Category Archives: thoughts

Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo

“Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo” … “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo” … “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo”. I asked for a cup and as I took a sip, the repetitive chant by the vendor on the train flooded my mind with fond memories … a flashback of sorts. It was probably twenty years ago, I was accompanying my father on train trip to Calcutta. The Steel Express leaving the station amidst all the noise and commotion among the other travelers. I used to love sitting next to the window … the wind in my face … lush green fields rushing by. As the train chugged into Sardiha, a small hamlet before Kharagpur, the voice of an old man in a shrill voice, “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo” … “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo” … “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo”. The words literally meant – “drink the worse than worse tea”. As a ten year old it was kind of weird for me to see someone selling something stating that it is bad. It amused me all the more to see everyone buying tea and enjoying the same as they took a sip from the bhads (earthen cups). Little did I understand that the old man had devised some sort of reverse psychology to sell his product. Curiosity got me and I coaxed my father to share a cup with me. The tea was indeed good. Probably the best I have had anywhere in a train. The old man does not sell tea anymore. I have not seen him in at least 5 years or so. His sons have taken over the business and you would notice them on trains between Jhargram and Kharagpur every day. The tea still tastes fine. Apparently the old man has a homemademasala which he uses to prepare tea. I guess the recipe will be passed down the generations to come. As I took another sip the young man moved on, as the old man did, “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo” … “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo” … “Kharab Se Kharab Chai Piyo”.

That Moment When No One Honked – CityOfJoy

Calcutta (Kolkata after the name change, I still love the old name) is one city which is infamous for probably the most chaotic traffic system. The only city where the traffic police would change the signals manually after commuters prompt them by honking incessantly. Park Circus (a se7en point crossing) is still manually managed by around ten – fifteen odd traffic policemen. Any new visitor would be in awe seeing the seamless co-ordination among them as thousands of vehicle criss cross probably the busiest crossing in the city. It’s not that this city does not know commuting without honking or that they do not have any civic sense, if you may call it that. Keep aside the fact that even the best of cars in this city carry at least one small dent some where reminding you of the chaos it went through.
That moment when no one honked took me by surprise, made me get off my bike to investigate whats up with this city. There I notice a car driver stop his car right in the middle of the road. The traffic started piling up. But, no one honked. This gentleman got down to help an old man cross the busy crossing. It seems the old chap had been standing there for quite sometime. Everyone, including the unruly bus drivers waited, waited for the driver to help the old man.
So, people who call this city chaotic and a mess, let me point out, this is just one of those instances which might make you swallow the word you just blurted out. For once just ignore the negatives and look out for the lesser joys of life. I guess it was a matter of realizing that among all these commuters crossing that day, this one man decided to take a stand to help this old chap. All others acknowledged the fact and No One Honked!!!

how much is too much

a recent online privacy mis-adventure for a friend ended up with him calling me to help him login into his Facebook profile. somehow he had managed to lock himself out of his own profile and he was unable to bypass the password reset settings. this prompted me to think how much is too much? on one end we have activists crying for breach of privacy by Facebook, then we have mortals crying foul when they are locked out from their profiles due to the security features of Facebook. what we don’t realise is that it all boils down to a choice. even Facebook has given you a choice, on the level of security you want or rather may need. “Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without.” as said by Merovingian in Matrix. are we choosing the levels of security or are we made to choose them? the effort we had to put in to restore my friend’s account impressed me of the security a Facebook account provided but the same was cheesed off by my friend as it was as good as getting locked out of his own house without the keys.
looking at the recent cases of people complaining regarding their FB profiles getting impersonated or being hacked, i guess its good to have this kind of security, at the cost of your being patient, i don’t think they are asking a lot from us.

lunatic turns sunshiney

a man whose desire for bikes & love for tech n music is dwarfed only by his passion for the moon!!! this was one of the best ways you could describe him. a perfect lunatic who was in love with the moon. as a kid he used to gaze at the white, through the window grills, wondering if he could become a spaceman and fly to the moon. he used to hum to the tunes of ‘to the moon and back’ by savage garden. used to go on moonlit treks all over dalma and the western ghats, thinking he could be closer, may be get a better view. thoughts even wandered to the moon being made of cheese, wonder now where that thought came from. he was in short smitten by the moon, fell in love with the sky, the rocks and starts alike. no matter what, the moon was always the queen of the dark bottomless sky. most of all he opened himself wide to the glory of the night. moonified could be a term used when he being so obsessed called one of his own the moon. so much so that everyone he knew can claim that they saw moon walking the earth. the high tides rushing straight to the head causing blackouts. 124 weeks of perfect harmony ends in shock, the aftershock of which is still in form of ripples. the sky went black, he craving for the white every 20seven days. a few letters, few melodies, mark the day. then comes the total eclipse of the heart, only in this case, the heart doesn’t see the light of day. around him are a million stars, all vowing to make him shine, all get together in a bundle to turn him all sunshiney again.

What is Recession?

This Story is about a man who once upon a time was selling Hotdogs by the roadside.
He was illiterate, so he never read newspapers.
He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio.
His eyes were weak, so he never watched television.
But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hotdogs.
He was smart enough to offer some attractive schemes to increase his sales.
His sales and profit went up.
He ordered more a more raw material and buns and use to sale more.
He recruited few more supporting staff to serve more customers.
He started offering home deliveries. Eventually he got himself a bigger and better stove.
As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from College, joined his father.

Then something strange happened.
The son asked, “Dad, aren’t you aware of the great recession that is coming our way?”
The father replied, “No, but tell me about it.” The son said, “The international situation is terrible.
The domestic situation is even worse. We should be prepared for the coming bad times.”
The man thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, listened to the radio and watched TV.
He ought to know and his advice should not be taken lightly.
So the next day onwards, the father cut down the his raw material order and buns, took down the colourful signboard,
removed all the special schemes he was offering to the customers and was no longer as enthusiastic.
He reduced his staff strength by giving layoffs.
Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hotdog stand.
And his sales started coming down rapidly, same is the profit.
The father said to his son, “Son, you were right”.
“We are in the middle of a recession and crisis. I am glad you warned me ahead of time.”

Moral of The Story: It’s all in your MIND! And we actually FUEL this recession much more than we think we do!!!!!!!!!!!!

What can we take away from this story??

1. How many times we confuse intelligence with good judgment?

2. Choose your advisers carefully but use your own judgment

3. A person or an organization will survive forever, if they have the 5 Cs

* Character
* Commitment
* Conviction
* Courtesy
* Courage

The tragedy today is that there are many walking encyclopaedias that are living failures.
The More practical and appropriate views on this economic recession is:
“This is the time to reunite together for any small or a big organization,
this is the time to motivate and retain people which are the biggest asset,
this is the time to show more commitments to the customers,
this is the time show values of our company to the world,
and this is the time to stand by our Nation”.

have i forgotten to live

First, u will be dying to finish your high school and start college.
And then u will be dying to finish college and start working.
Then u will be dying to marry and have children.
And then u will be dying for your children to grow old enough
so that u could go back to work.
But then you will be dying to retire.

And Then one day you will be dying.
Suddenly u will realize that u forgot to live.

Don’t let this happen to you.
Appreciate your present situation.
Enjoy each day.

No Time to Hide for Muslims by Aijaz Zaka Syed (View from Dubai)

A Very well written article … 30 November 2008
Watching the terror nightmare unfold in Mumbai over the past three days with me on television, my kids have repeatedly asked me: “Who are these terrorists and why are they doing this?” And every time I wished I could offer them a convincing answer.
What could I tell them? For one, I was equally clueless why these guys had taken over India ‘s financial and cultural capital and were targeting people who had nothing to do with them and had done nothing to harm them.
For two, I was too ashamed to tell them these guys were ostensibly Muslims and came from a country that was created in the name of Islam.
At work, while my colleagues went about covering the madness in Mumbai and laying out special pages with the images of the incredibly beautiful hotel, Taj, with its Islamic arches and domes, go up in smoke, I find it hard to look my colleagues in the eye.
And this happens all the time. Every time innocents are targeted in the name of Islam around the world, one can’t face one’s non-Muslim friends and colleagues. I feel like burying myself in the ground. Growing up in a religious family, one never thought one would see the day when being a Muslim could be a source of shame.
A distraught friend who has devoted her life to speaking and fighting on behalf of Arabs and Muslims wrote in yesterday saying “I’ve had it with the Arabs and Muslims and Islamic militancy. Forgive me but I am throwing in the towel.”
I couldn’t write back to her but understood her pain. She grew up in Mumbai and is understandably upset.
My friend went on to say: “The Muslims and Islam have a problem and only they can solve it. If they do not, the whole world will turn against them.”
If this is how our most loyal friends feel, imagine the sentiments and reactions of the rest of the world. Can you blame the world if it’s turning against Muslims? What do you expect when not a single day passes without the name of our faith being dragged through the mud by fellow believers around the world?
How many innocents have to die in the name of Islam before Muslim leaders and countries take effective action to deal with the nuts, who are out to destroy us all with their nihilistic cult?
I know that the Muslim leaders including those in the highest echelons of power have lately started speaking out against the extremists.
Darul Uloom Deoband in India , one of the oldest and most respected centres of learning in the Muslim world, issued a fatwa against terrorism at a large gathering of Islamic scholars and leaders in June. Last month, nearly 5,000 scholars backed the edict at a huge congregation in Hyderabad .
The OIC, the organisation of Muslim states, and Saudi Arabia , the leader of the Arab-Islamic world, have of late been equally vehement in condemning these repulsive acts of violence targeting innocents.
Eminent Muslim intellectuals and journalists like Tariq Ramadan, a grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan Al Banna, and India ‘s MJ Akbar and numerous others too have repeatedly protested this distortion of Islamic teachings and spirit.
These calls of conscience on behalf of mainstream Islam have however proved voices in the wilderness. Clearly, we need to do more to be heard by the world and to stop this shameful victimisation of innocent people in the name of religion.
The great irony of the Mumbai attacks is the killing of Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare and his colleagues. Karkare, a brave and decorated officer investigating the Malegaon blasts and other recent terror attacks that he established to be the handiwork of Hindu extremists, not Muslim groups like SIMI, was killed by the terrorists outside Cama hospital Wednesday night. Obviously, Muslims do not know who their real friends and enemies are. And, pray, why is India increasingly being singled out for this savagery? What do they think this country is? A Hindu country or an anti-Muslim nation?
Do the ignorant dummies repeatedly being sent out on the so-called jihad know that this great country is home to the world’s largest Muslim population? Almost twice the size of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan! India ‘s greatest superstar is a Muslim, not to mention the countless achievers in other fields.
Why are our friends across the border bent on destroying the whole world with themselves? Is this what Islam and the noble Prophet teach and stand for?
It’s all very well for us to say Islam has nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. We can go on deluding ourselves these psychopaths do not represent us.
However, the world finds it hard to accept this line of argument because it sees the extremists increasingly assert themselves and take the centre-stage while the mainstream Islam remains silent.
The great religion that preaches and celebrates universal brotherhood, equality of men and peace and justice for all has been hijacked by a demented, miniscule minority. And, as my friend says, only Muslims can solve this problem. Only Muslims can confront these anarchists in their midst.
Only they can get their faith freed from the clutches of extremism. This is no time to hide. It’s time to stand up and speak out. For the terrorists will continue to speak on our behalf, until we do not speak up. This is no time for silence. Enough is enough!