Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sharing more burden

Man, initially had to plough his land by himself, later there were bullocks. At places in Srilanka or Burma, even elephants are known to be used. Later Man invented tractors. Life seemed to be improving and headed for the best. But atleast in India, Man has had to now work along with the animals to earn his daily bread.

Shankar Dabe Rao, a cotton farmer in Maharshtra's Buldhana District has been forced to fill-in for one of his bullocks, which was washed away in the recent floods.
Nothing wrong in Man, working along side animals, which have worked for him all these years. But this Man is a farmer. A Farmer who works hard all day and provides food or clothing for us to eat and dress at home. His work has now doubled, because he has lost one of his animal friends.

"I am waiting for the government's rehabilitation package. My financial situation is so bad that I have even thought of committing suicide," said Shankar Dabe Rao, the cotton farmer.
Lal Bahadur Shastri, the late prime minister coined the Slogan "Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan!", so we thought they were taken care of. When BJP said "India Shining", we thought we were ready to become a superpower. The Congress party said "Congress Ki Haath, Aam Aadmi Ke Saath", but sadly it all comes down to this.

With over a 150 farmers having committed suicide in this region in the month after the Prime Minister's visit, the state government is working out a compensation package for poor farmers, but many like Shankar fear it may just be too little and too late.
Farmers are at the bottom rung in the ladder of occupation. They are the true people of the soil, who toil hard, to feed the entire nation, to provide for the entire nation. If we cannot elevate their status, grant them riches and more wealth and reforms, can`t we atleast lessen their burden.
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Info, pic Source : IBNLIVE : Article

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tagged with thoughts.


It is amazingly interesting at times, how tags make us ponder and look at ourselves with an investigative eye. There is this sudden urge, in us to be real interesting personalities. yet, when we finally sit down to write, the real us, the inner truth is revealed. Passerby55 , for example has always given me insights into myself after reading whatever I had written in my tags. Though always positive, the feedback has really helped. Thank you.!

Now I have one tag pending to complete, from Marutham, so thought, i`ll finish that as well, and check out whether i actually will find out something more about myself.

So here goes...

6 Questions...

1. Why does time move fast, when we want it to move slow ? slow, when we want it to move fast.?

2. We try to look at every day as a new dawn, a new period of great opportunities. Yet how is it that 7 separate days become just a week gone by, 4 weeks become just a month gone by and 12 months, a new year. A year with new wishes, resolutions and opportunities, and again day by day... Will our lives become just a lifetime gone by ?

3. We all have taken decisions in our lives and therefore we are travelling in a particular route. Will there come a day when i will retrace my steps, go back and take a new decision, changing the very direction my life had taken previously ?

4. Which is more important for an individual. Is it taking care of one`s family or career and a bigger role in the contribution to society in general ? Why is it that many great people did not have a normal family domestic life. Is it something more than a coincidence ?

5. Why is it that while being a child, I was worried about my homework and my low marks in the exams and then going to office and working seemed much more tolerable and easy. ? Why is it that now work at office drains my energy, although i just sit and type away. ? Why does the routine of a school child seem so easy and my thoughts as a child back then, so silly. ?

6. When, where and how will I, someday look back at my life and say.."That was not bad..!" ?


6 Human Beings...

Of course, this would have to include my parents, sister, friends, relatives, blog pals and so on...
So moving ahead, I wonder... who else..? So I write here in random order about 6 people who I have not even met, or who have not been there in my lifetime, but people who still influenced me greatly, who inspired me and have helped add dimensions to my thought process.


1. Swami Vivekananda, his life, his teachings, his work all have inspired millions around the globe. His Vedanta philosophy is the most modern facet of the Hindu way of life and he has been a symbol of grace, power and spirituality. In his search for liberation of the Indian youth, he travelled to the west and helped the world rediscover India in all it`s greatness.

The power of meditation and service to the needy are brilliant gems which he scattered all around the country. India today needs a man of such heights in spiritual thought and vision for the country.


2. Mother Theresa is in reality just one word "Mother". There needs no introduction at all. A lady who made the world cry, overpowered by love.

Her all encompassing spirit of sacrifice and service is perhaps the greatest inspiration for any NGO looking to do some real social work.





3. When we switch on the bulb, we think of Thomas Alva Edison, but here is a small tribute to the lady who made the dull boy discarded from school, work on with determination to become one of the most important scientists of all time.

His mother, Nancy Elliot Edison who coached Edison and taught him to brave against the world. Due to her persistence, today nights are no more dark.


4. Lance Armstrong is a great sportsman and the very epitome of sportsmanship as a quality. But above all that what really tugs at the heart is his grit and determination, helping him fight testicular cancer, which spread right upto his brain. His story of how he survived against all odds and went on to win the Tour De France again is a shining example of how one needs to fight back at life, when it puts you down.




5. William Wordsworth, is one person, which I know i am constantly speaking of, and that might be unforgivingly repetitive, but I must say this. As a child, when I read "The Daffodils", or "The Stolen Boat Ride", there was this sheer excitement in my mind, this great yearning to grab more and consume more. There was this great urge to look out at nature and love it more. Like I said in my earlier post, William Wordsworth shall always be my greatest inspiration atleast as far as poetry is concerned.



6. Mahatma Gandhi is a name which kept coming to my mind. I am not a big Gandhian. I dont really remind myself of Gandhi regularly. I have even had diverse opinions of him and his ideologies while reading about Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose or even Nathuram Godse. But the fact remains, that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, had made a journey, had struggled and conquered, had achieved a lot in finally being hailed as the "Mahatma". His message of peace and non-violence is what we really need today in today`s world, where countries wait like watchdogs, ready with their nuclear warheads, signing treaties left and right, yet there is an underlying restlessness, which can only be resolved through peace. Here, is a man, who we should be proud of.

There, that really did drain my energy. Whoever is interested and feel that you too have some important questions to be answered, some nice people about whom you need to talk, please take up this tag, so that we share more and discover each other.

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Footnote : Do your bit for Nirali. Please read more about this noble cause at Starry`s Blog here.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Books, books and more books.


First of all, I must thank Hip Grandma for this lovely tag. I have always had this great fascination for all books, to learn of the stories of fantasy, the thrill of crime, or mystery, the passion of romance and what not.

Now if you think I am studious, you cant be more wrong there, because it takes just one page of reading a book for the sake of studying that can take me to the deepest of slumbers. But reading for the sake of reading has always been a great pastime.

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There are lots of books that instantly come to my mind, but i`ve been given a tag here, so let me just confine myself to it.

One Book that changed your life.


I believe, my life hasn`t really changed much, since the time I started reading books. But of course we all do come across books from which we learn big lessons, lessons for our life, and so I too have learnt a number of lessons as a child which I believe has shaped my life, my thoughts and my ideas and ideals. That book for me is the Chandamama. Chandamama is not just one book, it is a monthly edition, which i brought home with care and joy, with all the excitement a child can gather, with great dreams of all the stories i would read. As fate would have it the stories were never mere stories, it was a real children`s magazine which had values as well as thought provoking figments of imagination which often taught me to look at life in a different manner. The stories of Vikram and Betal, the simple stories of a tailor, physician or saint. They never failed to inspire, they never failed to teach.

One book that you have read more than once.


Now there are a plenty of books, which I have read more than once. At times due to the mere interest, at times to try and make more meaning out of it. But there remains this one saga of a book, which keeps getting back at me somehow. The brilliant stories, a princess tells every night to her husband and king, so that she may save her own life. Each story having characters, who tell another character another new story until you are totally lost in a world of fantasy and genies. If, today I do not have any reason or desire to go to Arabia, it is because i have this been-there-seen-it-all feeling in me. I have conquered Arabia in reading 1001 Arabian Nights.

One book you would want on a desert island.

On a desert island, apart from good food, a nice thatched hut, a good amount of firewood, clothes and shoes, I would want a truck load of books. Books which can actually make me feel that i am not alone, books that make me forget the solitude. But apart from that I would also like to read a big book in Malayalam, which I have been trying to sit down and complete, but have not really been able to do, so far. I would love to have there Aithhyamala a great treasury of stories and legends from Kerala, written by Kottarathil Sankunni, a great scholar and poet. I would say, what the previous book did for Arabia is done by this book for the small state of Kerala.

One book that made you laugh.

There are a number of books, both joke books as well as normal books and novels which have had the ability to bring up a smile on my lips, some books which tickled my nerves of mirth so much that I had to burst out laughing. But in bringing across that subtle humour about life, and which talked about the suffering of people in his own way with a satirical outlook, I respect Munshi Premchand for his books. They have never failed to make us laugh and at the same time think as well. The Hindi Language owes a lot to Premchand.

I must also mention here The Rainmaker, by John Grisham, another one of my favourite authors. It never fails to evoke laughter in me.

One book that made you cry.

This credit goes to two of the greatest books i have read. Books which introduced to me some of the greatest life-inspired characters, who I devoutly followed. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens is one of them. The struggle, a young boy faces in his life cannot be picturised more splendidly. When young oliver asks for more porridge, I myself felt the hunger and angst. I had no shame in crying when i read the book.
The other, is "Mayor of Casterbridge", by Thomas Hardy which is definitely not one of his greater works. This book was in our curriculum at school. I never really appreciated it then, but as a young man, when I read it later. I could actually sympathize with the flawed lead character, with so much more of passion. I could not fight back a tear or two. I guess these books need no introduction. Not to forget King Lear by the great William Shakespeare.

One book you wish had been written.

An autobiography by William Wordsworth. If i have even lazily strolled, on the beach looking at the ocean of poetry, it is because of this great man, whose love for nature and it`s beauty inspired millions. I would have loved to read a verion of his life written by himself, so that I could have witnessed poetic outbursts in every sphere of his life. Perhaps I yearn for too much. But a wish is a wish. There, i rest my case.

One book you wish had never been written.

I have not come across any such book which I felt should not have been written, or perhaps my idea of a good book, never allowed me to come across one. And above that, any author puts in a lot of hard work and struggle and energy to write a book. Who am i, to judge, after all, I am just a reader.

One book you are currently reading.

I just finished reading a mammoth "Autobiography of an unknown Indian", by Nirad Chaudhuri and am taking rest before I jump onto another journey, in another book. A book is after all not just a routine or a pastime alone. It is an experience. It is a mental exercise, without rest, something which you may not relish.

One book you have been meaning to read.

Now that, is a list. A wishlist. I would like to read Shantaram, by Gregory Roberts. I would like to read more books by the great Rabindranath Tagore. I would love to read "To Kill a mocking bird", by Harper Lee, as you recommended Hip Grandma, and also many more as I come across.

Thanks for tagging me. I tag... I tag all the book lovers among you blog pals... Do take up this tag if we share love for books.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Symphony at Dawn


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Across skies, the sun starts to limn
Waking up to a morning hymn
Roosters’ crow and sparrows tweet
In deep slumber, an alarm sweet

Strumming upon the leafy ground
Sweepers crafting a hip sound
Coffee poured and buckets filled
Streams gurgling, dreams fulfilled.

In the kitchen, vessels clang and fall
At a crescendo, milkman starts to call
Telephones ring, radio springs alive
Joggers pant, in harmony all dive.

As the band plays, starts all festivity
From stillness of night, a sudden levity
To awaken me, do thy make all the fuss
In pure merriment, I wake up thus

Fill my ears again, before I yawn
Haunt with visuals of a glorious Eon
From morning dew, a lesson reborn
Learn and listen to symphony at dawn

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Unfit to Learn ?

Education is not a luxury. It is a necessity. When people have the drive, even when they are physically challenged, then why does the system alone disadvantage them so.

The college authorities require the student to have not more than 70% disability level ( I dont know how they come up with these figures). She was certified to be 65% disable in one report and 87% in another later. How can the figures change so much ?

Why cant they tweak things a bit to accomodate
this girl.

A three-member board set up by the college to re-examine Sushmita's
disability claims that she suffers from severe post-polio palsy and has
virtually no muscle power in her legs. "She suffers from severe motor disability
the grade is 87 per cent and she can not take the strain of study and also
future work. She should have been advised to pursues a sedentary job," said Dr
Ramesh Nanda, CDMO in Sambalpur.


Is it just that they are worried about the girl bearing the strain, or is it their own stress and strain in teaching this girl that they are talking about.


Without giving up Sushmita took the entrance exam again this year only to
have her hopes dashed again. "These conflicting reports have marred my career.
Such irresponsibility has killed my desire to go ahead in life," Sushmita said.

She says her desire to go ahead in life has been killed, but the harsh truth is that our own dreams of a great developed nation takes a beating here.

"I have even lost the zeal to live. I have said all this in my mail to the
[Indian] President. I strongly believe he will come to my rescue," she
added.


We hope so too, that he comes to her rescue. But this is just one case. Going ahead how many such lives can the president alone come and rescue.

There is a role society can play in working with NGO`s to overcome such situations and provide such children a meaning to their lives. Perhaps the society can work on creating a special institution in itself for these physically challenged but intellectually great sons and daughters of the soil. Does anyone know of such efforts ? If so, a proper step would be to spread some awareness.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A late claim to fame


It has been a long time, since I have been able to collect my thoughts on a particular facet of life, of experience and pour out my admiration or vent my frustration in the form of a post. This has to do more with the amount of work that has suddenly increased, work, I am actually paid for doing. Now, that was a joke and lies on the lighter side of things.

But I have to thank my namesake,
sreejith, for providing some holistic relief here. While chatting, I actually asked him a question, a question which I have been tossing about in my mind, for quite some time.

“What if I die suddenly..? How will I let all you friends in the blog world know..”

Now obviously there are many people out there who would feel irritated or rather agitated at the pessimism in my words. To all of you. It`s just a thought. I want to live forever. I love life. Life is my soul`s constant companion. Now, before I digress.

Sreejith told me about this one person called Amresh Sawant, who had a profile on
orkut. About how he had no one, or rather very few people visiting his profile, but how there came the news that he had passed away in the Mumbai Blasts, and people, both known and unknown, near and far away have been visiting his profile ever since. May his soul rest in peace. But Meanwhile,

Friends, please greet an irony called Life.!

There are many instances, where I myself have noticed that people are valued more after there is this realization that they are no more.. They are sought after, they are suddenly worshipped and loved all the more. A number of times, the respect and admiration gets rather mutiplied, without proportion.

Again, yet the basic irony is that these same people ( I shall include myself here, after all I must be honest ) would not wish death upon themselves or their immediate loved ones. In Mahabharatha, there is an anecdote, where an Yaksha asks Yudhistra, what the most surprising thing in the world is..? He replies, that it is that though Man is a witness to death around him every single day, he still yearns to live forever. He is in search of an utopia where there is no death.

Let us take a simple fact in our lives, to which we have all been a witness. Thespian actor Rajkumar was kidnapped by Veerappan and his fans all over India mourned. They waited patiently for his release and wished death for Veerappan. Later he was released.

When Rajkumar, later passed away due to natural reasons, there were strikes and acts of arson in the city of Bangalore. I wonder, if these people who rioted after his death, had rioted when he was abducted, with the same kind of passion, would it have been enough to exert enough pressure on the government to nab veerappan then and there.


I can only again blame myself.. After all I am writing this again after Veerappan himself is no more.