Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The un-Commonwealth games

I have been receiving messages from my friends in Britain about some juicy dope on the ill fated games that are likely to start in a few days. I am ashamed that some greedy individuals in the position of authority have brought immense disrepute to the nation and to Indians at large.

While I am worried about the images that are being flashed across the world media, the collapsing bridges and the filth, I have a strong belief in the fire fighting abilities of Indian managers who perform far better in times of crisis. The games will be over even before they start and if my guess is anything to go by – with negligible glitches. But I cannot help but stop and reflect as to why India is topmost on the corruption index and why it is still growing at 9% annually and how on earth are we still as resilient as we are that every single business school across the globe is doing case studies on Indian businesses and entrepreneurship.

India is the only country that has never ever attacked any other country in its recorded existence. Instead, it has continuously been attacked and plundered by proselytising invaders. The Mughals and the British have had the maximum impact. Lord Macaulay addressed the British Parliament on 2nd Feb 1835 – “I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”

So the Plunderers have been successful in inducing the gene of corruption and lethargy amongst the population of the country that invented the ‘0’ and algebra amongst hundreds of significant discoveries that changed the life of people forever.

But here I am not propounding achievements by Indians. I am making a simple point. We have come a long way in the last 60 years ever since we got our independence. We are still healing our scars left by over 200 years of suppression. And it will be a while before our genetic makeup stops fighting starvation, corruption and suppression.

The wealth in any case was not common or else David wouldn’t have said what he said - David Cameron “I know there is also a great argument about the original provenance of the Kohinoor diamond. I'm afraid this will disappoint viewers, but it's going to have to stay put. What tends to happen with these questions is that if you say yes to one, you suddenly find the British Museums will be emptied”. So what do I say – An empire and its alleged history and treasures are all a result of mass plundering – the world over.

Meanwhile it’s pertinent to mention that that the games village is actually looking good and hopefully everything would be just fine.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some of the people who made a difference to my life-I

Technology has really made our life simple to the extent that applications like facebook allow you to choose a few people from your friend's list and categorise them as people who made a difference. I think tagging people is an unthoughtful way of appreciating or saying ‘Thank You’.

Its been a while that I have written anything on my blog and I thought that while I am settling in my new job after 2 years in the UK, this would be a great opportunity and forum to say a real Thank You to some people who made a difference to my life and touched me to the core.

My Uncle (Mom’s sister’s husband) has been the most exemplary individual whom I have ever come across.

I shifted from Chandigarh to Delhi in 1988 to complete high school as my mom thought that her love and affection was spoiling me and it was showing adverse results in my academics. My Aunt is the vice principal of a school and mom thought that a hint of Aunt’s discipline would do me good. For the 2 years that I was at my Uncle’s place he would return late evening from office, tired but would still find time to solve each of my academic queries in math, physics and chemistry even if he had to read the entire chapter many times. Never ever did I see a hint of irritation while I would constantly pester him for answers.

While preparing for the big exam, if ever he could not sate my academic thirst, I would see him awake at middle of the night reading my text book and trying to ensure that he has an answer for me by morning. I vividly remember a classic case on the first day of my board exam and he offered to drop me to the exam centre. Halfway through the journey, amidst all my nervousness, I remembered that I had forgotten my admission ticket and he quietly turned back the scooter and came home to pick up the ticket and we resumed our journey to the examination centre only to realise a few minutes later that I had forgotten my scale and eraser as well. He turned back again and rather than reprimanding me for my sheer carelessness. He simply said ‘beta’ (son) we might be late for your exam, would you like to re-check if you are forgetting something? Any other parent / guardian would have reprimanded the ward immensely. I got top score in the exam.

A few vicissitudes of life – but proudly so – bestowed on me the responsibility of my sister and I was lost when my little angel was to get married. For 1 full month Uncle left all his occupations and commitments and shifted to Chandigarh (my hometown) to ensure that the marriage went off successfully and he gave all the emotional and financial support to the family. His blessings have been a great catalyst in Tanu's happy married life.

A few years later, when I thought of taking a sabbatical to do my MBA from Britain, lady luck turned its back on me when my education loan temporarily got stuck in some administrative issue of interpretation of my student status and Uncle encashed a major part of his retirement savings and gave me unconditional loan so that I could embark on this journey.

Throughout our lives and for everyone in the family, Uncle went out of the way to help us, guide us and stand by us in every moment of need.

His greatness and selflessness has touched me and educated me as to what humility, goodness, love and affection are. Thank you dear Uncle. May you live a very very long life and may your love continue to enlighten the lives of everyone in the family forever.
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