Monday, September 27, 2010

Dont get misled in the name of religion...plsssss !!!!!

One of my friends had sent out a mass mail over the last weekend......some stuff which I did not agree to fully & hence wrote back with my comments. Later, I felt, I should put up the whole mail exchange here for everyone to view & comment :


Christianity ….One Christ, One Bible Religion…
But the Latin Catholic will not enter Syrian Catholic Church. These two will not enter Marthoma Church. These three will not enter Pentecost Church. These four will not enter Salvation Army Church. These five will no enter Seventh Day Adventist Church. These six will not enter Orthodox Church. These seven will not enter Jacobite church. Like this there are 146 castes in Kerala alone for Christianity, each will never share their churches for fellow Christians! Not very nice..! One Christ, One Bible, One Jehova???

Now Muslims..! One Allah, One Quran, One Nebi....! Great unity?
Among Muslims, Shia and Sunni kill each other in all the Muslim countries. The religious riots in most Muslim countries is always between these two  sects. The Shia will not go to Sunni Mosque. These two will not go to Ahamadiya Mosque.These three will not go to Sufi Mosque. These four will not go to Mujahiddin mosque. Like this it appears there are 13 castes in Muslims.  Killing / bombing/conquering/ massacring/. .. each other !The American attack on Iraq was fully supported by all the Muslim countries surrounding Iraq !
One Allah, One Quran, One Nebi....????

Hindus -
They have 1,280 Religious Books, 10,000 Commentaries, more than one lakh sub-commentaries for these foundation books, innumerable presentations of one God, variety of Aacharyas, thousands of Rishies,  hundreds of languages. Still they all go to All other TEMPLES and they are peaceful and tolerant and seek unity with others by inviting them to worship with them whatever God they wish to pray for!
Hindus never quarreled one another for the last ten thousand years in the name of religion.

My reply :

Hi Mani,
Very well drafted, but not totally correct.
While I am a devout Hindu & take enormous pride at being one, I cannot over look the fact that we Hindus have also fought amongst ourselves in the name of religion.
The Vaishnavas worship Vishnu as the Supreme God; Shaivites worship Shiva as the supreme God; Shaktas worship Shakti or Mother Goddess & Smartas believe in the oneness of five deities, Panchadeva. There have been many clashes between the Vaishnavas & the Shaivites for supremacy.
Another bad impression has been categorising the society into four classes.
Brahmans - teachers, priests etc
Kshatriyas - warriors, kings & nobles etc
Vaishyas - merchants, businessmen, farmers etc
Shudras - labourers, servants, etc.
This classification has been so badly misunderstood & implemented that, the basic fabric of the society has been disrupted over generations & continues to do so, especially in the rural remotes of the country.

We then have the Arya Samaj, which does not believe in Idol worship. Sati Pratha - bride burning, has been another black spot in our culture.
We then have a Hindu calender, which has at least 5-6 deviations across regions.
Incidentally, even the word Hindu, in origin is a Persian word in use from the time of Moghul Empire, referring to any tradition that is native to India as opposed to Islam. The word actually is derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu ( Indus River).
So while, we emerge from the Sanatan Dharma & follow the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, we need to put the right practices in place & correct ourselves as well.

I would like to believe that each religion, whether Christianity or Islam, has good fundamental teachings, but, its the followers who mould it to their selfish motives & make it look so unacceptable. The Bible or the Quran in their original form do not preach these differences.
I would remain a devout Hindu & pride myself for the same till my last breath, but I would also respect the base of each religion.

I just thought of putting down my personal thoughts in this as a response to your mail. Do give me your opinions !!!!

Loads of Luv,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ayodhya - Time to take a Decisive & not a Divisive Stand !!!

While the whole country braces itself with mixed emotions, for one of the landmark verdicts in the recent times, The Supreme Court today afternoon, has deferred the Ayodhya verdict now till 28th Sept'10. This verdict on Ayodhya would have to tackle one of the most communally sensitive & razor edged issue - what came first, Ram Temple or Babri Masjid ???

With the Commonwealth Games fiasco keeping the administration at the Centre clueless, sleepless & taut at least for the next three weeks, its probably wise to keep the Ayodhya issue aside in the back burner. However, I am not so sure, what can be achieved by delaying the verdict by just 5 days........
As it is, there is very little chance of any proper & intelligent decision on the subject.

Let us just quickly look at the subject in question :
History says that in 1527, Babar defeated the King of Chittorgarh, Rana Sangram Singh & established the Mughal rule in the region. His general, Mir Baqi came to Ayodhya & in his endeavour to spread Islam, demolished a very popular temple of the Hindus & built a huge mosque. He named it as Babri Masjid after his emperor Babar.
Over centuries, India has been ravaged & looted by various invaders. These invaders, later, have found this land to be rich & bountiful & beautiful....enough to get lured into staying back & settling down, to gradually become one of the sons of the soil!!!!! The Moghuls were no different. They too plundered this land & carried away unfathomable quantities of riches. In their attempt to establish their religious beliefs, they decimated & demolished thousands of temples & built mosques in their place. In this case, for the Hindus, the temple which was representative of  being the Ram Janmabhoomi, is obviously a sensitive issue. There have been several attempts at both ends to establish control on the disputed land, leading to nation wide riots, chaos & political upheaval.
However, in my humble opinion, going back & forth in history is not seemingly solving the issue. While the Hindus have their legitimate right & claim to the shrine,  the Muslims also have their right to reclaim the demolished mosque. A democratic set up calls for equal status.
I am not so sure, even after five days, if the Supreme Court would decide on either side......guess, the Govt at the Centre will ensure that the verdict is delayed as long as possible, allowing time to suppress the public sentiments. Also under the garb of Secularism, they would like to protect the so called minority vote bank!!!!! This however, is a timid & weak option. An option, where, either party can take a tough stand & there is precious little one can do.

Instead of playing the cat & mouse or the blame game, I would expect someone in authority to stand and deliver.
To keep sentiments of both the communities under control, I can think of a very simple solution.
Consider this :
Let the Supreme Court, declare the disputed site as a National Monument & Heritage site. The Central Govt is then directed to bear the expenses to build a temple & a mosque outside the perimeter of the disputed land & allow followers of both communities equal access & protection. For the Hindus, Ram Janmabhoomi is a symbol plus flag bearer of the belief & sentiments for the Values that Lord Sree Ram represented through generations. So a temple signifying that in all aspects should be acceptable. For the Muslims, a mosque built is a huge step towards providing a balming effect towards the demolition of the Babri Masjid. 
Both the communities need to move forward and accept this as a major step towards National & Communal harmony. The Leaders of both the communities need to make strong & decisive impressions on their followers at large to achieve a long term success. Such a stand, in my mind, would certainly have mass appeal & approval.
There would be obvious detractors from both sides, who have narrow individualistic & selfish demands, but we as a Nation need to overbear them & make a decisive & not a divisive statement.

As a Nation, we need to move on & look at more developmental activities which deserve immediate attention. So as a conscientious Indian, I implore with folded hands, Can someone from within the Power Bearers of the Country today come forward & Walk the Talk......once & for all.

I would be happy to start a discussion / debate on this with the objective of reaching a positive conclusion.

Jai Hind !!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010 - Scam to Sham to Shame !!!

The writing was clear for a few months now, but no one seemed to take any corrective measure. We all lived in the trust that, finally everything will be in order.

Remember the story of four friends : Everybody, Somebody, Anybody & Nobody. There was an important job to be done & Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry as it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but No body realised that Everybody would'nt do it. It ended with Everybody blaming Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Over the past few months, almost every day the country would hear TV channels & newspapers screaming at the ensuing scams that were coming out of the hatchet......scams that would put the whole country to shame.....Mr Kalmadi & his cohorts have kept on fleecing unknown sums of money, in every conceivable & inconceivable ways, while CWG preparations kept going downhill......minor & major accidents, missing deadlines, blatant corruption, while the officials keep passing the buck & the blame from one to the other, as we head towards a probable disaster, the ramification & damaging effect of which the Govt or the CWG officials don't seem to fathom.

With just eleven days to go for the start of the event, buildings are leaking, ceilings are collapsing, bridges crashing down. With just hours left for the sports persons from across the world to arrive, the rooms & apartments remain filthily incomplete & shamelessly unlivable. The CWG village looks like a dark blotch.

Mrs Sheila Dikshit, the Delhi CM, sheepishly puts the blame on the rains for the delay in preparations, calling all of this as minor glitches; Lalit Bhanot, OC Secretary General comes up with bizarre explanations, "its not such a big issue which we should be ashamed of....westerners have different standards of hygiene than us !!!!"; BK Chugh, Dir Gen CPWD puts the blame on some walking on the catwalk & displacing tiles!!!; Urban Development Minister, Jaipal Reddy feels that the issues are blown out of proportions, Mike Cooper, CGF Chief, looks red on the face answering the media with a stern "no comments, leave me alone please". The callous attitude of the officials has reached unbelievable proportions.

The man in question, Mr Suresh Kalmadi, the CWG Chief, seems to have gone underground.....someone who had proudly promised that this event would be the best Commonwealth event ever.
While Mr Suresh Kalmadi plots his next shameful move in a shameful hiding over the past two days, top notch participating countries like Canada, UK, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia & others are seriously considering pulling out of the event, due to the shocking & outrageous state of affairs. Delegates across all these nations are clearly miffed & aghast.

70,000 crores INR of Indian exchequer has been officially spent in preparation of this event & we have moved from Scams to Sham to Shame.....People of India are outraged...shocked & embarrassed...... we have become a laughing stock in front of the whole world.......Its a shame, its a mess, its a humiliation, its a national calamity......Who will take this responsibility ????
Mr Kalmadi or Mrs Dikshit or Mt Lalit Bhanot or Mr Jaipal Reddy or Mr MS Gill....who, who, who who???? Can the PM's office step in with a recovery ?? Can we do something to save our face??????

PS : Breaking news - "Suresh Kalmadi tried to hang himself & the ceiling collapsed !!!!".....Can we even laugh????????????????

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A regular feature in Mumbai .....Ride or Dribble Riddle !!! seems to be a drag.....the day has been extremely slow.....decided to wrap up & move out.
The skyline overcast, soft drawl of westerly winds lapping.....I quickly got behind the wheels of my car...Bholanath......the Accent GLS 1.5 CC mean machine...... the revving of the engine alongwith the screech of the tyres to move out of the parking bay, seemed to pump in the excitement & I found a soft whistle forming on my lips..... a hep looking girl getting into her Chevvy almost at the same time, smiling into the mirror......the evening looked promising ahead.

Out on the road, the car seemed to pick up the mood & got into the 4th gear in no time, easing into the returning traffic on the highway.....everyone seemed to be outrunning the if a race shaping up, with the Lewis Hamiltons, the Schumachers, the McLarens, the Buttons, the all of the world, converging on the western Express Highway of Mumbai......vrooommmm.

Before I could realise, I was crossing the airport, with flights taking off in various directions..... as if a parallel race was forming in the sky as well. I turned on the radio to build in the mood.....91.1 FM greeted me to some old numbers from the golden era...a La Kishore number enthralling my spirits.

I looked up my watch & smiled to I shall reach home in time to cook something elaborate & also indulge in TV & is interesting indeed.
Had I imagined too soon???....As they say, expectations reduce joys!!!!!......
Ahead, on the road, however, as the next flyover started shaping up, the traffic started to slow down.....50 meters & the drive had become a crawl.....The road ahead as far as my eyes could strain, looked a sea of glaring glowing embers.......a designers delight......Whooaa !!!
The revving engines around revved hard & pitch forthed for a while in hope of a flash run......but then started to slow down into a quiet murmur.....suddenly I find myself surrounded by vehicles on all sides.....vehicles of all kinds...... from classy Mercs to creaky Matadors, from spacious Audis to rickety Autos, from sleeky Hondas to sleazy Fiat Cabs......add to that the furiously fuming & violently shaking trucks.......all attempting to surge forward through a seemingly impossible opening. The chaos is worth an English thriller.

The bumper to bumper, shoulder to shoulder unending lines of vehicles, standstill on the highway could actually test the endurance & patience of the most evolved soul. Everyone is one the edge of the nerves......the left foot firmly on the clutch plate pushed to the floor waiting eternally for the release, while the right foot on the gas pedal, itching to press hard...when would this happen???.....each & every sinew of the calf muscle focussed on the push.......the intensity along with the uncertainity of the situation is like a 007 Bond movie. On the edge....moment to moment to moment.......
Meanwhile, the crawl continues at a pace, where even an old snail would win hands down......imagine tea stalls by the side (wish there were some) doing brisk business, serving piping hot brown liquid along with hard stuffed, what a thought!!!! While, I was dreaming of this, I actually saw some vendors selling peanuts wrapped in paper.....people actually have enough time to roll down the windows, try out the servings, pay cash & then smilingly roll up the windows again to start the journey.....phew!!!!
In fact, one can even do a power nap......just close eyes & rest the stiff back, the tired limbs, the sore throat......while the traffic waits to get a move on.....
I realised that in a situation like this, one could actually slip into meditation....a real deep one, while your car shuttles between a cruise to a stutter stop now & then. It teaches you patience as your adrenaline flows from rapids to an eternal pause.......Whooaaa......

On top of all this you also get a lady driver right in front of you, driving her sedan with elan.....with sudden bursts of starts & stops.....straight as a rod.....neither letting you overtake, nor allowing you the peace of mind.....completely unruffled by the situation, while you wish death would take over !!!!!

Millimeters crawl by, as minutes extend beyond hours & the journey continues.......the radio, which was so pleasing a while ago, sounds like torture & blare....all you feel like is to just leave the car where it is, get out & walk back would certainly be a faster mode of transport. By that time, I had already screamed at overtaking drivers & got mouthfuls back from the more enthusiastic croaking throat sorely missing the point & overcoming all obstacles to raise the bar of the decibel.....fantastic by any yardstick.

By the time, the clock laboured to 22.35pm on my wrist, the mean machine had managed to wade through the maze of traffic & enter the gates of our building indeed was a complex drive......the speedometer could not cross the 20kmph mark at any stage of the drive......a normal twenty five minutes cruise had taken an inexplicable, enduring & nerve wracking two hours & twenty minutes....phew !!!!!! I could barely lift myself out of the enclosed cabin & smell fresh air......manage to find enough strength to stumble upto the lift & open the door of my flat, & crash onto the bed.....

The steamy affair behind the wheels had just ended.......& I see myself alive to look forward to another day......another ordeal.....another challenge of covering the length of the Western Express Highway.....
Mumbai is really a city of dreams.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rain more please !!!!

Sometime back.....maybe a couple of months, I had written on first rains of the season.....Paus ala re !!!
Like any other Mumbaikar, I was so happy.....finally the rains, the cool breeze, the showers, the weather around.....all so full & colourful.

Well, looks like, we are in for an overdose from the Rain Gods this just doesnt seem to stop..... the nearby cachement areas are overflowing, the dams are all all full, the hills around are lush green, the city is enjoying a drop in the temperature, as the sensex seems to be zooming upwards......all in all a happy state of affairs.
But all of this is now becoming a nuisance. The sky has been relentless & opening up every now & then.....the whole of June, July, August & now September.....rains are just not receding.

The place that I stay is on the foothills of the Aarey Colony......very lush green, but, not becoming dank & mossy. With hardly any sunshine through the day, the woodwork is becoming damp & smelly & moss seems to be taking deep roots.
Am surely going to lose one almirah & another rack to this wet weather. The clothes are taking days to dry up after a wash & on top of that giving out a dank smell..... room & body freshners are ineffectively a waste.
The general mood all around is also becoming very depressing & you see very few smiling faces around. To add to all of this is the obvious delight for virals & infections, as mosquitoes of all kinds are having a fields day all over.

Time to say, enough rains for the year....please go & shower other parched areas of the country...please please please....

Saawan ko jaane do.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Give me some sunshine.....

Tired & completely sapped that I am, this space still is the best way to regain myself.
Strangely, but for the first time in my life I find myself seriously challenged physically. Within a span of just about one month, this is the third time I am down with very high fever & throat infection!!!! Cant recollect, when I was last so down that I finally conceded to visiting a hospital for a proper check up. The blood tests & Xray reports have not shown anything serious....just a bout of viral along with an enlarged liver !!!.....according to the doctor, its just a regular viral & probably some infection through food or water.....well I do eat out quite a bit, but am not sure where I would have connected with the virus.

The forced rest is quite boring & quite irritating. Boiled food at home, warm water gargle every half an hour, watching TV or reading old books, attempt to speak on the phone seriously cut down by the croaking & coughing throat, getting breathless due to continous coughing......the adamant high fever, all just about adding to the misery....sigh...sigh !!!!!!

The last one month has also been very hectic in terms of travel, giving me little time to recoup.
The weather in Mumbai also has been very unpredictable....its been raining like crazy, at times giving Cherapunji a run for the records......the place I stay is very close to the hills & therefore the tempearture in that area is a good 2-3 degrees lesser..... no sunshine....meaning furniture gathering moss.....eyuks !!!...... clothes becoming smelly, the walls becoming dank.....all in all a very depressing environment......

Looking forward to sunny days ahead....plsssss