Friday, July 24, 2009

Back Home

The following two posts were written by me when I was enjoying my holidays at home. Since I had limited access to internet back home, I am uploading them now.

At Home (10 July)

As I am writing this post, I am enjoying the luxuries of home. The absence of electricity in the morning hours still remains a big pain. But good food compensates for that, I guess. Absence on internet is also a big problem here but I don’t really care about that. Rather it’s good to be out of touch with my regular life for a few days.

I had been thinking of writing a post for past four or five days but wasn’t able to get much time. Thanks to our project guide during the internship who remembered all the work to be done by us just couple of days before we were to leave. So, as the internship is over (and I feel like a student again), I promise myself that I will post my Gurgaon experience very soon. The posts might be short and simple but there would be a couple (at least) of posts containing the memories of those days.

As all must be knowing that Roger Federer won the Wimbledon Trophy’09 and became the greatest player ever officially. But the person who won many more hearts than Roger on that Epic Sunday was the American. Yes, Andy Roddick played like a winner and showed the determination which only a few have against the great Swiss player. And who says it’s important to be at the first position? After all, what’s wrong with being second? At the end of the day, even the runner up has played better than all but one. And this is what I say to the great runner up “Andy! I am your fan now!!”. And for anyone love from fans and popularity among them is much more important than many trophies. Isn’t it??

A funny thing happened this summer regarding my tennis fanship. As I had written in my first blog post, I initially wanted Roger Federer to win both Paris and London. But as the results came out and he really became the champion at both the places, I was not happy. Every time he lifted the trophy, it was someone else I wanted to see with the glory. In Paris, it was del Potro and in London, it was..........well, do I need to say?? So all I can say is that we change, our desires change, and we never know that what is it that we will actually want tomorrow. So, why not sip all the marrow out of life today, instead of working tirelessly without rest and fun for creating a better future?

One thing which I felt about strongly this Tuesday was the effect which Women Reservation is having on some of the middle class women of the country, especially the big cities. As I was in queue at the Karol Bagh metro station to get a token to R K Ashram Marg, a middle aged lady came and tried to get ahead of me as soon as my number came. As I became aware of her intentions as soon as she came near the counter, I tried my best that she doesn’t get her business done before me. And I succeeded too. But I couldn’t resist my temptation to remind her that she was breaking the queue and had no right to do so. And the reply which I got shocked my nerves, and even lungs, kidneys, liver, and what not. That lady didn’t take a second to say “to kya hua??” (so what happened?). I again though of replying “ho to kafi koochh sakta hai madam, agar koi chahe to” (if someone wants, many things can happen) but restrained myself. After all what’s her fault when she says that? This is the way she has learnt to live, a crippled life where you get everything because you are of fairer sex.....errrr.....did I say fairer? I am sorry, I actually meant weaker. Some of the ladies reading this post might not like being called weaker but is it not why women are given preferences at many places?

We need a country where everyone gets opportunities according to one’s capacities. But it never means that we rate anyone’s capacity just because of gender.

Do we need women reservation? This answer can only be given if we ask ourselves whether we need women who can only move forward in life if the jungle of difficulties and problems is cleared by males. Or we need women who have the capacity to pave their ways through that jungle and emerge as the true winner in the battles of life.

At Birganj, Nepal (18 July)

I reached Birganj yesterday. The journey from home to my uncle’s home here took almost 12 hours. 205 kilometres in 12 hours!! This is the speed with which Indians travel on trains. And our ex-railway minister used to boast of his remarkable achievements. However, my plight during the journey can’t be solely attributed to our railways but also it has to do a lot with my luck.........or bad luck, I guess. Ya, perhaps Lady Luck was somewhat angry on me yesterday :(.

I had got a ticket booked to Raxaul (the last station on India-Nepal border) by the midnight train but then there was this murder in our hometown on 15th due to which my family didn’t allow me to take the 2:30 am train on 17th. After that I got a reservation in the morning train but even here also, something else was being conspired by my dear Lady Luck. The train was unexpectedly late which meant that I had to take the passenger train finally. Moreover, I couldn’t get my earlier ticket cancelled because the angry (due to the murder) mob had damaged the Public Reservation System (PRS) at the railway station. So, the death became too costly for me literally!! How much aware is Indian public which doesn’t bother to destroy its own property when anything happens!!

Man, sometimes it becomes too difficult travelling in passenger trains in India, especially over long distances. You get to meet too much crowded compartments, excessive heat, step motherly behaviour by the authorities with these trains, and above all, very very difficult passengers. Some of them don’t even bother spitting in the railway compartments, forget about getting tickets!! And they don’t want to listen anything when one tells them not to do so. But this is India!! I don’t know real or not, but this also is one face of the country. And it’s not at all wrong if Danny Boyle or any other person makes a movie to show this face.

And a passing thought before I end writing now, I went to Barahiya (the birth place of my grandmother) once when I was at home. There, I met a person who said a very interesting thing about the power theft in the state:

Bijli to sarkar deti hai to paisa bhi sarkar ko hi denge, ye afsar kaun hota hai paisa maangne wala??” (The government supplies electricity, so the bill has to be paid to the government and not to the officers in-charge of the electricity board)

As told, the village has 15-16 hours of electric supply per day but 95% of supply is either unbilled or if it is billed, the bills are not realised.

Looks the villagers, like the above mentioned person, are waiting for the Chief Minister of the state to come to him to ask for the bill...............or may be for the President of India herself.

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