would talk on phone for hours discussing both trivial and serious matters. Though we had a rough patch while he was in final year but the real strength and resilience of our friendship stood the test of bad times and today I was in his marriage as a ‘ghar ka banda’ as I was instructed explicitly not to get drunk and control others!

You imagine a fantabulous dancer dancing to the tunes of his wife’s numbers. You hear from a carefree man words about planning a job, a home, life and what not! Though there had been some significant factors in the background but still the foreground matters. In addition to a great man transformed to a diametrically opposite being, there is another thought lightening through my mind.

Gaju’s marriage has sparked the beginning of nuptial nightmares for his batch-mates and this suggests that we are all there in the pipeline; sooner or later we all are going to be executed. There is no escape; the marital guillotine is not that far away now! We all will leave the world of happiness, freedom and bacchanals to the settled life of self control and being remote control, a doomed hell of abstinence, wife, kids…

May be that wont be as bad as I m trying to portray it but there will be a breed of people with whom you wont be able to share the same warmth as you do today. And that breed is friends!

In Gaju’s wedding I met Vandana, Gaju’s batchmate, who came with her fiancĂ©. Though she has always wanted me to quit but earlier we used to talk a lot and I think she enjoyed me narrating my ‘spirit-ual’ adventures. But today, I don’t know why she turned me off when I had just started. I couldn’t understand the reason but the presence of another soul in absolute vicinity had definitely made an impact. She is no longer the same!

So the moral of the whole story is that basically and acidically, both ways, life moves on! You have to go the way life takes you and it suggests that you’ll then see your friends on yearly or decadal basis. Thus the moral of the story is, “ The clock is ticking away…stop reading it and have fun with your friends”


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The real state of intoxication

I am always drunk!

My Gtalk status message says,” I am always drunk”, so does my PC wallpaper. The title of this blog also states the same words. I doubt if there is any person on this earth reading these lines who wont call me a fool, a cynic or may be a a***ole who is unsure what he wants to prove. Once a TL in my office had a look at my PC and she was not amused as well. People ask me if I had been smitten in love for I once proved that a beer is better than a woman. Yes it’s about some kind of love & passion, but not about a girl. And please, don’t make your mind run helter-skelter, I am straight.

Well, the message is not about alcohol.

I like beer but I can’t risk my job, coming to work with a beer on my breath; or visiting my parents with my eyes red. I’ll narrate a small incident to clear the haze off. Once an anti-reservation group was boozing out and in a fit of rage they made a plan to kill union HRD minister the RDB (Rang de basanti) style, everything was finalized and they dozed off. The next morning, all woke up and ridiculed each other of thinking so filmsical. When I tried some leg pulling and asked when they gonna materialize their “noble” motive, one of them said,” arre, we were drunk yar, everybody say blah-blah while drunk” and he was right too. You make obscure promises, repeat a line endlessly while drunk, and once the alcohol relieves your mind, you forget it or just smile it off.

And that is what my point is. All those who have been forced to read this space, have been persuaded coz I thought reading such stuff might prick a little, the hearts of janta which is always looking agape at the west. I projected myself as a patriotic, nation lover, anti foreign companies and someone who hates the encroachment of Americanism in our social and cultural values. And I talk all this endlessly. Mailing friends to read it, people say would never make any difference and this weekend I thought they are right, coz if writing such stuff doesn’t change the author how can the audience be expected to believe him?

I feel I talk that way coz I have been drunk, drunk all the way and while writing this again I am drunk. I just talk, just write about it only apparently while I am not what you think I am!

A few days back I was watching a Doordarshan morning show, for our set-top box was out of order and I really appreciated the classical sitar show. While taking on my ablutions, I raised the volume a bit and it was a nice experience. I was appalled to think whether our next generation would even be able to think about an instrument of the name of sitar, sarod or shehnai while they grow up watching today’s satellite channels? I continued with the Doordarshan and discovered public awareness campaigns about women empowerment and global warming. I had a sudden feeling of distrust for all the Stars, Sonys and Zees. Because I was drunk!

When that spirit was down, I was fed up of the ‘poor’ programming and I turned it off since I couldn’t get my Discovery, ESPN, Mtv and History channels back.

I hate the mall culture and over use of English but yesterday I bought a Reebok, backpack and to my surprise, mysteriously talked to the sales personnel in English. I don’t think if I am not working for a greedy foreign company, is any product that I have worked upon in my government firm reached the market. Have I generated any revenues for the nation? I have just been a silly parasite and use government resources for blogging and chatting! A ‘Liberty’ or ‘Action’ is just as fine but I bought a Reebok pair of shoes. And I don’t remember the moment when I bought an idiotic Jockeys’. My favorite shirt is a Levis’ and I bought a Titan coz I couldn’t afford a Swatch or Rado!

Oh! My speech is slurring now, after-all I m drunk! I don’t know if all that you have just read defines my state of inebriation or is it just what people brag about while they are drunk. I doubt would I be able to explain my wallpaper to the TL or she’ll continue considering me a stupid!

Well to shrug off something, which you spat while drunk, you need to sleep and wake up to a new day. But what can I do, I sleep for 8 hours but this way I am suffering from insomnia! The way my deeds and words are so opposite, I feel even if I sleep one day, I’ll wake up with fresh booze in my mouth…

P.S. People say that a drunkard think that he sings well while drunk, I feel I sing well all the time! I am alwayzzz drunk…

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Great Appraisal!A salute to Vikrant Singh 2k2118

It’s the time when most of us (the 2k6 pass-outs) completed one year in the corporate world. Though I’ve been a non-corporate employee in a friendly govt sector firm, most of my friends are reeling under severe work-pressure, time schedules and strict deadlines. Oh! Did I just tell about the hard side? My apologies! They are being paid much more than, as a few under alcohol confess, they work for. And this is the celebration period since it’s the time of annual increments and bonuses. Though the recent rupee surge has affected the returns, its much more than the Rs. 275 hike in salary that Govt of India bestows upon me. Well I m not writing to cry out my vows here on this page but I am trying to honor a friend (this is the only way I can do it now) by telling you all what he has achieved.

He has got a special appraisal, an appraisal worth a lifetime! Ah, so u guessed it? Nah. He has not been promoted, nor being sent to an off shore client on eye rolling green salary. I am sure none of you would get it right and I must tell you before over-spicing to the extent of tastelessness.

Gentleman Cadet Vikrant Singh as he is now, has broken the barriers of Ctrl C, Ctrl V development teams, murky scripting and testing arenas to join a new battlefield. And this battlefield is going to be real. Absolute real, where there are no logical-syntactical bugs, no foreign clients and no un-necessary coffee vending machines. He has left a high paying comfortable job in an MNC for a different job that demands standard, which speak for them.

Cracking IMA (for those who haven’t yet got it, Indian Military Academy), is not something one can ever compare with getting into IIMs, IITs or the best US university; it is much more than that; and much tougher too. With a majority of engineers blindly running in a ‘cat’ race or craving for a US visa, what Vikrant a.k.a Tau has achieved is something that enlightens the spirit of patriotism, determination, self less ness and self belief. I remember when one of my friends was saying, “ Why do we over hype the army, they lay their life because it’s a part of their duty, like I work till midnight sometimes?” I am ashamed that there was a day when I partly agreed with his line of thought but accepting that ‘job’ itself is courageous enough to be respected, I feel now. Especially Tau leaving a lucrative job for a meager salary, for his lust to serve the nation is not some kind of a cynicism; it is passion for the country. Even sometimes when I boast about my patriotic zeal, I must confess I cant lay my life for the nation. While IT sector promises a lavish life style, (unhealthy) flexible work timings, vacations on Christmas and a holiday on July 4 (not on August 15); a disciplined life, a funeral under the wraps of our own tricolor is what attracted Tau more.

Although his parents wanted him to be an IAS and he was preparing wholeheartedly, but as he told me, being in military means, if someone is detrimental to the nation in your domain, shoot him while an IAS would always be under the command of a foolish and morally bankrupt politician. Of course the defense minister reigns above the armed forces too but at least a soldier’s vicinity is not dirty and rotten. There have only been a few cases of corruption there till now (please don’t spoil the note of this text as you may argue that not all cases are reported).

He got what he wanted to and I just wish he completes his training there successfully and I go to his passing out parade and witness him stepping his ‘Antim Pag’.

By the way Tau will always be Tau, he can anytime pop up with questions like, “Brian Lara lefty hai na?”