Noel Ellis's Official Blog

I wield the pen to explore the vastness of the human mind

Month: November 2016

MERE MAN KI BAAT

My blood starts to boil when a life which is not supposed to be lost is lost. We all are patriotic, we all love our country dearly, but when will we understand the pain of the family which loses their life line. Worst is that the enemy beheads them, tortures them, mutilates the bodies and feels good about it. Further, I squarely blame the politicians for all the 150 innocent lives lost while they were asleep in the Kanpur train tragedy. They had entrusted their lives to the railways and the railways betrayed them. Some were going for weddings, happy as humming birds, some were sad, going to attend funerals, not realising they were preparing for their own. Little kids, excited as ever for a train journey now cannot trace their parents. Painful as it may be, but our “Sewaks” are in deep slumber. No one seems to be bothered about the human life and its value in this country. Fauji’s aside, every life is precious. My prayers for the martyrs, and every life lost in the train accident. It is due to the long standing animosity of India and Pakistan that someone pays a price for mistakes done due to the incompetence of the political leadership, as also the myopic view over safety of railways which is left to the poor gang men, who toils day in and day out. They walk along the tracks with the most primitive and basic tools to detect fractures on the railway lines on which modern trains run at more than 100 kms per hour. How absurd and how funny? My fellow citizens, time now has come to set the Rail Minister’s and the Defence Minister’s tail on fire, if need be to catch hold of the PMs Tail, to get the ball rolling. Railways need sorting out and Pakistan too needs to be sorted out and pronto!

Pakistan is not going to change its stance about terrorists and terrorism, is a fact. They believe the terrorist factories are jihadists and are volunteers for the so called Kashmir cause. This is also their state policy. So to hope they will understand our view will never happen. Therefore, let us as a nation be clear, that we need to take this anti terrorism war to the enemy’s shore, now and with immediate effect. We got to pick out these B’s and all those who support them and eliminate them. So what if they are in Pakistani uniforms or disguised as civilians. A strategy needs to be worked out, a timeline needs to be laid down, tactics needs to be practised and rehearsed, and its execution has to be pin point and precise. Forget about the collateral damage to the enemy population. Our country, our priorities, our lives are more precious. We need to be crystal clear that we are Indians and fighting for India. If yes then nothing else matters, period! There is a saying in Hindi, GEHUN KE SAATH GHUN BHI PISTA HAI, so be it. Let the Pakistani army dare us, we shall engage with them appropriately at the place and time of our choosing. Enough of just reacting, enough of pussy footing, enough of who will think what , time now is for action, so Mr PM, give the word go, and see the results. The armed forces will never let you down.

I want to ask the PM, Sir, you have put whole of India to such inconvenience by withdrawing two notes. People claim that there has been so much loss of life while standing in the queues.  I know you don’t bother for those who are getting married because you are a bachelor, never mind. Then be man enough to let us take on the enemy. Causalities will be there, but they will be worth the sacrifice. Sir, we the uniformed people are not war mongers, and we do not want to commit suicide but the nation now needs your will to give a green signal that friends just sort out Pakistan. Let me add one more thing here Mr PM. Leave Kashmir issue aside, just leave it and let it rot for a little while longer. It’s been rotting since 70 years; let it rot another 10 years for all I care. Kashmir shall get automatically sorted out once we sort out Pakistan. I plead that you understand this. Let us focus on one issue that is Pakistan and be done with it, Kashmir shall be jannat again. The more you let the hurriat-shurriat breathe, the more trouble they shall cause for India. By choking the currency route of stone pelting and bandh creators overnight, you have done a great job, so let us not lose momentum now. Let us bring this effort to its culmination. Once Pakistan is shown its place, Kashmiri’s who ride piggy back on their support and money, will be brought down to mother earth. I am making this statement very responsibly sir, please mark my words, the earlier you do it, chances are you come to power again and that to emphatically, the more you delay it, losses of this nation will keep coming back draped in tricolours.

Internally sir, get Mr Prabhu who runs the life line of this country to work on safety at a war footing. They have the funds, and are generating enough. Let rail safety not be compromised at any cost. Let the DRMs wet their pants on hearing about the rail mantri’s visit. You do a surprise visit too; in fact I would suggest that you celebrate your next birthday with the railway staff. The Jawans know how to keep their morale up as they have wonderful leaders leading them. Your leadership now is needed for these civilian “Mehakmaas”, who may not have ever dreamt of the PM being on rails. Like you interact with the Generals, get into the railway operations room and get hold of them first hand. Put your team and find out what is actually wrong and where. No need to finger point, but ensure all anomalies should be rectified within this financial year, should be your target. How it is going to be achieved, let the Rail minister to work out. He can do it division wise or the way it is suits him, but if there is another accident of this nature, you shall be responsible Mr PM. The railways also functions under you. Every life lost must count, thus safety should be 150 times better in this financial year should be your governments aim. Let’s do it Mr PM and we know you can do it.

Well Sir, here I talk of saving lives, and on the other hand I talk of sacrificing lives. Isn’t this a dichotomy? Yes it is, but, I can assure you, the price we shall pay to sort out this rouge and failed state called Pakistan will have far reaching effects compared to the sacrifices we are making now on a daily basis. You can continue with all other diplomatic, economic, back channel, financial initiatives to isolate Pakistan, but give a green signal to the Armed forces of India to shake Pakistan with the roar of their guns. Let us not be scared of the nuclear card, they dare not even think about it. They are a bunch of liars, and they will never understand the value of peace. We now need to split Pak right through the middle, or rip it apart from the LoC/border, or do both. The earlier we execute this plan the better it is for our India. Are you listening to mere man ki baat Mr PM? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

WHY CAN’T THE PM EXPERIMENT

I have not understood as to why the critics of demonetisation are so adamant for a roll back of the scheme. Today, the easiest thing I can do is criticise. It costs nothing. If that doesn’t work then hit below the belt. If this also fails then do personal attacks. If that also doesn’t work then threaten to go on strike, in fact incite people to some kind of riot. If that doesn’t work too then go to the President, like students go running to the school Principal when some student has beaten you. Well, the President listens and does what his cabinet advises him and not what Pam, Chic and Mary want. I changed this because I saw the leading ladies lodging their protest with the President. Well, my wife has stood in line in the bank. She deposited the 1000 & 500 notes and exchanged a few as per guidelines. She also withdrew by cheque the amount which was allowed on that day. Yes, we were lucky not to get 10 kg coins, but sure enough we got 20 and 50 rupees bundles. Yesterday, finally I got the coveted 2000 notes from the ATM. I and my family, (bai included) are very happy.

I accept that it is the sowing season; the farmer needs money for seeds and fertilizer. I have no idea how the whole farming process goes, but can’t the government ensure that old notes be allowed to be accepted by seed and fertilizer shops, after all most of them are government owned. If hospitals, private or otherwise have been told, why can’t the agricultural sector be another aberration too? They are also our life line. My gut feeling is that I smell a rat in this farmer’s issue. How can it be tided over, can only be explained by the agricultural experts? The small and marginal farmer may have been hit; hope the government does something soon. Time is critical for the winter crop and I am sure the PM is very sensitive to farmer’s issues as well.

Today, I need to discuss why don’t we allow our PM to experiment? We keep cursing Nehru, Indira Gandhi, VP Singh, Moraji Desai, Devegowda and others for whatever experiments they did during their times. What is wrong if a person believes that his endeavour shall get good results for the nation? Maybe in the short run, times can be difficult, but in the long run we shall reap dividends. If this experiment fails, the PM has dug his grave. Not only he, but his party shall be wiped out in 2019. Just think, will a person be so fool hardy to put his country into a chaos. It will cost not only his reputation, but may be disastrous for the whole outfit he belongs to. Secondly, however secretive he might have been about the implementation part of this scheme, wouldn’t he and his team of experts have thought through about all the repercussion of the move to the farthest level. Will a person be so foolish, to bring about such a change just to see the colour of money change to pink? I am sure in such a vast country chances have to be taken and mid course corrections to schemes are the norm. So dear “AALOCHAKS”, just hold your horses for a while, don’t jump the gun.

Do you think a lala of Delhi has ever maintained his BAHI KHATA in white? Has he ever given you a bill for the 200 gm kaju or kishmish you have bought? What about the money he gives on loan with a das taka biaaj. Where is that in the system? I am sure he would have calculated that on a rough piece of paper, on which he scribbles some annotations which even the doctor fraternity would take years to decipher. I would rather say if you take that parchi to a chemist, he might give you medicines for your cholesterol and BP. (pun intended). Today, if he is making tons of money, can’t he wait for a little while to start making all over again? Well, to cry that we were doing business in cash till date, my dear friends, why don’t you start doing business by cards from tomorrow? Let everyone & the government understand the money you all exchange. Half the black funds of Delhi will be exposed when cash business turns to plastic. The other half is in the real estate there. Now consider the sabzi mandi people. Yes the hand cart puller, the rickshaw wala etc need to be paid in cash at least as of now. For them provisions have to be made. Why the vegetable auctions can’t be done with online payment. Why can’t diesel for trucks be paid though cards? I admit that the poor living in slums, the rag pickers, who have to work for everyday living, and mind you it is a sizeable number in Delhi who definitely needs money to buy his daily bread. But, what about the drug addicts, who are a big number amongst the slum dwellers, they will be automatically checked. I see this as a positive.

I am convinced that my convenience takes priority over the nation. My welfare comes first always and every time. My routine, if broken, hell will break lose. My black money, if touched will be resented, revolted, and resisted to be parted away with. My comfort, if interfered with, shall not be tolerated by any means. I cannot be put to the slightest discomfort come what may, for that the government better bend and break all rules or make new rules to suit  me & myself. If it is not affecting me, I keep quiet. If the problem is in the neighbourhood, how do I care? Till the time, I have my square meals, I couldn’t care less for anyone, is a common Indian attitude. We talk of Swach Bharat, another experiment by our PM, but I shall continue to spit pan and gutka all over the country side, I will throw packs of kurkure and bottles of mineral water out of my car. Shauchalaya experiment was also of this PM, but I have to pee on the nearest tree, cleanest wall, closest drain, thinking that no one is seeing me. I have relieved myself, who cares if that place stinks or if people passing by are embarrassed.

If I can get my cash, and if I can hoard some, who cares about the others. Banks are meant to keep and distribute cash, government is supposed to print notes. If my crop fails or my business suffers, it is the bank which is responsible or it is the government. Have you all seen the way people strictly follow unwritten norms when water distribution is done by tankers. You dare spill a few drops, and dare you break the queue, all hell will break lose. The eagerness to pay the electricity bill on the last date at all costs by standing in the longest queue shows how we understand the importance of electricity, then it is no inconvenience. I am sure things will ease out soon. However, some politicians are incorrigible. They have to do vote bank politics, what a shame it is! You can’t be disrespectful to your PM damn it.

Friends, I have a request to make to all those who stand against demonetisation. Please give this some time to get streamlined, and please suggest improvements. Kindly, encourage online payments. Insist on them. Kids today are so well versed with mobiles etc, that they will teach their parents in a day how things are done. I request the politicians to stop making a fool of themselves by saying that they will give KURBANI, if this scheme is not rolled back within three days. Let me assure you, no one may turn up for your funeral, as most of us would be in bank queues. Today, the funding to terrorists has taken a quantum hit; results are clear in the valley. Let us clean our systems from the corrupt and corruption. Each small step has to be taken, howsoever difficult it might be. To reach a goal, the pain of the journey has to be endured. You can’t just abandon the journey in anticipation of the hardships. Will the people who I am trying to address get the message, I am sure they will, but will they pay heed to what I say, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

SITUATION REPORT FROM MY BANK BATTLEGROUND

I have been speaking to the villagers around; the apprehension that money in the banks will not evaporate just does not seem to go down their gullet. They believe, that tomorrow never comes, so encash what you have today. They also firmly believe that moment you find one note of 500 rush to the bank to get it exchanged, if not then deposit it in your or anyone known to you’s account. Truth is, now people have almost lost count to who all they had given notes to deposit. Well, they are simple folks, most of them are uneducated, and trying to educate them in one day about what Modi ji and his gang are thinking is beyond the capabilities and purview of the bank staff. I was amazed that villagers now with ink marks on their fingers are lining up the next day again, and refuse to listen to the bank staff. Their argument is simple, that so what I have come again, my limit of withdrawing 10000 in a week is far-far away, so how can the bank refuse me, Above that I have stood in the queue since morning, there is no way that I am leaving the counter. If you don’t let me do my transaction, no one else will at this counter. So the poor bank manger folds her hands and says OK mausi, you are the boss. The folks in line are her village mates, and support her too, as they too are revisiting the bank.

Well friends, the reason there is so much time at their hands is because the rice fields are still green and the harvest has not started. Most of the village folk depend on agriculture and are free. All those who are doing petty jobs are being paid by villagers to stand in line and deposit cash on their behalf at a nominal fee, of a meal or a kg of rice. I am speaking of a remote place like where I stay. It is surprising to know that in and around this place there is only one SBI branch and more than 20 odd villages directly dependent on it. To my surprise, that before the jan dhan yojana came into being, most of the people here had their accounts already open, maybe, during the good old days when this bank was just commissioned some 20 years back. The bank must have wanted to increase its business, by attracting small amounts as deposits. As time would have gone by those folks never returned as they hardly had any money to keep their accounts activated.  Or the usual lack of education and lethargy to come to the bank at the cost of inconvenience. I am sure they would have faced a lot of hassles which deterred them to visit the bank again which now has turned out to be a night mare for the branch manager here. Village folk do not understand that the account has been dormant for years and has got blocked and will take some time to get reactivated. These simple folks just won’t budge, and their argument is we have an account; you deposit the money, what procedure you got to follow is your look out. I cannot come daily, and dare you refuse services to me. I can become boisterous, I can become vociferous, I can become abusive and I can even threaten you with dire consequences. Poor manger has got no choice, but to condescend to their needs and demands. The queue keeps lengthening in the mean while. Restlessness keeps growing outside. No wonder, one has to cater for water and snacks for the bank battleground.

Issue doesn’t end here; people are queuing up for new accounts. Now the dilemma for the bank staff is that they are grossly short of staff and facilities. The ATMs are invariably out of cash. The bank staff cannot leave their chairs to refill as the rush is beyond expectation. The vans which come here leave the cash in bank, unlike other places where some staff is allocated to directly refill ATMs. It is a double whammy for the bank staff and the few educated people like me (pun intended). In fact frankly I have not been to the bank since last Sunday because, the line never ends. I don’t have time during office hours to go and waste a full day and find by the time I reach the window the cash has finished. Even though they gave a special window for the company employees, but it is grossly inadequate. The villagers barge in and it does cause a hassle to everyone. Well, they ask, why this preferential treatment to another account holder like them. And he is right. The battle to encash continues, how long? Time only will tell.

I hope the hoarding stops, and people realise that living in limited means is also possible, or go to places where you can swipe your card, but the rural economy is all on cash. The machhi wali brings in the fish, deals in cash. The boatmen fills in diesel in cash, the ice wala sells ice to boatmen in cash, all fish auctions are in cash, the fish transporter charges in cash. In fact most of it is on credit, however final transactions are in cash. The sabji wala, the kiryana wala, everyone is on cash. I sometimes wonder if a Kg of basmati costs 100 bucks then a bag of 80 kgs is 8000 bucks, and if you just glance around even a small 20’x20’ kiryana shop, the cost of items are way above 5 lakhs I suppose, with the variety of items that they store. I am sure the logistics and economics can be worked out. The mithai wala, besides supplying in bulk, has to cater for his mithai shop also. The cost of milk being around 50 a kg, you can imagine how many cows would have to be milched for the items he displays and the gunny bags of “beson” that he must be consuming to make namkeens, as also the bag loads of maida. Friends all this is in cash here. Take the coconut vendor for example. A skilled guy charges Rs 70/- to 100/- per tree for climbing up and plucking them. Every tree bears from 70 to 100 nuts and say if he does 30 trees a day it is some figure. If you say a grove has a 100 trees and each coconut is sold for 10-15/- in bulk, it is more than two truck loads, and imagine in our area there would be thousands of such groves. Some cash is flowing here folks.

Well let me not add more woes to my and your imagination. Let me not also burden you with my dehati type calculations. Folks just pray that things normalise soon. Pray ATMs are up and about soon. Pray there are no deaths in hospitals or otherwise due to insensitivity, neglect or lack of cash. I must thank and offer a grand salute to my banker friends. Well, you guys and gals have to rough it up for quite some time I am sure, and hope you all continue doing a good job that too on war footing. But will our folks understand that hoarding is not good for the system, I am sure they will, but when will I consider to have won the bank battle and have my wallet full again, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

MY WALLET IS FULL

I have a very bad habit of forgetting my wallet every now and then. In fact, I have another bad habit of never checking as to how much money is in it. Well I am disclosing this secret to you all. Who can take advantage of this are three people, one my wife, second my daughter and third is our Bai. Right, Wrong. I will tell you why in the reverse order as I mention these ladies.

The place where I stay is in wilderness. Our bai’s are ladies, who though are poor but have an unflinching integrity. Till date even a coin which has slipped out of our hands and rolled under the bed has never gone missing. Rather my wife keeps a small bowl in the kitchen in which go in all the coins at the end of the day, to pay for petty expenditures. Well, we have free home delivery of many things, fresher than Big Basket and healthier than any organic product store. Bai’s bring in the freshest vegetables, fruits, fish and prawns early morning. Before starting their daily chores they sell it around and have their wallets full, which they hide very dearly and very close to their hearts. So why should they lose their credibility by flicking a coin or a note or two. I remember we had a bai, who gave my wife very clear cut instructions to lock all our cupboards with or without valuables, or else she won’t do jharu-poncha. Well, what can be said beyond that?

The second lady I mention is my daughter, well; we have taught her to be an honest child and are grooming her to be an honest citizen. By the way the only thing she requires some money is for an odd vada-pav, once in a while. There are no McD’s and KFCs in around 80 kms of this place. She is very fond of pens and pencils, which I never lay any restrictions on and the third thing she loathes on is paint brushes and paints of all types, which I never, limit either. She has a flair for arts and painting, she gets what is available in our small village and nearby town. She too has a bad habit. She gives papa whatever she collects from her aunts and uncles or whatever cash she receives on her birthdays. So our trust, faith and our relationship is such that it needs no further elaboration. Papa never hides his purse. Everyone in the family knows where he keeps it. Papa only tells her to get the purse when she needs any money; she takes what she needs and returns what is left. I can proudly say there is no better virtue than honesty that one can teach the child. The norm is, in case of an emergency, take what you need and tell me what you took. Period!

Now comes the third lady, well she is the CFO of my house, in fact the finance minister. My job is to get the cash, and now she does it on her own with her debit card. I don’t even bother to think what is left in the house. I just work hard and wait for the most beautiful sms which comes from your bank to tell you that your salary has been credited. If I get cash, I hand it over to her and she then manages the house till she needs more. She manages the complete finances of the household and keeps a track meticulously. Not a single note can go haywire. The bai, the sweeper, the gas, the milkman, the paperwala, the church funds et al. I frankly don’t even ask how much she pays them, and don’t have to bother, as she knows how to run the house. I even hand over the SODEXO coupons to her. How, what, when to use which currency? She is the boss. My duty is to drive her to the market and carry loads in terms of bags. She only checks my wallet from time to time and refills it with adequate cash. I have yet to find anyone better than my wife to manage the cash and house hold.

My wallet has various compartments; one has a debit card slid in, and along side is the colour Xerox of my driving license. On the other side I used to put my visiting cards. Now a day I don’t carry them, nor accept visiting cards, save paper my dears. Today, give a missed call and you are connected to the world, isn’t it? Then there used to be a secret compartment, where I used to hide a 1000 Rs note as an emergency fund, now courtesy modi ji, I had to disclose my black fund, what a pity! On one side I now keep a few hundred rupee notes and on the other side small quantity of notes of other denominations. I don’t like coins, as they make the wallet heavy and add to the discomfort while you sit down anywhere.

Well ladies and gentlemen; I also queued up in the bank the other day to refill my wallet with the good old notes as the wallet was running dry. We had used up all our reserves, including our daughters piggy bank stuff. I entered the bank in a serpentine queue and awaited my turn. The advantage of having a bank in your colony is that manager knows your wife and dog better than you. She is a pretty looking lady and the moment she saw me and my wife she nodded her head. In acknowledgement I winked at her and she winked back. After a little while she appeared on the horizon again, and I sheepishly tried to catch her attention to request her to relieve us of this agony of the wait by doing a short cut somehow, but she gestured back with a shake of her head which went along the imaginary line of the queue of 50 who were standing in front of me. I got the message that patience dear, patience for our PMs Great initiative.

After about 40 minutes I reached a window which was closed and the manager came and sat on it herself. I smiled at her and kind of thanked her for the hard work and tough times she was having. We could only talk in gestures as the decibel levels inside were so high that one had turned half deaf, and the only recognizable things were the dirty smell of sweat and rotten smell of farts. This time she winked at me, as she opened the window I was standing on. She took my cheque of 10000 and paid me in bundles of 50, she also took 4×1000 notes and gave me four bundles of 20 Rs notes. I felt like winning the Kaun banega crorepati contest. My wife’s wallet appears to be full now for the time being.

I was just thinking was it due to my winking that the manager developed a soft corner for me and opened the counter and did she continue with that window after we left, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

BYE-BYE 1000 WELCOME 2000

Can you believe it folks till date I do not know how much money is there in my wallet? It was only after the PMs Announcements that I dug into my purse to see how rich or poor I am. It came to me as a shock there were 5 notes, two of 1000 one of 50 and two of 10. My wife could muster around 3-400. There was a kind of tension I could see, but not panic. So far it was so good.

Last week we decided to bring in new plants to our collection and we made a trip to one of the nurseries about 60 kms away. The journey began from the first ATM in our colony which refused to give us any money except a printed slip. The saga continued to the next 3 ATMs. My wife was in panic mode, that we won’t be able to buy anything and our trip might go waste. I tried to pacify her that the nursery may accept debit cards. Well, as this conversation continued, midway we saw an ATM, and it was a welcome site to see people queued up. I & Anika, my daughter continued enjoying the music and wife was sent to do the needful. Suddenly there was a fanatic tap on the car and a burly looking chap pointed towards the ATM, I jumped out thinking someone has flicked her purse, but I calmed down, as we were in area of Alibaug known for “shareef” people. Wife said she had done two transactions and it is not giving the money. “Lut gaye boss” was my reaction. Hope the bank has not debited my account.

I had not even seen the bank whose ATM it was, worst it had the engulfing kind of ATM card reader. Anyways, I said let me give it a try with my card but it was in vain. The guard there was quietly sitting and rubbing his khaini, laughed and said sir try the next ATM about 20 meters ahead. To my surprise it was an unknown bank to me called Kasur Vyasa bank, chalo, I said let me try my luck. Wife waited outside and I did my transaction and out rolled 10×1000 notes, wow I said, it was the first time in ages I saw 1000 Rs notes, so I signaled to my wife to seek permission to take out 10 more and she gave a thumbs up. Ab hamari ginti raeeson mein hai, I thought to myself. Luckily, the nursery charged through card, so we came home rich, not realizing we would be poor overnight. Out of that lot my wife had not spent 9 and I had 2, tension hi tension. No guzara on pension.

Wife got after me kal subha bank jao, ye jama karao, but modi ji had closed the banks and ATMs. I said relax yaar, what if we did not spend anything for the next two days, but ladies you know na, they get after you. Next day I get a message from wife, take a copy of the bank form and copies of the adhaar card so that they can be deposited and cash can be withdrawn. Well, on my way to lunch I saw a super long queue at the bank, so I decided there was no point troubling myself. I reached home and there was a wail coming from the kitchen, I rushed, to see what the matter is. Our bai sat holding her head, she is a bihari, and doesn’t have an account, because she doesn’t have a ration card or an adhaar card and her whole years savings which she keeps with my wife she was saving it for her annual visit to her home next month. Total 15000 and all in 500 note denominations. Well like a Good Samaritan I told her not to worry, she will have all her money. Poor lady hides it from her husband, who otherwise would drink away to glory. She is a very happy and smiley lady, and I saw both her smile and happiness returning giving me so much satisfaction, that so what modi ji wiped out her money in one night, but she has Modi ka baap, that your’s truly, (pun intended).

Well last two days we have purchased nothing. Our kiryana store wala says he will accept the notes, our post office accepted the notes and in fact my smart wife sent a money order of 5000 to her sister, my bank is not refusing but the only limitation is that the van with new notes has not arrived and they are dispensing only Rs100 notes. The bank is short of staff, so the dispensing is slow. I shall wait for the new notes so what if I feel inconvenienced. Maybe I live in a different world, maybe, the positive move has made me strong to live with it and support it, I sleep well, and my wife feels positive too. In fact the other day the milkman came, and said bhabhi ji 100 Rs do na, wife said 500 le ja. The chap pulled out two 500 notes from each pocket and said ye aap rakh lo. What a joke! People with smaller denominations are richer and the people with bigger denominations are panicking. There have been stories of sack full of notes lying in garbage dumps; I am waiting to get my hands on just one sack. Acche din, isn’t it?

I was touched by my daughter’s gesture that she brought her piggy bank and can you believe it we had more than 500 rupees in coins with us, so before Modi ji bans all that too, we must use it off. I was surprised actually to see lots of coins dipped in a mug with surf water. Wife told me that the coins have gone black and people might not accept it saying that it’s a Khota sikka. I was taken back in the old days when this term was used for a person who used to betray you, but yes, we turned our not so khota sikkas into useable sikkas by brushing away the dirt off them. By the way old toothbrushes are the best to be used for all such activities, isn’t it?

Well folks I do not know the repercussions of this move and can only make educated guesses but the mood is positive, the feeling is good, the inconvenience is pardonable, the long queues are worth the wait for, the excitement to see and feel the new notes is ever increasing, and a voice in my heart says buddy keep one 500 and 1000 note for posterity, but then dil nahi manta, as it is a lot of money. I have requested my wife to do the bank transactions, once the rush in the bank is over, till then we shall bank on the piggy bank money and keep digging out small notes and coins which may have got lost in the box bed, sofas, cupboards, attaché cases etc, just to have a feel of living the good old days again. I promise that my bai need not panic, as we shall not let her down. Well done Modi saab, many more such bold and shocking moves to come. Hindustaan’s janta only understands this language, the opposition can keep criticizing, but you bash on regardless. Give one deadly shock to Pakistan too and on your return from Japan. I am with my PM. Are you too???????????????????

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

BAKWASWAANI BY BEKAAR PATEL

LUKE, Chapter 23, verse 34 of the bible says, Jesus while on the cross said to God “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.” So my dear friends when I read the AAKARWANI in the Sunday TOI, I felt the same way. A person who feels offended when he is not allowed entry to a lake, a person who calls us mercenaries, a person who compares us with sewer cleaners, a person who questions why we deserve pension, that too from “his” paid taxes, well lesser said the better, but I am not Jesus. I will have to give my piece of mind to you dear sir on behalf of my fraternity. Take it or lump it.

You called us a mercenary, no issues, you criticize us, we are open to criticism, you say we don’t deserve pension, no problems, but when you compare us with sewer cleaners, well, it hit me very hard and below my belt. By the way Mister, we have cleaned many a blocked drains in our cantonments, with our own hands working in the stench and rot. Why? As for us, the safety, health and welfare of our men comes first always and every time. Have you ever used DTLs Sir? Now don’t ask me what they are. Please find out and then open your mouth, or else what we do in those places will come flying to your mouth before you realize what hit you. We have used them, smoked them and cleaned them, so, now even if you say we are sewer cleaners, I don’t mind, as we stay clean and hygienic, but what about your dirty state of mind, which I feel is not only polluted but needs to be set right.

I would advise you to put a “BELCHA” in front of your pen, and then come to the border, and then we shall see how fast you will dig for cover, when an enemy mortar shell comes and explodes next to you. I want you to be hit, on your writing hand, so that just the finger and the thumb are dismembered and then you bleed, lying there till someone from the forces finds you and evacuates you. I hope gangrene sets in and your arm has to be amputated from the elbow, and then we shall see how you write. Brother, passing loose comments about the armed forces because of which you get the freedom to use your pen, is not only shameful, distasteful and objectionable but needs to be condemned outright.

I suggest never again put your hand in a subject which you don’t know have a clue about, as the saying goes “little knowledge is dangerous”. You have no idea, what the army man does, and above all how he does it? You have no clue, as to how during, rain, hail, sleet and snow, this poor soldier lives, fights, eats, misses his family, cries on the quiet, and still does his job. He dies anonymously, unlike you, where the whole world will congregate to bid the final adieu, as you are well known in the intellectual circles. This man quietly toils day in and day out in conditions worst than the city sewer. For whom! For ungrateful people like you! Frankly, you don’t deserve his protection.

You also commented that we still flaunt our history of being raised in a different bygone century, well; we take pride in our customs, traditions and history. We preserve them like no one else. Every document, every memento, every trophy, every silver piece, every flag, every event of history is docketed and preserved. We proudly remember our ancestors, as they are the ones who laid the foundations of such traditions of professionalism and camaraderie. We pride in our past, we take motivation from our golden days. We love to relive the valour displayed by our war heroes and decorated soldiers, we try and emulate them when we go to war today. Well, had you ever been in uniform, which you don’t deserve to be in, then only would you know, why that tank you mention has its barrel up, or is the barrel pointing to the ground. If you know the difference, then let us know.

Have you ever fought for the human rights of the soldier? Have you ever raised your voice for armed forces personnel? Have you ever raised your voice against militants and militancy? I don’t know. But I understand that you seem to suggest that the country needs to outsource its security as you do for your building you are staying in. So let us outsource National security. Then there is no need for any pension. They will come cheap, they will work efficiently and all the money saved can be utilized for all your health schemes which you are referring to. Can you tell me one country in the world which doesn’t have armed forces Patel Saab? Tell me one country which doesn’t budget for health care? Have you done a reality check, as to how much our centre and state government release for health care and how much reaches the grassroots? Please do it today. Tell me how many medicines are made in India and why aren’t they affordable? Does healthcare need a budget to be diverted from the armed forces pay cheque? You must be out of your mind, I am convinced. Write on subjects like health care and leave the armed forces alone. We deserve to be paid well for doing our time in hell on earth in the face of the enemy. For people like you, once what you flush down the “Shauchalya” gets stuck, hire people to clean your SH*T or do it yourself.

Are you not a mercenary of kinds that you have been hired by someone to humiliate the armed forces by writing in such a cheap manner? Aren’t you getting paid for what you write? Aren’t you an armchair twister, who has no clue about our armed forces history, chivalry, sacrifices and gallantry? Should we give away Kashmir, Arunachal and other disputed territories? Once given, thereafter no armed forces shall be needed and all the money saved you can utilize the way you want. Well, let me stop here, as you know not what you are saying, doing and writing. This country banks on one force as a last bastion, come a manmade disaster, or a natural disaster or even disasters of your pen. Please don’t belittle us because you are a well know writer.

We are people way above your imagination. We are people of integrity. We take pride in serving the nation. We are people who live and die for the freedom our tri-colour which gives you this liberty to write as freedom of speech. Don’t hurt our dignity. We tolerate a lot of nonsense at the hands of people like you and so called human rights activists; time now has come for you to be put in the sewer. I hope you understand that the uniformed people have been hurt by your thoughts. Imagine what will be India’s state when ever body will be made healthy, wealthy and wise, but there will be no country called India left, thanks to the Bakwaaswani by Mr Bekaar Patel. I think you should only fight for the human rights of the sewer workers, and let the Army do its job and be well fed while in service and even better after they have hung his boots. Will you ever understand? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

OPEN LETTER TO GEN VK SINGH

Yes ladies and gentlemen, how could I have stayed back without airing my views on the suicide of our Ex-serviceman Subedar Grewal at Jantar-Mantar, and the political fiasco thereafter? I would say there has been a military disaster too from none other than our great General VK Singh. Sir, I generally avoid passing remarks about any senior officers, but when it comes to calling a spade a spade I do not spare anyone. I do maintain the thin veil of decency, and military decorum when it comes to such seniors who gave all of us a ray of hope that they have entered politics for the Ex Servicemen and servicemen fraternity per say. We rejoiced when you led by example to personally supervise airlifts of our countrymen. We were kind of dead sure that here is our person who has made inroads into a political party in power, and you shall act as a messiah for all of us in uniform, and especially those who have hung their uniform like you. It saddens me that the perception you give of working for Modiji is far-far away from what we thought you would do. Anyways Sir, this is not the first time that when you have opened your mouth and instead of pearls of wisdom, worms have fallen, is my view, like it or lump it.

Now, do not hide behind politically correct statements and maro smart acts. Sir, we are not Bachhas or second termers which you may understand better. We may be junior to you in rank, we may be lower than you in protocol, we may be inferior to you in qualification, but we are way ahead in common sense and wisdom. Reasons, I shall let you know as I write this piece. The trigger to pen my thoughts did not start when you commented about his mental state which needed to be checked, but when you emphatically stated that he had become a Sarpanch on a “Congress” ticket. You also became an MP on a BJP ticket, is it an offence to be of any party or associate oneself with any party? How distasteful sir, how mean of you. How can you make such comment for a soldier who protected your assets when you were growing in ranks and were climbing the stairs to reach the Chiefs office? Sir, his boots on ground secured the installation which he guarded so instead of being remorseful and thankful, you added the unnecessary political flavor to it.

I have understood one thing, moment a General becomes a politician, he changes his colours, and now your OG blood has become saffron. The reality is that when OG and saffron meet, it turns into the ugliest shade of blackish grey, which is not pleasing at all. How can you switch loyalties within two years sir? Or is it your compulsions which make you take such decisions and utter such uncouth comments. I have never seen a uniformed person deflecting, twisting, polarizing, and politicizing above all screwing issues. We are known for using all possible problem solving tools, and here you have messed up in one sentence by saying he was a congress worker. Sir, he was a Sarpanch of the village, he was working for the grassroots; he was toiling for people from where democracy starts. He may not have been decorated in army or DSC career, but was awarded twice by none other than the Presidents themselves as a Sarpanch, and not like you the way you would have got your AVSMs and VSMs, I don’t even know what you got, and don’t care if you had them also.

Sir, your words initiated the chain reaction of politicians lining up for his funeral. The Congi vice president, for whom I have a very low opinion, also scored brownie points, thanks to you. Rest of the parties I don’t even care. In fact all the dhotiwalas and their supporters had no business to be there. In this solemn occasion of grief, it should just have been the military fraternity and the village members, laying to rest this old veteran. The announcements of money being done by another party, looked so degrading and cheap, as if he was begging for money while agitating for the OROP and pay commission anomalies. Isn’t it what we deserve? Isn’t it what is our rightful right?  Imagine Sir, besides his primary task of working as a Sarpanch of the village, he chose to fight for his rights, which have been denied by all governments till date. He felt and considered it his moral duty to support the cause which the Ex Servicemen have been agitating for since the last 567 days and more. It’s a pity to see many of your course mates and seniors, sitting on durries, under a shamiyana all these days. Many seasons have changed since the agitation peacefully started, but you and your government has yet to implement it. I was dreading the day when an ex-serviceman dies at Jantar-Mantar, and it has started with a suicide, how unfortunate. How heartless your government can be sir!

Sir, why have you not commented on the OROP issue till date? Why haven’t you adorned the Ex serviceman’s cap and walked into the Rakshamantri’s office to get to know firsthand how and where is the damn implementation is stuck. If you are aware of what is happening in the corridors of the north and south block about this issue, why haven’t you stood and persuaded the agitating veterans and convinced them to go home, that friends, I shall look after what is pending, you go home and wait. Why could you not get a time frame from the Government, saying, sir, I don’t like my fraternity sitting on dharna and hunger strike, as if we are beggars and culprits who are delaying the process. Sir, have some consideration and pity on the oldies, many of whom are suffering from medical ailments, but with a never die spirit.

Can you share with us today, truthfully, why did you join politics? Can you tell us why did you accept a BJP ticket? Can you tell us, why you are not the Defence Minister of the country? Can you tell us what has been your achievement as a second rung minister in the foreign ministry? Can you tell us how many times have you spoken in parliament to project the OROP issue? How many times have you asked the Prime Minister to set up a separate pay commission for the uniformed personnel? How many times have you threatened or challenged the Modi government for causes that were so close to your heart as an Army Chief. Or are you avoiding “pangas”. I don’t think you have ever been seen speaking on these issues, except visiting the Pakistani embassy wearing a green kurta pyjama. Sir, I speak for the common ex serviceman, who has no pull-push-link-pink-Maibaap-father-in-law, nothing in fauj or otherwise. This is what I think of you and many people like me do. People may shoot me down, doesn’t matter.

Sir, diplomacy, politically correct statements, diversionary tactics, loose comments, degrading words, polarizing thought process are not expected out of a person of your stature and rank. I would rather write another article in your praise if I see you putting in extra efforts for the veterans. I am sure you have obligations to the people who sent you to the parliament, but your obligation to the servicemen of the nation, and all those who served the nation before you, with you and who are still sacrificing themselves, for our tomorrow, is your prime responsibility. Hiding behind your party ideology comes second, but the men and the welfare of the men comes first always and every time sir, I am reminding you of that quote which you would have by hearted in IMA. Sir, we expect a lot from you. This congress BJP, AAP, etc means nothing to me at least. Why we are apolitical is because we do not trust politicians and stay away from politics? But we trust our generals with our lives. Are you going to honour our trust sir, or hide behind the political cloak? Will you stop being a sissy wearing a BJP mask and be a “Tiger” for the armed forces fraternity? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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