Noel Ellis's Official Blog

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

Category: DIWALI

WHEN PETS DON’T HAVE ALL THE FUN

If you see dogs with tails between their legs, whimpering, whining, running helter-skelter, digging up holes, huddling up with other dogs, shivering, avoiding food, basically scared almost to death, it means it is Diwali time. Dussera on wards, their behaviour takes a turn and suddenly from a happy go lucky dog it appears subdued and lack luster. The dogs which used to chase cats and squirrels’ at the drop of a hat are found moaning to themselves in squeaky voices sitting quietly in a corner. At that moment if a cat came and cuddled up, it won’t object all. This is a consequence of the fire crackers. The loud bangs and flashing lights scare the daylights out of them.

This year somehow the bangs drastically reduced. It has been few days since Diwali; I have yet to see the stray’s in my colony surface. Most of them have gone in hiding and I know there are numerous rain water drains which are the safest places. The hangover of those loud bangs must be still fresh in their minds. In a way it is good as we have a pack of about 10-12 strays who have now become the bosses of the colony. They do intimidate and gnarl colony residents sometimes.

These crackers are a kind of trauma for the dogs at least. I have observed dogs urinating with every bang. One can only pity their plight. Like on Holi people colour the dogs, on Diwali I have seen some sadistic people tying up series of crackers to their tails and lighting them. It is the cruellest from of torture I should say. What do they achieve out of it is anybody’s guess?

I am an animal lover and have made friends with almost every cat and dog here. To satisfy my “petty” feelings, I talk to every dog and cat during my walks. In the last couple of years most of them have started responding. I see their faces light up on seeing me which is indicated by a small meow in response to my voice, a wag of a tail if not a lick from the dogs. As a habit, I wish everyone during my walk. I wish these animals too and they respond back. Some people don’t, well lesser said the better about humans. There are a few cats which sit on our benches in the lawn, some allow me to approach them and give a tickle on their necks and if in the mood let me tickle their bellies too. I love it.

Be that as it may, I think people of India have taken cognizance to appeals given for reducing pollution, Diwali crackers being one of them. After all we all got to breathe easy. Sentiments should not come in between life and death. If we can save every drop of water and every unit of electricity for a better future, we can save the environment by bursting fewer and fewer crackers to save us from passive smoking and trauma to the ear drums. Every year many markets go up in flames causing colossal damage. People of jhuggi-jhonpris also keep their fingers crossed with a prayer that hopefully no stray rocket will make way to their humble dwellings.

The fire department is on super high alert. Hospitals get thousands of burn cases due to cracker injuries and lots of vision related issues. The issues related to lung and breathing is well known too. The trauma these crackers cause to the new born, old and infirm are also a cause of major worry. Let us give them the peace they deserve.

What I have understood about my own self is that unless I get kicked and pushed by someone I don’t listen to orders. I always argue of how not to do things. I always try and bicker about things if it is forced on me. I try and avoid following the rules and try and get out of the situation somehow. If still I have to follow that order I do so with utmost reluctance, cursing every government & organisation for the burden it puts on my finances and hurting my sentiments.

I wish the animals also have some place to complain to save them from the trauma, shock, suffering and pain. Let us be just be good and compassionate citizens of India. Political interference is not required or else we will find religion coming in to sort out the ache these animals suffer from during our festivals. Let us collectively decide so that courts are left free to do their primary job rather than order a ban on sale of crackers. Hope we see wisdom in it before they ban bursting of crackers completely. Will anyone see reason? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

BAN EVERYTHING CHINESE

I have been seeing posts and videos saying that let us stop buying Chinese products. This Diwali we shall not use any lights or Rakhi’s made in China. Instead some people are emphatically propagating to buy pure Indian products only. Well, we have been hearing of make in India, made in India, made for India, made by Indians and many such slogans. The reality is that we in India do not make goods which match the prices of Chinese goods. What we make don’t even last as long as a made in China product. The quality in our products is lacking. Cost of our product is also unaffordable, thus forcing us to look for alternatives elsewhere. We Indians also have a tendency to buy products which have an imported stamp. It may be made in Korea, US or Timbuktu; we love to buy that stuff or am I conjecturing too much. This, the inner voice in you can only tell.

Let us see the car purely made in India. The poor Ambassador has finally died its own death. The old work horse of the taxi people and the Indian Army, Hindustan Motors finally shut shop. HMT watches, where are they? I wore one with pride many moons back. Today, we hear of Bharat-Benz, Maruti-Suzuki, Ashok-Leyland, Swaraj-Mazda etc. These names are related to a foreign product or are in partnership with them. So are many of the banks. The Fords, Toyotas, Mercs and Hondas are pure foreign brands. Computers too are assembled in India. Name a brand which is pure Indian in mobiles or doesn’t use imported products in its components. For industries many chemicals are ex-import, technology is ex import, raw material too is ex import. Lesser said the better.

Take apparels, take cosmetics, take any product and you will find a foreign hand in that. I am not propagating Baba Ramdev products, though I love his biscuits and Sarson ka tel but just food for thought that we love to enjoy all things foreign. How many of us wear Khadi? I am sure there would be many. Our markets opened up, our currency stood its ground and products which were unheard of in India now are available at affordable prices.

Take the defence equipment. Aircrafts are American, French or Russian, tanks are Russian, missiles from Israel; war ships and submarines are from Britain, Russia or France. Bofors is ex import, Tatra is ex import, BMP is ex import, most of our ammunition is ex import, special clothing is ex import, parachutes are ex import but our land is indigenous. AK-47, bullet proof jackets are ex import, but our spirit to operate all these is pure Indian. We just won the tank competition in Russia standing first amongst 19 countries driving and firing the Russian T-90. I salute all our tank men in black dungarees for this achievement. We adapt ourselves to any equipment very quickly and master its use.

If we talk of the trade deficit with China, it stands at around 46.7 billion dollars today. My goodness Gracious Lord, this must be many ship load full of dollars. How will we get out of it? How will we reduce it? How will we find means to balance it out? Well there are many economists who will work it out for us. The figure of those many billions appears as if India has to pay back China that amount. If we don’t pay we all are going to die by the Chinese torture method. The feeling this word trade deficit gives me is as if we are sunk and the burden to return that money back is my responsibility. Soon time will come when the atta we eat would be Chinese. As it is they are making artificial rice, eggs and vegetables. Well, I have the PM & the Industries Minister to look into the specifics of trade and the Finance Minister to pay for all that. Should I bother?

Be that as it may, the fact of the matter is we are importing more and exporting less. This doesn’t mean that we are not paying for what we are importing. Only thing is that we are not earning as many dollars as we should be earning through export. Let us start producing world class stuff so that it gets consumed within the domestic markets and meets the needs of our population and export. Today, if we even have to import dal, wheat and onions, isn’t it an irony. We have not been able to make cold storage chains to preserve our surplus. Our grains rot in FCI godowns and we talk of trade deficit.

Well friends by just boycotting Chinese products we are doing a lot of harm to the traders who have already paid for it. The item is already in India, it has been paid for because we only demanded it. Some trader facilitated it. We got things at price of dirt. The trader also made a profit. It did not hurt your pocket either and now suddenly you say that don’t but anything made in China. Is it fair? Let’s give a date after which all Chinese imports officially are stopped? Traders to dispose of items till a particular date, then take him to task. I say let us stop buying anything imported. Period!

Let us get after the government to set up a mechanism so that imported items are banned till the Indian mindset gets used to using and enjoying everything Indian. All trade deficits will evaporate. Today we export Iron ore. Is there a justification for it? Why this product can’t be used in house and iron made cheaper for iron and steel industry to flourish. Why do we allow import of scrap and kill this industry. Then as a stop gap measure we increase the import duty on iron scrap so that the domestic market picks up. This is only a knee jerk reaction with no long term strategy in place.

Well it is not as simple as I am portraying it. Can we exchange products for manpower? I don’t know. By boycotting things won’t resolve issues with China. By setting up a clear goal for use of Indian products vis-a-vis Chinese and other imported products can we sort this out?  China has banned whatsapp and twitter. Do it in India and see the results. Half of us will be on the verge of committing suicide if not murder. I have also seen posts on calculations of the number of products, revenue generated from it and how if we stop it will hurt China. Agreed, if you don’t buy from one shop then you have to have an alternative. Similarly, China will look for another client for its products. It definitely has the capacity to survive without selling to us. So let us make classy Indian products at affordable prices for the common man. Can we? I wonder!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

“NETA” AS PERCEIVED BY MOST OF US

Why do I get this feeling as I see things today that politics is not for the faint hearted? I am convinced, politics cannot just be done if you are poor. You have to be influential and have inroads to senior political bosses. It also implies that to prove your worth you have to be a sort of informer against the opposition people of your area to gain brownie points. Politics appears to be a profession rather than a service to the nation. You should also have a good social network to feel the pulse at the ground level. The pulse of the government machinery cannot be neglected in any case. There has to be a goonda kind of element attached in the people you employ to bulldoze through toll booths. If the Neta can afford bouncers, nothing like it. The topping of the pudding is to have a personal security guard from the state police. Then you may be an elected or a rejected politician, the toll is waived off as a policeman in the car is exempted paying toll while in uniform and on duty.

You also need to be connected with all the industries in your area to extract whatever you can in the name of welfare, CSR or any other thing which anyone can give for free  called chanda, hafta or Diwali gifts. The builder lobby and all other mafias have to be part of his coterie for not only demanding sponsorships for various functions but also to dispose of surplus income before it gets liquidated by the investigating agencies. One has to have multiple residences, companies, and other properties both in your name and benami to camouflage and give safe heavens to hide documents and cash. For all this you need a fleet of vehicles, for that you need drivers, for that you need a “munshi” to organise this fleet. To run the vehicles you need a petrol pump. You definitely need certain loyalists who are willing to go behind bars for you, just in case.

To feed this army of people you need a langar, to fund and fuel the langar you need farmers as sponsors or else you become a farmer and acquire farming land. All this looks a bit complicated to me. To organise such a disorganised Mehakma one needs real political acumen. When you have all this you then become a Neta. Generally attired in white, tilak on the forehead, a few heavy rings on the fingers, someone carrying the phone, someone carrying a diary, someone video graphing the meetings and someone whispering in your ear something while you sit on the dais, above all, a garland around your neck.

Modiji if I may ask you why you need to generate employment elsewhere. You go to any village or town you’ll find hordes of unemployed people ready to jump into politics. The amount of entrepreneurial jobs you will generate is tremendous. The khadi industry will flourish with so many flags and posters to be printed and displayed. Imagine so many dharnas to be organised, so many rallies to be gone through, so many protesters will get a free meal, some money & employment. The tent house wala will be more than happy, the transport wala will be on top of the world, the vada-pav centre will work overtime and the milkman will be busy supplying milk to the “chai-wala”. What a chain reaction it is going to generate! Rather than wasting time empowering people and skilling them on all things sundry, why not skill them in politics? Party can be made later or for that matter if they want to join any existing one. Yes the only cap is on the total number of parliamentarians at state or central level, as their numbers are fixed. If you plan expansion in their numbers, imagine how many sarkari naukris will be created with pay perks and pension for life.

I am convinced that time now has come to increase their number in proportion to the population. With today’s population explosion politicians are rarely available to the public. They appear when the opposition has either goofed up or have a hidden agenda. He comes in a SUV with an open sunroof, announces on a mega phone certain inaudible things. I and my bai open our windows from the nineteenth floor, see some bald chap saying something, a few hundred people either leading his cavalcade or following it shouting FALAANA DHIMKANA KI JAI. He looks up, he waves, our bai waves vigorously back with a broad smile. I ask her kaun hai? (Who is he?) She says kya maloom (who knows), lagta to koi neta hai (appears to be a politician). I say balle-balle and go back to watch my cricket match.

Politics has never been my cup of tea. Thinking of it gives me nightmares. Hats off to all those who are in this field and also to those who are preparing to govern this country.  The visualisation of a politician today especially when I relate to these income tax raids being done on DKS, the image of the man I portray in the first few paragraphs starts taking shape. The folded hands, the innocent, holier than thou look, those plastic smiles, the media deluge, the blame game, the diversionary tactics, the twisting of the reality, avoiding arrest, the drama which unfolds and ruckus in parliament, starts confirming to me the common man that there can be no smoke without fire. Many Neta’s of my country are tainted has been proven beyond doubt. They swindle our hard earned money. They loot us and fill their coffers. How long and why? God knows!

I am waiting for the day when someone by mistake leaves in my house 100 crore rupees and never comes back to claim it. I shall wait for the day when my wife’s locker will start automatically spilling jewellery worth 100 crores. I will wait for the day when someone will write his will and make me the heir of ten shops, a few hotels, a house in every metro. Well, in hind sight, I don’t need all this at all. The 40 pots in my garden are more precious than any of this stuff. Each flower with blooms is more precious than any jewel.

I wish the Neta’s and would be Neta’s luck. Friends, please to do things legally, whichever party you belong to, spare me and my fellow countrymen. We are paying for your salary. We don’t want to pay for your greed. Instead give it to charity, give it to the needy. The blessings you will receive in form of votes in your next elections will help you. Can our Neta’s change this image? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR GONE BY

 

As I reflect on my year gone by, I remember making no new year’s resolutions. The reason was simple, so that I don’t break any. But I promised to myself, that I will pursue my hobbies of writing and gardening. At the end of the year as I reflect on them you all will be surprised that I wrote about 70 articles and could not complete 25, they are half written and shall stay in my memoirs. By the way there are still 15 days for the year to end; I may land up writing a few more. On the gardening front my efforts have started paying me. All those who are connected to me on face book would know, and I feel satisfied and content. A few days back I remember promising to myself to start enjoying the sunrise and sunsets, the breeze, the moon, the sea basically nature and I feel that nothing else gives me more solace and peace. My thoughts are calm; my day starts with cheerfulness as my blooming flowers give me so much of tranquillity & peace of mind that words can’t express.

I remember last year, thanks to the social media and the mobile networks, I was flooded with New Year messages and blessings. I think the blessings have helped me and my family tremendously. As time went by came Holi, and the wishes of the festival of colours were galore. The colourful messages really cheered me up; the choice of words in all messages was amazing as if they all were meant for me personally. Time went by came Dussera and Diwali, and again the victory of good over evil messages helped me to kill the evil in me, the festival of lights lifted my spirits and of course there was Eid and Gur Purabs where the blessings of Allah and Waheguru touched my soul, and now comes Christmas again, the festival of peace, happiness & joy which will be followed by another new year. New resolutions, new reflections, new associations and everything new is about to start again. So let me now reflect on a few things gone by and yet to come. Maybe we all can draw our conclusions thereafter.  So let me wish you folks a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year in advance. God bless every friend of mine abundantly.

We have had the worst year as far as the Indo-Pak relations were concerned. With China too I would say has been a year of ups and downs. We had our share of martyrs’ and we too did the surgical strikes. Earth quakes, typhoons, plane crashes continued in various parts of the world. Our parliament went to a new low where all we saw was no business happening per se. Statistics can claim that X number of bills were passed but were passed with hardly any deliberations. A personal attack on each other, use of un-parliamentary language has become the name of the game. Demonetisation or remonetisation is a new thing which came to light after years. The valley saw its lowest ebb. Now with Mehbooba mufti giving 4 Lakhs to Burhan Wani’s kin was like adding salt to our wounds. Well, the dance of democracy continues and is slowly transformed into “Democrazy”, but this country moves on. Mamta has been in a fight with one and all, Kejriwal doesn’t know whom to fight with or what to fight for, Rahul baba is trying to become a leader, but fails to impress me by miles, Mayawati and her written speeches shows how well read she is, Jaitley ki kately is brewing lassi of a different kind instead of tea, Amma has left no one to take over her legacy. Even then we are firing rocket after rocket and sending satellites one after the other. Corruption continues, political mis-governance continues, gareeb remains gareeb, real estate bubble doesn’t burst, banking woes continue, ATTA BHI MEHNGA, CHEENI BHI MEHNGI, MEHNGA HAR SAAMAN, FIR BHI MERA BHARAT MAHAN.

OROP, has any one heard about it? I am sure we all must have, but PM Sahib, when will your good governance reflect on it? We have deposited our life certificates already. I dread if you push the dates to the next financial year for its implementation. We the ex-servicemen are still as disciplined as we were when we were in uniform in fact more disciplined now. We haven’t behaved like the gujjars or the jat agitation, though our forces have numerous people from that community. Hanumanthappa’s are still getting buried in avalanches while defending this country.  It is matter of shame for me to see an ex Air force Chief under CBI custody, well I feel a little taken aback. If he is involved, let him get a boot, but one has to set the system right once for all, but if he isn’t, how will his image be restored. I am also awaiting the 7th pay commission. Now that the sarkar has collected so much mullah in the banks, will it part with the booty? Hoping against hope to see that implemented too. I really want to see the ache din and soon. Dear Mr PM, are you listening?

This year has seen TATA in turmoil, a rarity of kinds. Such things can also happen, in fact in this country anything can happen. Rahul baba can trigger an earth quake in parliament if he is allowed to speak. Kejriwal can cure cough by coughing out scam after scam of all governments. I can put any allegation on you and get away scot free is the game of the day. The only positive note I find in all this mess is that I believe Arnab has left his job. What a relief it must be to the viewers! His fans must be now waiting for his channel to be launched. Hope he doesn’t. Mr PM why can’t there be a cap on news channels, like you have put a cap on withdrawal on cash from a bank. Why can’t there be a limit of words, and the correct decibel level laid down for these channels? Moment you exceed any of them CBI should take over the channel and Supreme Court should suo-motto charge the news anchor for “breaking the news”. Anyways, I don’t watch them anymore, and I don’t feel like reading the news paper also anymore, so no news is good news. Good riddance to bad rubbish I suppose.

I am also looking forward to something new on the social media. Except for posts of a very few people I don’t even care to open the attachments. My good morning list from people who never wished me earlier has gotten so long, that the morning doesn’t look as good any more. Whatsapp, has become such a nuisance that within minutes one finds 345 messages unread, imagine 345 notification bells are difficult to bear, yes I can understand I can silence my phone, or that particular group notifications, but then why do I keep a cell phone that too a smart one. Face book is also losing its relevance, except I get reminded of birthdays of my good friends. I made a blog noelellisblog.com but except for the first 8 comments which some genuine friends happened to see, I find only spammers on it trying to sell me porn or Viagra, or are willing to write stories for me. Well, that’s life. Twitter I don’t enjoy handling, so won’t comment. Mail has died its own death I suppose. Above all I find all those people who post internet links on mail or Whatsapp get no attention at all. I somehow do not like people who are just forwarders. Anyways, I have to bear with them in the coming years.

As a passing thought friends, let us unite to bring in positivity in our lives and all those who we come in contact with. The more we get embroiled in our mundane lives, the more we miss out on the little goodies that nature and God has showered upon us. Let us look after the environment, let us plant a tree and admire a flower, real flower not a flower on Whatsapp. Let us make someone whom we don’t know happy, let us just be good citizens, and in the bargain swach bharat etc will fall into place. I don’t know I may be sounding like a preacher all right, but I don’t preach through forwards, I tell you what I have decided to do, and I am going to spend time with my family and friends. I shall enjoy every moment of life. I shall try and become app savvy, well I now have to learn to pay through the paytm and other e-wallets to book an OLA cab, pay them through my mobile and carry on writing and improving my garden. Any suggestions friends, you are welcome to send them to me, but will you take my words positively, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY DIWALI

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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