Noel Ellis's Official Blog

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

Tag: TRAFFIC DISCIPLINE (Page 1 of 2)

METRO MENTALITY

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While working in Mumbai I have used jam packed public transport, faced traffic snarls and escaped the monsoon deluge. I have also walked to office in knee deep water. I used to travel through Dharavi and smelt the stench and experienced the slowest moving traffic ever. People had right of way; traffic could wait even on a green light there. You had your eyes concentrating on people, one foot on the clutch, second on the brake, hand on the horn and an abuse on your lips. I have yet to see a foot over bridge or any effort of de-congest it.

People don’t want to move out from metros. Gurgaon is an example. You name a corporate it is there. The chain of malls I saw for the first time left me dumbfounded.

It reminded me of one our first ever visit to a mall in 2004. My wife, daughter and cousins decided to do our Christmas shopping. As we were done, I found a Barista counter near the main entrance. We sat down to have coffee. Suddenly there was commotion and people started to leave. I was observing this exodus sitting facing the entrance door.

I walked across to the gate to find the same thing happening on the opposite side malls too. Desperate honking and fanatic waving was going on. I asked the security what it is. He said there is a bomb scare in the mall opposite. I told myself don’t panic Noel and walked across to my gang sipping coffee. Kya Hua was the typical question and kuch nahi, relax was my typical answer.

I mentally started making escape routes as I had no idea of gurgaon. We had a few shopping bags and our new Christmas tree. Daughter was barely three. First thing I did was picked her up and made her sit on my shoulders so that my hands were free as I felt at home carrying a “pithoo”.

We had parked about a mile away in a private plot as their underground parking was full.  Outside there was only chaos. Road was jammed because all husbands or drivers who had gone to fetch their vehicles were now waiting for their better halves. Some cars had brushed each other so that typical Ma-Behen was on between drivers. No one bothered that there are others who need to use this road. In fact it was an eerie kind of panic as no one knew what the situation was. Everyone just wanted to flee.

I heard that NSG had been called in so I understood matter is serious better evaporate before something blasts. We reached our parking lot. My cousin knew a route which was not blocked. By then it was shocking to see people had by now put their small kids on car roofs and handed them ice creams. I thought to myself, look at our mentality, people are now in time pass mode and have come to witness a “tamasha”.

Police was nowhere to be seen, red lights which were functional when we came were no more functional. Some people tried the smart act of taking U turns at the red light had added to the chaos blocking both sides. There was no method in this madness.

I told my cousin lets scoot before we are trapped. We reached the main highway zig-zagging & went up the flyover; one only saw headlights and bright red tail lights glowing for miles. We reached home and said a prayer and hoped there would be no blast of any kind.

The Bomb Disposal Squad with their sniffer dogs had to alight well short of IFFCO chowk due to the jam. They could carry only hand held equipment and by the time the dogs reached the mall they were tired and had to be rested before they could start their job. Mera Bharat Mahan!

People celebrated all night, Chana-Mungfali, Ice cream-Bhutta walas had a ball. Water was sold at price of petrol. Cars ran out of petrol as the jam could not be cleared till the wee hours of the morning adding to further chaos. No one left their cars or cleared the area either. It turned out to be a hoax call.

In our village here traffic gets jammed due to tourists. They break lanes, halt at will, without being sensitive to the limited road space. I prefer my scooter to go to market. It is easy to manoeuvre, easy to park and can wriggle trough any jam, besides carry our weekly shopping with ease. Thank God we are far from a metro. Will our basic Indian mentality ever change? I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

THE BEST CAREER

As I sit back and look at the journey of my life, had I continued in the Indian Army, I would have retired at the end of this month. In the civil where I work with now, I may go on for another 6 years if all goes well. Well, I am not sure will I be able to last that long because of my nature which does not go very well in civil, which is to take a stand for my subordinates or for something which my conscious does not allow. Well, this attitude has cost me my job many times. I still continue to bash on regardless without bothering about the outcome.

This brings me to a question. Which is the right profession then? What can be termed as a satisfying career? In which job can you keep working till the day you like, keep earning and enjoy the best of life? Is it the forces? The answer is an absolute no. Is it the corporate? My answer is an absolute no again. I find two professions which might fit in the bill. One is to become a politician and the other is to become a holy man.

Be that as it may, the thought that triggered me to write this piece was the way armed forces are being used in the country today. It has been proved that the forces will come to the rescue of this nation for anything and everything including building a foot over bridge or cleaning the mountains besides all that we keep doing routinely in Aid to Civil Authorities. Why do we do it so professionally? It is because this comes from the ethos the men and women in uniform imbibe in them.

The simple formula we follow is Z-KIT-BM. The landmarks (Zamini Nishan) are given to get familiar with the terrain and area of responsibility, the information of both, own side and the enemy is given in great detail (Khabar dushman ki aur Khabar apni), the aim (Irada) of the operation is made crystal clear. It is short, crisp and precise. The modus operandi (Tarika) is then told so that no doubts are left lingering, including various contingencies. Thereafter, we discuss the administration (bandobast) and finally are the communications (Milap) between all parties participating in the operation.

Last but not the least we also synchronise our watches (Ghari Milao). This is the most important ritual, as we do things time bound. We then get to work even without orders. In case our leader becomes a causality or is not available, the next senior assumes his position automatically. We work, we rest and we get back to work again amidst all chaos till we achieve our aim as given out in the Irada. We fight till the last man last round, if rounds finish we get our bayonets on, if bayonets break, we don’t give up even then, we use are bare hands to achieve the aim even if we perish in the process. That’s our culture.

All this I do not see happening in the civil. First, I find the main aim is “paisa banao” (make money). Second, is to paisa bachao (save money), by not paying well and cutting down on salaries, amenities and manpower. To achieve greater heights the formula becomes lick, lick and lick. Butter every side of the toast. The formula used is, “KAAM NA KARO, KAAM KI FIQR KARO AUR FIQR KA ZIQR APNE BOSS KO ZAROOR KARO” (Don’t work, just worry about work and keep telling your boss that how worried you are) is the key to success. Secondly, for any fault, blame all and sundry rather than own up responsibility. Make someone the scapegoat. Let truth never prevail. If caught, run away or go to court.

Sit long hours in office twiddling your thumbs. In fact your boss does the same but apparently it should appear that you are the most sincere employee. Bring a pin and describe the process as if you bought an aeroplane. Discuss it repetitively in all meetings the efforts you put in to research about it, the hurdles you faced in the selection process, the difficulty with which you could convince people to pass your budget, not to forget how many mails you sent and the paper work you did. How you almost visited the vendor, got the pin loaded and followed it through every octroi post. Blame the delay on the non cooperation by some who did not give a crane to unload this pin especially if you hold a personal grudge against him. At the end expect a complimentary mail for you to keep in record to show it during your appraisal. Life actually sucks.

The profession of babas and baby’s I don’t have to discuss. Politics I don’t know and about politicians I won’t utter a word. One thing I may like to tell the people who run this country is that, Sirs, if you don’t make the profession of the Armed Forces the best career option in this country, if you don’t give the serving and the veterans their dues and Izzat, then your profession will be jeopardy someday. Politics as a career is alright but will you be able think beyond the petty politics and pay heed to the writings on the wall called “Khabar Apni”? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

IN CONVERSATION WITH CATHERINE

Catherine and I were driving down to Alibaug over the weekend when we struck up a conversation. I was listening to the stereo and my wife was appreciating the music system and the stereo effects. Catherine was not enjoying the drive at all; actually the same was the case with me. Reasons were many. One was the dilapidated condition of the road and the pot holes. Besides, the village dogs accosting us barking at their loudest and snarling with their dirty teeth. Hens along with their chicks thought the road was for them.  Worst of all was the chaotic traffic jams. Above all the weekend crowd who were pouring into our territory by the dozens. They were blocking traffic in garb of purchasing something or asking for directions in these narrow alleys. Quite a frustrating kind of a drive it was all in low gear.

I ignored her and kept my concentration on driving but there were pieces of the conversation which kept striking me again and again as she asked me the first question. Have you paid road tax? I said yes and that to a hefty amount. After a pause she asked me, why are there so many pot holes then? I had no answer. She told me, Noel, please take me out on a long and majestic drive, where the road surface is smooth, maybe on expressways where the thrill of driving can be enjoyed. It appears that here every time we venture out she is worried about checking out how long will the suspension hold and she told me that this way it won’t take long to give away. I just kept quiet and listened.

The next question she asked me that do you pay toll tax? I told her yes and where ever my ID card works I don’t. She said never mind, you have actually paid life time toll tax by serving the Indian Army, so I won’t ask you again, however, she continued to say that where does this toll money  collected  from the other vehicles disappear. I said I don’t know and continued focusing on the oncoming traffic and the huge potholes.

I was wondering to myself, that last year I saw lot of work going on this road. I used to have a smooth ride but where has the road vanished. This must be happening year after year and taxes which were being collected going down the drain. I again started to listen to the stereo and this time I changed the channel of my choice. I got lost in the music and lyrics as we were getting close to our destination.

Catherine was in a chirpy mood and threw another question at me. She said do you pay income tax? I replied in the affirmative. I am sure that some portion of that must also be allocated to the development of infrastructure in this country. I said surely it must be the case, I am not sure of the percentages. She appeared to be questioning the government head on. She continued to quiz me, see why there are so many accidents on the road? I said reckless driving! She said yes, just then two bikes whizzed past overtaking us from the wrong side and missed hitting us by a whisker. The basic reason is that the infrastructure is not being planned as per our expansion of population she said. I could not agree with her more. Her observation was that our population is exploding and so is purchase of vehicles but government is not making better and broader roads. I said yes. After a while she said, it is time for the government to wake up and I just kept mum.

A little ahead Catherine again poked me. I said now what and she said, you pay income tax, professional tax, GST and all the other taxes which the tax man can think of. I replied to her that it appears that you have got hold of a book on finance. She wanted to know where each and every pie went. I actually didn’t know. I looked at the setting sun from out of the window and thought to myself that yes she is right; over these years I couldn’t even hide one paisa of my income and all my taxes go down the drain, without much of accountability and returns.

At last Catherine blurted, I don’t want to be a dented and painted car for no fault of mine. I told her that I shall definitely convey her concerns to the people who matter. I then requested her to just keep quiet for a while as my wife watched the moon rise from the other side. I switched over to John Denver singing “Country Roads, take me home”, on the car stereo.

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

JAI HIND & JAI KASHMIR

I got a chance to listen to the PMs Independence Day speech only late in the day. The phrase that caught my ears was “Na Goli se, Na Gaali se Kashmir ka masla hal hoga Kashmiri ko gale lagane se” and words to that effect (Neither with bullets nor with abuses can we resolve the problem of Kashmir; it can be resolved only by embracing them). Well PM Sahib, I have an issue here with what you said. On one hand you say that you won’t leave any “ATANKWADI” or his supporter, right. On the other hand you want to embrace Kashmiri’s some of them who are militants. On one hand you see a role of security forces; on the other hand you don’t want to fire a bullet. On one hand you don’t want to talk to Pakistan till it behaves as they understand only gaali’s, right. You also want to teach Pak a lesson for what it does in Kashmir. You want peace and prosperity in Kashmir without getting the elected representatives of Kashmir moving. Now you come out with this goli-gaali Jumla. I am now thoroughly confused sir, what do you mean and how do you propose to do what you say?

You want the Central Government to work hand in glove with the state government, right. If I understand correctly that funding to Kashmir that has been going on till now shall continue like hither to fore, right. Everyone will know the package you announce but no one will know how it will be utilized. The Kashmiri politician will know where and how it has to be utilised but the Kashmiri population you want to embrace will not know where the hell this fund has gone. The State government will demand more and you will give more from your benevolent funds that you have at your disposal. I as a tax payer and a contributor to your funds will never know on what scheme was this money spent on ever. Your FM will account for every “paai” he releases and announce it to the world but how much will be swindled, mis-utilised and seep out of the system, no one will ever come to know. I don’t have to remind you about terrorist funding Sir, which needs to be eliminated too.

I had seen border roads organisation working and maintaining most of the roads in Kashmir, if I am correct. Most of the infrastructure projects like the rail and major highways funded from the centre employ maximum locals, right. How much more infrastructure they require can someone give a road map? Why is the Kashmiri so lethargic? Why is the pace slow? Is it because the local contractors are slow? Or is it because of the sluggish attitude of the Kashmiri people? Or is it the threat to any project by the militants which slows projects? Is it lack of supervision at the governmental level and accountability of the officials? I have seen myself, people working on projects having cups after cups of tea, discussing everything under the sun, closing shop early to reach home before sun down. PM Sahib, can a reality check be done how work is done there? You are in for surprises, if not shock.

Do we have a dearth of infrastructure companies in India? Answer is no. Then why can’t they work in Kashmir, if Kashmir is part of India? Why can’t the labour be taken from rest of India to expedite projects ultimately an Indian is working on an Indian project. Why a company has to work at the Kashmiri pace which is like get up in the morning, warm up your Firan with a Kangri, wait for the blood circulation to increase, smoke a few biris till mood to work sets in, curse the world around, look for fire wood and gucchi the whole day and by 3pm pack up and head back home. Winter months as it is there won’t be any work due to snow. During monsoons the rains stop projects, rest of the months there is hardly a window to work and one has to catch up on gossip. If GREF can take labour from Bihar and build the Tangtse-Pangong Tso road, what is the problem in Kashmir. Is work the problem or is it the work culture? I believe no one is marked absent after all it is welfare of Kashmiris.

I say, catch hold of all the stone pelters and tell them to crack boulders for the next road project. Pay them the same amount they get for pelting. Give them food and shelter till a project is completed but make them work. Question is that is he willing to work? Will he contribute to the progress of Kashmir he has dreamt of? I further say, you want to agitate; you want to protest, do it after 10 years and during this time work dedicatedly for what Kashmir needs. Let there be power generation all over. Let there be cold storage chains professionally managed all over. Let there be best of fisheries, saffron and fruit production. Let there be a full scale furniture industry, woollen garment industry, fruit canning and pickling industry. Let train and plane loads of cargo be flown in and out of Kashmir. In case of landslides and road blocks, let everything go by alternate means of transport. Is it possible?

My idea may sound absurd, bizarre, ridiculous or even silly but it is an idea worth thinking of Mr PM. Make the representatives of the people of J&K accountable to their own people. Embrace the people once they are willing to work on their dream projects. Shake up the typical lethargy of the people and let them be handled professionally. Pay them when they work, pay them on the quality of output they produce. Let the security forces help them to create an environment for their own betterment. Weed away the “gaddars” and traitors. PM Sahib you will get jhappis if your vision is made into a mission.

Let tourism flourish. Engage locals to provide security to all visiting Kashmir. Let the security forces become friends of Kashmiri people. Help the forces change Kashmiri outlook towards India and life. Let prosperity come and then let the goli be only for Pakistan and the traitors. Let gaali be only for terrorists and their supporters and jhappi for the common Kashmiri people who have been torn apart from this strife due to utter neglect, lack of vision and transparency. Create a framework for them to accept the tri-colour from their heart. Give them the dignity they deserve. Your change of stance from gali to jhappi without goli will materialise soon. Take a decision, now!

Will I ever hear JAI HIND-JAI KASHMIR there, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

INDIA NEEDS TO UNITE WITHOUT A WAR

If there will be a war with either China or Pakistan or both in the near future, are we as a country ready to cope with it? The Armed Forces will do their best I am sure. What I am sceptic about are the people who are other than armed forces including me. Are they going to do their bit for India? I know this country always unites during wars. My question is will we unite as “Indians” without and before a war? What cost will we have to pay for this unity is the big question? Can we put India first? The consequences of war will take us back by more than 50 years. How will we plough back, the very thought gives me the shivers.

Natural calamities I can understand, do take a toll. What I am afraid of is the manmade disasters like goondaism, dadagiri, corruption, bribery, fraud, dishonesty in thought and action, lynching, stalking, agitations for reservations, etc as prevalent today. Why do we destroy national assets in case we want reservations? Why do we burn our transport and buildings if we want water? I feel in case of war some people still won’t change from doing such misdeeds. It needs a miracle to change our basic character. People will still make money by hoarding, by hiding things, by manipulating, by creating an artificial shortage of certain essential goods and services. War clouds can never be wished away but trickery and deceit can definitely be avoided for the sake of this nation. Chances are that the war clouds may not rain. However, in today’s times we better be prepared for a cloud burst. Death may fall from the sky as bombs during war. Enemy can target anything, so citizens of India let’s brace ourselves up for it. Let us join hands for the nation’s sake.

Let us be prepared for rationing and curtailing of our freedoms including the press. Rationing of food grains, fuel, clothing, transport, medical care, freight, railways, air space, internet, mobile telephony and you name it. Doesn’t it look scary? Doesn’t it sound outlandish? How will we function without internet or a mobile? How will it feel when military special trains will be given priority over super fast trains? How will it feel to live with black outs? There is a difference between power cut and black out. You will have electricity but can’t switch on lights. People will still switch lights on until a bomb will find their building. How will it be to live in trenches? How will it be when suddenly you are unemployed as your industry is obliterated in an air attack? Air raid sirens blowing, you shall be rushing to shelters? From your luxurious, chauffeur driven, air conditioned BMWs, you will be sharing space with 10 others in a hot and humid bomb shelter. How will it be when all facilities that one takes for granted are suddenly withdrawn? You will be checked, frisked and questioned. Your daily routes diverted and movement restricted. It will be difficult to imagine and unacceptable to most.

Let me ask another question here, how many of the able bodied men and women would volunteer to join the forces if need be? I will request all those who send mails and messages to change ones DP to the tri-colour on Independence Day and Republic Day to be ready to join the war effort. Saying it on face book and twitter is easy, doing it on ground needs guts. Trolling on social media is easy but assaulting the enemy on the battlefield is a tough job. To stalk a girl in Chandigarh is easy but to stalk the real enemy is never done the “Barala” way. Desh Bhakti doesn’t come from the free flowing ideas in JNU but it comes from within our Indianess. It comes from our soul and not from our tongue. Singing Vandematram and shouting Jai Hind is desh prem. Having tears in your eyes when lata sings “ai mere watan ke logo” is your feelings for the soldier. Standing up for the National Anthem is our duty. Desh Bhakti actually is when one understands the meaning of each of these compositions and slogans and inculcates them in ones lives and that is the need of the time.

I am ready to offer my services again if the nation needs them. We the veterans will definitely do our bit. I request all the corporate honchos who do lots of number crunching, graphs, pie charts etc to understand that all that is fighting on paper. All that may impress your bosses. All that may get you incentives. All that may get you various awards. If you people are such experts, please volunteer to do social service during war. Promise to be a sentry of a society at night. Promise you will not do any fraud whatsoever ever. Promise that you will not lie and fudge figures. Promise that you will pay your taxes truthfully for this country. Promise you will report every happening correctly as seen and not as perceived. Promise you will not back bite and back stab your fellow workers. Honesty has to come from within; unity has to be understood in its totality. Time now is to build “Desh Shakti”.

Be that as it may. Over the year luxuries of life have become necessities and we take them for granted as our birth right. I am sure my countrymen shall unite moment the balloon goes up. We have to anticipate things and be prepared mentally. We need to forget caste, creed, religion, region, language and any form of reservations. Bombs and bullets cannot differentiate any of these. We need to keep the independence of this country intact by doing our bit, war or no war. Will we? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

WISHING ALL MY FELLOW CITIZENS A VERY HAPPY 71ST INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

BATTLE TANK VERSUS WATER TANK

As a kid I remember when Dad used to take us to an Army cantonment we used look at every piece of military equipment in awe. My kindergarten school had many army kids and they used to come in those old TMBs (Tata Mercedes Benz) or SHAKTIMAN trucks modified as school busses. We could spend hours sitting on our haunches imagining what all attachments it used to have, like the pick axe, the shovel, the jerry cans, mule tanks etc. Some trucks had winches on their front bumpers. The numbers painted on them used to be a mystery especially with an arrow pointing upwards. We at that time had gone through a phase of the war of 1971 with Pakistan so as boys our basic game used to be fantasising using all the military equipment we had seen in our lives to defeat of Pakistan.

I subtly remember while passing through Jalandhar Cantt there used to be these Pakistani Patton tanks at the entrance. I cannot describe how proud one used to feel just looking at them as Indian Army got these as war trophies. Even till today if I happen to pass by military equipment displayed in any town, I make it a point to have a look. I remember having clicked many photos on the tanks that used to be displayed in front of Sudan block in NDA. The feeling of elation and a sense of pride that crosses your mind moment you see a military convoy passing by is indescribable. One has seen many of them as a child, huge guns in tow, all covered with tarpaulins. Even one saw many military special trains passing by. One always waved to the faujis and wondered is war imminent. I used to long to be part of them, as I wanted to live that life on a train, with a tarpaulin tent made on a barrel of a gun, eating cooking and yet cheerfully waving to us going towards the border.

We used to have military equipment displays in school. One used to speechless when an NCO used to describe an Artillery gun or an Air Defence Gun or an APC (Armoured Personal Carrier) of the BTR-60 kind or SKOT. Heavens used to break loose when a KRAZ with a 130mm gun in tow used to come for a demo deployment. Though one could never understand the words of command but the whole process used to leave our jaws open. I clearly remember touching those practice rounds and getting bewildered at the size of the 130 mm shell. We even used to follow those tyre tread marks of the APCs. One could never imagine that APCs can fill air in them from inside. One used to think of one’s own bicycle, if this could be possible. The way the baffle plate used to go up and the propeller used to be exposed at the rear. To imagine that this huge beast could float was pure fiction. Though, I later joined an outfit which had both the BRDMs and BMPs as my bread and butter.

One really dreamt of joining the forces as a child. The starched dungarees with big pockets close to the knees were something fascinating, crisp uniforms, shining stars, glistening equipment everything used to mesmerise us. The wooden pointer with a white tip in a pocket on the shoulder was awesome. I even remember going through every detail of an army ambulance. One was very impressed by the fans inside as one had never seen them in cars also that time.

Today, during Republic Day Parade, the main highlight is the equipment that the country displays. It gives an inherent sense of security as the commentator gives the description of the various tanks, guns and missiles. The mind starts appreciating the skills of the pilots who do formation flying, or refuel midair, or do a vertical Charlie right in front of your eyes. Your mind doesn’t register when you hear that all these aircrafts have come from faraway air bases like Pune, Delhi Ambala etc on a precise call and accurate time. How can one stage manage a machine moving at double the speed of sound to fly past exactly when the last marching contingent has just saluted the President? Well friends, the coordination, the discipline is mindboggling and that is what impresses us.

The marching contingents are no less matter of pride and honour when all those Gorkha hats tilted at just the precise angle do an eyes right. The “turras” of the pagris suddenly appearing broadside like a peacock displaying its feathers is an awesome experience to see. The front foot lifted higher than the shoulder and dug in the tarmac for Dahine Dekh (Eyes Right). The dipping of the tank barrels and turning towards the President as a mark of respect is mind blowing. The commentator when he starts listing out the decorations of each passing contingent, one is really baffled to hear what mettle these people are made of. Yes one does get a lump in the throat and moist eyes when a widow of a brave heart comes to the President to take a medal which her husband won. It is heart breaking on hearing the citation about his bravery. Ones head bows down in respect and gratitude and a small prayer to thank the martyr that brother because of you we all are alive today.

I do not know what JNU people are made of. I am sure they would be more patriotic than all of us. Fortunately or unfortunately I too am a graduate from JNU only thing is my campus was in NDA. I wish you guys learn to make peace and also learn to be prepared for war. All those who oppose a tank being displayed in the campus deserve a water tank to remind them to save water. Please take inspiration from water tank and debate whether we stand by our Army or otherwise. If installing busts of personalities they want to emulate satisfies them, so be it. I only have one request friends that please ensure that no bird droppings are seen on those busts. Ensure every student knows whose statue it is and what he did in his life time. Please make sure that at least once a year you all go and salute this great man rather than sitting under the shade of the statue and make plans of how to create the next kanhiya like episode.

I having served my motherland more than 20 years in the Army would request you if you are so interested in history and are so vehement against putting a tank, kindly put a bust of all Param Vir Chakra winners with space for more to come for a change. I am sure they too shall form part of Indian history. These war heroes have definitely given you the freedom to attack your VC to fire verbal salvos towards him with words which neither have direction nor will meet any target. Will they ever understand why we say Jai Hind and Bharat Mata ki Jai, I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

THE ANSWER MY FRIEND IS BLOWING IN THE WIND

Time is fast approaching when we as a nation have to get out of the mentality of I, me myself. The country is burning on issues which should be non issues. We have a PM who is running around the world to fill in the voids of the years of neglect by approaching them with an open heart and open mind. Here we are in our own country trying to create a situation which perfectly matches to prove that we have a blocked and narrow mind. Today, face book posts can be the cause of death of people. I think if this is how we as a society are then half the country should be dead. Lynching has become a norm it seems. Conjectures have become the basis of taking out personal animosities. I can understand the changes which have come in due to the technological advancements but reaching to such a low is rather painful and condemnable. We shall be looked down upon by the world but do we care. The jumla “SANU KEY” or who cares stands good.

We are a fragmented society and fragmented like hell. Let’s not blame the Brits; they divided us to suit their requirement. We never united thereafter to suit ours. Don’t blame them for separating India-Pakistan, we are ourselves to blame. Everyone wanted to take advantage of the situation which existed at that moment and the result is what we are today. United we stand divided we fall, is an age old adage and it could not be more true the way things are happening in this country. It will take many PMs and his likes to get us as one nation together. If only we Indians want to get united.

It all started with the princely states who did not want to give up their kingdoms. Patel did the dirty work and got them under one flag. Pakistan poked its nose along with China during partition; those fires are still simmering, in fact burning at places. Division of states of Punjab & Haryana started another kind of rift. Gujarat was carved out of Maharashtra. Goa was still under Portuguese rule; northeast was never satisfied with its division, East and West Bengal are not happy even after formation of Bangladesh. J&K went on the boil and is still smouldering. Punjab had its ups and downs. Now Gorkhaland resurfaces. The Naxals are not happy; thank God the Anand Margi’s have vanished. Tamil Nadu doesn’t see eye to eye with both Kerala and Karnataka. Basically, states are divided too.  Beyond this the reservations for every community, the majority and minority, my goodness Lord from where shall I begin and where will it end.

I haven’t added the Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai angle as yet. The tarka of gau-rakshaks, anti beef vigilante and their ilk have also to be sub-factored. By the way there is another division which is clearly visible like in the railways and airlines. They still have First class and second class of kinds, thank God there is no more third class remaining though there is III AC. Airlines have business and economy. The caste systems are inherent in our society and let’s accept it that it still prevails. Then there are these politicians who have only done nothing but appeasement politics and politics for corruption. They have definitely been adding fuel to the fire. My country burns thus I am in a tizzy now helpless and waiting for a miracle to bail us out it seems.

We have one bowl of grain and 1000 mouths to feed and increasing by the minute. Can we just feed our favourites? Should we feed the hungry? Should we feed the needy? Should we feed the greedy? Should we set a feeding procedure? Should we fix a feeding quota? How do we go about it? Should we reduce the mouths to feed? Should we bring another bowl of grain? Should we start growing our own grain? Should we subdivide our bowl to feed selective people? Unfortunately the bowl has also developed a leak. So should we plug the leak or loot the spill? Should we get smaller bowls to feed? All these questions are relevant. The issue here is that some of the grains in the bowl have also gone sour and bitter. The grains are not fit for consumption. The mixture in the bowl has become adulterated as trying to feed so many mouths has led to diluting of its contents. Some people have an insatiable appetite and keep asking for more. Some people are the goonda elements who forcefully snatch the grains and in the spat spill it on the floor and don’t bother till their bellies are full. So what do we do?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, as Bob Dylan sang. We know everything but pretend that we don’t know the problem. We know the solutions but don’t want to approach them head on. We know the culprits but fear to hand them over to our officials. We ourselves break rules, circumvent and bypass them and expect the other person to follow them in letter and spirit. All regulations are meant for the other Indian, I shall follow my convenience. A hand full of people who misguide and misgovern all this  adds up to a chaotic, disarrayed, disorderly, undisciplined, unruly, rowdy, unmanageable, disruptive and typical Indian society. All this is smudged and flavoured by the religious concoction as well.

We want our streets clean but will throw garbage out of the window kinds of people we are. We will break traffic rules but won’t like to get caught, if caught try and wriggle out somehow, if not possible then fight with the law makers, if that doesn’t work try and bribe our way out, use our push and pull and finally when that too doesn’t work out then accept our punishment. Crazy people we are! We only understand the rule of danda.  We will even go all out to bribe our Gods; we will request him for favours for the prayers and money offered.  It is true and let’s face it, exceptions might be there.

I am convinced that unless we as a society evolve, understand and accept our individual roles from a CEO to a Rag picker, from a Sepoy to a General, from a black smith to an industrialist everyone has a place in society and an important role to play. Let us respect each other, let us respect each other’s sentiments and values, let us focus on the progress of the nation, let us contribute one small thing in a day which is positive for the society or the nation in any which way we can and then only can we as a country stand as a big power. Our government and the PM is setting up a deck of cards in a pyramid, with every gust of wind the deck crumples and has to be stacked again, let us join hands to block the winds of jealousy, hatred and intimidation. Let us love human kind, let’s assist in nation building. I then only see India progressing. Are the answers blowing in the wind? I wonder!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

HOW DARE YOU TARNISH MY ARMY CHIEF’S NAME

tout les site de rencontre gratuit quebec It was the saddest day in my life to hear someone calling my Army Chief a thug. Well to be frank Mr DICKSHIT (D-S) you have stooped to the lowest low in my eyes and in the eyes of my fraternity. A man who once falls from grace will never be able to change my opinion about him. As it is I somehow cannot tolerate the political class and you have ensured that I stick to my view. I do not know your educational qualifications or your political achievements and I am not interested in them either but you be rest assured you need to be paraded on Republic Day on a donkey with a blackened face, sitting facing the Rashtrapati Bhawan with a garland of boots soaked in muck. With every beat of the drum you should be hit by the butt of a rifle by every marching soldier.

best place to buy Viagra no prescription in Madison Wisconsin Every man in uniform has to not only protect himself from enemies across the borders, besides insurgents and terrorists but from anti-India citizens like you also. Who needs enemies when we have people like you within? I don’t care which party you belong to or what political affiliations you have. I don’t want to know what your frustration is or against. I don’t want to even understand your point of view at all now. I don’t want any clarifications either. If you still continue to justify what you said then please walk across the borders to the west. That is where you belong and moment you will turn back to return the Indian soldier will make so many holes in you that even the vultures will refuse to do what they are supposed to do.

http://devrimcicephe.org/vistawkoe/485 Mr D-S you have questioned an institution of our Nation. He is a person who safeguards this country’s integrity and sovereignty. You have called names to a person who ensures that you have a bloody pillow under your head every night. Just because you have become a politician, just because you were elected to some parliament that you have grown beyond your boots to make such uncouth comments about a man who if mobilises his resources is capable of obliterating a country form the maps of the world. You think you can open your dirty mouth and get away with treason. How dare you even think of uttering such statements in your dream? Same goes for all those politicians and peaceniks who are yapping on the same lines.

get link Please leave politics now, as moment I hear your name my BP shoots to 240/160. It is politicians like you who have treated us soldiers like cannon fodder and we like bloody fools have been sacrificing our lives for ungrateful people like you. I hope you know that a group of monkeys is called a congress; I shall go further to say a group of buffoons if not baboons also mean the same. Don’t mind my saying so, because I am so deeply hurt by what you have said.

private hook up party I have to also tell my media friends, yaar please, why you take statements of people who cannot even spell the word gun? Such people do not know the meaning of oath; leave alone the contents of the oath we the people of the forces take. Such people are capable of only disrespecting our national institutions and flag whereas media should see how our “NISHAN TOLI” carries the national flag (Nishan of India) with utmost respect and dignity. Such people may only know a fish tank and will crap in their pants if a battle tank fires. These people who express such opinions without understanding the gravity of what they are saying are the biggest holes of the shitty kind. So dear media you may now show solidarity with the Army and Army Chief alright but the damage has been done. Why don’t you shove mikes in the suggested hole I mention of such people? Don’t make a mockery by running tickers, headlines and debates on such matters which demeans the forces further. Don’t make us news fodder; we deserve better treatment if the Media really has any respect for its Army Chief and Armed forces.

go There is a saying in fauj that once you press the trigger the round is fired. It cannot be brought back. Either the bullet hits the target or misses it but if it hits the wrong target shit flies and here you have Mr D-S and his ilk flying in all directions; stinking and spreading disease. A person who has no idea how we as a fraternity work has no business to air his opinion. He is free to express his outrage against the Modi government. He may express his disagreement about government policies he doesn’t like but his lowly opinion about the highest rank of the Army cannot be accepted. He is no one to comment on such respectable people. I think it is for the same reason that diapers and politicians need to be changed after some time, time has now come Mr D-S.

imagen para wasap de solteros gratis I feel humiliated that 22 years of my life I protected people like you. I think this freedom of speech and freedom of press has gone too far. You are worse than a rapist Mr D-S, verbal rapist to be precise. I can only say, you are worst than a thug, who has tried to cheat the nation by uttering such words. You need to be sacked from the Indian political scene with immediate effect. You should be tried for treason, tied in front of a QRT vehicle till such time the militants get their aim right.

who is msdecordon dating I salute Gen Rawat for leading our Army as a thorough bred professional. Sir, Bash on regardless. I also request the “congress” to remove this man for shaming the impeccable institution such as the Army Chief who has such a great responsibility towards the nation and has been delivering it always and every time. Will this D-S realise the damage he has done, I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

BLACK COAT COMMANDOS

Isn’t it ironical that all the prime witnesses of the Babri Masjid demolition have got bail? A case of 1992 has come up for its conclusion in 2017. The courts have yet given two more years to finally decide on this case, meaning it will take 27 years to conclude that no one is guilty. I am sure many witnesses would be in their graves by then or will be so old that the court may decide to grant them pardon on compassionate grounds. Well, I am not for or against any Temple or Masjid but I am definitely disillusioned with our judicial system and its process. There is a law of the land. There is a rule book. There are the people who did it which can be seen on tape. There were leaders supporting it. People saw a building being broken brick by brick. That is why I ask, what this due process of law is? There was a judicial commission made and it recommended certain things. Why have they not been considered or brought to its conclusion till date?

One more thing I cannot understand in India is that people who were candidates for Prime Minister, one has been a Chief Minister and in fact are sitting members of the present parliament today, besides being sadhus and sadhavis basically “holy” men and women: if such people start “lying” because their lawyers have twisted the whole facts upside down doesn’t gel with me. They act as if they did not hear, see or utter a word on the issue. These people who have been part of the law making process for India do not have the moral courage to own up and say yes we did it for whatever reasons; popular support, political pressure, emerging as a leader, honouring the manifesto, being swayed away by the wave of that time, whatever. At least say it, own up and be done with it. God save our judiciary, democracy and this country if such trends continue. The longest running commission called the Liberhan Commission concluded the whole issue but in vain. After the passage of so much of time do the courts think that such prominent leaders would remember what they said and did. In so many years a generation would have changed, the lawyers and the judges would have changed. Are we doing justice or hog wash is the question I want to ask?

If an open and shut case of Kasab can take four years to hang then I can understand why this case has taken so long. From lodging of an FIR, to being produced in front of a magistrate if the time given is 24 hours, then what is so great in finishing cases in the same time frame by all the courts? Why do we then teach law is my basic question? Is it to twist the truth? Is it to camouflage the facts? Is it to ensure guilty be left roaming scot free? Or is it to earn regular income by lawyers? Or are the Courts justifying their existence thus? The long list of pending cases adds to the woes and miseries of the genuine people. A murderer sentenced to death can appeal to the President of India, who may not react to the appeal. Cases then shall never end.

I do not know if we do periodically review the number of guilty in our jails. Why there are delays in trying people? If the maximum limit of any charge is say 7 years, are there people who are still languishing in jails beyond that? If so, why are they not let free? On one side our judicial process is so super slow and on the other side our jailing process appears to be cockeyed. In India jail to prisoners’ ratio is remarkable. There is no place inside and we keep adding people. Then claim we taught them to make candles, yoga, biscuits and bread. Well, before these people turned criminals, why hasn’t our systems trained them to earn a living. They wouldn’t have become criminals in the first place. 24 hours in jail terms is two days. I don’t understand the logic at all.

Today, we have people giving on the spot punishments, like the IIT student who went for a beef festival. Akhlak, who stored some kind of meat at home or the valentine day squad making boys and girls to do squats and the cow vigilantes groups who are most active today etc. But we do not prevent fraud, corrupting, deceit, at all levels including the judiciary. If our issue is resolved we don’t care if we used hook or crook. We move on. If we can delay somehow the “Tareekh” at the court, even by producing fake medical certificates, of the lawyer, the accused or both at different times, the hearing automatically keeps getting delayed. The judge changes, the jury changes and our system continues like hither to fore but law stays blind as blind can be.

Be that as it may, I not a qualified person on law and have no justification to comment on the judicial process or the judiciary but as a layman and common Indian I feel that there is too much amiss. Today, if the internet network becomes slow all our faculties go berserk. If need be we will climb on the mobile tower to get that one danda on the network, but just look at our judicial processes, 27 years to understand that what was done, who did it and why it was done, who instigated it, who are guilty and who should be taken to task. All this will happen after thousands of witnesses will be re-examined. I want to salute the patience of the judges, the patience of the defence lawyer, and hats off to the lawyers who are turning this case on its head. I hope it doesn’t turn out in the end that Babar turned in his grave and thus the Masjid self destructed. The people who had climbed up the domes were actually trying to save each brick. The instigators, who are out on bail now, were actually standing there to witness a miracle that how does a Masjid automatically transforms into a Mandir. The speeches they were making were actually divine chants which empower the creator to do such miracles. The police were mute spectators of the blind, deaf and dumb kind.

I think I need to rest my case as nothing in India will move without an affidavit on a stamp paper, a notary’s signature, a lawyer, a judge and the most important person in all this drama is the typist, who has to key in 40,000 words dictated verbatim at lightning speed by his bosses and keep a record of the same. Many of my uniformed community have now joined the “black coat commandos”, I wish them luck. I wish by 2025 we would have no pending cases in any court. Is it possible? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

LEARNING AS YOU GO

I was a happy go lucky chap in school interested in everything co curricular. I had no particular aim in life as such. Then one fine day my “brainwashing” started. I was in a school which wore a uniform, had a kind of military discipline; it also had strict teachers as also officers of the Armed Forces such as Colonels, Squadron Leaders, Flight Lieutenants, Captains of the Indian Navy and Army above all my dad was more OG (Olive Green) than OG can be. I was made to focus on only one thing and that was NDA. So I actually got used to this indoctrination technique, where everyone you met did not ask you how were you, but how well your preparation for NDA was. I did not disappoint anyone as I joined the illustrious institution.

My second makeover was done in NDA. Whatever shades of the civil life was left in me got converted into becoming a cadet? My morning prayers used to start with I love my country and continues as such. This cadet could manage a cup of cold coffee to a bicycle valve, a KD (Khaki Dress) to a raincoat out of thin air. I could roll in my sleep and crawl while resting, eat doing a head stand. I could dance without music and enjoy my supper in empty plates. I could produce a pen and paper even while wearing an under wear, though we hardly wore any. I fought daily battles with bedbugs which is a torture technique I mastered. I could let a bee or a fly sit on my nose without scratching or swatting at it. I could blow hot & blow cold in the bathroom sessions; I could roll up hill and up a staircase. I could jump in blind wells of the “Charlie” kind. I could navigate with no map in all out of bound areas. My nose was so sensitive that I could detect a fag three squadrons away. I did “Savdhan Chal” to every scooter, car, horse and dog on a leash. I could watch movies with my back towards the screen. I could run fifteen miles between dinner and lights out. I could beat Shivaji in climbing Singharh fort. I could sham, I could pill, and I could feign the biggest limp. I could improvise conjunctivitis with paste rubbed in my eyes. I could sleep 25 hours in a day if I had the choice. I could only keep awake if a lady teacher took my class. Overall, I was brain washed in such a manner that I forgot who I was. It was surprising they conferred on me a graduate’s degree at the end of it. After all I was on a journey to be in the noblest profession.

My brain washing continued in IMA. Well, I was promoted from Cadet to Gentleman Cadet. You learnt the honour code, you learnt military law. One mastered the art of disguise, not to camouflage for battle but from the Drill Ustad to go to Dehradun to meet some girls. I was drilled hard to keep the integrity of my motherland till the peril of my life. I promised to go where my duty needed me by land, sea or air. I pledged my life to the nation and the tri colour, to keep it safe from all external aggression and internal disorders. I was put through my paces of everything what I needed to lead men to battle. I was conditioned to keep the safety welfare and honour of my men foremost always and every time, the honour of my country  came next and my own safety and comfort came last always and every time. I was now transformed into becoming an Indian Army officer, young, full of josh, rearing to go.

I joined my unit in the deserts and was conditioned to become a desert fox. I was trained to not only fire weapons but to strip a vehicle apart and put it back together again. I was accustomed to learn to change oils, open a BMP track, taste petrol or diesel depending on the flavour of the day. I could munch on sand with food, and live on limited water. Above all, I was hardened to be happy in all circumstances. I was skilled to be a jack of all trades. I was supposed to know what a pink Gin was as also a Molotov cocktail; I memorised names and numbers of everyone in my Unit. I could fill a 3008 or a 958 as if writing letters to my “would be”. I learnt to ride a camel and drive a BMP as a second profession. I could communicate with hand, flag, radio, eyes, bird calls, and you name it. I was taught to remain silent and avoid even the rustle of my clothes. I was tempered to walk in the sands survive in the heat, snow and jungles. I was determined to eliminate the enemy before they get into our side of the border. I was at ease to look after the ladies as well as children, I was told to be compassionate and kind. I was taught how to live and work with the men; overall I was made into a unique fighting machine, tough, resolute, upright, caring, honest, dedicated, and professional, a man proud to adorn the uniform, a man proud to lead his men.

As I led my life’s journey I learnt cultures from the north to south, east to west of this country. I learnt to ski with the same ease as I could jump with parachutes from all sorts of aircrafts. I mastered the art of being a champion rock climber. I mastered many languages including three of foreign origin. I soon became a professional logistician during near war situations and moved everything by rail, land and air including the dogs we befriended at our posts. I learnt to balance between private and professional life. I learnt how I could live without my family especially my child whom I could never see taking her first steps or when she started to talk.  I was sent to the Capital where I saw the highest offices of the government of India function. Overall, my indoctrination continued unabated.

I one day brainwashed myself to revert back to the civvies streets. I let myself to be trained again at India’s finest management institute in Ahmedabad. I prepared myself that hence forth no lunch is free. Privilege to get a gypsy at the railway station with a glass of tea won’t be there anymore. I will have to stand in queue if I want to pay my bills. I must re-learn to ride a scooter, buy milk and vegetables. I brainwashed myself to iron my clothes and go to the market for a haircut. I prepared myself to wash my own car, polish my own shoes and shine them better than while in service. I just transformed myself to now live with and live for my family. I geared up that now my priorities in life are different from what they used to be but I shall continue with India first and a veteran for life.

In a life span of 54 odd years, I would have adapted myself to 54 types of places, circumstances, living conditions, bosses, situations, state of mind and state of affairs; basically I learnt to remain cool under any circumstances that life can throw at me. My blood and DNA will always remain Olive Green. Will I keep learning as I go? 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

DEAD MEN NEVER SPEAK

binary ea I am deeply saddened and hurt by this barbarous killing of our CRPF jawans. I shall not dwell on what went wrong and who is responsible for it. Media has got enough knowledge and expertise at their hands to feed the country with minute to minute detail now. Like in movies if action doesn’t sell, then tragedy does, so they land up covering the funeral ceremonies and heart breaking interviews of parents, wives and saluting children. We demand it and they show it, but do we learn our lessons? Do we put things in order? Do we respond appropriately after any such incident? Do we put fear of God in those dastards? If we put in or sincere efforts we can drastically reduce the body count for sure. Do we want dead men or do we want men alive to eliminate such kinds of menace? Do we want chest beating wives and silent tears of parents? Or do we want only academic debates, “kari ninda”, promise of strong action, review of everything related to security. If pressurised, resign and go to the animal husbandry portfolio. Let us decide.

I was reluctant to write on this issue but I got shaken up when a Chief Minister and his cavalcade zipped passed the remains of the martyr. For me this man in a wooden box should have been the VIP. Had I been a CM, I would have definitely asked, why this hearse is moving at this odd time. I would have been canny enough to note that it is a forces vehicle. I would have understood straight away why this vehicle is laden with flowers and people in ceremonial dress are accompanying it. Even if had to hurry, I would have alighted, saluted the coffin and from the scores of bouquets in the dickey of my car; I definitely would have laid one, offered my condolences then and there. Being from the forces I would have passed orders to all districts that there could be no bigger VIP than this, clear all roads for him. I would have followed behind to see the martyr off as a mark of respect for a man draped in the tri colour proceeding for his next assignment. I would have ensured the DC reaches for the funeral with the benefits that a state gives to sons of the nation. Well this is the least I could have done.

What must this man inside the coffin thinking of? Lying there asking questions to all the politicians and his superior officers. Why have you sent me into this dark dungeon? Could you not tell me in advance that there were 300 Maoist waiting for a 100 of us? I had weapons, I would have sorted them out. Now that you have withdrawn my weapon also and put me to sleep in this box, how will the rest of guys manage without me? The only good thing in here is the smell of flowers, as I have been used to the smell of sweat, grime and blood through out.

Mr Home minister, where are you? You have ensured that I become an unfortunate casualty of your callous attitude and diluted efforts. You have not pushed the government and the PM enough to get me all that I need to conduct operations. Why did you not give me good leaders who would have mentored us and guided us? Yes, now as a dead man let me confess, I became callous as nothing had happened since quite some time. I took things for granted that our intelligence systems will warn us of an attack and that did not happen. I was slow to react as I was not mentally & physically prepared for such an assault. Yes, I did not follow SOPs. Yes I did not keep adequate look outs but why did I not do so? Did I become overconfident?  Mr Singh for me I cannot dare open my mouth against you, but now that I am in this box please feel my vibes what I am telling you is the bare truth. Sir things are not right, things are not the way they are projected to you, and things are bloody cockeyed & wonky. Take action now, or be ready to salute more of us.

To be shot while having a meal is the worst death. Weapon un-cocked, lying to the side, maybe put along a tree trunk, water bottle in hand, washing my face from the dirt and dust of the day’s work, Cursing my quarter master for not issuing me my size of boots, cursing the langar commander for the oily puri, cursing my senior who stopped my leave, cursing my CHM for detailing me for another patrol tomorrow, cursing my chacha who is grabbing my land, cursing the ‘patwari’ who is not doing the “patta’, cursing the tenant for not giving rent, worrying for my wife who is due in two months, concerned about my mother who is hard of hearing, remembering my sister who should be married this year, remembering my son who goes to an English school, cracking a joke or two with my comrades, peeking in my wallet for a glimpse of my son and wife, remembering my friends and their pranks’ in an mango grove like this. Instead of the chowkidar here came the Maoist with real guns. I ran for life, left my food, could not wear my shoes, could not reach my rifle and before I could give a man to man fight, I was shot in cold blood.

There is someone who now has to take responsibility of four things. One, sort out how you are going to deal with Maoists & terrorism. There should be a clear cut policy. Two, stop this loss of life. Blame it on poor intelligence, poor leadership, not following SOPs not being trained, poor weapons & equipment whatever. Do what needs to be done now. If force is deployed, be a force to be reckoned with. Three, show due respect to the fallen. They are part of us, they were sent in difficult situations, they did what they could to the best of their abilities and they died for us and our country. Let us at least fold our hands and offer a small prayer when we pass by his hearse. Let us not leave his family alone. Four, my dear media, do your job; focus on the top echelons; it is political will that is lacking. Suffering of families may sell, but you don’t realise, how it would be if your family is shown live in such time of tragedy, it hurts. If you want to hurt, hurt the minister who heads the department. Tell him to keep his ninda in his pocket and take out the action plan from his file.

My salutes to you brave hearts, my sympathies and condolences with the bereaved. Please accept my kari-ninda Mr HM and PM for your inaction. You guys appear to be very busy in elections for municipalities, whereas we sent you to worry about the nation. Sirs you have no right to play with our lives. The crux is that whether it is Kashmir or Maoists, the challenge is political in which the worst sufferers are the forces for your lack of will to take the bull by the horns. You will move on to a different agenda if you lose the next elections but the forces will continue doing what they are meant to do. They take an oath to lay down their lives for the nation, once dead they never speak. You guys take an oath of secrecy, only talk big but reveal no plans whatsoever to implement solutions. Will you for once listen to a dead man’s pleading voice? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

LAL BATTI BAND

It is not surprising that it took the PM of this country to pass orders to stop using the Red Lights in this country. I only saw everyone who had this privilege continued using it unabated till the time it was officially withdrawn from them. Who would like to give up this small privilege? Not me, but poor me many a times did not even get a mode of transport fit for my rank. That I shall discuss subsequently. Will this have any effect on anything? Will things change? Will as the PM says I as an aam aadmi get any privileges? I have my serious doubts but well begun is half done sir, at least someone realised that the colour of light indicated the “area” affiliated to the colour of the light. One could use it after paying its owner a price mutually fixed including the “dalali” without which nothing moved in this country. I just hope it won’t be there anymore.

I remember as a 2Lt and a young Capt I was many a times detailed as a LO to all and sundry who visited that God forsaken place called Jaisalmer or JA-SALE-MER as we used to affectionately call it. Initially it used to be fun, as it was good riddance to the rigors of the unit routine but soon one realised that friend you are so often detailed not only because you do your job seriously but some people are royally trying to screw you. The task started from receiving a General at the airbase. I was lucky to make friends fast with the folks in blue and became a familiar figure with the ATC staff. They had so much confidence in me that in case of emergency they expected me to land a few flights too. Well, good old days they were.

A mess detachment needed to be deployed in the MES IB for the General plus a Ceremonial Guard besides a “sahayak” as he was known in those days. There was this MES guy called Gambhir Singh as the IB in charge who would not move irrespective of the colour of light on the car or the rotating red lights of a chopper. One mess detachment had to be at the air field under an L shaped tent for the Gen Saab to get off and take a leak. The tricky part used to be putting up a squarish kanat with a funnel adjusted to the correct height of the visiting dignitary or else it would appear to have drizzled in Jaisalmer looking at the sprinkle on his shoes. The ATC guys and gals detested this part, as all this “Maikma” used to come up right in front of the ATC and they always used to crib that they are being made witnesses to indecent exposure. From that height and their powerful binoculars they could see that there used to be no balls as attachments.

Our waiters didn’t know whether to hold the tent or the tray covers as the rotor downwash used to make sandwiches take off to pilots sitting in aircrafts ready for ORP (Operational Readiness Patrol). Buggers never thanked me though. The pilots of the helicopter and our dear Generals used to appreciate the crunchy veg sandwiches. I never had the heart to tell them that the crunch was not from the freshness of the cabbage leaves which were placed in lieu of salad leaves but from the sand particles from the dust storm the chopper had raised thus sand got sprinkled abundantly.

Well the story begins before the VIP visit as invariably a black Ambassador Staff car with a red light was made available to this one starrer a day prior to the visit. I used to switch the damn red light on even during mid day when the sun is the brightest and the temperatures used to be in the range of 42-50 degree C. The roads used to be lonely; the only thing staring at you was a passing camel with a sarcastic smile, trying to say that look you idiot, save electricity and switch the damn light off.  The poor camel didn’t know that this light runs free of cost. What a privilege it used to be! I used to dream one day that I too should have one.

The worst used to be when one had to go and check are re-check the MES IB in that scorching heat and the unit used to give a DR (motorcycle). They ensured that out of the 27 odd jeeps and jongas in the paltan none could be spared for yours truly. Worst was the sun protection one had to wear as special equipment issued which was a Second World War helmet. It used to be well covered with camouflage cloth cut away from my discarded combat dress, covered with a net and patched up with brown, green and khaki garnish cloth. The camouflage was important as any Pakistani flying aircraft may notice 2Lt Noel Ellis has left the unit and needs to be raided. No one realised, that the helmet was the first thing that fell off as there were four sandy patches to negotiate before reaching the IB. One never reached without sand inside the most interior parts of your dress besides one became hard of hearing as the sand clogged in your ears from the fall made you deaf too. One never had to use make up, as the thin powdery layer of sand ensured one was ready for a shoot anytime. I wish I had shared this secret with Dimple Kapadia when she was shooting for Rudali.

I remember very well that this lal batti culture was prevalent in the Army too. Every CO of the fraternity I belong to had a Number one gypsy, Number two, open gypsy, hard top and a reserve jeep. All had lal battis. I remember accompanying many of the “Old men” from various recces and training events way past mid night in the deserts. The damn flicker of that batti did not let you doze off even if one was three pegs down, on a lonely desert stretch followed by a broad four lane road with no traffic. The irony is that at the Cantt gate the vehicle was stopped & checked for the occupants thoroughly.  Though in addition to the red light, a long board with the appropriate appointment also used to glow below the wind shield, “COMMANDANT” in my case. A pennant (flag) on the side indicating that he is the top man didn’t make a difference to any villager, cow on the road or a truck driver who happened to pass by. But heavens used to fall on the driver, the Technical officer and the Adjutant if that Lal Batti didn’t glow. I used to be often admonished for not ensuring that the damn red light “not work” in fauji parlance as I held the two latter appointments several times.

Well, the lal batti may be band for now, but the people who misuse this lal batti need to come down to mother earth and behave themselves. Here I am talking about the politicians who have welcomed this move. I know in my heart that even without this lal batti the fleet of vehicles that surround them will devise a new method of bulldozing their way through. I know for sure that traffic lights will be manually controlled for these people. I know ambulances’ will still be delayed or halted for the VIPs without lal batti’s to go through. I know that there will be no change whatsoever in the attitudes and nature of people performing duties for them.

I have a suggestion for them; please start using a yellow flag, a huge one at that to indicate who is passing by. My uniformed and veteran fraternity will get the pun as they have buried a lot of it in the deserts where the yellow flag flew. Dear Netas please do something to improve your image and functioning without red lights and fast. Make do with lesser vehicles in your fleet, give space to me the common man. Will their dimag ki batti ever glow, 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 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

LONG LIVE THE FINGER

I saw my poor newspaper lying on one of my side table wanting to be picked up, opened, read, shuffled and laid back to rest in its huge bundle at its final resting place for the bai to pick up and give it away for raddi. My cup of tea in hand I decided to give a glance and saw a row of people gesturing obscenely with a finger pointing as if to say “up yours”. It caught my eye and my thoughts that as it is the newspapers carry all kinds of weird things let me just check these out. On wearing my specks the picture became clearer that they were celebrities with their fingers up. Generally, I find bollywood stars with a thumsup kind of ad, but fingers up cajoled me to investigate. Now I got hooked on and even saw big political netas and their families with the same gesture. I thought this must have been a mudslinging match which netas are very famous for. In Mumbai these two fraternities’ that is netas and abhinetas are loggerheads on national issues like Pakistan so finger pointing is no big deal. As I turned the pages the mystery was finally revealed that these were BMC elections. All these people were actually posing with the ink marked fingers. Long live our democrazy.

This time I found that these elections were in mid week. It appears to be a tactical victory of kinds for the election organisers. Reason being had it been on a weekend most of the glitterati and the literati of mumbai push off on weekends to tourist destinations in the vicinity. So instead of voting, they enjoy boating and floating away from the humdrum of a hectic life of Mumbai. Now they were caught between the ‘aasman” and “khajur ka per”. They had no choice but to go out and vote. Who should I vote for is a big question?  For a cause, for a party or for the sake of media, well your guess is as good as mine.

Be that as it may, I again want to get down to basic issues of this mega city. First is the space crunch. No space for a house, no space in your house, no space in the bus, no space in the train, no space on the road, no space in the slums, no space for privacy, no space for garbage, then what do we vote for. Half the city is running towards VT and the other half towards virar. There is no space on the foot paths; no space under flyovers, no space over the nallas, no space for Meethi River to flow, no space for planes to land, in fact there is no space in space above Mumbai. Even the pigeons are fighting for space in the kabootar khanas as they don’t find space on any tree. Well the space for trees has been eaten away by something else, even the crows’ ride BEST buses to commute as they are afraid of cables which may cause fatal flying accidents in the crowing community. They can be charged for ticketless travel though.

The worst space crunch I find for the madly in love couples. Sea fronts and beaches are there favourite joints. Even in the scorching sun, love knows no bounds, armed with an umbrella, not for the sun but to hide identities from the public to do things which should be done at home. As 15 people staying in a 2BHK flat is not an uncommon phenomenon. In fact, there is a space crunch on the parapets of the sea faces too. The witness to their “conversations” is the sun and the sea, rest of us only can read the manufacturers name on this multipurpose love enhancing gadget called the ‘chaata”. I also get surprised that all parking lots are always full at such places, to create space for your vehicle you got to have a lot of space in your wallet. The scene at the station when a train arrives is as if rats have suddenly been released to follow the pied piper. If you are a novice at stations like Dadar and Andheri, you may not be able to get down only because you are pushed back by the crowd waiting to board. Best is to stand in the crowd which has to get down, just don’t worry on who stepped on your toes just flow with them. You may reach your destination in a crumpled shirt, torn pant, nicked hand bag and maybe a picked pocket and sweaty as hell.

One does often see the green and orange vehicles of “Clean up Mumbai” kinds. My salute and hats off to those people. They toil day in and day out in that stench, picking up all that we throw. Most of us who have used taxi the “kali peeli’s”, one dreads to get behind these trucks. I can assure you, the nauseated feeling you get from the aroma generated by the fumes of the truck is better than anaesthesia. The trail of a dripping liquid which oozes from one of the trucks pipes, is like a scent of a woman that you get when you smell one whizzing past you on a bike. That trail cannot be obliterated. They are the actual heroes of Mumbai, who carry our garbage. Did they vote? Or could they vote should be the question? What is the BMC doing to keep them safe, and do their job without the stench and stink? Will the citizens vow to help reduce the stench by properly packing garbage? Such culture is missing in us Indians. I was staying in a society in Mumbai few years back, everything which was not of use, from diapers, to napkins used to he hurled as missiles down the fire duct. One could see the lift roof littered with paper and wrappers. One saw overnight dal and rotis being released from as high as the nineteenth floor, in a poly bag which used to land on cars below making a beautiful spread on the roof of many a Mercedes. Well, hope the voters of Mumbai make their vote count for them too.

The budget for BMC polls is more than many state budgets, so the moolah is a big attraction for many. The drains are blocked, in fact choked, the nallahs are full of plastic, the roads are full of potholes, the foot paths are uprooted once they are laid, the hawkers are on the roads, the busses stop in the centre of the roads, infrastructural waste is dumped anywhere and everywhere, population is exploding but Mumbai moves on. The vada pav never falls short is this city that never sleeps. The rich, the poor, the blue collar, the white collar, the dogs, the cats, the pigeons and kites, the dadas and bhais, the ganpati and the tajia,   the Parsis and the Christians, the Chawls and Skyscrapers, the slums and high rises, the Bentley’s and Ambassadors, the kaali peelis and Ola, everyone has embraced Mumbai. There is still space for everyone; there is a certain warmth in the air of Mumbai which attracts you. Kuch baat to hai Amchi Mumbai mein.

As far as I remember this finger pointing gesture used to indicate to my buddy that I see one terrorist over there. You cover my back while I, pointing the same finger towards myself am going to take him on. Thereafter, we used to give a thumsup and silently move on till the job was done. I do not know finger pointing or finger painting which is more important. There we used to point this finger to the lips to keep absolutely silent and freeze to listen to various sounds around us. Here we finger point and make noises that we voted. Well, situations are different, circumstances are different, and there is no comparison at all. The only thought which cuts across my mind is will the results of the voting finger, bring about a change in life in Mumbai. I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

PHIR BHI MERA BHARAT MAHAN

Political drama continues, not just in Tamilnadu, but wherever there are politicians, more so where ever the PM is giving “bhashans”. ISRO continues to blast rocket after rocket with foreign satellites, Kiran Rijiju continues to tweet on Christians vs Hindus. Soldiers continue to be martyred every day, wreaths continue to be laid, last posts continue to be played, tri-colours continue to be draped, widows continue to increase, orphans continue to cry but our parliamentarians are so busy doing politics that who is running this country intrigues me. I continue to be convinced that our democracy which is “of the people” is now limited to “of the representatives of people”, “for the people” needs to be replaced by “for just the politicians”, “by the people” needs to be replaced “by the ministers and bureaucrats”. The man, who needs democracy, gets rules, regulations, legislations, laws, red tape and procedures. The man who should enjoy the benefits of the system has to keep filling forms after form, to prove that he exists and is alive. The convicts rule states and maybe the country someday, as they know our courts and there procedures take donkeys years to say that a thief is a thief. Mera Bharat Mahan.

The system in the country has become so cumbersome that all those who know how to manipulate the system are actually benefitting from it. The people who understand rules of the game also know what foul to commit and get away with it. They may get a yellow card or even a red one, but are never out of the game. They know that sometimes the DRS or a referral will not be able to catch their folly, so they play on. At least the real sportspersons retire, here the politicians have no retirement age, and they continue playing as spoil sports knowing full well that they have run out of steam and stamina. Oldies don’t want to give young blood a chance to prove their mettle. Sad state of affairs and our people are blind like the “andha kanoon”. It happens only in India.

We the people have now become so brainwashed that we can vote for anyone who will get our adhar card or ration card made. Now that it’s made what next, so the promise of bijli, which is the oldest jumla motivates me to vote for a person. In the first elections he gets you the bijli ka pole, and tells you, see I fulfilled half my promise, second elections he gets wires mounted on these poles, you are more excited that see this person is doing what he said, third elections he gets you a transformer. By the fourth election you are fed up, and in the interim now this fellow knows that he will be booted out, he curses all and sundry and gets you solar powered lights. Catchy ads are made, whole family is eating together, children are shown studying, kitchens are brightly lit up, even the buffaloes look shiny in the lights and one more election passes by. Next elections bijli really comes and you out of sheer happiness to see it in your house die of a heart attack. The solar lights last a year or so and find no replacement. Now the power cuts also start. Your tube well doesn’t run, your home is in darkness, so you start to hang clothes on the electric lines. People just keep looking up to the poles as if they can see the current coming and lighting up the street lights. By now this politician is about to kick the bucket. He promises to fight till his last breath for bijli and one fine day he passes away. Your dreams also are “switched off” as he is laid to rest with full state honours.

Next person comes; he says sarak has to go through our village. You say yes. Your land is on the road map, you are promised some compensation X, but you get X minus the politicians cut, or else you get nothing, you compromise and accept it. You lagao “angootha” on all the papers and find that your cultivable land gone for the national cause. As a compromise for that you are promised some days of employment in MANREGA. You are employed to make the embankments of the roads, and by the time the survey is finished time for new elections arrives. The topic changes this time to “beti parhao”. Wow you say, I have two daughters and one son, one I will make a doctor, one an engineer and the son a fauji. The neighbour tells you, ghar mein nahin hain daane aur amma chali bhunane. You say doesn’t matter, I shall go hungry but my children will study. Issue is there is no school in the village; the nearest one is five kilometres away across a river. You say, no worries, and send them and find out later that there are no teachers there, and all those recruited fill in their proxies from their homes. You complain, one news channel lands up, gets hold of the education department, your children now study, by then the government changes again. So now the politician says let’s have a “shauchalya” in schools and one in your house too. You say I live in a cow shed, clean cow potty from morning till evening I can’t afford one.  Well, sarkar pays for a portion of it and you make one at home too. But you don’t have water to flush. So now comes the next promise, as “pani” for all.

Your daughters grow up, they have passed high school, now college is in the town, and you can’t afford to send them. Family pressures take over, and you get them married before it is too late. They turn 18 one by one. Your major portion of land already grabbed by government for the road, the remaining sold for the wedding of your first daughter, the house sold for the second one. Son joins the fauj, but soon is martyred in a militant encounter. His young wife and a small child now becomes your responsibility. You sell off the cattle too. His pension doesn’t get through; you don’t have the energy to fight the case. You approach your elected representative, who says that he has better things to do. You are unemployed, landless, cattle less, bijli-less, sarak-less, pani-less and pension less. You feel shattered but life goes on.

Na bijli, na sarak na pani, time now for the next jumla, health care for all. You have grown old, health issues have started, so you say; let me vote for a person who will at least look after my health. Every night you go to bed coughing, even the cattle get disturbed, the dog under you bed also snarls as his two winks are cut short by your snores and one fine day you are in heaven. No worries of children, land, bijli pani and voting. Suddenly you find you don’t need currency or anything of that sort. Well, this is how our country actually runs. Promise to promise, sarkar to sarkar, tenure to tenure, jumla to jumla and life of a common Indian citizen ends doing noon-tel-lakri (making two ends meet).

Well, instead of make in India, I say lets WAKE UP India. Far too long have we voted these people who have manipulated our lives? We do the hard work, we toil, we sweat and we shed blood?  What do we get in return from them? I definitely dream of just living a normal, healthy and safe life with the basic amenities, leave the fundamental rights etc aside. I want two square meals a day, which every Indian irrespective of caste, creed, religion or region he belongs deserves. Dear present lot of politicians, will you understand the pain the common citizen has to suffer or should we SHAKE YOU UP if we just get only false promises of Achhe din. I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

Yesterday, I was enjoying the cricket match between India and Bangladesh. In between I flicked channels and saw India’s “Pradahan Sewak” speaking. It was only when I saw General Khanduri in the back ground that I realised this is not “mann ki baat” which he generally does on Sunday but was addressing a BJP rally in Srinagar, Uttrakhand. I decided to pause for a while to listen in to him, after all he is my PM and with the passage of time I have picked up a “kind of” liking for him. Really folks the liking changed to disliking moment I heard him state the thirty year old case of rapes which he rekindled in this rally. The way he spewed venom against the opposition parties, I just mentally switched off and thought to myself why I spoilt my mood by listening to him for that one minute. I flicked back to the match, in fact lost interest in that too.

With due apologies Sir, now, I will show respect to you from outside only because you are my PM and I don’t have a choice but from inside me you have lost my respects totally. Though I know I don’t matter to you or your party, but you have lost one chap who used to admire your “desh bhakti ki spirit” irrespective of the party or ideology you belong to. You are a politician, you only know politics, I saw hate politics at its best. I saw divisive politics at its peak. Why are you people compelling us to abhor you? We the armed forces sacrificed two of our brave hearts yesterday for this country in a militant encounter in Kashmir for its integrity and unity while you were doing what you do best, that is oratory besides showing us the dirtiest, murkiest and filthy side of real politics.

What Pakistan does to India is what the political parties do to us Indians?  Bleed us with a thousand cuts. Irrespective of their outfits, ideology, thought process etc. Pakistan goes to the UN and rants Indian atrocities in Kashmir, BJP goes to states and rants against all other political parties about the atrocities they did, so food for thought. When Congress was in power in the centre, they went beating their drums that BJP or all the other opposition parties did this that all and sundry, now BJP is doing the same. When Russia was the enemy of the US, then Pakistan found a new friend in the US. Similarly your enemy is my friend approach is clearly visible in the political parties of India then what’s the difference? When it is convenient for political parties, irrespective of their thought process they will join hands just to come to power, then where is the difference. When it suits them all differences are forgotten. Black funding for Pak from the Muslim world is another similarity. Pakistan will not hesitate to beg borrow steal from them, so do political parties from unknown donors, what is the difference? Pakistan will also take official funding from the US, UN etc, so do political parties. Is there a difference? When a Sadhu, Sadvi or Molvi gives religiously coated speeches, so does Massod Azhar, Hafiz Saeed etc in Pakistan what is the difference? Otherwise they are very wise and respected people in their own spheres. Pakistan says Kashmir hamara hai, here it is mandir wahin banega. Can you spot the difference? Jaago Bharatwasio.

We still curse the British for their divide and rule policy, now why is India still being divided by these politicians and politics. India is divided into states and they have umpteen numbers of political parties within states. Languages, castes, creeds, traditions, religions, reservations, pecharay, dalit, shoshit vanchits, peerits, are further dividing factors. I have no doubt that every patriotic Indian wants to contribute to a clean India in terms of swachta of all kinds. Maybe it lawlessness, corruption, theft, crime, ghotalas and all what we can think of, but what do we land up telling our people when elections are on the heads, that this party is corrupt, that neta is a chor and that party is good for nothing. Negative, unconstructive and ghatia politics is the order of the day. Where do we find “India first” then? Had you people been so good why are you booted out from places in elections even after doing so much as you claim? If you are so good, then do your work for India so that people of India appreciate your work and want to bring your party for their up-liftment and alleviation. I feel we are wasting man-hours and money on such wasteful expenditures as political rallies. If political rallies are to be held, let them be without shamiyanas, stages and flowers. No Sarkari helicopters and garis, no busses to fetch people, no free lunches and charpoys to sleep. Then we shall know you’re real worth Mr PM.

Really friends, as I grow older and wiser, I see the ground realities from a different perspective, without being political, without taking sides, and without being selfish and mean. I would request the PM designate to stand from Odisha or Assam for the next elections, as the whole country is yours. Why do you have to run back to your native state to become an MP? Then to cover your back side, you go to a place which has been a BJPs sure shot winning seat and stronghold, just to play safe and be elected. Say had you lost elections from both the places, you could have been nominated to Rajya Sabha and still be the PM. How unfair, how unjust it is. This confirms in my mind, politics is just that seat; desh sewa actually is nowhere in sight. Dear Mr Modi, will you stand for elections from Ernakulum or Alleppey or from Ms JJL’s constituency. I can assure you, you will lose your deposit.

I am also convinced that you want to project a clean image so there is a strict clamp on scams as such. Given a chance, all these people who now appear to be holier than though, will create bigger scams and eat away ten times what has been eaten till now. In their hearts of hearts they are waiting to find a fool proof method to gnaw away my country, besides nibbling my hard earned money which goes in taxes to see that these MPs enjoy their perks and privileges. My tax is cut at source, so I have no way to hide even a paisa. The government doesn’t think twice in eroding what I have earned with my sweat toil and blood, but proudly takes donations, now brought down to 2000/- anonymously from 2 crore or 20 crore people to be frittered away on useless political rallies and road shows. The amount of fuel you people burn for rallies if given to run just the ambulance services & Government hospitals, will save this country from this political disease you people are spreading.

Above all I hope to see Indian politics totally revamped and overhauled. Their motto “divided we stand and united we fall” has to be eradicated like polio. Let these so called politicians bring in policies for the country without bringing in their party and let the opposition be the real “think tanks” of India. Let a policy be debated in parliament as per etiquettes given in the code of conduct of both houses. Let voting in houses be done as per merit of the policy and not because one party holds a majority, only then do I see real progress in India. Achhe din are there on the horizon, Achhe people are there within us, Achhi policies are existing & can be created afresh but achha desh is nowhere to be seen in due to the way we do politics. We have been anesthetised & numbed by these dirty politicians; our minds have been polluted, brainwashed and contaminated by these politicians beyond repair. They just want their own existence, survivability and chair.  Wake up India! When will we spot the difference between United India and Divided India? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

GEN JJ SINGH AND A GENTLEMAN

I was reminded of two movies which have been my long time favourites; one was “An Officer and a Gentleman”, and the other “Pretty Woman”. The hero in both is Richard Gere. A poor orphan in the first one and a stinking rich businessman in the other, and in both he proved to be a Gentleman to the core. In the first he did not quit though his sergeant Major, the Drill instructor grilled him till he almost gave up. In the other he decided to bring out the best of a lady in Julia Roberts at whatever cost. From being a woman of ill repute to a woman who is the most sophisticated on earth, he taught her to behave like a queen. A big contrast in the story lines but a glaring similarity too. In the end the goal was to make the man and the lady the toughest, mentally, physically and to be at their behavioural best, to be the best in their conduct, and to be proud of whatever they were and are, isn’t it? Well, now let me bring in a different tadka of General JJ Singh (Retd) in it. I am sure half of your mouths flavour would have got spoilt. Well I am going to discuss a few things of what I see of him on TV now and what I as a veteran feel about it.

I know I should not discuss such a senior, respectable and honourable officer, who served as my Chief of Army Staff, and later went on to become the honourable Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. I am sure all his details can be seen on Wikipedia. I was awestruck at the decorations he has, besides the ones which come with age and profile of service. He has the PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, Wound Medal and an Officer of the Legion of Honour of France, in all 21 medals and decorations. I salute you sir. I am sure you would have reached the coveted post of COAS with sheer hard work and toil. Then you also became Governor of a state due to your knowledge of the intricacies and complexities of things there, I assume. Today, you have decided to enter into the political arena and that too against your rival, an Ex-NDA at that. May be you were a course or two junior to the Capt against whom you have decided to contest elections in Patiala. Well, how, when why, what of the decision of you joining politics is purely your internal bandobast, but for me as veteran and mango man, what when why that has gone wrong in the way you conduct yourselves after joining politics has become an issue.

The first thing we were taught in NDA was to respect your seniors, right. The second thing was obey orders, right. Today you are not even a second termer in politics, and you are telling a sixth termer who has lived and fought politics all his life, in NDA parlance been even relegated many a times when he lost elections and you are trying to take his place. You are not even a “Green Horn” where as he in his final term, in fact he is about to pass out and you decide to contest and beat him. Well I wish you luck. I am sure you are getting into the novices boxing ring where you all hardly know one other. You are raw and are put into the boxing ring against your will. Even if by a far chance should I consider the Captain a novice in the game, he has been a champion boxer in his school, TANNNNN, the gong has been struck sir, box on.

Last night I was watching a show on NDTV, where you and Sachin Pilot were discussing your “fight” in Patiala. You know what, you are not even fit for novices boxing is my view. The way Sachin conducted himself with grace and finesse and mind you with so much of respect for you, not as a rival but because you had been a General, you should be grateful. He laughed at your inexperience and thankfully left you with your pants on. Sir, one more thing which the Academy taught us was to be Gentlemen, and I found you to be more of an uncouth person, who suddenly has forgotten all the virtues, values and manners which one has picked up all your lives. Do you remember how the seniors used to treat us? Did you ever utter a word in NDA? Or were you a sissy, that after every fall in you ran to your Div-O to put that senior up. That is what it appeared to me that after leading an Army and a state, today you have turned into a sissy of sorts by resorting to hitting below the belt. You are not talking face to face with the Captain; you are giving an opinion or a statement about him in his absence and comparing yourself with Donald Trump. A gentleman was taught to sort things out face to face, and not use the media as a tool to defame the other person. Let me in the same breadth not give an impression that Capt is my favourite, or I am a congress man. But let me also tell you that you may have joined whichever party; they know they can never win here and shall have this one seat less for sure. The deposit that you give for this election, the election commission has already started to say cheers and party in anticipation that it shall be forfeited.

The basic principal of fauj, when you went to establish a new post was to recce, familiarise, see the routes of ingress and egress, see your bottle necks, look for cover, camouflage and concealment, cover your approaches based on your priorities, in fact get hold of “Khabar Dushman ki” first. You have got the appreciation totally wrong; instead of digging in you have gone for an attack which is an offensive operation. So how many marks should the invigilator give you? If you have got the basic funda of which ops of war to apply, God only help you. You were not made Chief in one selection board; you went through your paces. Here you want to take Pakistan, along with China in one go, without preparation and ground work. Do ponder over it and get the basics right General.

I do not mean to offend you, and I do not mean to hurt you, but I only want you to play the game fair and square like you yourself say. The results would be the culmination of your verbal and other battles. You would know that day as to how much more you got to put in to achieve your goal and again as it used to be drilled into us that JOSH KE SAATH HOSH; I think you don’t have either. I still wish you luck; I would love to see you fare like a gentleman; I would like you to give a fight to the Captain till the last second of the round. I would request you to learn to control your verbal horses, which you leave lose especially when you try to speak your mother tongue when vernacular media is around you. Are you listening officer, will you fight like a gentleman, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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