Saturday, February 03, 2007

In a state of shock

I am. Because in a state of madness i decided to get back to the land of milk, honey and Arjun Singh called India.

(Warning: Long rant ahead!)

I landed three days ago. My nerves are tingling and my head throbbing with the simultaneous assault of :
1) Honking
Q: Why are people here so stupid? If the traffic signal is red and you have six cars ahead of you, how does honking help?
2) Shouting
I think the unwritten rule here is that you have to raise your voice to "get work done". Soft polite talk is never on, so it seems.
3) Street dogs howling
Q: How is it okay to let street dogs proliferate? Despite kids getting mauled by street dogs, no one seems to bother. Yes, don't kill them but at least spay them for God's sake.
4) Renovation work
Some businessman upstairs in doing some 'renovation' which i believe has been going on since six months. There is continuous hammering, sawing and that ear-splitting, nausea-causing granite polishing. Apparently pleas to this gentleman to give a deadline by which he can finish this 'renovation' and not doing work in the afternoon in deference to senior citizens has fallen on deaf ears. "He knows people", they tell me.
5) Baarat (wedding processing)
Someone's getting married and has chosen to inflict his wedding on everyone in a 10 mile radius. There's a live band that's playing some raucous stuff. Streets are jam-packed.

I can't take it. I decide to shut the windows, plug my ears with cotton and connect to the net. The supposed 'broadband' connection at my home in Bombay seems worse than a dial-up connection. I try using my wireless internet card and apparently i don't have enough signal. For curiosity i check if there are any wireless connections around. None. IT superpower? If computing doesn't touch the daily lives of people, how does writing code make us an "IT superpower". And my home is supposed to be one of the most upmarket locations in town.

I then decide to organize some of my papers. I call up my bank (a multinational bank, by the way) for status on my account. The lady said she'll call me back in half-an-hour. "Half and hour! Just for status?" I get some server-is-down crap or something. It's more than four hours now. Not a call. Not even a call to say she'll call later. Oh, but how could i forget. In India, it's the customer's duty to call.

The bell rings. Postman. Thumps a package on the threshold.
"Geez man, careful - there's stuff in there".
"This thing weighs a ton. What is it?"
"Some of my books and papers"
"Well, you know, i broke my back getting this"
"Ok"
"It's not easy, you know"
"Hmmm...."
"I really broke my back. Ahhhh"
"Ok"
"I took a rickshaw to get here. Cost me Rs. 25"
"Ok"
"It's not the regular thing you know"
"What is the regular thing?"
"Well, if it's too heavy we would just give you an intimation and have you collect it from the post office"
"Actually, there are more such packages expected. So don't break your back the next time. Why don't you just leave an intimation for me and i'll pick it up from the post-office"
"Oh no. I know your dad since ages. I would never have you come to the post-office. I'll get it - don't worry."
"err...."
"But yeah, i think i have broken my back. And i spent Rs. 25/- on this."
"Sorry about that. Get well soon"

Slimeball. Thinks he's doing me a favour by getting a package to me for which i've paid 150$ (yes!) as postage. Honestly, after this incident i am worried about the fate of my other packages. These contain my personal research notes and books with all my annotations that i've spent almost 500$ on shipping. Should i have just paid him off? Naa...

I decide to pay a visit to one of my old teachers who lives about four miles away. Get some pearls of wisdom which might make me feel better. Five cabs tried. Each of them gives me the FCJ. FCJ = Flick-Cluck-Jerk ; Flick of the wrists, then a cluck of the tongue followed by a jerk of the neck away from you which basically means "Will not go where you want to. Buzz off". This is if he likes you. If only a cluck it means he doesn't like you and wants you to quickly buzz off. I decide to walk the distance to my teacher's house.

I also try visiting an old friend on the way. There is some security system in place in his apartment building where you are supposed to fill up a register on who you are, why are you visiting etc. I just don't see the point of this system anyway because i could just say i was George Bush from the White House and the security guy wouldn't bat an eyelid. Anyway, the register is kept at some corner which the sharpest eye will not see.I keep walking and before long i hear that wierd sound that is produced by elongating the lips and sucking in air through it. No "excuse me" or anything. And the guy is just sitting at his place without moving his ass.

In all this, i think i was just lucky that i was prepared for the bozos on the flight back home. (Red-eyed guy: "get me one more whiskey fast", Orange T-shirt guy with cap and shades on in the flight: "Only one peanut packet with beer? I want two"). And Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The typical phenyl smell, unsmiling faces, an ayah (janitor) lazily wielding her broom and succeeding in spreading the dirt everywhere. Two fellows with some official badges approaching me with "Customs se clear karva deta hoon, sir" (i could clear your luggage from Customs for you, sir). No thanks. I'd rather pay duty if i have to. I make the mistake of asking where the restrooms are from some official. I think he did not want to be awakened from his slumber so he said he didn't know and went back to sleep.

I think i should do that too. If this is what happens in two days, i am scared.

Why do you disappoint, India? Why are brainless morons now inhabiting you? Where is all that magnificent culture and civilization which others could only dream about.Where did you lose it? When did you lose it? Why did you choose to lose it?

55 comments:

Govind said...

LOL - Sorry Sharan, please do not take it otherwise.
3 suggestions
1. Have low expectations
2. Have thick skin
3. Expect most of the mundane things as they are (yes it brings down your acceptance level) but you will realize you just start getting angrier, frustrated and disappointed). Once you follow Eckhart Tolle's sayings, you will be allright, you will calm down.

Do not blame, try your best, don't let things irritate you.

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Govind, thanks for dropping by and especially for the comment. Excellent advice which i will implement.

But i fear that this accepting attitude of whatever happens around us is one of the reasons for our state today. Nothing seems to move this nation. People dying, murders, rapes, corruption,...nothing

More than getting irritated on a personal level, what frustrates me more is that as a country we have SO much potential which is totally wasted. All around you just find sheer stupidity. This combined with lawless, cultureless behavior is making for a nation of monkeys (no offense to monkeys).

Whatever happenned to all those lofty sublime pioneering thoughts in all aspects of life that this country gave to the world? The comedown is totally unbelievable.

But i guess to survive i will have to take your advice :)Thanks again.

Reason said...

It is good to know Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has not changed in six years. That phenyl smell was good. Somebody must have a hundred years contract to supply it.

Sandeep said...

>Honking< - I have stopped this. I am sure , over a period of time, people will too. Where we don’t, I guess, the law will. BTW in Delhi, honking 500 meters from signal is banned and I know of people who are fined for honking…

>Shouting< - we are like this only. Next time around, I will not. Promise!!!

>Street dogs howling< - Kutte main tera khoon pi jaunga!!! Just imagine if we had no street dogs, what would Dharmendra say???

>Renovation work< - Tu bol to utha dun sale ko?

>Baraat< - Poor guy is anyway going to die in some time… let him enjoy, please. After honeymoon period is over, refer >Shouting<

>I can’t take it< - I told you so!!!

>Postman< Gareeb admi hai. Jane de. He must be earning just about 2000 pm. Not like what they get paid in USA…

>Broadband< We are changing, Sharan. Just wait for a couple of months. A new service will be started in some time. You will get broadband on the go. Things are changing and I suggest you should also contribute to this change!

>Five cabs tried< you should have just reported this (with the riks' registration number and time) to the RTO, which is pretty close to your residence. They would have charged a fine on Rs. 1000/-, which, by any standards, is not a small amount. The other option is just log on to RTO’s website and leaves a complaint. They will reach you within 15 days (but the letter would be in Marathi). I have done this and it works!

>I also try visiting an old friend on the way< Noted. Will report to the society’s managing committee.

>"Customs se clear karva deta hoon, sir"< See! How friendly we are! :-)

>Why do you disappoint, India?< Why are you asking this question now? You had seen the world before as well.

We need a catalyst and you can be one. Help us change ourselves, Sharan. I remember a dialogue from the movie ‘Rang De Basanti’. Aamir says, “Zindagi jeene ke do hi tarike hote hai! Ek, jo ho raha hai hone do! Bardhasht karte jao. Ya fir zimmedari uthao uuse badalne ki”

The second option is much better!

Sharan Sharma said...

Sandeep-sab - kya comment hai, boss! Thanks.

This was too funny:
> Kutte main tera khoon pi jaunga!!! Just imagine if we had no street dogs, what would Dharmendra say???

I don't agree with:
> Gareeb admi hai. Jane de. He must be earning just about 2000 pm. Not like what they get paid in USA…

My estimate is this fellow earns about Rs. 5,00,000/- p.a - this is with the usual Divali blackmail that he does. Moroever, you have to do your duty. Tomorrow, should you or i also start complaining that we don't get paid much to do our jobs?

Like i said, i paid 500$ to get the damn packages to my place. He gets paid for getting the packages to my place (or intimating me of it). I wouldn't have minded giving him the cash if he first asked me if he could get the package to my place and that it'll cost me. The whole approach was a slimy one.

> Will report to the society’s managing committee.

NO! This is was not you. Will explain who it was later.

Sandeep said...

>My estimate is this fellow earns about Rs. 5,00,000/- p.a< - Do you know what is the salary of the MD of a leading (public sector)Asset Management Company? Its 4.75 lakhs and i am not joking! you know which company i am talking about...

>NO! This is was not you.< - My place is no different!!! :-)

Suspect said...

Now you why I want to go to California?

Shrinath said...

Hey, Sharan!

Trying to kill time at work (seriously!) and thought I'd check out your blog.

My first visit here -- I quite enjoyed reading your posts.

Sounds like a rough reacquaintance with the motherland, huh?!

Item 1 regarding Honking -- hmm,,,, reminds me of the road trip to San Antonio when we discussed this,,,

Sharan Sharma said...

Firstly, a big sorry - i jus realized that comments are getting into the "bulk mail" folder of my inbox! (India effect? :)

Hi Reason,
> Somebody must have a hundred years contract to supply it.

LOL. Will get declared as part of our cultural heritage soon.

Hi Kshitij,
> Now you why I want to go to California?

Michigan, Michigan...always Michigan...

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Shrinath!
Thanks for visiting!

>rough reacquaintance
Really...

i know we discused this and i thought i prepared myself mentally but it's just gotten too bad...

Arpit Almal said...

Hey Sharan,
I have been a psuedo-regular visitor of you blog, and I must say it is simply amazing.
As far as the exp. of coming back goes, the specificity in which you have mentioned everything is interesting - I guess I agree to the honking thing (amongst all the others :) ). Here in Ahmedabad it is a sin not to honk !!!
So whats the plan now?
Visiting Ahmedabad anytime?

Ajith said...

Hi Sharan,
welcome back!
:)
now you are truly home as you've experienced most of the initiation or re-initiation peeves and pangs!

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Arpit,
Thanks for dropping by. And your gracious comments.

> Here in Ahmedabad it is a sin not to honk !!!

ha, ha

Some consults going on here and then i'll see. No work in A'bad presently but we must catch up!

Hi Ajith,
> you've experienced most of the initiation or re-initiation peeves and pangs!

I don't know. Arrived in Bangalore couple of days back and there's a 'bandh' today...Yet another peeve to the list...

Suspect said...

Do they wear flowers in their hair in Michigan?

I THOUGHT NOT!

Sharan Sharma said...

> Do they wear flowers in their hair in Michigan?

But we ski and snow-board! California...:)

Govind said...

Last time I forgot to put up the link from sun yaw - tips for people coming to China - many of those apply to India too.
http://blogs.sun.com/syw/entry/practical_considerations_for_china_gold

I moved here 3 years back. I am sure you will have more detailed information like this for people coming back to India and one of the section could be for "shocks".

Sharan Sharma said...

Thanks for the link, Govind. That's a good idea...will be interesting to see if Chinese returning to China have the same kind of issues. Interestingly, the 'lonely planet' for India and China makes an interesting read - world of a difference even in the way the countries are perceived.

Revathi said...

The assault on the senses is all the more if you come straight from the Grand canyon..
In any case, you havent yet had the experience of the famous "Bhagawathi Jagaran" of the delhiites that includes singing often tunelessly with loudspeakers posted in all directions (high up on trees sometime) to keep everyone awake.

Sharan Sharma said...

Hello Revathi,

> The assault on the senses is all the more if you come straight from the Grand canyon..

:)

> In any case, you havent yet had the experience of the famous "Bhagawathi Jagaran"

I just despise this 'jaagran' business...basic lack of respect for others...just don't understand why you have to publicize your devotion...also don't know which God likes this!

Sandeep said...

>I just despise this 'jaagran' business<

before this becomes a North-South divide, 'jaagran' is very close to us north indians. It is a part of our lives. No way I am forcing you to respect our beliefs but i feel now things are going personal.

you may feel these 'jaagarans' not worth it but i am sure majority 'enjoy' it.

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Sandeep,
1) Well, i said *I* despise 'jaagran'. My opinion. Am i not entitled to one?

2) And i have given reasons too. Aren't they valid?

3) Incidentally, having jaagran in the loud fashion it is done is illegal. It is an open flouting of sound pollution laws. Is flouting of laws correct? Is it devotion to God?

4)
> No way I am forcing you to respect our beliefs

Other way around for me. And why is this, 'our' beliefs like i am some outsider? Also, it is a display of belief that is in question here not the belief itself.

5)
> but i feel now things are going personal.

Sorry, how is this 'personal' in any way? If a thing is not to my liking it is not to my liking. How is this getting 'personal'?

Person X has an opinion on a certain practice. Person Y hailing from a region where the practice is followed widely says person X is against Y 'personally'? This regionalism and intolerance of views is...

6) In particular, i am dismayed at the North-South insinuation. Yes, 'jaagran' is a predominantly north Indian item. But it's just a case in point. I despise many (most?) Indian festivals and ceremonies the way it is practiced presently in public - Holi, Dassera, Divali, etc. In this category also falls 'jaagran'.

In particular, may i refer you to my October 21, 2006 post on divali. That was not personal but the jaargan comment is?

6) Jaagran is not about beating drums, having bhajans sung thru' mikes by large troupes, etc. It literally means "being awake" - about being quiet, reflecting inwardly and getting awakened to one's SELF. Not by ensuring that you (and your neighbours) are forced to keep physically awake in the way it is done.

7) I maintain that all these practices - from the Azaan coming from the Mosque loudspeaker to Dandiya to Jaagran are all symptomatic of utter disrespect for a) Fellow citizens
b) Law

8) The joke is that Christians who want to have ONE annual 'midnight mass' have to have it at 8:00 pm! ostensibly because of sound pollution and happily the dandiya fellows, jaagran devotees, masjid guys etc. flout it with gay abandon.

I think we've got a good discussion point for the beach.

Sandeep said...

1. Of course you are entitled to have your opinion... like 100 crore other Indians
2. Your reasons are valid as per your understanding. If I like to sing and dance and I have hundreds of others who wish to sing and dance with me, it gives me a ‘reason’ as well and this ‘reason’ is also as ‘valid’ as yours.
3. If it’s illegal, get them arrested. Why don't you take it to court of law? If it’s illegal, it is illegal and the law of land will be with you... unless you don't believe yourself to be a part of this country or community or you have given up on this country.
4. Display of belief is a part of belief itself. You can't have an activity such as Jaagaran in closed doors. It is supposed to be a community activity and not a personal, individual activity like a daily prayer.
5. I agree. I take back my words...
6. Incidentally Holi, Dassera and Divali are predominantly North Indian festivals. There is a peculiar way of celebrating these festivals and its typical to north India... so here you are, you have just added another set of festivals to our 'Jaagaran' discussion
6 (a). Don't agree with you a bit! Logically, you may be right but these activities, as you have described, are to help you enjoy the whole activity. When ISKON does the janmashtami celebration, everybody likes it. Don’t we. When the world celebrates New Year, news channels cover it, don't they? These activities are a way of life and we can't change these only because a minority don't like it. To celebrate Holi, we have seen people coming from all over the world to India, but you and me sit in our homes. I hate Holi but I don't force people not to celebrate. I respect their choice. Similarly, you don't like the manner in which the society celebrates jaagaran, but the ideal thing would be not to force your views on them... if you can't be a part of them, that's your problem. Simple.
7. Agreed. So? Go and fight in the court of law... Why don't you?
8. No dandiya/ Diwali celebrations/ public functions are allowed after 11.00 pm in Mumbai. If someone flaunts this rule, you can call the police and get it closed. So, what are we discussing?

Sharan Sharma said...

> Of course you are entitled to have your opinion... like 100 crore other Indians

Comments like these add nothing to the discussion. What's the point you are making?

>[...]sing and dance and I have hundreds of others [...] it gives me a ‘reason’ as well and this ‘reason’ is also as ‘valid’ as yours.

No. It doesn't. Because you flout the law. And of course, you are being inconsiderate towards fellow citizens.

> If it’s illegal, get them arrested. Why don't you take it to court of law?

Let's get this straight - we're not discussing what to do if an illegal activity takes place. We're discussing the illegal way they occur in the first place.

> If someone flaunts this rule, you can call the police and get it closed. So, what are we discussing?

hmmm...so the onus is entirely on the sufferrer and not the individuals committing the illegal activity. Excellent. Way to go.

> Display of belief is a part of belief itself.

No. The belief is in Devi. The display is in the Jaagran. You don't need the latter for the former. Therefore not part of belief.

>Incidentally Holi, Dassera and Divali are predominantly North Indian festivals.

!!! I think you need to learn a little bit about other regions of the country. Sampler - the Dassera celebration of Mysore is world-famous. These are Indic festivals - nothing 'North Indian' about it.

>There is a peculiar way of celebrating these festivals and its typical to north India...

Again you're imagining some North-South divide in these discussions. To reiterate - I don't care a hoot whether something is from the North, South, East or West. My concern is about my peace of mind, how as a nation Indians flout rules and how we do not have concern for fellow citizens. You seemed to have missed the 'case in point' expression in my previous comment.

>When ISKON does the janmashtami celebration, everybody likes it. Don’t we.

Uh? No. And who's this 'everybody'?

> When the world celebrates New Year, news channels cover it, don't they?

Yeah right..and i don't have 30 frenzied people shouting "Happy New Year" into mikes and beating drums through the night.

> These activities are a way of life and we can't change these only because a minority don't like it. [...]if you can't be a part of them, that's your problem. Simple.

err...since when did Jaagran become some way of life? And on the logic that you've presented...an analogy: Say 90% politicians are corrupt. Now tell the remaining 10%: "if you can't be a part of them, that's your problem. Simple."

Key words: Law. Dharma.

abhnv said...

I was in India last week for a period of 6 days. To attend a wedding in the much smaller, and crowded, Lucknow. Yes, we are talking about UP here.

On the trip, I noticed very much the same things as you.

But I believe there are other ways you can react to them.
Firstly, India is still a developing country and the transition period is always ugly. If you have ever kept long hair, you will know. Secondly and lastly, some of the things you mentioned are so deeply engrained in Indian culture that you can't expect it to go away by the stroke of the midnight hour.

It's like going to Rio and asking them to stop the Carnival. Or asking the Chinese to take down their mighty wall.

Shouting, jaagrans, street dogs and Honking might stay for on for centuries. But definitely as time progresses, you will get broadband and Starbucks and what not. Just a matter of time. 20, 30, 100 years, can't say.

The thing about India is, don't even attempt to comprehend it. It's incomrehensible.

As for phenyl smell: absolutely dig it. Lol.

Btw, IGI airport had fantastically new toilets this time. With automatic soap dispensers and all.

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Abhinav,
Thanks for your comment.

The impresssion i get is that while India progresses materially it is not improving on many other fronts - infrastructure, law and order etc. In fact, more wealth has not brought in more sophistication. It's brought in an attitude of "i can buy the system with my money. I can flout laws with influence". That is very worrying.

Revathi said...

Dear Sandeep,

I realise that for a lot of people, the Jaagaran is sacred. People gather to sing the praise of the goddess. I think this is wonderful. Since this function is so traditional and dates back to nearly a hundred years or more, I am sure that microphones and loudspeakers were never used. So why are they being used now?

abhnv said...

@sharan

I agree with you on that.

I shall not say anything else as it would really make me feel even more like an armchair critic:)

As for jaagrans, as well as for azaans, why the hell is a loudspeaker needed? Is God deaf?

My take: I think that how certain people feel that it is necessary to make a public display of their affection (and think that have the damn right to do so), religious folks do the same with their devotion. Simple.

Sandeep said...

Hi Revathi,

I was not interested in taking this discussion forward as I had concluded this on my blog (http://sandeeponthenet.blogspot.com/2007/02/information-is-not-knowledge.html)
but Sharan asked me to, so here’s my view.

We Indians have a peculiar style and as Abhinav mentioned in his comment, it will take a lot of time for us to change ourselves. It took quite a lot of time for America to be what they are today. (Consider this: “Household liquids and wastewater were cast on the ground (and) wastewater and stormwater (flowed) through the streets… It was common for citydwellers to use streets as a dumping ground for all manner of refuse.” New York City, 1900s, from Sanitary City by Martin Melosi.) Obviously we have a long way to go.

It’s not a question of ‘loudspeakers’ alone. We have been having this discussion for quite some time… almost 7 years now (correct me, Sharan) and there has been no conclusion. Every time we are close to a conclusion, a new dynamism is added and the whole discussion takes a completely new turn. My comment was with this background. Needless to say all of us were not on the same platform.

On the discussion that is going on, all of us want India to be a better place but the gap between where we are and where we want to be is quite a lot. I would not like to get into statistics (I am sure Sharan will corner me there as well) but I will take a chance: today80% of India is Rural and only 20% is Urban. According to one estimate, by 2030, 50% of India will be Urban. This will, to some extent, change the way we live (of course, I am talking ‘Macro’ here). And I am sure, we can only get better form where we are today. All of know that NRIs are coming back to India. They will get their ‘way of living’ and will try and change the way we live our lives in this country. It’s only a matter of time that we Indians will also be as sophisticated as a European or an American. What say, Sharan?

I must say, after reading your comment addressed to me, Revathi, I was shaken. How could you be so polite? Wait a minute! I am hiding my face!!!

Sandeep said...

Hi Revathi,

I was not interested in taking this discussion forward as I had concluded this on my blog (http://sandeeponthenet.blogspot.com/2007/02/information-is-not-knowledge.html)
but Sharan asked me to, so here’s my view.

We Indians have a peculiar style and as Abhinav mentioned in his comment, it will take a lot of time for us to change ourselves. It took quite a lot of time for America to be what they are today. (Consider this: “Household liquids and wastewater were cast on the ground (and) wastewater and stormwater (flowed) through the streets… It was common for citydwellers to use streets as a dumping ground for all manner of refuse.” New York City, 1900s, from Sanitary City by Martin Melosi.) Obviously we have a long way to go.

It’s not a question of ‘loudspeakers’ alone. We have been having this discussion for quite some time… almost 7 years now (correct me, Sharan) and there has been no conclusion. Every time we are close to a conclusion, a new dynamism is added and the whole discussion takes a completely new turn. My comment was with this background. Needless to say all of us were not on the same platform.

On the discussion that is going on, all of us want India to be a better place but the gap between where we are and where we want to be is quite a lot. I would not like to get into statistics (I am sure Sharan will corner me there as well) but I will take a chance: today80% of India is Rural and only 20% is Urban. According to one estimate, by 2030, 50% of India will be Urban. This will, to some extent, change the way we live (of course, I am talking ‘Macro’ here). And I am sure, we can only get better form where we are today. All of know that NRIs are coming back to India. They will get their ‘way of living’ and will try and change the way we live our lives in this country. It’s only a matter of time that we Indians will also be as sophisticated as a European or an American. What say, Sharan?

I must say, after reading your comment addressed to me, Revathi, I was shaken. How could you be so polite? Wait a minute! I am hiding my face!!!

Vishal Bardoloi said...

Give it time, bhai. And give it some consideration.

1) Even for the decent driver, honking is the only way to let the guy trying to cut ahead of you know that you are there. Because there are no lanes.

2) Everyone drives using the blinding high-beam at night. Partly because everyone else is doing it, but also because there aren't enough street lights to help see the road at night.

These were just cases in point.

Try an experiment. The next time you're standing in a queue ANYWHERE, stay at a distance that would be considered decent in the US. Within 2-3 mins someone will cut into that space. Everything in India is a game of space: population jo itna hai.

Same old story: scarce resources, bad infrastructure, and poor law enforcement. And the biggest issue: a me-first mentality.

I choose to see the fact that (most) Indians can go abroad and behave better, as a sign that we're not inherently bad. We just adapt to any environment rather well!

Given improved infrastructure, better law enforcement and ultimately better education, I'm sure we'll make it (Let's ignore the fact that it's our responsibility to make all these things happen... that is a vicious cycle if I ever saw one).

They tell me ISRO is planning a moon launch. Launch the entire Lok Sabha up to the moon and that'll solve a multitude of problems: not least the population one.

And in the meanwhile, I'm glad you did your two cents by walking the 4 miles. Happy Holi!

aarshi said...

Welcome to today!

aarshi said...

that was a very leetel sentence after all those long ones but i love anticlimaxes. they're so pathetic. :)

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Aarshi,
Thanks!


Hi Vishal,
> Give it time, bhai. And give it some consideration.

Ruk ruk ke thak gaya, bhai. Seriously. But yea, you are right - we have no option. Democracy hai na.

Shaveta Gupta said...

Hey Sharan,

How r u? I hope now you must have gotten back to Indian lifestyle.

Write to me, whenever you get chance.

Shaveta

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Shaveta! Nice to hear from you! Pardon me for my lack of contact. Been tied up negotiating the roads and noise here :)

Priyank said...

Hi Sharan,
I think its time now to come out of shock and enjoy life, mumbai aint that bad,
So wassup hows it going



Your Friendly Park Pointe Neighbour

Priyank

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Priyank,
Nice to hear from you. Hope everything is good at your end. Enjoy the spring while i get back to sweating in "power-less" Bombay.

doubtinggaurav said...

Sharanji,

Why have you stopped blogging ji ?
Have you got life all of sudden.
I feel so envious ji :-)

Sharan Sharma said...

Namaskar Gauravji,
Don't know...motivation ke liye ruka hoon...abhi blog karoon to it'll be only rants...so waiting for my mind to settle down :)...

Apun Ka Desh said...

One of the ways to keep yourself sane under such circumstances (and your experiences are real! they could have been much worse, try visiting Bangalore!) - is to keep really low expectations.

And, when the Goal Keeper of your team is playing against you - this is what happens. In this case GoalKeeper is the custodians of the law, custodian of the Airport, custodian of Roads, custodian of everything you can call 'Infrastructure'.

Its all very nice for people to say - why blame the govt... its the ordinary people. To them i reply - you cannot expect a bunch of kids in school to regulate themselves... thats why School Administration Exists.. so with Society !

Sharan Sharma said...

Thanks for dropping by, AKD.

I liked that goalkeeper analogy :)

Cinamon said...

Came via the (ever)doubtinggaurav. Welcome to Mumbai and i mean it without any sarcasm.

You are yet to learn few things (that still irritate me even after spending years) such as no table manners, people screaming in restaurants, smoking in non smoking zones, delayed flights and no intimations, banks losing your forms etc etc.

But then every time when i come back and look at the lights from the aircraft i am reminded of Nick Gordon's poem mothers are the sweetest
"She is at once the sea and shore,
Our freedom and our past.
With her we launch our daring ships
Yet keep the things that last."

And my heart says... finally am home.

If it ever was home to you, then lemme say wlecome home.

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Cinamon,
Yea...have a lot to learn :)

But honestly, i don't feel too much at home...but then again, maybe it's a function of time...will get used to it...

that was a lovely poem by the way (after reading it five times :)

Cinamon said...

Hi Sharan! Home is a function of heart and not time :).

One can get used to anything in life, the point is to getting to love what life bring to us.

It sure is a lovely poem.

Sharan Sharma said...

> One can get used to anything in life, the point is to getting to love what life bring to us.

totally!

Praveen R. Bhat said...

Just a thought from "Why did you choose to lose it?": Are there any answers to such Qs ever? eg, why did India choose to lose you?

Sometimes the choice is circumstantially imposed on India! Sad, but true.

(I hopped to your blog through your comment on an old blog of mine, incidentally, on *choice*: http://anythingwise.blogspot.com/2006/06/thoughts-25.html)

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi Praveen - thanks for the comment.

> Sometimes the choice is circumstantially imposed on India!

But shouldn't the collective character of the nation resist such an imposition? i think, being steeped in tamas, we now lack the will to shake ourselves up and improve things.

Indians are, by nature, personality worshippers - we constantly look up to people more than ideas coming from the people. Just a conjecture. In this situation, it does require a strong personality to shake things up. You cannot rely on the common folk organizing themselves and improving things - they need to be driven externally given the state they are in right now.

Praveen R. Bhat said...

Agreed! Thats quite unfortunate though.

You hit the nail bang on the point. Since most of us are personality worshipers, there's no idea that lasts longer than the personality; it fades with time. Why else would democracy be made such a joke? We are not collectively mature for a democracy.

Cheers!

aarshi said...

it's still there somewhere but the problem is everyone here thinks it's out on the skin whereas its reall to deep to amount too much and so no it doesn't matter.

aarshi said...

...where did you go?

aarshi said...

occupied with exams and results and college admissions. glad to see you're still alive :). want an update soon as you're not too busy!

aarshi said...

been a little busy with college first semester :) are you planning to restart blogging again very soon?

Sidhartha said...

Well its easy to blame.I understand what u felt.

Overseas Indians follow all the rules and back home break them all as if got some kind of icence.Why!!

If we want to see change we have to change ourselves.

Have a wonderful time in this amazing country.My best wises..

sidhartha

Sandeep said...

Ha Ha Ha! What an IDIOT I was... to argue with you soooo passionately.... 'North-South Divide' and all....

Now i know what a CRAZY place Delhi is ;-)

BTW, just yesterday my colleague was driving at a 'reasonable' speed of 80 km/h and a Pig got in his way. His Car's bumper "expired" on the spot. This happens only in Delhi, i suppose.

Sharan Sharma said...

>Ha Ha Ha! What an IDIOT I was... to argue with you soooo passionately.... 'North-South Divide' and all...

:) not at all...it was fun!