Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I am a Rebel.

In last few days, some incidents have greatly affected the way I think and perceive people around me. They all mean different things to different people, but this what they mean to me.

Raang De Basanti -

A movie, which didn't remain a just a movie for me. When I went to see the movie I went with a free mind, thinking it to be one of the lot, which comes out of Bollywood these days. When I came out after watching the movie, I was totally shaken up. For me the movie was not about how Aamir khan and his friends took the decision to kill a high profile minister. It was not about why commandos were sent to kill young college students who were already repenting for what they did. Its was not even about MIG pilots getting killed and the govt not taking the responsibility but is ready to wash its hands off by making a patriotic dead pilot a scape goat for its mistakes. The movie was about ME. I am like what Aamir and friends were like in movie. I always have fun in life, while I easily blame these corrupt politicians for everything that is going wrong in my country. I blame corruption but if my work has to be done in a slow govt office I always try to find a short way out. I make face at the garbage on the street but wouldn't think twice before throwing something on the street. I blame the bad traffic everywhere but while I am driving I don't even follow lanes properly. Its no use blaming the politicians, because we elected them. We have to correct ourselves first before we blame others.

Cartoon of Muhammad -

There is a world over staging of protest for this cartoon. I always wondered, what could have been so drastic that people have come out on streets to protest over a cartoon. Out of those thousands people who came out on streets to protest, how many of them have actually seen the cartoon? I searched on google (I am hard core googlian) and found the following link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons. You can yourself see it and don't worry no one is going blow you up with a bomb for seeing it. Yes, that's what I want to talk about, the fear of these religious fanatics. Which religion preaches the killing of innocent people? Which religion preaches violence? Yet you find that in the name of religion these people are killing innocent people, giving guns in young hands, creating rifts between peace loving people. The cartoon talks about what Islam is doing to world. Well, I want to talk about every religion here. Every religion is going corrupt. As they say "Power corrupts everyone". We have given power to religion and has corrupted it too and to such an extent that the same religion which used to tell us to respect life, in today's time kills without any reason. I refuse to believe in such a religion and refuse to respect those who preach such a thing.

The Jassica Lal Case -

"Would the accused please stand up!".
He doesn't.
"Would the eye-witness please stand up!".
He isn't there.
At this point a voice say - "Would you please take the blind lady out of the court, we don't need her anymore!".

Whether is Jassica Lal or Best Bakery Case or Tandoori Kaand, politics has guaranteed the release of the accused. I read the polls done by news papers asking people who would stand up to a case like Jassica Lal. All the newspapers are going crazy over her case. They say "Justice delayed is Justice denied". There are debates over who is right and who is wrong. One of my friend even said that all these cases, which are politically motivated have women involved. Every one of us has something to say. Anyone of you remember, Damini, the movie. The wife has to give her statement against her bother-in-law. The family tries everything right from emotional blackmail to kicking her out of the house. Why? Just because she decides to stand for the truth. Even then she stands up and gives her statement which the only truth and nothing else but the truth. Three hours movie is over and everyone goes home. Well, for all of us, our life is not a three our movie. I don't blame those who go free after putting pressure on people. Everyone wants to live. Why should they be blamed when we ourselves don't have the guts to stand against them. We are scared for our lives, our family and our children and until we have that fear, people in power would always find a way to escape and even return to normal lives. As they say "Ones weakness is someone else's strength".

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

MUIP - Please bear with us for a Better Tomorrow

Yesterday I started from office little late so I missed my company bus. I had a friend along with me who was also going to the same place where I was heading to, so we decided to share the auto. When we came out of office we saw the road was completely choked up with traffic. The reason for this permanent traffic jam is that the government has decided to expand the roads and for this to happen they need to dig up the roads. Now to do this they have dug up the roads on both the sides leaving very little space for the traffic to move. The dust from all the digging up and the smoke from all the standing vehicles made it difficult to even breathe. Irritated with it all I looked around to see if anything is moving and I saw the sign board - "MUIP - Please bear with us for a Better Tomorrow" !!!

We realized that its no use taking an auto because the rate at which the traffic was moving, the auto-meter would move faster than the auto itself. So, we decided to walk down till wherever the traffic becomes bearable! Well, in Mumbai it's easier said than done. There wasn't any space left to walk. Traffic was occupying all the space on the road. The only place left for walking was the dug up area, which was filled with wet cement. We tried to walk on the huge moulds of mud. My feet got all dirty. With every step I feared losing my balance. I looked up in frustration and the signboard - "MUIP - Please bear with us for a Better Tomorrow" stared blank at my face!!!

My friend suggested that it would be a better idea to cross over and walk against the traffic. At least we'll get some space to walk. We crossed the road and started walking. Even that side of road was dug up. The BEST bus stop was over turned and people didn't know where to stand and wait for bus. The boards, which displays the bus numbers, were standing in a far corner of the road where no one with proper eyes could read it and if one even tried to reach the board to read it wouldn't return in one piece. The amazing part is while they have taken the liberty to dig up everything, they have left the illegal shops and slum areas on the encroached land so carefully as if they are the prized position of the Government of Maharashtra. My friend and I kept walking for nearly half an hour without even realizing. Every time I looked to the other side of road, the traffic was at standstill. While walking we crossed an area, which was completed. It gave an impression of what this road would look like once the construction is complete. In one corner there was a huge pile of remains of the construction material and stones, and in the center was the sign board - "MUIP - Please bear with us for a Better Tomorrow" !!!

After half an hour of walking we came to Saki Naka signal. The traffic scene had not changed on the other side, which we were supposed to take. Relieved that we didn't take the auto, we looked ahead to see how the traffic was on the road ahead. We saw some relief there and decided to take the auto and head towards home. On the way to home I couldn't help but think that while walking the stretch it would have required just a slip to land oneself in hospital. The most amazing thing is if they want to dig up something, it is done almost over night but when the time comes to make it, it takes ages for them to complete it. Wherever the construction is taking place, there are no proper lighting systems. One of my colleague in office once took a snap of a overturned jeep in the crater which as usual was easy for them to dig than to fill up.The image you see at the top is the one I am talking about. It even got published in Mid-Day here in Mumbai. By the time they'll finish filling up all the places that they have dug up, it would be time to build 6-lane road instead of 4-lane road, which at present they are trying to build. At such time the message on the sign board sounds ironic...at least I don't know which "Tomorrow" they are talking about because as we all know - "Tomorrow never comes" !