Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What I learnt from a taxi driver

I was recently traveling to Manila via Delhi and I happened to hire a cab owned by a man named Khan. I am friendly by nature and started to talk to him. I happened to tell him that I’ve been to Europe once and he said, “Yes, it’s a nice place”. I was taken aback, a taxi driver from Delhi has been to Europe!!!

Then I came to know that he was from Gujrat and was an importer of some commodities from Europe. He lost everything in the Gujrat earthquake and came to Delhi with his family to start afresh. He did not get a penny from his “friends”. I had a talk with him for over an hour and he told me how he had to struggle to come over it. That one hour conversation taught me those things that I would not have learnt at any stage in my formal education.

Sometimes when you have it all you tend to take everything for granted. Money has a very close ally, arrogance. He taught me the virtue of being down to earth and to live every moment as it comes. I would like to quote his words here. “As I was driving the rented taxi on the first day, tears were running down my eyes. I was so uncertain about the future. I never thought something like this could ever happen to me.”

Think of it, a millionaire today and bankrupt tomorrow. Strange things can happen in life.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reebok ... Just do it ...

Iraqi journalist Muntazer Al Zaidi gave the world a whole new way to protest when he hurled not one but both his shoes at the President of the United States of America, George Bush in Baghdad on Dec. 14 last year. After that it seems like a complete clan of shoe-throwers are out on the loose. The others who have also got a sniff of dreaded shoe are the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, Iran prez Ahmadinejad and Indian Supreme Court judge Arijit Pasayat. The most recent reciepient of the shoe treatment was the Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
A Journalist with the hindi daily Dainik Jaagran, Jarnail Singh "JUST DID IT". Not with the Nike but his size '8' Reebok, when he hurled it towards the Home Minister P Chidambaram at a press conference on 9th April at New Delhi. The throw was underarm which gave Chidambaram time to get out of the way. Apparently, Jarnail Singh just wanted to stage a protest and not hurt the Home Minister.

India's very own "Shoe Movement" happened when Jarnail Singh questioned Chidambaram about the CBI report on the involvement of Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 anti-sikh riots case. When Chidambaram tried to evade the question by giving an answer that did not satisfy Jarnail Singh, he blurted "I protest." and gifted his shoe to the Home Minister. Even more startling was the fact that after the incident he sat down calmly with his pad with an intention to continue with the conference when the security guards rushed in to take him away.

Shoe or no shoe, the common man is finding out ways to get himself heard and with the media ever so alert he is getting attention too. But its a pity that we actually have to do these wierd things to get ourselves heard. It would be so much better if there existed a system wherein a common man could be heard and would not be forced to - 'Just do it.'

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Big Bazaar Blooper ....

I happened to visit Big Bazaar City Center, Nagpur and was just window shopping when I saw this sign on the Soft Drinks rack. Have a look.

Find nothing unusual ??? Lets have a closer look ...

Best Buy .... Anyone intested ??

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Foreign Body - Robin Cook

Recently, on my trip to Banglore I got hold of one of Robin Cook's latest novels "Foreign Body", which is another great addition to his medical thriller series. In this novel the author has tried to highlight the scenario of medical tourism in India. It also deals with issues regarding the Indian way of thinking and the cultural turmoil that still exists in India. And in between these macro issues, he very aptly compares the lives of two females namely, Jennifer Hernandez and Veena Chandra (who happens to be the killer of the Jennifer’s grandmother), and how despite of being from different cultural backgrounds, have faced the same kind of problems earlier in their lives. The author has penned down the Indian scenario very well in this book.

The book revolves around the fast becoming popular concept of Medical tourism to India. The protagonist Jennifer Hernandez comes to know about the death of her grandmother in India through CNN and goes to India to claim the body. She has some disturbing experiences in the hospital that force her to think that some foul play was involved. Meanwhile, there are two more deaths in as many days, and the striking similarities between them add to the doubt.

Twists are at almost every page as the Indian tourism ministry tries to cover up the cases, a big stakeholder in the concerned hospital tries to get Jennifer Hernandez killed, and Nurses International, the subsidiary of a US hospital which trying to hamper the Indian medical tourism industry (also behind the killing of the medical tourists) kidnaps Jennifer to get her killed. A couple of old characters of this author, Jack and Laurie also play a part in the book.
Overall a good read, though it gets a bit predictable at times.


Hardwork Vs Luck

Between Hardwork and Luck, for me
Hardwork had to always matter
But at present, Its not hardwork
Its only the latter

Things keep on changing
like fast spreading forest fire
And more so, the other way
Than I'm supposed to desire

The more I try and
the more I think I could
Things tend to go only
As far as they should

As I try desperately
To break the deadlocks
Problems seem to come
More and more in flocks

The more I kept loosing
The more I had to put on stake
And then I had to wait
For one sweep of real good fate.

Life now stands to have
such wierd complications
That I dare not imagine
What would be the implications

Luck has mostly been
just at the back of my mind
But the more I loose
The more I strive to understand

God, Please dont stretch it too far
Or it would be too late
And I would be forced to believe
Hardwork is Nothing, Its just FATE.


Thursday, April 2, 2009


I came across one of the tracks, "Bilqis: Jinhe naaz hai hind par" by RABBI and after watching the video, I feel this song really deserves a tribute.

Rabbi tells the story of 4 unsung heroes namely Bilquis Rassol, Satyendra Dubey, Manjunath and one Lavleen Kumar of India in a remarkable manner that makes one think. When heard for the 1st time, the lyrics are hard to catch, but as you listen more intently, you really get the feel for the song.

The icing on the cake is the strumming of the National Anthem tune between the verses, which serves as the perfect melody between the thought provoking verses.

So here's the lyrics:
Bilqis: Jinhe naaz hai hind par

Mera naam Bilqis Yakub Rasool
Mujhse hui bas ek hi bhool
Ki jab dhhundhhte thhe vo Ram ko
To maen khadi thhi, rah mein

Pehle ek ne puchha na mujhe kuchh pata thha
Dujey ko bhi mera yehi javab thha
Fir itno ne puchha ki mera ab saval hai ki

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mera naam Shriman Satyendra Dubey
Jo kehna thha vo keh chukey
Ab padhey hain rah mein
Dil mein liye ek goli
Bas itna kasoor ki hamne likha thaa
Vo sach jo har kisi ki zuban thaa
Par sach yahan ho jatey hain zehreelay

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mujhe kehte hain anna Manjunath
Maine dekhi bhatakti ek laash
Zamir ki beech sarhak Lakhimpur Kherhi
Adarsh phasa jahan naaron mein
Aur chor bharey darbaron mein
Vahan maut akhlaq ki hai ik khabar baasi

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mazha nau aahe Navleen Kumar
Unnees june unnees bar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees baar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees baar

Looto dehaat kholo bazaar
Nallasopara aur Virar
Chheeno zameen hamse humhe
Bhejo pataal

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

The 1st martyr Rabbi tells about is Bilqis Bano.

Bilkis Bano is one of the victims of the riots which followed the Godhra train massacre. On March 3 (or February 28), 2002, she was gangraped in Dahod district of Gujarat when she was pregnant. She also lost 14 relatives including her 3-year-old child, mother and 2 sisters. She is the sole witness to this incident. The case was handled by the CBI, and was transferred to Mumbai court on the orders of the Supreme Court. 20 people have been accused in the case.

Then Rabbi speaks of Satyendra Dubey.

Satyendra Kumar Dubey (1973 - 2003) was project director at the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). He was assassinated in Gaya, Bihar for fighting corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral highway construction project.

Shanmugam Manjunath (1978 Kolar-2005) was a marketing manager for the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) who was murdered for sealing a corrupt petrol station in UP. Who later became a rallying cry for IIM, IIT and other institutes students. While working for the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in Lucknow, he had ordered two petrol pumps at Lakhimpur Kheri sealed for selling adulterated fuel for three months. When the pump started operating again a month later, Manjunath decided to conduct a surprise raid around November 19, 2005.

Having not heard from his son for three days, at around 9 that night, his father, M Shanmughan, had sent an SMS: "How are you?". There was no reply because that very night, during his inspection, Manjunath had been shot dead. His body, riddled with at least six bullets, was found in the backseat of his own car, which was being driven by two employees of the petrol pump. Both were arrested and the main accused, pump-owner Pawan Kumar ('Monu') Mittal, was held on November 23 along with seven others.

And the 4th,
Ms. Navleen Kumar, who worked for the land rights of adivasis/tribals in Nallasopara, outskirts of Mumbai was stabbed to death on the terrace of her flat. She had been fighting against "builders and land mafia" who had been usurping tribal land by terror, force and fraud over the last 20-25 years, to restore the land rights to the tribals - the original owners.And the irony of it all is that she was stabbed on the 19th of June 2002 and she was stabbed 19 times.

This is a wake-up call for all of us so that we can stand for the few good people that are left and to light the fire in the bellies of those who have forgotten the importance of being able to stand for truth and last but not the least a tribute to all who have sacrificed themselves for our very own HIND.

Jai Hind.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tum Bin Jau kahan ...

Again one of my favourites. I can listen to this song over and over again. Its amazing to see how the singer is able to convey his emotions through his voice. A real good song.


Hotel California- Eagles

This is one of my all time favourite songs and the live version is even better.



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