All posts tagged: people

Justice shining?

I am trying to stifle the fan within me as I write this post, because objectivity is important. There is a 4-letter word doing the rounds on Indian news channels and I cannot hold my silence any more. My intention here is merely to weigh the arguments I have been constructing in my head since June 16, rant about the media, and assess the state of affairs in my dear country. If you haven’t figured out yet, I am talking about Shiney Ahuja. The 4-letter word is rape. I quote from Wikipedia (which I am way more tempted to trust as a source than everything that appears as breaking news on CNN IBN, NDTV, Headlines Today and the like): On the evening of Sunday, June 14 2009, a household maid working at Ahuja’s house lodged a compliant with the Mumbai Police alleging that Ahuja raped her when they were alone that same afternoon. She further claimed that he threatened her life to prevent her from disclosing the incident. At first glance, or if you have …

Of Rural India & The Aasha Build

The soul of an Indian is incomplete without a journey into the heart of rural India. The 2 weeks I spent in the slum region of Hegdenagar / Kamanahalli (to which I partly owe my long absence from the blogosphere) has transformed my perspective on India’s development, and my own ambitions and issues. Hegdenagar is an ignored little village, about an hour’s distance from Bangalore city, and a few decades’ development. Honestly though, I had imagined a replica of the Dharavi slums, and Hegnenagar’s cemented, albiet small and dilapidated houses, alleviated, if only for the shortest time, my anticipation of the living standards of our rural countrymen. I learnt later that most Dharavi-styled slums stand on illegal land, and Habitat India has fought its fair battle to abide by the law and take Hegdenagar through its first stage of development. The same houses which teased us with a heartening peek into rural life, home 8-10 families in their 300-350 sq-ft boundaries, math that left me bewildered. Constructing new homes for such families that could afford …

Tagaytay City, Philippines

Somewhere among the clouds lie the highlands of Tagaytay, green and misty, 2 hours away from the busy city life of Manila, the capital. It is here that I spent the weekend, treated to a gorgeous view of the Taal lake, and among people so warm and friendly that it almost felt like home. The trip was sponsored by Accenture, for a 3-day Student Leadership Conference (SLC), during which all of Taal Vista was filled with what I believe to be some of the brightest minds in the Philippines. It never ceases to amaze me that despite our geographical remoteness, the journey we undertake as students tends to bind us in no time at all, like we were always in it together. The SLC was styled with seminars conducted by senior Accenture executives, and intersparsed with team activities that made me feel like a college freshie again! The highlight of the stay was the post-conference bonding with students from different parts of the Philippines, including Baguio, Cebu and Manila. It took me less than a …

Keep Off The grass

I finally found, read and loved a book that hasn’t been extensively reviewed (yet) on the blogosphere! If you aren’t already enticed by the title, get a load of this: an Indian investment banker on Wall Street, born and brought up in the US, decides to quit his million dollar job to go to India to find his roots. He enrolls himself at IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Bangalore, and what ensues is a hillarious chase of answers, grades and weed.  Obviously, the IIM turns out to be completely different from typical B-schools in the US and elsewhere. Samrat Ratan, the protagonist, once a Yale valedictorian and a big-shot banker, is pitted against the super-brained IITians from the country, only to discover that mediocrity has its own virtues. His constant struggle between his American upbringing and Indian roots initially finds no solace in the rat-race of grades and jobs, until he realizes that relationships are what really matter.  In his quest for happiness, Samrat meets Sarkar and Vinod, the former an incredibly smart guy with …

Untitled

This happened in the summer of 2007, when all I wanted to do was lie under the mango tree in the backyard of my house, and make patterns in my head by tracing out the blue of the sky and the white of the clouds, visible through the small peep-holes made by the leaves of the mango tree. It was still a fortnight and a rain shower before the first batch of mangos would be magically transformed from raw green to the color of the sun whose rays they bathed in day after day.    It wasn’t a particularly hot or dry summer. I spent many an evening sprawling under the voluminous mango tree, listening to the evening cries of birds that nested in my backyard, watching the leaves dance in the occasional breeze, toying with infinite thoughts about our universe. On one such daily dates with nature, when the birds hadn’t yet started chirping, the silence of the evening was broken by my pet dog howling in the distance. His pitch would rise and fall, but …

Earth Hour 2009

To some of our minds, climate change is still a far-fetched issue, way out of our grasp and way beyond our time. Even as we speak, people are getting trapped in poverty and hunger all over the world. Our generation is suffering, and climate change is trying to make us reflect upon the well-being of future generations. I don’t know if it’s a just cause, but I do know that we are genetically coded to be futuristic. After all, we do all we do in our life time, so our race could survive further, consciously or sub-consciously. Above is a glimpse into climate change. If you have ever been awestruck by the picturesque view from a hill top, been hypnotized by the turquoise blue of the sea, or simply marvelled at the sheer beauty of the evening sky, you know that our planet is worth saving. You can read more on CNN’s exclusive section Planet in Peril. Earth Hour is an initiative by the WWF, that tries to urge each individual, household and organization to …

Coldplay Live in Singapore!

We didn’t get to heaven but we made it close.  This is going to be a really short post, because I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like seeing Coldplay perform live! Chris Martin is really awesomeness personified, with an unbelievable voice and a truckload of energy. *Bows* I am still suffering from Coldplay withdrawal symptoms, or as my friend would say, Coldstroke! I can still hear violet hill live in my head, I can still choke on Chris Martin doing fix you,  I am still speechless imagining the hardest part, I am still lost. What a concert! And in the end We lie awake And we dream We’re making our escape…

The ides of March

Astrology has been a rampant theme in several Shakespearean plays, together with omens, folklores & superstitions. The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the ides of March,”  has made today subconsciously linked with a sense of foreboding. Despite all science, the human mind can be trained to shun logic and stick to intuition.  Here’s a collection of some rather whacky superstitions from around the world: #1: Korea: Don’t wash your hair on an exam day. Apparently, people believed that when they washed their hair, their memories were cleaned by the water, making them forget the stuff they had studied. #2: Mexico, America: Counting stars will make your eyes look like those of a fish, or cause corns on your feet. #3: Korea: If you marry someone with a five years difference in age, you’ll fight with your spouse every day, but you won’t get divorced. If you marry someone six years older or younger than you, you and your spouse will live happily, but you will always be beggars.  #4: Russia: If you look in a broken mirror, …

The Diary Of A Young Girl

I am probably among the last people on the planet to have read Anne Frank’s diary, and given that, this review is probably very redundant. I am doing it nonetheless because it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Anne Frank’s was one of the Jewish families that went into hiding during Hitler’s reign. Her diary is a day-to-day account of life in hiding, written between the ages of 13 and 15. Even though it was never intended for public readership, it makes for a smooth storyline and an extremely engaging one at that. It re-emphasizes, time and again, the futility of war.  Anne Frank was 13 when she started writing her diary and I’m 21, and yet, I can relate to everything she writes about growing up in a world where adulthood is defined by age and not maturity of thought. “We’re all alive, but we don’t know why or what for; we’re all searching for happiness; we’re all leading lives that are different and yet the same… People who …

I do?

One of the side effects of turning 21 is that the word ‘marriage’ seems to be floating in the air, all the time. It makes people emanate all kinds of sentiments – obsession, fantasy, detest, and the most boring, acceptance. Lately, too many of my discussions with people revolve around the subject, and I hope this post is going to be a closure.  Given how rapidly our Indian culture has progressed, generation gaps are so glaringly obvious. Apparently generation gaps work in multiples of 7, and on some level, I have started to notice that. Anyway, this cultural progression seems to have been segregated by community, and some orthodox ones are still in the 20th century phase of arranged marriage, where girls are showcased to boys and only one-sided approval is necessary. I won’t address such an outrageously ridiculous custom here.  Recently however, I had a long debate with a friend who compares arranged marriages to Swayamvaras of history. The similarity is uncanny, if you think about it. Back in the day, suitors would line …