Monday, July 9, 2018

Save The Vowels !

Mrng, H r u , tc and k . This is what I got today morning and it was just the proverbial straw that broke my back. Honestly, these short forms are driving me nuts. I am not one of those grammar Nazis. Heavens forbid but when in the morning one starts checking the messages and these short forms come, I wonder what everyone is doing with the saved vowels.
Is there a secret society that I don’t know about or don’t belong to? How come everyone majorly eats up the vowels? We are not on twitter nor are we driving at that time that one needs to save time or is being a smart alec to make a point on the twitter feed. We all belong to a time when the colonial hangover was still looming on us, we all went to school and were taught proper sentences and perfect spellings. I just don’t know what happened with the advent of the smart phone. We all are vehla’, and are sitting on the throne and sending messages that seemed to have lost vowels.
My dear, saving the vowels and taking them to heaven are not going to get ache din back. All we can do is change ourselves now and seize the moment. In our lives now, we all profess to be busy and have no time for life and its moments. All we can do is complain and curse and find fault in the government, who are also human, it’s us who they govern but we just don’t want to be governed. All we can do is break laws, not take care of the society, its infrastructure and always play the blame game. Then we are the shrillest. How many of you would actually go plant a tree, or help clean your street? We would rather sit glued to the third arm extension we have and register protests on the virtual platform. I don’t think the God there listens (there are so many God pages) .The administrator there is also human.
A fast pace of life, trying to juggle activities, multi-tasking, networking, and just living the façade of a fake life has changed us. We all are guilty of this, we read, we ignore, we send a perfunctory K, and dismiss. Not realizing, sometimes these are cries for help. Sometimes, these statuses, messages all can lead us to a saddened, depressed person who can be helped.  All, I say is when you reply, just do so with a complete sentence not eating up the vowels, respect the receiver. 
How would you like it? If , one day the vowels just protested and disappeared and became extinct? No DNA sample would bring them back, like the white rhinos. Sometimes ,its good to savor the moment, to go slow, just like the tortoise and enjoy the journey. It’s all about the journey, not about the destination. Life is not about coming first, that is why we have the number line, and someone has to come second, third, so forth and last.
And, next times just make a conscious effort to use the vowels. You’d see the difference, and just don’t get me started on the punjabi english , hindi khichdi that has invaded my inbox.I think its all about being this old fashioned puritan or as they say Buddha ho gaye, tussi .Could be that I am in my dotage, and this fast pace is not for me.
However, I am starting an online crusade where I am going to save the vowels from extinction!
K.


Friday, July 6, 2018

The Curious Case of the Urine test

One of the best whatsapp forwards came today, I wish I could post the Punjabi one, but a loosely translated it means that a politician took the urine sample of someone and passed it off as his. A few days, when we went to laboratory for the report, the compounder congratulated him saying, you are all clean and congratulations you are pregnant.
This is just one of the jokes that have begin to surface regarding the new policy of the government of making it compulsory to be tested for drugs.
I agree, it is a bold step and they have also boldly announced death penalty for the offenders. This already existed since Independence but why has there been such a severe laxity and a conundrum between the police, state officials, politicians and just about everyone. I am sure we all agree that no one came from the next country, and not even the next one or Mars. No green-eyed funny Martian came and sprinkled dust on us and voila! We were addicted. It’s happened in front of us, slowly and slowly poisoning the children, the youth, the elderly and it’s just a catastrophe.  We have all been so busy in blaming the other political party just to swing the votes, so the new one came what did they do? Have the waved the magic wand? Have the deaths finished, have they suddenly all reformed. Instead of shouting, blaming, throwing allegations and trying to do arm chair politics (Punjabis come number one in this sphere).
I have two boys who attended my evening school a few years ago who are addicts. They did everything what we as Punjabis are famous for, took money on loan, did the Middle east circuit, made money, came back to the village, flaunted the money, built the customary ‘kotha’, made everyone jealous with the wealth and married an innocent girl, got her pregnant and became an addict.
It’s the story just out of the next Raj Kumar Hirani movie. The sad part is these boys don’t make any blockbuster money, nor will it run to packed halls. They just die behind the old, dilapidated school alley, found the next day by some one who went to the pans early morning. This is the true picture. The amount of money that is going to be shelled out for testing and to make headlines the next day could be used effectively for the rehabilitation. It is so expensive for the common man to get them treated that they just try once and eventually give up. Friends, Punjabis, countrymen, lend me your ears, try and bury drugs. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones; so let it be with drugs. I am loosely borrowing this, and changing it to suit my subject here. But, I honestly wish for a cooperation of the parties together that can change the horizon for tomorrow, otherwise the coming generations if it survives will not forgive us for being mute spectators. Do not worry about the shrinking water table, if none are left, who will use and farm the water? We were once the pride of India; do not be reduced to the shame and blot of India

The Curious Case of the Urine test

One of the best whatsapp forwards came today, I wish I could post the Punjabi one, but a loosely translated it means that a politician took the urine sample of someone and passed it off as his. A few days, when we went to laboratory for the report, the compounder congratulated him saying, you are all clean and congratulations you are pregnant.
This is just one of the jokes that have begin to surface regarding the new policy of the government of making it compulsory to be tested for drugs.
I agree, it is a bold step and they have also boldly announced death penalty for the offenders. This already existed since Independence but why has there been such a severe laxity and a conundrum between the police, state officials, politicians and just about everyone. I am sure we all agree that no one came from the next country, and not even the next one or Mars. No green-eyed funny Martian came and sprinkled dust on us and voila! We were addicted. It’s happened in front of us, slowly and slowly poisoning the children, the youth, the elderly and it’s just a catastrophe.  We have all been so busy in blaming the other political party just to swing the votes, so the new one came what did they do? Have the waved the magic wand? Have the deaths finished, have they suddenly all reformed. Instead of shouting, blaming, throwing allegations and trying to do arm chair politics (Punjabis come number one in this sphere).
I have two boys who attended my evening school a few years ago who are addicts. They did everything what we as Punjabis are famous for, took money on loan, did the Middle east circuit, made money, came back to the village, flaunted the money, built the customary ‘kotha’, made everyone jealous with the wealth and married an innocent girl, got her pregnant and became an addict.
It’s the story just out of the next Raj Kumar Hirani movie. The sad part is these boys don’t make any blockbuster money, nor will it run to packed halls. They just die behind the old, dilapidated school alley, found the next day by some one who went to the pans early morning. This is the true picture. The amount of money that is going to be shelled out for testing and to make headlines the next day could be used effectively for the rehabilitation. It is so expensive for the common man to get them treated that they just try once and eventually give up. Friends, Punjabis, countrymen, lend me your ears, try and bury drugs. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones; so let it be with drugs. I am loosely borrowing this, and changing it to suit my subject here. But, I honestly wish for a cooperation of the parties together that can change the horizon for tomorrow, otherwise the coming generations if it survives will not forgive us for being mute spectators. Do not worry about the shrinking water table, if none are left, who will use and farm the water? We were once the pride of India; do not be reduced to the shame and blot of India

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Some days blue , and the colours

We all suffer from it , some days we all feel so blue and the day just gets bleaker by the second . In the last few weeks so much has been written about depression , mental health and suicide when nothing seems to be worth living for that it is better to just end one’s life. The most important and the biggest step is just admitting that one can be sad and its not essential to be happy and hunky dory , its ok to to not be happy , to not talk, to not smile . Some days to just exist to get up and function according to the norms set by society is so hard , to put up a face . In fact , the main problem lies in the expectations people have from us and that fact we are not everybody’s favourite cup of tea or coffee and that we are labelled to fit the stereotype that ‘they ‘ think is fit for us.
It is a predecided, predefined and mind you a pre conceived notion and image . The sad part is that we didn’t have this two decades ago , and. Now the pressures to perform , to be, to measure up to an image are making us trying to be what we not . It is easier to just fade away into oblivion.
I recently read a book that just highlighted time and again that we need to first learn or retune ourselves to love ourselves, no one else is going to come and do it , they all would just gladly put you down . You’d ask who the ‘they ‘ is , it can be any from your family , your siblings,colleagues, family , the subtle let down , the behaviour patterns to make you feel guilty that you are not worthy or don’t measure up.
It’s perfectly ok to be mediocre , to not be happy , to be second best or even be last and to be at the bottom . That is why we learnt numbers, and we learnt the values . Maybe this is where all the maths we all did in school boils down to. It took me a lot of years to understand and more importantly accept that I am not going to be loved by all , its ok to be liked and even if tolerated and hated ; it still was an emotion. And , this is not a pity write up , so that I get the ooh and aah and the shoulder to cry upon.
The book that I read made me come to ten points ( I love lists ) someone out there will analyse this to be some Freudian bent of my mind but at this point of time these points work.
1) Formulate , visualise in our mind that you will succeed . Hold this picture tenaciously , don’t focus on the extra weight or the grey hair or the freckles or that fat tyre that refuses to go away .Never permit the picture to fade away, always picture the rainbow , success. Just keep that happy picture of success , positivity in your mind. It’s all a mind game .
2)Whenever you have a negative, bleak thought like a dementor engulfing you and the grey clouds sucking out all the happiness out of you , focus on one positive thought and wipe the negative away like a duster cleaning the blackboard.
3) Do not keep on harping about the negative. Yes, its negative, don’t give it power, don’t make it bigger, don’t feed the Medusa.
4) And the one that I think is the most relevant , don’t be awestruck by others . You are YOU , do not copy them, they are not you and you are not them. The biggest problem is the hyper extension, over visualisation of everything where we want what is projected in front of us all the time , the bag , the belt, the car , the jewels , the better pout, the selfie , the best holiday picture, the name dropping of the brand that has been to define us .
5) Ten times a day , repeat these words - If Babaji be for US , then who can be against US ? Repeat Now, stop doing everything , don’t forward this , don’t share , don’t post just repeat SLOWLY and confidently . Friends are everywhere , so I have this one in Lahore and one in Singapore and they have different religions from me , so her Allah , and her Christ and my Babaji all say that when I am there for you , why do you waver? We all are dust and we shall return to dust so why do we waver form our faith and question Him? He shall forever be behind me and within me .
6)Get help , there is no shame ,someone out there studied and excelled in helping out the vagaries of the mind . This bleakness, sadness , spiralling despair can all be sorted, treated. Self knowledge is the beginning.
7) Ten times a day practise the following affirmation , and repeat out loud just like when we were little and learnt the nursery rhymes. Just stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself, this is difficult at first to look at oneself and to meet the eye. Say , I can do all the things , through Babaji which strengthened me . It seems silly at first , but just speaking these out loud , made me focus , positive and the beginning of a fuzzy glow started within.
8) We always undervalue ourselves or we inflate ourselves, no balance I think. Make a true estimate of yourself , your traits ,your outreach and then add ten percent to this. Develop self respect and not be a egotistical pompous ass . Do not be Harry’s uncle or cousin .
9) Put yourself in God’s hands and surrrende. No matter how much you fight , and deny the existence there does exist a higher matter than us that is the balance of life . I always say - I am in your hands , and then as we talked about visualise that you are receiving the power you need. Feel that God is within you. This I have come to believe and have learnt is the consciousness that resides in us. It just needs to be rekindled , reawakened as it all lies within us. This life force helps us.
10) Remind yourself that God is within you , and nothing can defeat you .

A lot of us are going to dismiss this as there is no tangible proof that God exists but rather than argue that He is or He isn’t there , why not for once go with the flow and believe He is and He is within us and change one’s reaction at first and then the mental attitude and accept the will.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

books and the bhel puri wallah

What a sad day, no I am not talking about the state of affairs or the sandstorm that just hit us and made it pitch black reminiscent of Mummy returns but when the only book seller in my town laments the sad state of affairs. I was buying some books yesterday and he just remarked how it is very expensive to run the shop as no one buys books anymore.
He said in complete seriousness that a bhel puri wallah who sets up his thela in the evening and works from 5pm to (pm makes more in the evening then he does in a day. he was so dejected that he said that a few days ago a society matron whom he did not want to name had come to buy a coloring book. She bought it and then asked him for a discount and said kuch kar do, meaning how much discount would you give? The book was 40 rupees and he said in a sad voice that the profit is 8 rs; she can see how much she wants to give. In fact, he spoke in a disgusted tone, that when we go eat golguppas do we ever bargain with the hawker!
It is true, when we  go to a restaurant we never complain, in fact we flaunt the fact we ate here, instagraming the food for more virtual recognition. But when one has to buy a book we complain about how expensive it is.  For me, its like so many books, so little time”.
There is another saying, “the person be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid’. The ability to transport and to be teleported to the story where it is set, to learn of foreign lands, to know about characters, plot, to be one with another’s imagination and to be lost in the world of make- believe or history is what books can do. I think books are magical creatures that open up a whole new world, a vista, introducing one to history , romance, culture, travel or science or horror or even vampires! In fact, my best companion till now is always books. And, nothing beats a book in hard copy , in it’s truest from not in the electronic version that is sterile and has no feeling.
I know, you think Im being weird but , a book with its illustrative cover, and the paper used, font actually make it what it is. Be it the classics of the bygone era, of every country thay are actually the true carriers of civilization for u s.
Sadly , this is missing nowadays , no one reads , there are no lending libraries, no comic books to be traded, no mystery to follow or murder to unravel.
Yes, books are written but the audience is missing and is being substituted by the smart phone or the app that will tell you what it is all about .
I do believe something magical can happen when you read a book, JK Rowling . Magic is truly what she gave us by unleashing Harry Potter and the world of Hogwarts. The power of the words to sway , seduce , to transport , to make us believe is what books give.  It is when we read with eagerness do we soak in life .They are what life is made of, to raise battleships , reading books is what sowed the seeds of freedom and gave us our martyrs, and now all we read or skim are the paid news or the hype they want us to believe and that is also available on an app. The day is not too far when you and I will also be an app , downloaded only when convenient and his – story will be read online and books will be forgotten .
For me , reading is still akin to breathing because when I turn the pages I get something new in my memories but I also leave a little something in the last page and funny enough they speak to me ! I wish this lost art would be kindled again and we would reclaim all that is going seriously with us.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Beta Padhao...

Beta padhao, usse rakshas banne se bachao!
This has been the best slogan I read on Instagram today; we united our countries together Pakistan and India for justice for our little girls. We tweet, we make headlines, we walk the candlelight marches and make all the proper, perfunctory noises but do we do anything to nab the rapists?
Never, ever do we do anything?  All they can do is divide us into a Muslim vs. Hindu war or the best is oh its all the girl’s fault because of the clothes she wore.
When did wearing a salwar kameez ever incite these monsters? I just don’t get it, what are we lacking.  I am disgusted and it makes me puke that men would corner her in a temple of worship, and then would gang rape her and then clobber her to death. The question is why?
We shouldn’t worry about the world war three or the systematic destruction by nuclear weapons it will just happen by the raping of each other. In fact, by saying that we have become animals is also insulting animals, they don’t rape.
Animals still have a code. We have lost it.  A little young girl is meant to be cherished, caressed, be protected, brought up in a loving manner, but no, demons and monsters, vile ugly depraved men lurk in every corner killing, raping these innocent souls to just appease their sexual appetite.
What brought this on? Have you ever thought of this? Walking the march, closing down the country for reservations, holding a candle doesn’t stop this rot. Why can’t the politicians ask for capital punishment?
I have never been shamed to be called an Indian, but the shame is there now, where we will idolize and keep her woman self as Maa Lakshmi and Durga, Sarwasati but we rape her human form in such heinous way that it just makes me shudder.
Why do you bow and pay obeisance to her form? Rape is always committed by someone known to the victim, and a rape is reported every 15 minutes that is even quicker than the times an average Indian checks his face book feed. We check it every 19 minutes. And, this is just the ones that are reported.

I am appalled by what is happening, we made a hue and cry when Nirbahaya happened and now Asifa but does it stop. The worst is that one needs to prove that one has been raped. Can you imagine the stigma and the mental turmoil that she or her family goes through? A hash tag or Not in My name movement is needed consistently. Countless more are raped but all we do is make noises for a few days and then back to wondering how we can look better on the display picture of whatsapp. A petition needs to be made to the prime minister to change his slogan of beti bachao, which has backfired so badly to beta padhao. The heavens cry and weep, as the earth’s burden is getting too heavy. This is the Mayan tragedy that was predicted we all are on a path of self –destruction.