It’s just a co-incidence that this post is coming on Independence day.
Last night I was in an auto with a couple of friends, and the auto couldn’t get up a slope and stopped near the edge of the slope which was leading onto a main road. We had to get down from the auto, and after a lot of fight, the auto got on top. As the driver was trying hard to get the auto moving, a guy comes over and starts talking to him in Marathi. I’m not sure if he was a traffic police. He was dressed in white, but didn’t really look like one.
After asking a few questions, but not getting any replies, the guy asks him in Hindi, if he understands Marathi, and on getting a negative reply, starts shouting on him!
The guy harasses the driver, asking him to handover his license and threatens him of horrible consequences, if he doesn’t do so. We tried to intervene saying, we want to leave early and stuff, but the auto refused to start. The driver asked us to leave and said he’ll take care of the matter.
And then, today I hear people talking of national integration and stuff. I hear stuff about changing the country, getting rid of corrupt politicians and all the high ideals crap. I keep hearing all sorts of patriotic songs that I hear only twice a year. Not once more than that.
Why is it that we talk of all this only on these two days of National importance? Why are these songs played only twice a year? Don’t we get that feeling of patriotism on other days? Isn’t patriotism a “true” feeling?
I think, India will only take a leap in it’s progress, when that happens.
This post is my attempt to start a travelogue. I hope to capture the “All India Tour” phase of my life (as people have started to call it). I’ll try to keep these posts from becoming travel guides. There are loads of them and I surely don’t need to increment count.
This post is after a trip to Kanpur, Agra and Sikri.
- Trains are never on Time. The delay increases exponentially with your distance from the sourthern most tip of the country. Also, the confidence of the aam admi in this delay is proportional to the distance.
Any delay less than an hour wasn’t considered to be a delay. Thanks to the fog, low visibility.
- If you want to travel around India, all you need is an SLR. Additionally, if you are not of Indian origin, you’ll need the “India” guide.
I got bored of seeing people poring over the pages of that “blue” India book or madly clicking away on their SLRs.
- Whether or not you get food or water on a train, you are assured of enough “chilled” air from the slit under your window. Come what may, you shall not be deprived of this service.
- The trust of a person in you is inversely proportional to the difference between your ages. It is inversely proportional to the 2.718th power of the difference if you are aged between 20 and 25.
I only vaguely remember what the TTE told me in my sleep, while paying the fine for not carrying a print out of our e-ticket; but, it really was something sick and senseless.
- The chill at a place, on the day you reach, is inversely proportional to how much people have scared/warned you. On the rest of the days, it is proportional to the square of the warm clothing you have on you.
I thoroughly enjoyed the chill of Kanpur. Wonderful! The infrastructure, too good! Never expected a 50 year old campus to be so Awesome. [They have an air-strip too!]
- The thrill of having an ice-cream is proportional to the square of difference between the ambient temperature and the standard room temperature.
- Don’t ever think of celebrating your escape, without the Aalu encounter. Welcome to the land of Alu addicted men. You shall, surely, have your share. If not anything else, you shall be serverd a Capsicum or Brinjal stuffed with Aalu. Also, the quality and availability of leather seems to be proportional to the addiction to Aalu.
- “hawker time” – the time you spend being followed by hawkers trying to convince you to buy whatever they have. “firang-ness” – difficult to predict; a parameter that depends on the amount of branded stuff on you, stylishness of your winter wear and other unknown variableness. Your hawker time is proportional to (firang-ness) * abs(time of day in 24 hr clock – 1400) [when, 900 < time < 1800]
I understand, that, they need to make ends meet; each day of their lives. I got followed a lot. I can't help observing. Sometimes, enjoyed being followed too.
The Taj. Simply Awe-Inspiring. As Madhu put it, “the longer you keep watching it, the more it’s beauty overwhelms you”. But, I still think, the first time is the best time to see it. It’s simply mind blowing when you get the first glimpse, after entering from the West gate.
It’s time to stop writing when all you can see is proportionality between totally unrelated things.
Here are a few pics
First things first…
स्वतंत्रता दिनोत्सव की शुभकामनायें
Wish You All a Happy Independence Day..
స్వాతంత్ర దినోత్సవ శుభాకాంక్షలు…
[yes, I know just three of the eighteen… and no foreign ones.. ]
Every year, during this time of the year, the papers and news and blogs and all other such media, are filled with analyses, comments, opinions and all sorts of things on the progress made (and not made) by Independent India…. the flavour of patriotism that was only subtle all this while, tends to grow upon us as the Day arrives and I’m no exception.
Being an average Indian, just one amongst the Billion, the progress (or non-) is a very big issue for me to comment on and I would leave that job for the better qualified or the more courageous ones. But I wonder, I (just) wonder…..
Come August and its the beginning of a new semester, bringing along “Elections” in campus. This time is no different… I can see people gearing up…. campaigning has begun even before the announcement of elections or nominations… and what goes on here?
- “Dude.. I don’t need to campaign.. there’s enough guys from our state in our hostel.. so contesting= winning.. don’t worry!”
- “Look dude.. both of us are from the same state.. so I know you will be obviously voting for me.. but still if you want, you can have a look at my Agenda… “
- “Hey, its not important for me to tell you my agenda… its sufficient for you to know that my opponent hails from the other half of the country (North-South)where we hail from..
- “People.. we need to make sure that only one person, belonging to our state contests for this post… or the votes will get divided”
Where are those ideals of unity and brotherhood? Isn’t it important that the best person be chosen? Shouldn’t the abilities of a candidate be considered rather than where (s)he hails from or what tongue (s)he speaks? Isn’t it an irony, that all this happens precisely during this time, when the whole nation is celebrating the birth of an Independent India?? Shouldn’t at least the celebrations be able to evoke the emotions of brotherhood, love and equality amongst us?? Shouldn’t the fact that all of us are here with a purpose, a common goal of education, enough to get over the differences of language and origin? Shouldn’t the interests of the College and the Students overpower such minor issues??
The National Ideals of India are Renunciation and Service. Intensify her in those channels and the rest will take care of itself.