Monthly Archives: October 2013

Bhoot Aaya Bhoot!

A new serial has started on Sony TV, called Bhoot Aaya!  As it usually happens the advertisements announcing the show were being telecast much before it actually started. My first reaction when I saw the advertisement was, ‘Oh! NO!!’ I was instantly reminded of a show long ago, on the same channel called Aahat  which  was probably the first of its kind on Indian TV. It was about all things unnatural, supernatural, black magic and what not!!  Initially people got hooked on to it as it was something new and otherwise also, human beings are always fascinated by things that exist only in their imagination and of things that have only stories and more stories and no proof. So this new horror serial garnered very good TRP. But like they say, all good (bad) things must come to an end. The producers of the show ran out of ideas but didn’t want to wind up a successfully running programme.  In a desperate bid to keep the show going on they tried to make it scarier with dirty looking wigs, side teeth poking out (like that of  a wild hog),thickly outlined eyes in a white painted face with coloured lenses on eye balls etc.. To top it all there would be cots swinging in the air and people (possessed ones)making strange sounds. All this made it a comical serial than a horror one. No need to say the fan following reduced drastically and the show had to be called off.  After this, different channels tried their hands at it but none could survive longer.

In all these years I’m sure, nobody missed such serials. But looks like the TV channels don’t want us smiling, happy and carefree. As  if the M-I-L and D-I-L  domestic fight and sob stories weren’t enough, they are out again in an effort to scare our wits out of us.  As a child I used to be really scared of the these ghostly stories because I used to read  Chandamama and some other children’s magazines which used to have at least one ghost story. In those days people really believed in them and everybody used to come out with different stories as though they have seen a ghost face to face. We, as children, believed them to be true. I remember how scared I used to be to walk under a tamarind tree because that’s where the ghosts lived, according to people. Now all those ghostly stories sound very ghastly and I feel like laughing at myself for believing in them.

Now we’ve to wait and watch to see what happens to the new ghost serial. Frankly speaking, in today’s world when people seem to be questioning the existence of God, will anybody have interest in one more bhootiya serial?  Despite all the progress in science and technology, the fact that such regressive and unbelievable stories have once again found their way to peoples drawing rooms, is in itself very disappointing and something we are not proud of!

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Mr Khemka, Be An Indian In India.

Latest news is that Ashok Khemka  is being charge sheeted  a second time by the Haryana government. He became the hottest celebrity when he cancelled the mutation of land deal between the DLF and India’s jamai Robert Vadra. To raise voice against such a VIP, that too when you are on the pay roll of the government and not in the opposition party, takes a lot of guts. When he dared to do it he was transferred and later slapped a charge sheet saying that he had overstepped jurisdiction in passing orders to cancel the mutation. Now the second charge sheet alleges that there were irregularities in wheat seed sale during his tenure as MD in the Haryana Seed Development Corporation. Khemka says he was not even given a chance to put across his side of explanation.

We always keep cribbing that there’s no honesty in government offices and that the officials are busy filling their pockets. Why do you think they do it?  Why are they not motivated enough to do their work sincerely without expecting bribes? They are like this because they have seen and understood that honesty doesn’t do them any good in our country. If you want to do things the way they should be done, you come across hundreds of hurdles and realize that you are the only one being questioned and harassed, all for being honest and up right. No body supports you when you decide to tread the path not dared by many. You are seen as a foolish person. You are left wondering whether you did the right thing by getting into all the trouble.

So many wrong things keeps happening in all government offices. It’s like an open secret where every body knows what’s going on.  Nobody wants to do anything about it because they know that Karenge to marenge.  Gandhiji’s three monkeys are a good example to follow in the new twisted version.. Bura mat dekho, (agar dikh raha hai to aankh band karlo), Bura mat suno, ( agar sunliya to usko unsuna kar do) Bura mat bolo ( jo bura dekha aur suna uske bare me muh mat kholo, nahi to bure phase). If you just close your eyes to everything  that’s happening around you, irrespective of right or wrong, you’ll be safe and happy.  What’s one going to gain by being honest?  Only brickbats, harassment and counter accusations.  In spite of the whole world knowing well that you are right, you’ll be made to look like you are the culprit. Tell me who wants all this?

So Mr Khemka, be an Indian in India. Do as the other officers of all government offices are doing.  Ask them where do they lock up their conscience before coming to office. Take a tip or two and suppress that conscience of yours which keeps popping up every now and then. Spare your wife the agony of packing, unpacking and shifting and your children of changing schools and friends. Don’t you have some duty towards them too? Or just get ready for another transfer, yet another charge sheet because you are up against the most shameless, power hungry people who have no morals and scruples.

Sorry Mr Khemka, for giving you unwanted advice. But let me assure you that along with your quick transfers you are also earning the respect of ‘aam janta‘ of India. We are proud of the only one Khemka that we have.

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For our own good

Recently, while I was at Pune for a few days I heard that the cantonment board was making helmets compulsory for everyone driving through the cantonment. Helmets are not a must in Pune. It has become a personal choice and no prizes for guessing what people choose. I think looking at the lackadaisical attitude of the Pune civic authorities the Cantonment Authorities decided to make it compulsory in their domain at least, to put some sense into people’s heads. I don’t know if the cantonment board was successful in its noble endeavour or not, because when I left Pune, the ‘for and against’ debate was going on. While helmet compulsion is a good thing, it looked a little weird that it was to be done only in a certain area in the city. This is because whenever the authorities tried to enforce helmets the general public and the opposition parties protested as though the government is out to kill them by doing this. It used to be the same story in Bengaluru also. One government would make it compulsory while the next, if happened to be from another party, would ‘undo’ it. This went on for long before some sense prevailed and now people have accepted helmets as part and parcel of their lives or else they know the hawk eyed policemen will catch them promptly without delay if seen driving without one. Really, the Bengaluru Police are very strict when it comes to helmets.

In Delhi where we lived for the last three years helmets are an absolute choice of the rider of the vehicle. Whenever they were made compulsory the sikhs protested as it’s problemetic for them to put it on their turbans-understandable point. But the worst thing was when women opposed it and said that it should not be compulsory for them at all. What’s this? Does it mean that women’s lives have no importance or do they have some magical powers that will save them from any kind of mishap? Is it ok to be lying dead on a road than to wear a helmet? It’s difficult to understand as to why should anybody force us to use helmets or seat belts? How does it matter to anybody if one dies on the road owing to his own stupidity? It’s only the immediate family that suffers and nobody else. So if one is against it, the time has come to understand that you have to do so just for your own and your family’s sake and that’s it.

What’s it about the ‘Statutory Warnings’?  What use are they when nobody seems to be caring about them? We see them everywhere–on cigarette packets, gutka  pouches and alcohol bottles. All these have warnings and gruesome pictures printed on them. But the people who use them are least bothered to even look at them. Neither the terrifying pictures nor the ever increasing costs can deter these people who prefer to enjoy their addiction than to worry about health, future and family.The government needs to do more than just issuing warnings.  It did try to ban smoking scenes in films saying that it’ll encourage people to do so. Why can’t they ban tobacco production instead? Give this suggestion and they’ll point out at the revenue its earning and the number of people who’ll go jobless etc. But what about the unlimited diseases it brings along, as gifts to people who use them?

According one of the reports the Howrah bridge, the iconic British era landmark of Kolkatta, is being eaten away by the red spit of thousands of gutka chewers.  Thanks to the highly corrosive spit, some areas of the steel pillars are wearing out by as much as 60% !! If gutka can do this to the strong steel, just imagine what could it do to the insides of a human body? It’s really scary, isn’t it? If public health is the genuine concern of the governing bodies then the solution is to totally ban it and look forward to a healthy country in the future.

And lastly, the drama of banning polythene bags.We have been hearing that these have banned for a long time now . But we still keep getting them at most of the small stores. If u forget to carry your bag and ask the grocer for a carry bag first he’ll say that poly bags are banned and he’ll be fined if he’s seen dishing them out. But he’ll give you because he doesn’t want to lose a customer. Still I think these fellows are better in the sense they accept they are cheating. But what about supermarkets like More, Reliance, West Side or Big Bazaar etc etc? Earlier they used to give away carry bags without we asking for and then, the poly bags got banned. They still continued giving the same bags but started charging for them. There was a time when we never used to forget taking our shopping bags with us. These super markets spoiled our good habits by giving away bags for free and once we got used to going there with no bags they started charging for them. First lure us into it and then make us pay for it. Despite the poly ban hype we see them everywhere- how many microns is the poly bag made of- nobody is interested to know. You can see hundreds of them in and around the garbage bins, the non bio-degradable types.

When a ban of any kind is imposed the government needs to ensure that it is implemented totally. Just making rules and not enforcing them fully is like taking a horse to the water and not being able to make it drink. Its also the duty of all citizens to follow the rules laid down by the government and help in achieving its goals.

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Life is not a bed of roses ……..

Our ministers are known for their wayward and foolish statements. They keep proving from time to time that they lack in qualities like intelligence and wisdom, sympathy and compassion. Some time back the minister from Bihar, Mr Bhim Singh made a very reckless comment saying that people join the Army to get martyred.  This comment came when the bodies of some soldiers killed by the Pakistani army in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir arrived home. Instead of sympathizing with the bereaved families he gave this irresponsible statement and even said that the soldiers got killed when they were doing ‘what they get paid for’! Can money equate for everything? Yes, we know what’s done cannot be undone. But if we cannot do anything to reduce the grief of the  families of these people, at least we can keep our mouth shut and not sprinkle salt on one’s burns. It’s hard to believe that such statements are coming from people who are supposed to be our leaders.

Life is not a bed of roses for the defence services.  People who watch them from outside can never understand the difficulties they face while on duty or the trauma and tension their families go through while they are away from home. With Pakistan playing foul from this side and China from that side, ( not to mention the in house terror activities ) it’s like a permanent sword hanging on your head. As if this is not enough Army is sent to all possible places in all possible situations like floods, Tsunami ,communal or other riots, earthquake or may be in emergencies like a child falling in a tubewell! Name a calamity and the Army is there as a saviour.  No doubt, they are all proud of what they are doing. But when one comes across reckless comments like this, I’m sure , one can’t help but think if all this is worthwhile.

People who are posted in high altitude area like Siachin Glacier which is called the highest battlefield in the world, have a tough time in dealing with weather conditions. Every day wearing multiple layered clothing to beat the skin cutting chilly wind and surviving on tinned food most of the time is not easy, not to mention staying away from their beloved people.  It’s observed that people come back with depression, memory loss, frost bites and many other problems when they return after a glacier posting. Does the minister have any idea how it feels there? If  he is sent there he won’t be able to stay for a single day. He may not agree to do so even if he’s offered a lakh per day!!  Our government had sent the  Army to Srilanka ( IPKF ) and also on UN mission to different countries– God only knows how many lost their lives. But who cares? Definetely not these ministers who are busy in multiplying their assets in the given five year term.

The way the Army and Air Force worked together to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the Uttarakhand mishap proved why the country relies so much on  Defence Services. Every house that had a TV saw the faujis carrying people in their arms, taking care to put them in safe places, lying down on the ground to facilitate people to cross over to safety and Air force choppers ferrying people tirelessly in the rough weathers– any Indian with a heart would have  felt proud with a lump in throat and tears in the eye. Nobody would have thought for a second also,  ‘oh they are doing all this because they are paid for it’. How sad people were when one of the Air force choppers crashed and some precious lives were lost. And what did our netas do?  So much was written in the newspapers about the ‘aerial viewing drama’ of a number of polititians…that’s all they can do.

I’m really happy that in the coming elections we are getting an extra option “none of the above’. Fantastic! If we don’t think any body is worth it let’s not vote for them. So far we used to vote for  x or y  on the basis of “andho mein kaana raaja”. Now, thank God (sorry, thank the Supreme Court), we are not any more forced to do so!!  Let’s not elect such people to keep repenting for the next five years. When we are given a choice why not take it?

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