AAPNE JEETI GAYA!!!

Being in Larsen and Toubro Hazira has its advantages other than just the job experience. Being here I have learnt more Gujrati in the last 3 months than I could in the 4 years of my college. Today was the 5th and final day of the test match between India and Australia, and in what can very aptly be called a nail biting match, India won the match on a bowling pitch while chasing by just a mere single wicket. Well the match was quiet interesting and though people at Larsen and Toubro were not in front the television sets watching the match ball by ball, but nothing could keep them from keeping a track of the scores.

Work was going on at its normal pace as it always goes. Though “Score kya hua??” was asked by many, many times. People were discussing technicalities of the job while some were actually doing the jobs. The most interesting case to see was that of two people, one from the shops and the other from some other department involved in a heated argument over some issue. Things like this are not uncommon though on the shop floor.  But what was worth noticing was what happened next. Of the 2 people arguing, one’s cell phone rings into a massage tone. He opens the massage and happily shouts,”AAPNE JEETI GAYA!!” The argument is instantly forgotten and scores start getting discussed and the argument now changes to who should get the man of the match title.

What caught my attention was the phrase,”AAPNE JEETI GAYA”. Meaning WE HAVE WON. Not quiet often do we get to hear the ‘WE’ over here now do we. At this moment I recall one of Akshay Kumar’s dialogues from the movie Khaata Meetha (wait…don’t stop reading here, I never said about liking the movie),

”AAP AMERICA JAO AAPKO AMERICAN MILENGE

ENGLAND JAO TO ENGLISHMEN MILENGE

FRANCE JAO TO FRENCHMEN MILENGE

LEKIN INDIA ME…INDIA ME AAPKO MILENGE MARATHI, GUJRATI, PUNJABI, MARWADI…”

So true, is it not! We actually are Indian at very few instances. Unless we are out of India or some outside power is intruding into India, or unless there is a cricket match we are just so very non-Indian. Just look at the today’s match as an example. When Zaheer Khan took 5 wickets and was made the Man of the Match, he was an Indian and not a Muslim. When Sachin scored 98 in the first innings, or when Dhoni got out for 2 in the second innings they were Indians and not a Maharashtrian and a Bihari(No grudges against Dhoni, I love his shots and more even his attitude, this was just for an example). But what happens to us after the match ends? We go out and start the discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, region and what else not. The question that really comes to my mind here is why so? Why just can’t we be Indians at all times?

Why do we fall for some power hungry politician’s words in which he makes us fight against each other. Who in a so called secular India whose constitution treats every religion and people of all religions equally, puts his religion’s claim on something that should rightfully belong to all? Why do we fight for the Ram Mandir or the Babri Masjid of either of which today who knows what exists where? Why not build an orphanage or a school on that site? Haven’t all the religions always asked to help the poor of the society? Don’t our religions say that we must donate some part of our earning to the society? And when we remember everything else about the religion, why do we forget this good part?

Why do we fight for what language should get importance where? Why do we not understand that language is simply for expressing the feeling within us, that it is simply to convey our massage to the person standing next to you? Why do we attach so much importance to the regional language, or should I say force importance on it when we have one National Language? Why do the south Indian’s do not study our National Language? Why do they give so much importance to their regional language to the point of creating a hatred for the National Language? Why do we need to print our sign boards in a regional language rather than print them in a language that is understood by if not all, a lot more people? Isn’t it supposed to be bad for one’s business? If one cannot understand what a particular shop sells, why should he go in there and buy stuff from there?

Why do we let a few corrupt government officials and selfish political leaders, ruin our country’s image by letting them organize a world event that makes us all feel sorry before the entire world community? Why don’t we unitedly stand against this and demand for a change? India is supposed to be democracy I guess? Right from the traffic policeman who takes a bribe from us for us not having an insurance of our own vehicle to the minister who bungles in huge amounts of money for issuing a public works contract, or steals the money that is meant for the flood affected people in helping them building their homes back? Why can’t we just stand up for once and say a simple and strong NO?

Why do so many questions plague India today, when they can be vanished by a minute change in our mentalities? Will these or should I say, can these questions ever vanish?

AAPNE SACHI MA JEETE SHAKE CHE?

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A New Beginning…

It has been a long time since I actually wrote something. I have no idea as to why that happened. I don’t know the reason but I know the cause that keeps me from writing. It is none other than me. My last article (not so good though) one got me selected in my campus placements and as the purpose of me taking up writing as a hobby (to be able to tell a hobby in my interviews) was fulfilled I abandoned writing. I got a stimulus to write many a time but I sidelined it, ignored it.  But now I have decided to begin again. It will take some time before the rust is removed and a lot more until I re-attain my full flow, but this time I will not quit like I did last time.

Hindu culture has always promoted that whenever you start a new endeavor, start it with the name of Lord Ganesha. In Hindu mythology Ganesha is regarded as the remover of all obstacles, as the giver of happiness and borrower of your sorrows. Hence the first place in any religious ceremony first Lord Ganesha is invoked. He is the one who is called first and prayed to, to reward our efforts with success and keep our path free from obstacles.

But it is not just for this sole reason that I am writing about the half elephant God. He holds a very special place in my heart and since long I have wanted to devote one of my articles to him. This is THE ONE. So continuining with this one, the fact Lord Ganesha occupies a special corner of my heart is not only because of the fact of me being a maharashtrian. It has also to do with an important and very interesting incident that happened about 5 years ago. This incident changed my very outlook towards life and with it Ganesha sat in that very special part of my heart and continues to be there ever since.

It was the time of examinations. Not any college/school examinations but the entrance examinations for engineering admissions. Knowing that I had done very badly in some of the exams that had happened just before this one, this was actually my last option of getting admission into a good college. It was the exam for admission to the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, and by the time only this exam was left for me, I had become quiet desperate to do good in at least one out of the half a dozen entrance exams I had written. I had worked really hard. Why should this happen to me. At least one exam I had to do good to show myself that my hard work had paid off. It had to. What else would have I done. So the point is I was very desperate to perform in this one. I had to score and get selected. But some things happen in strange ways. The exam was supposed to be in Mumbai and a day before I was to leave for Mumbai, I fall ill. Not a big thing other wise but in my case it was as if my entire life depended on it and everything was supposed to go against me. My preparations go down the drain and doctors are consulted. Medicines that are given to me cause drowsiness and I am unable to study even one line. In such a condition, I catch the train and leave for Mumbai. We reach Mumbai a day before my exam is scheduled. That day while everyone of my friends is studying, I am feeling totally sick. And still as the medicines continue I keep feeling drowzee. It is as if everything is decided and I am doomed and this very feeling makes me feel more sick. That evening all decide that it is enough of the study and all decide to go out. We go out and roam around. After some time of roaming, someone comes up with the idea of going to the Siddhivinayak Temple. Ok I thought, the only thing that I could do was ask for divine intervention. But I had also tried invoking the Gods before my other exams as well and inspite of that my other exams had been big blunders. But what else could I possibly do. So we go to the temple. As expected there is a long queue and lots of security to go through just to have a look of the God. But we go in anyway. We stand in the queue pass through security gates and metal detectors and physically inspected by policemen for any weapons and when finally they don’t find any of them with us, they allow us to proceed. As the queue moves very slowly, everyone is nervous about the next day’s exam. But amidst the nervousness I do feel a peaceful feeling inside the temple premises. Some places have a distinct personality of their own. Finally after a long time of standing in a slowly moving queue, we reach the main temple and now we are able to see the God’s Idol. We inch closer towards the place where we can actually fold our hands and pray. While inching ahead, I observe something strange. Some people after praying to Ganesha went over to the mouse’s idol in front of Ganesha’s idol and whispered something into it’s ears. It was amazing and confusing to see. When I enquired about it, I came to know a really amazing thing. Whenever you have a wish in your heart that you want fulfilled, you whisper it in the mouse’s ears with a request to take it forward it to he Lord. And then sometime later, the mouse who is also Ganesha’s vehicle(Vahaan as is called in Marathi) puts our problem directly in front of the Lord to solve. Amazing I thought. And I followed the practice. I went over and prayed over to the Lord to cure me of my illness so that at least I could give the exam my fullest and whispered the same in my ears of the mouse. Soon everyone offered their prayers and put forward their desires in front of the Lord. And after time we had our dinner and left. As we went back, all of us were still nervous about the exam next day. We reached our rooms and dosed off.

As I wake up next day, it is the big day and wait a minute, I do not feel sick anymore. It might have been the medicines, it may have been the rest. But for my heart it was the Lord who had answered my prayers. It was Ganesha who cured my illness so that I could the exam all that I had got. What happened next is not that relevant. I gave the exam and scored enough to satisfy myself that my efforts had paid off. But this incident has given that special place of respect in my heart to Ganesha. The Lord had answered my prayers that day. And till today he has kept me fighting fit for the exams I have had to face. And here the exams I am talking about are not only the ones that you give after studying/mugging up from books. And I am sure that he will be with me always to help me get up whenever I fall, to help me always give my best, to keep obstacles away from my path, to provide me with the much needed support one needs during testing times.

With this I now re-begin with my writing. No matter who reads it or does not. No matter who cares for it. May Lord Ganesha give me the strength to keep my word of not quitting this once. May this New Beginning be successful…”GANPATI BAPPA MORAYA”