Noel Ellis's Official Blog

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

Category: YOUTH

SUNDAY SHOPPING

SUNDAY SHOPPING

 

Sunday is our weekly shopping day. It is the same old routine. Find parking for your car. I prefer the scooter as it is easy to manoeuvre. Hand over a few shoes and sandals to the “Mochi” (cobbler). Yes one odd piece you find shearing off and going to get one from Bombay is not worth the petrol to be burnt.  Our man Friday is such a smiley chap and will wish you with so much of warmth that I can’t help but shaking his hand every time we use his services. He will be waiting patiently even though it would be beyond his duty hours and will also tell you that probably we did not notice that the other shoe too needed a mend. The other day it was raining heavily. We had to get my daughters school shoes repaired and we got late, he knew tomorrow she has to go to school, he waited for us. Advantages of a small place I must say.

Next stop is our sabzi-wala. One of his workers is “Walter”. I love to see him glow with excitement seeing me and my wife. He will wish us the loudest good evening and then speak only in Marathi. By now he knows what we prefer. They generally hand over a basket to you to select your vegetables. I do it the other way, I tell him to do it for me. This way I ensure I will not get a dressing down from my wife as I still have no idea which bhopla (kaddu/pumpkin) is good and which bhindi (okra) is “Kauli” (tender) even after close to thirty years of marriage.

I was noticing how people pick up tomatoes. They will pick up one and drop it. Pick up the second one press it, look around it and drop it, pick the third one up and put it in their basket and this happens to more than twenty they need. I kept noticing that how long that one particular tomato is not picked up. I was amazed that the ones that I had fixed my eyes on were picked up by the next lady. This lady also dropped quite a few and picked up the ones dropped by the previous chap. The sabzi-wala puts up a huge basket full; one actually is confused as to what to pick up and what to drop. As the basket empties out, he doesn’t replace or refill them. A person who needs them will have to pick up from what is placed in front of you. Smart, I would say.

Then I came across one guy not taking off his helmet. He was just pointing out to Walter to weigh what he wants. Soon I realised he had his mobile stuck inside his helmet and was hands free of sorts. We Indians have a jugad (improvise) for everything. Then I found one fellow with his helmet’s face guard over his forehead.  That too was for a purpose. The pan masala he was chewing and the mixture which accumulates inside the mouth has to be spit out.  I asked him then why do you wear it, he said traffic police.

My macchiwali is very smart. She will shout uncle surmai sasti ho gai hai (Fish has become cheap). So even if you don’t want to buy it you get carried away. She will take out a small one and say pandrah shau 1500. You look at her and are about to turn back she says shaat shay pannas 750. You show two fingers meaning 200, now she looks back as if to say, what nonsense you are talking man. I realised two things if you get into a conversation with them you will not be able to wriggle out. Second is become “besharam” (shameless) and haggle and haggle till cows come home. Moment you start become a bara saab you will not know when she has stripped you.

After all this shopping is generally my haircut time. The head massage after that is the attraction. The ladies I leave at a general store to pick up their shampoos and lipsticks.  I don’t know how these barbers know which hair to cut. I find him snipping at the same place for ages neglecting the rest of the circumference. He always asks me “Chota karun” (shall I cut them short). In the first thirty seconds he would have cleared the head and it takes him the next ten minutes to find hair and keep snipping.

I remember going to a saloon in Bombay, that chap took an hour to snip off what my barber does in ten minutes. The only thing was that he used about 11 types of scissors and shavers. Another thing I noticed in our desi barbers. Once they have snipped some hair, they continue doing the sniping action behind your head in thin air. Why they do it, I will have to research. The difference between my barber and the saloon wala nai was 450 bucks. My nai does a better job any day and gives me a head massage free. The saloon chap will charge me a fortune.

Be that as it may, small little things and personal touch matters. My daughter keeps asking me that dad you have friends all over. The auto wala, the sabji wala, the chana-mufali wala, the chicken wala, macchiwali (I call her my girl friend) even the cobbler and the barber greet you so nicely. I tell her yes beta, it is nice to know them too as they do very important jobs. It is our duty to treat them with dignity and show respect. Will my daughter understand the importance of these people, I wonder!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

ANNA-HARA-ZARA-RE  

This piece I had written when Anna had started his crusade against corruption, 19/04/2011, I heard he was again on fast for the MSP for farmers. In the din of other news, his story was washed out from every Indians mind, thanks to the media. Should he continue his crusade now? I wonder!!!!!

ANNA-HARA-ZARA-RE

Over the last couple of weeks we all have been witnessing a campaign started by a simple Ex-Army man, who faced near death in the Khemkaran sector in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. He is on a fast to death at Jantar Mantar. Khemkaran became a graveyard of the Paki tanks and Jantar Mantar should be the burial ground of the corrupt and corruption. Great going Sir, every Indian salutes you and shall support you. ‘THE CORRUPT” and their accomplices need to be booked. Your crusade has begun and now it is our duty to carry it forward to its conclusion.

Anna, you started your reformation from the grass roots and now your crusade is hitting the highest political masters. You say that you will lose your security deposit if you stand for elections. Is it that you don’t have money or is it that you are not corrupt? For winning elections public support is required and you have already won their hearts and minds. I suggest that you should be part of the political process. Then only all those working under you can be controlled. Thereafter you can bring to justice all others whom you find unfair, unjust and corrupt. To be able to annihilate all corrupt political practices, you yourself need to understand how they do it. An important aspect we were taught in the Army was to fight against militants and to finish a militant, you got to think like a militant, be better trained than him, shoot better than him, garner more local support than him, have your intelligence better than him and ultimately destroy him. For militant here read politician.

The media today is the greatest watch dog for these political big-wigs, they can take them head on but the foundations of corruption lie deep down under. It starts from the lowest rank. Our society watchman charges Rs 5/- from every Dhobi, Bai, Paperwala, Machhiwala, pavwala etc. Can we stop him? I think we can, if we give him adequate remuneration. That poor man stands for 12 hours, running errands for half the society members to make that extra buck besides doing his duty. Corruption starts here.

Items sold through PDS are siphoned off. Poor man gets nothing. Kerosene meant for him is used for adulterating other fuels. A gas cylinder is available faster in BLACK than the three weeks wait for the WHITE. The MNREGA money is going in the wrong hands. The mid day meals are eaten by the greedy, proxy attendance by rural teachers and doctors leaves the illiterate as illiterate and the sick further sick. The middlemen and farmers are always at logger heads and are not allowed direct access to the mandi’s. Food is rotting in FCI godowns since decades. The hungry are never fed.

Healthcare, employment, literacy and two square meals a day is the bottom line. Social security, shelter, physical security & women empowerment are also places where corruption is rampant. Today, we fear our Police not because they are strict but because they will drag us everywhere for no fault of ours. So, pay a small token which makes him happy and saves me the inconvenience.

NGO management needs focus Anna. Some of them are government aided, some are not, and some are fraud too. I would like you to crusade for them too. They need to be grouped together, made to focus, distributed equitably, and supported adequately as they are linked with the grass roots more than anyone else. We should empower them through you. Let us stop the ministers from distributing TVs, Mixer’s and lap tops & subsidised rice. Let the NGOs do it, then we shall see the strength and power of the vote bank.

Fast track anti corruption courts which are adequately staffed to give out justice in a time bound manner is also the need of the day. Let the Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta be set up. Let them not be politically influenced which is also a form of corruption. Anna, there are miles to go before you and I sleep.

I also want you to crusade for the Police, Armed Forces and Para Military forces too so that the government gives them better pay, perks and privileges. They should have an assurance that where ever they go they will get a place to stay, a school for their kids, and their domestic matters in the village/town they belong to be looked into even after they leave for duty or transferred. Let the Gram panchayats and the zila parishads be extra sensitive to their issues when he is posted to far flung areas. Let this man be assured that on retirement, he shall have a roof over his head.

One last thing Anna, let us focus on the MPs and MLAs, downwards to the Sarpanch. Let’s take a bottom up approach. Let the government protect every citizen who exposes corruption cases. If we do ten such cases in every state every month the corrupt will be shaken and stirred. Corruption shall definitely evaporate one day. I said, ANNA-HARA-ZARA-RE, should not land up as ANNA-HAAR-NA-JANA-RE is my prayer. My heart and soul is with you, as they say when the going gets tough the tough get going. Will Anna succeed in his mission? I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

BLACK SHEEP OF BABA

The BRRSI verdict is going to be out anytime now. Which side the verdict is going to go is quite clear from the bandobast that I see in and around Rohtak. It has been turned into a fortress of kinds. Imagine what difficulties the common man must be facing. More than hundred companies of forces deployed. Army is on standby in case of any eventuality. Dera is being evacuated with streams of followers exiting, most of them ladies that too senior citizens. What were they doing inside intrigues me? What will be their future? Neither BRRSI nor they themselves know.

What was so much of manpower doing inside the camp? They were producing nothing except CO2, H2S and manure. What education was being imparted there, God knows or was he conducting brain-washing sessions? I believe he castrated many men which I heard from testimonies of people who escaped his clutches. Well all this needs to be investigated. I would like to know the status of his real sisters too. Was the motive to have castrated males around his close cordon to save his sisters from the wrath of what he used to do to the other female disciples? Were the sisters aware of his adventures? All this is shrouded in mystery. His bubble has burst and many lives saved.

I am not sure if every follower who is leaving the camp is being properly docketed, their names and addresses etc. How long were they there? What all did they see and do in the dera? I could see that most of them are poor and basically the Punjabi speaking community. I was not aware that there were so many grades in the Punjabi society. Yes, once upon a time mom used to scare us that behave or else Nihang baba will take you away. I happened to visit Beas once as a kid and was quite surprised to see another massive Sikh establishment so close to Amritsar. A breakaway from the main stream I suppose. One was only interested in the tasty subsidised pakoras and langar food in those days. I know of people who turned vegetarians, non smokers and drinkers as they were going to take “Naam”. One never questioned that, as that was beyond my purview of things and still is. For me a Punjabi was a friend and jiggrey yaar, which sect, which guru he followed made no difference to me.

I have been explaining to people the difference between Catholics and Protestants often. In Protestants there are Methodists etc.  For a normal Indian a Christian is a Christian, that’s it. Similarly for me, a Sikh is a Sikh, a Hindu is a Hindu and a Muslim is a Muslim. To be frank Christianity is the most divided religion on earth today. People have modified the ways of worship that is all. Anyone who could convince a few people, lecture about the goodness and wellness of being close to God, show some spirituality, do some kind of miracle started to have a following. From one mouth to the other, one neighbour to the other and the chain continues. I would say that slowly these babas and babies become so influential that they gave targets as done in ponzy schemes. Besides, the insiders were threatened with dire consequences not to open their mouths. A person who has no other job, who is getting food, shelter, clothing and a safe place to stay with all facilities would rather play safe.

I am reminded that once I had gone to Mount Abu for a holiday with my family. Moment I stepped out of the bus a person approached me and handed me a pamphlet about “Bhramakumari’s”. I politely requested him not to pester me. Next day we took the tourism bus and the first place they plonked us was their ashram. Nice, neat and clean, nothing religious, a few ladies and a few gents dressed in whites were moving around. Then we were made to sit and listen to their story. Well, I was not impressed or interested in it at all. It was rather a pain to wait for the thing to get over as we were more interested in site seeing. Moment we came out, again a person approached me and asked me when you are joining the thing; I got cheesed off and told him to buzz off. I moved on and enjoyed the rest of the day culminating at the sunset point. I am not sure what those ladies follow or preach but I do not appreciate being indoctrinated into anything forcefully.

Well what I gather from the social media is that when one is oppressed that is the time when one is most susceptible and vulnerable to be carried away. Moment one finds solace, one tends to drift away under the wings of such frauds who promise peace of mind. Moment one starts believing in it you are done. The baba who gave you comfort latches on to your mind and exploits you, once you give in you are gone and there is no turning back. Thereafter, one cannot stand anything derogatory against the guru. Had this issue been nipped in the bud in 2007, things would not have taken such a drastic turn.

My only wish is that this man should be charged with treason. Every inch of his land and property anywhere in India should be sold off and all the losses made up. Let there be a law that any cult, any baba, any baby, any maa who thinks that politicians can be put in their pocket would be put in the clink. I also want to inform all politicians, dare you become black sheep of any of these God men and women for your political gains and donate even one paai of my had earned money from public fund to them, then you too should be booked for treason and impropriety. Will it make any difference to these baba’s and their black sheep, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

SACHIN PRESENT SIR REKHA PRESENT MAM

It was sad to hear when Sachin and Rekha were made punching bags by media lately. Everyone was after their blood to quit their Rajya Sabha seats for absenteeism. News has to be created out of thin air thus media went hammer and tongs after them. Now that they are parliamentarians too, so why not take pot shots at them. Teer nishane par lag gaya to theek, nahi laga to Wah.

Sachin has been a heart throb of every Indian irrespective of caste, creed, age, religion, region and language. His religion was cricket, his cast was Indian, his creed was batsman, he spoke through his bat and the beauty was it was understood by everyone without an interpreter. His age was timeless and no one wanted him to retire. His time spent on the field for this nation need not be counted. The sweat, blood, injuries, sacrifices for the country he made was nothing but his dedication and devotion. That is why he was called the God of cricket. It was his character, his humbleness, his records, his fan following and support which got him the coveted Bharat Ratna. Isn’t this enough to grant this man his due? He does what he knows best, that’s why he is a master blaster. Could you have found anyone better than him excelling in the sports field?

A word about Rekha, she was my personal favourite in the good old days. I haven’t seen her much in the recent days as my interest in movies has dwindled drastically. All said and done she stole the hearts of many of us. Men with dropped jaws, women with wide eyes and gaping mouths have always admired her ageless beauty. This lady also transformed from a typical small time actress to being a super star of her times by sheer hard work. Age defies her. Her work and dancing skills are still a matter of awe for many. From 1966 to 2017 almost 50 years she has been entertaining you and me. She is also a recipient of the coveted Padam Shri award. What else do you need from her in parliament? She doesn’t like the same old boring story being repeated daily, with the same old actors and directors in the parliament. She seems to dislike her role due in the political amphitheatre.

Parliament on the other hand is justified to ask for their presence. They can question them for the pay and perks which members of the upper house enjoy. Frankly, will it matter to them if you withdraw their pay and allowances? Each signature Sachin does for charity fetches more than his monthly perks as an MP. Each sari which Rekha wears or for that matter every piece of jewellery she adorns may be equivalent to many months pay of a few parliamentarians. It will not make an iota of difference in their earnings. The benevolent causes they may have taken up, the charity they must be doing, I am sure they would be using what the government is paying them for all such noble causes. By the way I don’t mind paying my taxes for such outstanding sportspersons and actors. They have done it for us and now it is our turn to pay them back which is the least we can do, I feel.

Let me then question the parliamentarians, that sirs what do you discuss all day in the august houses. The speaker except for shutting you folks up and trying to listen to someone somewhere trying to put across a point has to ultimately adjourn session after session because of the indiscipline of you people. You don’t follow the decorum of the temple of democracy, you shout slogans and abuses. You throw chairs, mikes and tables at each other, you watch porn inside the house, you people just don’t like to listen to the arguments or debate, on top of that you guys sleep and snore. Is it correct sirs?

One stone on Rahul Gandhi’s car becomes an issue for a walk out, doesn’t he understand that people of India are giving him a message. No one talks of stone pelters of Kashmir though. One IT raid on a leader’s house brings all proceedings to a grinding halt. The common man doesn’t know what to expect from you guys. Will you let it function or will you just disrupt proceedings. If there is so much of unruliness in your behaviour why expect people like Sachin and Rekha to waste their time looking at the tamasha unfolding. Last day of a session you realise many bills need to be passed. First bill to be passed is about your pay hike like first day first show, or an opener hitting first ball six. So let Sachin and Rekha enjoy their innings. They are not the first ones to elude your noble company.

Both these personalities come from a field which needs discipline, which works on perfect timings; you have to give a perfect shot. It might be in cricket or the screen. Your moves have to be just right. Your decisions are split second. Your memory and instincts to play the game have to be perfect with no scope of errors. In their professions one cannot cheat, where as in parliament I see it happening otherwise. This political drama plays with emotions of the common man, with their sentiments. You play to divide not to unite the population. A game lasts for either a fixed time or overs; a movie lasts a stipulated time but drama of the political nature has no fixed time, date, or direction. The aim of actors and sportspersons is to entertain people to win their hearts; the entertainment value of parliament is for selfish gains of votes. Aim of the player is to win but if he loses he has to show the sportsman spirit of being a good loser. In parliament the looser lacks this spirit. The loser knows he is wrong but due to the immunity parliament gives him he speaks and gets away with anything. Is it correct?

Both these personalities I mention are icons of their own kind. Show me one in parliament worth that praise. They have been from heartthrobs to divas for many a people. They have been leaders in their own fields. They have captained their sides well. They have saved many games and movies single handed due to their mere presence. They have made us Indians proud with their positive approach to their professions. The dedication they show and the perseverance with which they maintain themselves to stay fit to play and act another day is incomparable.  Let us leave them alone.

I also want to suggest that instead of getting after their attendance, get after the parliamentarians to stop disrupting everyday for reasons which have no relevance. Fine those who break rules. Discipline those who take law into their own hands. Like we keep essence and fragrances to top up our puddings, let Rekha and Sachin be those flavoured sprinklings. Once in awhile when they come to the parliament it should be enough to enhance the taste and flavour of the Khichri the parliamentarians’ cook every day. Am I asking for too much, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

 

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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

© Noel Ellis

A FEW DANDAs THEORY

 

A couple of day’s back I received a message from one of my groups to stop subscribing to the Hindustan Times from the first of next month. Reason was that the paper questioned the Army Chief commending Major Gogoi. Well, if one felt so strongly then why didn’t they stop subscribing from the same day. The same thing happened when TOI carried a news feature questioning the Army a few years back. The paper’s circulation may not have taken a dip except from a few of the uniformed community. There was another instance when the Indian Express carried a feature where they declared that Gen VK Singh almost did a coup by moving a few Mechanised columns from Hissar and a Company of paratroopers towards Delhi. The same sentiment echoed within the services community. Did the appeals have any effect, God only knows?

Well, as far as I am concerned I am off the news papers. Not worth wasting my time as I have better things to do. Thanks to the paperwala who now has shifted his business to selling vada-pav and Kanda-Bhajia, as he also realised the futility of feeding garbage to so many people. For a few days I had difficulty in doing potty but now I am relieved from one more addiction after I quit cigarettes and liquor ages ago. I have quit newspapers too. My bai has been complaining though that there is no raddi in the house. Well, I promised her I shall buy her enough “raddi” from the market as and when she misses the ritual to sell.

Be that as it may, I am now getting a feeling that I must quit viewing news channels too as I observe that in the garb of freedom of press and speech they are taking the nation for a ride. One Major Gogoi has given them so much fodder that they can generate debates on the jeep incident till cows come home. Even the Auto show programmes have now started telling us that they will henceforth provide seat belts on the bumpers of the jeeps for all stone pelters in future models. They are promising ergonomically designed bumpers for their comfort with provision of water and airbags in select models, just in case the jeep meets with an accident. They are also looking into the comfort level of this person as he or she may have to sit there from five to eight hours continuously. The auto companies now are in competition to have warning boards placed on bonnets with press fit alphabets in English and Kashmiri. However, they have yet to find a solution if that man has to go for a natures call while in that position. The textile designing firm making “firans” have been contacted to provide adequate holes at the correct place for the same.

Yaar you press walas please understand that rape, murder, beef, moral policing, adultery, corruption, mis-governance, pilferage, politics, cow-vigilante, politicians, yoga, bureaucracy, porn, internet fraud, railways, liquor, transport, poverty, roads, youth, shipping, coal, drugs, industries, education system, etc are some of the subjects that should get you better TRP ratings. Leave the army alone please. They are the last bastion for this nation and in Major Gogoi’s case; he was called in as a last option as no other means were left. He did what he did and if need be will again do what he is supposed to do. It was an SOS call, when everyone else failed to respond. To all the peaceniks please question the politicians for the mess they have created. Army is a means not the end. Politicians are the ones who made the ‘Raita to failo” and now you want the army to clean it with a broom, which doesn’t have a “Danda”. My foot! If all these peace lovers can go to Kashmir without Army protection and speak to them and convey to the Indian government a definite solution for Kashmir like they suggest on news debates so vociferously and boisterously. I will give them all a Bharat Ratna straight away.

In my humble view, a solution is possible if we have a few “dandas” given. The first one is to the Pakistan. Shove it so hard that they do not henceforth allow their soil to be used for any terror related activity against India ever. The way they support the Kashmiri struggle, by training, funding and supporting these vermin should never occur in their minds for generations to come.

Second danda needs to be given to the politicians of both J&K and GOI. The most troubled areas are in Mehbooba’s constituency, she knows every detail and I have a gut feeling she is covertly supporting all those who want freedom from India like she used to do earlier. Her silence on all issues in and around her constituency is ample proof for that. If that be so, let there be Riasat-e-Kashmir, Riasat-e-Jammu & Riasat-e-Ladakh for actual Kashmir management. Time now has come for a Danda to be given to all those who bicker and create trouble or think of pelting a stone. Danda to the Hurriyat with immediate effect; either put in jail or deported to the country of their choice. Stop making a hole in the plate in which you are eating from. All funding stopped, period. Danda needs to be given to the GOI too. With such a mandate if not now then when and who will scrap article 370, bring them under one flag, one constitution and all judgments of courts be made acceptable there. It is now or never.

Another danda to the media to stop lowering the morale of this one apolitical institution called the Indian Army. I know they have military experts with contrary views but give the forces a break. The sentence “with due apologies” is now well understood. Stop apologizing and stop questioning the uniformed people. You run news channels because we protect this nation and give you the freedom to air your views. So limit your views to the suggestions I gave, leave us to do our job. We know how to do it and we do it to the best of our abilities; fearless and dauntless even after hearing such negativity the news channels spread. You can be rest assured, we shall not be intimidated by the press or the peaceniks. Army is not meant to carry weapons for show. The Army fires and fires for effect should be clear. You want one chap tied on a jeep to save hundreds of dead, or you want people dead. Choice is yours. The protesters can keep protesting, next time they throw one stone, one bullet should be fired at them. One news channel creates a negative hype; the second round should be towards them. Enough of this bloody nonsense!

From the two nation theory, let us have a few danda theory implemented in J&K straight away. If it is we the people who have to decide, then so be it. If we are going to let Pakistan meddle and fiddle with our peace, choice is again ours, if the government wants to wait for a miracle to resolve this issue then let us wait for me to become the PM. Will it be OK, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

BEATING THE HEAT

 

Temperatures are heating up all over. The political ones are boiling for the post of President; the Pakistani posts are being pounded and roasting. The heated valley is being Gogoied. Congress and AAP are evaporating from minds due to heat of their inefficiency. Naxals are adding fuel to the fire. Here, the mangoes are falling off the trees and watermelons ripening fast due to the sweltering heat. The heated news debates are cooking only bitter venom. The retired Generals have gone “grey” in the heat of arc lights at the studios trying to drill in their two pennies worth. The bheja of the common man is being fried as he doesn’t see “ache din”. The farmer is waiting for rains after the summer heat. My wife too has decided to start heated arguments moment I refuse to get ice cream. Worst is all the colony bitches are in heat too. “Udi Baba” hot is getting as hot can be.

I remember as a child summer holidays used to be a time to beat the heat. In one of our windows dad used hang lots of “KHUS” bound together in wire mesh. On top of it used to be a perforated tube made out of old ghee tins rolled up into a pipe with lots of holes for water to drip down evenly across the “CHIC”. The pipe was drawn from the tap used for watering the garden. Inside the room used to be a “KESSELs” table fan running full speed. Mattresses were put on the floor. Mangoes were chilled in the buckets and watermelons were cooled by covering it with a wet cloth. Hand churned ice cream in those wooden churners was ultimate. Everyone wanted to eat but no one wanted to churn. Getting ice from the ice factory for the ice box on a cycle used to be my duty when I grew up. Empty rum bottles were used to chill water. The expertise to use the ice pick came with age and experience. We had no fridge, TV or scooter then. I remember as a child sitting on the carrier of my dad’s cycle, with 5 Kgs of ice, covered with four to five gunny bags. My bums used to be chilled by the time we got back home but the ice remained intact. In case there would be a party at home additional ice was put in a pit dug behind the house covered with saw dust. Good old days they were.

Summer holidays was a time to play, we never felt the heat, never got dehydrated, never bothered to cover our heads. We drank water from the first available tap. We actually never knew what temperature was. We sat on hot swings without hesitation. After that initial burn, the metal plate used to cool down automatically after a brisk rub on the bum. Cycles were put on road and additional valves purchased as they were the first ones to leak. Competitions used to be climbing the highest on any given tree chosen at random. At mid day, time used to be to run to the tube well for a bath. Odd time was preferred because the operator used to go for his lunch break, imagine having a chilled bath at 12 noon. Clothes used to be smeared with purple stains of jamuns. Half of us had only one eye to function with as the other used to be invariably swollen due to a wasp or a honey bee bite. Knees were always raw with bruises and cuts, elbows black and dirty; hair didn’t matter till they were on your head. Mine used to be short so used to be the saving grace during fights.

We used to know every tree, every shrub and every bush in the vicinity. We knew every fruit which was in common areas, we also knew all the pits where the litter of our favourite dogs used to be and play with them. We knew where parrots were nursing their little ones. Putting on socks on our hands, climbing on each other’s shoulders to get to the nest, getting bit by mom parrot, falling down like a pack of cards as red ants would have bitten the friend on the ground, then changing tactics to climb again used to be favourite pass times. We did not have even landlines in those days. Parents never bothered nor came looking for us. In case one got hurt, one knew the infirmary and Mr Succha Singh used to keep cursing under his breath but apply tincture or that bluish liquidy medicine for all cuts and bruises. That one neck less T shirt used to last whole summer till all the alphabets used to blur and mom used to decide to use it as a “poncha”.

Morning sleep used to be till 6 am, and if dad used to be in a good mood it used to extend till 6.15. Dogs used to be waiting for us to give that slight inkling of life and jump up and wash your face with licks. The excitement to go for a morning walk with us without any leash used to get them scratching the mesh door till there was no mesh left. Running and coming back just to see that you are still coming used to excite the dogs like anything. Your one call and all of them at your heels were the ultimate playoffs of that time. Cricket used to be next in agenda. The eucalyptus tree was the wickets with three parallel straight lines dug into the bark as stumps. To add authenticity, one perpendicular line used to signify as the bails. Evenings used to be pittho or satoliya. Play till the streetlights came on. Get home where dad used to be waiting watering his pots before he shouted for you. We were bathed and cleaned and pressure washed with the same pipe from the grime outside the house itself, even if you didn’t feel like having a bath. Dogs used to frolic along side and enjoy the artificial rain.

We never bothered for food. Wherever we were, in whom so ever’s house and whatever we got to eat was gobbled without any questions. Mom used to be shocked that we ate “lauki ki tari wali sabzi” at so and so auntie’s house. At home, there was no way anything of the gourd family would be touched, even by dad. Well, today things have changed, we have Maggie and lays. Everyone has a big smart phone, there are no playgrounds left. Outdoors has changed to online. Your status on whatsapp matters more than the real state of affairs I suppose. Tolerance levels have come down, patience levels have drastically reduced, broad mindedness has narrowed, open mindedness is nowhere to be seen. Social security of the child has been shaken for reasons best known to us Indians and our society.

The camaraderie has evaporated the number of friends and their love and affection is now limited to social media. The wrapping your hand around your friends neck and keeping it that way the whole day has long gone into oblivion. We are now living in an artificial world, where the heat generated in our thoughts is generating only hatred. In my hearts of hearts I am finding it difficult to balance between the past and present times. I think I need to chill more. Will I? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

DEATH OF KASHMIR

Time now has come to let go of Kashmir or whatever is left of it. I say this with a heavy heart because my blood boils at every drop which falls. I also express my heartfelt condolences to all those associated to Lt Fayaz. I too get associated with him being an Ex-NDA. Above all he too adorned the Olive Greens of which I am as proud still even after having hung my uniform ten years back.

I go back to my piping ceremony after I had taken oath to serve the mother land by land, sea or air, where my Mom and Dad’s joy knew no bounds that their son is now part of a different clan. The glisten in their eyes, the tears which rolled down my mother’s cheeks, the hug which my Dad and brother gave as if to say, now we have given you to India, fare well, and keep the honour of our family and this country supreme always and every time. We brought you thus far and now pave your own way forward. The burden of that one pip on my shoulder was really heavy but a dream come true. I am sure all of us who have stepped across “ANTIM PAG” (final step)would relate to what I say. Imagine all dreams of the parents of Fayaz got shattered, all dreams of this young man crushed, never to be fulfilled again. 2nd RAJ RIF lost a future leader who was about to start his journey. Sad indeed!

I can imagine what tough life this young officer would have had. I can imagine what his parents and family would have gone through to make him an officer. I can also conjecture that this would have been their greatest fear that how the anti India elements will treat their son when they come to know that he has joined the Indian Army. How his parents must be shivering at the thought of any harm coming to him. The harm came and today he sleeps in peace. Fayaz was about to embark on journey but was shot in cold blood by these barbarians. The murderers achieved their aim. However, now the Army has to achieve aim plus. Firstly, they must find his killers and eliminate them at the earliest. Secondly, to look after the bereaved family the way the forces look after any martyrs family. Thirdly, motivate at least 100 more people of his village and surrounding areas to become officers of the forces so as to give a shut up call to these HIZB dastards. Fourthly, give all armed forces personnel proceeding on leave adequate protection from the evil hands of terrorists. It may have an additional burden on the battalion deployed nearby; well it now should be part of the SOP. Fifthly, to get the intelligence network going to find out all overt and covert supporters of these monkeys and eliminate them as also instill fear of God in them so that they dare not try anything like this again. Lastly, get hold of the parents these cowards & their supporters and keep them under pressure to surrender.

I saw and experienced firsthand the people of Kashmir just after elections of 1996. I think the mentality has not changed much since. Hatred for the armed forces did exist then but they feared the army gun. The hatred continues today also, however fear of the gun has gone as CAPFs and police have weapons but cannot and do not fire. Kashmiri’s fear militants as they not only fire but take their women to bed at will by pointing their weapons. Kashmiri’s now pelt stones as weapons and shield terrorists besides hampering military operations. Do we draw a lesson from this? Covert recruitment and brainwashing of young minds was being done then & it still continues. Common Kashmiri feared death by the security forces of their kin who had joined militancy or had gone across for training. Today, recruitment is done openly thanks to the political mis-governance over the decades. Size of population has increased so rapidly that the parents find it as an alternative to employment as they get food for the family. It has been proved that they get paid for both stone pelting and being a militant or a militant supporter. Only thing that has not changed is the ineffective politicians of Kashmir who have only done Haqumat on Riasat-e-Kashmir. They just want funds in whichever way and yet never had a concrete solution for Kashmir.

If you take a Kashmiri in private, he will talk to you like a parrot and if you talk to him in public he would act dumb as a dumbo. He may not even recognise you. You call a Kashmiri to your post he will get half the village along in tow. Out of which half would be chest beating women as if the heavens have fallen on earth. You go to a village, kids will line up as you are the toffee uncle. They will peep trough every balcony, follow your patrol like a shadow, and take you to the maulvi’s house or the village headman’s house. Moment you halt and speak to one, they all will just evaporate.

I remember very vividly that a suspect was picked up by my battalion and was taken for interrogation. My company being the closest was sent to cordon and search, especially his specific house. On reaching the house, it happened to be one of my informers house. This person was really innovative to earn money and toiled like hell. He worked on the local hydel project 15 kms from his village. He ran a tea shop on the hydel road. He ran a vegetable shop in his village. The vegetables used to come from Srinagar by the local bus and dropped at his tea shop in Kangan as it became an unofficial bus stop. From there he used to lug it on his back. Even my post used to get home delivered boxes of tomatoes. People around had turned purple with jealousy from this guy and his family. His son in law and daughter used to run a tailor shop in the village. Wife ran poultry and a dairy. He used to take leave and go into the walnut jungles to get “Guchhi” a kind of very costly rare variety of mushroom. To fix this man people connived and got his son in law arrested for possessing a weapon. They almost shattered that hard working family on behest of an influential Gujjar politician in that area.

I drifted into nostalgia once again. The militants and their ilk cannot stand people who are well settled and have jobs. Fayaz I have no words to express my grief brother and I feel sorry for the politicians of Kashmir as none of them have uttered a word for you. People perhaps could not attend your funeral as they would be taken as supporting the Army, never mind. The Hurriyat has gone underground as they don’t care for Kashmir anymore. At this rate death of Kashmir is eminent so India it is high time we part ways with them. Jamhuriat never came into being, Kashmiriat is non-existent, Insaniyat is too big a word for the Kashmiri people to understand, so let them take azadi and go to hell for all I care. They are not worth it. Every drop of blood fallen on Kashmiri soil of any Indian will pinch and hurt me and we can no longer bear loss of our colleagues falling to militant bullets. PM Sahib let them go. Let them become “gulam’s” (slaves) once more. Within one year they will ask for azadi from the other side too. We should let Kashmir die or should we continue to live with the rot, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

INDIA AS I SEE IT

It is high time for us to think of India, for India, by Indians otherwise we are heading towards disaster. All our make in India will be break in India. People in Hawai Chappals, will sit on Daryai Ghoras and never see the real Hawai jahaz. The political party in power has its agenda clear to win all elections, fine, I have no issues. But what I perceive as a common Indian citizen that the highest political machinery is busy in party promotion agenda like in Delhi and Mumbai municipal elections. The focus on India seems to be getting blurred in the bargain. This is where I am going to draw your attention today.

We are a vast nation is an idiotic statement to make. We have numerous problems is also foolish to say. We have diverse culture, languages, dialects, weathers; terrain is an understatement to make. We have porous boundaries with many nations and a few of them are hostile is an obvious fact. We have Terrorism, Insurgency, Naxalism, and Maoism besides “goondagardi” across the length and breadth of this country. Then we have so many castes and tribes scheduled or unscheduled is a different issue altogether. Unscheduled are those who after taking benefits and privileges’ in one generation misuse the reservation policy for their sons and daughters of subsequent generations, thanks to our reservations policy. Our major part of the country is affected by floods every year the rest with drought. Our agricultural sector is in a mess, our education system ranges from Madarsa’s, to ved-vidyalas, to convents, to Government schools, to International Schools.

Our elected representatives are history sheeters (so what charges have not been proved) and many are illiterate so to say. We employ lawyers for finance, engineers for defence, aviators for power, uneducated for HRD, what an irony. We suffer from fraud, bribe, donations, trickery, adulteration, as a national disease. Corruption flows in our blood and is part of our DNA. We bribe Gods, offerings are offered as “conditions apply”. We have interstate problems. We have gender related problems. Our population ratio is skewed. We are short of power. We have poverty and unemployment only as an election issue and part of every manifesto. We built infrastructure with no aim. We copy many policies which failed in other countries. We have a shortage of security force but no shortage of population. We lack a national security doctrine. We do not have a defence minister on paper. The one we had evaporated overnight. We are a land of sadhu’s and saints. We have everything but nothing with us. We can’t even win medals in sports, unless it is a Bak-Bak competition.

There is also one strata of population who go for shopping of their undergarments to Europe. They drink Jamaican Rum only in Jamaica. They get disturbed if they see a beggar touching their car. “Dirty ho jata hai”. We have NGOs and individuals donating millions in charity. We have religious institutions earning in millions & feeding millions. We are basically a concoction of only one of its kind of society. The beauty is that we still remain India. India still has not collapsed under its weight of problems. We fight with each other; we fight with our neighbours, within our states and within countries but desire peace and tranquillity. We appear unified, but are split into splinters of caste, creed, religion, region, gender. Democracy is not allowed to function, constitution is made a mockery of by states like J&K. Judiciary is overburdened that they now tell us what to eat, what to wear, what to see, what to talk. Soon we shall find bedroom rules too. Media has gone berserk covering, debating and discussing everything which shows our country in bad light without them realising how much disservice they are doing to this nation by washing dirty linen in public. Media has gone international; in fact, one shot on the mobile is as good as a whisper to spread a hearsay or rumour.

We have religious fanaticism, from protection of cows, to religious conversions, to fatwa’s for all and sundry. We want to be modern and progressive in outlook, but traditional and conservative in practice. We want to bring people to invest and make in India, but do not want to cut down the red tape. We want foreign collaborations but want to control the stakes and distribution of profits. We want to safeguard our policies, our systems and money at our terms and conditions. We have been just pussy footing while dealing with our enemies both internal and external recently. We oppose policies because we as a political entity are in opposition; we only know how to pick faults everywhere. We won’t suggest improvements. Politicians do not want to control the bureaucrats, fearing their strong lobby. We lack political accountability. Basically we are a nation of chalta hai kinds. We think of too many consequences. We delay in taking decisions. We are more interested in what the other chap is not doing. We are basically Hippocrates of kinds. We are not true to ourselves and our Gods, then how can we be true children of India.

We dream of an ideal nation, “sone ki chirya” (Golden Bird). We dream of housing for all. We dream of education for all. We dream of justice for all. We dream of security for all. We dream of food for all. We dream of transport for all. We dream of monetary stability for all. We dream of jobs for all. We dream of water and electricity for all. We dream of no war with anyone. We dream of health for all. We dream of welfare of all. We dream of everything which is required to live as an ideal society and a nation. But we want a third party or a miracle to do the dirty work to achieve the aims. Our national fabric is weak. We can’t stand for our national anthem; we don’t want to sing our national song; we don’t want one constitution, we don’t want uniform civil code for all, we are a big drastically divided family, where everyone is on his own, doing what one feels like at his own convenience, fighting with everyone if the comfort levels are broken, cursing all and sundry, and still surviving as a nation. My dear “Deshvasio”, till when can we continue polluting our hearts, minds & soul of this country, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

A YOGI COMES TO POWER

It is nice to see people from the religious communities now reaching esteemed posts for the governance of India. We have had sadhvis and sadhus in the parliament besides Muslim clerics, now I find yogis have started becoming CM of states also. Will it be good or not so good? Will it be bad or worse, that time will tell? One thing is definite that these are winds of change. These changes will have to be accepted because it is the will of the people. Is this the manipulated or real will of the people of the state? Is it the will of certain senior leaders of a political party in question, which has been forced down the gullet of the people of this huge state, or is it really a genuine case of hard work and rising from the grass roots to the top, slowly learning the tricks of the trade? That will be answered in due course of time. Should it be the norm hence forth? It is a little premature for me to say as of now. But my view is religion and politics should never be mixed. If they have to mix then either the person should quit his religious avatar, or quit politics.

In this light I would like to share my views on the newly elected CM of UP and people who are associated with religious kind of work. I shall not talk of religion perse here, as I feel religion, faith and belief in the divine is very personal. I am of the opinion that such things should not be discussed and displayed in public. What is my personal connect with my God or what I believe in, the other person will never understand but when I get on to loud speakers, sense of dressing, moral policing and forcing people to do what my belief says is right is where the problem arises. I am not in favour of that either and I do not want such a thing to happen in m country. It will be the darkest time for India.

I tried to find out who is a yogi from different sources including Wikipedia and would like to share what is written there. The first one said one who practices yoga. It also says a practitioner of meditation or a sanyasi. A practitioner of tantra may also be termed as a yogi. According to Karel Werner (1977), “Yoga and the Ṛig Veda” which uses words of admiration for the Yogis who carry within oneself fire and poison, heaven and earth, ranging from enthusiasm and creativity to depression and agony, from the heights of spiritual bliss to the heaviness of earth-bound labour. A man who has mastered and transformed these contrary forces and is a visible embodiment of accomplished spirituality. He is said to be light and enlightenment itself. He does not live a normal life of convention. His hair and beard grow longer, he spends long periods of time in absorption, musing and meditating and therefore he is called “sage” (muni). They wear clothes made of yellow rags fluttering in the wind, or perhaps more likely, they go naked, clad only in the yellow dust of the Indian soil, they follow the path of the mysterious wind when the gods enter them. He is someone lost in thoughts: he is miles away. They practice celibacy if single or non-cheating if with a partner.

According to Akshaya Banerjea as per philosophy of gorakhnath, yogi advances in the path of self discipline (practice) and aspires to spiritually realize truth. A yogi lives by voluntary ethical precepts to include the following

  • Ahimsa: non violence, non-harming other living beings
  • Satya: truthfulness, non-falsehood
  • Asteya: not stealing
  • Daya : kindness, compassion
  • Arjava: non-hypocrisy, sincerity
  • Kshama: forgiveness
  • Dhriti: fortitude
  • Mitahara: moderation in diet both in terms of quantity and quality
  • Swach: purity, cleanliness
  • Tapas: austerity, persistence and perseverance in one’s purpose
  • Santosha: contentment, acceptance of others and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self
  • Daan: generosity, charity, sharing with others

My only hope is that let it be any yogi or sadhvi, maulvi or padri who gets elected to the state or national assemblies, if they conduct themselves in line with what has been stated in the religious scriptures, I have no issues at all, but moment I find things moving towards communal disharmony, religious ill feelings, fanaticism, forcing your beliefs on someone, inciting communal violence, polarising the public and so forth then for them there should be no place in politics as such. India is a free country and free speech, if such things have to be done should be done outside the realms of parliament and its proceedings.

What I want the yogi to bring in a new thrust and josh in terms of a clean image, being impartial to all. An honest government which is unbiased and unprejudiced, fair, just and open minded, without deceit, balanced, without favour or favouritism, practical and focussed, forthright and cooperative, dedicated and approachable to everyone because it is the peoples mandate given by the people of UP. At least the results say so, isn’t it?

I wish people of UP and Yogi Aditya Nath luck for the challenging times ahead. I hope that all the dreams and promises he carries with him and of his party he can fulfil. I also pray that people of UP allow him to function and bring in the change and development he wants to rather than starting on a wrong note of blaming him to be the religious minded hot headed kind. Let this yogi work with all the qualities of a yogi within his beloved state so that all the dalits, shoshits peeriths, vanchits, pichhray eat the fruits of progress that are going to come with this new government along with the general category of the common man. Will this thought of mine come true? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

THE RAKSHA MANTRI OF INDIAs JOB IS FOR ME

THE RAKSHA MANTRI OF INDIAs JOB IS FOR ME

Rumours were one thing which we were told to stay away from while in the forces. Now that I am a veteran, I can at least hear rumours and get carried away by them. I saw RM becoming the CM and another CM being considered to become the RM. Well, Mr Parrikar is already on his Goan beaches but who will fill his void is the rumour. Personally, I have nothing against anyone but technically I can guarantee, if a person of non defence background can do the job of the RM then I definitely can do it 439.09% better. If not then Ghasita Ram Halwai will also fit into the job. The PM is now pushing this country’s luck too far to dream of the unthinkable. My apprehensions will be confirmed that “andha bante rewri apne apne ko de”. Irony is that my armed forces will now have to “reinvent” warfare once again if this rumour is anywhere near to be true.

As a CM of a state he may be doing wonders but at the national level if the PM is seeing the potential of putting some CM as the RM then there must be something in him. My issue is not with this person, but what I am going to ask the PM is that he has a few well trained armed forces veterans, duly elected and rearing to go to do something for the armed forces. Then why has he not thought about them. I talk of Ex Army Chief, Gen VK Singh and Maj Gen BC Khanduri. Gen VKS is looking after foreign affairs well and Gen Khanduri has been a CM of a state, with an illustrious Army career, as also a fruitful political tenure in his kitty. With their experience as ground soldiers could there be a better choice to be RM of this country. Many veterans also wear the political caps, so if the cabinet of ministers could be shuffled sometime back, why can’t RM be a veteran that too with firsthand experience?

I can understand that the parliamentary committee decides who gets which portfolio but may I know from the PM what the criterion is for RM? Who decides such an important appointment? The RM is virtually on the mat answering for all shady defence deals. He is fighting war, terrorism, insurgency, shortages of men, material, equipment and ammunition from the deserts of Rajasthan to the icy heights of Siachen? Well, I won’t quote Field Marshal Sam Bahdur here who knew that they don’t know the difference between a guerrilla and a gorilla, a magazine and a magazine, a gun and a howitzer. Will a netaji know the difference between a phased array radar and an over the horizon radar, the difference between LC and LoC? He won’t know the difference between the Radcliff line and the McMahon line. He might know the actor Mac Mohan as Samba of Sholay fame. He won’t know the difference between the hitch knot and a reef knot and he would be dealing with submarines of the nuclear kinds. Will he know hand and flag signals? I am sure he would know light signals as was done in the movie Titanic. Would he know that there is something called a rotor down wash or nape of earth flying? Will he know that the most important nut in a helicopter is called the Jesus nut?

My questions continue. Will he explain the difference between a two men trench and an LMG trench? Will he understand a crow bar, of course he would know of a crow and a bar girl. Will he know the difference between a safety catch and a safety match, Shikari position and dhava position? Will he know chizen 6-S aur ek-M ki vajah se dikhti hain? Will he know what a bridge head is? He may know an ex girlfriend called Bridgett all right. Will he be able to pronounce Taknakpaktso? Will he know the difference between “tashi dileg” and “julle”? I am sure he must have seen this movie called Julie 100 times. Navy guys you better avoid saying “aye-aye” sir, or it may be misconstrued as saying something about his mom in Marathi.

He might be navigating on the GPS of his mobile phone alright, but can he indicate targets seeing through his Eye ball Mark-II. Can he tell me as to how many degrees are there in his hands? I hope he doesn’t refer this to his geometry teacher or a palmist? In defence there is no politics. Things are either black or white. We don’t like the shades of grey. We identify friends from foe. We love our friends and eliminate our foes. Yes, the only thing we don’t know is politics of any kind.

If the qualification of the defence minister is to sit in south block and just sign deals, then I am the best person. I can assure you, the Finance Minister will dread coming in front of me because I shall sit right in front of his office till he gives me funds. The transport minister will have to stop all projects and work on the border roads till the time I am satisfied that all posts and my last man is well connected. Pakistan will tremble because they shall be getting 10 times the dose of each cease fire violation. All the fodder that the media gets about food not being good, shahayaks etc will be sorted out within days of my taking over. All welfare schemes for the ex-servicemen would be implemented within the first year. War widows and orphans would be my personal responsibility for which I shall create a special wing in my ministry. All cases in any courts pending will be sorted out on priority and no one will be begging for his rights. Yes Mr PM, all my manpower in terms of officers and men will be made up even if I have to make another Indian Military Academy and National Defence Academy or both. Defence of my country and morale of my men will be my first priority always and every time. There will be no income tax for any fauji, serving or retired whatsoever. If kissans and doctors have this privilege so will we have it? If you won’t listen to me, I will sit in front of your office Mr PM till you condescend to the needs of this RM. Do you have the guts to take me?

I know the answers to all questions I asked above. Be rest assured Mr PM I will do it if I have said it provided you give me a chance. We are waiting for the promised ache din. Sir, you have qualified manpower for the most coveted post. If you don’t appoint them, then I am available. They chose to become dhotiwalas to understand the political system and are now waiting for you to give a nod. If you don’t appoint veterans, then may I request all veterans in the present cabinet to resign? Will they? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

THE RACE ONLY TO WIN

What will change after the change of parties in various states? May be some priorities of work will change, may be pace of work may change. If it increases, it may be for the betterment but if it is otherwise then heavens help us. May be the style of working will change, may be nothing may change also. What is the difference between people of any state? Is it their mental levels? Is it their intellectual levels? Is it their educational levels? Is it their working capacity levels? What is different if one is from one party or the other? Isn’t our basic Indian mentality the same? When the aim is clear that it is development of a state, then how does the political inclination or ideology matter? Will roads be built faster? Will jobs be created faster? Will education become uniform and world class? Will poverty be alleviated with a snap of a finger? What will it be? I am not sure, nor do I want to conjecture, but this much is sure that it all will be kind of new brooms, only thing is that time will tell whether they sweep better or otherwise.

Let me hypothetically imagine that BJP has won in a state and makes a new government. Firstly, will they be able to change the projects which have already been budgeted and passed for the financial year? Will it happen that all the projects in hand started by the previous government be scrapped? Will the same happen with the welfare schemes for the needy and poor? Or will a fresh set of needy and poor be created to justify new expenditure of funds, I don’t know. Will the old names of schemes be changed for the heck of it to bring a fresh lease of life to the existing ones? This will of course cost time and money. For their implemetation there will be long hours spent debating in state assemblies. Will it be that new lotus ponds will come up at every nook and corner replacing the elephants and other animals? Will the cycles be now hung from every pillar and post to say time for them to go?

I still can’t understand that except for pulling in more central funds as the colour of the flag is same, can there be any drastic changes in the states which have decided to exchange the baton with a fresh set of athletes. The goal is the same, the track is the same, time elapsed will be a shade plus minus, but will one party or one man change the destiny of the complete state. I have my doubts.

I am of the opinion; everyone who comes to power actually plays with the lives of the people by experimenting. They bring in schemes and procedures which according to them are considered best. They try to implement them at the cost of the tax payers’ money. The bureaucracy is told the idea and ordered to work out the scheme, keeping loop holes for the obvious, “draining the exchequer”. If I have to bring in some change in my house, I think 10 times, consult 20 people, see 30 shops, reject 40 designs and then finalise something. Say, to change the education system, can it be different from the national education system, or should it be different from the national education system. To prove a point these politicians will induce certain changes just to appease their clientele.

I also want to question the very selection of candidates. Do we have a picture in mind that if so and so candidate wins, he will be the best fit for this job? Or is it that we shall field in the most popular candidate for a particular constituency, who has chances of winning, if he wins we shall fit him in for this job. The uncertainty of winning or losing is till the last moment, then once a person wins thereafter heads get together in “parliamentary committees” that who shall get what, irrespective of their areas of specialisation in case they have any. Well, I am expecting too much, actually I have yet to see ministers being employed and deployed as per their “qualifications” and “proficiencies”. It is who is close to the party president, or who has requested for a certain portfolio well before the elections results. I don’t know if a price tag is put on certain ministers both at the centre and states that for position ‘A’ the candidate may have to deposit or spend X amount for party purposes in return. You never know, what I say might be true and if it is true nothing will change this nation.

I have yet to understand that if your road is potholed and broken, changing your old car with a Ferrari racing car will be disastrous in real terms. In the same light, if we see, the racing track is the same, the hazardous are the same, the pit stops are the same, the support staff is the same, the length of the arena is the same then the difference between the first car and the last car will only be of a few seconds. The only thing is that the cost of tickets which I call taxes for the common man may keep increasing. The spectators who can’t afford to see the race will hang on to trees and buildings to watch the race. They may not get the preferential treatment that accrues while sitting in the race track to buy drinks and snacks because they will never be able to afford them anyhow. The common man will never understand the nitty-gritty’s of “racing” by which I mean by politics, they will never know the tactics employed to win the race, they may never know what unfair means which were used to win, but yes by virtue of so many people attending the race, they too might make a fast buck.

The driver of a racing car has to be an expert, same for the political contest, but the support team has to be the best. The racing teams do not change their staff for ages, as every man has a specialised expertise and here I see them as the bureaucrats. You may send them to different race tracks, but the basic domain remains the same. The cars might change, the company might change, the cheer leaders might change, but the race does not change, the race track does not change, the goal to perform does not change, the will to win does not change, the thrill to win also does not change.

Well friends, whether it is BJP, Congress, SP winning or losing or AAP making headway makes no difference to me. It is the team which matter to me, their motivation to work for the masses which matters, their coordinated efforts for one goal which will matter. Above all, what matters is their character, their integrity and their loyalty to the nation and their state. I find all this lacking in most of our politicians. If they rise above petty party politics once elected and address issues of the country, I shall let it pass, but I am not willing to accept a team which may stall the progress of my country for personal, political, or party’s ideological reasons? Will we have India as a winner, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

MY NATIONAL CHARACTER

ISIS is at our door step. When did it creep in? How did it creep in? Why did it creep in? How long will it stay in? I don’t even want to make an educated guess. Are we citizens sleeping? Are we true citizens of this country that we can’t even keep an eye on our neighbourhood? What kind of parents are we that we don’t know what our child is doing? As I see things today, it is only when such incidents come to light that people start sermonising about what, why, when and how should things have been done. Who is to be blamed? Why was there an intelligence failure etc? Only when such events affect us personally that we actually start reporting all that we see and hear. Then we want full police protection and cooperation to get over the crisis but the first step which should have been taken by us to report anything unusual gets missed out in the din of events. It is time to wake up dear countrymen. It is time we be more vigilant.

I do not blame this individual who would have given his house on rent to the terrorists. Well, he needs to earn something on his investment. One coolly assumes that the antecedents of this person who is renting his house would be good. Blind faith and too much of trust, nothing can go wrong with me and “chalta hai” attitude are killing this country. We have no time and inclination to find out if he is a student, where is his college, does he have an authenticated identity card. If this man has come to work, which shop or organisation does he work for, its location, the owners etc. Issue here is that in India most of the people who do business have no proper procedure of hiring people. A wage or salary is fixed and payment is made in cash, that’s it. There are no details to verify background of this person. Today, proof of identity can be obtained if the right people have been greased at the right places. Date of birth certificates, domicile certificates, panchayat certificates, ration cards, driving licence, and even mobile sim cards, all can be obtained at a fee. Least realising what damage are we doing to the fabric of this country for our petty gains.

We want security, but we don’t have faith in our security providers. If I need to lodge a police complain, unless it is against a specific person, police won’t entertain your FIR. They will grill you till you are roasted charred and fed up. They dissuade you with all negative repercussions. They also put a fear in your mind if any of your statement comes out false. They make you sit the whole night and as their shift changes, the next person has as much patience to wait for you to get irritated and withdraw the complaint. Our police are not user friendly; I say so with my personal experience, whatever anyone may claim. You seem to be the accused rather than the other way around, thus one fears to cooperate due to unnecessary harassment. If this is the attitude of our law keepers, then how should I approach them? Every time a wardi wala comes for surveillance, even for your passport a 500 ka patta has to be parted with. Once your phone number gets registered in a Thana, please be ready to get calls at unearthly hours for all purposes including employing a son of a constable in your company for the FIR to make any head way.

Our population is increasing in geometric progressions, our systems are corrupted, our policing is third rate, our politics is divisive, our character is dubious, our judiciary is slower than snails, our laws are outdated, our bureaucracy is only red tape, our parliament doesn’t function, many of  our parliamentarians are history sheeters, our people are not honest, our milk, water etc is adulterated, our medicines are duplicate, our education system is deplorable, our pollution levels are the highest, our agriculture is declining, our housing is falling grossly short, our transportation is rickety, our food is unhygienic and costly, our toilets are in the open, urinals are walls and trees, our industries are shutting shop, our banking is facing issues, our women are unsafe, our children are insecure. Terrorism is now in the hinterland. Anything left to curse except my own country or am I talking about Pakistan. Above all, I don’t have any patience. I need a fast buck, a big house, a nice car, and decent meals. It is I me myself. Nothing else matters to me.

Politicians on the other hand want masses to remain uneducated so that they can be easily disillusioned, brainwashed and made to vote in their favour. They cash on the negatives of others, spread communal hatred, communalise the public till elections are won thereafter evaporate into thin air. They deal in black money that too in cash. They deal with all kinds of mafia. They do benami purchases. They eat out of party funds. They mobilise funds by illegal means. They do not want the people to understand the reality of politics. They make policies to suit themselves. That’s what I am the true Indian politician.

If this is my personal character and the state of my country then who shall I say is bothered about anything? Governments can claim that they are doing one window clearances, but to reach that window one has to go the same old bribery way. The government claims that infrastructure is being built at a fast pace, but it is way behind the requirement. People are not parting with land; people are illegally occupying government land, above all people are encroaching on land falling in path of developmental projects to get better compensation. Can this nation then progress? Can there be a national character assigned to all of us.

Unemployment has reached to such levels that people with post graduate degrees are way under employed and under salaried. Government people don’t work and nether let you work. Files and cases are buried deep under the red tape. Even a peon asks for “bakshish” to take you to any office. We as a nation lack that sense of Indianess, our souls are sold, and our minds are one tracked, paisa and only paisa. Paisa for my next ten generations, property for my sons and their sons, what nonsense!

It is easy to say a chai wala has become our PM and I also see that he carries a vision to take India forward. He too is part of us so at times he forgets he is the PM of India. Our infighting with ideologies as political parties, our personal differences as netas, our power struggle for that one chair, may be it panchayat elections to the Presidents elections, everything is put at stake. How then can we justify that yes we as a nation have that moral fibre to engage with the world? Can this be done by our PM alone or for that matter any government? In any case the government does everything during an earthquake, flood tsunami, draught, avalanche, landslide or any manmade disaster including war? But, is only the government accountable to build the nation? Do we as citizens owe some responsibilty too like character building?

Let us citizens start by paying our taxes sincerely. Let us start by cleaning just 25 meters around our homes. Let us citizens just contribute a little to build a strong Indian character to keep our country out of all harms length. Can we? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

MY BLOOD IS STILL OLIVE GREEN

“Shaheedon ki chitaon par lagenge har baras mele,
Watan par marne walon ka yahi baki nishaan hoga”

Well, jo watan par mit chuke aaj unhe koi poochta nahi, par jinhone watan par mitne ke liye kasam khayi thi aur aaj seva nivrit ho chuke hain unko kab aur kaun poochega, is the question which is eating me up from inside. We as a community are left to be seen only for our march past skills on the republic day. A few of us who still live with those small little roundels on our chest are left with half a clap by the crowd which is sitting along the Raj path, as everyone is busy either checking the parade menu, or is distracted by a flying aircraft, or has his attention to spot some VIP. Most of them are busy holding on to their seat and one for his relative. The parade continues to march past even if it rains, but the crowd runs for cover or the nearest umbrella which they can find. So friends of the uniformed community, including veterans, let us not live in a make belief world, the ground reality is that everyone is too busy with his own life and priorities. Unfortunately, after the parade even national flags are thrown on the road side. If one has a spot quiz, 90% of the people will not know the marching contingents that participated, leave alone the types of tanks, missiles or radars on parade. If you will ask them who was the parade commander? You are bound to draw a blank. Yes, they might tell you how many riders were there in the motorcycle display, or how much they enjoyed a particular state tableau. Yes how many horses did potty will be answered without hesitation. Why has this thought run across my mind is what I want to share with my friends.

Pakistan is said to be bleeding us with a thousand cuts, but now our own media is bleeding us with 1001, I feel. The nation stands behind us we know and are convinced, but is the media with us? I am very unsure. Reasons I shall discuss as we go by.

I got back from our weekly shopping yesterday around 9 PM, so decided to see the news. Moment I saw Gen GD Bakshi on a channel I paused to listen in. I found all the Lone’s, Rashid’s, Dar’s and a couple of more Kashmiri’s in the thick of battle, ganged up together trying to pelt words which were deadlier than bullets at our General and a Major. How they spoke to the veterans and about the country was not palatable to me at all. I felt hurt as they left me bruised and battered, mentally if not physically. The dissent mongers continued unabated with the same old rant, courtesy our democracy, and free speech. I find them now openly accusing and abusing our armed forces for all the chaos there. I really got cheesed off and switched off the TV to think that why we the veterans are allowing these media channels to tear us apart. If media is so passionate about the country, then why isn’t the whole media in Kashmir to see and report the other side of the ground realities? TV studios are fine, who stops them to expose who is at fault from ground zero. Let investigative journalism be seen.

A few days back a jawan committed suicide, reason was media. Poor guy spoke something, which was recorded by a journo, without his knowledge and the result, one family devastated, one regiment broken, one trained soldier less for falling prey to media. We have journalists, who have the audacity to debate what our army chief should say or not say. My foot! They have the cheeks to question his choice of words, my second foot! Well thanks to free speech and your democracy again. They are the ones who go hammer and tongs after our Ex Air Chief for the chopper scam. Where does their morality and love for the forces evaporate then? One damn recruitment paper for other ranks is leaked it becomes news headlines where as things like vyapam, the Bihar cheating cases are ticker news not even headlines.  People of the Ms Dutt fame rose to lime light from the Kargil conflict, now sympathise with a terrorist called Burhan Wani in garb of balanced coverage. I wish I had a third foot. A jawan reports bad food being served, such news and debates continue ad nauseam. We as a community are just stay mum. What do these journalists know how we keep ourselves fed and why do we starve in certain circumstances? Will they know when an encounter is on, food and rest are priority 99? Just because they have a licence to yap, they find us as easy targets because we are straight, simple and forthright people. Shame!

Till today the OROP agitation continues at jantar mantar without any breach of disciple? Have you heard more than half a word in the last one month on any channel? Is it because the government has gagged them? Is the media shit scared to go against the government? Then they say they are not paid media? If the media thinks it is so powerful, or can change things in the country then stop covering the rallies of the PM. Have you guys got the guts? Stop covering any poll campaigns in any state, your channels will be declared bankrupt in two days. Stop sensationalising and covering wailing mothers, wives and children of martyrs, I would suggest go and find out who was responsible for this soldiers death. Expose to the nation the real nexus of this militancy and terrorism. I feel heartbroken when I see those images, I feel pained when you shove the mike into the mouths of shattered mothers, wives, friends, and children. Questions like “Aap bare hoke kya banoge”?  It is easy to interview Burhan wani’s father, but leave alone the father of a soldier who has just lit his son’s funeral pyre.

You people do not know what paces every man in uniform has to go through. You people will never understand the pain with which a person turns into a veteran on one fine day. Remember you friends of the media, we still have the colour of our uniform as the colour of our blood in our body and I proudly say my blood is OLIVE GREEN. How many of you have sent your children to be part of the armed forces? Though, some of you are children of armed forces fraternity alright. Today, every time I see the national flag, I first salute the “Nishan” of this country of which I still eat “Namak” by virtue of being a pensioner. The “Naam” of my nation comes first always and every time. So what I have grown old and weak. I may walk with a walking stick or on a wheel chair but I still feel proud to display medals on my chest. I still do not dither to motivate young minds to join the uniformed community at every opportunity I get. I am a veteran, I have done my duty for my country, and I shall continue doing so till my last breath. Will you guys of the media now leave my community alone? We have a herculean task of keeping the integrity and sovereignty INDIA to maintain. If we falter on our duty, you guys will be extinct. Yes, we can do mistakes, and admit it like a man. We are punished promptly because my system cannot stand defaulters. Is that the same on your side? Then why am I treated as a third rate citizen to be pitted against separatists, terrorist, militant supporters, Pakistani loyalists, and people with anti India sentiments by you all.

My humble request to you all is to get hold of the real culprits of this nation, expose them, and tear them apart. You actually know the culprits. Use them as your cannon fodder if you really want this country to reach greater heights. Do not make us scapegoats and please do not fire guns from our shoulders. I won’t curse you as you are my fellow countrymen, but are you going to listen to the plea of this Unknown Soldier? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

OUR YOUTH THINK DIFFERENTLY

It was amazing to see the “Yuva-Shakti” on the streets of Delhi in the last few days. Thousands of them, beating the heat, with the tri colour raised above their heads, marching with an aim so as to be heard loud and clear that do not mess with us or we can bring our capital city to a grinding halt. Media was on high alert as always with its reporters all around the campuses, following each and every small move. Live news debates and coverage continued continuously. Police was on tenterhooks making longer and stronger human chains, just in case the animal within the crowd gets unleashed. Politicians keeping mum, just in case they are dragged into some uncalled for controversy. Gurmehar bore the brunt of all this for no rhyme or reason. Kiran Rijiju who was always politically correct as usual about what he tweeted. Well, overall it was more of a political rally of kinds, where students just to prove that they have a fundamental right of free speech, came on to the roads. Icing on the cake was the professors too joining their students.  Well, “jab miyan biwi razi to kya karega Kazi”.

I still doubt that was there a need to stretch this issue so far? Was it politically motivated? Which appeared obvious, as the students wings are the extensions of the political parties they support and are funded from there too? Or was it that neither the teachers were interested in teaching nor were the students interested in studying. “Mausam” also has not gone all that hot in fact just right. Holi is around the corner, what police could have maximum done was to fire water cannons, so rain dance and pre Holi celebrations could have been enjoyed free of cost. Dad and mom will never know as we will avoid the camera, many must have gone loitering in the malls and cinema halls of Delhi and NCR, by evening one had to head home also. So call off this chaos at an earthly hour, otherwise justifying it would be difficult.

I like the show of strength and solidarity by the students. They can unite, fight, abuse, break all norms of decency, now a day’s there is something called trolling as per the new norms of social media; they can threaten, pressurise and bully anyone and everyone. I better watch out. Students can block streets, they engage the police on all nonsensical duties other than what they are supposed to do, they can incite the politicians to give fiery bhashans and discuss the pros and cons on TV debates till cows come home. They all know that to find from where the issue actually started is like finding a needle in a 100 haystacks, so cover it up by mobbing it. Girls are also smart enough to jump into the fray to cover up for the rest. Boys are no less; many must have taken the advantage of the situation and would have definitely troubled the girls from the opposing camps. I know it is done from both camps. The MCs and BCs are given equally by boys and girls, besides the other adjectives laced with superlatives. The F**K word is used like S**T word of the erstwhile times. The CH*****A word is like saying bewakoof gadhe. Not the Gujarat wale gadhe kinds, but the actual ones.

How many man and woman hours of study were wasted? How many hours of uncalled for police deployment? How many additional hours the engines of various vehicles had to run for whatever reasons, wasting fuel? How many TV channels and their reporters earned their living thanks to the students? How many road side eateries enjoyed your company friends? Overall, what did you achieve in the end? Well, justifications and arguments will never end as to who is right and who is wrong. Seriously, people of my age are not interested in it at all. Friends, if you guys are really interested in Desh seva, let me give you a piece of advice, take it or leave it, join the armed forces. I can assure you, the first test you shall come across after the initial screening; if you are capable enough to pass that would be the group discussion. All your communication and convincing skills will be tested out within 15 minutes. As you shall progress in those tests, you will get a chance to do some public speaking too. Yes, instead of climbing up statues and delivering your lectures from there you may have to stand under a tree and speak. I am sure you guys and gals will do a wonderful job.

It intrigues me that why should students be on the road when their place is inside the classrooms? Why are debates on the streets when they should be debating amongst themselves? I fail to understand why dirty linen should be washed in public? I am also surprised that for a comment which someone doesn’t like, I can be threatened to the extent of rape and death on face book and twitter? Where are we heading? Is this what we are taught in schools colleges and homes? Is this part of our upbringing? Is this going to be my future generation of this country and through us shall emerge our political leaders? Is this right? Is this justifiable? Shouldn’t it be confined within the campuses itself? How can these students hold the country’s capital to ransom? Why can’t their professors control them? Why is the college management so inefficient? Or should I blame our democracy for this?

I just know this much that none of these students would like to live without their father. As for Gurmehar’s case, her father was a martyr of this nation. For the other fortunate ones your fathers are living with you, caring and cuddling you, supporting you, being available to you when you need them, financing you, worrying about you, guiding you, scolding you, holding you, offering his shoulder when you cry. Most of you cannot fathom it at all. War kills, Pakistan kills, terrorist kills, is not the argument. He got killed not for you to hold this country to ransom, but to give you space and freedom to debate what you like. He sacrificed himself for this country, for you to live another day to come to college and study, which I see you people are not interested in. He and I contributed taxes so that the funding of your colleges can be done and infrastructure be created for you to be in the lecture halls and not on the streets. He stopped these evil terrorist by taking a bullet on his chest, and here you slap each other, grope each other, pull hair and tear clothes like goondas. Think about it friends, you shall lead this country soon. I won’t like to be lead by hooligans like you.

Is it our flawed education system? Is it lack of discipline? Is it too much of freedom? Is it too much of democracy? Is it taking advantage of the system? Is it a cover for something else? Is this the way we learn the basics of politics? Is this how we groom our future leaders? Is this really true freedom of speech and expression? Is this acceptable to the parents of these students? Is it acceptable to the political leaders whose party they support? Will these guys ever understand the pains of sons and daughters of martyrs’? Will these boys and girls use their education for the purpose of taking this nation forward? Will these guys learn to give some izzat to the fallen soldiers and their kin? Will they ever join the armed forces? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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