Today, I would like to wish each of my comrades in uniform a very happy Diwali, as also pray for the souls of each of my fallen brother/sister in arms and their families. There is already a half war ensuing along our borders as I write this piece. The boom-boom is of actual bombs and rockets there. Guns are real and bullets flying are real. In rest of the country people are doing annual cleaning of their houses and are getting ready for the festival of lights. Our brothers are cleaning their guns, modifying their bunkers and fortifying their defences. I by no way imply that we should not celebrate, but I want to share some feelings with you all which come to my mind on this beautiful festival called DIWALI.
What adds to the colour and glitter on the Diwali night is the string of candles and diyas that we light up all around the house to welcome Goddess Laxmi. On the other hand it is the sting of tracer bullets and illumination shells which light up the borders. We receive sweets here and there they receive hot lead splinters. We open all doors and windows so that she blesses us with prosperity of every kind, but imagine in a bunker there is a total blackout. The “arti” would have been done well before last light, and all diyas and flames extinguished so as to leave no trace of light for the enemy to pick up even a faint flicker peeping out of a foxhole. This is done to prevent drawing direct fire. The enemy is also smart, he would have surveyed the targets well before dusk, laid his weapons on fixed lines, and will open fire intermittently to keep the posts awake and on their toes, so that no one gets even a minute of rest, leave alone time to celebrate. Will the goddess not bless them folks, or is it that before dusk she blessed them and now has moved to more peaceful locations. May the Goddess be with them always?
I am happy to see that we have realized that crackers produce the worst kind of pollution, irritation, and air borne diseases, besides driving a hole in our pockets. The topping of the pudding is that we are banning Chinese products and especially their crackers. Do we realize this year the actual bombs which will fire across both sides of the line of control would have increased many folds? Can’t we ban them? There would be many a family who will be shattered due to the aftereffects of these live bombs and gunfire. The causalities will not stop unless we put a stop to the nefarious activities of Pakistan. I believe yesterday, Pakistan has again attacked many posts in India with their para-commandos to take revenge of the surgical strikes. Moment Pakistan gets unstable, this was bound to happen.
I also want to question here why is happiness showered to all governmental and other organizations by distribution of gifts during this festive season by various corporates. Is it customary? Is it compulsory? Is it demanded by these government people? Is it a matter of tradition? Is it to keep the liaison with a particular agency? Is it to keep the government agency’s mouth shut for wrongs the corporate do? Or, is it genuinely the corporate feel happy from inside? I don’t know. Come Diwali, and there is a long list of gifts which are distributed. The company may be in red in terms of accounts, but would cater for A-class B-class and C-class gifts depending on the type and rank of a person they have to please. What a shame it is? By the way these things are catered for in every year’s budget of the company. There is an elaborate discussion on the number of people and type of presents to be given. There are teams which are dedicated to select and distribute such gifts, with the best compliments from company management. I don’t know how to put it, the worker of the company may not get his bonus, as it is not compulsory if the company is not doing well, but these gifts are compulsory, form ministries, to police, to customs and all the rest. They may be state or central governmental agencies. I somehow detest it and can’t stand the people who accept it; in fact they expect it as their birthright. Why these gifts can’t be given to the poor and needy or shared with their own workers. Why can’t the employees have a happier Diwali?
I remember once when I was working for a private company, the MD called me and told me to select gifts for Diwali to be given to the top notches of Bombay. Well, mithai was a total no-no, so the choice was to make some herbal kind of hamper which was the in thing. So off I went with my wife, as I had no clue of any shampoo or cream. We made a huge hamper, costing about 2500/-and I was thinking will this be rejected. It was and the same was given to me for my consumption. My wife had a ball, as all of the products were her personal choice. Now, the MD himself went on a searching frenzy and got back with packs of seedless dates of a Saudi company. Each box contained about 48 dates and the cost of each box was 5000 bucks. Then there were half packets at half the prices for junior lot, and then there was a pack of 12 dates also. I was given the task to distribute the same to all mantris and tantris of the state government up to the IG level people in whose jurisdiction we were doing our business. I flatly refused, which was one reason for them to ask me to render my resignation. So I was kicked out to enjoy my Diwali. By the way, I got one small packet for myself, boy the date palms were out of the world. I had never tasted anything like that in my life.
Well, today’s newspapers and TV ads are just displaying sales from a pin to an airplane on a heavy discount. I am confused what to buy, from whom and from where. In fact, I was just thinking of why to buy anything at all as I have already saved many lakhs notionally if I just add the discounts. Well, let me leave it at that, I would like to wish each one of you my friends and your family a very happy, peaceful, prosperous, delightful, joyful, and healthy Diwali, and may I request you all to light just one lamp for all those who are sacrificing their happiness for us. JAI HIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few days back a friend of mine and a school type gave me a call about my article on politics. He is supporting his wife to the fullest in fulfilling her dream to do some justice to the people of Punjab by contesting elections with her new party. They are genuine “Deshbhakt” people I feel, but the irony is that they are the real face of a common man of Punjab. In fact it is through the lady I got to know that every party also has a constitution, as I always thought that there is only one thing called the Constitution of India. This is as far as my knowledge of politics is concerned. The more I don’t like politics the more it interests me it seems. I wish this couple luck, and sincerely wish that some genuine people join Indian politics and try and cleanse our systems, if it is possible. How far will they be successful, that time will tell. Good luck and Go speed!
I was an ardent follower of Anna, and with the love for him, my liking for Ms Bedi and Arvind also was taking shape, well for now the liking for the latter two is in the cold storage, as my perceptions indicate to me otherwise. Right or wrong I shall keep it for another day to discuss. The only thing good about the whole movement was that after war, this was one movement where the whole country stood united with Anna, as corruption was the second biggest enemy of this country after Pakistan. Well, Anna had rightly pointed out that he won’t join the political band wagon, but rest of his chelas did, one is running a government for the second time in Delhi now, & the other is a governor. Is Arvind running his government fairly and squarely, I shall leave it for the next elections, as many of my seniors have joined his party and are now canvassing for their candidature and now doing their rounds in their constituencies. Well, I wish them all the best, may they bring in good governance and accountability to the state of Punjab. Though, I was born and brought up in Punjab; however after my last posting in Nabha in 2004, I have no clue of what is happening in Punjab today. Are the Badals really doing as badly as it is portrayed? Are people so fed up with them, well time is not very far for things to reveal themselves. We have waited so long patiently; let us wait a little more till result day.
I have also been observing Sherry, (Navjot Sidhu) for quite some time now. I take the liberty to call him so as I played cricket with him in school when he was in YPS Patiala. He now is a towering personality, well versed with politics, had been an MP from Amritsar, and represented the BJP in Rajya Sabha. Mrs Navjot Sidhu is also a sitting minister in the Badal government. If I know Sherry well, he is a sportsman, and plays sincerely, straightforward, for the spirit of the game, and gives his 200% in anything he will do. He will not go beating around the bush. He has the calmness and the patience and clarity of mind to run things, but my only issue is that sometimes the cricketers do not read the pitch well, play wreck less shots, get irritated by the slam which takes place on the field, and get out on a loose ball. Well, I am more appreciative of Sherry as a cricketer and a comedy show judge, than of his politics. The man who can laugh with an open heart is a man who has a clear heart, and will keep his family and friends happy. A sportsperson will remain a sports person all his life and strive for improvement in every shot he plays. But politics is a different ball game. There have been rumors that he may join AAP, and then there were other rumors of joining the party led by hockey players, well, let us wait and see. I genuinely feel, this man is the best choice for Punjab, I may be wrong, but my gut feeling never goes wrong. I wish him the best. May Punjab and its people win?
I have a genuine doubt, why can’t many independent candidates win? Why is it that one has to be from a party or a coalition of parties which has to prove its majority and then only legislations can be passed? Why can’t people who are real representatives of people from the actual areas they belong and genuinely feel for the state and the country stand for elections? When they win, they come to the parliament, and in case they feel so strongly for a cause, then everyone votes in the parliament individually and get the legislation passed. Why is that if I belong to a party, I have to vote for what the party is voting for. Can’t I have an opinion of my own? I feel this would be real democracy, and not that one ruling party and the rest is opposition & the opposition has to oppose for the sake of opposing and the party has to pass what in its view, or what the party leader thinks is right for the country. This is not real laws being passed; these are whims and fancies of a party in power. Why should we be bound to parties and affiliations? Why can’t we genuinely work for the country? Isn’t the debating time in both houses for putting your views across? Don’t you discuss pros and cons, don’t you discuss advantages, disadvantages and safe guards, and then decide with an independent view what is right for the country. Till the time we have people winning elections because of a party ticket, because they wear a particular scarf, because the leader of the party belongs to a particular caste, our system will remain the way it is. Time for a change I think.
If we have an independent system, can it work in such a huge country of ours? It pains me to see when a chamcha of Amma, instead of stating what he has to say for his state wastes half the time in singing praises for amma in his maiden parliamentary speech. No one is interested in it I feel. Actually, we do not have real politicians; we have pseudo politicians hiding behind the garb of a name. Take any politician of today, Rahul, hides behind Congress and Rajiv; Modi hides behind BJP and Atal, and so forth. But that is the way our constitution is. I know I will be shot down for my thought process, but I feel that this record which now has grown old needs replacement. People have moved to blue ray discs and what not, and we are still stuck with the floppy disks and so is our constitution which was implemented in 1950. Do we have another Ambedkar within us, who can now modify and turn around the constitution as per the needs of India today and be valid for 100 years from now? Can we have a think tank working on it keeping a view of India 2050-3000 and beyond?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are still stuck in shauchalaya, and beti parhao, we are still embroiled in floods and draughts, we are entangled in black money and gas subsidy, we haven’t got out of poverty and corruption, we are still fighting pre independence cases in courts and gau hatya. We are embroiled in a war with our neighbours and we are talking of modern India. We need to now think ahead, think of better politics and better governance. At least 75% of every rupee which goes from my pocket should reach the grassroots. Can we think beyond party, caste, creed, and reservation etc, I think we can, but are we willing to make a drastic changes in the way we govern the country and can govern ourselves for a better tomorrow, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I did not sleep well last night ladies and gentlemen, no-no I didn’t fight with my wife, nor did I fight with my boss. My naukari is safe, my vitals are good but I am so pained to see the pain of a bitch staying in our colony, who has adopted my lane to bring up her litter of five cute looking puppies. I remember last month, it was raining heavily and that night I could not sleep as a puppy constantly kept crying and whining. It had fallen in a drain. I went looking for it and it would run under a culvert, evading me out of fear. No matter how I poochipooed it, called it and strained myself to catch hold of it, the poor thing won’t come in my grip. Anyway, first thing next morning I rushed to where I had left it last. I saw a wet puppy, now holding on to an island formed by stuck branches and leaves, shivering like hell, and kind of given up. I quickly jumped in, picked it up and lifted it out. The mother was around and moment she heard the cry of this puppy on terra-ferma, she came running and licked it dry. That son of a ‘B’ quickly got onto a teat, and lived happily ever after. But this happiness did not last very long, as slowly from five there were three left, then yesterday the last one also died. Reasons I don’t know, but the pain of this mother I can see. She is running up and down our lane, at all those places where these naughty guys used to hide and play, but cannot hear a whimper. She calls for them and when doesn’t get an answer she cries, and wails. It is painful, it is touching, and I can do nothing about it.
With this as the background, it was shocking to see the mayhem caused in Quetta with 60 plus innocent lives lost. Most of the trainees didn’t even start their careers and had to be laid to rest. Well, least to say it is condemnable, unacceptable, intolerable, unethical, immoral, and words to that effect. A shame on those who can think of doing such things for a cause which cannot be achieved by wearing suicide belts around their waists. I am not taking sides with Pakistan friends, but I am concerned for every parent who has lost a child, and for that matter I am more concerned for every family who has got back maimed sons who may not hereafter be able to work or earn their daily bread. It is the most depressing and heart wrenching feeling for a parent to lay his own son to rest. All the dreams get shattered in that very instant moment the news of the death reaches. It is painful ladies and gentlemen; parent is a parent, country or specie is immaterial.
I am equally pained to see the stone pelters of Srinagar getting hurt, losing their eye sights etc, but how do we reach an amicable solution to this crisis? In fact it pains me more to see catapults in the hands of security forces, which they have to use in place of weapons especially after the pellet guns have been banned. Every Friday after Namaaz whole of Srinagar town becomes a battleground, with balls being thrown at the batsmen from all sides and all directions. The batsmen cannot use their bats but huddle together and try and push the throwers away from one alley to another gali. We are losing precious lives on both sides on a daily basis. It again pains me as a parent that a person from Bihar, or Tamil Nadu who has nothing to do with the valley, has to lose his life or face an inquiry for using excessive force against people who feel they are oppressed and will do anything to get their AZADI. When will this end? Will it end by giving azadi? Will it end by eliminating the protestors? Will it end by removing the security forces? Will there be a political solution? Will there be coffins going into graveyards in the valley and body bags being flown into the rest of the country on a regular basis? I don’t know.
Why don’t I see any political figure going out and meeting these stone pelters to stop this mayhem? Why don’t I see any political figure convincing these people to stop such activity? If stone pelting is non-violent then we can understand what will be violent protests. Where are the elected representatives of these people? Or is it that they do not represent these people at all. I am convinced, unless these people are given some breathing space, they shall continue their pelting relentlessly. The stalemate of chasing each other like dog fights has already reached, where at the end of the day both of them return back to their places, and start dominating their areas afresh next day morning. This will never end this way. Till the time our forces don’t budge, they shall continue. Let us try an experiment and give them a free period and space so that they can breathe free. It needs a strong political will for the experiment I suggest. Then let them come and talk about how things need to taken ahead. Should we experiment or shouldn’t we is debatable? Pakistan will always have supporters and flame igniters and they will do it sitting far away. We have to cope with this nuisance. We have to evaluate our procedures and processes to cut these support lines, overt or covert being done by Pakistani state and non state actors.
Pakistan today is imploding; the results are now showing in form of the police academy attack. Pakistan, now cannot behave like an ostrich, by just simply sticking its neck in the sand, as now this sand has turned into quick sand and is sucking it into its fold. By merely doing cosmetics of freezing accounts and assets of various militant organizations, it will achieve nothing concrete. It has to act against terror and terrorism of all kinds. Today, if one has to list out the number of tanzeems which have sprouted in Pakistan, the list is endless. In fact the number of tribes and castes in Pakistan are lesser than the number of outfits. They are growing by the day and they are creeping towards ISIS which is most dangerous for India and needs to be addressed right now.
I do not know, I drifted from the pain of doggy to the solution of Kashmir and the way out with Pakistan, may be the way things are so complex today that one cannot understand how to deal with all at once. Sincerely, it pains to see a dog mourn for its puppies. Her motherly instinct is making it scuttle around in pain. Imagine how the ‘n’ number of families of the armed forces who lost their dear ones must be feeling, as also the Kashmiri’s who are losing lives for no reason after all we are humans.
There is this land called jannat, there are people living in jannat. Then there are people guarding this jannat. There is also a neighbour who is in dozakh, who has and behaves like a devil. It tempts the people of jannat with apples. Those who have eaten them and are now running for cover and denying they have eaten them. The guards are trying their best to keep the devils away. They even went and struck inside dozakh and eliminated many devils, but that place is creeping with them. The devil plans a new strategy every day and every minute, and wants to engulf this heaven and turn it into hell. We can only pray that this doesn’t happen. Hey Pakistan don’t you pain us anymore please, but will you ever listen, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I saw Ms Rita Bahuguna Joshi joining the BJP. Well, she was looking so happy and charged up receiving the BJP scarf, I am sure she will do justice to it. Well, I have no issues if she or for that matter anyone else joins any party or defects from any party, but I want to understand how does one arrive at a decision to change over, after being in service for an ideology, or thought process for as far as my knowledge goes somewhere close to 22 years. Suddenly, how can you switch sides, suddenly how can your loyalties change, suddenly the person you used to criticize like hell becomes worth of all the praises, suddenly, all those people who were on the other side of the fence as enemies or to put it differently as rivals, become your friends. Is it egos that make you do it? Is it that you suddenly start disliking an ideology? Or is it convenience that one can switch sides at a drop of a hat? Or is it that you were not considered for becoming the Chief Minister, being an old party stalwart that you decided desert. Well, we know it all, and we can see it all, we understand it all. One thing as a common man I have clearly understood, that politics and politicians, can never be trusted, as they can dump anyone at anytime, for their personal egos, personal vendetta, or personal goals. The state or country has nothing to do with such politics. Thank you Ms Bahuguna, for making my belief stronger, that politics is muck or whatever name you want to give the politicians. I still wish you all the best.
Then there is our dear Amma, who is hospitalized and unwell, I wish her a speedy recovery. But I am amazed the way she is idolized that still decisions are being taken through her photograph for governmental matters. Well, I wish her well, and wish the people who believe in doing such things well too. But, is this correct, is this in order, is this done, and should it be done this way. I believe the second in command has been named and is looking after state affairs, but this drama of keeping the photo and doing official business doesn’t go down my gullet. Amma, I would suggest that once you recover and come home, you would require rest and recuperation for sure. Age has caught up with you, so take rest and let other people run the show. Mr Karunanidhi, you too at this young age of 92, please leave the country’s politics alone. You were great and shall ever remain great, but let fresh and young minds come and run your party politics, and carry on with the show. The armed forces cannot take disability pension, and here is a person who is wheelchair bound taking full pay of a politician. A sick army person is boarded out of service and here a sick lady is running a government. I have seen ladies married to soldiers breaking fast on “karwa-chauth” festival with the photo of their husband’s; here a photo of a politician is running a government. Surprising, shocking & funny isn’t it!
Then there is this father son divide due to an uncle in between. Well, if the armed forces have a rift of this level, and lives of people will be at stake. You can imagine what chaos and blunders will be there if there is no teamwork and trust amongst commanders. The country’s security can be in jeopardy for such behaviour. But in UP the show goes on. Decisions taken are cancelled overnight, in garb of “Neta ji’s” advice or orders so to say. Transfers are carried out on the orders of one person, and changed on the orders of another. The family feud will have no effect on the state of affairs, I have my doubts. Somewhere this divide will come into play and, the common citizen might have to pay. I know the politicians will never admit a fissure amongst them, like Ms Bahuguna. The father-son drift will take its toll, I hope it doesn’t. Politics it seems is more a battle of egos, a matter of opportunity, a matter of convenience, and the politicians are manipulating and playing their games. None are interested in governance or administration, which gives a chance to the bureaucrats to play the game the way they want to. Well, I am conjecturing, but that’s how I perceive the situation today.
It came as a shock to me; remember the ‘fodder scam” of our Lalu the great. What a master stroke he played to bring in his wife as the Chief Minister. Well, that is politics. A person who could not speak in public was suddenly the spokes person of the crores of Biharis. She won the election too, not once but twice I suppose. I really admire the way things were manipulated. The gains made out of fodder would have been spread as fodder for the illiterate, simple, gullible public. In one master stroke, the public was fooled yet again. Now the sons, daughters and son in laws are elected members of the august house I suppose. They shall get sarkari pay for life. I wish somehow I too become an MP of some constituency once. Politics I will not be able to do at all, but by the time I shall understand the P of politics, my term would be over, and then no sweat for OROP, as the MPs always are covered with this scheme. I feel fed up of our system and especially those who have very little knowledge of it (mostly people like me), or who are too smart that they can modify, manipulate and stage manage the population who vote for them.
AAP, has its own issues, well good luck to them too. It proves that politics is a homogeneous mix of good bad and the ugly. We have no choice but to accept them all, even if we don’t like them, or have not voted for them. But I go beyond this thought of voting and election, this party and affiliation, this alliance and association. I want a system where truth prevails, a system that really runs the show, a rule which is not bent, and an order passed is an order for all, where a privilege given is for each citizen. A facility created is to be utilized by every citizen, education for one and all, with the same syllabus and books across my country and so on. One country, one law, one system, one people, “INDIANS”! I want this politician gang also sorted out, let the election commission decide who will stand from where, and not like Modi ji who stood from Varanasi also. Just in case he lost from one place, not fair at all. This is divisive politics, here you are polarizing the nation, and this is the root cause of all ills. Then you say you are secular. I don’t think so. Modi is just an example; say Rahul Gandhi, can he win from Amritsar, just food for thought. Let all politicians be rotated in all ministries and all states. Let them have a feel of governance on ground. Let them not just enact laws the language of which is beyond comprehension of the common man. Let us get rid of the pre-independence language, clauses and sub clauses and the mind set.
My issue is simple friends, there has to be a method in this madness. The government cannot satisfy all that is true, but most governments are not completely “of the people’, not completely “by all the people” of India but a portion of it, and once elected these guys are not “for the people”. They are looking into personal agendas, personal bargains, and personal upliftment, in cash or kind or both. My assessment may be off the mark, but dear people does it make sense to you all, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I was a kid it was my hobby to identify steam engines, trucks, cars and other vehicles from their shapes and designs. I was also fond of reading messages written behind trucks. These three words (HORN PLEASE, OK, BYE-BYE, TATA) used to be the most commonly used phrases and are still in use. Standing on the “Kanjali” bridge; catching fish and smelling the exhaust of trucks running on petrol engines was another hobby. Yes friends I am talking of the era many-many moons back. Today, I want to address something related to “horn please”; in fact I want to tell you various experiences I have had with the “horny” kind of people, ladies included by the way. I am sure you all too would have dealt with such guys and gals, so let us honk till cows come home.
Honking for no reason types are the ones I just can’t stand. They are the commonest and abundantly found species in my country. They see a dog they will honk, they see a tree they will honk, they see a mandir or for that matter any place of worship they will honk, they see a school they will honk, and they will ensure that near a hospital where there is a silence zone, they have to honk. They will of course honk at the machhiwali, the safaiwali, but will not honk when they see a pretty lass passing by as they go dumbfounded and honk with their eyes as if to ogle.
Then there are the red light honkers, who have to honk 5 seconds before the signal turns green. Arey baba can’t you see the light is still red, but he will nudge you to move forward to under the red light as if he has a flight to catch by honking continuously. By the way now there is a category of flashers too, who in broad daylight will keep flashing their headlights for you to move out of their way? Baba, why you are in such a hurry, unless you want to go to potty right away and I am blocking your way, then maybe it is ok to flash. Then there are those who are behind you and the signal is about to turn red, they will have you by honking, as if the red light will get delayed by his honking and will give your car a turbo boost, if not levitate his own car over yours across to the other side.
Then they are those who will come and stand next to you, and honk. You don’t bother to look at the other car, so he pulls down his window and honks, you look at him and say, with a hand gesture what’s the matter, he says showing his finger to the wrist, time kya hua? O yaar your mobile has a watch, your car has a watch, your co passenger has a watch, radio mirchi keeps telling the time. Then there are some who will tell you that there is a big traffic jam ahead. You are flustered and anxious and curse that why did one take this route, where can one shift to an alternate route etc, that guy coolly pushes off and you realize he has made a “Charlie” out of you.
Then there are those who will stand under your building and honk. Are you looking for something dear, or have you forgotten something, or has your horn got stuck. They will keep honking till a child comes and sits in the car. He will honk again to tell everyone in the society that he is leaving. He will honk once again; lower the window and shout at his wife staying on the 18th floor, oye mobile ghar pe rah gaya hai. Ufff, such characters need to be silenced.
Then there are some “tabla” masters. These guys are very fond of listening to loud music in their cars and keep pressing their horn with every beat of the tabla. Remember Zakir hussain and his tabla recital of wah taj fame. After the smaller beats, when he changes the tal and hits both his hands together, that’s what our honker saab does. He isn’t bothered where he is, have the lights turned green or amber, he is lost in the music and then when everyone starts honking, his vehicle switches off. Then what, the lights turn red again and he is back to his taal and raag of listening to the tabla and honking his horn, with the shake of his nut and a hairstyle like Mashoor Gulati (UNHM), which stands for unnecessarily horn marna.
Well I personally don’t like to use the horn at all; it is a rare occasion when I use it as a last resort. I also can’t stand all these fellows who just like to honky-tonk for no reason. In fact I remember once, I was in Ahmedabad, and had to go to visit my aunt and uncle. I got into an auto, and my irritation started from the moment I sat down as this auto fellow honked for no reason. He fell into the category of the first kind I have described, honk for no reason. By the time I reached “helmet char rasta” which would be about two kilometers from IIM, the limit of my patience ran out. Raman Bhai honked at every scooter, truck, dog, car, cow, thin air, girl, boy, auto, crow and you name it. I told him to stop on one side, and took out the change to pay. He was shocked, on hearing my reason that I did not like his honking and refuse to travel any further with him. He started to argue that if he doesn’t honk then there is an issue, if he honks, you are making an issue. Well, I said, brother, we got to go 20 more kilometers towards Gandhinagar, and if you take me without blowing the horn once, I shall give you Rs 100/- as a tip. He got excited and agreed. I reached my destination without this man blowing the “jalwa horn” even once. As promised, I took out the additional money but this young lad touched my feet and said sir, had you not made me realize that there is no point polluting the atmosphere with noise with such an outlandish loud horn. One can definitely do without it. He promised that he shall always remember me for opening his eyes and never blow it unnecessarily.
Well, so far so good, but in my neighbourhood where I stay now, there is a person, who parks his car on the main road every morning, and starts honking moment he sits in it till the time his children join him to go to school. It is so irritating that I felt like walking up to him today to ask him if he is in trouble. I wanted to tell him that shall I call his wife to the door to blow him a flying kiss as he leaves for office. The issue is my daughter studies in the same school. Teacher saab can give a moral lecture on everything to everyone, but I need to tell him somehow, that you look like a “parha likha unparh” by honking at the empty roads. In fact you only scare away the lovely birds that come to chirp on the trees surrounding our colony above all it is irritating and very annoying to me at least. I read behind a truck once ‘BAJAO MAGAR PYAR SE” and the stage has come for me to do that. When will he understand that honking for no reason is bad manners? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Off late I have been watching videos of Pakistani news channels and panel discussions and I find a few things common to all of them. I shall like to discuss them today, and try and find out why is their mind set like the way it is. I would also try and compare it to my mind set or if I may say an Indian mind set, as also the mindset of the anchors and veterans on their panels who try and analyze things for us. Basically all that I see and hear is a charade being created around the arguments mostly so on the Pakistani side. I called it a smoke screen in one of my articles and am calling it a farce or a sham now. Unless the Pakistani narrative goes beyond lies and false hoods the only options left with India is more actions of the surgical nature, in fact frequent surgical actions and in case still the lesson is not driven home then actively push the independence of Balochistan. Once Pakistan is further cut to a manageable size it may behave and if not then keep cutting it till it is of no consequence to the world. Let’s see.
The two nation theory of Hindu and Muslim divide is another falsehood. I came across a very intriguing quote which goes “WO KAUN SA SAB SE BARA MUSALMAN HAI JO KHAK NA HUA, AUR VO KAUN SA SAB SE TAKATWAR HINDU HAI JO RAKH NA HUA”. I am so touched by these lines that ultimately it is ashes to ashes and dust to dust for everyone. Who had ever thought the Indus valley civilization would vanish? The Indian subcontinent has seen its split into so many parts. Last one was when East Pakistan was converted to Bangladesh. India itself now has further added so many states since partition, so if we claim that Kashmir is an “ABHIN ANG” of India’ it may not be, as it is Pakistan forcefully occupies so much, and China has been presented a huge chunk of it. Similarly, Pakistan further being spilt on its own or with a direct involvement of India should never be ruled out. The only thing permanent would be ashes and dust of innocent people of the two nations.
Say Pakistan plays the nuclear card and bombs Indian forces which have invaded Pakistan, again the end result will be the same, turning both Hindus and Muslims to ashes, besides many other communities too. Worst will be the Muslims of Pakistan who will suffer the aftereffects of this strike for many-many years if they bomb their own land. Yes, devastation would be unfathomable if those bombs land up in big Indian cities, again where lots of Muslims live. End result is zero, people will suffer, and new theories to fight will have to evolve. Now that the nuclear weapons would have been used, now what would be the further alternatives? India being so vast and wide will still hold the capability to strike back at will, at the place and time of our own choosing, but the Pakistani state would be an entangled mass of radioactive people and land. Who will gain who will lose, only time can answer?
Let’s talk of equality between India and Pakistan. Can we be equals, never! Population wise, land area wise, sea area wise, technological development wise, economy wise, military wise, international goodwill wise, democracy wise, natural resources wise, food production wise, education and child development wise, employment wise, you name it and Pakistan is otherwise. After giving you 80% of water of Indus, we still don’t fall short, if need be we will dry you up. When will you stop comparing yourself with us? Our democracy works very well, however bad or corrupt its custodians may be. You are run by your military, with a pseudo face of civilians. You won’t admit it, we know and we don’t care. Your intelligence agencies and spy networks create all the havoc in our country by planning, supporting and feeding your jehadi organizations and tanzeems. Pakistan lives on American and Saudi KHAIRAAT, do we have to learn rocket science to understand that. Now China is chipping in to meet its own agenda. Well, if you understand it fine, otherwise a veto for a person as peaceful, non-violent, sufi, messiah of the poor, social worker and what not called hafiz saeed, is a clear indication of the Chinese intentions and goals. Well everyone is not blind or for that matter has his blinkers on. Russian military exercises you claim are a stepping stone to your new alliance as now the US threatens to withdraw support; you are most welcome to live in a fool’s paradise.
I would say if you want to live in your make believe world of lies, dishonesty, pretense, deceit, corruption and treachery as being done by your politicians, leaders and military combined. Go ahead, it is good for us, as one day when the cards will be laid on the table, your jokers won’t win you the trick, in fact they will be the first people to evaporate and leave the poor, uneducated, demoralized, oppressed and exploited people of Pakistan to fend for their own. The common Pakistani wants peace, but the Pakistani deep state knows they shall stand exposed if there is peace, so keep many fronts open, keep your existence justified, and keep India busy with a proxy war so that attention of your people is distracted from the truth. If that be your tactics, fine, so be prepared to be hit directly and indirectly as a clear response from India in the future. Surgical strikes shall continue, your international isolation shall be a goal for India, economic blockade will hit you where it hurts most, and then you please call freedom fighters like Burhan Wani and sons to bail you out, I am sure you will have a plan for that.
I laugh the way you dictate to your private channels to project that Pakistan is a state so pure, sublime, chaste, and all encompassing that it reaches ridiculous extremes. I can understand, no one will ever admit that yes our country is such a rogue and a rascal state. It is impossible. Irony is to sell Pakistani narratives which have been force fed to them by the military establishment. They start ranting off more falsehoods and lies to mislead, misinform, deceive and hoodwink their masses. A lie spoken a hundred times starts appearing to be the truth. It is a fact your channels are gagged moment they start to air anything which is against the state of Pakistan. Anchors are jailed and news channels put off air, so banning Indian channels and movies is not a big shake.
Well, on the other side, Indian media goes berserk and opens up war rooms as if the battle has already been won and mopping up operations are going on. How ridiculous that appears? The anchors have made up their minds to sue all Pakistanis in their studios, execute them with a public volley of words, burry them in such a manner that they don’t surface for generations to come. We see the same Pakistani panelists abusing India, our PM and all Indian veterans, which makes my blood boil. Let us stop being paper tigers and stop fighting this damn war on television news shows. I know for sure most anchors will go looking for their pants and panties when a tank or Bofors fires next to them. Media let us just ignore Pakistan, let our diplomats, foreign affairs, PM and the Armed forces deal with them. The more you jump the gun, the more difficult you are making lives of these people. A word of caution to the military veterans, Sirs with due respect, we have done our bit when we proudly wore the uniform, now let the people at the helm do what they have to, they are as capable as you were in fact far better than all of us due to the quantum jump in technology and weapon systems.
Many an Indian has fallen in the line of service to the nation; let us not add the burden of adding more dust and ashes of our armed forces brethren. Let us now deal with Pakistan without a verbal war called AMAN KI ASHA, as they don’t know aman ki paribahsha, and till date have only brought nisarsha by their process. So let us gear up and be prepared as a nation, by clearly defining the modus operandi to deal with this mentally unstable country, and once dealt we shall then fold our hands and deal without yudh but on the footsteps of Budh, as the PM just said. Hey Pakistan, no need to listen to this at all, all the best for your future, don’t think of converting us to ashes because you already are dust. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had written about the unfortunate incident when Akhlaq was lynched by his own village folk, and now one of the culprits has died in police custody. This chap’s body has been draped in the tri-colour and placed for “ANTIM DARSHAN” it seems. His family has been promised to be paid Rupees twenty lakhs besides his family member shall be taken in for a government job. I hold my head in shame that if this is what Indian politics is all about my country is in for self destruction. I wish this chap had died for Bharat mata and not gau mata. I wish this chap had died saving a girl from molesters. I am really appalled at this state of affairs. The local police or administration has done nothing about it, maybe because of fear of being manhandled by another crowd. This all is happening under the patronage of the local politician. What a pity and what a pain! This privilege to be draped in the national flag is only given to National leaders (are there any?) and martyrs, not petty thieves and hooligans like him.
Mr PM I would like to ask you, how you are tolerating this nonsense? Mr Chief Justice I ask you, will you pass orders to the state government to stop this tomfoolery straight away. As it is the presstitutes have made Burhan wani a hero that his name reverberates in the UNGA, all courtesy Indian media’s TRP race. I feel humiliated and ashamed for that. Besides my politicians of the RG kinds are using terms like KHOON KI DALALI, which they don’t even understand. Rahul baba, have you been to a red light area, and seen the person who fixes the price for a prostitute, he is called a dalal and what he does is dalali, how dare you utter such abuses for my Prime Minister, in fact the country’s prime minister including you. Shame on you rahul! People have listed out the dalali your Khandan has done from your great grandfather’s days, grow up, mature, and stop living in a fool’s paradise. The jokers you have in your party are using you to blame you for their failures. I never expected our soldiers to be dragged into this political muck, but you have not even spared us. You are lifting my belief off democracy; in fact I call this the murkiest democracy, where your tongue now needs to be controlled. My suggestion is to just keep your trap shut or quit politics. Period!
All these incidents have given a chance for the paki media to make a mockery out of us. They laugh at our panelist’s childish behavior; they ridicule the state of India. Well, they are well within their rights to do so. I blame my media again, who bring those court jesters of Pakistan on news shows and debates. They scoff at the dhotiwalas and walis who wash our dirty linen internationally. How hard you try to mute their voices by turning off the volume, it makes no difference. They shame our country, our polity, our politicians and our armed forces. I have been saying this since a long time, if we are airing our views internationally, then it has to be moderated, sifted and should project India in the correct light and not shit flying left right and centre in garb of getting balanced views. If we are bent upon bringing disrepute to our country internationally by calling the enemy’s of our nation on discussions which have no meaning, then be prepared to be disgraced and dishonored. Stop this monkey business you damn news channels.
I listen to sane voices of Pakistan many a times and one of them is Mr Najam Sethi. A very well read and learned personality. He keeps a balanced point of view, and in fact has many a times shown a mirror to the Pakistani establishment point blank. But after theses surgical strikes, he too has changed his stance. Now he is also talking in the Pakistani military’s voice. He has clearly stated in many of his talk shows and interviews the correct state of affairs in Pakistan to include their military inadequacies, their lack of foreign policy, their lopsided Kashmir policy, their hoax of the nuclear threat, their duplicity of good and bad Taliban, their isolation in the international forum, their collusion with US to raise nurture and support terrorism, their illegal foreign funding, their loosing foot hold in Balochistan, their lies about Pakistani claims on Kashmir and many related topics. But now he says that our surgical strike was a small border action where India shoots two paki’s and pakis give you tit for tat by doing “thoon-thaan”. Well, I don’t hold it against him. Only if Pakistani military listens to him, shall things be set right. Their civilian government is no good to man or beast. The Panama leaks have said it all. The military of Pakistan tells lies outright, says Dr Christine Fair, who studied the Pakistani military for 60 years. Their survival is on denial, says Tareekh Fateh. They have no industry, and live on corruption says Hassan Nissar, so let us be clear that this is real Pakistan.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am no war monger, and I understand what war is all about. I have been through situations and accompanied my martyred comrades’ home, where to reply to the mother that I had sent my child alive to you why have you brought him back in the tri colour, leaves you speechless. The stony eyes of the father, the wandering eyes of the children, the shocked eyes of the wife, the tear laden eyes of the village and his friends makes the weight of the coffin the heaviest load you can ever perceive you have carried, but still I insist that India, let us now wake up and set things right with Pakistan.
The first thing to set right internally is the Indian democracy, the Indian polity, the law and order. Let us make our armed forces the strongest, let us support them “Dil se” not “muh se”. Let us stop all infighting, Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Sikh-whatever. Let us wipe out this religious fanaticism. Let us be an educated society, above all let us be true Indians. The thing we need to set right externally is this damned nation called Pakistan. The earlier we treat him as an enemy, the better it is as Pakistan has no doubt who is their enemy number one. Let our armed forces do their jobs to sort this enemy nation out, they are the best in the world let me assure you. Let us citizens look after our home and hearth, our fields and rivers. Let us show the world what India is all about, you treat us well, we go all out to treat you well, you mess with us, we shall mess you up so badly that you may go back to where you ideally belong, the Stone Age.
Will we the Indian citizens ever going to understand the value of our Tri-colour and the freedom it gives to us? Are my politicians ready to focus on their jobs? Is Indian media going to stop cheap popularity, and finally, Pakistan, if you don’t pull up your socks and behave now you shall be treated accordingly, are you listening!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, you may call it a wedding unnecessary or welding anniversary. With the grace of God we could see 27 years of togetherness yesterday. Thanks to the support of our parents, relatives and friends across India and the globe. Your blessings and love has seen us through. Today, I would like to share with you about our first anniversary and our journey to it.
Lukung was the place, height 14300 feet above sea level, 3 hours from Durbuk, which was the battalion headquarters. The only mode of transport was a rickety 3 Ton vehicle called Shaktiman. When I first reached there, I thought I would be facing the Chinese eyeball to eye ball, but could not find one Chinese as far as my Eye Ball Mark-II could see. The mountains were beautiful, and the Pangong Tso Lake was “jannat”. Me being from the Mech forces, I just bowed down to the infantry when I saw the mountains. Since that day, my respect for them continues till date. In this new battalion, everyone called me a MECHIE. I decided that day, fine brothers I have joined a parachute outfit, I too shall do my para and skydiving course, which I did. Once I wore my red beret with pride, things went silent as now I belonged to an outfit where the motto went” Men apart, every man an emperor”.
So the Lukung post was in a kind of ravine, all I could see was a volleyball court and a one ton ambulance standing near a hillock. Senior JCO received me, took me to a fiber glass hut, wow I said, this would be fun. Then took me around the company, it was amazing to see that not a single living bunker visible, as the bunkers were so well camouflaged. The only way to identify them was from the dogs that sat around the chimneys of the bukharis. To my surprise every platoon had a dog with a different colored collar. A light green was 1 platoon; red was two, and so on. To identify your men on parade, one had to identify the dogs first. I said why you don’t name the dogs, they said they have, but collars are for ease of identification. As officers find it is difficult to pronounce the dog’s name. The first one I met was named Nuruguru, second Stanzing, the third one was Rambo. Well, it did not take me much time to know the dogs, though it took me some time to get adjusted to the new environment and new people.
On landing in Leh on posting, I found a few red berets engrossed playing bridge with gin/whisky in hand at 10 am. They took some time to acknowledge that there is a new entrant in the battalion and to the mess. Well, maybe after a couple too many down, the CO felt like relieving himself, and shook my hand and proceeded to the loo. The people in the mess kept giving me those dirty kind of looks. I was in Mech uniform was the issue I suppose. Well, CO got back and told the barman to get me a drink. The first question he asked was, are you married? I answered in the affirmative, sir just got married. He told me to FO right away and get my wife. Catch the flight you came on and see you with her soon, said he. Then there was this eerie silence again and the sound of shuffling of cards. I didn’t know how to react as I was proceeding on leave on arrival.
Next morning I was off to get my wife. Our journey back by road I shall cover in a different story. It was a long journey from Jammu to durbuk. Today, I shall highlight from Leh to Tangtse via Tsultak, Zingral & Changla (the second highest mountain pass after Khardungla). The names here are frightening, in fact more than the arduous route itself. At places wife almost jumped out when the jonga used to skid backwards on ice sheet formed on the battered road. Worst was when the driver told her to come out as he had to pull out the anti skid chains. I saw a trembling, dainty, fragile, shivering wife standing on the side of a cliff. I jumped out to give a helping hand, after all a Mech officer, well versed with jongas for sure. To our horror, when we peeped down the valley, there must be the wrecked remains of at least five or six army vehicles which were abandoned or destroyed in situ at that very spot. We looked at each other, I had told her that I am taking her for a honeymoon; here it appeared to be more of money khoon. My wife gave me that look “sale tu mujhe kahan le aya hai”. I looked up in the sky, as I may have to rush back to leave her home. I offered an extra pack of biscuits at Changla, not realizing that both of us crossed it more than 18 times during our stay there. But we enjoyed it every time. Ladakh you are beautiful.
Well, we were given a very warm welcome in the unit. The first thing CO told me that your wife is not here for all practical purposes. It took me some time to register and was about to tell him that she is not here for theoretical purposes. He explained later that she is in a little early in the season, so the Div and Brigade should not get a whiff. I told this to my wife she laughed and still laughs, as the alignment of barbed wire around the makeshift hut was changed so that this place was out of our boundary. I was made the Adjutant and my wife the head cook. The whole battalion used to revolve around me or my wife for all practical purposes; around me for orders and signatures, and around my wife for what to cook and what not to cook. The Mess havildar and cooks were given under her command. The first thing she changed was to stop calling the soup they used to serve “HADDI-KA-SOUP”, O yaar call it bone soup. Haddi ka soup sounded so crude as if it was extracted out of a bone of a dinosaur, if not of a local ladakhi.
After a week or so, I was told to go to Lukung, I had seen it once and it was breath taking. Wife by now was well acclimatized. CO told me to take her along, and hide her till further orders. One fine morning I got a call from the exchange that someone called Brigadier Kishanpal wants to speak to me. I was about to ask who is he and why before that he butted in and said boy, I am your Brigade Commander if you don’t know me, George Fernandes is visiting your post by chopper, I want your wife under the bed, and she shall not surface till either the chopper leaves safely or has crashed. WILCO sir was my reply. I briefed Mr Fernandes and gave him a boat ride in the lake, besides I also presented him the customary Garnets of the garnet hill. The chopper left safely.
Well our first anniversary was approaching; my mom and dad were very concerned, that we will not have a cake. To our surprise one day a huge parcel came to my post. My mother had baked a cake and parceled it a month before. It was so touching, when we opened it, besides the blessings and letters, there were candles, a knife and we still have it with us. She had sent icing sugar, and edible colours to be mixed with sugar for decorating the cake. She wrote how to use a matchstick to write “Happy Anniversary” on the cake. God bless her soul, mom you were the bestest. Well, it turned out she sent glucose in place of icing sugar which she had inadvertently packed as they look similar. We got a letter from her the next day how to grind sugar and make it icing sugar. Well, on that great day, me, my better half and our shahayak, went to our fishing point. I caught a lot of brown trout there. We had a picnic lunch, and in that wilderness, our table was the hot case we were carrying for lunch, and we placed our cake on it. I told my chap, jab saab-memsaab cake katega tum tali bajayega, and he did, and we repeated it for the camera too. Phuntsuk, we can never forget, and that’s how we celebrated our first anniversary. We have had our ups and downs and now have forgotten the downs. We live now with an aim to give back, in whatever little capacity, stay happy, peruse our hobbies and make friends. Thank you for being my wife darling. I dedicate this piece to you Anshu Vineeta Lal, which was your maiden name and now we call ourselves THE ELLIS’.
The boil in my blood appears to have settled down a little after the surgical strikes, but the temperature is still at boiling point. If I can explain it simply, like when you boil tea, the boiling liquid froths up and rises to the surface with all the tea leaves. Then when you turn the gas down it all settles with a few bubbles left, but the churn of the brew can still be seen. If flamed again, it takes off to the brim and if not controlled it spills over. I am in the second stage of boiling, I am hot, ready to spill over at the slightest increase in temperature, however, am calm as of now, waiting to be taken off the stove. I am waiting to be served to people, to bring a smile to people’s faces. You leave me on this boil for very long, I may turn bitter and spoil the taste of your mouth. It would also be a waste of all ingredients, including a burnt pot. Yes my dear Pakistan, the flame is you. The flame control is in your hands. Choice is yours, to make a good cuppa tea, or spoil the brew. Do you get the similarity, or are you going to fake ignorance Mr Pakistan? I leave it to you.
Just for your information Pakistan, I am prepared for the spill, I am taking all precautions to ensure that how hard you may try to raise the temperature; I shall not let my ingredients to be burnt. You try it once again, my spills will burn you beyond recognition, my reactions will flood you and you shall nurse your wounds for times to come, so don’t incite India, don’t aggravate and stir a concoction which is nether palatable to any side. There is still time to let good sense prevail, let us enjoy our tea sitting across our fences. The table on which the tea is laid is common to all of us, don’t try and take away the table too, we will have to cut the legs of your chairs, or in fact break your chair if you cross the limits of decency. Choice is yours. Let us not cry over spilt tea or is it spilt milk.
I was reminded of an anecdote while I was in the army. All officers and families had come back after watching a movie. Dinner had been organized at the golf hut. We were having a gala time, Children were frolicking, the ladies were chirping, the officers were happy, as when the cat read CO is away, the mice love to play. Children playing hide and seek when this incident happened. A child started crying uncontrollably. We tried everything but could not control the child’s crying, in addition he kept whimpering in pain. In fact his dad almost scolded him. All of us were very concerned, but could do nothing. So the party broke off and we all went home, thinking the child could have fractured his arm. At night we got a message the child is in MH (Military Hospital). I and my wife rushed to MH, to find out that “pajju” as we fondly called him, had been shifted to civil hospital; on reaching there we found he was being given anti-snake bite treatment for a viper bite. His hand was black and blue, swollen, and vial after vial of antivenom was being administered to this child. His recovery took some time, today he is a handsome man. God bless him.
The aim of telling you this story is that hey Pak, we know that you are biting us time and again; you are spoiling our peace, growth and progress. We all are concerned, but are not reacting violently. The widows, orphans and parents of the child called India are crying with pain, hurt, anger, and frustration. However, you must know that we have our professionals, who know how to treat this bite and the snake. I can assure you we shall not let the venom of your hatred spread anymore. We did a thorough cleansing of the golf hut the next day. We killed a few scorpions too besides two vipers in that room where the children were playing hide and seek. We also took precautions to get more anti snake bite kits and anti venom in our hospitals, now that the type of snake had been identified. Our doctors in terms of armed forces are on standby to eradicate the vermin which you are trying to feed and nurture. Surgery has already begun, amputation of one part or many parts may be next, and if you still refuse to stop biting, we also know how to kill the snake. “Saanp bhi marega aur lathi bhi nahi tootegi” roger that.
One more thing I learnt that to treat snake bite, its anti venom is created from the venom of the same species of snake itself. So my dear Pakistan, the type of snake we have already identified, it is called jihadists as per you and terrorists as per us. Time now has come that we start injecting the venom in small doses back into you. It would be very painful, you must understand, it would hurt you depending on which part of your body we now bite, your nervous system will retaliate, you blood will start liquefying, ultimately leaving you to die. We shall inject you with so much of venom, not to make anti venom but to finish you in a slow and painful death. You nervous system is your military mind, and your blood is your rivers, if we stop them or release all water in one go you had it. One of the body parts ready to be amputated is Balochistan, could be followed by Sindh followed by, keep guessing! You shall have to be put in an isolation ward as your pathetic state will be lowering the morale of many. That too I think has started as today you stand isolated in the world community. The writings are on the wall friends. The lettering is not written in Greek, as on the pyramids of Egypt. The script is known, the language is common, so let us make a lovely poem out of it rather than a hate speech. Does it make sense to you?
I watch paki news debates on youtube and they are more of comedy shows to me, where you are in total denial of everything and your humor is third rate. You say India ghabra gaya hai, India jhoot bolta hai, India ko surgical strikes ke bare mein pata hi nahi hai, India ki batti band ho chuki hai, fine so live in wonder land my dear friends. You also call Indian concern and seriousness of the situation after URI as “BARKAN or VAVELA or SHOSHA”, an equivalent could be “Geedar bhabki”, or “crying wolf”. Keep believing in it, no issues. If you don’t want to acknowledge that you are the root cause of the problem or the snake, fine, you don’t want to accept and admit that the venom of so called jihad is being spewed by your countrymen or people sponsored by you, fine. Then let me assure you Mr Daydreamer, that we have the wherewithal in terms of doctors, nurses and medical staff ready, to simply do a “desi” surgery on you as called in punjabi “GHARITCH”.
Oh! My chai is ready, so is my vial, so let me enjoy some tea and “snakes”. Come join me folks! Pakistan will never listen; so chaddo paran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!