Thinking about it all

They inquired about my caste when I asked for a cup of tea. I said I was an educated Indian. I sipped the tea and left. They inquired who I was – and took names that ended with a ‘u’. I said I was a Hindi with an ‘i’. They laughed at me and left. They asked me whether I was a doctor or an engineer. A businessman may be?  I said I was a graduate. The fell silent and nodded their heads. They asked for my horoscope  to match me with the girl. I refused the match. They had pity on me and left. They asked me out to visit a famous saint, where they had promises made. I refused for I was just a human. They cancelled the visit and prayed. They said I wasn’t well, and pushed pills down my throat. I scurried for my life, and prayed for my health. When I smiled and asked, “Who screwed the motherland?” They pointed and smiled, “From outside they came!”  When such valour...
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Home runaways – when life beckons and traps you for good

Pic only for illustration That children live in a dreary state of happy bondage is the best known open secret of the world. Very often, children do not get the respect that they deserve, more in the lower strata. Some of them run away as a direct result of a conflict at home, or disregard by siblings after the parents’ early demise. For boys, the tough terrain takes them into small professions. Girls face an exploitative flesh trade as an alluring destination. The case in India is made difficult by the supreme rule of patriarchal values in the state, religion and society. The one who ought to be seen as the victim,  or someone trying to make his or her life, thus easily becomes the accused. No doubt, all those police complaints they file of missing kids — they are really to be seen as complaints AGAINST those kids! And they ARE actually seen as such by everyone involved. Indian society is complex, and...
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The skeletons of the past

With no proper education, laws and constitutions, the historical past was a bizarre cocktail of pain and pleasure, life and death. Three stories from India Do you know what love is? The young girl, not yet in her teens, cried and struggle in vain, as the mob of relations cajoled and took her away on the road. A few months later, she was studying in the eighth class, a married girl. Her class friends were amused, and wrote her husband’s name on the black board. The girl blushed and ran to wipe it off the board. The young female teacher inquired about the the action, and lambasted the class on what they ever thought love was all about. “Doesn’t a brother lover his sister, and a son his mother?” Dumbstruck, the class listened in silence. Why wouldn’t the widow want to live? The British officer felt aghast on learning that the village widow was soon to burn herself to death on a pyre. What a...
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Why the world hates you when you fall sick

Contrary to all known public opinion on this issue, I believe it is a double curse to fall sick. Having seen the hospital model of care at close quarters, I can vouch for the fact that the patient, stripped of his self-caring powers, is reduced to an object, and the amount of attention bestowed goes with his wealth and how much time and devotion his near and dear ones are ready to bestow themselves. The sickness itself and the sick are peripheral. And if you happen to be alone by yourself, only natural pity and human empathy can save you. If you are a cynic, chew on this last fact. To the near and dear ones, what a tragedy! The stress of producing empathetic chemicals gets to them. And responsibility sucks big time, as it always did. But the sick man is the king of the house, for no personal merit or deed of his. Society rules here, but strikes an insidious...
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The NRI – You are the true Indian

Non-Resident Indian – you are the true Indian of 21st century. The future of India, and its brides, lies in your hands. Now, after ages, you can be an American or British, and yet be called the true Indian! The pride of India, come home when you wish to. We, and our banks, will welcome you with open hands. You are the dream of all Indian girls. Only you can give them a life, hope and a future to behold. Your success shows the might of India. Your face glows with happiness, and the relief tells the full story. Be who you are, and let the world know where you come from. Without you, what is India but dirt and damnation. With you out there, it is clean, trendy and hip. So grab your samosa or masala dosa, shake your head upright, and take the plunge. There was never an Indian like you, nor will ever be. Bow to you. ...
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Why the Indian will never die

The Indian will never give up old customs. The Indian will never give up superstitions. The Indian will never trust his own reason. The Indian will always follow the herd. The Indian will never think for himself. The Indian will never give up religion. The Indian will always undermine the individual. The Indian will never work hard. The Indian will always want things for free. The Indian will never trust another Indian. The Indian will always hate India. The Indian will oppose those who hate India. The Indian will always undermine himself. The Indian will never rise above himself. The Indian will never help an Indian. The Indian will always go against Indians. The Indian will never live a good life. The Indian will always hate a free life. ...
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A glorious past

The caves must have been the ideal location to support a dying religion. A refuge for the human spirit, and a testimony to its grand design. The coming 21st century with all its advances in technology is a continuation of this spirit, and the biggest proof of the legitimacy of its aims. ...
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How to effectively read spam mails and earn a million dollars in peace

Spam can actually make you wiser and rich! Here is some tongue-in-cheek advice. You have just earned $1000,000 in prize– The mail may carry a well known domain name, but your reply will go elsewhere. Many a times, Coca Cola, Microsoft or Toyota are purported to be the sponsor. Remedy – Think for a while – what have you done in this life to earn such a reward? Go back into your life history and search for an answer. Repressed memories will be kindled by this exercise, and you may come to understand how you came to be where you are today. 😉 That reward is worth more than any money. Action To be Taken: Delete. I need your urgent help, Sir!– These message are send by grief stricken widows, mostly in UK, who have inherited great wealth and need your assistance in transferring the amount from one account to another. Sometimes sent by their lawyers with reputed names. You stand to inherit the...
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The heavens are still far away – 3

Shiva’s shirt grew heavy with perspiration. His face was twitched all over, and it took him some effort to gulp a few breaths in. He raised his eyes again to take a second look at the wall. The shimmering ripples, sometimes taking on bright hues, played calmly at the wall’s  centre. Shiva felt alone, weak and petrified. “Bom Bom Bhole!” he muttered in a low pitch. The cave verberated with his voice, and fell silent. “Bom Bom.. Bho..leee!” Shiva repeated again, this time louder. The rippled pattern on the wall flashed brighter, and broke into abstract shapes.  Shiva dropped on the floor and slipped towards the cave’s entrance. Perhaps I can explain this, he thought, looking outside at the lake below. It’s the moon’s shine that is bouncing off the clouds and beaming in. What else? He again glanced at the wall. The rippling pattern scaled down and took on the blurry contours of a human figurine. Shiva received another jolt and prepared to flee. His eyes...
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The heavens are still far away – 2

Shiva threw the shoulder bag onto the floor, and sat down on the muddy floor. The cave was narrow and unevenly cut, and tall enough for him to stand and make a palm impression on the roof. Outside, there was not a sound to be heard. The green water lake was out of sight, and from the floor he could see the opposite hill, and the long receding line of mountains that went as far as eyes could see. Shiva loosened his white sports shoes, and stretched his legs wide, reclining back on his hands. It had been a long, long journey. But he was free at last. Free of the maddening crowds, and into fresh air.  The winter was yet to set in, and the hills, after the monsoon rains had dripped them clean, appeared to long for their traditional soft coat of snow. How beautiful the hill women looked, whom he encountered while walking down the grassy mounds near the Kedarnath temple!...
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