10 April 2011

Its about time

In something that was a long time coming, a small man (In physical height only) with a nonviolent hunger fast brought a mighty government and its inertial bureaucracy to the negotiating table. He got the entire nation singing his praise and rallying behind him for a cause everyone believed was a long time overdue. There were parallel hunger strikes, rallies, marches, sit ins, candle light protests, everything peaceful non violent and orderly.

Sounds an awfully lot like Mahatma Gandhi doesn't it. Except this is April 2011, well into the 21st century. A far cry away from the mid 20th century. A far cry merely in terms of decades past, but not in terms of empowerment of the middle class and the impoverished.

So who am I talking about? Well if you have been following the uprisings around the world that started in early 2011, you will have an idea. First it was Tunisia, Egypt though Libya recently has taken on a violent turn...keep going eastward and you reach India. A democracy for sure. One touted as a model for some years now by every politician, CEO or economist stopping by to bag some business for their country, company or organization respectively. Yeah the country is booming economically. The rich are getting richer..obscenely in some cases. The middle class is flush with money. Consumerism has caught on like wild fire. Huge projects are underway, warts, delays and schedule/cost overruns not withstanding. But people on the ground are not seeing the change that everyone else talks about. Definitely not non residents like me, who on every visit continue to experience culture shock in terms of the amount of corruption every day life entails, not to mention the scandal a day that seems characteristic of politics in the country.

Living in the developed world, blinds one to the fact that the developing world accepts as inevitable the corrupt practices required to just live through a day. To accomplish necessary tasks, something as silly as getting a broken telephone connection fixed. Something unimaginable in western society. So along comes a little known man (At least outside the activist, NGO circles) called Anna Hazare and kick starts a mini revolution that has at least set in motion an anti corruption bill that would give an independent ombudsman the authority to bring on corruption charges against anybody. Either in the government or bureaucracy or otherwise based on complaints from the public. Will this actually see the light of day? Will this be yet another toothless bill like all previous bills? I am not sure, but hope springs eternal. Hope that things can and will change..and not some distant day, but immediately. As the eternal rally song of the US Civil rights movement goes "We Shall Overcome....some day" and the Hindi version of it that I grew up listening to goes "हम होंगे कामयाब, हम होंगे कामयाब.... हम होंगे कामयाब एक दिन...ओह हो मन में हैं विश्वास ...पूरा हैं विश्वास.....हम होंगे कामयाब एक दिन.", its about time that someday is NOW.

This is a supporting cry that goes from a fellow Indian, though far away physically, but not far away in thought.  Also as the middle east protests have shown, this is not just the Indians fasting to get their corrupt government and bureaucratic house in order, but to every society on earth that even in the 21st century struggles to get rid of the powerful amongst them who don't think twice when stamping on the basic rights of its populace. Enough is enough... is what the world is saying.

15 March 2011

KB thinks it is Karma

KB: Ha Ha Ha...ROFL....Ha Ha Ha
Me: What is it?
KB: I just can't believe your latest "Retrospective Series 13: When the Universe conspires" post...that is some serious karma man.
Me: Huh..
KB: I mean, seriously that is some sh***y karma dude.
Me: Yeah I guess.
KB: Wish I were there.
Me: Its ok, you don't need to rub it in. Besides it was decades ago, so its not like you were alive. Remember I said this was the 20th century. You are a Noob born in 2002.
KB: Yeah, whatever!
Me: (Sulks)

13 March 2011

Writer's Block: Retrospective Series 13: When the Universe conspires

This weekend, an event had me traveling back in time and set my Retrospective bells ringing. As my little one gets to understand the concept of money, counting and addition, we (rather it was him) decided that it was time to get a piggy bank to collect pocket money earned or gifted. The exercise was pretty exciting for all parties involved because...


07 February 2011

Thus spoke Liam - The Lion Cub

Liam: (Excited voice) Dad.. Dad.. come here..look what I found?
Dad: What is it Liam?
Liam: I think I poked it in the eye and I also broke one of its legs.

(Dad curiously approaches to see Liam dissecting a hapless fly on the window sill)

Dad: Liam, thats cruel, you shouldn't be doing that. Its just a poor little fly. Let it be.
Liam: But the lion does stuff like that to all the animals in the jungle.
Dad: Yeah, but this is not the jungle is it?
Liam: But you said that I am a Lion cub.
Dad: Well.... that was because you were scared of the monsters under your bed and of Tigger who keeps jumping on Winnie. I just didn't want you to be scared of them.
Liam: So am I or am I not a Lion cub?
Dad: Well you are...but
Liam: But what daddy?

(Dad knows where this conversation will lead at bed time..so grudgingly agrees)

Dad: Well ..ok you are a Lion cub then.
Liam: Oh so that means I can roar and pounce on other animals and insects ...flies and ants too.
Dad: Not really Liam, you have to be a gentle cub who loves all animals.
Liam: Dad...
Dad: Yeah... (There is a trap springing..dad can sense it)

Liam: If I am a Lion cub, then you are a Lion aren't you....because you are my dad. No?
Dad: Yeah sort of.
Liam: Then shouldn't you love all animals.
Dad: Yeah... I think I do.
Liam: But remember the other day you saw a rabbit nibbling on the bean stalk in our kitchen garden and you chased it around and threw a rock at it.
Dad: Well....thats because.....
Liam: No dad, you should not do that. You should be a gentle Lion too.
Dad: Ok sorry buddy. I will be careful.
Liam: Dad, can we bury this fly in mom's spice garden?
Dad: (Sits down on the couch...just plain tired)

06 February 2011

Sunday evening Haiku - Escape from Reality

Tap Tap goes my keyboard,
Supposedly busy blogging
Is it that; Or just an escape from reality.

Thus spoke Liam - Watch your Language

KB: So yogi, you seem all gung ho about having woken me up?
Me: Yeah dude.. you look smart, I think we should put up our first serious post after the reboot.
KB: Yeah sure..why not..you always say that, but I don't see anything serious or useful or funny or even dull for that matter coming out.
Me: Well KB you see there is this little thing called Writer's Block. You wouldn't understand. Only serious writers (Ahem, yogi thy name is humility) go through such phases.
Blog Mother: Guys, I don't want a pointless banter here between you two. Please start blogging or shut your traps and leave me in peace. Agreed that I am the Blog mother, but even I have my limits, so please don't push it.
Me: Oooooooh, sorry. Somebody is in a bad mood today. Hey buddy looks like she is pissed. We better come up with something before she wreaks havoc in our lives. Man she could do something like pull the plug on the internet or something and we would be in the dark like Egypt these days. Completely without a net connection. Imagine that.
KB: Wow, that is some scary hypotheticals that you are proposing man. I am all ears, what can we do?
Me: You see, I want to restart my retrospective series, but that thing takes a while to start.. you know because I have to have a current story, then wind back to the past and then finish with a strong punch line about changed perspectives. That needs time, creativity and finesse. Something that is in short supply these days.
KB: Ok then post something else.
Me: Yeah the only thing I am good at these days is browsing stuff on my smart phone. (Due to security purposes the smart phone shall be unnamed)
KB: So you are a consumer of information and no longer a creator of information
Me: Yup, I know its sad.
KB:  So....
Me: Ok, Ok, I get it...so here goes my first actual post after the reboot.

Thus Spoke Liam - "Watch your Language"

This is a new series that begins with the adventures of a pre-schooler who goes by the name Liam. Now Liam is your typical pre-schooler for all practical purposes except when he goes into this deeply mature mode that causes everyone around him to pause and take a second look at him. Their look is primarily to confirm that he indeed is a pre-schooler and not some adult stuck in a pre-schooler's body. These adventures that we embark on are a small glimpse into the world of Liam.

Day 1:
Liam: Dad the other day, I was quietly working on my lesson and this girl in my class came over and pushed me. I was very upset about it.
Dad: Oh is it. Well what did you do?
Liam: I just pushed her back and told her "Go away, Stupid girl"
Dad: (Annoyed) No, No Liam, that is not right. You should not use bad words. Please watch your language. You should have said. "No thank you. Please do not push me"
Liam: Oh. Ok Dad.

Day 3:
(Dad and Liam are driving to the library to pickup books for Liam. The road is packed bumper to bumper and cars are not moving anywhere.)

Dad: Liam, looks like we are going to be waiting here for a long time. Look at all the cars.
Liam: Dad, did you see that lady in the green car. Why is she putting on her makeup while driving?
Dad: Well, she doesn't know better. Thats why.
Liam: Why dad?
Dad: She is probably a very busy person and did not have enough time to put on her makeup at home. But its not safe to do that in the car.
Liam: Ok.

(As they are talking, the traffic starts to ease a bit and cars start moving slowly. Dad's car starts to pick up speed. Just then a massive SUV cuts right in front of Dad's car and makes him slam his brakes to avoid a fender bender. Dad rolls down the driver's window, angrily yells and honks at the SUV)

Dad: (To the SUV) Are you stupid or something?
SUV: (Mumble Jumble)
Dad: Where do these guys come from? Jeez.
(Dad rolls the window back up and continues to drive)
Liam: Dad.
Dad: Yes Liam.
Liam: Dad. Did you know you did something wrong?
Dad: Huh. What did I do?
Liam: You just used a bad word? That is not very nice. You should have said "No Thank you." Instead you used a bad word.
Dad: Oh... Oh...Did I? Oh, I am so sorry buddy. I did not mean to. I am very sorry.
Liam: Yeah please don't repeat it again. Watch your language dad.
Dad: (Sighs) Sure. I will be careful next time.
Liam: Dad, the sun is poking me in my eyes. Can you ask it to move away from the window?
Dad: (Still reeling from whatever hit him)... Huh?

30 January 2011

Cloud 9 - Reboot

My Cloud 9 was neglected. Really neglected. You can tell that from the frequency (or lack thereof) of my posts. The last three years were witness to a whirlwind of changes in life around me that blogging was the least of my priorities. Not that any of that has changed now. But recently I received a message from an old friend on a social network asking me what happened to my blogging and thats when it dawned on me that I had not blogged in ages? And to that friend I say, thank you for trying to nudge me out of my Writer's block.

So I gently wake myself up, wake KB up too who begrudgingly allows me to change his dress. I last dressed him up in some wintery snow flakes garb some two odd years back and he had been slumbering with that attire. Now that he has had a shower, fresh set of dresses he looks smart and ready to bloll if you pardon my fake word here. Fairy Blog mother was always awake and would keep whispering(at times nagging) in my ears, except I just chose to ignore her. But now she seems happy because she can see that both KB and I are awake.

Its still mid winter here on the east coast and hibernators typically do not wake up until at least GroundHog day.
So to begin this rebooted session let me start off with a Sunday evening Haiku

Stuck in traffic 'cause of snow
I pause to imagine; what if I'm
Out of gas or worse yet; have to pee

21 August 2010

26 June 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Yesterday 6/25/09 Michael Jackson passed away. For lots of people it was a very saddening event. I believe he was a great entertainer who although mired in numerous controversies, was an icon of pop music. My school day memories are filled with Michael's music.

Rest in Peace Michael.

08 February 2009

Belated Happy New Year !!!

Yeah I know, everyone's groaning.... look at this loser, comes along a month after the New Year and wishes everyone....as if we were eagerly waiting for this one last wish... Sorry folks, was on a sabbatical. Was visiting India after a very long time... pretty long in fact by modern standards. Will blog about it in the coming weeks. Am back, and refreshed after a much needed vacation. Though hectic, it was a departure from the usual grind of working a hectic day job. So to those that were wondering about me, sorry, I am still around. Better luck making me disappear next time.