Monday, May 31, 2010

Home - sweet home

And so ends my tour of the United States of America...What they call the 'land of milk and honey'

A Country that has offered unlimited opportunity for growth and prosperity to one and all. Where competency, perseverance and hard work - in other words 'merit' are the main criteria for success. Where countless number of people set foot on her shores and made a success of their lives.Indians and Chinese, who, by sheer dint of hard work, gave the Americans themselves a run for their money. And this Country provided them a fair chance to do that.

The US is two and a half times the size of India, but has a population that is roughly one fourth that of our Country. The result is - a thin population density. Translated to 'local' terms - lot of peace and quiet. Almost every experience is therefore enjoyable - driving, shopping, eating out and what have you. And as one goes through these experiences, there is a pang of remorse.....

As I landed in India, I was quickly transformed to reality. This is home ! This City - New Delhi is in fact home ! The heat, the bumpy taxi ride from the airport, which involves negotiating endless diversions, potholes and 'what have you'. And each bump, each diversion, and the endless dust flying around, makes us believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That our City will have its own Metro Rail, and will proudly and successfully host the Commonwealth Games.....

But you have to wait just a little bit longer. When your entire spinal column is of a new shape, after you have burnt thousands of litres of fuel in you car, sitting through never ending traffic jams, after your lungs cannot inhale any more dust, and after you and many other citizens of Delhi collectively represent enough material for a seminar on psychiatric disorders, it will happen. You WILL see the end of the tunnel - my friend !

And back home - there are lots of interesting stories to catch up with. The ones that interest one's mind, are the ones I pick up first.

Like the controversy about the Kargil war. And accusations on a senior general who commanded the Corps that virtually fought the entire war in Kargil. Accusations of having doctored the war records, reporting information that was factually incorrect, and misleading the Nation in general.

In all probability, these news items about the Armed forces do not surprise any one any more. But to me - I feel ashamed. To realize that an Institution proud to be one of the finest in the World, famed for discipline, values, known to produce leaders and build character, has actually failed the Nation. It has failed in its promise of delivering what it proudly claimed it could. And it has misled its people into believing everything that it in fact does NOT deliver. The Army continues to live in past glory.

One also feels sad for the huge number of lives lost -of innocent people. Just because of a handful of others who were irresponsible.

Innocent passengers perished in an air crash in Mangalore, just because the pilot was arrogant and didn't pay heed to his deputy's warning about a miscalculated approach for landing.

Innocent passengers died - yet again - in another train derailment caused by the Maoists, just because of an incompetent Government (who incidentally we, the people of India have elected) that lacks the will to take on these terrorists and deal with them firmly and decisively...

In India human life is very very cheap....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 5 (May 22, 2010)

Today being a Saturday, was a holiday for me as it was for all Americans. And for Americans, the weekend preparations begin on Friday afternoon. In many Offices people leave by lunch time. They know how to enjoy life with their families. We Indians should learn a lesson from this.

The morning started with a two hour drive from Salisbury to Washington DC by a shuttle bus. And I drove through some of the finest parts of the Country side. A lot greenery, hills, fields etc.

I reached the BWI airport, where I was picked up by Swati and Rajeev. I met Swati my MBA classmate, first time after 1987 - that makes it 23 years ! We then proceeded for lunch. At lunch we had some of the finest Thai food I have tasted in a while.

Then a nice tour of the City. This included seeing The White House, The Capitol - that houses the Senate, The Supreme Court and the Lincon Memorial. We also visited a War Memorial. There on a long and wide granite wall, were engraved the names of all the soldiers fallen for the Country in the World War - II, The Korean War and the Vietnam War. A fine way for the Nation to pay respects to those who made the supreme sacrifice - that of their life, in defending the honor of their Country. People thronged the area. There were war veterans, sons, daughters, friends of those who were no longer alive and whose names were there on the wall. A very emotional and poignant moment for many.

Swati and her husband were generous to host a dinner and invited another old class mates Smita, now settled in the US and living close to Swati, and Akanksha a relative, and her family. I saw both of them after 24 years...

It was great to connect with old friends after a long time. Old memories came flooding by. It was satisfying to note that all have progressed well in life. They have performed all roles well - that of a professional, spouse and parent.

I wish all of them and their families, more happiness and good luck.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday May 14, 2010

The day comes to an end. It slowly dies out. Night comes to life.

It has been a long, eventful and tiring day. Full of feelings of happiness, disappointment, anxiety, then relief. A day full of travelling, meetings, formality, and gestures....

I return to my home. All energy is drained out. It seems that now there is no more strength....just no more....

But it isn't time to give up. Not just yet. Because there's a whole lot more to be done.....

And there's still miles to go - before I will finally sleep..

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

News from all over the World and from all walks of life continues to hold our attention. Some sad, some that gives us a reason to smile or to be amused. But certainly most which can be ignored.

My heart goes out to the small boy who was the lone survivor in the plane crash at Libya yesterday. As we speak, he is barely conscious, and has just about managed to state the name of the Country he came from - Holland. There were about 60 Dutch passengers on that flight, along with this boy. In all probability he was with his parents who perished in the accident. No relatives from back home have made a contact yet. Has he even been able to grasp the full magnitude of this event - I wonder.

Dhoni's press conference remarks have got all kinds of people reacting. He admitted that players have been concentrating on too much cricket and as if that wasn't enough, there was a lot of partying....When I say 'admitted' I mean I suspected all along that this was a root cause of all the problems with the Indian team.. Senior retired players did not take his remarks very 'sportingly' stating that these wee excuses. And there are mixed opinions about the fact that players always have the choice of refusing to attend parties hosted by the Franchises that run into late nights and take a toll on their physical fitness.

Whatever be the case, the team and the management has a lot of thinking to do - about how to 'turn around' Meanwhile there is a reason to cheer that has to do with cricket. And that is the performance of our women's team. They have done well - even coming up thus far, and who know - they may spring a pleasant surprise.

A word also about the 1971 War records having been completely destroyed and not available anymore. Amongst many other mysterious happenings associated with that war which Indians will now never get to know, there is this mystery about the sinking of the Pakistani submarine 'Ghazi'. The Indian Navy had boasted about having destroyed it on the morning of 4th December, just a few hours after the war started on Dec 3 , 1971. The fact was that the submarine was destroyed by accident while laying mines. The Indian Navy had in fact nothing to do with its sinking

Lt. Gen. Jacob who was the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army's Eastern Command, and the main Officer who played a pivotal role in the execution of the war plans that led to the decisive victory in the Eastern theatre of the war, later went on to write a book "Surrender at Dacca' which was his won account of the war. He mentions in his book that on December 1, the remains of the 'Ghazi' were found floating on the waters of India' s eastern maritime border near Vishakhapatnam. Both the Army and the Navy got to know about it, and exchanged notes on December 1, 1971 to confirm the news. Apparently, the submarine had been destroyed by a mine explosion, its own doing. On December 3, 1971 Vice Admiral Krishnan called up Genl Jacob to ask whether the Army had reported the sinking of the 'Ghazi'. When Genl Jacob replied in the negative, a much relieved Admn. Krishnan requested the General to forget the incident.

The next morning, the official news released to the World through the Navy's press release was that the Indian Navy had attacked and sunk the Pakistani submarine.

So what's the truth? We will never get to know now. There records don't exist anymore. And while Lt. Genl. Jacob is around, I doubt whether he will spill the beans...

And finally, Big B and his family have been counted in the new Census. Obviously as residents of Mumbai. Wonder what Mr. Bal Thackeray and his nephew Raj Thackeray have to say. Do the Bachchans have their 'permission' to be called citizens of Mumbai?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Anand Vishwanathan - Congrats. But am I happy?

Yesterday was a day of mixed fortunes for Indian Sport. On the one hand you had Anand Vishwanathan being crowned the World Chess champion. And on the other hand, the Indian cricket team was knocked out of the T20 tournament, after all avenues and possibilities were closed.

All avenues - including relying on and hoping for other teams' failures. We hoped and prayed that West Indies loses to Australia and that Sri Lanka loses by a minimum margin to India.

Before the former case was decided, India's fate was sealed by its own doing or undoing. One last chance and it was squandered.

Sadly, an Indian getting crowned the World Champion is not a news worthy of more than a corner of the sports page in any leading newpaper. Because the game is Chess. It would have been the same situation had it been any game other than cricket. So Mr. Vishwanathan can never hope or expect to be given a huge reception on arrival in some City, then driven around in a long motorcade with people lined up on both sides of the road, and then felicitated by a team of 'Netas' on a dais in some stadium. Why not? He's a World Champion after all. The reason is he's not a cricketer.

If India were to focus equally on many other games, if lavish budgets were distributed among these games which would ensure better facilities, coaches and trainers etc. there would be many more World Champions. And India would not be left with just relying upon just one game which today is the source of all entertainment, joy, pride and disappointment.

Let's have variety. Let's have a choice !

And by India - I mean us Indians - each one of us, who seem to know about just one game. Let's look at other games and other sportsmen. Pay attention to them - glorify them too just like we do cricketers. Celebrate their success and also cry with them when they fail.

In short, let us own them too.

And what do we need to do, to achieve this? All we need to do is watch more of those sports. Go to the stadiums to watch which is even better, or even watch on television which is good enough.

It is the Indian viewer of TV is the King ! In the economics of sports, media and entertainment, he actually has the power to change the fortune of a game or a sport. He has to simply make a choice - to view a game or a sport or not to view it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RIP Mac Mohan

Late last evening, I heard the news of the passing away of actor Mac Mohan. At 71 years of age, he finally lost the battle against cancer.

Many of our generation and undoubtedly almost all of the generation after us, will not be able to put a face to that name.But talk about 'Sambha' of Sholay and there's instant recognition ! Mac Mohan who performed the role of Sambha had only three words to say as a dialogue in the movie - "Poore pachaas hajaar" - when asked by his leader Gabbar Singh about the denomination of the reward the police had announced for the latter's capture. Decades after the release of the movie, this dialogue has a much higher recall than even the songs of the movie, and people continue to chant this dialogue again and again, to this day ! MacMohan would himself not have imagined that the three words that he spoke in Sholay would stick to him for life.

Mac Mohan acted in many many other films - always in roles relatively low profile compared to the heros and heroines he acted with. But those roles were certainly not insignificant by any stretch of imagination. In every such role Mac Mohan left behind an imprint in the sands of film art - a contribution that will hopefully be remembered by his acting and film making colleagues and his fans.

He was one of the many actors who as a team played his role in entertaining us. For this, we could do well to thank him and remember him for as long as we can.

Monday, May 10, 2010

T20 2012 - Here we come !!

That's the only thing we can now look forward to and cheer about. Because India is virtually out of this year's reckoning as far as the T20 tournament goes. Unless an absolute mathematical miracle and 'good luck plays a part.

And India has reached this situation thanks to just two bad games against Australia and the West Indies. And one or two bad days in the field are enough for any team to be out of the reckoning - that's how severe and cut throat the competition is.

So why is it that India lands up in a situation such as this, more often than not? Why is it that every time India steps into the field to play a match, we can only guess as to what the outcome of the game will be. We cannot say with a reasonable degree of confidence that India will emerge as the winner.

In my opinion, it is the top order batsmen who have to take life much more seriously, when it comes to their contribution to the teams' achievement

Today, everyone is so enamoured by the 'stars' of Indian cricket that we cannot even bring ourselves to think and analsyse along the lines - that maybe it is those stars who are letting us down. And when I say everyone being enamoured, I mean the selectors, cricket experts, millions of spectators and fans and the media.

We have let grow a cricket 'culture' in our Country wherein, one 'flash in the pan' performance by a batsman, is enough to secure his berth in the team for many many tours and tournaments. He is 'glorified' many times over and slowly learns to live in past glory. Many times his contribution in the team is that of a mere passenger. He remains secure in the belief that it will be a long, long time - many many innings and opportunities will be frittered away, all kinds of analysis would be conducted on the performance of the team, yet no one will have the moral courage to take a long hard look at specific individuals who failed the team-to call a spade a spade regardless of whether it was a novice team member responsible for a debacle, or a cricket 'star'.

If the Indian Cricket team's performance needs to change - this 'culture' has to change....

It is these stars who need to take up the burden of responsibility of winning matches and tournaments. The onus of delivering results lies on them and them alone. Like all other senior members of any team of any kind, the buck stops at them. They have to justify their place in the National squad, in face of threats from younger talent.

The window of tolerance of failure has to be much more narrow. Put in a more straightforward manner, two or three failures in a row, and the player has to give way to a replacement. IT is this 'cut throat' clinical approach that the selectors will have to adopt to create a 'fear' of consequence' which in my opinion is absent in the minds of 'star' players today.

A player's past record is important but cannot be the single most important factor in judging him.In the new culture each player has to rise to the occasion, when the situation is critical. In other words, a good player's performance in a crucial 'make or break' match like the one against the West Indies yesterday, has to be 'doubly better' and must have a huge positive bearing on the outcome of the game, rather than the other way around. In the new culture each player has to excel

And Excellence is certainly about scoring big runs time after time. But excellence is definitely more about a great responsible performacne when the chips were down. Its about displaying grit, determination and leadership in a difficult situaion. Its about a display worthy of the skills possesses and coupled with years of experience.

Excellence is about an exemplary and an inspiring performance

When the going gets tough, the tough should get going, and not let down the team when their contribution is needed the most.

It's time we stopped harping about batting averages. These numbers are misleading.

Consistency is the key.

A good consistent batsman should be prefered any day over a highly skilled batsman who is terribly inconsistent. Consider a simple example. A skilled batsman who scored a 100 - 0 - 100 - 0 in four consecutive innings will still boast of a batting average of 50 which appears impressive. But the fact remains that he was out for a duck in two of the four innings, and those two innings might have been very crucial to the team !

Notwithstanding all of the above, the ideal culture is when any player - be it a Gambhir or a Sehwag on realising that he hasn't performed and that his performance has adversely affected his team's position, himself offers his place in the team to another player. That will be the true display of sporting spirit and more importantly character - important ingredients in the mental make up of any sportsman.

Because at the end of the day, the number of runs you scored will be counted as part of Cricketing Statistics, but the character you displayed, will stand out for ever.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Friends, Alumni and the 'Alma Mater'...

Alumni reunions have a special place in my heart. And those who know me well, know that nothing and no one can ever come between me and any alumni event, be it in Mt. St. Mary's School, St. Stephen's College or the Lucknow University. These are the three Institutions where I spent 18 years of my life, growing up and getting educated.

Alumni events like annual luncheon and dinner meets come and go and I am there always and every time. On each such visit to the Alma Mater, one invariably is overcome by a feeling of nostalgia. Its a walk down memory lane. You literally walk through the School and College corridors, and classrooms. And you meet members of the faculty and staff - those people who arrived at these institutions one day, and then time stopped for them. They seemed to have found the love of their life and stayed there !

In my experience of attending in every event, the one experience which eluded me almost every time is meeting old friends and classmates. One does meet an odd one or two. However - most of them haven't managed to reconnect with their Alma Mater all these years.

The last three months were special in that sense. For, in these three months I actually was successful in re connecting with many of my seniors, class mates and friends from School. Friends who I had lost touch with, for thirty years.

How did it happen?

People who had never attended a single reunion event in the last three decades, managed to land up this year in School in March. It took a bit of effort on my part and that of another friend, to round up people and excite them about the idea of coming back to School. And while it was going to School, it was a bit of 'homecoming'.....

We all met up - students who were three to five years senior. Many of whom were role models for us.

And then there were classmates. 'Bum chums' to describe the relationship more aptly. When we met for the last time in 1979, were all looked more or less the same. Because most 17 year olds look the same, and because we all wore the School uniform. And because we were all bound by that one common bond - we were School mates and friends and nothing else in life.

And when we met that evening - we all looked different. Some of us slim, most of us with extra weight at the wrong parts of the body. Some still sporting black hair, others grey, and yet others with no hair at all. Some Officers of the Indian armed forces, some business executives some Doctors and then some who were entrepreneurs...

In thirty years we had moved on, and how ! Life completed one full cycle. We grew up, completed our education, and took up our professions. Got married, had children of our own.

And then we decided to rewind and come back to 'that' stage in life. Where we shared the same classroom, borrowed each other's books, shared each others lunch. When we played soccer and cricket and pranks on some teachers. When we had our first crush on girls together. Shared every moment of happiness, and joy, achievements, setbacks and losses - everything.

Our friends were the beginning and the end of our lives then. Nothing else mattered in those 12 years in School. Till the time came - when a more serious and purposeful meaning of life was given to us. And in pursuit of those newly defined 'meanings' of life, we drifted apart.

Those moments when we met together after thirty years, can best be described as 'magical'. Because those, who one thought had gone away from our lives for ever, appeared again !

In those few hours we were transformed into another World and another time. Forgetting that we had our spouses for company. We remembered our days in School, we remembered our teachers
We laughed and we became sad. We also resolved to go back to School and for a change do something meaningful for our Alma Mater, who had played such a role in making us what we are today.

Time stood still that evening us. Till we forced ourselves to the present. And promised to ourselves, never to drift again.

Just last week, I experienced another such reunion, but in a different role. My wife was part of the alumni, and I accompanied her as a 'spouse' Roles were reversed now. My wife was 'transformed' into another person in another time ! And I watched and experienced that transformation with a sense of amusement. Of how a full grown mature adult suddenly becomes a school kid...

But I understood the feelings and the emotions. Because I had 'been there'....

Friday, May 07, 2010

Animal Behavior

I can't help go through the Press reports again and again as the true nature and extent of the horrific incident related to animal cruelty registers in my mind. And as my mind comprehends, I feel myself going into a 'daze' ....

This incident is so extraordinary that after reading about it, I cannot display emotions like anger, horror ridicule etc.

Instead my mind starts to think rationally, and go over the event reported in the media.

Last Sunday afternoon, some miscreants breached the security in a well guarded Government complex - The Delhi Jal Board at Lajpat Nagar, despite full deployment of security guards, and presence of a sizeable number of Jal Board personnel who were on emergency water supply duty.

Their task? To round up and kill stray dogs. Dogs which had used to reside inside the DJB complex !

I wondered.... are human beings capable of premeditated murder of dogs?? Why?

These miscreants with the help (most likely the case) of some of the DJB personnel proceeded to unleash what can best be described as sadistic and cannibalistic torture of the hapless animals.

The 11 dogs were cornered, their legs broken, cuts inflicted and bodies pierced with 'bhaalas' and other sharp objects, before they died. Their bodies were cut and chopped.

Not only this - some of the dogs who ran into the Jal Board building in sheer desperation were rounded up again and subject to the same treatment.

It is reported that the carcass was preserved later for human consumption.

The above graphic description alone, will make any normal person feel sick. Imagine how the minds work, of the people who performed this ghastly act.

There should be no doubt that a normal human being cannot display the type of behavior described above. So are these people normal?

We live in a City, where an innocent human being can be murdered in full public view, and it can take more than a decade before he is brought to book. So when we talk about animals being killed is there somebody listening?

The Delhi Jal Board Chief being a bureaucrat, has been loyal to his professional and provided a befitting response - he hasn't yet received the formal report sent to him by the Animal Welfare Board of India (whereas this report was e-mailed to him by Maj Genl Kharb, Chairman).

The Delhi Police are burdened with more significant matters (on which they will not act anyway) - Will they respond to an incident involving killing of dogs - that too stray ones ? Anybody's guess.

In my opinion all animal lovers should come together and lodge a strong protest with all agencies involved. And continue to protest till they are heard.

And I think this protest should not have so much to do with the killing of innocent animals.

The protest has to do with the inaction thus far, in rounding up a group of people who possess an unsound mind, and therefore are a danger to society. What stops them from attacking humans one day?

These people don't seem to be in a 'normal' state of mind. And I won't be surprised if it is foiund that they require psychiatric treatment, before they are punished as per the applicable law.

Your Mother

She went through endless excruciating pain

To bring you into this World

And when you were too small

She helped you grow and become strong.

When you were too small to eat, she fed you,

When you cried she remained awake so you could sleep

And when you were sick, she cried.

She taught you to walk and she taught you to talk

She took you to the park so you could play

And when you waved to her - from a swing - a big smile on your face

It was her best reward

For, in seeing you happy, she found her joy

And forever and ever she told you she loved you

On your first day to school, you wouldn’t let her go away

She turned away but it broke her heart…

She taught you to read and she held your hand so you could write.

All this while, she ably balanced all other burdens …

Bread earner, homemaker and a wife

Untiring, and with never ending energy, she toiled

She desired only the best for you her child

And her happiness lay only in giving….

When you grew up and left home she cried

But stifled her sorrow for your happiness, your well being

And when you stood on our own two feet,

Educated and able to face life

Her heart swelled with pride.

And now you are grown up

And she – old and frail

And tired

She wants to do much more....

But her aching body prevails upon her will....

So she prays and prays

For you happiness and joy

Sometimes when you are impatient with her

Or do things to hurt her

She doesn’t mind – not at all

She knows nothing about being hurt by her own flesh and blood

Now - when she can’t walk do you hold her hand?

When she can’t eat – do you feed her?

And now, when she cries

Do you comfort her?

And like she always, always did – to you

Do you tell her you love her?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Kasab gets Death....

So Kasab was sentenced to death. For many this was a foregone conclusion.

There was much 'hype' around this development, and a sense of 'jubilation' displayed by many - some directly associated with the case - like the public prosecutor, or others -who had nothing to do with the case but related to it anyway - as good citizens. All this made this development seem as if an end or a goal had been achieved.

Kasab's sentence should be seen as justice delivered to the near and dear ones of those that perished in the carnage that he and his friends were responsible for. Nothing more. And that too, justice delivered in a lower Court of law. For the law will allow Kasab to appeal in a higher Court.

Is it really that big a deal? It is not the end of India's fight against terrorism - make no mistake about that.

India's real fight against terrorism is with those responsible for planning such attacks. Those that spew the venom of hatred against our Country. Masterminds like Lakhvi and Saeed, and for that matter, Dawood.

None of these people have been punished. Instead, we have managed to send one insignificant pawn in the hands of these masterminds, to the gallows. One small fry, who could well have been killed soon after he unleashed terror on the evening of 26/11. He just happened to stay alive....and by condemning him to death, India is overcome with a sense of great achievement and satisfaction !

India's fight against terror has to go on till each known perpetrator of terror is brought to book. Be it individuals or even a whole Country.

To hang or not to hang - is that a question??

Today - India awaits the sentence to be awarded to Ajmal Kasab, one of the ten terrorists who arrived from Pakistan onto the shores of Mumbai on 26th November 2008, and in course of the next few hours brutally killed hundreds of innocent people at a Railway Station, hospital, two Hotels and even the home of a Jewish priest.

Most of these murderers were gunned down by the security forces - their fate was sealed even before they left Pakistan.

By a strange quirk of fate, one of them - Ajmal Kasab survived.

The Government till date has spent in excess of thirty crore rupees to protect this one man, in order to prosecute him and also to try and gather more intelligence about who the master mind planners were, of this horrific attack.

Three days back, the judge presiding over the case pronounced Kasab guilty and set May 6 2010, today, as the date of announcement of the sentence.

All of the above are facts. But there is also a hyperactive media - pages after pages of print, and endless hours of repetitive broadcast of television recordings, trying to create a huge sensation out of the whole matter. Will it be a death sentence or a life imprisonment? Should it be a death sentence? What do the wives of Hemant Karkare and the other police officers who laid down their lives that evening, have to say? The viewer and readers are drawn in, into what I believe is a sick almost gut wrenching experience. A man's fate between life and death is to be decided and every media channel indulges in sensationalism of the cheapest form yet !

Whether Kasab's crime should invite a death sentence or not, is a matter of endless debate which can never be concluded. One one person has to take a call and that is the judge presiding over the case. However let us not lose sight of that fact that we are talking about taking away another life even though that of a hardened criminal. Does that become a hot topic for discussion over coffee or cocktails?

To me it seems that every Indian should be sensitive to all the events that led up to this case - mostly what happened on 26/11. Innocent lives were lost. This case and the pending judgement to be awarded to Kasab, is all about that. For a moment - get into the mind of the next of kin of any person who died that evening or in the next two days. How would he or she be thinking today? If Kasab hangs, will it make him or her happier? They know that Kasab's hanging will not bring their near and dear ones back to life. At best it will leave them satisfied that justice has been delivered.

Therefore there has to be an attitude, an environment and an air of sobriety and solemnity around this case. Especially today. After all it is a very severe punishment we are talking about - and not a transaction or a 'quid pro quo' . Something into which every Indian is being forced, to stake a claim, thanks to our media.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

2010 - A New Beginning....

For some strange reason a Tweet by Priyanka Chopra, about her grandmother's demise, made me turn back the 'pages' of my blog, and revisit a tribute I had written about my own grandmother-my 'Dadi' some months ago. Perhaps it was a sense of empathy I don't know Priyanka Chopra but I could relate to the emotions that would have crossed her mind when she lost her grandmother.

I read the blog I had written - once again. And once again, my heart filled up with pride for my late grandmother, who was a person who I admired as much as she loved me.

And in reading this blog of mine, I also realized that I visited my blog page for the first time in the year 2010 ! And felt like 'kicking' myself for not having lived up to the promise I had made to myself, of writing regularly.

My mind went through a 'rewind' of all that has happened during 2010 thus far, events and experiences that kept the World occupied and busy. Delhites went through a rather bitter winter - tough to experience but one that left behind good memories. Then came the controversies. And as if political ones weren't enough, we had one in sports - now popularly called the 'IPLGate' The Country also struggled with the menace caused by the Naxalite and Maoists in parts of the Country. India's tainted Generals about whom I posted my last blog of 2009, were brought to book, and the Officer who had the courage to stand upright against his Boss and call a spade a spade, came out with flying colours and became the 24th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

Ajmal Kasab's trial was successfully completed and while everyone is all praises for the speed at which it was concluded, I personally thought it should not have taken even half as much time....

And much more happened - even volcanoes and earthquakes, all that left one dazed and marvelling at the extent and variety that Nature can demostrate to us humans.

On the personal front, a trip to Europe while the Continent still grappled with one of the worst winters, was a tough but enjoyable experience. Denmark witnesses more snow than the total put together in many years. In Barcelona, it must have been one rare occasion in history when it had last snowed. And then it happened this winter. And citizens had to bear the brunt when the entire infrastructure collapsed as a result.

Above all, it was perhaps one of the most significant phases of one's own life. A time of new resolves, determination, giving up habits - some clearly bad, and some not necessarily so...and starting new ones - new routines - all for the betterment of ones body and mind...

As I look back at the last four months, I realise how much flashed by, about which I could have written right here on this page.
But the past is past. And as long as there are humans on this Earth, and as long as Nature exists, there is promise of so much more to come....

So here's to yet another determined effort to write, write and then some..

And here's to good health and happiness to all !