Monday, January 16, 2012

The Might of the Mighty

Himalayas - the mighty Himalayas enthrall one and all for ages.

I felt the might on our visit to Kishtwar - a remote part of Kashmir. You can feel the power of nature all around you and realize how puny and insignificant is Man in front of the might and harsh glory of Nature.

Crystal blue sky, clear whiff of air, over powering snow capped mountains and Chenub flowing through the gorge made the setting for a perfectly peaceful time in Kashmir.

'Peace' and Kashmir might sound a paradox considering the last few decades of so-called politico unrest in the valley but let me reiterate - Salute to another Mighty force - Indian Army - we are at peace!!

The place is not part of tourism map and has very little villages around. The locals survive on Saffron and Sapphire - their pride produce and the immense social work by the Army - Youth employments - women empowerment - orphanages are few of them.

Our travel to Kashmir interestingly had a huge influence of any B-grade Hindi movie and years of negative information which has made us believe the worse - Kashmir is a life-death experience to an extent we start considering ourselves as martyrs. So our journey to and fro to our destination left us with high levels of adrenalin rush at each sharp bend of the mountains. So what about the true martyrs?

As we take in the beauty with awe and spun heated discussions over a drink or two on the so-called Kashmir issue, the effort of many armed men and true martyrs quietly slips by...the true martyrs spending days and months without family or social life in such remote areas just for our 'peace'. Men who take guarding their motherland an individual responsibility, takes in all the worries and hard work to give us the platform in social circles to sip a glass of wine and flaunt our 'achievements' in terms of money - cars - brands owned. What a Farce and Shame!

The Indian Army men truly lives up to the Might of the Himalayas while we get lost in our cosmetic achievements. Both stand tall in their true glory!

Hail the Might of the Mighty Himalayas and the Mighty Indian Army!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Calcutta - City of Joy?

I would say YES
Any visitor will say a big NO

Phuchka at Golpark.....adda and chai at Nandan with a self taught singer singing all beautiful Rabindranath numbers....tram trips via Victoria...holding on to the 'tinawalla' bus tickets under the watch strap...sneaking for a noon show at New Empire....hopping to savor Nahoums brownie....quick visit to the Academy for the art shows...lazying round to catch up with Nandikar's evening plays and fish cutlet.....window shopping and pitch haggling with Gariahat footpath vendors.....pick up a Bedwin roll...casually enter Someplace Else for Nandan Baggchi's Jazz....stroll on Park Street and check the books and mags from the street vendors....feel athletic with Badminton bats and quick shots with your friends on a Bandh ridden road.....flow with the crowd on Ashthami Pujo....feel proud to hop on a Metro and listen to soothing Rabindra Sangeet....visit relatives with one full 'bhaar' of mishtidoi....check the handicrafts and trade fairs and obviously the glamorous Book Fair where in at least 20 people are lost and found everyday and people from chandannogore invariably loose their slippers.....the serpentine lines on 25th December and on 31st at Zoo...Botanical Gardens....the picnic parties at Maidan....people of all class enjoying their fullest....women in merc's gauging on the roadside Bhelpuri...the smile is the only constant factor in Calcutta!

The simple pleasures of Calcutta - the range Calcutta has to offer to all sects makes the city so special and unique!!

Dont judge the book by its cover - feel it!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

shift+alt+del: homosapiens

One FB friend asked about the reason warning calls are sounded by animals in forest for predators - My thoughts: I guess they still dont know that there is a greater predator who can wipe out all animal population and I strongly feel predators should start giving warning calls!!
We are presently fighting a cause for justice to a tigress killed by a speeding vehicle inside Bandhavgarh NP. Its been about a week now and as usual justice is still 'on the way'. My thoughts presently are - isn't it funny that we fight our own war created by us!
I wonder what will happen to this world without us. Lot of land for animals to live in peace, no global warming, no pollution in the name of development, no disasters like Tsunami/Cyclone/Volcano, no nuclear bombs, no weapons of destruction.....all evils seems to be pointing to one source.
Would we realise or creep to our deaths and the destruction of Earth itself - maybe that's the cycle of existence!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One step forward or two steps backward?

We coin it Development - calculating 2+2 on mobile calculators, driving down to your next street neighbourhood, trying to enjoy nature in airconditioned cars, googling for knowledge sitting at one place and paying lakhs to treat back pain, cutting down forests to make concrete jungle and them blaming global warming for rising temperatures.

If we for a moment whiff back about a century from today - we the same specie would mentally calculate distances, find places without refferring to navigators, climb up 50 stairs at one go, go to doctors for a chit chat only, plant trees to enjoy fresh air, walk miles to meet friends and relatives and not pollute air with cars and in the bargain not have back pains.

So are we going one step forward with so called 'mechanic development' or in reality putting two steps backward?

All these diseases, pollution, global warming, destruction of natural habitat and animals, imbalance in the ecological system are due to such destruction in the name of development - computers, cars, Airconditioners, paper and printers, mobile, electronic appliances at home.

Time we reset our clocks and start learning from our ancestors to live life healthily.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jump off the train.....

Sorry if the post heading is mis-leading - I am not planning or even giving ideas on how to jump off a train!!

The train has a connotation - for me and by me - its the sequential standard and best practice of Life. You know - the kinds like you are born - pass all the major degrees as told - get a fat job - get married - have first kid - then the second - keep working to climb the corporate ladder like many of your co-passengers - feel satisfied with life - wife and kids - start the same chain with your kids - die in oblivion in your own world. The only motion a man goes through on this train is the change of bogies....

The first half of the journey is definitely confined in the train when you are stuck with your parents in one bogie - then Jump Off!!

Dont catch another train - just walk - enjoy everything around - take in the spirits - hear the music - live life for yourself and others who are sometimes thrwon out of the train - the ones which by their unchosen fate are so-called as ''orphans'', ''deprived''. Gain strength - share love - live and die with a smile of utter satisfaction of experiencing the world beyond the train.

Such smile has been enjoyed by many stalwarts who have inevitably jumped off the train - greats in music - social work - literature who as society say ' live beyond the boundries' and are seldom understood by people peeping out from the train. But this doesnot mean you jump off the train with hopes of becoming the Great!! No-one has ever done that - here consequence is not important - its the journey - discovery - experience - sharing which gives you the smile and not what comes out of it.

No train - no sequence - talk to people - travel - meet souls - give the magic touch - smile with people who are grumpy - touch hearts with whatever you have - smile within when you give and get - enjoyyyyyyyyyyyy!!

Life is beyond just the train - enjoyment is at every corner - pick up your soul - love and enjoy...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

care and love

Let me be clear that the name has nothing to do with any beauty care or personal care - its an orphanage and aptly named.

There are about 35 children from the age group of 3- 13 girls and boys.

The word orphan and orphanage is heart rendering and one will probably go with a different bend of mind - lot of sympathy but when you face such children - the smile in their face and the confidence will make you feel puny in front of them. You will forget all your woes and struggle which till now has been the 'worst in the world'.

How does a child survive physically or mentally without parents - a great do they come to terms with the concept that they are alone in this world and still have the spirit and strength to smile.

My conclusion - they must be super humans - they must have reached the higest form of mental and physical strength which people wont even dream of - kudos to such children who stay and grow up in an orphanage considering their fellow orphans as their family - sharing their woes and happiness with their adopted family and surrounding and living happily ever after.

My deep regards for such children and a lot to learn in true sense.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Country of Liberty

In my trip to US, I covered mid parts which are Minneapolis and Texas and New Orleans; Eastern part of Boston and New York. Although it was over month long trip, I wont take the liberty of commenting much on US culture since that requires furthur observation. Few snippets is all I can offer.
Minneapolis and Rochester - kind of dry place - not much to see although I tried catching up with their much publicised Contemporary Art museum which to my eyes looked ridiculous with wall length canvas with a black stroke in-between (my due apologies to all modern painters). It is supposed to be one of the coldest parts of US so people are not very fast paced or lively. They have sky walks all through to avoid the harsh climate and like the climate - people were bit stony and cold.
Boston - the tea party - did buy some tea with the same tag! Its a historical city with British Architecture and the famous harbour where American Revolution budded. The quincy market reminded me of Calcutta New Market which has its old flavour harmonised neatly with the new generation of marketers. There were street performers with their jiggs and music. Interestingly, contrary to our city setup - US marks the downtown as the city which is mostly the hub of commerce and activity while people live in and around the main downtown. To get the flavour of culture - one has to visit the downtown. MA being the seat of education with MIT, Stanford - the student culture is more vibrant. A old city with young crowd thronging the streets to shop or visit museums or just hang around Quincy Market.
New York - needs a special mention. Vibrant, positive, multi-cultural and lingual - I felt quite at home. Street are mostly unkempt, people have a maddening pace and its true that the 'city never sleeps'. I can strongly conclude that atleast in the Eastern parts and New Orleans - people are mostly on the street - enjoying live performances, hanging around, eating cuisines like Euthopian one(I tasted myself) more so in the evenings and weekends.
Houston - got the flavour of BIG. Everything was enourmous - from the quantity you order to malls to even people flashing their ornaments and dresses.
New Orleans - party city - Bouboun street where people hang around drunk for days together. The seat of Mardi Gras - the extremely friendly French Quarters. A city undaunted by the havoc and destruction of Katrina.
Interestingly, contrary to popular belief - Americans are not shameless in their dress sense(we believe they are mostly half naked) or showing their emotion publicly and its definitely not true that one can do anything on American Streets. They are pretty conservative and the recent trend is more to be family oriented. They love eating out, travelling and ofcourse shopping. Consumerism is high and responsible and one can easily get lost in the variety although all makes are Chinese!!! Wastage is high - food, water, gas, paper - all comes in such huge quantity that its bound to get wasted. Cities are not that clean as one would love to believe, beggars are plenty - infact, one data says there are about 19000 homeless in LA itself. Crime is very high - they have channels dedicated to crime reporting but one thing is for sure - corruption doesnot affect the basics like education, health system, food which I guess makes living much easier.
People are generally happy go-lucky, friendly(not like Europeans) and inquisitive. I feel their past makes them much more open to different cultures, races, religion - I would say every American has little of every kind of flavour across the world although they are very protective about their individuality too. The race for money keeps up the positive pace but also makes them loose themselves easily to drugs and crime. I found a growing influence of hinduism amongst them in the form of yoga, meditation which although for some are fads.
Capitalism, liberty and freedom makes the Americans grow in their mind and also creates bad sheep - a tough balance to strike.
Last but not the least:
Population of China is under control!!
Obviously - more than 70% reside now in US!!!!