Thursday, September 23, 2010

India is my name

I am dirty & I am populated
Just two out of hundreds of blames
But I am hungry & I am motivated
India is my name

I was wealthy & I was rich
The Golden Bird-My claim to fame
But I was robbed & I was ditched
India is my name

Many a hurdle I have crossed
Have failed for which no excuses that are lame
Still recovering from what I have lost
India is my name

I love all religions & castes
Filled with plateaus & plains
My diversity is so vast
India is my name

My people respect all relations
Not backward But love our shame
Filled with history & tradition
India is my name

I am proud of my people
Lost pride who are trying to reclaim
Growing despite the cripples
India is my name

Not to be confused as weak
I want peace to remain
Through discussion solutions I first seek
India is my name

Giving the world star after star
Across centuries it is still the same
From Zero to Nano car
India is my name

Renowed world over as a great host
My people help & don't think of any gain
Squeezing resources to get the most
India is my name

Home to the Taj & land of the Ganga
Leaving the world amazed
Always flying high is my Tiranga..India is my name!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Indian Problem

Travelling from Paris to Aix-En-Provence (a city in south of France) in a TGV train is an amazing experience. 800 kms in 3 hours-Well o Well! Having a look at the French country side that accompanies you on this journey, or for that matter on any train journey in this beautiful country, brings a whole lot of positive energy. You can’t help but say-This is the place to be!

Coming to France is my first trip outside India and I think it is a country that just has so much that I wish we had in India. You step on to the roads and you will realise that there is not a single piece of waste lying outside. You try to cross a zebra crossing and you will realise the respect people give to people travelling on foot. Look at the light turning red and HALT! Ask anything, say anything and whatever the conversation be; it will always end with “Merci” or “Thank You” as we know it in English. Visit a museum and look at the way the masterpieces have been preserved.

The first thing one looks out for at traffic lights in India is the traffic police, so that you can break the rules at the first given opportunity. People travelling on foot live a nightmare when they just can’t cross the road as no one will stop the car/bike/bus/truck for them. Someone asks you something weird and your reactions vary from “Kya!” to “I am in a hurry” to “Pagal lagta hai” to “Idiot” etc etc. I am not saying everyone does this, but most do.

And I think, France is heaven and India is so far away.
But in the same train, looking at the same country side, I find myself listening to Hindi/Punjabi songs on my phone. Then I start to think on opposite lines. Is it possible that the problem is not with the nation but with our attitude towards our nation? What is it that we have that some of the so called modern countries don’t? My language, my music, my movies and a whole lot of other things will be lost if I ever settle outside India. This makes me introspect-This is something I just can’t have here

Step onto any street of Delhi or Mumbai at any point of the day and you will see a world of activity going on. You find so much energy in whatever we Indians do. The loud music, the high pitch of our speech etc can be taken as us being loud but I think it just shows us to be expressive and passionate. Ask an Indian mother, who is the son of her sister’s brother-in-law’s nephew (not the sister’s son ofcourse  ) and in most probability she won’t take more than a second to answer. We love our relations and these relations are a chain that has no end. I don’t remember when was the last time I had food and someone didn’t take a bite of two from my plate. This is something unknown in this part of the world. Isn’t it amazing to share your food with friends and family, it just shows so much love and affection.

We have some of the most hard working and smart people in the world. An average Indian shop runs from 9 to 9 against 11 to 7 in France. As lovely as the Louvre might be, I can’t help but think-If we had not been stolen from umpteen times by people all across the world, we would still have all our relics and the resources to preserve them. If we had not been the victims of fate, we would still have been the “Golden Bird” and people would have had food to eat and the energy to take care of the surroundings. With 40% of the country not getting proper nourishment, a clean and crisp surrounding is a bit too much to ask as people have a lot more serious issues to worry about.

I am in no way trying to demean any other nation. Ofcourse there is a lot that is there to learn for us from the West. Every country, every society has quite a lot that it can teach the world. We Indians ourselves have started to think that we don’t have anything to share which is totally false. Let us not be critical, let us try to change!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

DCET & The Changing Face of Student Politics

One of my first memories of Panjab University, Chandigarh is Ankit Malik & Puneet Rooprai, two 2nd year seniors coming to my room and giving me my first lesson in Panjab University Politics, in process making me a SOPU member for life. But I also remember me having thought at that time, “ I have not come here for politics, I will study!” That might have been the case with most of the people entering Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology as politics is perceived as a thing for the law or arts guys. But PU is a place where you just can’t stay away from SOPU-PUSU or INSO & ABVP & SOI as well some may say. Looking at it all in hindsight, I don’t think I regret having been an active supporter of SOPU or being “involved” in politics. I think it in reality, it lead me in discovering a totally different side of myself.

I was as staunch a supporter of SOPU as one could be but I was good friends with a lot of people who didn’t support my party. There used to be a tradition in our hostel that some seniors were baptised as fathers of some juniors, based on how close they are to each other. Ironically, my “godfather” was Rahul Ravi- a PUSU member and so were most of his friends. But that never was a bone of contention in our relations. We did our best to make sure that we bring success to our parties but we never fought our such stuff. I don’t remember having seen any Senior-Junior alternations because of politics during my first couple of years in DCET. Now that I am no more enrolled as a student in the University and am not directly involved in the elections or any related activities, I realise things have drastically changed. Or were they changing when I was there?

Panjab University Campus Students Council elections have recently concluded and PUSU won 3 out of 4 seats in the council. I am myself disappointed by the result, but what pains me even more is the Facebook wars going on between various supporters of both parties from my department. What hurts me even more is the fact that in majority of the cases, it is a case of seniors(in some cases- passouts) and juniors having a full frontal attack on each other. Something that was unheard of in “our times.” I don’t know what is the reason for it-It can be the sudden rise of Facebook which has given wings to people’s thoughts, It can be the fact that now “ragging” is banned unofficially as well as officially so juniors probably have no real nor apparent respect for the seniors, it can also be due to our dedicated efforts in making our juniors loyal to our party more than anything else or it maybe due to some other reason or maybe due to a mix of reasons. But, I know it is not good for the future batches of my beloved DCET( can’t get used to UICET).

So just a heartfelt request to my fellow DCETians, support your party as much as you want to, just have some respect for your fellow batchmates, seniors & juniors even if they support some other political outfit. I think you will enjoy your stay in the university much more.