Rain in Winter

There were intrepid clouds, heavy nimbus, shades of violet, purple, greys and a peculiar orange circumscribing the skies. Fields of yonder, accustomed to the Sunshine, its dazzle and warmth... Wanted the soothe of the rain drops, the first mirth of the fertility awaiting the green grass and flowers of all colours... The scent of the earth and the song of the air on beats of thunder. And so it rained. It rained, clouds of the South Sky did pour. Drenched Soul.. Soaring spirits. Love, may be in Pune.

....before there was the first inflorescence, colours vanished away from the flower palettes. May be it rained too heavy. May be it din’t rain as much.

Charm, as it is, what goes around comes around...some molten shades, evaporated and amalgamated in the clouds that had decided to pour. They came with the show of glamour, lightening along to keep the Earth mesmerized  And like a magician, the clouds did spellbound the heart and soul, which were more than ever young this season. My dear city, happy with some rains somewhere, hopeful of the clouds that would come and pour unconditionally.

(Unconditional, has a clause yet of having no condition. Expectations seeps in, in form of being formless.)

And we, yearning and learning, passively. Praying some rains, though dismaying the clouds. Nature has its own plan, destiny its own. Dried up earth was soon to be sold.

And then it was to happen. Divinity into action. This time of the celesta, the darkest clouds, thick with hues of gravity, each shade conveying its own virtue. The smoked browns talked of the experiences carried along while floating till this patch of Land, blues talking of the depth the cloud had, the intensity it had, the rains it can cast. Grays telling the stories of the unexpected , the Blacks talking aloud of the ability to engulf, some White here and there telling of the silence that wisdom attains and that glistening violet, the unending enigma! This was it. The rains were to come... it had to pour. The bosom of the Earth had to be damp. It had to be damp to be off the enrapture of being barren . Be off the mirage of clouds. For this time it was real. It was to stay. Forever.

And it rained. There was a melody in the heart of the Earth, there was a poem in the rain drops, there was harmony in nature. A Love Song was born. Perpetual One. 

Dream Job – Made in China

I had the perfect job. The one I always wanted—in an exciting industry, for a big name company, with a title that says I get to do what I love all day long. Except for that—well, I hate it.

It's painful to admit it. My job went from being the greatest job ever to being a horrible job. It took a few months so I didn't completely realize it was happening. And speaking from experience, the grieving and recovery process is quite long.

I know, at some point in your career – maybe at multiple points – you’re probably going to have a bad boss but when that person turns into a real nightmare, it’s explainable. And as it turns out, a terrible boss doesn't just impact the way you work in the office. It affects your entire life.

...And if your peers are women! Forget the sisterhood. Forget smashing a hole through the glass ceiling and throwing a rope ladder down to her younger female colleagues. The Queen Bee is alive and well and — watch out — possibly sitting at the desk next to you.

A Queen Bee is someone who has worked her way up to the top in a male-dominated organisation! Rest I leave it up to you to decide and in my case I had two of them.

I have been witness to people exploiting their positions for their personal gains. These ‘higher authority’s feedback were biased and echoed no work ethic. When the time came for my evaluations, my bosses gave me a 15 min. lecture about how to ‘act’ like the Queen Bees. I guess, such is the way to climb up the ladder in A-grade media houses in India. Shorter your pants, bigger your salary!

"In this economy," we're told, "you should be thankful you have a job at all." Well, yes... But also; no.

Being able to support yourself is important, of course, but anyone who is aware of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs will tell you that once your basic needs are covered, you'll automatically yearn for more. You may have a job, a home, a husband and children, and still wonder, 'Is that all there is?'

If you're young and ambitious, it's not enough to have a job - you have to have the job. There is so much emphasis on a coveted career: a job that doesn't just sound cool, but which gives other people a case of the green-eyed monster. When I was a kid, everyone wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. These days, we want to be do-it-yourself millionaires, zippy entrepreneurs or wacky internet personalities.
For the people stuck in this trap, the appearance of the job matters more than the reality. But why slave away to impress people you don't even like?

But , imagine you’re “living the dream,” as you told your proud parents and envious friends upon receiving the offer letter. When you walk through those fancy doors to your fairy-tale
job every day with Katy Perry’s “Firework” blasting in your head, all you can think is: “The perks! The title! The bragging rights!” Who cares that you’re working 90 hours a week and your boss is a borderline psychopath? You’ve “made it,” and there’s no looking back!

With time I figured out, I was spending most of my effort each day trying to take on the persona I needed for the position I wanted—a persona that just didn’t come naturally to me. It was exhausting, and no matter how hard I tried to force it to be a fit, it just wasn’t.

My admission came when I got off of work exhausted and bullied by my bosses, yet again, raced to the nearest pub to meet my girlfriends, and burst into tears when they asked how my day was. (Of course, while sobbing, I swore up and down, “I’m really happy though, guys!” until they held a compact mirror in my face and asked, “Oh, really? Is that what happiness looks like?” (Touché.)

I struggled to get past the feeling that I was giving up the perfect opportunity—the opportunity I’d been wanting for so long, one that “most people would kill for.” And one day, I decided to throw my resignation letter up on my boss’s face who’s nothing but a faff. And I did just that.

It took a while for me to recover from such a trauma. My fiancé who’s my husband now, were very supportive. At times, it’s very important to have a partner who understands your needs even before you say. Yes, here comes the best part of this job – I got married. And like a knight in armour (pun intended) R flew me in his (well...Indigo’s) jet and I went from a world of meetings and suits where people listened to my opinion to being a nobody writing a book in a cafe.

Caught Between Eternity and History

In an iron boat
Loaded with stones,
A bundle of poison on his head,
He wants to cross over.
- Kabir
Pic: Random
We are losing time. Not the usual, in the Sense of growth and development. But our own racial sense of time in which few weeks from now, no new millennium commences nor the 21st century begins. The West has succeeded in making an entirely Gregorian calendar-event the 20th century, a global century.  This has happened for the first time in human history. We still celebrate our religious ceremonies, social events such as marriages etc. according to our own calendars; but in our public life, we have adopted the western time, its calendar and the other accompanying notion. The 19th century was not globally acknowledged as the 19th century of mankind but the 20th century, in spite of the fact that new man who was expected to emerge out of the revolution failed to and also of the fact that the Western colonialism disappeared in this century itself. But the Western time, its ideological hold on us has taken over. We are about to lose our time.

Personal Archives
The popular notion (in fact a purely orientalist construct) that the Golden Age of India, when it contributed to the world, ideas and knowledge, technologies and wisdom, insights and visions, ended by about 10th  century. We are, since then, living in the dark medieval ages, a kind of posthumous existence, as it were. This, although all the modern Indian Languages except the classical Sanskrit and Tamil emerged and grew in this millennium; great and masterly literature was produced in most of them; Indian classical music and dances as we know them today emerged and grew during this period; interaction with Islam and its culture brought about among other things a new language, new architecture and new schools of painting; hundreds of styles, forms and streams of popular craft, theatre, poetry etc. flourished and new concepts and practice of statehood, kinship, warfare etc. came about Also, during this period Shastras continued to be created in Sanskrit relating to poetics, medicine, sexology, architecture, music etc. In the 19th century India had more books written and translated into Persian than in Persia itself. The current cultural and intellectual amnesia prevents us from realizing that the intellectual traditions as well as the creative and innovative spirit remained alive and vibrant throughout the millennium. It can be, and ought to be, seen as a  new flowering of  the Sanskrit civilization. Sanskrit itself, as it were, flowed into many streams Hindi, Kanada, Assamese, Punjabi, Malayalam etc.; Sanskrit no longer as a classical purity, but as so many ‘bhashas’.

Personal Archives
In the West-observed amnesia we have missed to register and appreciate the true importance of four great modern in the last millennium i.e. Amir Khusro, Kavir, Tulsidas and Galib, Amir Khusro, was a warrior, poet, musician, innovator who brought to bear upon the literary sensibility a new sense of humour, a sense of the surreal, an outsider reaching into the inside combining Persian with Khari Boli. Kabir, rooted as he was firmly in his faith, questioned the current religions, practices and rituals of both Hindus and Muslims; family ties; affiliations etc.; problematized the access to God and asserted that the whole world was ablaze “each in his own fire”. Tulsidas, a scholar-poet, created a new epic in a dialect reinventing the Ram legend and radicalizing the Bhakti cult by envisaging an almost counter-state, the Ram-Rajya. Galib brought a most questioning spirit to the Indian poetic tradition, looking askance at being and putting the modern individual, lonesome and demythologized, without certainties of faith, religion and history at the centre-stage. It is true we became modern largely due to our encounter with the West. But it was not inevitable. The foursome, mentioned above, had already radicalized our situation in the world and brought us to confront ourselves boldly and created entirely new forms to contain our anguish, predicament and anxieties. The coded, ‘upside down’ ulatbansis of Kabir (translated in his century alone by three very different masters namely Rabindra Nath Tagore, Ezra Pound and Robert Bly); the epical mode of “Ramcharitmanas’ of Tulsidas domesticating in a popular dialect the great Sanskrit legend and investing it with new meanings in the bargain and the interrogative strain of the ghazal of Ghalib are all path-breaking departures not merely in the Indian literary history but in all history.  If the modern could be defined as a moment precariously poised between eternity and history, here in India it was history intervening in terms of eternity rather than history superceding the eternal as seems to have happened in the West and the modernist movements it has influenced the world over.

India is a civilization. There are hundreds of culture in the world but very few civilizations and India is one of them. It has survived as a continuum whereas the Greek, the Roman, the Mayan, the Egyptian have all but disappeared.  It has survived largely through its plurality.  We are one because we are so many.  So, many of the age-old traditions of India have survived because they have been internalizing changes all the time.  They change and through change remain the same.  Here, in India the dichotomy of tradition and change, tradition and modern ’in practice hardly obtains. Tradition is essentially a tradition of change.  Indian classical music and dance are interesting examples of this. Over the 3-4 hundred years they have undergone many crucial changes and yet have remained true to their origins and spirit.  The classical in India is by the same token contemporary.

In the millennium gone by many forms of orality moved over to written forms.  Form Vedic chants to the ‘banis’ of the numerous Saint-poets. This transfer has deeply influenced the participative nature of many of these forms. Poetry, for inc, having moved to the written and later the printed page seems to have receded from, that other indestructible page of human mind, memory, It ceased to be utterance; of late, sadly in many ways, it has become almost a noise.  On the one hand, the social accessibility of literature has increased but, on the other, its social place has receded.

Pic: Random
Shrikant Verma in a memorable distinction between liberation and freedom had proposed that liberation was an individual goal to be attained and was accorded a central place in the scheme of thing in India. The west brought us the more social concept of freedom to be achieved through social action and effort. Like between eternity and history, we seen to be caught between liberation and freedom.  It would appear that towards the end of this century, liberation both as a concept and practice is receding and freedom is taking over. The much-talked human rights refer not to liberation but to freedom.  This shift is deeply influencing our beliefs and value-perceptions.

During the past Indians excelled in what they did to voice, stone and mind. The great temples surviving for centuries in timeless splendour; the utter abstraction attained in classical music and the metaphysical complexities, the linguistics and the grammar are all mind-boggling achievements for those times. It would appear that, engaged as it is in the modernist project, India seems to be losing its hold on voice, on complexities, indeed on languages. Din and noise, coarseness, giant simplifications, impatience for subtleties of living and expression, distrust in mother tongues are all writ large on the face of contemporary India.

Personal Archives
But fortunately, the visible India is not all India.  There is a creatively vibrant India, and intellectually alive India, a metaphysically anxious India, and an India continuing to be a civilizational enterprise. The traditional resources of creativity and imagination, of reflection and articulation have not completely dried up and are appearing in new transmutations.  In fact, there are so many India’s –often in conflict and sometimes in dialogue with each other.  The eternal India at war with the historical India; the political India struggling to overcome the cultural India; the intellectual India uprooted from the popular India; the secular India trying to come to terms with the spiritual India. In short, many ideas of India grasping and coping with many realities of India. It is not possible to talk of India in singular; it is plural even as an entity.  It is not coincidental that besides being the largest democracy of the world, it is the most multi-religious and multi-lingual country of the world. We are like the whole of Europe but all within the borders of a single country.

We are neither at the end nor at any brink. We are a tale not yet fully told. We are a human saga still incomplete.  We are a caravan forever on the move.  We have partly moved into the post-modern and partly continue to inhabit the classical. We have taken a new face. We are launched upon a new journey. And yet our own wisdom tells us at any time that it is more important to keep on moving them reaching the goal. We are, no doubt, on the move. We exist in the dimension of eternity and yet we operate in history. We have so far negotiated this rather well.

It is ‘Yogvashishtha’ which centuries ago said: “The world is like the impression left by telling of a story”, India is a story not yet fully told. We are all minor story-tellers, dressed in our unearned immodesty, picking up fragments of an epic story, which goes not and shall never finish. Not is the next millennium either.

Life of a Hipster

Pic: Random
You have excessive facial hair, a scruffy unshaven look, enough to make any Bangali mother cringe in disgust. You believe it makes you look more serious. Even if that’s not it, you like it anyway.

You discuss politics and philosophy (aka ‘antlami’). A group of people having an animated discussion on the current political party in power and coming up with the most exaggerated ‘conspiracy theories’ is a hipster thing to do. If you wish to join, make up your own theory. You don’t want people saying that they came up with it first!

The ‘Original Hipster’ was the jhola-carrying, kurta-wearing intellectual. And a fashionable goatee, for him!

You probably puff a cigar or a pipe. Or bidis and rollies — hipsters will forever roll their own cigarettes. Even though this works out cheaper, it’s really more about the principle than the money. You are what you smoke.

You condemn TV-watching. You condemn big brands like Starbucks. However, you’ll spend the same amount of money buying special filter coffee (since it’s not that mainstream… yet!).

You don’t wear Converse anymore because everyone wears it. You find other vintage shoes.

Pic: Random
You carry an analog or vintage Polaroid camera. You collect LP records. At the same time, you own cool tools and will take out a MacBook from your satchel (not backpack) and in all probability will possess the most expensive sound headset.

You stand out with your Woody Allen glasses or large black-framed glasses.

You focus on upcoming indie bands, not bands that are currently popular. It could be The Antlers, m83, St. Vincent or Snowmine. The first thing you’ll tell others is, “You probably haven’t heard of them yet....” You need to use Spotify for these.

Hipsters are never happy. That’s why they love Twitter.

You think it’s cool to cycle. You cycle to college (sometimes, even nightclubs).

Edward Yang 
You probably like Taiwanese New Wave filmmakers like Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-Hsien. You watched Ship of Theseus months before anyone here had even heard of it.

You eat organic food and attend farmers’ markets. You drink chamomile tea.

Kolkata Kaleidoscope

From Personal Achives

In the modern day of urbanization, most of the modern cities in India love to call themselves cosmopolitan and not just mere cities thriving around the periphery of an Indian state. Tell someone who lives in Mumbai that he lives in a Maharastrian city; he will immediately correct you as being a cosmopolitan. The same goes with people living in other parts of the country.

 Not the case with Calcutta. The city is essentially Bengali and leaves no stones unturned to preserve the Bengali culture. Surprisingly, people living in Bengal are proud about the fact that Calcutta hasn’t lost its old world charm. If you delve deep into it, you’ll find that the city’s weaknesses and strengths that echo a unique Bengali character.

From Personal Achives

The city has its own drawbacks, from the sudden bouts of passion through cheerful pandemonium to fiery reaction to a smallest provocation.  However, these flaws are strengths in disguise.  Calcutta incarnates the Bangalee love in the name of culture, the triumph of intellectualism over avarice, the warmth among people, disdain with which hypocrisy and insincerity are treated and the supremacy of emotion over all other aspects.

This gives ‘the city of joy’ uniqueness and it is not meant for everyone. You want your city green and clean; go to Delhi. You want your city to be impersonal and rich, stick to Mumbai. You want your city to be hi-tech – Bangalore is the answer. But you want a city which has soul – come to Kolkata.

Calcutta grows on you.  It’s just not the lush Maidan, the grandeur of Victoria Memorial, the hustle-bustle of Burrabazar or the brilliance of second Hoogly Bridge. It is more than the usual bricks and mortars; it’s about the ‘people’. And no one can replicate the essence of the city’s dwellers.

From Personal Achives
Calcutta is about subtle emotions, art, culture, passion and ideas. Here, people don’t talk about stock market, but about the latest political gossip reported on a newspaper. They talk about Robi Thakur and Mamata Banerjee with the same exuberance. Each evening,  a true-blood Bengali will want fish on his table, his children will be encouraged to take up a new form of art, he will appreciate good book – something that still bind every Bangalee with his culture. For him, religion and culture will be in inextricably bound together.

From Personal Achives
Talking about religion, tell anyone about Pujo in Kolkata and they’ll scoff. Puja is religious they’ll say. Contrary to the belief, the world-famous Durga puja is just not about chanting hymns or worshipping the Goddess. It’s about the varied emotions of the city – like a grand carnival. It has little to do with meaningless ritual or sinister political activity. The essence of Puja is that all the passions of Bengal converge: emotion, culture, the love of life, the warmth of being together, the joy of celebration, the pride inartistic expression and yes, the cult of the goddess. There’s no place you’ll find where children cry on Dashimi as Maa Durga bids farewell to the lesser mortals. Where else would the whole city gooseflesh when the dhakis first begin to beat their drums? Which other Indian festival - in any part of the country - is so much about food and pandal hopping?

To understand Calcutta, you need to understand the very essence of Bangla.  It’s not easy, but as time goes by you start falling in love with the city. And after a while, you’ll realise that the city has stolen your soul. Wherever you go, you’ll carry a bit of the ‘city of joy’ with you. Such is the essence of Calcutta – a feeling that never fades away!

The Joy of Flying

Incredible. Amazing. Exhilarating. Uplifting. Intoxicative. Electric. Soul stirring.  Exalting. Inspiring... or quite simply Out of the world. Running out of adjectives to describe my first experience of paragliding.

It was such a wonderful experience that I’m hooked for life and I intend going back to do the beginners course. The joy of free flight really is hard to describe. It is something I always wanted to do and I finally did it.

From Personal Achives
As we started running on our tracks, I felt myself being lifted into the air and drifting further and further from land. In a matter of seconds, we were flying high above the valley. From my vantage point, I feasted on endless corn fields, green plains and clusters of dark green forests, all sprawled over undulating valleys and hills. I shouted in excitement as I looked down and saw tiny figures of people looking straight up towards me. I could hear people cheering me up. I looked straight ahead and could see the farthest parts of Deolo, all beautiful.

I was flying high above the slopes of Kalimpong on a paraglide with Rishi – my instructor. He told this would give the best view of Deolo, and indeed, they were right. We took off into the sky and glided over acres upon acres of pine forests and running streams. Once in the sky, I drank in views of nature which stands high on a cliff overlooking the lake. Fringed by beautiful stoned paths and emerald mountains, the magical setting resembled scenes from a fairy tale. I pinched myself, to see if I was dreaming.

From Personal Achives
As I floated there, in the sky, with the birds, and with everything hundreds of feet below me, the sense of peace and joy I felt was invigorating. I’ve always looked up towards the sky and seen birds flying and imagined what it would be like for them. I actually for the first time in my life, while I was paragliding, looked down and saw the birds flying, below me! That sight is etched in my memory forever.

The scenery was breath-taking with the hills and valleys surrounding the entire area and the pristine blue of the sky…  I was speechless.  I wasn’t scared anymore! I was completely enamoured with the moment and the once in a lifetime experience I was participating in. A smile did not leave my face!

As my feet landed safely on the ground, I felt full of gratitude and was on a total adrenaline HIGH.  I was thrilled that I had set out to do something that truly scared me and it ended up being the single most exhilarating experience of my entire life.  There was pure JOY in conquering that FEAR!
Pic: Random

There are many experiences in life that make you feel that you are truly alive. This is definitely one of them.

P.S.: The flying machines will take off from Deolo, 5km from Kalimpong, and descend into various spots nearby. The football ground of Dr Graham’s Homes, barely a kilometre away, and Relli, some 10km away, are some of the landing points. The gliders will touch down at Pudung, close to Relli, too.

The funny bone of Indian Politics

A few days back, I was reading an interesting book on political satire called Unreal Elections – which digs into the Indian political satire amidst the clamour of heated debates. Surprisingly, as I delved deeper into this new genre of writings, I figured out that the internet is full of such political sarcasms.  Thanks to technology, a barrage of political spoofs on the internet and TV ensures that every Indian politician is cut down to size.

For a country where everyone takes politics very seriously and in the rural areas where many aspire to be a politician, it is surprising to find Indians laughing their way to the elections. Thanks to the new age satirists, a generous dose of political humour doing rounds in every nook and corner of the tech world using rhetorical campaigns.

Pic: Random
The genre is not something new in India – it was always there in diverse forms of cartoons in newspapers, it’s just the appetite has increased.  

No doubt, humour should be integrated in politics. For example, there seems to be a lot more humour in the presidential elections of the USA than you’ll find in India.  Indians have a tendency of taking things seriously. Sarcastic comments by Narendra Modi often receive a very blistering response from political opponents for using the term "Shahzada" for Rahul Gandhi frequently. I find it quite funny and of course, a brilliant tactic. But instead of taking it sportingly, opposition leaders have taken offence to it and responded in a different tone altogether.

The moment you open any social networking sites, you’ll be flooded with varied jokes and graphics based on Indian politicians and politics. The current trend of such satires are inevitably based on the top notch political parties and their supremoes like, Congress, AAP, BJP and who can deny the constant jokes on our home-grown party, TMC.

As I browsed the internet, came across a very interesting take on Indian politics by Irfan – the new breed of cartoonists who gained popularity for his catchy graphics based on similar theme. If you think that it needs acute finesse to capture the funny bone of politics, you’re wrong. Many amateur artists and writers have also taken such steps and later became internet sensation. 

Pic: Random
Gone are the days when Jawaharlal Nehru who had a great sense of humour, once told cartoonist Shankar, "Don't spare me".  It was also reported that once Laura Bush comically teased her husband George W Bush during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner of his inability to pronounce “nuclear”, his poor reading habits and even his bedtime activities. Can you imagine this in India?
“Ooh there you go again”, says future anonymous commenter “bootlicking the West.” I never get this logic. What is the problem in imbibing the good things of the West—their rationality, their work culture and their sense of humour?

No more Children's Day

“A nine year old boy, Sagar, is sacrificed, to Goddess Kali, by his superstitious grandfather on Diwali night. The old man had hoped that the ritual would ensure the safe return of his missing son. While the whole country was celebrating the ‘Festival of Lights’, the light is snuffed out of young Sagar’s life forever.”  - The Telegraph.

If you think the event in the life of Sagar is an isolated incident,  happening to the citizens of  a war ravaged country or to the denizens of  a state  which is still caught in the throes of an existential trauma you are quite mistaken. The plight of the majority of children, the most vulnerable section of the society, is miserable wherever you look – especially in our part of the world.

Rape, abuse, dowry customs, child labour and infanticide are part of a tragic legacy in India that is also full of bright minds and a rich cultural heritage. Like every year, today children’s day will be celebrated almost in every school with aplomb, politicians will give big lectures about child development and with Facebook coming up in a big way all that you get to see are photos, newsfeed getting filled (over crowded) with people putting up photos from their childhood, seriously!? This is how children’s day is celebrated!!? 

The situation is very gloomy. Despite pious announcements, decisions and declarations, the condition of the children in the country is dismal. Though the child death rate has decreased, still crores of children die in India even before they reach one year. There is no health care or treatment available for them not only in the tribal areas, but in many parts of the country. Even sufficient foods are not available and malnutrition is usual which retards growth of the children.

Assocham’s latest study revealed spine chilling statistics. According to the reports, the national Capital is home to over 1, 00,000 street children followed by Mumbai (1, 25,000), Bangalore (1, 10,000), and Kolkata (85,000).

Source: Google Images
Leave the country as a whole, a good percentage of children in Bengal have no access to education, due to non-availability of schools in the interiors and also poverty of the families. They are forced to work in hotels, small scale factories, agriculture, and domestic work. Rules are there against child-labour, but it is more violated than implemented. In any town/city, you can see a large number of begging children, some of them exploited and terrorised by the mafias.

 The cruel exploitation of the children and molestation is another dark chapter. Children are sexually assaulted in even homes and schools, leave alone in unsafe areas. People in high society are also involved. Due to poverty, sometimes, children are even sold by the parents. Take the recent case of the student of G.D. Birla School. She was sexually abused by one of the male attendants of the school. She lost the innocence of her childhood even before she could understand it. She is just one among those hundreds of children who are abused and trafficked every day right under the nose of politicians and police. It’s just horrifying to comprehend the world we create for our next generations, regardless of location. With regards to a country like India, much needs to be addressed to issues of child slavery, prostitution and abuse hidden under covers of its spiritual marketplaces too.

Every 14th November we celebrate Children’s Day with great fanfare all over the country. Leaders, politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists and other celebrities visit slums, orphanages, and jails. They distribute sweets, clothes, toys, give profound speeches, deliver sermons on the duties and responsibilities of the citizens of tomorrow.  And then they go back to their cocoons of affluence and luxury leaving the children to rot.

Kids can’t revolt, they can’t take to the streets and most important they can’t vote. So naturally no one bothers about them. They can be used, misused and abused with impunity.

All it needs is little bit of effort, a little bit of commitment and a tiny voice in our minds and hearts that will urge us on to make the lives of those around us a little better. Only then can we hope for a world where a three year old girl does not have to be a victim of sexual perversion and a nine year old Sagar does not have to be sacrificed to Goddess Kali. Only then we can boast about 14th November being Children’s Day and the birthday of our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.