Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Capabilities of the Congress Govt!!!

Congress Govt fumbling all the time :

Interestingly, when the British left the Indian shores in 1947 & India became free, the first Prime Minister from Congress, opposed the possibility of a Muslim PM, leading to partition......leading to Pakistan (a country which has now become a breeding ground of Terror). A cunning British, quick to nab the opportunity, divided India into India & Pakistan. A Pakistan, that had one portion of land out of the Western borders, & one portion, on the eastern borders (then called the East Pakistan, now Bangladesh). A clear opportunity for infiltrators to come in from both sides & bleed the very sovereign of our Country. Today, even in Bangladesh, hardly anyone acknowledges the contribution of India towards making them a free country.
Incidentally, not a single soldier from the INA(Indian National Army, formed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose), was absorbed in the Armed Forces post Independence. INA, under the influence of Netaji, had people from all religions & yet were so committed to the cause of the country, that religious beliefs strengthened their resolve & not fragment it. Wish those brave soldiers had marshalled our armed forces from then on.......but then wishes only will not do for us now...... Today, with the General Elections round the corner, we need to take a clinical view & decide whom to Vote....whom to Vote to power......

Since independence, the Congress Govt has been in power for more than 50 years....... 50 years + of leadership that has given the country very little reasons to cheer. While the rural population continues to crave & dream for basic amenities like water, shelter & electricity, the urban parts are reeling under serious threats of security, & communal harmony. In the name of secularism, the Congress continues to fan the minorties, just to secure vote banks. Its not that the minorities are improving in life or contributing to the growth of the country....on the contrary, they just continue to scavenge, continue to grow in size, continue to eat into the ecomony & create more chaos than cosmos. It is like the spoilt child who takes this pampering as birthright & greedily laps up all that comes by, without being productive or progressive towards the country. Its like nurturing a frankestein, that is now threatening to go out of control.

What has the Congress given to the country????
Emergency declared in 1975, atrocities of which are heard of even now. In the name of Nas Bandhi & Nal Bandhi, countless Hindus, especially in the rural interiors were forced into making their families shorter or ending the family tree, while Muslims, were allowed to grow in numbers indiscriminately, with the excuse of protecting them with a separate ruling??????

The 1984 Sikh riots, which led to the rivers of Punjab flow with blood rather than water.......the culprits of the riots, Jagdish Tytler & Sajjan Kumar, continue to enjoy freedom till date & also get a clean chit from CBI....after more than 25 years....its only after a shoe is thrown at the Home Minister after the CBI report, the Congress hastily remove Tytler & Sajjan Kumar from poll race!!!!....once again vote bank measures!!!!!!

I am sure almost everyone would believe that education & Govt policies on education shapes the basic fabric of the society, lays the foundation of a strong society. So lets take a look at the education policies of the Congress Govt.
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan is the largest school with branches all over the country(I have myself studied in KV -1, Faridabad). We used to feel proud of our emblem, "Shining Sun over a Lotus", with a Sanskrit Shloka..."Asat o Ma Satgamaya; Tamas o Ma Jyotirgamaya; Mirtyor Ma Amritam Gamaya" - meaning...." Let us travel from Untruth to Truth, from Darkness to Light(enlightenment), from from Death to Immortality". It was an universal prayer uttered with pride by every student.....the future of India. On 26th June'2008, the Board of KVS sat for their 79th meeting, & in the name of 'broader reflection of National ethos', removed the Lotus from the emblem for a cresent & cross!!!! For years Lotus has been our National Flower.....a resemblence of purity, stability & heritage. A sign that gets wiped away from the emblem of our largest network of schools!!!! The new emblem now shows a book with blank pages!!! While the Union HRD Minister Mr Arjun Singh & his deputy Sri Md Ali Asraf Fatmi, Minister of State HRD, also the Chairman & Deputy Chairman of KVS were conspicuous with their absence at this meeting, the minutes of the meeting mentioned of their approval in advance.
Is all this done because the opposition has Lotus as their election symbol????? If that is so, then how can the Congress enjoy the benefits of the tri colour as their election symbol????? Is this what we call as democracy or secularism??????

Today, when the Madrassaa are even getting closed in Pakistan, in our country, the Congress Govt is giving them equal status of CBSE. Does anyone need to be told of what is being taught in Madrassas ???......where terrorism & extremism is being fanned & nurtured.
For the minority students, the scholarships are as follows:
Rs 300/month for school students
Rs 3000/year for graduation
Rs 4000/year for Post Graduation
Rs 5000/year for Prof Course
Rs 10000/year for hostel fee
No minus marking for Minority Students sitting for Med/ Engg entrance exams.
Dropping standards of premier institutes like IIMs & IITs.....read more about in on http://bawandinesh.name (these are expressions of top grade students of IITs, who are aghast at such academic atrocities by the Congress Govt).

In contrast SC/ST students of Hindu Communities get only Rs 300/ year for any level of studies. Is this what we call as being Secular or uniform?????......

Take a look at some basic records of Congress, while your heart spiks a beat :
1. Inflation 13% highest in History of Independent India (before global recession since Oct 2007)
2. Cost of essential commodities 200-300% rise (since Aug 2007)
3. Petrol 54 Rs/PL(present 44/-)(global price down from $157 to $38)
4. Rich becoming richer, middle class becoming poorer, poor are starving
5. Terrorist attacks across almost all Indian states (earlier only J&K, Delhi, NE, Mahrashtra)
6. Defreezing Quattrochhi of Bofors accounts
7. Bailing out Afzal Guru even after SC verdict.....only for muslim votes
8. Oil tokens for Congress through Natwar Singh
9. Making New Delhi a crime capital
10. Filing affidavit that Lord Ram didn't exist, & Ram Setu is a myth.
11. Combating Terrorism--Fail.
12. Managing Economy--Fail.
13. Improving Infrastructure--Fail.
14. Reducing Corruption--Fail.
15. Communal Harmony--Fail.

Is this the Govt we want again???? Is this the Govt we can trust our lives & security with????
All of these are serious questions, which each one of us need to ask??......
Let us all join together in shaping the future of our Country...... Let us vote......without fail....without putting up an excuse....without holding ourselves back......without any reservation...

Let us vote for a Strong & Purposeful India......

Jai Hind ......

UPA Govt....Achievements!!!

Dear fellow-Indians,
The congress-led UPA government is spending crores of our hard-earned tax-payers money in newspapers advertisements making claims of their achievements.

However, these seem to be their real achievements:
A: Afzal Guru not hanged by Congress Government despite Supreme Court order..
B: Bomb blasts happen in hundreds, in 5 years of Congress misrule.
C: Cost of living and food prices rise, making life difficult for Aam Aadmi..
D: Dr Manmohan Singh, our Prime Minister says Muslims have first right to India’s resources.
E: Economy and Business suffer like never before.
F: Farmer suicides continue. Where did our money for ‘farmers loan waiver’go???
G: Gujarat police has to provide evidence to enable SIMI ban to continue.
H: Home Minister Shivraj Patil forced out only after 4.5 years of sleep and 26/11.
I: India bullied by China, but NO diplomatic response by the Government.
J: Jihadis offered pension in Kashmir by the Congress Government.
K: Karunanidhi and Congress insult Lord Ram and call Ram-Setu a fake.
L: LeT becomes a household name, before Congress forced to re-do POTA.
M: Media makes Hindu bashing a fashion.
N: Naxalism active in 165 districts of India.
O: Orissa conversions/maoism cause Hindu saint’s death.
P: Padmashri awards not given to Olympic winners.
Q: Quattarochi is helped to escape. Jai Mata Rome (Does Sonia Gandhi have a role here??).
R: Report by Sachar Committee advocates more minority appeasement.
S: SP’s Amar Singh calls Batla house encounter a fake.
T: Torture of Sadhvi Pragnya sanctioned by Congress Government, & yet no conclusion.
U: UK rule over India was good for India, says PM Dr Manmohan Singh(what Patriotism!!!)
V: Vande Mataram NOT SUNG by PM and Sonia Gandhi. National shame.
W: Wheat imported by Sharad Pawar not fit even for cattle.
X: (e)Xtremism bleeds our country. Soft approach on terror hurts us.
Y: YS Rajsekher Reddy sanctions subsidy for Christians to visit Jerusalem.
Z: Zero development in fields like electricity generation, highways, etc.

TIME TO WAKE UP....... PLEASE VOTE & VOTE SENSIBLY.....our Country needs it.......
Jai Hind

UPA Govt....Secular or something Else???

Time to take hard stock of the UPA Govt!!!!

A) Is this Government really capable of protecting us??......let us evaluate :
11th July 2006: Mumbai Train Blasts. 209 Killed
25th August 2007: Hyderbad Blasts: 42 Killed
11th October 2007: Ajmer Blasts : 2 Killed
13th May 2008: Jaipur Blasts : 68 Killed
16th July 2008: Ahmedabad Blasts : 57 Killed
25th July 2008: Banglaore Blasts: 1 Killed
13th September 2008: Delhi Blasts: 26 Killed
27th September2008: Delhi Blasts: 2 Killed
29th September 2008 : Gujrat Blasts : 1 Killed
21st October 2008: Imphal Blasts : 17 Killed
30th October 2008: Assam Blasts : 40 Killed
26th November 2008: Mumbai Attack: 180 Killed

Every major city in India has been attacked consistently over the last two years.Since 2004, 3850 Indians have died in Terror attacks in over 3000 incidents. Is the common Indian on the streets really safe ?

Did you know that on the day of the Mumbai train blasts, the Government gave Rs 150 crores for earthquake relief in Pakistan ? Last year our Govt. has given Rs 3000 crores (600 Million Dollars) to Afghanistan? This, when victims of terror in India have not yet got aid? What's going on ??? Who is the Govt trying to appease??

B) Is this Government really secular ????
1) When Madrasas are being shut down in Pakistan, the Indian Government is giving them CBSE status !! It is depriving Muslim children in getting secular education. A Madrasa educated person can get a job in any government office without going through the secular education system. Why cannot the government shut down Madrassas and let Muslim children study with the rest? Is this being Secular or something else???
2) Our Government has given 25 lakh scholarships ONLY to minority students. What sin have the majority done not to deserve these? Why cannot poor students of all communities be given scholarships instead of only Muslim children?
3) Thanks to the Congress led Government, out of 36000 temples in Andhra Pradesh, 28000 have closed down in the last five years. Do you want the same trend to continue in other parts of the country? Do you want a Nagaland type of situation in the whole of India? While government controls most of the Hindu temples, the minority community has had full freedom to organize their religious bodies. The minority communities now have the first right over resources. Is this not a blatant violation of fundamental rights of the majority community?
4) Why have the minorities in Nagaland, Mizoram & Kashmir not got the similar privileges like the minorities in other states? Why is the Govt following different rules for different religions?

C) Is this government really making friends or enemies for India ?
Thanks to a weak and visionless foreign policy, India has created enemies all around. By the Home Minister’s own admission : "India is surrounded by a circle of fire". Rajiv Gandhi's vision of a powerful "SAARC" is now defunct.
1) Today, India commands little respect from all its neighbours, despite being the largest democracy in the world.
2) Terrorism has engulfed the country from inside and outside. Of course Pakistan,the motherland of international terrorism continues to be a big threat.
3) China has territorial ambitions on India.
4) Nepal, is now being headed by a Maoist government and is ideologically more aligned to China. While India helped to dismantle the dynastic rule in Nepal our own Government surreptitiously supports dynastic rule within its own party.
5) Myanmar is increasingly aligning with Chinese forces with huge Chinese investments in that region.
6) Indian Policies in Srilanka have made Tamil Nadu burn. Will Tamils ever forgive India for encouraging military assault rather than facilitating peaceful dialogue on their north and north east regions.
7) Bangladesh continues to repeatedly aid and abet terrorism.

D) Is this Government really pro-poor???
The number of people living below the poverty line has increased by a horrifying 20 per cent. India had some 270 million people below the poverty line in 2004-2005, when the present Government took office. That number has gone up by 55 million, or 20 per cent!

E) Does this Government really care about the nation???
The Pakistani flag is now being hoisted in five districts of states like Assam where the Muslim population has gone up significantly. 92000 Hindu and 6000 Christians are now languishing in refugee camps. The government has turned a blind eye to this. In the name of security, innocent people have been put in jails, whereas people like Yaasin Malik who has 23 murder charges on him, are moving Scot free and gathering their own strength. Is it acceptable to any patriotic Indian? Can the Congress led UPA even think of a non-muslim CM in J&K ? Reservation for a Hindu student in Nagaland ? If so, we wholeheartedly support them. Otherwise they should sit at home the next few years and rethink their policies. Can our politicians stop stooping down to any lengths just for money and power ??

Don’t be deceived. What appears to be communal is not communal, and what appears to be secular is not secular. It is time we change our thinking. As citizens of India we must vote for change.

Jai Hind........

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Basic Manifesto !!!

1. Drink plenty of water.....at least 4 litres a day.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. In other words one big
meal, one medium meal & one small meal (preferably in the night).
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees & plants and eat less food that is manufactured in
plants. ( have as much of natural food as possible)
4. Live Life with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Take time out to practice meditation & yoga, and say your prayers.
6. Play more games. It enlivens your spirits & keeps you fit as as well.
7. Read more books than you did in 2008.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. It helps you regroup your thoughts.
9. Body needs rest. Sleep for at least 6 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It improves the face value
of you, your surroundings & the world in general.

1. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
2. Discipline your mind to avoid/overlook negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
Instead invest your energy in the present moment. Its mostly gives positive results.
3. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip. It only drains your mind & spirits.
6. Dream more while you are awake. It helps build your objectives & goals.
7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. Be grateful for all that life has given
8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. It will
ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Spread Love instead. It makes you feel nice.
10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. Dont give this charge to anyone else.
12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the
curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a
13. Smile more & more.... Its the easiest thing to do. It is infectious yet good.
14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. Allow others to smile as well.

1. Call your family often. They look forward to your call.
2. Each day do something good for others. Do this without any expectation in return.
3. Forgive everyone for everything. Its not worth bearing a grudge.
4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 10 whenever you can.
5. Try to make at least three people smile each day. Its a good challenge to take.
6. What other people think of you is none of your business. Do not be affected by other's opinion.
7. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.
8. Love your Country, your Motherland. Be prepared to do anything for her, anytime.
9. Religion is supposed to bind us & not fragment. Honour every other religion.
10. Exercise your right to Vote...always....use it Constructively & not Destructively. Your Vote
can be decisive in making or breaking the Governance. Exercise your Choice....

1. Stay in the present moment. It helps you do the right thing.
2. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
3. GOD heals everything & everyone. Be grateful for His Love.
4. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
5. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. Life is a stage where you have to
perform. Give your best shot....always.
6. The best is yet to come. Keep the Hope alive. It keeps you going through thick & thin.
7. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
8. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy. Its your Nature to be happy.
9. Breathe deep.....it increases your 'Prana'.....the subtle life force energy.
10. Finally, remember, everyone one of us gets 24 hours in a day. No more, no less. Make the
best of it......& with a Smile.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Graduate......once again !!!!

Back home late from work yesterday night, I just decided to flip through the channels of TV & managed to watch a movie……could not get the title as I connected slightly late. The movie was intriguing enough to hold my attention, as the story line was just bizarre.
Set in the American backdrop of late 90’s, it was about a girl, Sarah (Jennifer Aniston), a reporter by profession who is engaged to this handsome young man. Both so much in love that they cannot stay apart & are travelling together to attend the marriage of her younger daughter. It looked a simple romantic movie till now, with touches of cheeky comedy. But it turned turtle after that into a most unbelievable plot. A quirky connection to a blockbuster movie of yesteryears, ‘The Graduate’, (Dustin Hoffman’s debut as the central role), just got the ball rolling. 'The Graduate' was a major hit, where Dustin Hoffman, fresh out of college, gets involved with an elderly lady, Anne Bancroft(Mrs Robinson) & lands up in bed with her. However, later he realizes that his love lies with another girl (Anne Bancroft’s step daughter), & he manages to run away with her after some comical twists to the tale. Simon &Garfunkel had given some immortal music score in the movie, one of them being ‘Mrs Robinson’.
Pulling ahead from ‘The Graduate’, in this movie, Sarah meets her grandmother(supposedly Mrs Robinson’s character) & gets to know that her mother had gone off with another man a month before her marriage. A man with whom her grandmother had an affair which led them to having sex. With her mind working up many disturbing questions, Sarah decides to go looking for this mysterious man,(thinking he might be her real father) who turns out to be an extremely rich vagabond (played by Kevin Costner). Sarah gets charmed by Mr Charming Vagabond & ends up in bed with him, not knowing where she is headed to. She has ended up in bed with a man who had earlier slept with her mother & her grandmother…whew!!!...some storyline!!!!.....very confusing........complicated & utterly unbelievable.
Sarah’s loyal boyfriend, is completely outraged & cannot accept such betrayal, & decides to end the relationship (what else can you expect). He interestingly still gives Sarah one last chance to forgive & forget, by marrying him immediately, but she is too confused to respond…..quite understandable, given the series of events that she has gone through. However, Sarah comes back to him after some more emotional melodrama at her home, understanding finally where her real love is, & he too accepts her back & the movie ends in a happy note with their marriage!!!! Jennifer Aniston was superb in the twists of emotions, as an actor, & so was her flummoxed boyfriend(cannot place who the actor was).

It took me time to digest the bizarre storyline movie & I kept thinking till quite late. My mind immediately went back to the popular English tele serials of the early 90’s like ‘Santa Barbara’ where characters had multiple layers of emotions & intricacies,……characters getting in & out of relations, just like we change clothes, with a series of justifications, however inexplicable it may seem. Those days too, I was at my wits end to understand how such things could happen, & would always end up blaming the script writer for the storyline. However, we have seen traces of same twists & turns in our own “Saas bhi kabhi Bahu thi’, with people, especially women glued to the TV, lapping up the morbid saga of ‘Emotional Atyachar’.
Is this where culture & morals are heading to??? Is this what we are adapting & emoting from West???? Indian culture is witnessing the darker effects of the Wild West. The basic fabric of our society is pushing towards bankruptcy, in terms of relations. Marriages are becoming farcical & relations are getting strained by the day. Are we going back in time zones to jungle days, where what mattered was pure survival, without a trace of worry for others. Life today seems too fast paced with materialistic needs overtaking the moral values.
Time to think & introspect. Time to get back to our roots.

Final Frontier....Kiwi Land tamed !!!!

Dhoni & his youngistan band of marauding cricketers are scripting history. They have encountered & overcome the final frontier….the Kiwi land. After a brief stutter on the opening games of T20, the Indian Men in Blue, donning a new, darker shade, have blown the New Zealanders into smithereens.
Considered to be extremely tough due to bouncy & seaming pitches, accompanied with windy conditions, New Zealand has been invincible to most of the countries over the years, & India had never won a ODI series here. The last test series victory about 40 years ago. But Dhoni & his men are on a song right now. Nothing seems to be beyond their reach, as they continue their winning streak. The batting has been blazing at the top with enough protection in the middle, & no target seems out of reach. Sachin, Sehwag, & Gambhir,have been giving exceptional starts & then Raina, Yuvraj, Dhoni, & Yusuf Pathan have been carrying on the run onslaught. Sehwag in particular seems to be in the best form of his career. Having given the license to fire at will, he seems to be taking batting to completely unbelievable heights. No wonder he has now become the fastest centurion in India for ODIs & I wont be surprised, if he breaks his own record again….soon. Not for nothing is Sachin quoting that this has been the best batting lineup he has played with in his career. He himself has been in superb touch & seems certain to carry on till the next World Cup. The bowling looks to be in safe hands of Zaheer, Ishant & Pravin for pace & Bhajji for spin, with cover up from Yuvi, Veeru & Yusuf. The team looks hungry for more & more success, & Dhoni has been able to build a wonderful camaraderie amongst all. A special mention needs to be made for coach Gary Kirsten, who has done wonders to the team, being focussed at his role. Unlike the Chappel days, when players seemed to be wrapped in fear & inconsistent performance, the team today looks clean & tight knit.
Having won the ODI 3-1, Indians need to keep the same momentum & intensity going into the test matches ahead. With Dravid & Laksman joining the team, it certainly is a strong batting line. However, the Kiwis would be taking heart from the win in the last ODI & would attempt to keep the pitches seaming, to suit their game. Its going to be an intruiging series.
Way to go India.........keep it up.

Meanwhile, the Aussies have managed to pull back at the Proteas in the test matches & are back at No 1 position. While most of us expected the South Africans to canter home against a new look Aussie team, somewhere, I believe, the overconfidence played its devil part & the SA team were nowhere near their world beating form. Two test matches lost on the trot & captain Greame Smith out with an injury, its again going to be a long haul for them. They have always been touted as the proverbial chokers, and they seem to lose the plot only when they are just about to close it. Wake up guys, you need to show more consistency to stay at the top. Full marks to Ricky Ponting & his new look team to regain the top spot…..so soon.

I reckon, its going to be a three way fight between Australia, South Africa & India for the top slot both in the test matches & the ODIs. C’mon Men in Blue…..its for you to conquer & reign…..
Chak de or Jai ho…… it’s the Indian tricolor that all of us are drooling to see & sing & dance…….

Monday, March 9, 2009

Under the Hammer......Hey Ram !!!

Over the last few days Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has been in news….and for all the wrong reasons……reasons, he had always wanted to stay away from……his bare essentials of daily use being auctioned for money!!!!!
His memorabilia….. a collection of his rimmed specs, chappals, pocket watch, plate & bowl, in which he ate; …….all getting under the hammer of an auction on 5th March’09, by an arts collector, James Otis. The prize fetching, a whopping 1.80 million USD, clinched by Tony Bedi on behalf of Vijay Mallya, the liquor baron. Vijay Mallya, is known for visiting such auctions & collecting famous memorabilia (he had earlier picked up the sword of Tipu Sultan at an auction in London)…Regular news this…..so why such media glare & attention????

For Gandhiji money & material gains were never a priority. Throughout his life, he continued on his mission, in the minimum possible clothes & belongings and gifted away items to people from time to time who he thought were deserving......not for money, but for love...for appreciation!!!!Ironically, 60 years after he left us, his belongings are fetching money, as they change hands across the world. Ironically again, it is saved by a liquor baron, who sells a product, Gandhi ji was always against. Gandhi ji’s famous words, “Alcohol is not the answer to life’s questions”, to which Mr Mallya had quoted, "At least it helps you forget the question”.

Anyways, the worry for me is not the memorabilia or the auction….cause that will continue to happen in this world in some form or the other. What bothers me is the sleazy & cheap response of the Central Govt of our country…..
Comments of a few eminent leaders of the UPA led Govt, on this event given below :
1) “Every possible effort will be made to bring back the articles which are a part of the national heritage.”, Anand Sharma, Minister of State for External Affairs.
2) "Government is making all efforts possible to ensure that the belongings are restored to their rightful owner, the Navjivan Trust, to whom the Father of the Nation had willed his movable and immovable personal belongings," Vishnu Prakash, spokesman, External Affairs Ministry.
3) Tourism Minister Ambika Soni goes the distance. She says, "Prime Minister has directed me to do whatever possible. I have the prime minister's instructions that we would not like to have these items be auctioned from one party to another, the bottomline is to procure the memorabilia. We will offer whatever it takes to make sure these things come back to Gandhi's motherland. We will enter the auction if required as a last resort to bring back the items to the country. Soni also said the glasses and other items "were tokens given to individuals in recognition of their Gandhian values." Their sale meant commercialization of his belongings and a repudiation of what he stood for. We will offer whatever it takes to make sure these things come back to Gandhi's motherland."

What we all witnessed ahead was macabre.
Tall claims by the Govt, without any serious steps to stop the auction or secure the memorabilia. From claims to stop the auction at any cost, to injunction from High Court (I don’t know what impact or controls this has on anyone outside the country???), to offering whatever it takes to bring these items back to the country, to returning the items to the rightful owner, The Navjivan Trust….we heard it all.
‘Empty vessels make more sound’……as usual.

But this was not the end of the ordeal.

Minutes after Vijay Mallya had secured the items thru auction, Ambika Soni was already in front of the camera, “The Indian Government procured the five personal articles of Mahatma Gandhi at a New York auction through the services of industrialist Vijay Mallya as it could not bid directly because of a stay order of the Delhi High Court”, she said. The priceless items were "procured through the services of an Indian, Vijay Mallya" and his representative was "in touch with us" through the Indian Consulate in New York, she told a press conference in New Delhi. "I am very happy to inform that the UPA govt has successfully secured the personal items gifted by Gandhiji to individuals through the services of Mr Vijay Mallya, whose representative had been in constant touch with us," she claimed."We had been trying to stop Gandhi's belongings to be auctioned. The Culture ministry in close co-operation with the Ministry of External Affairs made the deal possible. We had also sent a Delhi HC order to the auctioneer stop the event. But finally it was an Indian who bought the stuff for the government," she added.

At a press interview later, speaking exclusively to TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Vijay Mallya said that he went ahead to bid independently and government was not in any form of contact with me.
Some excerpts of the conversation :
Arnab: Were you acting in coordination or support of the Indian Government or were you acting independently?
Mallya: I was acting independently as Vijay Mallya. I have not discussed this with anybody in the government of India at all. The minute I got to know that these items were up for auction, I decided to bid for them, as I indeed bid for the sword of Tipu Sultan few years ago. So, I sent my assistant Tony Bedi to the auctioneer. We had discussions with the auctioneer on whether the auction will be held. They confirmed that it was indeed going to take place and so I immediately sent Toni to New York. I was myself on the phone bidding, when the auction was taking place. That is what happened. There was no contact with the government in anyway.
Arnab: You confirm that?
Mallya: Absolutely. No one was even aware that I was going to bid. This was something I had decided privately.
Arnab: Ambika Soni, in a press conference said that it was the UPA government which helped you in getting the possessions back to India and you are saying it was done entirely in your individual capacity. Who is one supposed to believe?
Mallya: I have not heard such statements from Amibka Soni. So I really cannot comment. You asked me whether I was in dialogue with the government and the answer is I was not in any dialogue with the government. That is a straight fact.

What does all this tell us????
It says that our Central Govt, is so spineless that it :
1) Does not have enough powers or clout to even stop an auction from happening. The Foreign Ministry shows poor international control.
2) Has money to blow up on VVIP treatment to its ministers, money to blow up on election campaigns (only to make useless commitments), but not enough money to spend 1.8million USD to bring back priceless possessions of our country. How poor can we get????
3) It has leaders who are only looking at grabbing brownie points, like beggars, like scavengers, waiting & watching to grab. Derive political mileage even out of such an event. NO moral values or ethics or principles.
4) Someone rightly said, “The credit of the Oscars must go to the Congress Party, because without Congress, there would not have been slums in India, even after 62 years of Independence.” Tough lines, but certainly a lot of truth...certainly worth pondering!!!
5) No wonder, this Govt has 'Jai Ho', as their election song & slogan & not Jai Hind!!!!
6) Thanks to this Govt, the Rupee value has already hit an all time low….. this inspite Global meltdown, where, India is supposed to be better off than many other countries.
7) The national security is of utmost concern, both internal & external.

Fellow Indians, I implore :
Let us all wake up to these hard realities. With the General Elections round the corner, let us ensure that we all vote. Do not let this opportunity go away. This is the time to become responsible……time to respond to the need of the hour. We all need to exercise our fundamental right to vote. Vote the right leaders to power. Leaders who would own up to the responsibilities. Leaders who would work to shape a strong India. Leaders who would not let us down......so shamelessly.

Jai Hind.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is this really an attack or stage acted??

Terrorists have found a new target for themselves now…… the Sportspersons……. a very soft target, but potentially very damaging…….and they know it.

In today’s world, where there is tension written all over, recession hits the economies globally, political warfares continue at every nook and corner, individuals struggle with relationships,…….its only sports that is probably keeping some sensibility & camaraderie going across people. The players across the world play their games with passion on field & don’t give an inch away, but once out of the playing arena, they are bum chum buddies…….bringing the world closer….covering the gaps. They become the ultimate ambassadors of goodwill & peace & sanctity.

The terrorists have now trained their guns on this soft & vulnerable target.

The attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers at Lahore, yesterday, however opens up an uneasy can of worms. I was keenly observing the TV reviews on the incident over various News Channels,& quite a few queries surface for which I don’t seem to find an answer.

Let us evaluate them :

1) As shown by reviews of TV Channels, it is quite clear that the terrorists were privy to inside information. How would they know otherwise about the travel route of the cricketers ??? So who is this inside person???

2) The Pakistan cricket team was just five minutes behind the Sri Lankan team in another bus. So they escaped the attack. Is this coincidental or planned???

3) The attackers were 12 + in numbers & all of them managed to slip away in the by lanes of Lahore. This despite the fact that there is a Police station very close to the venue of attack???

4) The attackers were apparently equipped with supplies to last them at least two days; and yet they slipped away after a few minutes of attack???

5) The attackers had rocket launchers, grenades, latest weaponry, & yet failed to create fatal damage to the bus carrying the touring cricketers??? This despite the fact that they had the advantage of catching their targets unawares???

6) The attackers seem to have left behind enough evidence to prove that they had enough rations for two days. Then why would they flee so soon???

7) While all the channels are saying there were 12 + masked men, the TV footage shows them with clear faces???...Where did the masks vanish??

8) Even before the dust had settled down, the Parliamentary affairs Minister of Pakistan, Mr Baber Awan, blamed Indian Intelligence for the attack (quote from TOI)????

9) There are reports from Pakistan, where claims are made that the guns & bullets seized are from Indian origin????

10) TV Channels are screaming that this attack has telling similarity with 26/11. Is it so??? Or all of this is stage acted??? Just kill a few policemen & bystanders to make the encounter sound real….. The Sri Lankan cricketers were sitting ducks, but escaped without any fatalities (thank God!!)

11) Who was doing the video recording of this attack???...The footage was quite vividly shot. Obviously it was not CCTV, as the incident was on the main road???

12) The way the evidences are being picked up/ collected, it gives a creepy feeling that someone up there in the governance at Pakistan is managing the show?????

13) The Pakistan Government's top official meetings immediately after the attack shows both PM Zardari & Mr Gilani, smiling????...As if nothing serious has happened????

14) Latest CCTV footage show terrorists walking down the bylanes of Liberty Circle, just after the attack, without any trace of worry????.....

My suspicions could be over reactions(I will be happy if they are), but in case they are anywhere near the truth, I guess we are looking into the barrel of a much larger danger lurking somewhere around. The gut feel says, there is something much more sinister brewing up.......

I believe, our Govt should immediately seal off the borders (at least the ones across Pakistan). The intelligence & the military should sound an immediate warning across the country & take measures to ensure safety……its not over as yet !!!!

Father of the Bride ----3 (some precious moments)

Paa will always be there for u my angel!!!!

Mehandi on my angel's hand.....

Intense Conversation -- Father of the Groom & Father of the Bride

Preparing for the Wedding Kalash...

My pride....my angel

Vedic Rituals...

Vedic Rituals....

MangalSutra for life....

Bless the couple....

We are a couple now....for ever

Kodak moments.....for life

Slumdog Millionaire -- 2

The writing was clear…..the Oscars had to come & they did. Eight Oscars in all for this Danny Boyle extravaganza at the 81st Academy Awards night. All the crew & the cast, were up on stage, reveling in the grand reception & applause that was due to them. With Anil Kapoor flashing his broad smile at every camera, the kids in immaculate tux, Frieda Pinto looking stunning in her blue gown, Irfan Khan & Dev Patel smiling with a quiet assurance of achievement.....the stage was set.

Hwever, what made me feel proud as an Indian however was the simplicity & humility that was in the voice & content of the two Indians who received the awards.

Resul Pookutty, who received the award for the “Best Sound Mixing Category”, said “This is unbelievable. We can't believe this. Ladies and gentlemen...(there was a pause, as he gathered his composure),… sorry... I share the stage with two magicians, you know, who created the very ordinary sounds of Bombay, the cacophony of Bombay, into a soul-stirring, artful resonance called Slumdog Millionaire.
I come from a country and a civilization that given the universal word. That word is preceded by silence, followed by more silence. That word is 'OM.' So I dedicate this award to my country. Thank you, Academy, this is not just a sound award, this is history being handed over to me. My sincere and deepest gratitude to my teachers, Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Paul Ritchie, Pravesh... and everybody who has contributed to this film, Glenn Freemantle and all the sound mixers. I dedicate this to you guys. Thank you, Academy. Thank you very much".
Coming up from a tiny village in Kerala, Resul had so well depicted India’s contribution to the world….. the universal word OM, that spreads to every nook & corner of this world, in every religion, in every faith, in every language,…….

Musical Maestro, AR Rahman’s, response to his double Oscar, was in simple Tamil, “Ella pughalum iraivanuke (All glory and fame is to God)"…..he dedicated his awards to his mother, seated in the audience, He also said, "I always had a choice between love and hate in my life. And I chose love and I am here,"…….humble words, but words of wisdom & profound faith. Faith in Love, the essence of life & Faith in God, the essence of Love…….we all have that choice to make in life...between Love & hate.....

However, like many Indians, I too feel that AR Rahman has created much better music in past than that in Slumdog Millionaire. Probably the world has now come to hear this creation of his & has gone bonkers….

Jai Ho….

Father of the Bride ---- 2

As first steps, I sat down to make a list of “to do” items……..it seemed to be endless. There are so many things that a marriage involves…..Indian weddings, especially traditional weddings can really test your nerves….

A visit to the venue of wedding set the ball rolling. Our Ashram at Markal is about 30 kms odd away from Pune city…..not so bad on paper. But when you actually travel to the place & cross half the distance, its already a rustic Indian village…..winding roads…err sorry, serpentine lanes, & the last 4kms is completely open fields….no roads……no lanes……just a sketch of pebbles, dust & some rocks…..all though sudden rough ups & downs…… in the middle of nowhere, one feels like trekking lessons could actually be useful. An occasional truck or a bullock cart, trudging along laboriously, as if doing an endurance test…..thats all you get for company. At this time of the year, even the green of the grass is missing…..all that meets your eyes is dust, pebbles, chunks of hard barren surface, with protruding rocks & more of it. I said a silent prayer, while others in the car moaned with concern……how on earth are so many people going to overcome this journey to reach the venue?????
The Ashram is on the banks of Indrayani river, with a dam on one side…..instantaneously soothing the eye & the soul……its so quiet & peaceful & green……once you reach such a place you don’t want to leave soon….. despite a lot of construction work underway, the stillness & silence of the area is simply breathtaking…… (will describe the Ashram with pics later…maybe)

The next big thing I suppose was the invitation card & the list of invitees…….along with the arrangements for visitor’s stay at the Ashram & their transportation. Just book rooms, call for a bus, print the card & send out the invites……So very simple !!!!....thats how I approached the topic, not knowing the stumbles & the challenges……hehehehe……each step had its beautiful issues, each asking for minute attention & planning. Shuttling between work at Mumbai & preparations at Pune was indeed something I had not bargained for. For each situation or demand at the preparation, I would have something to counter at work, which was equally important in the context.

On 21st Feb, we organised a proper Puja & Havan (rituals to invoke God) so that the marriage takes place without any hitch. It was like a traditional Puja with fire lit & offerings made through Brahmins. As in tradition, we invoked our ancestors, Devi, Devtas, & took their blessings. Amidst sacred Vedic chanting, I looked at my angel setting beside me, eyes closed, hands folded in attention to the instructions given by the pundits…… I was ritualistically being given the responsibility to do the Kanyadaan on the wedding day………..I felt my world becoming so full & complete.

On 25th evening, I left from my work early to drive to Pune & managed to beat the traffic to reach just in time to see her finish with the rituals of Mehandi. She was looking so pretty.......the prettiest angel ever…… Putting her to sleep, that night, I could just sing slowly in her ears….."ghar ke ujiyare so jaa re, daddy tere jaage tu so jaa re…."

I reached Markal Ashram by the afternoon on 26th, ahead of others, only to see that almost no arrangements had been made till then. The rooms were not ready & allotted, the mandap was not ready, the organizers were nowhere in sight. My Art of Living course points were taking shape. I had only two hours to myself before Pallavi would arrive along with our people. Ashish, the Groom, along with his family & Baarati were scheduled to arrive immediately after. And in between I had to pick up my friend from the airport……... I had to receive Ashish at the Markal village & then bring them all along. I was in the middle of a huge chaos. All I could do was to smile & say “accept people & situations as they are”.

What followed was pure comedy & cacophony, each instance straight from a comic strip. The Baarati had decided to stop over on their way at a temple for some Puja & got delayed by a couple of hours. They reached the foothills of the Markal village after sundown & since there are no roads, they were just lost. My car, earlier decorated with flowers, was now smeared with dust & looked awful. A bus full of people, a few cars, made a convoy behind my car, & we started trudging towards the Ashram……the bus driver, clueless without a proper road in front of him, was nervous in dark, and others drivers added to the utter chaos that followed. In sheer confusion, some people got down from the vehicles & started walking, only to be met by dust & darkness……various people in various levels of anxiety & irritation, accompanied with various levels of decibels to vent out their complains….. I did not know how to handle them all……..I was at my wits end!!! We were already running late on schedule.
As the father of the bride, I was accepting all snide remarks, all comments, all suggestions with a straight face, with a smile, but boiling from within. So what if they had decided to take a detour to a temple on their way; so what if they were late by more than two hours in reaching; so what if they reached after sundown, so what if the bus driver was nervous, so what if I had very limited resources at my disposal. I am the father of the bride, & hence have to accept all of this with a polite smile & apologize for all inconvenience caused!!!!!.......hmmmmm…….”Present moment is inevitable” & “do not be a football of other people’s opinion”. …….So much of learning….and unlearning indeed.

The rituals of 26th evening & then the dinner extended beyond midnight. One of our very senior AOL teacher, Rishi Nityapragya ji (better known as Nitin Bhaiya), was present at the Ashram for a course & was leaving for another destination. So before he left, I got him to bless Pallavi & Ashish after the rituals. He is a charismatic character, & his presence did help soothe some rough edges & emotions. While hugging me, he laughed & said, “whatever you resist, persists”….so true, in the context. We had a hearty laugh.
The groom’s side had more people turning up than expected, throwing the lodging issues into another set of mess. At the Markal Ashram, as of now there are limited capacities, & for a radius of 5 kms, there is not even a hut to ask for help. Somehow we managed to house them all with a lot of last minute arrangements. After everyone had settled down & got a place to rest, I decided to take stock of the situation & proactively be ready for the next morning. By the time I had put some system & order in place, it was almost 3.30am in the morning……time to catch forty winks as they say. Sleep can be so enjoyable……….

27th Feb, the marriage day, started for me at 4.30am. Groggy eyed, I quickly finishing with the morning essentials, I rushed to ensure that the guests were being provided with their bed tea & hot water for bath. Inspite of repeated reminders & assurances, the mandap was still not ready, & flowers & decoration materials still not arrived. With hardly any time left now, I managed to gather a few volunteers & set up the place. “expectation reduces joy”……… more learnings.

By 10.00am people started streaming in & the whole ashram looked like celebrating. Live Shehnai (a musical instrument used in marriages & considered to be auspiscious), along with drum beats, added to the mood. Pallavi & Ashish were in time at the hastily done up mandap for the rituals. Pallu was looking so beautiful in the traditional saree. (she had to change into a new dress about five or six times). As the father of the bride, I went through the very emotional process of Kanyadaan, as instructed by the pundits. The wedding went off smoothly & there were happy faces all around. The frowns & complains of the previous evening had given way to the celebrative mood around. My angel looked so happy & pretty…… I felt a sense of pride sweeping me, while holding her & giving her away to the Groom & his parents. From now she becomes an integral part of their family. Cameras clicking from all directions, vedic mantras being chanted, people showering the newly wedded couple with flower petals & rice……it was all so fulfilling & beautiful. My daughter, my angel, my Pallu, has now embarked on a new journey…… Lunch was served in time & abundance…….the Sattvic food was very tasty & people loved it.

Pallu’s mother, Pallu’s elder sister & her husband, Pallu’s maternal uncles, my friend Partho from Delhi, some close AOL colleagues & friends, all of us together had managed to complete the wedding…..all of us were exhausted physically, & drained emotionally, …….. but no one was complaining. For all of us, it was, “All well, that ends well”.
The parting as usual became very emotional, & seeing Pallu cry, wrenched my heart, but I had to put up a brave front…..smiling as usual….. "Babul ki duayen leti ja, ja tujhko sukhi sansar mile, mayke ki kabhi na yaad aaye, sasuraal mein itna pyaar mile……".almost everyone had tears in their eyes. I held both Pallu & Ashish close to me & wished them all the happiness.

My angel has begun a new journey…..a new life……..a new environment…….newer challenges…. & I am sure she will do well……she will take on her responsibilities & spread happiness all around her new home………….she will make me the proudest father of the bride. Sitting quietly in front of the huge picture of Guruji at the meditation hall, a silent prayer crossed my lips..... pls take care of her as usual & as always!!!

Father of the Bride --- 1

Remember the movie “Father of the Bride”.
It was one of the best comedies I have seen on screen till date. But I never knew, that I would have to experience something so similar in my life as well. ….. So here comes the story for you all :

Many years ago, in Pune I had met a sweet little girl, Pallavi by name…….instinctively I felt that if ever I am blessed with a daughter, this is how she would be. I shared this feeling with her & found that she felt the same as well.
Over the years, our journey continued………we only kept getting closer, & I started behaving like her father & she like my daughter. We did not stay together, nor did we meet every day……but we kept in touch. For every little thing or large, we would discuss & share opinions……mostly comforting & encouraging each other. The world around us also knew & acknowledged our relation as the father & the child. For every event, social or personal, we would try & be together to share ……the odds & the evens…..she would call me Paaaa…….& I would call her Babyyyyy…….it was just angelic….divine!!!!

My daughter finished her studies, tried her hand at work a couple of times, but realized that she was not cut out for a regular ‘nine to five’ job. Each time, I supported her through her choices & helped her decide what she enjoyed doing most……. She knew that I was always there to support her thru her mischief & masti…..
While I was travelling all over the country, working for The Art of Living, as an instructor, she stayed in Pune with her mother, studying. Whenever, I found time to come to Pune or Mumbai, she would come over, & we would spend wonderful time together…..chatting up till the wee hours of the morning……so much we had to share……it was always pure bliss to be with her……. GOD had given me my best gift… my angel……my child…..my daughter.
About a year back, when her mother told me that its time to get her married, I was aghast…….what’s the hurry, I retorted. She’s just a child….a baby!!!!! Somewhere, maybe, even the thought of letting her go was immensely painful. I suddenly started feeling strangely uncomfortable. Her mother kept bringing up proposals, & I kept rejecting them on one pretext or the other(I also got my daughter to my side on this!!)

But then, what has to be,…..will be……& you have to accept as it comes.
Three months back, one day, my angel announced that she had found someone whom she would like to spend her life with!!!........Initially my response was that of shock & wonder…..how my child has grown….she is now making her own decisions……she is now choosing someone for her life!!!! The boy, Ashish, (also an Art of Living Teacher)hails from Sholapur…..so far away. For a moment, my heart sank……..I will have to now let her go…….to a new home, to a new place, to a new environment. How will she manage all this…she is just a kid…a child…..endless questions tanked my mind. I was restless.

Anyways, meeting Guruji for His consent to this wedding was important, & I got Pallavi & Ashish to meet up with Him when he visited Pune briefly in Jan. He instantly blessed both of them & asked us to look at an early date for the weeding!!!!
All this went through in a haze & hurry, & the date for the wedding was fixed for 27th Feb’09. I travelled to Sholapur along with Pallavi’s mother to meet Ashish & his parents. Couple of weeks is all we had to prepare for the event. Everyone looked tense & hassled. It was all too sudden. I kept a cool front, but inside I felt dizzy with emotions & work ahead. Pallavi wanted the marriage at any of the AOL Ashram, & since the Pune Ashram was the closest, we finally agreed to host the event there. Having fixed up the date & the venue, suddenly, I realized that we had very little time & resources to make this happen. How would we manage all this???