Sunday, November 28, 2010

Till Death do us apart

 I have never been in any relationship whatsoever, or to put it in a better way, no girl has found me good enough to be in a relationship, however, their are a few things in life which are better enjoyed from a ring side view. It may be a  fight between two people, a wrestling match or a guy proposing a girl. Yes you heard me right, it is always enthralling to watch a guy propose a girl with "true love", big promises and the heart breaks that follow when the promises are not met or when the people don't want the promises to be met. I have come across some of the cases during my not so long lifetime of 23 years. So lets chronicle them.


Day of Proposal-
"I Love You", the boy says, slowly steadily yet nervously.....
"Yippeee, You idiot, you took so much time to say this, I Love You too ,duffer", The girl replies and hugs the guy tightly.
"Thank you, I ll love you for ages to come, not even death can torn us apart", the boy says and hugs her back even more tightly.....

A month later.....

"You know you are a jerk", the girl says it aloud to him
"I know", the boy says with overflowing sarcasm
"I can't stay with a possessive fool like you"
"Not that i want to continue with a bi**h like you"

The ages and reincarnation which the boy spoke of, lasted only for a month. This kind of love can be associated with high school where love has a fickle existence.


The day of proposal

"I.....I....I just wanted to tell you that....I... you", the boy says putting in all his heart and overcoming nervousness
"Ok, I was kinda expecting it, but do you think we will click?", the girl says with a expression of corporate czar about to sign a big business deal.
"We will give it our best shot, I just wanna stay with you, I am unable to think beyond you, I ll flunk in my exams if you say a no now", the boys says switching to desperate measures to save the deal.
"Alright, I think I like you as well, we can give it a shot", she says with an authoritative tone only comparable to the US president signing on a go ahead for a nuke deal.

One year later.......

"You don't love me anymore,all the time you speak only of Java, can't you speak love, like you used to?", the girl says with wet eyes
"Oh dear, I am so sorry, this work is getting on my nerves, but I ll surely spend more time with you hence forth", the boy says, knowing very well, how tough it would be and trying to sound as convincing as possible.

One more year later........

"I can't stay with you any more, You are not making my life easy by calling up everyday while I am at work", the boy says in a "no option left" tone.
"But you said you can't think beyond me and would not be able to stay without me" she says in a tone which will even persuade god to weep
"And you said, lets see if we click, which as I see it, we don't, so lets end it before I hurt you any further"

The case is of a college couple who are unable to continue the affair like they did in college due to the added responsibilities of life. Its not a case of fickle existence of love, but its a case of giving precedence to life than love.


"I hate you, I hate you" she said in a tone which only girls can describe......
 "I am sorry dear, but you know that college can be so demanding", he said, trying every possible way to convince her.
"aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" She gave out a loud screech
"Ohhh c'mon you never shout like that,what happened, Hello, Hello, Aarti you there? Hello?"

"Now that was unreasonable, she hanged up on me? and she switched her phone off? she has never done this, Only god can convince her now" Sunny thought .

Little did he know, that it was not unreasonable, it was rather unfathomable. While talking to sunny, Aarti met with an accident which left her  paralyzed. Her world became immobile and his world, was shattered to the last possible piece.

Seeing Aarti Makwana at Summers job in 2006, Sunny pawar had fallen in love with her. Things were all rosy for him as Aarti too, reciprocated the love. He never promised to love her till eternity or reincarnations, all he wanted was to love her as long as he could. One terrible day in December 2007 Aarti met with an accident which left her paralyzed on the right side . Sunny could not bring himself to continue with his education, although he never considered himself to be a true lover, he could not see someone he loved lying on bed waiting for help. He took a sabbatical from his education and started tending to Aarti along with her mother. Crying occasionally when Aarti could not recognize who he was or when Aarti was in pain, all she could do was make incomprehensible noises, he kept up his spirit and love, Spending almost 12 hours a day at her home, feeding her, singing for her and making her sleep. His effort of 2.5 years started to reap benefits. Aarti had gained 15 kgs since her accident, which was a good sign. Doctors had declared that for them to remove the clot causing the paralysis, Aarti has to start responding to commands. To everyone's surprise, she started doing so pretty soon. Seeing all this, Sunny  joined back his college to complete his education. But as they say, fate always has the last laugh,just when things started looking good, Aarti was diagnosed with pneumonia resulting in high fever, she died within 2 days of being diagnosed in June 2010 due to her already fragile condition.

When people proclaim their love for ages to come, I don't doubt their intentions, but its all about will, how many of them are willing to love for ages to come? True love is not about words, but actions and Sunny sets the example of true love. I did not write this blog to comment on his gestures, because his gestures speak for themselves, I wrote this blog for people to know the extent love can reach. And when i say love, it would include everyone you ever loved, your family, your girlfriend, your pet. He never proclaimed to stay with her till death does them apart, but it was ultimately death which had to set them apart. If this is not love, then there is no love. For many, Life is all about love, but for him , his love was his life. My condolences for Aarti and my tribute to Sunny's true love.

                                      Love Lives on.........

PS- This story was covered by Mumbai mirror in december 2007 and june 2010(on Aarti's death). Following is the coverage by a news channel prior to Aarti's death.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

The Great Indian Language Divide

"Language is the biggest barrier to human progress because language is an encyclopedia of ignorance. Old perceptions are frozen into language and force us to look at the world in an old fashioned way."
-Edward de Bono, Famous Maltese physician,originator of term Lateral thinking and author of best seller Six thinking hats

 During the second semester of my engineering degree, we had a subject(which we never accounted for) called communication skills. Though this was a subject which one could clear with relative ease(when compared with mother of all horrors, Mechanics), I took time to mug up one answer, "Barriers to effective communication". One of barrier which holds true in the Indian context ,is Language.

I wrote a few blogs in the past one year which showed how a constant bias is being developed against speakers of one language(Hindi) by others(namely tamil and marathi). What I saw is what I wrote. But what is the reason for such a huge prejudice and bias? The rivalry of Indian languages goes back a long way in our very old history.

 1000-1500AD: The Arrival of Muslim rulers in India

  The Islamic era of India is something we owe a lot of current tourism revenue to(read Taj mahal). But one thing which this era gave us was our official language. Surprised? Yes, Official language of India, Hindi was not in existence before the Muslim rulers came to India. We had Brij bhasha, Maithili amongst others, but not the khari boli dialect. The Muslim rulers who arrived in India spoke persian and arabic. To gain ground among the locals, the rulers adapted ,and with mixture of persian and brij bhasha came the khari boli(Urdu/Hindi). The father of this khari boli movement was Amir Khusro, famous poet of 12th century, who had mastered brij bhasha along with his own native persian language. Following prose gives us a fair idea of his mastery of the two languages,

zihaal-e-miskeen mukon taghaful (Persian)
doraaye nainaan banaye batyaan (Brij)

The development of the khari boli went on for a long time and not surprisingly, it is still under development(more on that later)

The British Era:-

The Britishers, taking a cue from the previous Islamic rulers, made Urdu the official and national language of communication in India. Almost all the literates of the North Indian belt could read, write and comprehend Urdu, so not surprisingly Urdu was made our national language. What the Britishers did not account for, was that a language could be associated with religion. After the 1857 rebellion, the Hindus started distinguishing themselves by calling the language they speak as Hindi. The very same language, developed by Amir khusro et al, written in devnagri script. This was the first seed sowed for the communal tensions which were to develop between two religions which had so far lived in peace. In response to this, Sir sayyed laid the foundation for the now prestigious Aligarh Muslim university, focussing on educating the Muslims in Urdu, as a counter response to this,  the foundation for Benaras Hindu university was laid. The offensive and counter offensive went on till the year 1900, which was a significant year in the history of languages in India. That year, Hindi and Urdu were accorded the equal status. Two dialects of the khari boli, which when spoken colloquially had no difference, were given a status of two official national languages. The Hindus rejoiced, finally they had an equal standing with a "foreign language imposed upon them". What they did not realize was ,the language they were rejoicing for, was given to them by the very same foreign rulers. From that year, the supporters of Hindi, to make it distinct from Urdu, increasingly 'sanskritized' the language, while, Urdu was constantly drawing from persian. And this is what I meant when I said, the Khari boli is still evolving, because even till today, the languages are getting influenced. When the demands for the creation of Pakistan was raised, Gandhi, Nehru amongst others, propoganded the language Hindustani(the khari boli, Hindi/urdu) and even assingned the famous Hindi and Urdu author Munshi Premchand to compile his work in this common language. They wanted Hindustani to be the official language, which could be written interchangeably in Nastaliq(script of Urdu) and Devnagri. But it was too late, to save the language, and to save the unity.

Post Independence: 
The very same congress, which proclaimed India to be a secular country(which fortunately it still is), and propoganded the use of Hindustani, made Hindi the official language of India(not national), along with English as a defacto official language till 1965. Every effort was made, to increase the reach of Hindi to everyone, sometimes by words and sometimes by force. The Hindi, which liberally used words from persian language, was being 'sanskritized' at a faster rate. Meanwhile, our neighbors left no stone unturned to make Urdu increasingly 'persianized'. Hindi and Urdu which were like conjoined twins a century before, looked like non-identical twins now.

Anti-Hindi agitations in Tamil Nadu:
Apparently, Urdu wasn't the only nemesis for Hindi, bigger nemesis for propoganda of Hindi was the dravidian states in south India. Anti Hindi sentiment in Tamil nadu goes back to 1936, when the then congress govt led by our first governer general C rajgopalachari, made Hindi a compulsory subject across all schools in Tamil Nadu. This came as a bolt from blue to Tamilians. They were forced to learn a language which was a polar opposite of the language they spoke. They felt no need of introducing a new language, when just tamil was enough for administration. Instead of addressing their concerns, the chief minister of Madras, used brute force to quell the agitation. But the agitation did not die down and the Congress govt resigned in 1939. After Independence, Congress decided to make Hindi a National language, which would mean all the communication hence forth would be in Hindi to all states. It was only after the threat of secession by the Dravidian states that it was decided to keep Hindi and english(defacto) the official language and not National language, while a scheduled list of 22 national languages would be maintained. English would be the defacto official language only till 1965, but all attempts in the year 1965 to remove english as the official language were quashed by massive protests by DMK and their landslide victory in the state polls(Trivia-Congress has never managed to come back in power since). This prompted Indira Gandhi to make English defacto official language indefinitely. Agreed, their was a hint of linguistic chauvanism in the protests in Tamil Nadu, but the use of force to impose Hindi only increased the Anti-Hindi sentiment in the state. Though the Anti-Hindi protests led to English being made a permanant official language, which is now the source of the Service Industry boom in India.

Current Scenario-
The linguistic chauvanism has reached heights never seen before. The Anti-Hindi sentiment is gaining momentum in Maharashtra and West bengal is not far behind. Their will be no dearth of parties like Shiv-Sena, MNS and DMK for a long time to come 

The country which feels proud of being a land where language changes every mile, is suffereing due to the very same reason. The Hindi language which was envisioned to be a uniting factor for all Indians has instead ended up dividing the nation.One solution to this can be going back to the colonial ways by completely adopting english. But for a problem as old as a millenium, I am no one to offer a solution. I only believe in what is said by Abhishek bacchan in one of the ads for a telecom operator,

                         "Language needs no words"
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Monday, November 1, 2010

The phases in life of boys-With girls II

Almost a year after writing the first part of this blog, I am here with the much awaited sequel( pardon me if it sounds like a line lifted off from one of the movie promo). In case people are reading this without reading the first part, Please stop right here and go read the first part. Ok I know you still did not read the first part, so all those lazy bones like me, I would give a quick recap of what happened in the first part.

I spoke about how guys behave at various stages of life with girls. Right from hating them( The school days) to using them( The dark college days). In all these stages, guys share "love me, hate me, but can't ignore me" type relationship with girls. But after all this, boys come to office, and here starts a new adventure.

Phase VI-Bachelor at work 

Before starting of with this phase and before you start to relate it with youself, I am assuming that there 'are' girls in office(sorry mechanical civil and govt job guys, no donuts for you). I also assume that you are not a workaholic.So lets move on.....

It was the night before my first day at work, when I was very excited. I was excited about having my induction at a 5 star. But more than the place, I was excited about the crowd that was to pour in the next day. If the word going around was to be believed, for this batch the company had hired lots of 'chics'. Dressed in the best possible clothes I had(read-First Impression is the last impression), and a mind full of anticipation I entered the hall. Immediately my eye-brain coordination got down to work, my eyes started to scan for vacant seats near any hot chic seated in the hall. After a lot of hardwork, I managed to get a seat next to a chic.

   "Hi, I am Abhishek", I said ,extending my hand for a shake
   "Oh, Hi I am Anjana", she said,taking my hand shaking it.
   "So you from which college? I am from LT by the way, heard of it?", After I said this all in a single breath, I cursed myself, how can I just behave like just another wannabe?
    "I am from VESIT, and yes, I have indeed heard of your college, I stay right next to it" , she said , half gigling half smiling.
    "Oh thats nice, So you have any friend with whom you have come?" I said, anticipating an acquantaince with one more hot chic.
    "Yeah, My BF is also here today, his name is nishant, you must be knowing him".
    "one down" I said to myself referring to a chic being out of list, for the moment ofcourse
    "Hey abhishek, meet nishant"

Seeing that guy made me realize one thing, If guys like Nishant were to remain around, I will be having no girl around me for a long time to come at my work place. When I say long time, a perfect parameter for this is the fact that its been 10 months at work and I still am yet to find a 'chic' who is 'single'. During my entire course of 10 months, I met many Anjanas and almost everytime I met their Nishants. Even the girls, a notch or two below the Anjanas I met, had a Nishant for them. This gave me the inspiration for the sequel that I am writing. This phase of boys is of eternal search.

Tired of either being a nerd at college or a casanova, the guys come into their work life, expecting to find the right girl. A girl who is independent and earning(aah, thats important as well, chances of your wallet getting empty on an outing become less). A girl who would stay around for some time and would understand your need of spending time at work. A girl who herself would be so busy the whole day, she won't get time to get possesive about you. However the biggest twist in a guys life here is, that most of the girls come into office with their hearts truly committed.They don't miss an opportunity to proclaim their commitment to the world, in every gesture, they smell of commitment. They can't stop going gaga over their guys, which makes you feel more envious every passing moment.Those 'good' girls who are fortunately not committed are so immersed into work or career or family or friendship with you(The "just friend" types rememeber?), that chances are, she will surely not fall for you. Whether or not a guy admits it, he invariably joins the long list of waiting guys, the so called waiting list of guys. This list reduces at every break up of a girl. The girls, whose guys are not in the same organization start to feel the heat and here comes in the cracks, which are amplified by none other than the waiting guys.

 The wait list here is indeed analogous to the one for railway reservation. Those who get a reservation travel the distance, those who don't, have to catch the next train. If you could't do anything serious in college, you lost it, its too late to board the bus now. Those who are committed , won't get committed to you, unless of course you do something la "My best friends wedding". Those who are not, chances are, they may not get committed to you. This is one of the saddest and mostly lonely part in a 'single' guy's life. At work, their will always exist a lucky minority of Nishants and an unlucky of majority of people like me. The only hope left for us, is our parents. Only they can "arrange" for a reservation now.Mom and dad, you are my only saviour.......

The next part will take a few years in the making(c'mon I am only 23, it will be sometime before my parents can arrange for a reservation). But I do promise to come up with the next part.   

Phase VII-Married at work,Horrors of working in same office as spouse.
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