Monday, February 23, 2009


Today was a day of great fortune. I had been to the Moonlight Studio to receive my snaps. What great snaps! I look at least 15 to 20 years older; in fact the guy in the photo did not seem to be me. People say that sons resemble their father over time. Now this guy in the photo does not even resemble my father. My father was a good man, short on temper but honest which qualifies him to be good. So, I am pushing my forties looking sixties and pop goes my fantasy that I am still young. I look horrible like an old mud flap behind a wheel. Why is that fortunate? I now have experience on my side. Ha, Ha.
What does it feel to be old and a miserable failure? Well, frankly not so great. Being old does not hurt so much as being a failure. But escape that tag, I can’t. Life can be experienced through various frames, comforts, wealth, happiness, status, family, relationships, spiritual, work, education, etc. We have opportunities to enter each frame, stay a while, and make an effort, taste success or failure. I have entered all of them and made zero impact. Oops sorry, the truth is, I have infact made a negative impact.
Sadly this is not a two way street. As I grow old I can only grow older. This is no strange case of Suman Bose. The process is irreversible. There is no point in being dejected and then rejected. The days are not coming back, and even if they did I don’t think I ever would have the intelligence to wish to do things differently. If my life were to start again I probably would make the same mistakes, fall into the same traps, and end up being the same failure. A consistent fool is better than an inconsistent fool, don’t you agree. Yes, that’s me.
Ironically, knowing that I am a failure relives me from stress and burden. Henceforth I won’t have to pretend that I understand, I am a quick learner, I can take correct decisions. At every opportunity I can simply raise both hands and bring up my normal “what’s that” expression which so far I have only used with myself. I won’t have to worry about humiliation anymore. I accept that I am a failure, which is a serious matter and nobody can hang me for that. Wow!

Forty years of my life is gone and here I am safe and sound. Through this ordinary journey I owe a lot to so many people, I am grateful to so many close persons, who have cared for me, loved me and protected me. First, my parents my ma and babuji who fought each other to death, but stayed together for the sake of their children. They sacrificed their lives and happiness accepting bitterness and acrimony so that their children could stay together and grow together. That’s love. Ma and Babuji gave us kids nothing more than excellent education and good health and I am very grateful to them for this. Then came Kanchan who loved me and cared for me for a good eighteen years. However my lack of self esteem, confidence and maturity destroyed everything. I am grateful to her love and her supreme sacrifice of the best years of her life for me which cannot be returned. Soma and Biki, who love me and respect me so much. I am grateful to them for being born with me. I am grateful to all my partners and especially C. R. Sagdeo for being so generous and kind to a non deserving person like me. I am grateful to Kanchan’s mom who is such an extraordinary soul for all her love and kindness. I would like to add my grandmother to this list bacause I was drowned and drunk in her love for me. I am so grateful to her. I have not done anything to deserve such love, kindness and sacrifice from these great souls. Tears roll down my eyes when I think of all the pain and sorrow that I have given them in return.

Monday, February 16, 2009

About Freedom and Identity Crisis in India

Ram Sena and Mutalikh have a lot of supporters and an equal number against. The rest of India like me are sitting on the fence. Moral policing by self appointed saviours is going on all across the world and the most famous or infamous are the Taliban. Some describe them (saviours) as a frustrated lot who could not do much during their time and therefore cannot bear to see people happy. Could it be true?.
Mutalikh seems to have received a large number of pink inner wear and his people claim to have sent another large number of saries to undisclosed destinations. On the outside it looks like and ideological war but inside it is an identity crisis for the average Indian. Both the sides seem to be correct and at the same time both the sides seem to be wrong. Though this war of words and trading of garments has become a laughing matter, I feel that it is a very serious one.
More than half of this country is young and would therefore like to mock at Ram Sene and Muthalik. Young women feel that they know what they should do or not do and don't need to be told.Young men feel that personal freedom is most important. Like minded liberal oldies think that freedom of expression leads to creativity and would enhance the growth and development of the country. Everybody says that hitting a women in public is simply not done. I see this issue as a battle between the India of the small towns and the India of the metropolis, between young India and an old India. Indian Culture and Values have changed once again.
There are two issues that I wish to highlight.
1. Valentine's day has entrenched into Indian culture a decade back and now it is too late to even discuss the pros and cons of sending love notes, holding hands in public, hugging and kissing in private or public. Young India in the cities have accepted it and are practicing it for many years now and will not give it up. Youngsters in villages are waking up to this because of the controversy created by Siva Sena, MNS, Ram Sena and they would definitely would like to taste the forbidden fruit. Therefore this whole ruckus that is being raised by Muthalik is counter productive. The current times and age do not favour him. Public show of affection is here to stay.
2. At the same time, he has a point in all his rhetoric's and mumbo - jumbo. Freedom is very good as long as people are within limits and responsible. The moment a youngster (girl or boy) crosses the limit of self preservation and invites stares and fantasy in the eyes of viewing public, the devil in the human spirit rises its head. Most people have a devilish streak inside their minds which just needs a careless open door or even an unintended invitation to do that which normally is not done or is prohibited. The good Samaritan who wants to oppose Muthalik's madness should also understand that there are the not so good Samaritans who would like to take advantage of the youngster (girl or boy) who loves so much freedom that he or she goes over board and then cannot take care of themselves or protect themselves.
Does it mean that girls cannot drink in the pubs or hotels? No! They can.
Does it mean that boys and girls should not hold hands and kiss in public? No! They can.
All it means is that youngsters should be sensitive to the environment they exist in, sensitive to what they themselves would approve their children to do. Otherwise we also will very soon have parents at the age of 10-12 (Alfei and Chantelle -Britain) and two more young boys who claim that they are also the father of young Maisei. Imagine, none of these youngsters know the hardship involved in working to earn and earning to live. Does this make young Chantelle an accidental prostitute? Does it make her parents accidental pimps? I don't know. But is this situation because of misuse of freedom. Yes, it is.