Saturday, December 14, 2013

Humility - A New Awakening

By: Sourabh Sen 

Blogging for the first time is a high. Especially if you are down a few pegs. It helps calm the nerves and removes any delusions of the blog receiving rave reviews ,if any, at all. Humility is the word of the day.

Now being high in the companionship of guys with whom you have shared the better part of adult life(and still not invoking IPC 377) , does lead us on an adventure where every other word/phrase/incident reminds us of tons of past incidents which are best not mentioned outside the circle of trust. It is ,but, customary.
As a true non believer of traditions and customs (apart from being a hypocrite), i have a sudden fixation on the word Humility. Ah Mr Gandhi.How art thou?

Now this chap interests me. You can scream your lungs out “Modi wave” but i will Pay to hear this guy speak in public. Life is not long enough to learn from one's own mistakes, we must also learn from others' mistakes and he makes me a better man (Diggy, Sallu and Chiddy just refine me). He made me follow politics. 

I actually believed in this guy when i was still in my early years of engineering and accumulating arrears. But then sense prevailed. And sense, downed with a few units of what we call the OH group, spells anger. 

And as the recent elections in Delhi showed, A LOT of people are drunk AND have sense. They voted for a guy who destroyed the Dynasty. But then One man cannot make a difference, even though SRK and Salman continuously try to prove otherwise. One man can show us where we are and where we should be , but his walk alone will not be enough to gauge the difference no matter how sexy his gait is. He needs everyone who is drunk and sensible to follow him. What do i care. But he did raise hope . 

Ah, finally a refill :)

Now then where were we. Yes Cricket. Dhoni you beauty. The best thing you did is not take credit for victories , so that you are not accountable for losses .Losses , a synonym for overseas tours. Overseas tours are a spiritual experience . Lord buddha could not have imbibed a sense of purpose into these men who are supposed to bleed blue(Steyn made them bleed red...). But then how can a deaf person appreciate Nirvana or Sabbath. Unfortunately,The board, headed by a cement-headed person, likes to listen to Simpleplan. The simple plan being play as many matches in the subcontinent (read flat pitches) and be on the top of the table. I know i will get screwed for this. Aussies/Proteas play acccording to their home advantage, why sholdn't we? All i have to say is Swan,and the drubbing we got from England, on pitches,which according to our Captain were not spinner friendly-enough. 

In conclusion, (since my quota of drinks are being gulped down with obvious enthusiasm ), you either believe in the power of last night studies and xerox stolen from friends, or, you really wish Mr Mukherjee had stepped out of his Palace and spoken to the angry youth who were but demanding justice . 
I part with the following lines

O Captain my Captain
Is our fearful trip done?
Steyn has rattled every bat
And ours have rattled None

O Capatin My captain 
the capitol elections are hung
The people have spoken and the voices are din
But ONE honest  voice is better than none

(Sourabh Sen is an engineer by training and a free thinking man by profession. One of those man from a small town who went out chasing his dreams and still seems to be torn between his profession and his dreams!!! He believes FAITH is more powerful than HOPE...well whatever that means)


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Congress Finally Names It Prime Ministerial Candidate

Post the drubbing that it faced in the election Congress has finally decided on declaring its Prime Ministerial candidate. To counter the Narendra Modi effect it has decided to declare the whole cabinet in advance which party Vice President Rahul Gandhi thinks would be even more transparent that Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party. The party has also done some re jig in the organization to ensure that it can prevent Modi led NDA from capturing power. 

Party President - Sonia Gandhi 
Sonia retains the job not because of her performance but Clause 103 (a) amended in 1976 of the Party Constitution that says once a Nehru-Gandhi kin has been appointed in any post in the party they hold it for life. Some Congress members such as Govinda also threatened to make a biopic reminding her of her motherly role in the party as he had done it in 2004. Sonia feels pressure of the post is lesser than having to associate her name with a Govinda flick. 

Vice President - Rahul Gandhi
He holds the post thanks to the party constitution and has decided to strengthen the organization and go about on his mission 'Discovery of India'. He couldn't find his great grandfather’s famous book in Parliament's library as former Congress President Sitaram Kesri never returned the book to the library after it was issued to him in 1996. The librarian is still calculating the fine and wondering whom to hold accountable as Rajiv Gandhi had signed in the column of introducer according to records. Scheduled in this trip are are a night halt with the Jyrwas of Andaman and lunch in a remote village in North East. 

Candidates for the Upcoming Polls 

Prime Minister - Nandan Nilekani
After Rahul's reluctance to face a drubbing in the hands of Modi, Congress wanted to field a man with a clean image and in Nilekani they found a perfect man to counter Modi's development and Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Image. Nilekani has taken up the challenge but wonders why his photo wasn't printed on the Adhar Cards as this would have made him popular among the masses. A tailor near Jama Masjid has been asked to stitch Kurta Paijama for him as he plans to shed his business suits.

Deputy Prime Minister - Digvijay Singh
Rahul's Man Friday and a family loyalist has been rewarded. According to party insiders Congress fears that Nilekani might not be a Gandhi loyalist thanks to his self-made man image. He had achieved everything without an influential surname and hence might not act a sycophant take orders from 10 Janpaath so Digvijay would do the counter balancing act. 

Home Minister - Manish Tiwari
After passing the litmus test on several occasions on Arnab Goswami's 120 minute (News Hour) Manish finally finds his name nominated for the Home Ministry. On his list are 14 new linguistic states, scrapping the CAG and renaming (read re-branding) the CBI from Central Bureau of Investigation to…shhhhh! All of us know that….. 

Defence Minister - Manmohan Singh
Congress wasn't keen on having him on board but our current Prime Minister who has often been termed weak requested for the post to do an image makeover. He is already planning to take on Nawaz Sharif at the first opportunity. He is also planning some big ticket purchase of VVIP choppers and taking over an abandoned sword making factory in Italy at Madam's insistence. MMS thinks our soldiers are likely to face hand to hand combat against the Chinese in Ladakh and swords would be the master weapon that would scare the Chinese.

Finance Minister - Robert Wadhra
Even the freest thinking corporate houses like to keep finances in their most trustworthy man and how can our Grand Old Party think otherwise. He promises big time reforms in the economy and plans to create a vibrant environment and offer tax relief to DLF. Swiss Bank would be allowed to set up branches in India and have been assured the power of secrecy. Also on cards are some disinvestment and the money would go to a certain trust that would look after the welfare of the Mango People (opps Aam Admi)

Foreign Minister - Shashi Tharror
The only think that worked for the politician from Kerala was his fluency over the language and understanding of international affairs. Plus the Congress feels it would be difficult to control his cattle class comments if he is handed over any other ministry. Tharoor has however been advised to keep away from the social media and also transfer some of his followers to Rahul Gandhi's Twitter handle so that he can share his brilliant ideas with them. 

Railway Minister - Up for Grabs
In the meeting it was seen that Congress doesn't have strong presence in West Bengal or Bihar as these are the only states that have traditional rights over this ministry. So for now no names have been declared and if Congress comes winning some allies such as Sharad Pawar might be offered this ministry. Congress leaders also discussed the demerits of further improvement in the country's railway network as it might fuel more migration to Urban areas where the party doesn’t fare well ever since BJP came into the picture. 

Coal Minister - To Go Under Auction
Coal Ministry seems to be one of the most prized ministries in India. With so much of allocation and so much money to be made the party has decided to auction the post of Coal Minister to the highest bidder. Rajeev Shukla who has already gained experience in IPL auction is oversee the deal. The party believes that they would be able to raise enough money from this auction to fund their election costs for 2014.

There was lots of chaos in the meeting and many state leaders wanted to be their names for other ministries such as Telecom, Civil Aviation, Shipping etc. But Rahul wants to keep these in the bucket for now to be traded with potential allies for support and also some Youth Congress leaders might find themselves in these ministries if UPA retains power as this will help Rahul create his exclusive line of sycophants.

P.S. This is a complete work of fiction and should be read with a light heart


Friday, October 18, 2013

Mouth Watery Tikka at Hotel Golf View Suits

Some years back I had a friend from Cameroon who was a bit choosy about food. Whenever we went out to dine in Bangalore he would ask be if the food is healthy. Having accompanied him to restaurants serving delicacies from around the country I finally declared “We Indians only like tasty food, and care little about our health as long as we get that amazing sensation in our mouth and tongue.” During my recent visit to Gurgaon I had the opportunity to stay in Hotel Golf View Suits which prominently figures as one of the best Gurgaon guest house as far as the ratings and reviews are concerned.

Coming back to the discussion on food, after a tiring day’s work, meeting my client I wanted to enjoy the day with some spicy food. Was surely in no mood to go out and eat as that would definitely test the last bit of energy in my body. So I browsed through the guest houses’ website and immediately noticed the slogan ‘Delicious and Healthy Dining’ and instantly remembered what I had told my Cameroonian friend a few years back. Probably we do have ‘healthy and tasty’ food all synergised into one in India. The restaurant served Authentic Indian, Continental, Chinese, South Indian and various other cuisines and would definitely suit all kinds of taste buds. 

I ordered for some Chicken and Paneer Tikka to go with some Butter Nan from the restaurant in the guest house. I requested them to be prepared spicy hot as that is how I best like them. The service was prompt and within 15 minutes these were served to my room. As soon as the food was in the room there was a pleasant aroma all around. Served with fresh salad from the outside they looked delicious but as always I never like jumping into a conclusion about the food till I have tasted it. 

Both Chicken and Paneer Tikka tasted fresh and were packed with spicy flavours. Likewise Butter Nan was soft and went perfectly with these two delicacies. The spices had perfectly blended in lending that perfect taste that makes Tikka such a popular dish across the world. One thing I can surely stamp on that my stay in Gurgaon was quite an adventure. If it was a gruelling day with the client there was always something to cherish at Golf View Suits. Sometimes it was a walk around the Golf Course that would relax you but the best part was enjoying some mouth watery Chicken and Paneer Tikka. I just wished I could pack some home as this was surely one of the best Tikka that I had in my life. If not for anything else I won’t mind staying in this guest house on my next visit to Gurgaon.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Hotel Stay That Is Worth Remembering

As a freelancer who often has to travel to meet clients there are two things that I look for in a hotel – comfort (by which I don’t mean staying in a Presidential Suit) and secondly the budget as sadly all that I pay goes from my own pocket. So during my recent sojourn to Gurgaon for some evening tea with one of clients I started browsing through the net for a budget hotel in Gurgaon. Trust me there are so many offering so much that you often tend to get confused on which one to pick. Tall promises and well-crafted gallery are the hallmark of each hotel’s official website. So I started taking into account another factor that most of us consider while on a business trip ‘PROXIMITY’. 

My client was located in IFFCO Chowk and I had to look for a hotel nearby and also one that would offer me an easy access to Delhi where I could meet with some of my friends. Hotel Golf View Suits seemed perfect for my stay in Gurgaon. It is merely 3 kilometres from IFFCO Chowk and 1 kilometre from MG Road Metro Station. So taking prabhu ka naam I made a booking in the hotel. For a 3 star hotel in Gurgaon room rents starting at Rs. 1990 with buffet breakfast included and I couldn’t have asked for more. Among the facilities available 32" Flat Screen LCD TV and free WiFi Internet Access were some that attracted me. I can’t live without checking out on the latest news and sports and having access to the Internet. 

The hotel was welcoming with spick and span room that is the first thing that would strike anybody who stays in any hotel. The hotel staffs were available on call, all throughout the way looking to comfort their guest in a professional manner that most of us expect. It is located in sector 43 close to Golf Course Road and thus you can spend a nice evening waking by the course and relax yourself after a tiring day in the thankless weather that Gurgaon has on offer! This is something that one would look for while on an official trip where your client doesn’t see any good in your work when it comes to increasing the moolah. 

Hotel Golf View Suits offered me the perfect relaxing environment after a gruelling day. Another thing that struck me was the food. It was good and the prices even reasonable so it seems well within the reach of any walk-in freelancer who won’t need to worry about the credit card bills after tasting some of the best delicacies from India and around the world. I have stayed in good, cheap and sorry state hotels all my life and have come to the conclusion that tariff alone doesn’t decide on your experience. What is important is at the end of the day you need to walk out happy and this time I did so I would definitely stay in this place while on my next trip and also advise others to do so.  


Monday, October 7, 2013

Human Migration is Natural; what is Unnatural are The Borders

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

As the spirits of festivity surround us and we celebrate the triumph of ‘good over evil’ some would question the purpose of such a write-up amidst the current scenario that engulfs our state and society. The fact remains that such an issue affects all of us either directly or indirectly. For long we have been pointing fingers at different communities for all the ills and failures in our lives. We have called names and looked down upon cultures, religions and social practices that we cannot identify with ours. There is no point pondering on the merits and demerits of the issue that has gripped over our psyche for last few weeks. It is a known fact that every individual or community would see it from the prism of prejudice and assumptions and what is right to me may be wrong to others and vice versa.

It is time that we look into this issue from a broader perspective. Migration is a natural phenomenon not just among the humans but also animals. Man and animals have always migrated and made new places their habitat. There are many reasons why people migrate from one place to another, at times to rule over the land as aggressors or in search of better opportunities of livelihood as migrants and at times to escape religious persecution as victims. Apart from this migration has also been encouraged by the local inhabitants and rulers to fill in void due to the skills and expertise that the migrants bring in. 

Throughout human history we have witnessed migration and it started many millennia back. For instance anthropologists have found out similarities between the Jarawa tribe residing in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with several tribes in Central Africa who are isolated by several thousands of miles. Similarly the powerful United States of America that we know of today is nothing but an amalgamation of different people – the English, the Irish, the Germans, the Hispanics, the Africans and of course the Red Indians who were the original inhabitants of the land. Similarly the British are known to share common inheritance with the Germans and not the original inhabitants of the land as many would believe.

Even in our motherland India no community can claim the land as their own. We have the Aryans who migrated from Central Asia. In our own state of Meghalaya we have three distinct tribes of people – the Khasis and the Jaintias are said to have migrated to this land from what is present day Myanmar while some historians suggest they migrated from as far as Central Asia. Similarly Garos are believed to have migrated from Tibet. In the above context wouldn’t it be right to say that no race of people has been a permanent settler anywhere in the world and thus claims about some land belonging to some communities won’t stand a case if human history is studied in deep.

The question now arises, How can a group of people who migrated to certain land before others call them outsiders? Going by the account of Vedas when Hinduism extended as far as Cambodia as proven by the great Angkor Wat temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu, can some Hindu fundamentalist group claim all the territory that lies between India and Cambodia? They can argue this temple complex to be a proof of Vashnavite culture which should have prevailed and all others who live on the land today be marked as outsiders who have destroyed the great culture.

We need to understand that borders are a recent phenomenon considering the fact that man first walked on this planet 30,000 years back. Cultural exchanges have made the world what it is today and binds us in a common brotherhood. The concerns about cultures being annihilated due to migration is also uncalled for as the survival of any culture lies on its custodians and not on the actions of others. Indian sub-continent was under the rule of the invaders for more than 800 years and yet the rich cultural heritage survived. Humans will thus continue to migrate and anybody standing against it won’t survive the test of time. 


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