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Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

Sometimes I wonder, what is it about ‘Greatness’ that is so selective in nature. Why can’t there be a lot of Greats because every person should ideally strive to be the best that he can be. And I wonder, what is it that makes a lot of ‘Greats’ be so vain that they cannot see when their time is up. Life is, after all, a journey and no matter what some silly lines might suggest that ‘Time stood still when… (she looked at me / Warne came on to bowl / Sachin raised his bat)’; believe me, it is all nonsense. Just that a few ‘Greats’ do not accept this brutal truth and want to latch on to those few moments when they removed their shirt, and time did stand still.

Saurav Ganguly, better known as the ‘Bengal Tiger’ or the ‘God of Off Side’ or some ‘Maharaja’ is definitely one of those ‘Greats’ who characterized the marked change in the attitude of India and Indians towards the world. India went from being a meek sidey pushover to the Bull in the pit, not only in cricket but also in other areas of World recognition such as Business, Economics and even Bollywood. Suddenly, during those few years, Indians decided that they didn’t need to take ‘shit’ and found a new confidence to stand up against their ‘white’ counterparts in all fields. I guess, before Ganguly ‘roared’, even the BCCI never fully realized its economic clout in world cricket.

Unfortunately, the ‘Greatness’ promised by Ganguly remained just that – a promise; unfulfilled coz. ‘Greatness’ cannot leave a bad aftertaste in your mouth. Greatness cannot be literally told to ‘get out’ when it still wants to be in. Greatness, among other things includes, knowing when to Quit. The career of many a great sportsmen passes through domestic level, club level and finally to international level. The career of Saurav Ganguly albeit seems to reverse this pattern, just like that guy Benjamin Buttons’ life in that movie. Being out of International cricket, he has been shown the door by the IPL owners and once he’s out of the IPL, he might as well finally quit Domestic cricket. The Hero has fallen.

Do not for a minute think that we Indians know nothing better than to deride greatness. We loved his hairy chest (not like someone loves a chest but figuratively speaking) when he removed his shirt during that Natwest Final, we loved him when he creamed deliveries through the off side even though the team put 7 players to cover his cover drives, we loved him when he stood by players he believed in, and when he held his head high and carried on with his job in the wake of the match fixing crisis.

Though the announcement of his retirement sounded a little funny considering, he did retire from International cricket and none of the IPL franchises were interested in him, there wasn’t really anything for him to go on, I still thought of remembering the guy. But again, even in the dying moments of his career, he displays he still wants to latch on to his past and claims to have never spoken of retirement, though a lot of people have already published ‘tributes’ for his farewell. Somehow, this reminds me of our Principal’s speech during our Annual Day celebration in school when in the middle of his long speech, all of a sudden, the students would start clapping, not in adulation, but to let him know that his time is up.

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material things

Warning: Long Post, and no humour.

This actually started out as a comment on QI’s post as a reply to Ketan’s comment. Especially, this part of the comment: “…How years of repression and poverty, makes any average person lust for power and money. How we as peoples have been attaching too much importance to perceived superiority. How we all bow down before authority with utmost respect without pausing even once to think if that respect is even deserved! We are slaves to ‘image’ as against any real substance. This creates in everyone, a desire to subjugate others, exploit them, and ‘feel’ superior to them…”

I’ve thought about stuff like this a lot of times. About what is the use of complaining and not doing anything about it; About what can we possible do; About how will an average Indian change? Just, why have we started proving Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the fittest’ so right? Ketan’s posts have helped me in making my thoughts more coherent so if you find this rant a little too crazy, you know who to blame.

Though it might just be just another crazy tangent but I think, the most important thing that we could do to make a lot of difference is to raise children with morals. I’ve seen children grow up in the neighbourhood in India with absolutely no idea about morals or about empathy, and I don’t get it. I don’t understand why all our education or rather schooling does is to teach us how to be successful. (Though there could be further debate on whether the schooling does even that, but let’s not digress.)  I don’t understand why the parents and teachers don’t dedicate some time to teach children that life is not about having ‘things’ or life isn’t only about scoring high marks or being successful in life.

Life is about being good – being good to your classmates, being good to your neighbours, being respectful to every human being including the maid in your house, the janitor who cleans your bathrooms and even the dumb guy in your team who doesn’t know how to hold a bat.

All parents teach kids is study well or else you’ll fail and then you’ll become like this good for nothing uncle of yours sitting at the pan shop whole day. Study well and then you’ll get a good job with a fat salary and then you can buy expensive cars.  Be brave, if someone hits you, don’t come back crying.

If kids make fun of another kid, they feel nothing. Kids just want to hop on their elder sister’s Scooty and zoom away to show off their friends as soon as they can grow up. They want to have the new shoe that has just been launched and the newest video game on the stores. Why?

Coz. they’ve seen their parents doing this all their life; slowly working their way from a small house to a big bungalow, from a scooter to a car. No, there is nothing wrong in improving your standard of living but just for once, consider the cost of uninhibited capitalistic greed on the society. I don’t have a problem with big and expensive cars but I’ve a problem with the feeling that there’s nothing more in life than being successful and success is only measured by the money you make, the car you drive and the brands you wear; That children go to school only to get a career and be even richer than their parents; That life is fun only when you own the latest Xbox or PS2 and the kid who has it all is the most luckiest kid in the class. And Parents take pride in fulfilling every wish of their child – “My son should have everything that I didn’t have when I was a kid.” Just stop and think – What kind of generation are we bringing up?

The standard of living of an average Indian has multiplied a number of times compared to when I was a kid. Majority of all the students in my class today are richer and more well off than when we were in school. And that can be said to be a sign of success of each one of them as well as the progress of the country. But with this success comes the sense of superiority. The feeling that “I’ve arrived and have done so on my own” but where is the sense of social responsibility, the sense of giving back to society? What would a parent then pass on to his/her kids? Obviously, the most important bit of their life that is – How to be successful? But who will teach their kids that it’s ok if you don’t have a lot of money? It is not the end of the world if you can’t buy a car. Why does this success bring in a superiority complex in front of those class mates who may not be as successful? Maybe because they were not good at maths or English or accounts or maybe because they did not get the opportunity as their parents could not afford to send them to college.

I guess we are just numb – numb with greed and numb of others suffering because we hardly can fulfil our own needs. We want so much – so much is available – is out there that we can see on TV but still can’t possess or own. “I just have to buy a Bentley before I retire, I just have to go for an international vacation once every year, I love the caffee latte at Starbucks.”

Every human organism in the society right from the lowest levels to the richest man in the country wants more. We slog for as many hours as possible in a day to be successful and those who slog it out are respected as hard workers and highly successful Industrialists. But why has life only become about earning and then spending whatever you earn? Have you seen one person (and that is including me and you) who thinks he has enough money and he doesn’t need any more to buy the next desirable object on his list? The sole purpose of life has become to buy, consume and buy more and nobody really does anything except for the want of money in return so that he can buy more things.

Take for instance doctors – Why does a kid grow up to be a doctor these days? Is it to contribute to the health and well being of society? Is it really to relieve the pain and suffering of a fellow human?

Take teachers – Who today has is really interested in becoming a teacher? Who thinks that I want to teach kids and make a difference in their lives? But everybody is though interested in opening tuition / coaching classes – Why?

Every lucrative profession becomes a hit with kids passing out of their boards, first it was Doctors and Engineers, then it was MBAs, later it became CA. It doesn’t matter what you like doing coz. at the end of the day, with hard work you’ll succeed. This is what our teachers and parents tell us. And with success we mean only and only the monetary kind.

Capitalism may have been a great tool to unite the world, make it a smaller place, but if we do not maintain a balance in our lives and continue to spoil ourselves silly with things, we then cannot be blaming the state of the country or our politicians. After all, at the end of the day, it is only about having more money. If we do not give our kids a set of morals and values, they’ll be blown away with the desire to have more and more and still want more.

I guess, if we are to see a positive change in society, we have to start looking at the future generation. We have to start telling them that all those advertisements on TV are just advertisements. They don’t mean the world. We have to teach them that it is ok if you are not among the top 5 in class. Daddy doesn’t really crave for that new car, a new t-shirt is not important and NO – YOU WILL NOT HAVE THAT LATEST PLAY STATION JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE HAS IT AND YOU LIKE IT.

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What is Rondechak?

Lovely morning in Dubai. 7.30 am. Weather is showing some respite. The morning sun isn’t yet blazing. Or maybe it is but I’m in the air conditioned confines of my tinted car. I switch on the radio expecting to listen to some nice music:

Rondechak won Rondechak
Rondechakaaa wanalo gete
Rondechak won Rondechak
Rondechakaaa wanalo gete

Is this what I get? Is this what I deserve? I mean, who writes these lyrics? And who actually sings them? And then they go on…

And we Twist,
We twist
We twist
We twist
And we twist…

Keep twisting buddy, I’m outta here. Actually, you should be twisted out of your brains… and the only other person twisting would be Majrooh Sultanpuri in his grave.

I quickly change the station before I burst an artery or something…

Chika chikaaa chikaa
That’s my chika girl
In the bady that we go in the ben girl
That’s my chika girl

No respite here as well. What is Chika? And what is a Chika girl? And someone please tell me what is that third line that the rapper sings? And that’s not all, somewhere ahead in the song…

Bring it on, Bring it on, Bring it on Jaana…

What is that supposed to mean? Is he inviting her for a Boxing match? Wasn’t this a song meant to patao his girl? Is she a wrestler?

And surprisingly these lyrics have been written by Javed Akhtar.

I guess, I should listen to radio only on Thursday nights after having a few beers. For the mornings, I’d rather stick to the business breakfast.

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IPL Goes the NRI Way

But Has Terrorism has found an ally in Politics?

The BCCI has finally discovered what millions of Indians had discovered long back – Foreign land. Millions of Indians now live outside India and while they revel in foreign lands shopping in huge hyper markets choosing between 5 different brands of packaged yogurt, they always claim that their heart remains in India (and in the home made curd prepared in steel vessels warmed in the gas cylinder compartment). The drive the fanciest of mercs and chargers on expressways but claim to miss the drive in their rattly Santro on pot-holed Indian roads with dust grime and the truck ahead’s poisonous emissions mixing in their car’s perfume. They write blogs about everything Indian – Indians, customs, politics all knowing very well that they do not even have the right to vote but what the heck, “our heart is in the right place” or so they think. So why is it that in spite of being the most loyal followers of India, they go and make their lives elsewhere, just coming back for a trip once in a few years and regularly sending Forex to India thinking they are “doing their part”. Well, the BCCI just touched a few chords here.

With its announcement that it will be shifting the IPL outside India, the BCCI has done what a large numbers of NRIs have done – run away from the lethargy, the red tape, the politics and the corruption that is fast becoming the bane of India. What this means is that the staunchest Indian fan would have to suffice by watching the matches on Television with an ad break every 3 and half minutes while NRIs would lounge in a half empty stadiums sunbathing and drinking beer while watching the best of cricket in their own backyards. It would also mean that the cheer leaders would no longer have to worry about covering up. But apart from these trivial issues, in these times, it would also spell doom for the state cricket boards, the hotel chains, the airlines and loads of others who expected that the IPL would at least make them achieve their second quarter targets quite early. But what the heck, who cares? At least the Establishment doesn’t care.

The Establishment is worried about Politics – Congress and NCP are locking horns and this is one way of getting back at each other. The BJP ruled states gave a green light to the IPL whereas the Congress led states raised their hands, expressing inability to provide adequate security. The theory was reinforced in Maharashtra where the Congress chief minister expressed his inability while the NCP Home minister confirmed that they could provide adequate security to both events the IPL and the General Elections.

What does this tell you about India as a country? The IPL dates were announced months before the election commission announced the dates for the General elections. This could definitely have been avoided. I’m sure the EC considers major festivals like Diwali while deciding on the election dates. Could they have forgotten the IPL? Or did they think that the million dollar cricket franchises and international players wouldn’t mind re-arranging their schedules on short notice. Of course, the Elections cannot be held during any other month than April, can they?

But I’m sure, the BCCI isn’t complaining. Where it would need to spend a lot more on travel and staying arrangements, it would equally save a lot that would’ve otherwise been used in greasing palms and oiling the machinery in India.

So finally, who loses out in all this hoopla?

The Indian public who would’ve filled the stadiums to capacity and would’ve got a reason to be happy and paint their faces blue;

The hotel operators, air lines, tour operators, state cricket associations who would’ve earned their share in the pie;

But most of all, the perception of India as a nation in its ability to schedule and organize successful events of such magnitude. This will definitely be judged against us whenever International sport bodies are deciding venues for events as the Olympics, Asian Games and World cups.

The Taliban is definitely happy! The Congress is happy, And yes, so is Mithunda and the ICL.

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And while this post was brewing in my mind, there is news about the BJP being issued a recommendation by the EC on not giving a ticket to Varun Gandhi to contest the elections and BJP replying back strongly contesting the authority of the EC to give such a recommendation.

I tell my brother, Just see Navin, who gets justice in India? Raj Thackrey walks free, Varun Gandhi, Sanjay Dutt, Shibu Soren, everyone walks free, did Jessica Lal get justice, there are scores of other high profile cases against politicians, leaders, powerful businessmen, Mayawati, Lalu Yadav, who actually gets justice in India? Just imagine the plight of a common person; If he gets bullied or beaten by a powerful goon for no fault of his, he has nowhere to turn to. Doesn’t this give rise to the mob culture? Coz. the mob thinks there is no justice for us, let’s find our own justice. The law and order situation is so corrupt and now even IPL is moving out because of this dirty politics and lethargy. Isn’t this the reason why even You and I left India?

And he says “Maybe, this is the situation because you and I left India.

I convince myself thinking, if in spite of being powerful and having loads of money at its disposal, even IPL had to leave, then I’m just another number in the crowd. And btw, my heart is in the right place, or so I think.

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