Day 19 – Peace.

There is a different kind of wave floating across the country. After the Uri attack and the corresponding “surgical strike” by India, the entire landscape seems at a whole new level.  Cold War. Boycott. Hatred. Intolerance. Nationalism.

I am not here to advocate any of these or talk about what happened. I am just a civilian and I am worried.

I do not doubt my army, rather I care for it. I have utmost respect for the Indian Armed Forces and that is primarily why I want to advocate peace as they will be the first ones to face the consequences of a war, if it happens.

I am worried for the lives which in turn will be effected internally, in our country and theirs, with people losing their loved ones and living in constant fear and uncertainty.

I am worried for the so called attempt at Cold War, for not working with Pakistani artists, for stopping indulgence with anyone who belongs to that country. Even if it seems rational at some remote level, how far would we able to do that? We can not completely erase the cultural traces, not all of a sudden.

We have a huge history and our relationship with the neighbour is as always, quite complicated. All this calls for a well thought out and a planned step further, especially keeping in mind the internal state of the nation.

Kashmir has always been in a pickle. Army strategies have been politicised by all sides. Every few days, there is some sort of ruckus happening near the border areas. Capital city has been on alert ever since the attack. Villages surrounding border had been evacuated causing farmers in Punjab great losses as they left almost around harvest time. Pakistani TV shows are going off air. Directors are declaring that they will not work with Pakistani actors any more.

No one knows what will follow up next. All I humbly hope for is peace. Just like everyone out there.



Day 6 – Who is Irom Sharmilla fighting for?

I have not really been able to take out enough time to read the daily paper lately, but today as I did so, I came across the news about the legend Irom Sharmilla deciding to call off her 16 year long fast. Truth is, I know about Irom Sharmilla because of this long fast she had been keeping and whatever little I read in the news. So I decided to dig a bit deeper and find out what the issue actually is.

Irom Chanu Sharmilla has been fasting for the past 16 years, a struggle which began in November 2000, when 10 civilians where shot while waiting at a bus stop in Manipur. It was after this incident that Sharmilla started fasting to repeal against the AFSPA ( Armed Forces Special Protection Act, 1958 ) where in the Governor of a particular state can declare a particular locality as a ‘disturbed area’. And if you reside in such disturbed area then the armed force can search your home, arrest you or even shoot you. They will have legal immunity to do so.

Her legendary struggle found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the longest hunger strike ever. She has been arrested repeatedly for attempting suicide and have been force-fed by the state.

And now, she has decided to call the strike off. She wants to contest elections in Manipur, become the Chief Minister of the state and repeal AFSPA.

As she stepped out to break her fast, she had nowhere to go but the hospital where she had spent 16 years as no body was ready to accept her. People have perhaps misunderstood her decision. There have been posts comparing her to an icon who has just let people down. Is that really so?

Why do we need AFSPA in Manipur in the first place?

To maintain security and peace. AFSPA was imposed in Manipur on September 8, 1980 to tackle the lawlessness created by four main insurgent groups through dacoity, ransom and killings. To maintain law and order, the army needs special powers infested to them through this act.

So basically, AFSPA has been in Manipur for 36 years, and for most of the north-eastern states for that matter but the situation has not improved enough for this act to be done away with. AFSPA being ordered for such long time simply means that the north-eastern states have been in a state of “disturbance” for more than three decades. Except, Tripura.

Yes, the state of Tripura has gotten rid of AFSPA after 18 long years. Tripura is now one of the fastest developing states in India, and it has improved its law and order situation significantly enough to be an AFSPA free north-eastern state. Manik Sarkar, known as the “poorest CM” of India, has been the Chief Minister of Tripura for 15 long years, and has supported significantly for this development.

In such a scenario, if Sharmilla has decided to quit her silent struggle, a fast to which she had given 16 years of her life, and wants to contest elections for the state, it does seem practical. There is nothing wrong in trying to change her ways if she has not achieved it in 16 long years. She has shown courage to accept that she needs to try a different approach.

We all have idolised Gandhi and so many other great leaders who have sacrificed their lives and in the end  were able to do justice to their struggles. If we really think about it, Gandhi changed his ways as per those times, he was the first one to lead such a massive non-violent struggle in India. And it worked.  He tried a way he believed in and it had not been practised before.

If thought about in the same direction by keeping change as the only constant, Sharmilla deciding to contest elections and asking for support, especially for the cause she has given 16 years of her life to makes sense. She has been fighting for the people of Manipur, her state, for peace and justice. She needs the support of people, her people to make a difference this time for if she loses, it will not be just her loss.

“It is no use saying we are doing our best. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” -Winston Churchill

Disclaimer: This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not anybody else’s.

Rang de Basanti, revisited.

Rang de basanti, released in 2006, was a breathtaking take on the power of youth, a movie which inspired us to stand up to make our country a better place, “Kyunki koi desh perfect nahi hota, usse perfect banana padta hai!“.

It was the movie which inspired us to take up peaceful protests and above all a movie which reflected an important part of our lives, our FRIENDS!


I was watching this movie again sometime back, and every time I see it, I could relate more to it. Precisely because, the characters are so much real!!

1. DJ

In a group of friends, there is always one DJ, the one who is always there, makes jokes, involves everyone and keeps them together. He is the one who always has the guts to go approach a girl! (As Sukhi says, ‘Cat hai saala!’) And even though he is scared at times, he is too awesome to admit it. He is the one who keeps his promises and brings your true self out when you are in trouble. After life is all about ‘tim lak lak..tey tim lak lak..‘ 🙂


2. Sukhi

“Meri to love line hi nahi hai! Bachpan me churan ke saath chaat gaya hoga! ” 😛

The ultimate bakchod, ever ready to drink, never gets girls but can’t stop talking about them(“Yr DJ kahin main kunwara hi na mar jaun yr!”) and the target of all jokes..Sukhis are the hearts of every groups! 😀 Because as much as they have the ability to laugh on themselves, they can die for their friendships anyday!


3. Aslam

“Yr ye Aslam ka scene fit hai..aankhon me aankh daalke poetry sunata hai..haathon me haath leke taqdeer batata hai!!”

aslamThe shant, poetic and the good guy. He is the sweet one, easily approachable and I believe such people tend to keep everyone around them calm, lets call it the peace factor. Such people ensure that at least there is no fighting among the group. And the poetic feel to everything for free! 😉

4. Karan

“Mujhe degree milegi main kat lunga America. Tu jaa hi nai payega hum sab ko chodke!”

The family troubled, addicted to something(drinking/smoking/coffee), has some goals set by his family which he isn’t interested much in. But his friends are important to him coz they keep him going.


5. Rathore

            “Kimti jet udana, sexy jackets pehanna..pasand hai tujhe. Aur ladkiyan..ladkiyan to uniform walo pe marti haiii!!”

Finally, the pilot. That one friend who flies high for his dreams, but always returns to his friends. The one who advises them, proves his point and is there even when he is gone.


6. Sonia

That one girl who loves them all even though they all are super weird in one way or the other, coz when she loved Rathore, she understood his friends too. And she is precious for all of them as they are for her. Now thats a princess life, isnt it?



Together, a little bit of them is a part of each other, they knew it, just like we know it. Look back, and see who’s who and you might find instances of RDB in your life as well! 🙂


Coz “Gate dey iss taraf hum life ko nachate hai..tey duji taraf life humko nachati hai………..”


Fate of Hindi in India

It was a tiring day and I was simply surfing channels on TV when I came across the trailer of ‘English Vinglish’, the upcoming Sri Devi movie where she goes to Manhattan and apparently learns English. Sounds like an interesting movie. Although it somehow reminded me of the epic family slapstick comedy “Chupke Chupke” and yeah, most importantly our very dear “vanaspati vaigyanik” (Botany Professor!) Dr Parimal Tripathi, who becomes a “vahan chalak” (driver) Pyare mohan.The poor guy struggled hard to learn English although the audience was mesmerised by the “shudh” Hindi he spoke. 
Inspired by the same idea, we also saw Parimal Tripathi in Heyy babyy, where the character(Fardeen Khan) yet again entertained us. Of course, most of us still remember the super safe driving and the pure hindi translations!

Anyways, I am not here to brief you on various Parimal Tripathis or Pyare Mohans in Bollywood or give a review about English Vinglish! What led to this article were some random thoughts like “At a time when perfect hindi can make you stand out from a crowd who’s in for English Vinglish??” or to put it in simpler words first- “What is the fate of Hindi in India?!?”

Hindi was chosen as the official language of India when our constitution was adopted in 1950. Along with it, we also had English as an official language, a practical decision indeed as English is the most widely spoken language in the world and is a medium to provide the much needed growth and global contact. And after more than half a century, India can claim to have struggled with Globalization and of course, a significant rise in the number of English speakers!

But then arises a question- “Are we ignoring our national language with an advancement in globalization?”

With the evergrowing modernization and a strong desire to meet the international standards, I feel our dear hindi is getting lost somewhere! We are reluctant to use the language we have been speaking since birth and all we have is a yearning to learn other languages, English primarily. To be clear, this is definitely not against the other languages in the world, this is more about raising a concern for Hindi. Obviously, I have no hard feelings for the language I am writing my article in! 😛

Now, to quote a few examples, and beginning with the most prominent one, English being a status symbol. Those conversing in English are often looked up to. Thats ohk and I appreciate it coz if you are fluent in English, you should be admired. But what sometimes make me sad is people have now overshadowed Hindi with English, even in their minds! They will prefer not being understood but to converse in English rather than expressing themselves properly in the language they are efficient in.

Another slaughter that Hindi bears is the severe modification brought to it coz of the regional dialects. With time, our lifestyle, thoughts, traditions and a lot of things change and so does our language. To keep up, changes are incorported naturally. But often, some people introduce such drastic modifications in the language that it kills the very essence of it. As a result, the language then feels like a whole new world. (One of the examples could be mixing Hindi with punjabi and Haryanvi, which is seen a lot of times!!)

A common saying is, “Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” All we need now is the enthusiasm to keep the pride of our national language, and a little effort to keep the spirit of Hindi alive. After all, our “matrabhasha” deserves due respect!
Sometimes I feel, there’ll be a time soon when people will crave for Hindi as they run after English now. The ‘shudh’ hindi concept would be the one which people will use to stand out from the crowd! 😉