I don’t describe any period like this, but 2017 was a big party. I didn’t dance in my whole life as much as I did in 2017, provided you qualify it as ‘dance’. Along with it, there were some crazy trips and memories with friends and family. It was also the year of experimenting with beard and moustache. 2017 year also started the wedding season which seems to be intensifying in 2018. I am expecting atleast a dozen marriages of friends and cousins in 2018. I will surely need few more suits!
From business point of view, in this year I graduated from an amateur to advance level learning the nuisance of entrepreneurship. I learnt (infact, still is learning) the art of being impatient for action and patient for results. With upcoming challenges and opportunities, stage is all set to reach the pro level in 2018.
2018 could be the life changing year of my life, both on personal and professional aspect. I can feel myself entering into a mature period of life, but I will have to keep the youth alive. Glad that I have all the ingredients in my friend list to keep the craziness factor high. Fitness is one aspect in which I really need to change my attitude- can’t take it for granted anymore.
If I could divide my life into different seasons, 2016 was the end of one season and 2017 the beginning of a new one. Year 2017 was the period of stablization. The endings of 2016 are left behind and several new beginnings were made in 2017, which hopefully will materialize well in 2018. 2017 has set the stage for an exciting 2018.
P.S.: Not that I wasn’t writing, but not for publishing purpose. I will be more regular in blogging in 2018. :-)
So, finally we got the answer of Indian cinema’s biggest suspense, Why Katappa Killed Bahubali. While, most of us loved the movie, Bahubali-2 for its sheer grandeur, for me the most impressive part of the movie was the friction shown between Amrendra Bahubali and Rajmata Sivgami. Remember that courtroom scene where Sivgami gave Bahubali the option to either choose the girl or the throne. It wasn’t a choice between love and power; it was more than that.
Bahubali had no greed for the throne, but he was very well aware that the whole nation wanted to see him as their King. He was also cognizant about the fact that he is the most apt person to be the King and work for the wellness of all. For the sake of nation, choosing the throne was the apt option. On the other side, was Devasena, the girl Bahubali loved. Bahubali wouldn’t have thought even once to sacrifice his love for the nation or for the orders of Rajmata Sivgami. However, it wasn’t about love, it was about the self respect of a woman. It was about standing for the right, no matter against whom he has to stand.
We have a similar example in our religion, where a king has to chose between the nation and righteousness and he chose the nation, sending his wife into exile. Yes, I am talking about Lord Ram. Bahubali, however, chose to stand for the right.
Then, there was this another courtroom scene in the movie, where a pregnant Devasena was shackled in chain. Again, Bahubali chose to stand for the justice and questioned the constitution of the empire. He didn’t care on being labelled anti-national, but he chose to stand for the justice.
Was he wrong in doing so? If not, then was Lord Ram wrong? Plus, don’t you think that it was Bahubali’s decision to not to choose nation first that ultimately led to the sufferings of all his people for 25 years. In order to save one woman, didn’t he put the lives and respect of thousands of women at stake, in the hands of Bhallaladeva?
And if Bahubali should have chosen the nation, would a person who can not stand on his words, can not stand for justice or a woman respect, had any moral standing to be the king? Can justice be overweight by anything else?
Few days ago, a friend on mine asked me, “Which is your happiest moment of life?” My answer was “2007 T20 World Cup win”.
Few days ago, a friend on mine asked me, “Which is your happiest moment of life?” My answer was “2007 T20 World Cup win”.
Back in 2003, I was only 12 and in India, it is a good enough age to understand all the nitty-gritties of cricket. After the disastrous start of campaign, it was an astonishing feat to even reach the finals. At the same time, it was very clear that India can’t move ahead further. Defeating the then Australian team was virtually not possible. I was in front of TV during the whole match, but couldn’t dare to watch the match beyond that 15 runs Zaheer Khan over. I could not see India being defeated, yet after every few minutes, I will change the channel to Set Max hoping for a miracle. It never happened. We lost, but it was that team lead by Saurav Ganguly who actually, for the first time. made us dream about the World Cup.
Four years had passed and it was time to fulfill the dream seen in 2003. The first round of world cup was clashing with the board exams. It wasn’t a big deal, because by the time, the Super 8s would have started, exams would have been over. It was our Science exam, but we were discussing the yesterday night’s India-Sri Lanka match. I was angry. I was heartbroken. I had never expected that the dream would end so early. Neither in my wildest thoughts I had imagined that I would actually be living the dreams in just few months time.
“Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of team India and that too directly in such a big tournament, the first ever World T20 World Cup and without any senior player- is BCCI even serious about T20? But nevertheless, it will be good exposure for new players to participate in this tournament.” This is what I and most of us thought. That guy, who had long hairs, who was crazy about bikes and who was just a hitter, was he even responsible enough to lead the side? For us, India was only a participant in that tournament. The ball was in the air. I was almost into tears praying, ‘God, please not a six, not a six!’ Next moment, I saw Sreesanth completing the catch.
I was jumping on the floors, dancing on the bed, screaming in balcony! I had no idea how to express my joy. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in his first tournament as captain had won India a World Cup. He accepts the trophy, hand it over to the team and moves aside, letting others enjoy the glory. He was unruffled by his enormous achievement. I was still jumping in front of my television set.
Was the real purpose of demonetization was to bring back the lost pride of Color Pink or was it to teach us to stand in a Queue. What were the real reasons to ban these Rs.500 and Rs. 1000 notes? Find out in this highly confidential post as we reveal the the hidden benefits of demonetization.
So you thought this demonetization scheme was only to curb black money and corruption? Then, you have no idea how this scheme is going to change India forever.
Please note that the information that I am going to provide in this blog is highly confidential. Read at your own risk.
Below are some of the hidden benefits and the real reasons for banning the old notes and replacing them with new ones.
1. Respect for Color Pink
Black had class, red resembled love, blue was the sky, grey had 50 shades and we all talked about going green. But what did pink represent? A section of society which are always dis-respected and considered second class citizens. Today, with the new Rs.2000 note, pink represents power. The biggest of the politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen want only this colour. Pink is the new status symbol. Mahatma Gandhi, the face of this revolution, had once said “Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him.” This one decision of the government has changed the fortune of this weakest of all colours. A master stroke, ain’t it?
2. A lesson to Stand in a Queue
The biggest hurdle that Mukesh Ambani faced during the launch of Jio SIM was that people were not ready to stand in a Queue to wait for their turn. And hence, this note ban decision was taken. Keep your hands on your heart and answer honestly- Before 8th November, did you ever thought that Indians could standi in a queue. 50 days have changed it all.
3. Fostering Creative Writing
No government in the past has given so much emphasize on creative writing than this one. In these last 50 days, everyday RBI officials had to use their creative skills to write a new circular. And what an amazing job they have done. No wonder Chetan Bhagat must be feeling threatened.
4. Promoting Cleanliness
We all know how serious this government is with their Swachh Bharat Mission. Despite spending crores, they were not getting the desired results. But this move, changed it all. All that was required was to put some notes in garbage. Within few hours, all the garbage across the country was cleaned up in anticipation of finding more notes. Similarly, few notes were thrown in river and people themselves jumped and cleaned all rivers.
5. Freedom of Speech
No matter how much we criticize this government on curbing freedom of speech, but this one decision has made even the most silent person in whole of India to speak up. Those who already used to speak, whether they are from Delhi or Bengal, are now speaking louder. Even the person who is made fun of across social media, is on daily basis speaking and even reciting poems. Still, you feel that this government is against freedom of speech?
6. Boon to Economy
False are all those claims that the economy has gone down. You take out the sales records of any jeweler, and you will realize what a boost this note ban decision has given to businesses. And you know, what’s the best part? All the purchasers are from the middle class, purchasing less than Rs. 1 lakh gold.
7. Promoting a Healthy India
Government and RBI could have easily kept the dimensions of new notes same as previous one and avoided recalibration of ATM machines. But they choose a sleek design, so that they could inspire whole of India to focus on their health and shed those extra kilos. Some fitness centers are planning to use the images of old and new notes, in their before and after photo.
8. Permanent Seat in UN’s Security Council
The biggest hurdle in India’s claim to a permanent Security Council seat is China. However, by taking such a huge step to benefit a digital company backed by a Chinese investor, despite a huge campaign to boycott China, India has put tremendous pressure on Chinese government. It can now be expected that China as a barter would have to favour India for a permanent seat in Security Council.
9. Making People Realize the Evils of Female Foeticide
Note Ban was a lesson for all those who killed their daughters in the foetus stage. After 8th November, they realized the value of that foetus. Had they not killed her, they could have easily converted another 2.5 lakhs into white by depositing in her account.
10. Keeping the Family Bond Tight
Diwali had already passed in October and new year was still two months away. Do you realize how quiet would all those family whatsapp groups had become, had it not been note ban. Throughout these 50 days, it was like a festival. From morning till late night, there were messages, jokes and rumors on these groups. Had it not been demonetization, people would have never realized that they have got such a huge family. Note ban, kept the family connected in this lean period of forwarded messages between Diwali and New Year.
I am 24. I am working in a corporate. The company is paying me decent amount. I am satisfied with my job profile. I get 2 offs every week and I am able to maintain work-life balance. Should I still be dis-satisfied and look for a start up?
I remember my school days, when IT boom had just started in India and all of a sudden young graduates were getting hefty packages. Suddenly, “job” became a new fad. The sons and daughter of rich businessmen were also opting for jobs to establish themselves as self made individuals. But by the time I grew up and settled with a job, there was a new term in market, “start up”.
Everyone was talking about start up. There were articles online, web series on it, seminars, groups and what not. All my friends were engaged or planning to start a start up. Few days ago, the same job which was giving me everything- money as well as satisfaction- all of a sudden became the biggest burden of my life. I started hating myself for wasting my time in this monotonous job. Now, all I knew was that I wanted to become an “entrepreneur” like a Birla or Tata. I had ideas- one, two, many- each one having one common theme, e-commerce. But, how I was going to proceed- I had no idea. All I knew was that I wanted to have a start up because jobs are for the losers. But are jobs really for losers, as envisaged to us?
Today, I am earning well enough to feed my tummy and my family. But they ask me about my creative appetite. According to them, if I am a civil engineer, its not buildings which is his passion. If I am a Chartered Accountant, its not auditing and consultancy which will providing me contentment. However, a start up in which I won’t be doing anything related to my educational qualification, will give me creative satisfaction. Is this your idea of following your passion?
Jobs give you more chances to apply, in real world, what you have learnt in those many year. Still if one is not contend, jobs give you time to devote to yourself. You can join a workshop on weekends, volunteer in a NGO, read books during commuting and can plan expeditions to your favourite places. In start ups, there are no concepts of working hours, weekends or vacations. Its 24X7 throughout the year. Even on a trip, you will be spending half of your time on phone. Still you call start up as the ‘only’ option?
In my current job, I am earning well enough to take care of my parents old age needs as well as ensuring my own future. I can take my wife for shopping twice a week. I can donate money for charity. But for them, this is not enough. They want me to be the Rahul Yadav or Sachin Bansal. But what if I want to be Indra Nooyi or Satya Nadella?
Here, I would like to make it clear that I am neither pro-job, nor pro-start up. However, I am against all those articles and that ideology which glorifies start up and paint a picture of jobs as if they are meant only for non-creative, boring and dumb people. There can be a guy who loves the corporate culture, and there can be another who may feel suffocated in the cubical. The choice of career can vary with persons.
Just because all your friends and office colleagues are looking for a start up, it doesn’t mean that you should also. Evaluate what you want. Is it only your unwillingness to work or incapability to cope with work pressure, that is driving you to start up? May be all you need is a job change, because with start up, work pressure and tensions are going to multiply several times. By no means, it’s an escape route or any short-cut to success.
Also, it’s perfectly OK to spend whole of your life in a job. Be proud of your work. If you are able to take care of yourself and your family, you are doing a more than decent job.
“Tu beer hai!“. Let yourself flow, but sometimes, its better to know if you are going inside a beer mug or a tea cup.
Please don’t go into ethics and morals!! These things are good only for books and lectures. In actuality they are very subjective and people mould them as per their needs. I want a practical reason of why should I celebrate if I get a daughter and not a son. Why I should not kill my daughter in the womb itself? What’s wrong in craving for a XY chromosome over XX?
The first and foremost argument I hear regarding this are the names like Sania Mirza, Indira Nooyi and Kalpana Chawla. But for every Sania, there are Dhonis and Virats who have got fame and money several folds higher than her. For one Indira Nooyi, we have, don’t know, how many male business tycoons and top managers. And talking about Kalpana Chawla, Rakesh Sharma had achieved the same fleet 15 years earlier than her! Not just India, this thing holds true worldwide. Take for example, out of Fortune 1000 companies, only 5.4% have women as CEOs. So, when it comes to success or achieving something big, women are far behind men, in ALL the fields! (Cooking? Its Sanjeev Kapoor!).
So if you want me not to kill my daughter, first provide a level playing field for men and women, and show me results that women are as capable as men.
Even if she is successful, we all know that after marriage, the girl will spend rest of her life somewhere else. I will bring her up, will spend money on her education, will teach her, will take care of all her needs, will protect her,and then, she will be taken away by someone else! But, in case of boys, whether they take care of me or not, but at least they will give me food and place to live.
So, if you want me not to kill my daughter, then first change this system of marriage where the girl has to leave her parents and not the guy!
Forget about success and marriage, the mere thought of raising a girl child terrifies me. How will I protect her? She will be eve-teased, guys will stare her, touch her inappropriately. She might be raped or attacked by acid. And then I will be blamed to have failed to teach my daughter Indian culture and way of dressing. She will be termed slut or prostitute for inviting rape. If I have a son, I can teach him how to respect women; but if I have a daughter, I can’t teach the whole society to respect her.
So, if you want me not to kill my daughter, then first teach the society on how to behave with women!
Not just the rape, but I will have to worry about her friend circle because no one is going to accept her if she loses her virginity. I will have to stalk her facebook profile and mobile phone. I will have make sure what kind of clothes is she wearing, where she is going. I may have to stop her from pursuing her dreams- a post graduation course or a job or marrying the guy of her choice. Its not that I won’t want my daughter to live her life, but I won’t like my daughter to face repercussion for going against the social order. I won’t like if a guy cheats on her or if she’s beaten by moral police in a pub. If I have a guy, I can at least sleep peacefully.
So, if you want me not to kill my daughter, first make this country worth living for women- not just security, but respect!
I can still hide the fact about her virginity, but there is this more gruesome issue- What if she had a dark complexion? The society is going to ridicule her and nobody is going to marry her. I may have to spend a hefty amount on this disease called dark-skinned. And then there are also chances that she may turn out to be obese. I can’t take such risks by having a girl child.
So, if you want me not to kill my daughter, first make this society understand that there is more to women than her looks and body!
Even if by any chance, the fair n lovely cream is able to do any kind of miracle, then that is only going to reduce the rate of dowry. I will still have to pay a hefty amount for marriage of my daughter. Even if take a hypothetical situation, where I won’t be asked to pay any dowry, I will still have to bear most of the marriage expenses and whenever there is going to be any festival, I will have to spend money on sending sweets and clothes to my daughter’s house. Why should I be on the giver side and not on receiver side?
So, if you want me not to kill my daughter, then first stop this dowry thing- IN ALL FORMS!
See, we all know that gain and risk go hand in hand. Wherever there is return, there will be some kind of risk. So is the case with X and Y chromosome. Where boys are a retirement plan, girls are only a liability! So, you got a boy, its your gain whereas a girl is a risk. And why should not I take steps to reduce my risk? Why shouldn’t I get it checked before and remove the risk? Because, even if I am going to let her live, the society is going to kill her- her dreams, freedom, desires, respect and dignity.
I am not a murderer and neither I am some sort of heartless or anti-social person. Its does not give me any pleasure killing my own daughter. I would love to love my daughter as much as my son. But I will have to be rational. And by any measure of practicality, I bet that you can’t convince me to have a daughter over a son. You change this equation- provide equal opportunity to women, respect them and do away with evils like dowry- and I will change myself. Till that time, I will continue with the murders.
“I will not kill my daughter, if the society will let her live!“
P.S.: I don’t care about sex ratio because my son in any case is not going to marry his sister!
Late night beach parties. Bikini clad Russians. Cheaper than water alcohol. Yes, I am talking about Goa. But no, its not about those crazy Goa stories which you would have heard and read several times. Its about a baba- The banyan tree baba and his peace garden. Its the same baba who has been referred in the song ‘Babaji ki booti‘ from movie ‘Go Goa Gone’.
One of our friend had told us about a baba situated near the Arambol beach. Not that we were any religious bunch, but what all we had heard about that baba was exciting enough to give him a try. We were told that we had to take some fruit for the baba and in returns he gives a magical booti as prasaad. We were also told that we can have a mud bath at baba’s ashram and umpteen foreigners visit baba’s peace garden.
So the five of us enquired about that baba on the beach and took the way towards him. We were shown a small hill, at some 500 metres distance, covered with thick green cover and told that baba stays on it. The hill was beside a sweet water lake. While some said its a 10-15mins walk to baba, others warned us that it may take an hour. Not the distance, our worry was time. It was already 6 and sun was touching the Arabian sea.
We were at the footsteps of hill and we could see the beach at some distance now. There was not any way visible which could take us to this mystic baba. It was starting to turn dark. As we were about to turn back, three foreigners came and took a way in the hills. Only then, did we realize that there actually was a trek to climb the hill, going through the forest, which may take us to the baba. It wasn’t a laid down trek. Less than a metre in width, it was rocky, muddy, slippery with sweet water lake on one side. And it was all dark. And we had no idea if baba will still be available. Not so apprehended, still we decided to take the road less taken.
The trek was taking us up. It was taking turns every few metres and we could not see anything ahead. Five minutes in the walk, there were just five of us. In the middle of a jungle, walking a path in total darkness, not knowing where it may take us and for how long do we need to continue our walk. One wrong step and it could be the end. Needless to mention, there were no mobile signal either.No practical reason could define why we were still going ahead. But we continued.
It could have well been a scene from a horror or suspense movie. We were all scared by now. Few foreigners crossed us as they were heading down. And trust me, none of them could help in settling our nerves. The way they were dressed up and their body language, it was only adding to the screenplay of this thriller.
15-20 minutes. We were still walking to meet that baba, with our mobile torches on. Some of us, now wanted to go back. But the others continued to walk. At one point we reached a juction, with two ways heading towards right amd left. There was a board indicating peace garden towards right. We turned and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, in the middle of a jungle, there was this man. With the built of a bouncer, that Russian guy scared off whatsoever the shit was left in us. We asked him the way to baba and he told us to take the other way. It was very much clear now that we were at a wrong place at the wrong time. But we continued to walk.
10-15 mins further. Another junction. But both right and left seems to be bringing us to a dead end. Then we realize, there was an arrow heading right towards peace garden. We could also hear some voices now. And that’s it, we knew that we were that close to our destination. Before we could move further, one of us backed off. Scared, he gave up and started walking back. Being so close and after so much of the efforts, we couldn’t have missed the chance to meet baba and neither could we allow our friend to go back on that dangerous path alone.
“Come back yaar!” “We have reached our destination.” “You can’t go like this” The remaining four of us were shouting. He had already made his mind. He was gone and we could only hear him refusing to come back. And you really can’t blame him for this, because we all knew that what we were doing was stupidity. But going back alone in pitch darkness was idiocy. And when I add that his cell phone was switch off and he had no torch light, his decision becomes insane. Not to forget that his panic button was on.
The four of us were looking at each other’s face. What to do now? After so much trouble, when our destination was right in front of our eyes, we couldn’t give up. So we shouted and asked him to wait as we were coming back. Meanwhile we decided to just go and rush through our meeting with babaji, expecting/ hoping that he would wait for us. There were some rocks over which we had to move and move carefully because had we lose our balance there, it could mean disaster as a small stream of water (that hill’s natural drainage system) was flowing beneath. Few steps towards left, a turn on the right and we were at our destination.
Have you seen in any of of the movie where a tantrik would be doing some kind of pooja in the middle of a jungle at night. It was something like that. There was fire in the middle and the baba was sitting across it. There was a guy lying on the left side and 2-3 others, probably his chelas. We took our floaters off and stood on the right side of fire. The baba was having a chat with his chelas. If I remember it correctly, he was dressed the way a baba is supposed to be i.e. in a saffron dress. But he was not your ordinary baba. He was speaking Punjabi and using all sorts of cuss words involving mothers and sisters.
We had no idea what to do now. We were just standing trying to figure out what were we doing there. Meanwhile, the baba offered us to have a seat. We politely refused. “Baba ko kabhi na nhi bolte! (No one dares to say no to baba)” came a voice amongst his chelas with an intimidating undertone. We sat on the mattress spread beside the fire. Obviously, we were hell scared. So much that, none of us had the courage to present to the baba the gift we had brought for him. Twice did the baba’s chelas prompted us to offer gift by asking babaji to accept gift from us. We were just sitting, looking at each other’s face with the question that should we move now. Meanwhile, in background, we could hear the voice of our friend, “Where are you guys?” “Are you guys coming back?” But we could not shout back at that moment. I don’t think so it was more than 5 minutes that we spent there. Without uttering any words, we made an exit.
Before we could analyse what was that, we had to find Saurabh. He was not at the place where we had left him. We kept walking and after every few seconds, were yelling his name, but in vain. “He is not a kid. He must have gone back”- was one set of thoughts, but it was such a dangerous path to walk alone at night without any light. We were obviously, very concerned.
Meanwhile, we reached the beach and tried calling him. His phone was obviously switched off. Where could he go? We kept trying him phone and finally, we could go through the call. He was at the parking lot safe. He then told us how he was standing alone petrified and was in tears when none of us was replying to his calls. It was at that time a foreign couple crossed him and helped him to reach the beach safely. At the end, we all were safe.
This crazy little adventure ended without any harm being done. Or probably, it wasn’t any kind of adventure, just the fear of our minds. In the midst of all lunatic things we did at Goa, this crazy experience will stand apart. But I will have to admit, it was by no means a wise thing to do. There could have been much better ways to celebrate Valentines Day (Yes, it was 14th Feb!) then visiting an unknown baba on top of a hill in the darkness of night.
Keeping all this aside, we then visited the Saturday night market, followed by the famous Curlies shack at Anjuna beach and enjoyed Goa the way it is more traditionally supposed to be enjoyed.