Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thank you my lovely ladies part 1

A lazy Sunday morning, a romantic song humming over the headphone, a close to 4 year old laptop and a brain sick for almost 25 years can create magic (black magic to be precise). I have finally decided to pluck up courage at great mortal peril from Miss X to myself to write about adolescent pangs (in this case mostly mine) that I had endured during my brief stay on Planet Earth.Last weekend, during my rare visits on Orkut, I happened to stumble upon the community of my school batch in which I had spent 4 years of adolescence life. I spent the next few hours traversing and discovering people and memories of my school life came rushing back.

Don Bosco School, Bandel(DBB in future references), an all boys' school had its greatest USP(Universally-Accepted Satisfying Point) in the fact that its gates were separated from the gates of Auxillium Convent School(ACS in future references), an all girls' school(imagine a huge blush and smile on the author's face while reading the name) by a road of width 10 feet. Newton's 3rd law suddenly had new meaning here. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The testosterone levels on this side of the border were reaching alarming heights as were the progesterone levels on the other side. A balance was the order of the day for humanity in the sleepy town of Bandel to survive.

Some essential backgrounds about DBB and ACS:

1. Although DBB elongated to Don Bosco Bandel, the lovely ladies across the border called us Donkey Boys' School.We did not mind the lack of brain as donkeys have a big heart and a few other ahem essential organs.

2. Similarly, ACS (essentially Auxillium Convent School) was elongated to Asses Convent School. WTF, how could we be such morons to end our chances of mating literally ? How can donkeys mate with asses ? (A disgusted look on the author's face).

3. ACS was a co-ed school till class 4(something to do with surging testosterone levels). Now these crossover mutants(who studied till class 4 in ACS and then crossed over to DBB) were the dudes in DBB because they had shared the benches with the lovely ladies of ACS, used the pencils/pens, shared the tiffins and most importantly could give us lovely sinuous insights into the lovely maidens lives' across the road. I think I just adored these duhs because they could sit next to girls of ACS in tuition classes, could say hi and borrow those copies on which the Rapunzels drooled under the strict eyes of their moms.

4. Although, the principals of DBB and ACS referred to each other's school as sister schools and brother schools, the students loved to be independent thinkers. The thought of having sister and brother schools was totally repulsive(as if God's punishment of a sister or brother was not enough). We loved to think "All the world's a stage and men and women merely men and women(in the sense of Darwin's theory of evolution) that's all".

5. DBB boys and ACS girls absolutely hated each other publicly and fantasized privately.Most importantly, a graph of number of girlfriends with time should be a linear curve tending to infinity(if it was already not infinity from birth), is something all the donkeys of DBB believed.

Some Friday in the spring of 1998, 3:20 PM outside the gates

I was standing outside the gates of DBB just when the school was over with the girls of ACS pouring out. I was there on my Hayabusa, with a sculpted body like Salman Khan, topless and a leather trouser, with the girls of ACS streaming all over me with flowers and cards and some other private memorabilia not to be mentioned here, professing their undying love. Suddenly one of them caught me by the shoulder and turned my face towards her. I could see her face coming closer and closer and closer when it turned into the face of my Physics teacher Mr. Bannerjee. He mentioned I had got 105/100 in Physics because he awarded extra marks for solving problems in more than 1 way in the paper and wanted to personally tell me, I had the makings of being great.Shit, who wants to know about Physics problems when I was making breakthroughs in organic chemistry and human biology.

The bus was here (number 4), there were 3 absolute scorching ACS girls(let's call them Miss A, B , C for the sake of anonymity and non traceability on Orkut) on whom I had a crush(in every sense of the word) every alternate day, Monday -> Miss A, Tuesday -> Miss B, Wednesday -> Miss C and the cycle repeated except on Sunday since God took rest on that day remember. It is important to note here the cycle had just started 3 days ago and would end in a month when there would be fresh imports. Anyways, so we get on the bus and Miss A and Miss B sit together while Miss C takes a seat alone on a seat for 2. The situation was perfect, I was doing this slow motion walk towards her as if I was on the ramp for Mr. Universe, each strand of my slick oily hair(thanks mom) was trying its best to swish around but failing and every person was looking at me with their mouths open and Mr. Bannerjee was singing "He got 105 out of 100"(try to imagine that if humanely possible). Suddenly,my sculpted figure was replaced by a lanky frame trying its best to maintain 90 degrees with Earth's surface and my previously sculpted topless body was wrapped in a white shirt which was all brown thanks to Suman's tackle on the football field and my maroon tie sticking out at an odd angle had huge brown spots now. I walked upto the seat and Miss C looked up at me. The feeling is impossible to explain but something which all of us have felt. There is a hot flush on your face and everything seems momentarily frozen, speaking seems to be a difficult job and there is a happiness filling each and every part of your body. The world is suddenly all white and sweet and lovely and the only thing that matters is if that girl can say something which contains your name. Well if you hear violins alongside all this, that's a great addon too.

She gave a faint invisible smile(which I think only I noticed), and moved to the corner of the seat near the window and started to look out of the window. I could see Miss A and Miss B turn their heads and giggle and whisper continuously. I thought it as an ideal time to flaunt my assets, my wrist watch(I was in class 8 and we were allowed to wear wrist watches from class 8). My aunt had given me a funky Mickey mouse watch and I could not help but smirk at the timing. I tried to raise my hand at every odd angle so that she could see it. When her shirt's sleeve fluttered in the wind and brushed against mine, I could feel what astronauts call zero gravity, her hair brushed against mine and when the bus gave an odd lurch she fell on my shoulders and took a bit of time to recover. I could have gone and kissed(smooched as well) the driver then and there. Her body had touched against mine, I had my first brush of adolescent sex. God I am a stud. I was looking at her from the corner of my eyes and I could see she was doing the same as well. This was it, I was Romeo reincarnate and I decided to say the most difficult 2 lettered word for adolescents "HI". I said "Hi C" but curiously my C was drowned by Mr. Banerjee's utterance of the same C and we both looked up in unison at him. Mr. Bannerjee asked me to be obedient and get up and he took my place. I could have enlisted as a jehadi at that moment if someone had given me an AK 47 and asked me to end Mr. Bannerjee's misery at that moment. Sulkily, I got up and went to sit with Debraj(who proclaimed he was my my best friend despite my protests).

For the remainder of the journey I kept giving sidelong glances at Miss C who was having a very bad time with Mr. Bannerjee. Debraj(a living proof of point 5 I put up) was saying that Miss A and B were deep into him and they had just proposed him jointly which he accepted singly and then they took turns sogging him. I asked him how was that possible since they are sitting five rows in front. He said, "I can read minds of girls and this is what they are doing right now(mental sogging). I have crossed the boundaries of love from physical love to mental love". I just told him, "Happy mental fscking". Miss C was getting up from her seat to get down from the bus. Just before she got down she stopped ,cast a furtive glance to the back of the bus and met my eyes. My day was made. See you loser Mr. Bannerjee, THIS is inertia. It is a different matter altogether that the next week she was sitting on the backseat of a Hayabusa with a guy in first year in college.

Some current facts

1. Miss C is now happily married as apparent from her Orkut profile and needless to say she looks fat and ugly now. Her husband does not have a Hayabusa by the way. No, he does not have a bicycle either. He just walks.

2. Miss A is apparently single and on the lookout for love. She still hates DBB boys and can't think of hooking up with DBB boys(though in her scrapbook it's mostly the DBB boys who have left their mark). Come on honey, everyone is not Demi Moore.

3. Miss B has decided to become a spinster. Not surprising, I always thought she was pretty much into girls and a lesbian conspiracy theory is doing the rounds darling.

Corollary:

I have decided to break up some of the memorable indecent sexy and characteristically loud adolescent incidents in my short life over a couple of blog posts. In my last post on this series, I need to also offer a huge clarification to Miss X. I know I am going to get slapped by her but then reliving the memories and seeing how/what we felt is almost exactly similar to what the current DBB donkeys and ACS female donkeys feel is heartening.

Miscellaneous tips

* Please read this blog and look for the double dirty meaning in every line. Trust me there is.

* In case you are wondering who Miss X, refer here.

* If you have read so far and enjoyed the innocently tragic narrative and even visualised some event in your school and you are not on the list of followers of this blog, then please go ahead and click on the "Follow" button on the blog and satisfy the vanity of author. He has infinite vanity by the way. Come on, it does not hurt to click a button.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

THE little boy and the old man

Play :- THE little boy and the old man

Act 1, Scene 1
Place : An overcrowded shopping centre, New Delhi
Actors : THE little boy, THE old man

The Friday night chill was just settling amidst the brilliant lights of District centre. The square was warming up to welcome the Friday night revellers underneath a vast star spangled sky. The little boy was walking with his eyes open wide with amazement. Every little movement, the tiniest hustle and bustle lit up the little boy's face like a small fiery lantern on narrow metal buoy drifting in a vast dark ocean. His hands were firmly clasped in a rigid grip by the old man's sinuous and wrinkled hands. Every little shake the little boy gave, made the grip stronger and stronger. The old man was walking with his head bowed and casting furtive, disapproving glances all around. The little boy was walking with a small polythene containing his new GIJOE set when he noticed the abnormally high number of policemen in the square. When the old man followed the boy's gaze, he could feel a chill going down his spine.

The old man said, "There must be a bomb nearby. We should never have come here. The police are looking for some terrorists. We need to get out of here. Why do you always cry for toys. See where we have landed."
The little boy was watching the whole scene with joy filled curious eyes, "The police. I have never seen them so close. They don't look bad. They look just like you."
The old man flinched on hearing this, "Are you mad ? Me like a policeman. Let's get away from here before we get caught in some trouble. Hide that polythene of yours. What if the policemen see it? Carrying polythene is illegal. Why do you always make me wish I was never with you?". The little boy said, "Look at that policeman, he is smoking in public, we should go and tell him what he is doing is not correct."
The old man replied, "Are you out of your mind? He will book us, beat us and do what not. Let us get the hell out of here."
The little boy said, "But we should at least object. Should we not raise our voice? That policeman is being paid out of your money. In that case, you deserve the highest right to tell him that he is not doing his work properly."
The old man rolled his eyes wide and barked, "You are insane. You should listen to me. I have seen so many things happen and I know exactly what these people are. These ideas do not work in the real world."
So saying the old man dragged the little boy whose little bright round brown eyes were still cast upon the scene with the same glow as it was when he had first seen it.

End of Scene 1

Both the little boy and the old man are inside each one of us. The old man keeps getting old and rigid with each passing day but like a ray of hope the little boy is always present inside us. He will always be with us and ensures our very existence remains human. The little boy makes each one of us, human. It is regrettable that we turn a blind eye and deaf ear to humanity and embrace rigidity. The old man is weighed down by his experiences with a big bad world, the little boy always wants to keep learning. Inside each one of there is a struggle to achieve the balance between the desire to relate new experiences with old ones and the desire to learn new experiences. What we want is to tune into the old man and the little boy talking as in the previous scene and then decide for ourselves. In that case, only we would be to blame if we chose to be human or inhuman. At least, that would be a beginning.

Disclaimer:
Mr. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, I have taken the line "These ideas do not work in the real world." from your movie 3 Idiots. I hope you do not sue me. I am giving you due credit and since I do not earn anything from this blog so I cannot give you any percentage share. Please do not sue me.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Little things that matter

Life is not about the moments that take your breath away but it is about the little moments that make it breathtaking. During the course of the India - South Africa Nagpur test match, an ad appeared for a public sector bank highlighting the relationship it maintains with people. It showed a beautiful heart touching narrative where a man in his early fifties is rushing for office in the morning. His wife calls him from the balcony to come back and have his medicine which he has forgotten to take. Grumbling, the man comes up and has the medicine. What is particularly beautiful in the ad is the the simplicity and the poignant emotions on display. The masked emotion of love under the irritation displayed by the husband at his wife's nagging is something which transcends age boundaries. The husband loves the fact this his wife loves him and cares about him. The human heart craves for a little love and care and that is what makes us so irrational over our percevied rationality. The little gestures which are part and parcel of our daily lives touch and affect us in so many ways but most of the time we are too busy and blind to notice them. I got a first hand experience of this blindness today.

Today, for breakfast, our cook auntie had prepared Poha. It was horrible to be honest. For quite sometime Abhishek, Shishir and I have been pondering over, whether we should change our cook or not. This latest incident added fuel to the fire. I decided that we should start looking for a cook seriously. Tonight when she came to prepare dinner, all the poha that was cooked for breakfast was lying untouched. I acted a bit indifferently and answered her questions to what we would have for dinner with cold indifference. She went on preparing it in her own daily way. Suddenly she came with a tray in her hand and 2 bowls of poha (the morning poha recooked with vegetables we bought in the evening) and said "The morning poha was not good". It was delicious. This gesture of concern on her part really touched me. I felt ashamed of the thoughts I had been harbouring of looking for a new cook. My irritation and indignation of average cooking got the better of me. What I completely failed to appreciate was the fact that she was running her own household and at the same time helping me in every possible way in my existence just to come to grips with her poverty. My irritation had blinded me to the little things that matter. Thankfully, this little gesture woke me up. The little angel in my heart had overcome the big demon in my head.

Recognising these little things that matter are the real secrets to make one's life breathtaking. Hopefully, I have taken that little step forward today.

Who stole my grades

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be derogatory for IIT students or those competitive examination champs. It is also not meant to be the reason d'etre for the Ministry of Human Resource Development to abolish grading systems. It is just a discourse of the conversations Abhishek and I had today afternoon after we were well fed and watered and raised a few questions.

Flashback:
Those were the best of times, those were the worst of times. Sounds clich├ęd. It was the summer of 2004. I was eagerly waiting for my IIT mains results. Having secured a whopping rank of 128 in IIT screening exams and being constantly fed a rich diet of praises from my teachers who felt sure I would break into the top 100, I was expecting a fair result. Although I had done badly in Maths examination owing to those SILLY mistakes(after all 2 + 2 is not equal to 5 in the decimal number system), I expected a rank within 1000. As has been my superstition, I always prefer to spend a lot of time in the toilet when examination results are discovered by my dad and announced to me, I spent around 3 hours in the toilet owing to the website being down with too much traffic. To my dismay, I found I had committed a lot more silly mistakes than I anticipated and ended up with a rank of 1785. I thought following a career in something I loved from an NIT was worthier than studying something in IIT that I did not like.

Back to today:
Today, Abhishek told me that once Dr. Zakir Hussain(a Professor at NIT Hamirpur) declared in class that all the students in NIT are mediocre ones. Well the previous flashback was an attempt to create credibility for my answer to this rather naive observation. If the mediocrity is being referred in terms of preparing for an examination, then yes the students are mediocre but if the mediocrity is being referred to a student's intelligence and general understanding level then it is not. If a student is to be judged for his intelligence and understanding level, then the platform to be provided has to be uniform. Let us say after a hard grind of 14 years of formal student we take up 2 students who are not informed that they will appear for an examination(not even what kind of examination) and then they are asked to answer the examination, that will give us an indication(albeit a rough one) into their intelligence and understanding level. The examination here has to be carefully calibrated here to measure what a student has understood rather than what a student has not understood and remembered. The whole point of deciding mediocrity based on examinations is as stupid as can be.

In this context, the current grading system in school education in India is questionable. Grading system is like a caste divide in education. Why do we need to allot grade A,B,C and so on ? Does it not reflect the inability of the educators as well as the family to educate/motivate students uniformly ? How does awarding a grade A to a student in class I beneficial in any aspect ? As per my understanding and limited research, the grading system was created to measure the performance levels of students which could be utliised by others for e.g. you appear for a GRE/GATE/CAT test so that based on the test students are evaluated on a supposedly common platform and accordingly rated but how does this help in the school system ? It creates animosity, cut throat competition, a race to the top for students. We humans have a primal instinct for trying to be better than one another. Which is why we love sports to see people warring(in a pacified way) against each other. This brings us to the glorification of those students who top in the board examinations(which in most cases is their ONLY claim to fame).

School education is an extension of the education that begins at home. Imagine your mother telling you, you got an B grade for the way you touched your grandparent's feet and you should do better to get an A the next time. Sounds ridiculous but then education which is supposed to be a conjugation of our natural curiosity with the cumulative human understanding of the world, if graded, should sound ridiculous too. School education is a medium for students to learn and understand the beautiful world all around rather than to be fascinated by marks. After all how does it matter if a student gets an A or a B in one examination. Examinations should be held on a continuous internal level in order to provide a feedback to the educator and the student as to which aspects of the subject a student knows well and which he doesn't. It should be an indicator for the educator to change his mode of teaching rather than to the parents to give a new watch to their children as reward. What graded education system is doing today is creating an atmosphere of intimidation, stress and mutual hostility rather than co-operation,mutual appreciation and enhanced curiosity. A child's curiosity and his unique abilities are not appreciated. What are we really trying to measure here ? We, Indians who had such an advanced education system ("Gurukul system without grades/marks") are not even appreciating the ancient heritage and wisdom. Somewhere over the years it has got lost in the mindless borrowing from other societies(from British education system) without realising why and in which context it was applicable there. Deciding a student's aptitude is important which is why I have not raised the question yet on the graded education in Universities since industry and academia use the grades for further calibration but that too has its loopholes(a matter for another blog post).

In this regard moving from marks based system to a grade based system by the MHRD is a noble next step. Abolishing grade and pondering over an alternative system would be the logical and bold next step. The big question here is what would be the alternative. Maybe the time has come to ask this question to those whose minds have not been polluted as ours over this mad and false race of marks and achievement. The time has come to ask the questions in the Kindergarten classes where the mind is without fear and the mind is without all the clutter. The time has come to to nurture the mind in the same free environment when it was born.

Corollary: This post is one of the few to raise various questions on this aspect of education. It will be followed up with more insights in order to not make it look like a research paper. This is the first food for thought.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mayhem Unfurled Revisited

This is part of an earlier post on my other blog at WordPress on 14th November 2007. I am adding it here since it is one of those experiences which brings a smile and a touch of embarrassment on my face today. Though I am tempted to edit the post for grammatical correctness and to make it even more interesting, I would not really want to package it as old wine in a new bottle. Here is how it goes.......

"Alcohol reduces your brain activity"

I got a first hand experience of the adage a few days back...........

Me, Shishir and Rohit had gone to HHH bar for a few drinks on the weekend. Over there I saw Arjun getting drunk on just a shot...... This guy goes high by just smelling alcohol. Out there we drank till the bar closed down. How much I drank I will not specify lest I get classified as a novice or an expert drunkard. At 12:30 at night,we were making our way back. At the gates the security asked us to stop and enter our names in the security register. I entered mine as C.V. Raman, Rohit was Ramanujan and Shishir was Albert Einstein, so much so for the hallowed security. On the way back I could feel myself a lot light and was walking on thin air. Shishir had caught hold of junior and was giving him advices about the worldly ways. People always give advices and become caring about the world when they get drunk.

I guess drinks should come with the tag-line,

"We care about the world".

The junior was clearly having a bad time or one whale of a time.

Phase 1

In front of PGH or the girls hostel in our college I called up my girlfriend[let's call Miss X for the purpose of privacy :)] and told her to come to the balcony of her room which faces the road though a bit far off. I stood under a lamp-post and started blowing kisses at Miss X. Now how does the lamp-post come in. Well I did it so that she could see me in the dark. What did not hit me at that time was that I was visible to the teachers residence right opposite the hostel. At that time Laws of light were that only Miss X could see me. Well Miss X got afraid and told me to move from there. I only budged from there when I got Miss X to come to the portico at the other end of the hostel which is just opposite to the road.

Phase 2

When she was out at the portico Rohit had a sudden urge to talk to his girlfriend, I told Miss X to go wake her up. Miss X was reluctant but then sentimental blackmail forced her on her way. So when she was back I was shouting at Miss X at one corner and Rohit at the other end. Don't get me wrong. I was shouting because I felt I was speaking softly but actually according to decibel levels the whole hostel could hear me. I did not know how long I talked or what I talked. But soon I could see the watchman coming towards us. I caught Rohit's shoulder and we walked away like the 2 most decent souls in this world.

Phase 3

The next day morning I had to make 5 phone calls to Miss X just with explanations how I got drunk and why. Then the bombshells landed about what I had said. The sumarised words are as follows:

Excerpt 1:

"Your friend Miss Y had danced very well at Hillffair(the fest in our college) at the Hamirpur grounds but the basta** Hamirpur people were so much I could not watch properly." I also told her to call Miss Y whom I wanted to congratulate right then.

Discrepancies:

1. Hillffair is not held in Hamirpur grounds but in the College ground.

2. Hamirpur folks do not come to watch it.

3. If I could not watch properly how do I know.

4. Miss Y was sleeping and it was 1:30 at night.

5. I had never talked to Miss Y in my life before

Excerpt 2:

I was blowing Miss X kisses non stop for 5 minutes and told her "She was looking beautiful and I will break the wall, jump from the road and come to the balcony"

Discrepancies:

1. She was standing in the dark and I could not actually see her, that part of memory is dark.

2. I cannot break a wall.

3. The balcony and the road are at a distance of 15 metres and is separated by a fall of 2 storeys.

4. I am not Tarzan.

5. I did not have a watch.

Excerpt 3:

Miss X told me "The watchman might come". I replied valiantly and said "The watchman's ******* I will bash him up"

Discrepancies:

1. I was seeing multiple images so that meant my hands would fly all around.

2. The watchman had sticks and had accomplices.

3. I want to finish my degree.

Well the other excerpts are cut out as per Miss X's edit instructions. There is one great thing about getting drunk and talking to your girlfriend. You do not have to try to speak from your heart, you actually do speak from your heart. All the things that accumulate in your heart do come out. It's one whale of a time and worth having. It's about living life without inhibitions.

Knock knock, I am not drunk right now. So let's cut the crap. I came back to the hostel played imaginary football prevented Rohit from going to take a cold water bath at 2 o cloak at night and went to sleep.

It was mayhem and the next day hangover and explanation sessions to Miss X were even worse

Ciaooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

So that was the entire undiluted entry. It brings a smile on my face even today.

Dear Minister, my telephone is not working

The following is my attempt to get in touch with the honourable minister of telecommunication over an issue of my telephone not working. My eyes really popped out when I read the previous line again. Writing a letter to the minister of telecommunication over my telephone not working and imagining the letter to climb up the departmental and bureaucratic public ladder without even an assurance of multi billion infrastructure gains, sounds lame but then a cup of coffee and an inquisitive mind can be a a heady mixture.

Dear Mr. Minister,
I Vivek Shah, am a citizen of the Republic of India currently residing in New Delhi and trying to sustain my existence by working as one of the innumerable IT workers. I am ordinary in every sense of the word. I am all of 24 years of age and have not seen or heard the world as much as you would have. If this letter is really being read by you, I think the politics of our country is in the right hands and the letter would have realised its goal. Since you have already taken some of your time to read till here, I might request you to read further.

I am one of those people who depend upon the telephone connection provided by MTNL for my basic sustenance. It is not because I can end up talking with my girlfriend for hours or discuss the latest happenings in Big Boss 3 with my friend. In fact the receiver on my end does not work. Its a one way traffic so that I can hear people talking about insurance policies on the other end or asking for a wrong person but I cannot just make them hear, "Just f*** off". I am not even complaining about. My most important requirement from the telephone whose receiver lies on the floor instead of the handset, is the broadband facility.

First of all, inspite of the tall complaints, I must congratulate you on the excellent broadband facility which is provided at such an affordable price. This broadband facility is one of the most urgent requirements of my white collar job. This facility ensures that my bosses can wake me up from my beautiful dreams at 1 AM at night and ask me to stare at a piece of file on a computer in Europe because of which a person in US is not being able to print a PDF. Its a small www world these days. So, when my broadband connection was not working yesterday on 30th January, I looked into my telephone bill and called up 011-2222-1504 to register the complaint. The person who picked up the telephone, sounded offended by the idea that I wanted to register the complaint. He did not tell me anything to suggest so, but the human mind can pick up the tones so either the person who answered my call was having a bad case of throat infection and stomach disorder or I am completely off my rocker here. Anyway, he did register my complaint and I got a 4 digit complaint number 3920 as proof of my achievement. I courteously asked him by when can I expect the connection to be fixed as it was particularly urgent to me. He replied, within 24 hours. I asked him if there was something I could do to speed up the process. He said, "Call on 197 and find out the Area Managers number". My first question lies here, since I was talking to this person for help and support(who is getting paid for it by people like me), he could have at least told me the corresponding area manager's number itself(which I am sure would have been searchable on his computer). If my telephone is not working, how can I call up 197 and find it?

Since India is a country of charming people, my charming neighbour came to my rescue and provided me the number of Janakpuri area manager. I reside in New Mahavir Nagar and my house is a 10 minute walk from the Janakpuri telephone exchange. I called up the Janakpuri area manager and mentioned my telephone number 011-2599-7227 and complaint number and asked him if he could do something in this matter. To this, he replied "This number does not fall in my area call up Dwarka area manager" and gave me another number. Perplexed, I called up the Dwarka area manager, who replied "This number does not fall in my area call up Rajouri Garden area manager" and gave me another number. Confused, I called up the Rajouri Garden area manager who replied "This number does not fall in my area, call up the the Janakpuri area manager" and gave me another number. By this time I had gone crazy. I had gone an entire full circle with each person giving me the same templated reply(which I hope you would have noticed). I was wondering, "In which area did my telephone number lie, is it in Pak Occupied Kashmir?". I called up the Janakpuri area manager and told him that I had gone a complete circle and what was this about. It looks to me, he was very busy and so he did not have the time to reply to such a stupid unnecessary question. So he took the shortest route possible, he just cut the call and never picked up my subsequent 6-7 calls.

Utterly dejected, I called up a linesman I knew, and he was working in the area nearby. A few kind words and requests later, the kind soul landed up in my area an hour later and fixed the problem. I can only say "Bless, his soul".

After reading all this Mr. Minister you might wonder what is the point ? The point is inspite of the excellent and thoughtful policies and people who/which have been placed to look after these kind of problems, the entire set up has fallen flat. I have lost a little bit of faith in the whole setup to which I looked upto in order to help me when I needed it most but I have regained a little bit of faith in human relations and what 2 people who want and can try to genuinely help out each other. I might be one of those cases where Murphy's law was true and I was the wrong person with the wrong person at the wrong place and the wrong time but I sincerely hope you don't get letters like these more often. This letter might not have to do with any of the multi billion dollar projects/decisions/investments but it has to do with the most important facet of governance, touching the lives of those who have chosen you to govern. If the governance is not worth it, the multi billion dollar investments/infrastructures just sound very hollow.

Thank you again for the time to read my letter. Thank you again for all the work.

Jai Hind.

Getting started

Its a difficult segregated world we are living in. So much so that I have to segregate the blogs I maintain. My original blog remains at WordPress, but since it is published in quite a few Planets(reads as RSS feeds), I am not planning to publish personal muses on that blog. People reading planets create a lot of noise over content not appropriate for planets. I plan to publish my personal notes here and my technical notes there. So much so for compartmentalisation. But why am I mentioning it here ? Well, the answer lies in my guilty conscience of maintaining and eating up blog spaces. A big sorry to anyone who wants to take up the space with bonivivek on blogspot. Uninteresting but true.

Please note: I am really pissed since I could not take up bonii.blogspot.com which is already occupied by someone who apparently is so busy that he is not doing anything on the blog for the past few years. Do me a favour mate, delete that blog.