Saturday, 24 January 2009

Morning twilight

Today, I made a brief visit to some people left behind in this recent process of development and democratasization (technically). No, I didn’t meet or talked to any, rather just had a smoke squatting on the newly built curb of a brand new footpath. Under the super glow of ultra powerful halogen lights it shined whitish grey and still smelt of fresh cement. While, I looked at the smooth six lane road in front of me, a BRTS lane in between, my back was facing a hundred, maybe two-hundred people; some sleeping in the shacks, some in open air. The lights wasn’t reaching them, and the air was passive and breezy. But it won’t be long when the municipal sweeper will wake up everyone with the scraping of his broom, making the front view in dawn dusty, the first few horns of the new day traffic will remind the hustle-bustle and struggle which all of them must face in another few hours.

This reminds me as well to link this blog to my
previous entry

Monday, 19 January 2009

Waters for two

An old thought that I had written a couple of years back but never posted. This was on my dilemma on the usage of word water, which is singular in almost all languages. The thought was on …

…my conversation with a Dutch air host serving on the plane from Amsterdam to Liverpool made me realise this. It started when my request for 2 bottles of water must have been a little inaudible, so he brings his ears close to me and I repeat - two water? In confirmation he utters “two waters!” and then he goes down deep inside somewhere in his trolley to magically appear back with a couple of bottles of still mineral water. Meanwhile, I have already gotten into a thought process re-interrogating the usage of word ‘water’ in my head. I had learnt in school that water is neither singular nor plural, therefore is just referred as Water, and when in abundance becomes a plural form. Similarly, like the word expanses for expanse. However his calling ‘two waters’ rather than ‘two water’ did make sense. This is because we have been able to divide water by putting it (maybe them) into bottles.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Jaago Graahak Jaago - Elections have come

Damn! six months to go for next lok sabha elections, and any decent idea who the next Indian prime minister could be?

So, is it going to be another last minute huccle scuffle once again? After the elections, when one party comes into a strong position to form a coalition, then will come the prime question again- who is the next main man? Here, a common man, I am totally puzzled or probably uninformed, with the exceptions of a few names we all know. So, is it going to be same old horse to continue, or a new seventy-eighty year old, or some socialist who is private sector’s apple of the eye, or one under the job training to change a democracy into a dynastocracy? Or is it some one from minority just because we need a sort of Obama for ourselves?

With the so called largest republic in the world -60% coming out and voting usually, probably the fact is that most are busy with their struggle to live daily, or maybe many are trying their level best to keep abreast with the available news or pieces of information, just trying to interpret things behind the lines of the complicated political scene in India.

Jaago Graahak Jaago – Indian polity hasn’t got anything fresh in the market to offer.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

A Junkie’s freedom and his belongings

Comparing the governance of people in two countries sometimes provides an interesting insight. At least it did to me.

The reference here is a typical Junkie in the UAE of Middle East. ‘Junkie’ - is a term I have coined for a typical Indian male who I saw here in plenty, roaming on or on the sides of the roads, doing either errands or probably looking for work. His typical dress is a collared shirt which is dirty or perhaps paled because of regular washing. Similar scene is with the trousers he wears. The footwear ranges from chappals to operational shoes. He has crossed the mighty gentle Arabian ocean to work for a year, has agreed to abide with the law of the land, and has a pre-decided salary. When his term ends, the visa is easily renewable. However, he is not allowed to bring along his wife or family. Because otherwise, he will procreate and generate stakeholders who will claim their rights to the place. Only colleagues, somewhat friends, are around.

Prima facie - the situation’s not much different in the homeland India too. He migrates nearly the same distance, mostly doe’s physical work under similar conditions - generally sunny, dusty, and sweaty. In most cases he lives away from his family. He could bring them along, but due to lack of certainty of the type of life in a new place doesn’t. Living in a democracy, free to choose, now alone he is left free to fend for himself. The colleagues again, are somewhat friends.

I have a converse example too – about him and his family migrating together, temporary or permanent. He has rented a six by four feet hand-cart on which he has fresh vegetables to sell. Underneath the shade of the cart is a hammock styled cradle made of cloth suspended. Wife and others in the family are distributed somewhere nearby around - mingled or working in the dusty and buzzing streets as aayas or on somebody else’s errands. Evenings they meet up again, living together happily, in a cluster of shacks we call slums. Thankfully, he is allowed to procreate and generate stakeholders who will earn their rights to the place.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Welcome Happy New year

Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad highway, three lanes clearly demarcated with rural villages still existing on both sides. Urban development body’s extent extended - people accepting compensation and relocation, terms they have no problems with, so their houses brought down. In the day time, one place next to the highway with people in traditional clothes, some walking around, some sitting on wooden and rope cots, their buffaloes next, and broken rubble around; putting them all in a two dimensional frame reminding exactly of an earthquake scene. In the night the highways and the city is lively, reminding first January new year is a few hours away. When at twelve’ O clock the clock clocks, people in my group wish each other a happy new year, they laugh, kiss or hug. Now going home after an hour, the drive though the city even more livelier. Every hundred meters a new group of hundred CC bikers with pillion at back either whiz across or they are overtaken. A minimum four and a maximum ten Mukesh, Ramesh , Wiral and similar, their legs spread, their bikes lesser in number than their group's numbers; something new - all sporting handkerchiefs covering their faces, and are hooligan-loud; louder than their bike horns. While they scream or celebrate on top of their voices while driving, their bikes dance and sway, away and closer to each other, and although it seems they may they don’t collide, and they drive further slowly and loudly. They are beating air-pollution smog but are quite loud about it. Cops stop a few, but how many can they actually can? The new year has come to Ahmedabad, (and now more people know about it), with promises of greater expansion, wider roads, more motorcycles, higher dust, louder honking and introduction of Closed Circuit TV’s…

Welcome Happy New year.