Noel Ellis's Official Blog

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

Category: FLOWERS

MY HOME IS OPEN FOR YOU

 

MY HOME IS OPEN FOR YOU

 

“HANS KE BOLA KARO BULAYA KARO

AAP KA GHAR HAI AYA JAYA KARO”

                                                                                            -Gazal sung by Jagjit Singh

Will opening cantt roads improve civil-military relations? If the answer is yes, then balle-balle but I have an issue with people who do not belong to the Armed Forces fraternity; I dare say “civilians”.  It appears to me they take it as an insult if not an abuse. How should we address them as? Let us think.

I find “non-military people” carry many myths, that because I am a “fauji” I must be drinking daily. The second myth is that in cold areas we keep drinking alcohol to stay warm. Third myth is that liquor in the fauj is free, if not free then “bahut sasti” as they put it. Non-fauji’s are more aware of your quota of rum and would always request for a “case” or two on a regular basis. Some even have the audacity to offer extra cash for a bottle because “Purity ki sureity” hoti hai fauji liquor main & Chadti bhi jaldi hai. Also, CSD is the cheapest bazaar on this side of Suez.

I stay in a colony of my company. It has been maintained like a cantonment. People from the nearby villages make it a point to come inside, just to feel good & show their authority. The gardens, flora, fauna, lawns, fountains and a kind of discipline in the layout lures them inside. To keep them out is not possible as facilities like banks, ATM, School and relatives reside inside. If you stop them, they feel offended. If you let them go without a check then the company management gets angry. Catch 22.

We maintain parking in designated areas, however the village folk fail to understand that parking in the middle of the road can cause accidents, they just won’t listen. Speed means as fast as the accelerator can take you. Speed limits don’t matter. We put speed breakers, they started bypassing them. Helmets are an absolute no, they get a headache.  Seat belt, what are seat belts they say. Plucking leaves from hedges is a big time pass for them.

Let’s now go inside a military cantonment. You will find very well laid out lanes, parking slots, parks, geru-chuna on trees and pavements. Without helmet you just cannot move, even the pillion rider has to wear one. No one litters as a habit. Outside, people litter as a habit. Spitting is rare in cantts, outside, gutka along with saliva is spat in every corner. On a roundabout, non military people get a licence to take short cuts. Suffice to say the basic civic sense is lacking. Why?

Keeping the cantonment neat, clean and green is a matter of pride for us. Units are given designated areas of responsibility to keep cantts spic and span. As a corporate we did a “Swach Bharat” campaign and picked up every tiny bit of filth around a famous temple close by. Within one week it is back to square one, dirty as dirty could be. “Koora” as they call it is piled a mile high again.

Well, let us welcome the non military crowd to our folds but with a caveat that friends when you come kindly maintain discipline, don’t break traffic rules, understand that someone else also has the right of way, don’t over speed, don’t litter and assist us to assist you to feel free and safe. All faujis know that they won’t stay more than two years in any station but maintain them to the best of their ability.

Please stand with our families who are separated from their husbands fighting on the borders for you. That lady is a father, brother and sister to her children. She doesn’t let the absence of the father be felt. She also knows that bad news can come anytime. She is the doctor, nurse, washerwoman, teacher, tutor, coach, driver, maid and banker for the house hold. She is used to living in a protected environment so please do not let her feel threatened is a request.

The Services are now kind of used to dictates’ of kinds, cease fire with militants, Yes sir, go for flood relief, Right sir, react in natural calamity Wilco sir, open cantt roads, yes ma’m, remove AFSPA, roger sir, civil administration has failed, control riots, no problem sir, fight militants, my bread and butter sir, fight enemy within and without, aye-aye sir. Ask for modern equipment, no budget, ask for ammunition, manage in what you have, Rations need to be restored, we shall think about it, implement OROP, we have given you enough, sort out pay commission anomalies, court will decide, give us at least our Izzat, what the hell does this word mean.

Be that as it may, we the cantt people do not want to unnecessarily inconvenience you guys at all. “Aap ka ghar hai aya jaya karo”. From our experience we know that once we let you in, you will take it as a birthright. Friends we in the forces live by certain ethos and Dastoor. We swear to protect our constitution and the integrity of India. Do the “non-military people” also do so? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

POTS & PETS

POTS & PETS

 

The response I get on photos of my garden is tremendous. In the bargain I get to hear a lot of stories of my Dad who was a die hard gardening enthusiast. If I talk about chrysanthemums’, he had every variety, colour and variant of the flower.  The assortment of crotons and the array of fruits in our house was mind blowing.  Rajnigandha (tuberose) and Narcissus (Nargis) were his favourite. That sweet scent still lingers in my memory. Geranium was another of his darlings. He only could manage his three hundred pots and numerous flower beds. I rekindled this hobby after ages and it gives me so much of solace. Hibiscus (Gudhal) is my weakness.

We were born and brought up in a house surrounded with fruit trees. Cheeku, Malta, Guava, Custard Apple, Kagzi Nimbu, Grapes, Gal-Gal, Dhurunj (a huge citrus fruit akin to Chakotra), Peach, Papaya, Louqaat, Banana, Mango, Faalsa, Ber besides the wide variety of vegetables which were organically grown in our kitchen garden. Shakarkandi (sweet potato) one used to love digging out.

Our house was a mini zoo too. Dogs, cats, Australian pigeons, partridges, hens like the Red Rhodes and black “desi” ones. He didn’t like the white leghorns. A speaking Parrot called “Mithoo”, Angora rabbits etc used to be all around the house. Mom used to handle all their tantrums from feeding them to looking after the sick and the infirm. Watching the chicks hatch from eggs was amazing. From those small little cracks in the eggs till they emerged out of their shells, I have seen it all. Hatching goose eggs under a hen was also done at my place. The dog-cat team fighting a cobra in the courtyard, I have witnessed that intense fight. The dog engaged the cobra from the front and the cat tore it to smithereens from the rear. Chickens riding cats and bitches feeding kittens were not uncommon.

Twenty odd hens meant fifteen odd eggs a day. The song “ande hi ande khana-meri jaan meri jaan” was apt. Mint, coriander and onions were home grown, so making a ten egg omelette was no big shake. The day cocks fought amongst each other or cock-a-doodle-doed in the afternoon disturbing Dad’s siesta, it was assured a place on the dining table the same evening.

We lived in a colony of a school with hostellers living very close by. Boys were always trying to steal fruits. Dad used to be way ahead of Sherlock Holmes. I remember, Mom used to delicately tie paper envelopes around the grape bunches to save them from the birds. She never realised that it became easier for boys to identify their targets. Fed up with the losses, one fine day dad collected hornets and wasps and placed them inside those envelopes. He caught the culprits red handed literally.

One day I found him setting up his air gun near the papaya tree after dusk. We knew dad was up to something. He connected the trigger to one end of the rope and the other end to his bed side. He was a light sleeper. Moment he heard footsteps of the boys scaling the wall to pluck the fruit “bang” went the airgun. It was not loaded with a “Charra” (Pellet). One only heard thuds and screams as boys fell over each other and got bruises and cuts. Next day, all the culprits were lined up and caned, which used to be the norm in good old days.

All injured bird and animals were brought to our house for treatment. Haldi and Mirchi in pure Sarson oil were used for fractures. I remember mom used to peeso a tablet called “Sulphadiazine” and another one called “APC” if they had fever or infections. All those who could not fly away or be released used to become our pets. We had Herons, Owls even Maynah’s for company many times.

We kids were also crazy. Moment we came to know that there are puppies somewhere; we used to bring them home with their mother. Once we brought two Alsatian looking puppies. One of our family friends came to our place and fell in love with them and took them along thinking they would turn out to be German Shepherds. Their daughter confirmed from me ten times and I told her a white lie about the breed. They grew up to be such junglee pie dogs. We had a hearty laugh when we met years later.

Once, mom got fed up of the cat, as every day she used to polish off milk. Dad was ordered to leave her far away never to return. The cat and her kittens were huddled up in a gunny bag. Dad on his ladies cycle left them between villages Lakhan Kalan and Hamira about 15 kms away. Two days mom was erratic. Dad, I and my brother were fired left right and centre for anything and everything. She loved the cat like hell and was missing her. On the seventh day kitty was back sans the kittens. All of us just didn’t react except mom who ran to the kitchen for a bowl of milk. The cat was starved for sure. Thereafter cats were never even scolded in the house men were.

It is good to have pots & pets but in manageable numbers. They pose restrictions as they can’t be left unattended. We can’t keep pets in the colony we stay in but I fulfil my urges through the stray cats and dogs. I am keenly watching pair of Kingfisher’s (Mallya) making their nest. There is a water crisis here too. I don’t know how long I will be able to carry on this hobby of gardening without adequate water. I am waiting for the rains to come desperately. Here, monsoons start in the first week of May. Will the rain Gods bless us on time? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

 © Noel Ellis

DISHING OUT HEADACHES

DISHING OUT HEADACHES

 

I am not happy with Mr Tata. The reason is because my life has not become “Jhingalala” even after “isko laga dala”.  It forces me to take a “Disprin” often. You will ask me why, the reason is Tata Sky.

After having got fed up from the noisy news, I said to myself, let me explore other channels that the dish throws at me. I realised, it gets irritating as there are more than umpteen news channels in all shapes, sizes and languages. I try and remember my favourite news channel number not because of the content but because of the charming news anchor. I generally don’t subscribe to what they say, how they say & to whom they say it to. Earlier they used to fight on debates at night, now it is a whole day affair.  I find a “macchi market” quieter.

See I drifted from where I started and this exactly happens on the panel discussions. You start with a topic and land up cursing the founder fathers of India. Tata saab, I subscribe to a bouquet of prime sports but half of them say that I have to subscribe to them separately after paying. Sir please, I would suggest can we have an exchange offer. I shall surrender to you all news channels and you give me all sports channels. One more request, kindly avoid WWF kind of channels. For that I will continue to subscribe to a news channel.

As the definition of bouquet goes, it says an attractively arranged bunch of flowers carried as a gift or for a ceremony. I am sure a bunch of flowers could be of a varied variety or even single. Here we have a single stem with multiple flowers like the gladiola. No smell, same colour, some half open, some withering. That’s how our news channels are. All of them latch on to one story and all have got the same agenda. I don’t want to see a wilted flower but I have no choice but to see and hear what is being doled out to me “Zabardasti”.

I find if one has to really gain knowledge, one needs to get away from the idiot box. As they say you have to be in a learned mans company to learn and that is what happened with me yesterday. I was invited by none other than an Ex Naval Chief. It was a real privilege to meet a man who has seen so much, known so much, reads and writes so much. The hour and a half spent with him felt as if I am in a different world. I confessed to him that this is the first time I am meeting an Admiral. I was in awe, starry eyed, feeling so good deep inside that word cannot express.

His thoughts and understanding of things happening around us is unmistakably from the years of his experience and deep understanding of this country’s affairs. I must confess Sir that I forgot to present you with the mangoes I carried, in my excitement. My wife gave me such a dressing down and my daughter is still laughing. Believe you me sir, my mind was blank but I remember each and every word you spoke. Thank you Sir, it was an honour to shake hands and take a picture with you.

This reminds me of a “Kabir ka doha”. “Ek Ghari adhi ghari, adhi se puni aadh, kabir sangat sadhu ki, kaaten koti apradh”(spending few moments or fraction of those moments with learned people cleanse you or wash away all your dirty thoughts). Thank you sir and that is how I felt yesterday.

Today, we are enslaved by our cell phones. We sway, get carried away and get influenced by the negativity being spread through social media, especially the news. Let me not mince my words here to reflect on the political representatives who are there to just spew venom. It gets embarrassing to hear that the people who love to recite kabir are in what kind of sangati that they create an atmosphere of hatred all over.

I have no choice as my family is interested in dance and singing programmes which also are part of the jhingalala guldasta. I cannot stop them from their entertainment. News channels definitely are no more “seedhi baat” but are pure and unadulterated “bakwas”. Serials are elongated versions of a ball of dough. One can keep stretching them till eternity. They repeat the same expression from 30 different angles in those 20 minutes, with sound effects that never happen in actual life.

Be that as it may, I think I will find learned people and be in their company rather than rely on things that are dished out to me from a dish. I don’t want to become kabir & give pravachans but I definitely want to get rid of the headache by understanding life in a better perspective rather being a couch potato. Will I be able to do it? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

MALLYA MANSION

[ninja_form id=1]It is indeed my singular privilege to announce to the world that Mallya has finally decided to settle down in life just behind our house. It is a hill slope spruced with all kinds of vegetation and trees. Many trees have died with age and exposed a clearing for this mansion to come up.

I was a little skeptical when someone told me that your wife speaks to someone secretly. He comes to the backyard of your house. We have been married for almost three decades now; I couldn’t care less even if she spoke to the most handsome hunk. In fact this morning only she introduced me to him. I was awe struck to see him taking so much of pains to keep an eye on his mansion from a vantage point.

In the mornings I usually have a cup of tea in my garden from where the site of this new development is clearly visible. I am a frequent visitor to that area to look after a host of fruit trees and exotic plants I grow. Our green house, mango trees, custard apples, beetle leaves, coleus collection, star lilies, peace lilies, papayas, exotic peppers and pineapples adorn the place. I did see someone sitting, not realising that he was on a reconnaissance mission. Well, I always thought that people really love this nice green place so he must be finding some solace and tranquility. Actually, he was observing his future house from all angles and at various times of the day.

I was intrigued why he is making such a small entrance and that too on an almost vertical slope. It must be for security reasons I reckon. There are a plethora of people after his blood. Various hawks and predators will not spare him or his family. I really admired his thought process and security concerns. He will be even safe from snakes as they too will not be able to scale that kind of vertical cliff. In case a snake does climb up, it will be exposed for someone to raise an alarm for it to make a hasty retreat.

Then my thoughts went to the construction material he is using. I ran through the numerous kinds of cements available. The toughness and strength of each was worth a look but I failed to understand why he was using the local made clay. First thing which came to my mind was camouflage. As it is he is hiding from the world. If this house blends with the background no one will be able to spot it. I also saw some natural horticulturists on the job. Various vines and creepers were already growing to further add to the blending with the back ground.

Soon my mind drifted to the kind of tunnel which was being dug at the entrance. I at once understood that this should be for limited ingress. I also ran my imagination that what about the air passage if it is a “goofa” (cave). There would be provisions made for air for sure. I also thought about the daily needs and things like that. Fish being available in abundance should be the staple diet I suppose. With such a personality they would have worked out a logistics plan for it without doubts.

Who will be accompanying him in this mansion was my basic doubt? I know he lives life king size. So I kept a vigil to see if someone does visit. As his reputation goes, I spotted a beautiful lady accompanying him. Her attire was out of the world, so fresh, so colourful and so appealing it was. I dared not venture near the couple, as I found them to be very shy. Moment I used to pick up my camera, they would move away. So I decided to let them be. Their dressing sense was out of the world and their choice of colours was definitely classy.

I have fallen in love with my new neighbours and have decided to let them enjoy their stay. Yes, as concerned people I will make available for them all facilities such as water etc. For electricity, I feel they are self sufficient as they are totally dependent upon solar energy. A beautiful way to conserve nature I suppose.

This morning when I heard my wife talking to Mallya from the kitchen, I peeped through the other window and I found a “KINGFISHER” which my wife has named Mallya visiting his nest. This is the “Mansion” on the hill slope. I tried to photograph him but missed the opportunity due to its shyness.

Welcome Mallya (the bird kingfisher) to our neighbourhood. Hope you will have faith in us that we mean no harm to you and your new nest. Can we earthlings learn from this beautiful creature a few things in life and be the king of good times? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

THIS WAY TO KASHMIR

 

The Army officer who tied up a stone pelter in front of his jeep became the talk of the town. The only people who did not like it were the Kashmiri people and the peace nicks for Kashmir. 9 soldiers: 1000 plus mob is some ratio. Are the Kashmiri’s justified to stop forces from doing their polling duties? Was it fair to attack nine people, who under orders “not to fire” and could not have extricated themselves without help? Would the loss of nine lives solve the Kashmir issue? One thing was sure had they been left to fend for themselves and they would have come back in body bags? The worst kind of death is dying while not facing the enemy. To add to the tragedy is when being fully conscious of pain, of being hit repeatedly over the same wounds above all one knows that he is losing blood which will lead to sure death if not evacuated. Was it fair to send people for such duty with their hands tied behind their backs and guns on their shoulders as if carrying batons? These Kashmiri people were nothing but barbarians. If they did what they wanted to do then what our officer did was well within his rights to save his comrades. Choice was to save nine without loss of life or open fire to disperse the mob. Thank your stars my Kashmiri friends, you live today.

I scrolled the dictionary to find out what weapon could a stone be classified into. As per the oxford dictionary “a missile is an object which is forcibly propelled at a “target”, either by hand or from a mechanical weapon”. So rather than calling these people stone pelters they are missile pelters. I also know mob mentality is the most difficult thing to control. One idea, one spark, one thought converts a peaceful protest into a riot. One instigator is needed to trigger the process. One person can change the entire complexion of the mob. I see the Kashmiri’s have decided that the Indian forces have to be stoned. This implies that now the forces too need to change their tactics. If need be more force will have to be used and if the consequences are death of a few Kashmiri’s for their unruly conduct, so be it. One cannot take it lying down always and every time. Troops and their safety come first always and every time, especially while handling such unruly trouble creators.

Why should there be any death? Can any Kashmiri politician reply? Are they responsible in any manner to this nation and to their electorate in particular? They eat out of the Indian plate and chant slogans of Azadi. Is it justified and fair? Either don’t eat out of our “THALI” or don’t make a hole in it. They want subsidies, they want freebies, they don’t want fellow Indians to come their land, they don’t want infrastructure to connect them to India, don’t want Indian security forces, want autonomy of every kind, don’t want to come under the Indian flag, don’t want to part with the so called constitution of J&K, want to keep article 370, will continue to harbour, feed, support, hide, shelter, guide, protect, give refuge, and shield people who in their myopic view will get the so called freedom from a country so big that its many states are bigger than the country where militants come from. They also expect to defeat the Indian armed forces which are many times the size of the armed forces of Pakistan. If they think that a nuclear threat looms large and will be initiated if war is proclaimed due to Kashmir. My foot!

What do Kashmiri people actually want? Is it Azadi? OK Granted. Leave India and go take asylum where ever you want to. Want to join our Kashmir to Pakistan? Forget it. At least whatever is remaining with us will remain with us. Whatever has been grabbed from us will be taken back shortly. Whatever has been handed over to China by Pak will definitely be negotiated as and when the atmosphere and the time is right. But if you guys think that Kashmir can be annexed and made into a dreamland of yours with the support of any one, my second foot.

Do Kashmiri people want to avoid unnecessary loss of life? I am sure the answer is yes. If so then cooperate with the Indian forces and government Allow them to do their job which they are meant to do best. Let there be a democratic process. Stop the anti-India policy, stop running parallel governments, If you want to prosper with increase in tourism let infrastructure be built, let the abundance of fruits and flowers be an economic enhancer for your land, allow access to companies supporting agriculture, horticulture, pisciculture, white revolution, canning, jam and pickle making, cold storage facility providers, wood industry experts, animal husbandry and forest researchers from rest of India. If you want jobs, educate your population. Come progress with India. Hope you understand the logic.

The present Kashmiri political leaders and leaders of Hurriyat now stand exposed. Their antics now lay bare the way they are fooling everyone in India and themselves. They can now no longer sustain their pseudo stand. They cannot face you people thus stay in the confines of their homes. They do not believe in your cause so do not allow their children to be part of any protests. The only things they understand is that keep these cauldrons boiling and enjoy all the fruits that are pumped in to keep the fire lit under this cauldron of hatred. They are the ladle, which keeps stirring the bitterness within. They are the people who can keep telling the world what should be done but can’t do a fig themselves. They are cheating and leading you to hell. The sooner you guys emancipate yourselves the better. I am fed up of paying taxes which is either pocketed by these politicians or flow down the Indus and Jhelum wasted in giving away subsidies. You have been spoilt because we are giving you fish rather than training you to catch your own. Had the Indian government been strong enough to set the tone and tenor right for your state, it would have remained “jannat”.

How many generations will fight this war with us Indians as you call us? You haven’t got many generations left if you don’t understand peace. Allow all communities to live and let live. Pundits yearn to go back home. Let good sense prevail, give peace a chance and give India a chance to help you develop. Ladakh and Jammu are getting step motherly treatment courtesy you. Indian armed forces are adding to the body count for no reason. This is getting beyond tolerable limits. Time now is ripe to choose either this side or leave us alone and migrate to the land of your friends’ philosophers and guides. You will be welcomed very warm heartedly, given a royal treatment, fed, clothed and settled like their very first class citizens. If not then they may tie up a bomb laden waistcoat around you to meet the promised virgins in the name of the most holy. Is it understood? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

NETAGIRI MUKT BHARAT

 

Moment the word Neta flashes across my mind I see someone who is dhoti clad, wearing sandals or chappals, a topi, adorning a typical half sleeves jacket folded hands kind of person. What impression I carry of a Neta is my thought of today. I have nothing against the dhoti or topi or any person in particular, but just a typical Neta as I perceive it. You can add or subtract from the long list I mention, so read on.

Neta means only Bhashans to eat free rations. Neta means a person wearing marigold garlands. He has hair protruding out of his ears. Neta means a person surrounded by chamchas, chelas, chapatas. Neta means a person whose secretary, driver and a white ambassador with lal batti follow everywhere. He has a big paunch, a big appetite for everything from notes, to votes, to bribes and ghoos. He likes free food and all the freebees he can get. Neta means VIP culture. Neta means surrounded by body guards, more the body guards bigger the Neta’s status. Neta mean meetings followed by meetings with nil output. He makes only false promises and raises false hopes. Neta means someone who backtracks from his words. He symbolises mudslinging and washing dirty linen in public. Neta means dharnas, loud speakers, andolans, jaloos, yatras, morchas, showing aksrosh for no reason. Neta means fraud basically.

These Netas just cannot salute properly. They often pick their nose in public besides picking faults in everything while in opposition. Neta means jumlas and bak-bak. It also means free foreign tours on sarkari planes and sponsored helicopter rides. Neta means hogging the limelight. Neta ensures traffic diversions. Netas means lines of bouquets which he doesn’t even appreciate or looks at. He will show folded hands and victory signs. Neta means huge shamiyanas, posters, banners, flags, bus loads of vela people in big pandals. Netas mean police bandobast. Neta means sprinkling of water, red carpet and rows of flower pots, Neta means khadi and starched dresses. Neta means dhamki, threats from his goondas and bouncers. Neta means a fleet of cars. For me Neta is actually just a symbolic figure craving for media attention and waiting to give a few bytes. God only knows how Neta’s garner support of the people and get elected. Neta is just a Neta without any meaning of the word.

I do not know how many will agree with me on my typical description of a Neta, which politicians call a leader. For me a leader is a military kind of leader. A leader is trained to lead. He is well educated. He takes quick decisions. A leader is an epitome of honesty. A leader shows unflinching integrity. He has an unwavering loyalty towards the naam of his nation, namak that he eats of this nation and the nishan (national flag) of this nation. A military leader is duty bound to maintain the sovereignty of the country at all costs even at the peril of his life. He takes an oath to protect the country against any external aggression and internal disorders. A leader leads by personal example, his conduct is par excellence, and his behaviour is balanced and mature.

A leader knows how to overcome fear; he instils hope in his men even in impossible circumstances. A leader’s mere presence gives confidence and boosts morale of his men in trying circumstances. Even if wounded he keeps guiding his men till his last breadth. A leader brings with him a sense of pride, honour and discipline. He practices basic courtesies and etiquettes. He shows respects towards women. He stands by his men and encourages team work. A leader is man enough to accept his faults and humble enough to promise to improve. A leader relates with his men, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, region, language or affiliation. He learns their language, he prays with them, he eats with them, goes hungry with them. He cares for them; he cares for their families and children too. Above all he makes relationships for a life time. He has the courage of conviction to call a spade a spade. He never gives up; he motivates his men in the thick of battle and relaxes with them in peace.

A leader puts the right man, at the right place, for the right job, at the right time. A leader continuously does SWOT analysis of his team, redeploys resources and men accordingly. He takes chances, he is adventurous besides he has foresight and anticipates bottlenecks.  A leader takes initiative. He is bold fearless and dauntless. Above all a leader is just and kind. A military leader is compassionate. He trusts in his subordinates, he believes in his command with his life. He is capable of punishing if need arises. Above all the leader remains cool, calm and composed in challenging circumstances. He laughs with his men; he maintains his sense of balance and encourages a sense of humour to keep his team going. He believes in camaraderie. He loves challenges but never lets his men and country down. This Military leader is human, down to mother earth with little or no expectations from Netas. A military leader delivers whenever called for a Neta only delivers speeches.

What do you find in common in the political Neta and a military leader? The answer is a straight, nothing. Just because some Neta, in some dharna brought in “reservations” the consequences of which we are still bearing, do we call him a leader? Yes in the freedom struggle of India I won’t doubt those legendary leaders. They fought for India’s independence. Will you call a Neta a leader because of his ability to do a rail roko kind of an agitation? The consequence is that today at the drop of a hat one can block the railways and put half the country to discomfort and inconvenience.

Just by shouting hai-hai, zindabad and murdabad does it become a yardstick to become a leader? Just by showing posters and banners does one become a leader? Is by disrupting parliament one passes as a leader? What are the qualifications for a Neta to become a leader? Does his family lineage give a licence to be a leader? Does good oratory give a guarantee of being a good leader? Does wearing khadi and a topi of whatever colour give an assurance that he is a leader. If he can polarise the public, can that be a benchmark of a good leader? Well I can keep asking questions there will be no end? I now am convinced our netas are not leaders. These people are good only at nautanki. They become netas with false lures and promises to our gullible janta. They are just netas as a name and appearance, not netas by their work and qualities. Their selfish interests are supreme the nation is someone else’ baby.

A Neta is supposed to be the front runner but in India it means the opposite. How are you Neta’s going to change your shoddy image? I leave it to the netas. One more request to the military leaders who have political ambitions, Sir’s kindly you don’t become “Netas”. We want to see you spearheading this nation to greater heights, with military decorum and precision. Like the BJP wants to see a Congress mukt Bharat, I on the other hand will definitely want to see a “Neta and Netagiri” mukt Bharat? Will I see true “leaders” governing my country in my life time? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

WHY THIS KOLAVERI-KOLAVERI-CONTROVERSY-G

Why this controversy-controversy-controversy G? Read it in the tune of why this kolaveri-kolaveri-kolaveri D? Should I start with politics and politicians? No I shall leave them alone as I do not want to raise my blood pressure. Should I get into what is happening in the Army?  No, I don’t think I should tread into that domain, as I am not aware and competent enough to get into matters Military. So if politics which affects every sphere of our lives in some way or the other is out of my ambit and Military which gave me the olive green blood in my veins is also out of the scope, Fir bacha kya?

Well, I should not talk about any of the babaji’s and babyji’s too. Some blink too much, some dance too much, some of them talk too much, some preach too much. Some brainwash too much, some do frauds too much. In reality, if I had to become that idealistic kind of INSAAN, then I might as well sit under a bodhi tree and become a baba. Well, India is full of people who spread goodness, and there is nothing wrong, but when it starts to become a cult and people forget their own faith and lie down in such people’s feet and indeed are ready to do anything told to them is where I get a little disturbed. Well, I still maintain if it gives you inner peace: go with it. But I haven’t seen people becoming Insaans even after listening to discourses and pravachans every day. In the evening it is back to two pegs and two legs, two gaalis to the gharwali as a norm. God is worshipped for personal gains, or remembered when there is an issue in the family, otherwise a horn and a flying kiss appears to be enough for the Gods. Well, it is a matter of individual faith, and how true are you to yourself, isn’t it?

I am now going to tread into a controversy for sure. I see people offering flowers to the deity’s. Well it is a matter of belief again. I think a little differently that why the Gods should be pleased with plucked flowers. I find people plucking flowers, in fact stealing them, if I put it crudely and then offering them in the pooja thalis. I know and understand the sentiment of offering the best you have to the one who guides your life, but why ruin a beautiful flower to appease someone, who knows your intentions and may enjoy flowers better where ever they bloom. It is food for thought. Maybe I don’t follow the hindu faith and maybe I don’t understand “PUSHPAM SAMARPAYAMI”.  If they are bought from the florist it is ok with me, but if they are stolen, or plucked from peoples and common gardens, then I find it objectionable. I don’t think the Gods will be pleased by such gestures. I leave it to the wisdom of people and their faith. Flowers look best in nature, I believe.

Another thing which flashes across my mind that why do we have to expect something in return from whom so ever we have faith in? Why can’t we have a clean conscious and have a straight mind? The whole day we calculate our finances and ways and means to somehow earn an extra buck. I am not saying that everyone is unfair, but we are into that “ninyanvay ka chakkar”. Why can’t we stop at ekaanvay or even lesser amount? I say this as I just heard that parents who scolded their child so much when he reported that a debit card fraud has happened with him. He gave his debit card number to someone and that fellow made two transactions quickly before this boy realised it. He truthfully confessed to his parents and they mounted on him like a ton of bricks as if heaven has fallen on earth. The poor boy got so scared that he committed suicide day before and is no more. They parents are good people. I hear Aarti in their home every day and I know they follow a guru very devotedly, and I also know they calculate every penny and why not. End result has been a tragedy of such kind for just 15000 rupees. My stomach churned up on hearing it as I knew the boy so well. A well read, tall, 25 year old handsome boy he was. Well, that is destiny. God bless his soul, and God bless the family. Parents please don’t get hyper on any such issues, the pain becomes unbearable, the loss becomes irreplaceable and the stigma attached will never go. Precious life has gone to rest with God forever.

So ladies and gentlemen, no more controversy G & no more kolaveri D. May peace be with all of you and your families. May this festive season bring joy peace and happiness in your lives, may you be blessed, and may good sense prevail in every one of us and especially those who run our country. My family joins me in wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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