Wednesday, March 24

MARINE DRIVE, MUMBAI 22-03-10

( Includes excerpts from my diary)

Well, Devang has already written about almost everything and I don't want to repeat them. I will tell you this from my angle which is probably different from any other.

" its 12.40 in the morning and I am sitting at the marine drive"

The day started with the news that I would be watching the Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders match at the Brabourne stadium in the VIP lounge. I was more than happy. It was beyond it. Maybe ecstatic. But I knew it would be a day I will remember forever. I was waiting for the classes to get over. And as they did, I went back to my house and got dressed up. I would be lying if I say that I was casual about it. We went to station straightaway and while Devang was probably brimming with excitement, I was trying to be calm. I was. We reached the station bought the tickets and boarded the train. We started our journey at 3.30 and I wasn't certain of my emotions at that moment. I just stood there and listened to the music while he was blabbering. I was getting disturbed because I was trying to imagine someone in place of a moron standing in front of me. I was at peace while all this was going on. 4 hours later, I was in queue at the Dadar station and was trying to reach the Vodafone house as quickly as possible. 10 minutes later, we were running faster than a sports bike. I was running as if my life was at stake. We did not want to miss the match. I had the tickets in my hand as we were running back to Lower Parel station. 20 mins later and a lot of struggle (to find the place and with the security), I stepped inside the Brabourne stadium.


"the song is nice and I am doing the most cliched thing. writing."

As I stepped in,I heard a huge roar. "Sachin Sachin Sachin........". It was something which I had never heard before. It was my first visit to a stadium. I was enjoying Sachin's batting. As they say, even I saw god! Dada's team was not in the best of form and it was showing. Because of the VIP pass, we were allowed to take as much advantage as we could. I took four PEPSI and was unapologetic( people from UP can understand it). While KKR (my team) was losing I was enjoying myself. With a PEPSI in one hand and popcorn in the other I was looking at Dada who was fielding at some 20 feet from me. It was unimaginable for me who is almost like a devotee. There, my hero was standing! I was.. , I dont know how to explain. I took in everything as much as I could as the match was coming to an end just when Dada took a marvellous catch. Hopes were revived but to no use as they lost the match.
We lost the match and the wounded tiger was going back to his den.

"I am happy today"

We went inside the VVIP pass area and saw all the players. I took an autograph of Lalit Modi. Sounds weird but I did what I felt like doing at that moment. Then I took an autograph from Nita Ambani. Devang was excited. sample:

Devang to Nita: " ma'am can you please sign twice?

I was surprised. But just then I saw Dada moving towards his car. I started moving too. Even though I was walking, I was running from inside (if you can understand). I followed him and just when I was almost some 4 steps away from him, a policeman stopped me. I missed him. He was gone. But maybe it is because I will get to interview him one day. Maybe..
But I was surprised at the fact that we saw so many so-called-stars when we were not allowed to do so. It was fun. As we came out of the stadium, I saw Anjali Doshi (senior correspondent, NDTV 24*7). We chatted with her for 5 mins after which we went to the Marine Drive.

"simple joys of life"


I was sitting there at the marine drive all alone ( I had sent Devang for a walk). I started writing in my new diary (blog is an extension). I was thinking of something and wrote it down. I was thinking of my parents who got me here, I was thinking of a friend who made me what I am and I was thinking of...(sorry, cant tell you guys). I was at peace with myself after a long time, especially after a torturous last week. I was calm and satisfied, trying to befriend the sea. I was happy. I was sure that it was a once in a lifetime experience...

"I want this moment to be still. forever."

We then started walking towards the Dadar station. A long and tiring journey. So, we hired a cab and went to Dadar bus station. We again got a cab which dropped us at the Pune station at 6.15 and I was home by 6.35 am.

" like all good things this has to come to an end.
it HAS".

P.S- Thank you Devang!

Sunday, March 21

JUSTICE

David Headley has pleaded guilty on all 12 charges and cannot be extradited to India. Besides, he has struck a deal with the US government by signing the plea agreement. In the agreement, Headley has admitted to conspiring with LeT members, meeting with and receiving instructions from them. He has also admitted to attending training camps organized by LeT in Pakistan on 5 separate occasions. He has also admitted to being privy to the attacks planned in Mumbai and dispatch the team of attackers, by sea.

What is striking is the fact that the person who is guilty (now admitted) of the havoc done in Mumbai on 26/11 cannot be questioned by India on the Indian soil. Yes, India has been allowed to interrogate him only on American soil.

He will most probably be sentenced for 20 years of imprisonment, suggest experts. Indian government says that this is the minimum sentence and anything lesser than that is unacceptable. 20 years of imprisonment (death penalty not possible) for a person who can be called a mass murderer? Ironic.

Is this what this government has to offer? Aren’t they supposed to safeguard India’s interest? Yes, they want to maintain good relations with US, but at what cost? The trial of Kasab is going on at a pace unimaginable, especially when the charge sheet consists of more than 11,000 pages and enough evidence to sentence him to death.

When should the common man expect justice? Will it always take eternity to get justice? The victims of 84 riots, Mumbai blasts in 93, 02’Godhra and so many more are still awaiting their turn for justice. Will they always get dates and summons to appear in the court? Are 17 or 20 years not enough to prove that some people are guilty and should be put behind the bars? Isn’t this a blot on the white fabric of the country which aspires to be a superpower?

The judicial system is floored in the country and one cannot deny that unless that is made good for, people like David headley will always get away.

Monday, March 15

SUCCESS...

Success.

What is it?
Who has seen it? What is the definition of success?

I don't know and want to understand this concept. This concept, which alienates me from some other people just because they have Mercedes and I have Maruti, is difficult for me to comprehend. I have tried many times to find out what is it that makes someone a little more special, a little more powerful and a little more wealthy. And every time I have, I have fallen flat in the face. I thought it was the debate competition in school which I won that made me successful. I thought it was my admission to a prestigious college which made me successful. I thought that all of it was my success.

Then one day, I see some people who are as talented if not more and are much more successful in all that which I mentioned above and in many other things. In fact, I sometimes wonder if i'm anywhere even close to them . They have accomplished so much more than just a debate trophy. They are really ahead and I don't think that I would be able to catch up in the near future.

Was I ever successful in the first place? I'm confused.

I got it all wrong, I was not successful neither was I deserving. I was just a flash in the pan, not even that. I am just another creature on this hugely populated planet. Maybe it wasn't worth it!

But I always have this question in mind. Are only Filmstars (Shah Rukh Khan for college people, so that they can laugh) Sportsmen, Ambanis and Birlas successful? What about people who never shared the limelight? Are they not successful in their own right? Is it only a 27 storey house (with 6 floors of parking) that defines your success? Oh yes, that is probably the case.

But that denies the mother's pride which she has in her son's success (so called success). Isn't it?

"The only regret that I have is that my parents are not with me to see my success" said Shah Rukh Khan. Is he successful? Or is he not?

I want to be journalist, a big journalist. I want to make films and that too, hugely successful. But what is disturbing me is that neither do I know the meaning of big nor do i know what is ' hugely successful'.

What is success?

Sunday, March 14

A CHANGE?

Women’s reservation bill passed. Finally. Is this what we have waited for so long? Is it truly a symbol of women empowerment? Is it a social change?

Well, the answer to these questions can only be found if we introspect. Yes, it was very courageous of this government to introduce such a bill in this session despite such a strong and staunch opposition. It took 14 years for the bill to get introduced in Rajya Sabha and get passed. Yes, there is little doubt that it will get passed in the Lok Sabha, whenever it is introduced, this session or next.

The UPA chief has shown a strong leadership in the face of such odds. She wants that change, she wants them now and she is ready to risk the government if it takes that. The people who are opposing the bill such as Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav have threatened to withdraw their support from the government (their number of MP’s in the Lok Sabha is 26) which is almost inconsequential as far as the fate of the bill is concerned.

This bill has come in the second innings of this government and without any doubt will further strengthen the strong foundation which the RTI Act and NREGA laid in the previous term. They were historical legislations in their own right, RTI being a really important one, and were influential in improving the credibility of the government. And women’s reservation bill is following suit.

The bigger question is whether it is truly a symbol of change, be it a social change or at least in the attitude of the government. It is the UPA chairperson who forces one to believe that it is indeed the social change which the country wants. She is the person who believes that the country can develop only if the participation of the women increases in all the walks of life. This belief is strong enough for her to go ahead with the bill and this is not the first time that her conviction has prompted her to take huge steps. Her decisions on the social issues related legislations are evidence enough that change is needed and the people want them to happen quickly.

There are enough people who are still showing their discomfort with the bill, with each one citing a different reason, but the fact remains that it is a small step attempted to help the country move in the right direction. The debate was never about this bill or any other, it was always about that change which this country has longed for and this may not be the ultimate tool to bring about a sea change, but there is no doubt that it is a step forward.