Saturday, December 27, 2008

What is Death

When I see a young girl’s photograph in the obituary section in a newspaper , I look into her eyes.. The eyes of a young girl..full of life , thrill and excitement … the eyes that were unaware of the fact that soon their bearer may no longer exist .. She’ll be gone forever and everything will be over …
The very thought of Death sprang out streams of tears from my eyes . What worried me was ..what would happen if one day I just wouldn’t wake up again . The loss of separation is too much for me . I also sometimes think … who will miss me when I die . People will remember and pay tribute for few days or maybe weeks and then forget me forever . They’ll “move on…” . The sun will shine again …the birds will chirp again …daisies will still be the beautiful white . Nothing will change. This thought was enough to break me down. I used to shudder to think of the day that would come one day. I would think of something else to rejoice .
One day , I was reading Chicken soup. There was a story about a little girl . The story read that this little girl had a very close friend . This friend would play with her every weekend . Soon it was known that her friend had developed a deadly sickness ( I think it was cancer …) . The little girl was unaware of this . And her parents were reluctant to tell her . They kept delaying the time when they would have to tell her . Her friend started growing weaker and weaker with each passing weekend . She would stop coming to play . And the girl’s parents would cover u for her . One weekend when she didn’t come , the girl’s mother came to talk to her. In a pool of tears , she told her what was wrong . The girl was quiet ..not crying ..not smiling . Then she said “mom I knew it” . Her mom was very shocked . The girl continued “when she got to know about her sickness , she told me . Everytime she came around , we used to discuss this”. Her mother tried to comfort her but the girl added “She wants to go to heaven soon so that her pain recedes . And Mom shes not going anywhere ..shes only going to Heaven .”
The end of the story is predictable but what is special about this story is the way the girl took things . And this is what I had forgot . Shakespeare said “This worlds a stage and we are mere players”. If we enter the stage .. we have to exit as well . And Death is inevitable.
Who knows whether Heaven or Hell really exists after death …but it do exists during the course of life. Our deeds counts. If today we do something unjustified we will pay for it much before our journey to Hell . And if we want people to remember us and “call us” in need …we have to make the batteries of our life efficient.
Death will then …not be an end ..but another beginning .

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Secular Bomb

After the Bangalore and Ahemdabad blasts , it was quite known that its Delhi’s turn now . The expected date was 15th August . The photographs of the terrorists were revealed . Delhi was on high alert on and preceeding the Independence day . Infact , I had planned to travel by metro . On 14th th , it was a rare sight . People were not hanging out of the DTC and Blueline buses ..infact they were almost empty ! The Red DTC buses prospered that day ( probably everyone including me thought that terrorists would prefer an inexpensive ride to cause terror !) However god saved us . With suspicion , Delhi revived its speed.
Almost a month later , they struck . Five bombs rocked Delhi on a Saturday evening sending waves of chaos and panic all across . The mobile network had jammed . The news channels did not dare to change the topic . Seeing the people with eyes that did all the speaking made us feel lucky . The blast had killed 24 people and injured almost a hundred . The following morning , the newspaper was flooded with scene captures of the destruction , the tales of the eye witnesses and most importantly the analysis of the inhuman act .
Delhi was forewarned so was this act an outcome of the negligence of the police ? Who was behind these blasts ? Would it disrupt the functioning in the capital as well as in the whole country ? Will this case also remain unsolved ? And most importantly what was the need for the blood bath ?

Delhi security force can be blamed to a large extent as the peaceful afternoon of the deadly Saturday did not even see the regular checking on metro stations . Its a known fact that Railway stations and bus terminals donot have a proper system of checking . The original plan of terrorists was to plant 20 bombs in a bus terminal ! However yes the police cannot monitor each and every market and street of the city . But still the corrupt and no-less-than-criminal police officers with massive tummies bulging out should not be spared . The second question meets a direct answer as Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility in an email which was sent minutes before the attack .
Delhi cannot afford to retard its speed so even after the smoke and blood , Monday turned to be just the same : the big bowl of cornflakes , screaming at the ‘fast’- speeded clock ; the usual jam ; the usual 70% attendence in lectures … but with two new developments - everyone had a tale to tell and men&women in khakhi roaming everywhere . The week was snailing ‘peacefully’ when on Friday , panic struck in college as news of a red alert flew in. Rumors ranged from terrorists escape to another blast . When back home safe , the critical version was presented . In an encounter , two terrorists died , two escaped and one got arrested . Red alert was for the search .
In the paper , next morning , the original plan was revealed . If it would have been implemented then there would have been no need for a massive earthquake to bring down the capital. The terrorists used to bet as to whose bomb would be more successful . They would celebrate on every blast . The mastermind remarked “aaj newspapers sunne lage rahe hai” in the week following the attack .
The major issue that remains is the cause for this terror attack. Terrorism in India is considered ‘equivalent’ to Muslim fundamentalism . Reason is complicated and often unexplored. The Indian Mujahideen wrote “You are paying for your deeds” in the email. These ‘deeds’ can be interpreted in several ways . Delhi is sharply divided into hindu , muslim and Sikh areas. However the terrorists attacked in central places . So was it really a communal attack ? Did they really wanted to wipe out the other religion ?
In a TV show discussing this , a human right activist claimed the presence of fundamentalist political parties to be the cause. India was supposed to be a secular country . There is no state religion so why is there a quota for minorities ? Why is religious identity being reflected in politics ?
BJP is the main opposition party in the current political term . BJP propagates the policy of Hindutva . According to the policy , India is a hindu’s nation and Muslims are the invaders . It claims only hindu rites and customs , hindi language and hindus as a part of Indian culture . They put Hinduism above all (actually , at the expense of all ) . BJP emerged effectively during the Babri masjid dispute of 1992 . And it’s a well-known fact that BJP played a major role in its proceedings . The ’Karsewaks’ had their full support . BJP is also known to have caused the genocide following the godhra train burning . Those who still may not agree should answer as to why the state government failed to restore peace and ultimately got dismissed ? Why the state police was unable to protect people ( only muslims ) ?
The latest update is that Narendra Modi remarks that Godhra train burning was ‘pre-planned’ . He did not mention a word about the godhra riots which was far more inhuman . Even today he cares more about hindus than humans . The Godhra train burning is considered a case of accidental fire and even it wasn’t , it can be justified.
‘Karsewaks’ can be interpreted as hindu terrorists . The myth that Babri Masjid was constructed by Babar by destroying the rama temple ignited their narrow-minded views . Is their Ram more important than muslim’s Allah ? They clearly proved that India is hindu’s nation . This is a theory that almost every hindu agrees upon. Following the Godhra train burning were the riots . Thousands of muslims were attacked inhumanly. Gujarat has still not been able to recover from the wounds. The recent elections saw the revival of the communal misery . Muslims were brutally suppressed , an insult to the secular nature of the country . Every Indian knew what was going on but they merely expressed their ‘grief’ over it . Some commoners did not even do that as there are many staunch supporters of Narendra Modi who was the outright winner of the election . A conversation with one of the supporters revealed the thinking of some ‘hindu fundamentalists’ that Muslims as minorites had stretched too far !
Fire is not one-sided . There are many stereotypes about Muslims . Ask any hindu and he/she can write books on the cruelty of the muslims , Just a few days back , I had gone to an area for my NSS . Accompanying me was a journalism student . In the past , we have had debates about all this . We were in auto and suddenly the autowala had come to a halt . We saw a huge bunch of muslims standing on the road and offering prayers . I found the scene very interesting as I was seeing this for the first time and also it was interesting as I had only just read in the books that on hearing the sound from the minaret , people had to come together and offer prayers . We paid the autowala and passed through the area . My friend said “oh no!” . I was like “what was that for” . Then she narrated an incident that took place with her some years back . She explained how following a talk on babri masjid issue , her car was attacked by a muslim mob . She was sitting inside with her cousin and they struck on the car and damaged it . Her brother also met with some injuries . The experience was something she could never forget . I could feel what she felt like and conveyed my grievance to her . I said to her that “I am sorry for this but I am still firm on my concept that its their psychology of the people and not their religion that attacks “. She did agree to it . In recent times , I have engaged myself with a lot of people on this issue . They had innumerable stories to tell but they did mention about one of their good ‘muslim’ friend . The post-partition communal riots as well as recent communal riots gives the two communities the reason to hate each other . Both communities had suffered tremendously . However both think that they have suffered more than the other one . These grudges have continuously been inherited . The analysis of the communal riots always mention some exceptions . There are many instances where a Hindu is often given shelter by a muslim and vice versa. Therefore it has been proved that it’s the psychology of an individual that determines his/her action . Religion has got nothing to do with it . Afterall , Religion is made as well as interpreted by humans themselves.
Muslim Fundamentalist groups like SIMI , Indian Muslim League are equivalent to the Hindu Fundamentalist groups including Shiv Sena , RSS , VHP and most dominant the BJP . So if SIMI is banned then why is BJP , Shiv Sena and RSS allowed ? Is this what is meant by being Secular ? India is proud to call itself a Subcontinent which gives shelter to various distinct religions and languages . But in reality , India is a hindu’s nation and hindi is the national language . My other question is that if we could ‘tolerate’ Christians , Zoroastrians , Buddhists , Jainas then why not Muslims ? And to remark that Muslims were invaders is the most a-historical thing to say . Aryans are known to be immigrants from Central Asia . Zoroastrians were also from Iran . Christians , no doubt , were invaders and the most cruelest of them all . Islam had also underwent many ‘Indianisation’ . The biggest product being Urdu . Hindi is one of its two derivative languages . A very shocking thing is the fact that people interpret ‘Hindustan’ with its literal meaning . Arabs had given our country this name in 12th century (before the mughal empire) owing to the fact that we live beyond the river sindhu . It never referred to the religion of the people . The problem with Islam is that it has always been known for the crusaders’ war . States a muslim in a newspaper article about terrorism and Islam , “Islam teaches people to die for their religion . This do or die policy brainwashes the minds of the young muslims” . This is very ironical as the depiction of living beings in art had created a row in India during Akbar’s reign . The muslim fundamentalists argued that Muhammad once remarked that ‘only God has the ability to create life’ . Well when God has the sole right to create life then how can we , as humans destroy life and try to overpower God.
Terrorists as described by the muslim community , have no religion . They are just against one religion and that is of humanity . The solution to terrorism in India is to make India secular by enlightening the masses and most importantly by banning of all fundamentalist groups including BJP . Religion is a way of life and not life. There is more to a person than just his/her religious identity. Killing can never be forgiven by god - be it Rama or Allah. The religion of Humanity overshadows all other Religions . Be human first then be a Hindu or a Muslim .

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Life of a three-week old Fuchcha

Waking up at the first shout ...using an extra bucket of water...redoing the hair 5 times...readjusting the new dress 10 times...the struggle to calm down those butterflies on the stomach... this was the effect of my "First Day" fever.

I reached my new bus stop with my mom only to find that I an not the only fresher on planet!A dozen other bachcha-turned-fuchchas were being told off by their parents.

Sitting in the auditorium , I looked around the packed place and said to myself"yes! I have made it." For someone like me who never though of a college other than LSR , it was dream-turned-reality.I was happy not because i was now in one of the best institutes but because i always wanted to be here. I was taking in ever word of the principal as i was trying to feel the "LSRite". Presentations by Music and Dance society revealed that LSR was more than just the bets academic institute. And the thing i can recall scene to scene has to be "Are you smarter than a LSR girl ?" The concept of planting a sapling was really thoughtful . The Orientation day will surely be a long-cherished one.

The Orientation Day was the entrance to College Life - studies but with loads of fun ! And for fun ..we require friends ! I met my first College friend after the orientation . A little smile did the magic and "simple&sober" Sarita became my friend. My "I-am-lost" attitute made my hit upon my second friend - Shubha . This bengal tigress is an all-rounder - book worm , debator , actor , singer , classical dancer and most importantly ..a true friend . There are others on our small herd ...I being the shy jane got the "meditating Devi" title in my first week ! Regarding the fun part ..yes we do try to have fun .

Now about the study part : wandering from corridors to corridors in search of right classroom ...the struggle to catch the speed of the lecture train... adopting strategy to survive in those little classrooms ... adapting library as our second home...

Now When someone asks me "Howz college" ..i reply "Cat filled cafe ... too many books ...library ... backed by stress busters called friends !"